The Cleveland Browns finally have a head football coach. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the team announced Mike Pettine will be the team’s new leader.
Pettine is coming off a successful first season as Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator. Though the Bills finished 6-10, they boasted a top-10 defense in total yards allowed, and the No. 4 passing defense in the league. Prior to that, he ran the Jets’ defense from 2009-12.
While most coaching searches are like an episode of “The Bachelor,” with candidates fawning all over teams in hopes of the job, Cleveland’s decision more resembles a chloroforming. The Browns interviewed 10 candidates over the course of three weeks, and had several individuals remove their names from the running.
Whether this hiring is seen as due diligence, or if its perceived as settling, will depend on Pettine’s performance. For now, the coach enters a franchise who just dumped their last guy after less that one calendar year. Despite that hovering dark cloud, the Browns have a nucleus of five 2013 Pro Bowlers to build around, and own 10 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft (including two in the first round).