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Buffalo Bills’ Mike Pettine Primed to Become Cleveland Browns’ Next Coach

January 20th, 2014 at 1:00 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The man who helped revamp the Buffalo Bills' defense in 2013 may not get a chance to improve upon his performance in 2014.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine interviewed with the Cleveland Browns last week and is a leading candidate to become their next head coach.

'Come on!!' photo (c) 2010, mark.watmough - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Pettine joined Doug Marrone's staff with the Bills a year ago. He was hired away from the New York Jets, where he crafted a top-10 defense that led New York to back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances. He improved Buffalo's 22nd-ranked defense from 2012 into the No. 10 defense in 2013. Buffalo yielded 29 fewer yards per game in 2013 than in 2012 and tightened up both in the passing game (six fewer yards per game) and running game (23 fewer yards per game).

Buffalo led the league in 2013 with 1,203 tackles and was second with 57 sacks. Pettine helped get Mario Williams back to Pro Bowl form and guided Kiko Alonso toward a Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Bills play-by-play man told the Browns' official radio show that Pettine's time will come, whether it be with the Browns or soon thereafter:

"He has a scheme and a plan, and he knows how to implement it with the right kind of temperament to handle a team. When he came into Buffalo, he came in with a plan and quickly identified who the best players were. He plays to the strength of his players, and he takes the time to see what he has to work with and tailors his scheme to the kind of player he has."

The Browns have had a tough time filling the vacancy created after they fired Rob Chudzinski, who only led one season and went 4-12 in 2013. Cardinals coordinator Todd Bowles and Broncos coordinator Adam Gase are among the candidates who asked for their names to be removed from consideration.

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Football, NFL

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