It took quite a while for the Browns to make their hire, but they finally got their man in Mike Pettine earlier today. Meanwhile, Pettine told Joe Buscaglia of WGR550 (Twitter links) after his introductory presser that it almost didn’t happen. As the hiring process lingered on, the former Bills defensive coordinator worried that it wasn’t fair to keep Buffalo waiting. “That was starting to wear on me these last couple of days. I talked to [Bills head coach Doug Marrone] and it was getting to the point where I’d say, ‘Hey, if this goes on much longer I need to pull out because it’s just not fair to the Bills.‘” Here’s a look at the highlights from Pettine’s first press conference and more from Cleveland..
- Pettine says that the perception matches the reality: the club is behind the eight-ball because he was hired so late, tweets Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal. The new head coach is already getting to work on assembling his staff.
- The new man in charge offered a strong endorsement of quarterback Brian Hoyer, Ulrich tweets, calling him a “winner” and describing his intangibles as “off the charts.” However, he did concede that even though the offense has talent, there are “some holes” to address (link).
- The Browns submitted a request to Buffalo to interview linebacker coach Jim O’Neil for their defensive coordinator opening, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. O’Neil and Pettine also worked together with Jets. It was reported earlier today that Pettine would seek to bring O’Neil along with him to the Browns.
- Pettine said potential free agents center Alex Mack and safety T.J. Ward are special players he’d love to have back, Ulrich tweets.
- Browns CEO Joe Banner said team will do everything it can to support troubled wide receiver Davone Bess but wouldn’t comment further, according to Ulrich (via Twitter).
- Banner and owner Jimmy Haslam revealed that Pettine was on their list of defensive coordinator candidates last year, Ulrich tweets.