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Mike Pettine named the Browns head coach per Schefter tweet.

 

 

It would be cool if during the press conference they accidentally thanked him for his hard work and wished him well in his future endeavors

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Mike Pettine: Much to like, much to prove

 

January, 23, 2014 

Mike Pettine has many positives, and the Buffalo Bills loved him.

He is a forward, direct, blunt, attacking coach who improved the Bills' defense in several categories this past season.

He learned under Rex Ryan, and coached under him. He brings attitude and intensity and an in-your-face style to the Browns, who ended the coaching search that did not want to end by naming Pettine the team’s 15th coach on Thursday.

There is much to like about him.

But ... there was much to like a year ago about Rob Chudzinski.

And there is much that Pettine has to prove, just as CEO Joe Banner and owner Jimmy Haslam have much to prove. Starting with showing that this search was not a wayward effort that simply wound up crashing to Earth in Buffalo.

Former Ravens coach Brian Billick brought Pettine into the league in 2002 as a video assistant; Billick wanted a video guy with football knowledge, and Pettine connected to Billick through Matt Cavanaugh, a Ravens assistant who knew Pettine from Pitt. Pettine stayed on Billick’s staff through 2008.

“Mike Pettine is a good football coach and is as good a defensive mind as I’ve been around,” Billick said. “He will do a good job. The thing you wonder about, I understand you have to go through a process but you could have hired Mike Jan. 3 and had a leg up on putting together a staff.”

The Browns did not, though, reach out to Billick to get his feedback, which seems to indicate that the organization clearly did not have a plan in mind when they fired Chudzinski. At least the Browns didn’t have a plan they could count on.

Their leading candidates seemed to drop like dominoes. Adam Gase declined to interview. Bill O’Brien went to Houston. James Franklin chose Penn State. Josh McDaniels preferred New England.


As time went on, the search grew wider, to the point that the day before they hired Pettine they interviewed Dirk Koetter of the Falcons and former Bucs coach Greg Schiano. Koetter was fired at Arizona State in 2006, the same year Ohio State was 12-1 and playing in the BCS National Championship Game. The coach of the Buckeyes that year was Jim Tressel, a guy the Browns chose not to interview (that we know of).

Whether Pettine is a legitimate head coach or merely a coordinator rising past his level has to play out. Pettine has proven much, but still has much to prove.

The Bills loved his approach and how he improved the defense, but Buffalo still finished 6-10 and still gave up 388 points and still had the league’s 28th-ranked run defense (128.9 yards per game). Even the Browns' woeful running game -- with Willis McGahee the feature back -- was able to run on Buffalo’s defense.

Too, there isn’t a team in the league that does not think the passing game wins and that bringing along a quarterback isn’t vital.

Pettine has never worked on the offensive side of the ball.

He went from a high school coaching position to an entry-level job with the Ravens, where he became close with Rex Ryan and eventually became Baltimore’s linebackers coach.

He followed Ryan to the Jets, where he had the title of defensive coordinator even though Ryan ran the defense. To say Pettine didn’t have a role in New York isn’t fair; he did. But the defensive side of the ball was Ryan’s baby. And there was tension between Pettine and some players, specifically cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

When Pettine’s contract expired, he went to Buffalo with Doug Marrone. There he had complete autonomy with the defense for the first time in his career, and the Jets players were pleased to have Ryan back.

Pettine clearly will need a strong presence on the offensive side of the ball, a guy like ... oh ... Norv Turner. What’s that? Oh. Never mind.

Haslam said when he started the search he wanted a proven winner. Pettine has worked with proven winners, but to say he has a record as one is ignoring the fact he has no record of his own.

It’s really kind of weird.


The Browns had an attacking defensive coordinator who believed in disrupting the passing game with different fronts and blitzes.

They just hired a head coach who was an attacking defensive coordinator who believes in disrupting the passing game with different fronts and blitzes.

At this point there is so much uncertainty and negativity swirling about the Browns that nothing they do short of bringing back Paul Brown would be welcomed with open arms.

Pettine takes a job knowing the previous coach didn’t even get a calendar year, and knowing the previous coach beat the new coach’s defense on a Thursday night game when the starting quarterback hurt his knee not five minutes into the game and the Browns scored the game’s final 20 points. Remember those complaints about finishing?

Pettine might wind up the greatest coach in Browns history.

But it sure seems like there’s a lot of grass between that point and where he is now.

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Browns should have been able to get someone better than Pettine. They have a lot of cap space, not that many free agents, a few pro bowlers, and 2 first round picks. So there's a lot to work with but their front office seems to be an ongoing demonstration of the Peters principle, that people rise to their level of incompetence. They keep hiring coordinators and hoping one will make a good head coach. Whether it's Chris Palmer, Butch Davis, Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, Rob Chudzinski, and now Pettine. You'd think at some point they would just throw money at Cowher or someone like that who was successful already as an NFL coach.

