Browns get permission from Bills to interview Jim O’Neil for Defensive Coordinator


Jan 1, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a Buffalo Bills helmet at a press conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

According to multiple reports, but as reported here by Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post among other places, the Cleveland Browns have received permission to interview Jim O’Neil to be their defensive coordinator.  O’Neil served as the linebackers coach of the Buffalo Bills under Mike Pettine and the expectation is that he will be given the post in Cleveland.

These two have worked together for 5 years, but known each other longer so the interview is a formality more than anything else.  There was a report that O’Neil had already expressed his interest to go to Cleveland to serve as the defensive coordinator under Pettine.

In addition to the familiarity, Pettine gets a coordinator who knows how he thinks and what he expects from the coaching staff.  According to people covering the Bills, Pettine hired most of the defensive staff, so this was an expected move and more may soon to come.  The Bills hired Jim Schwartz to be their defensive coordinator and he may want to bring in his own staff, which would make the rest of the Bills defensive staff up for grabs and soon to be on their way to Cleveland.

The bigger issue for the Browns is finding their offensive coordinator.  This move has been in the works basically since Pettine got the job, while the offensive coordinator job has been the bigger question.