Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Jan 2014

Cleveland Browns Hire Mike Pettine as Head Coach

Look, kids, Cleveland has a head coach! It's former Bills and Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Pettine helped take the Bills defense from 27th in DVOA in 2012 to fourth in 2013, and the Cleveland defensive personnel would seem to be a great fit for Pettine's aggressive hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense. Barkevious Mingo is going to go nuts. Whether Pettine has the CEO-like skills required of a head coach, and whether he can hire a useful offensive coordinator, I have no clue.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 23 Jan 2014

20 comments, Last at 30 Jan 2014, 6:54pm by LionInAZ


by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 5:09pm

No idea if he'll be a decent coach. Pretty sure that coming in as like the 10th choice is probably not going to help you win the respect of the guys on your team.

God hates Cleveland.

by Xao :: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 6:30pm

On the other hand, it's the Browns. Given their coaching history, as a player I'd be more concerned if the front office had gotten their first choice. At least there's a chance Pettine will be decent, right?

Ichiro also hates Cleveland.

by coltrane23 :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 5:13pm

As a Seahawks fan, I applaud this move.

by Sixknots :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 8:34pm

Me too.

by peepshowmopguy :: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 1:40pm


by MichaelEdits :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 5:30pm

Can you find us an address to send the sympathy cards to?

by morganja :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 5:39pm

Who knew you could take a step down from Buffalo?

by Hurt Bones :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 6:02pm

As a Raven's fan, I'm conflicted. I'm very happy for Pettine. I've thought for quite some time that he'd be a good head coach, though I don't want him to succeed in Cleveland.

by jacobk :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 9:02pm

So... how many wins does he need to keep his job next year?

by dbostedo :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 9:29pm

I don't think anyone can say exactly, but I'm willing to bet it's more than 4.

by serutan :: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:08pm

Going by last year, it's most important that the wins are
concentrated at the end of the season, as apparently results
during the first part of the season are irrelevant to Haslem.
Was wr

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 9:00am

When you get a chance to tap into that Buffalo magic, you gotta take it.

As for whether or not he'll actually be a good coach, I can't make an informed prediction. But here's a prediction I'm very confident in -- it'll end badly. Everything Browns ends badly.

by Lebo :: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 10:40am

I'm not trying to imply that Pettine is a bad coach (or a good one for that matter - I have no opinion either way). But isn't defensive DVOA highly variable in its own right? Therefore, isn't it possible that the Bills' change in defensive DVOA is more random than coaching related? Or am I completely wrong on this?

by Dr. Mooch :: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 11:14am

The change in Bills defensive DVOA was, without any shred of a doubt, coaching-related. What's harder to say is whether that more to Pettine's skill, or simply to the transition from Dave Wannstedt to someone minimally competent.

by JimZipCode :: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 1:23pm

Pettine was the Ravens OLB coach when Rex Ryan was D coordinator: Ryan took Pettine with him to be DC when he got the Jets head job. You may recall Pettine from the Jets edition of Hard Knocks. He was the guy in the press box with the headphones, constantly cussing: "WTF is he doing?" etc.

I have no idea if he's head coach material. I'm sure his tactical skills are there; but he's not exactly a rah-rah type. His Bills bio (still there, but you have to look for it, not listed on the staff page) says he was a HS head coach for 7 years, with great success, before joining the Ravens as a video assistant and quality control guy ca 2002.

He's like the 12th or 13th former Ravens assistant to become a head coach. Baltimore: the cradle of coaches!

by Theo :: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 8:17pm

Its the Browns.. but hey, still pretty cool!

by Gaucho Brazil (not verified) :: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 10:14pm

I swear I read "Cleveland Browns FIRE Mike Pettine..."

Sadly, it won't work because it is the Browns.

by andrew :: Sat, 01/25/2014 - 12:20am

Johnny Manziel's dad will be the OC.

by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Sat, 01/25/2014 - 3:44pm

I'm surprised no one has commented on the repercussions of this move for the AFC East; Buffalo brings in Schwartz as defensive coordinator. While the defense probably won't improve overall, it will certainly be a lot dirtier, which is not good news for Brady, Tannehill and Smith.

by LionInAZ :: Thu, 01/30/2014 - 6:54pm

The number of personal fouls commited by Lions players actually declined over Schwartz's tenure. Poor 7 teams had more PFs than the Lions (14) in 2013, according to footballdb.com: TB (26), STL (22), BAL (21), SEA (16), HOU (16), SF (15), and CIN (15). The 'squeaky-clean' Packers had one less PF than the Lions.

Poor play by WRs not named Megatron and poor play by the corners were the biggest problems in Detroit, not personal fouls.

But hey, why let facts get in the way when you can rest on a lazy meme?