THE SEARCH IS OVER! No this is not a joke. The Cleveland Browns have finally hired a head coach, the 15th in franchise history. His name is Mike Pettine and he was the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, who the Browns faced and beat on October 3rd of this past season.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam had this to say about Pettine:
“Mike is the epitome of what we want the Browns to be — tough, aggressive and innovative — with a blue-collar, team-first mentality. He knows what’s necessary to beat teams in the AFC North. Most importantly, Mike has repeatedly shown the ability to lead his players to consistent improvement and success, clearly what we are striving for as he leads the Cleveland Browns moving forward.”
In his time coaching with the Bills, New York Jets, and the Baltimore Ravens, Pettine coached top players like CP Darrell Revis, DE Mario Williams, and Terrell Suggs. Pettine does have some head coaching experience….. in North Penn High School in Towamencin, Pennsylvania where he coached from 1997-2001 and had 45 wins in 5 seasons. I knew as soon as I heard the Browns had called him for a “third interview” it was to hammer out contract details because the Browns don’t interview the same person three times for the fun of it.
The whole coaching search for the Browns had become somewhat of a joke, not only in Cleveland, but around the country because we’re just so easy to make fun of. We had a hugely long list of possible candidates and at one point there was a campaign for the Browns to hire former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel who is happily employed by the University of Akron in a non-coaching position. With as dominating as our defense was last year, thanks to Ray Horton and the work he did with the young guys and veterans, I’m looking forward to what a defensive minded head coach brings to the table. Here’s to a better year, Cleveland.