Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

January 23, 2014

Browns hire Bills' DC Mike Pettine as new head coach

The Buffalo Bills lose their best assistant coach.

(Continued)

CLEVELAND —

As other teams filled their head-coaching vacancies, the Browns kept looking. The lengthy delay led to a national perception the team didn't have a clear plan. Aware of the criticism, Haslam sent a letter to Cleveland fans last week explaining why the team was being "methodical" in finding Chudzinski's replacement.

"We are strongly committed to finding the right person to coach the Cleveland Browns," Haslam wrote.

And, in the end, Pettine, who had his first interview on Jan. 16, was Cleveland's choice — even though he may not have been the team's first one.

The Bills are sorry to see Pettine leave.

In one season in Buffalo, Pettine improved the defense in every statistical category, transforming a shaky unit into one of the league's nastiest. With an aggressive style Pettine perfected working under Ryan, he turned Buffalo's pass rushers loose, and the club finished with a franchise-record 57 sacks.

The Bills had trouble stopping the run, but they finished 10th in the league in yards allowed, Buffalo's highest ranking since 2004. Buffalo also had four Pro Bowl selections on defense, including former No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams, who had 13 1-2 sacks.

While he was with the Jets, Pettine's defenses finished in the top 10 four years in a row, and New York had the NFL's top-rated defense in 2009.

Pettine has his work cut out for him in Cleveland.

The Browns have been to the playoffs (2002) just once since their franchise rebirth in 1999 and have never built any sustained success or momentum. Change has been the only constant.

Perhaps the team's biggest issue has been an inability to find a franchise quarterback; 20 QBs have started for the club in 15 seasons. Cleveland is expected to address its quarterback quandary in May's draft. The Browns have 10 selections, including two in the first round.

The Browns also have plenty of salary-cap space to sign free agents, and with six Pro Bowlers, the talent cupboard is far from bare.

Football has formed Pettine's life. His father, Mike Pettine Sr., won four state championships at Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown, Pa., and retired in 1999 as the winningest coach in state history.

Text Only
Sports
  • 140721 Canal Derby MAIN ART.JPG Medina man snags top prize

    A Medina man was the grand prize winner of a new fishing boat, motor and trailer at the 2014 Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby Awards Banquet on Sunday at the Gasport Fire Hall.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140719 Bills Camp MAIN ART.jpg LHS grid Lions set to open at the Ralph

    The Lockport football Lions won't need to qualify for the sectional playoffs this fall in order to play a game at coveted Ralph Wilson Stadium — home of the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140719 Bills Camp SEC ART.jpg Bills will open camp Sunday

    Home-run hitters generally strike out a lot

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718 Ennis MAIN ART.jpg Ennis earns five-year deal

    The Sabres re-signed center Tyler Ennis on Thursday to a five-year contract worth about $23 million.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140716 Area Sports ART.jpg Taylor made victory in Florida

    Lockport heavyweight Joe Taylor improved to 6-0 as a professional by winning an IKF tournament last week in Florida.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140717 Together Again MAIN art.jpg Reed & Kelly: Together again

    Andre Reed will have his old signal-caller right there with him to celebrate in Canton.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140714 World Cup MAIN.jpg Goetzekrieg

    With two quick touches, Mario Goetze ended Germany's 24-year wait for another World Cup title.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140712 Bills Stadium ART.jpg Bills stadium report delayed

    A state-commissioned report that had been anticipated Friday identifying potential sites for a new Buffalo Bills stadium is now expected at the end of the month.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140709 Fish Derby MAIN ART.jpg Derby homestretch

    Leaders can't get complacent in the 2014 Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby — especially when the North Carolinians roll in.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140709 World Cup ART.jpg Germany routs Brazil in historic WC semifinal

    Nobody ever expected this.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Sabres
Bills
AP Video
49ers Open Posh, High-tech Stadium in California Jeter, Trout Lead AL to All-Star Game Win Kluwe: I Hope Vikings Make Investigation Public College Football Championship Trophy Unveiled Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Argentina Fans Sad but Proud in Loss Germany Wins the World Cup 1-0 Raw: German Players Head to World Cup Final LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Netherlands Beats Host Brazil 3-0 to Finish 3rd Raw: Stunning Timelapse of WC Final Host City Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns FIFA Rejects Suarez Appeal Against Biting Ban World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Raw: Fans Gather for Argentina-Netherlands Match Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Sterling Testifies in Los Angeles Clippers Trial Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Former NFL Player 'Excited' Deal Almost Done
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide