Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted this morning that, barring any negotiation roadblocks, the Browns plan to offer the head coaching job to Mike Pettine. The 47 year-old Pettine is the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, a position he’s held for just a season. Prior to coaching in Buffalo, Pettine coached with the New York Jets as the Defensive Coordinator from 2009 to 2012.
He also has AFC North experience, having coached with the Baltimore Ravens from 2002 to 2008. He served as a coaching assistant, assistant defensive line coach, and became the outside linebackers coach under defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. When Ryan left for the New York Jets, Pettine moved with him to take the D-Coordinator job there.
This hire comes amidst some controversy over the Browns coaching search. A number of candidates had publicly pulled out, giving the impression that the Cleveland job was toxic. Despite the impression inside the league, Pettine showed mutual interest in the position. ESPN Radio 850 reported that Pettine was seen in the Atlanta airport this morning, supposedly in transit to Cleveland. The Really Big Show host Tony Rizzo speculated that the announcement will probably come sometime tomorrow with a press conference.
Pettine inherits one of the youngest teams in the league, but one with talent. Five Cleveland Browns players were named to the Pro Bowl this year.