August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Reactions to the Mike Pettine hire

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Nice compilation of the Pettine process, including takes from the entire staff: “Pettine finished up his first year as the Bills’ defensive coordinator, coaching a unit that was ranked 10th in the NFL. Pettine isn’t just a one-hit wonder, though — he has a good track record of getting defensive units to play at a high level. He was the Jets’ defensive coordinator from 2009-2012. Before that, he spent seven years as a defensive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens, including close work with defensive linemen and outside linebackers.” [Chris Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature]

This stats-based fantasy football site calls the hire an underrated move: “Though the Bills have talented pieces on defense, Mike Pettine’s presence was clearly felt when he moved to Buffalo. The team went from being the 31st-ranked squad to the 8th-ranked one in just one season according to our metrics that are adjusted for strength of opponent, despite battling significant injuries early in the season in the secondary. Moreover, he helped Kiko Alonzo, Buffalo’s first-year linebacker, post a Defensive Rookie of the Year-type season.” [JJ Zachariason/NumberFire]

I’m a big fan of this writer. This is a great point: “OK, aside from all the obvious jokes, think about the broader process here. The Browns spent this week interviewing Greg Schiano, for God’s sake. Greg Schiano and Dirk Koetter and Josh McDaniels. In the grand scheme of things, Browns fans probably dodged a bullet with Pettine.” [Andrew Sharp/Grantland]

Buffalo fans aren’t happy about the loss: “Bills fans, however, are disappointed to see Pettine leave. He’s the first Bills assistant to become another team’s head coach since the Indianapolis Colts hired Ted Marchibroda 22 years ago. Buffalo was a wreck before Pettine arrived. Previous defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt ran a stale, passive 4-3 scheme that got trampled on a weekly basis. Pettine took essentially the same defense and morphed into a decorated unit that caused opponents trouble every week.” [Tim Graham/The Buffalo News]

The Browns still have to prove something is different: “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 Thursday by naming Pettine the team’s 15th coach. There is much to like about him. But … there was much to like about Rob Chudzinski a year ago.” [Pat McManamon/ESPN.com]

Overall, people seem to feel pretty good: “Once his name came up in the hiring process, he became a quick favorite and seemed to get stronger as the process continued. He is not the celebrity hire and he was found due to the Browns sticking to their guns with their mentality of going through a thorough search process. Overall, I like the hire, but that is based on a small amount of information that will only have a small bearing on the job he can do with the Browns.” [Peter Smith/Dawg Pound Daily]

This was probably my favorite Pettine tweet (besides all of the obvious poutine jokes). This is so perfectly Cleveland. [Tom Reed/Twitter]

Just about time to give up on the Cavs: “I can no longer pretend that they just need more time, or that they’re suddenly going to figure it out one of these nights. They are not a good team. It would be foolish to pronounce them completely dead, as they are still somehow just three games out of a playoff spot.” [Mike Mayer/Rebuilding Since 1964]

And yes, the Indians still do desperately need another starter: “The Indians lost Jimenez as well as Kazmir, and are a year away from possibly losing Justin Masterson to free agency as well. They have young pitching to lean on in their absence, with Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco both expected in the 2014 rotation, but their next-best young arm is Cody Anderson, a mid-rotation or back-end starter who isn’t expected to be ready for another year.” [Marc Normandin/Sports on Earth]

  • MrCleaveland

    Okay, aside from the 10-year-old girls and the cheap-shot artists in the local media, is anyone still unhappy with the Browns for firing Chud and hiring Pettine?

    I didn’t think so.

  • mgbode

    also, let’s note that when Pittsburgh took 20days (Browns 24) after Cowher to interview candidates and ended up taking a first-time HC w/ limited experience that was only on their list due to the Rooney rule, they were considered to be patient.

    I get the Chud 1yr thing blew some of that out the window, but it got a tad ridiculous and over-the-top with the hate. They ended up with a good hire by all accounts and hopefully he was the right guy.

  • RGB

    Enjoy this guys, because in 3 months…

  • @TheDeePagel

    Trying to look for omens (good and bad) that are connected to Pettine….feel free to add.

    1. Good – He was born on a Sunday – He was born for the NFL.

    2. Bad – The day he was (9/25/1966) the Browns lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 34-28….after leading 28-14 in the 3rd quarter.

    3. Good – His daughter that tweeted is 19-years old – Bernie Kosar wore #19.

    4. Good – The year he was born the Browns went 9-5, including a 41-10 thumping on the Steelers.

    5. Good – He is a University of Virginia alum…their nickname are the Wahoos…..our beloved Cleveland Indians have Chief Wahoo.

    6. As a college safety, Pettine’s best moment was intercepting Erik Kramer of the NC State Wolf Pack three times in one game…..Sammy Watkins’ high school mascot is the Wolf Pack. I’m not even sure I know what this means…

  • MrCleaveland

    The Steelers just fired their offensive line coach after — gasp — only one year on the job. What a debacle.

