Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz looks on during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Lions 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Browns target Jim O'Neil as Defensive Coordinator, Bills hire Jim Schwartz


During the head coach search, some in the media were so confident the Cleveland Browns wanted Jim Schwartz as their defensive coordinator, they suggested the team had a handshake deal in place to hire him after the head coach was selected.  Well, the Browns hired Mike Pettine and his former team, the Buffalo Bills have hired Schwartz to replace him.

According to many covering the Bills, Pettine actually hired much of the defensive staff there, so it was expected he would bring some if not many of them with him to Cleveland.  The hiring of Schwartz should only make that more likely as he will probably have his own coaches he has in mind to fill out his staff.

Pettine’s most likely target for the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns is Jim O’Neil, his former linebackers coach in Buffalo.  These two would be on the exact same page in terms of defensive schemes and knowing how each other work.  The Bills still have the right of refusal and could block the move, but with the hire of Schwartz, that is unlikely.

The Browns were expected to target Alex Van Pelt as a possible offensive coordinator, but the Green Bay Packers blocked that move and promoted him to quarterbacks coach to replace Ben McAdoo, now the offensive coordinator of the New York Giants.

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  • Gary

    A linebackers coach? How does this warrant him being a Defensive Coordinator?
    Pettines defense at Buffalo was just as bad as ours. Where will the improvement be?

    • http://withthefirstpick.com Peter Smith

      For all intents and purposes, Pettine will be his own defensive coordinator, but the fact that O’Neil is a linebackers coach certainly does not disqualify him from anything. What’s the right defensive coaching assistant spot to get promoted?

      As for the Bills defense… They were a top 10 defense. That’s all Pettine does is produce Top 10 defenses.

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