As expected, New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will be heading North to become the new defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. Mike Pettine was expected to move on after he declined an extension offer from the Jets and soon after Doug Marrone was hired as the head coach of the Bills reports surfaced that Buffalo requested permission to interview him. Mike Pettine has proven himself a worthy coach during his time with the Jets and he will be a worthy adversary in the coming years.
It was time for Mike Pettine to move away from Rex Ryan and the New York Jets, something he understood when he turned down an offer to stay on with the team for another season as defensive coordinator. Mike Pettine has been attached to Rex Ryan at the hip, constructing an elite defense, but it's time for him to make some noise on his own. While moving on from a defensive coordinator job with the Jets to the same position with the Buffalo Bills might be seen as a lateral move, it's likely that Mike Pettine will have much more freedom to put his own stamp on the defense.
Given the amount of influence Rex Ryan has over the defense, it's tough to quantify the impact of the loss of Mike Pettine. Rex Ryan will likely be pulled a bit more into the play-calling aspect of the defense this season, with secondary coach Dennis Thurman expected to be elevated to the position of defensive coordinator in place of Mike Pettine. Last season in the opening game against the Dallas Cowboys, Mike Pettine came up with the defensive play that coaxed Tony Romo into throwing a late interception to Darrelle Revis in the Jets' comeback win.
The Bills have hired a very bright defensive coach with a bright future ahead of him. Mike Pettine agreed to a three-year deal, meaning the Jets will have to go against his defense the next three seasons barring another coaching change. Pettine will have some nice weapons at his disposal, including Mario Williams.
When teams in your own division hire your coaches, it's a major compliment. The Jets may not be happy to see Mike Pettine stay in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills, but it means they are doing something right on defense.
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