  • @TheDeePagel

    Shammy will like this…

    September 25 the day Pettine was born was the same day that the Red Sox broke ground in 1911 to build Fenway Park.

  • BenRM

    I’ll be honest, I feel more comfortable with this hire than I would have felt about any other barring Quinn.

    I didn’t like the vast majority of candidates, and I thought Gase would have been an incredibly risky gamble. Pettine seems to be a solid, but not flashy, hire.

  • Wow

    It’s on the front office regardless. After a disastrous 2013, this is the time to get it right. You cannot mess up a draft loaded with this much talent. And for Haslam to blame the media for the negative view of the Browns was laughable.

  • MrCleaveland

    Haslam does have a point to some degree. The news media are seemingly incapable of just reporting facts as they are. They are driven to exaggerate and blow things way out of proportion, be it coaching situations, polar vortexes, royal babies, politician gaffes, tearful reunions, Duck Dynasty opinions, Justin Beiber, you name it.

    So I don’t blame Haslam for disliking these people. The media is a ass — a idiot.

  • BenRM

    Oh, also, I know that 2014 is the Age of Aquarius…I mean the Year of the Quarterback, but it’ll be nice if Pettine can help make last year’s investments (Krueger, Mingo)…ya know…productive?

  • BenRM

    Oh, also, I know that 2014 is the Age of Aquarius…I mean the Year of the Quarterback, but it’ll be nice if Pettine can help make last year’s investments (Krueger, Mingo)…ya know…productive?

  • MrCleaveland

    One of the very encouraging things he said yesterday, without prompting, is that he does not believe in trying to pigeon-hole players into systems but rather to design schemes to best use the talent he has. A lot coaches say that, but it sounded like he means it. So maybe the new scoreboard will be showing Mingo Unleashed this fall.

  • BenRM

    In fact, I believe Chud/Horton/Norv said that as well. But I agree. I want them to unleash the Kraken.

  • porckchop

    The way I see it, Banner and Lombo will have figured out that their heavy handed interference with the coach causes problems, and this time they will let the guy coach, and he’ll succeed or fail based on his ability to coach up the talent. Or, they’ll continue to meddle and attempt to dictate roster changes to this coach, the players will see it and give up, we’ll end up 4-5 wins again, and then next winter we will get the mother of all searches as Habscam goes in search of his next President.
    And besides, lets face it, “Its the Browns… but hey, still pretty cool!” is the nicest thing anyone has had to say about the area in 15 years.

  • BenRM

    This is a good point. There are a few obvious differences as to why the searches were viewed so differently (coming off a Super Bowl and a historically stable franchise as compared to consistent turnover and perennial loser), but the point stands.

  • BenRM

    God, I hope so. If they learned anything from “being ‘turned down’ by a number of qualified candidates,” I hope that it was “let the football coach coach the football team.”

  • Wow

    Believe me the media in this town is bad, absolutely. But after last year I don’t blame fans for being skeptical.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m able to pick up WTAM in the evenings on my way home from work. Last night they were broadcasting the Cleveland sports award thingy, but were talking a lot about the hiring. The hosts (don’t really know who they were) were up in arms that the Browns hired Pettine now WHEN THEY COULD HAVE DONE SO 2 WEEKS AGO!!!

    This is the most nonsensical argument I have ever heard (seriously, ever), and is just a way to bash the FO because they don’t like the FO. Folks really want to have a fit over 2 weeks of “lost” time? Really? Why does this matter at all? I completely understand Haslam’s and Banner’s desire to not answer stupid questions like that.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Yea and they replaced him with Munchak. How horrible!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    And not even a good comparison head coach to offensive line, c’mon man!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Right now it’s a lateral move at best but he has time to show he’s the defensive version of Chudzinski. I’m sure more then a year too.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    A+ for not only symmetry but wrapping it all up in a big old bow!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m impressed just hope you are right.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    They did maybe the front office will hear it this time around!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I was starting to like Quinn well more like forcing myself but oh well at least it’s over at least for 362 days or something like that!

    I’m not inspired by this hire or after that press conference yesterday which for me was done more to get it over then to actually let Mike Pettine introduce himself. It was a lateral hire. He’s the defensive version of Chudzinski. He went from the Ravens to the Jets under the wing of Ryan and then finally to Buffalo. For one season. Going from Buffalo to Cleveland or vice versa is at best a lateral move even if your job title changes.

    BUT all that aside I’ll give him a chance if for no other reason then I’m pretty sure his future press conferences will be entertaining. Especially if he is alone and I don’t have to see Banner or Haslam.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Cleveland media is a friggin’ cupcake give me a break.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Hmmmmm, I don’t know Gary lets see how his staff shakes out first. Lets also see who they draft because Pettine has had zero to do with scouting or anything personnel related. Of course I’m assuming he has some input into personnel (per our discussion earlier in the other section) and isn’t simply going to have to coach whomever he is given.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    We can hope I don’t know what the dynamics are in Berea all I know is something had to have gone horribly wrong other then what we saw on the field. You hear completely opposite stories for either spectrum which means the most likely story is something in between.