At this point, it would be an upset if the Cleveland Browns didn’t hire Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as their new head coach, as it would take a sudden turn of events for something else to happen. The Browns head coaching search has been so wild that it’s not impossible for a deal with Pettine to fall apart, but I am 95% sure we’re going to hear word of Pettine being officially hired by the Browns soon.
Although Pettine isn’t as big of a name as Josh McDaniels or Adam Gase and isn’t an offense-minded head coach who will help develop the Browns next franchise QB, Pettine is deserving of a head coaching gig due to his incredible work on the defensive side of the ball. Pettine has been one of the best defensive coordinators in the league for quite some time, as he did some remarkable work under Rex Ryan while with the New York Jets. Pettine’s resume really became impressive after his first season with the Buffalo Bills, as he coaxed monster, breakout seasons out of Leodis McKelvin and Jerry Hughes, who was a massive bust prior to his first season in Buffalo in 2013. There is little doubt that Pettine knows a lot about blitz packages and developing talent, and he would be the perfect hire for the Browns if he can add a strong staff, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. His offensive coordinator hire will be key.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot reports that Pettine is in Cleveland and is set to meet with the Browns for a third time. It was reported earlier today by ESPN that the Browns are expected to offer the head coaching gig to Pettine, and it looks like all the Browns and Pettine need to do know is agree to terms. The Plain Dealer reports that Pettine is already busy assembling his staff as he watches the Senior Bowl, and a deal could be finalized today.