Coach Pettine: Browns Will ‘Be Built on Toughness’
Pettine, the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator in 2013, arrived in Berea Thursday afternoon for his interview with the Browns.
The team made the announcement they’d chosen him as the new head coach just before 4 p.m. Thursday, and introduced him at a 4:45 p.m. news conference.
Pettine spent the 2009-12 seasons as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets. According to the Browns, he helped his units to a top 10 finish in total defense in all five seasons as a defensive coordinator.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said at the event that Pettine is smart, tough and innovative and has what the team needs.
“I think he will be a perfect fit to our teams and our fans,” said Haslam.
Browns CEO Joe Banner addressed the length of time it took the team to find a new coach.
“I know we were exhaustive to the point that … it caused people to question and wonder,” he said. “This is a really exciting day.”
When he took to the podium, Pettine said one of his first steps as head coach will be to evaluate the roster from top to bottom. He said he will set high standards for the players.
“They’ll be graded and graded hard,” he said. “We’re going to hold those players accountable.”
Pettine said he does have candidates in mind for an offensive coordinator, but that the team’s full attention will be on finding a “great quarterback.”
He said it’s always been his dream to be a head coach, and team’s record after this past season did not cause him to question taking the job.
“There’s only 32 of these jobs in the world, and these opportunities don’t come along often,” said Pettine. “This is a bottom line business, and it’s all about winning. I just want the Cleveland fans to know we’re going to put a team on the field they can be proud of. I don’t want to win press conferences. It’s going to come down to the fall and winning games.”
In a release issued earlier in the day, Banner said:
“We wanted to be thorough from the start. And we interviewed as many people as we could. From that group, we hired the best individual for this job. Our players and fans are going to really enjoy Mike Pettine and his leadership style. We’re excited to have him out in front of our team, and we look forward to working closely with him.”
According to the Browns, Pettine’s coaching background includes the following:
— 1988-92, Central Bucks West High School, assistant coach
— 1993-94, University of Pittsburgh, defensive graduate assistant coach
— 1995-96, William Tennent High School, head coach
— 1997-2001, North Penn High School, head coach
— 2002, Baltimore Ravens, coaching and video assistant
— 2003, Baltimore Ravens, coaching assistant/quality control coach
— 2004, Baltimore Ravens, defensive assistant
— 2005-08, Baltimore Ravens, outside linebackers coach
— 2009-12, New York Jets, defensive coordinator
— 2013, Buffalo Bills, defensive coordinator
— 2014, Cleveland Browns, head coach
Pettine replaces Rob Chudzinski, who was fired on Dec. 29.