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Que the Browns are gonna be good this season talk . Have heard it every year since 1999

 

Honestly, I don't think the talk will happen this year. Pettine would have to be a Jesus-class miracle worker to get that shithole team going in one year. Their ownership and management are totally dysfunctional, half the team is disgruntled, no FA is going to sign with them except as a last resort, and they're probably going to take and ruin Johnny Football. 

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Que the Browns are gonna be good this season talk . Have heard it every year since 1999

 

I'll admit, I was guilty the past two seasons of it.  They look so good against us some games and have some really nice players.  They just need a coach to get those guys going.

 

Wish they would have traded Josh Gordon this past season.  They would be in full enrage mode.

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Kirby Wilson to become Vikings' RB coach

 

January, 25, 2014
By Scott Brown | ESPN.com

 

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin has another coaching spot to fill, and this time he has to replace one of his most trusted lieutenants.

Running backs Kirby Wilson is leaving Pittsburgh for the same position with the Minnesota Vikings, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported Wilson's departure, which is not yet official, hours after reporting that Wilson was no longer a candidate to become the Ravens’ offensive coordinator.

Wilson twice interviewed for the opening in Baltimore -- he was one of three finalists for the job -- and his departure leaves just five assistants on the staff who have been with Tomlin since he became the Steelers’ head coach in 2007.

The Steelers permitted Wilson to pursue other jobs even though he had one year left on his contract and was significantly involved in crafting game plans.

The one question that will trail Wilson out of Pittsburgh is what might have been for the well-traveled assistant.

Wilson would have been one of the top candidates to take over at offensive coordinator in 2012 after the Steelers did not renew Bruce Arians’ contract. But Wilson was badly burned in house fire about a month earlier, and he couldn’t start working again -- even on a limited basis -- for more three months after the blaze that nearly cost him his life.

The Steelers hired Todd Haley to replace Arians, and when it became apparent that Haley would return in 2014 Wilson started looking around for other opportunities with Tomlin’s blessing.

The loss of Wilson comes three days after the Steelers hired Mike Munchak as their next offensive line coach. Running backs coach is the only position Tomlin is expected to have to fill with both coordinators returning as well as linebackers coach Keith Butler.

Butler had been a candidate to join Ken Whisenhunt’s staff in Tennessee as the defensive coordinator but he never interviewed for the position.

Wilson joins his sixth NFL organization after coaching running backs such as Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall and Bell with the Steelers.

Bell, under Wilson’s tutelage, rushed for 860 yards in 2013 despite missing the first three games of the season. The second-round draft pick also broke Franco Harris’ Steelers’ record for yards from scrimmage by a rookie with 1,259 yards and established himself as a focal point of the offense in the coming seasons.

Wilson will join first-year coach Mike Zimmer in Minnesota, and he will work with the best running back in the NFL in Adrian Peterson.

Peterson rushed for 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013 despite weathering foot and groin injuries, the latter of which sidelined him for two of the Vikings’ last three games.

Peterson had groin surgery last week but the Vikings said he should be fully healthy after a six-week recovery period.
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Adam Schefter ‏@AdamSchefter11m

Ravens plan to hire former Texans HC Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator and former Texans OC Rick Dennison as their QB coach.


And I read they're letting their long time TE coach too. Lots of changes...

@RavensInsider: Ravens won't be retaining tight ends coach coach Wade Harman, according to a source
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I'm not worried. He spent most of his career as an assistant for Mike Shanahan before getting the Texans job. He's the guy who wanted Matt Schaub.

 

 

he's also basically the mastermind behind the zone blocking running scheme that is in the NFL. In the last 11 seasons, his running games have finished in the top ten 7 times including 5 top 5 finishes.

 

A very good hire for Baltimore.

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he's also basically the mastermind behind the zone blocking running scheme that is in the NFL. In the last 11 seasons, his running games have finished in the top ten 7 times including 5 top 5 finishes.

 

A very good hire for Baltimore.

 

That's Alex Gibbs who taught his guys to dive at the defender's knees. Kubiak isn't the inventor of zone blocking. As an OC he had success with Elway as his QB, less so with other guys. Schaub led the league in passing yards one season under Kubiak (as HC) but Flacco's not likely to do that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Baltimore will need to have a stellar draft since they can't really afford to restock through FA with Flacco's ridiculous contract.


Yeah, they let a few great games overshadow years worth of data.
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I think Baltimore will need to have a stellar draft since they can't really afford to restock through FA with Flacco's ridiculous contract.


They've certainly put the weight of success on Ozzie's shoulders... Sadly, he's really good at coming through for them in the draft.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has been less solid in recent drafts. I'm hugely interested in seeing the progression of their franchise now that LeBeau creeps into Paterno irrelevancy, and their linchpins on defense get too old to play. I've always viewed Tomlin as a Barry Switzer type, taking someone else's hard work to the playoffs.

Cleveland is the perennial bizzaroland. They could turn a corner any year, or continue to flounder under bad ownership.
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