(WGR 550) -- With the departure of former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to the Cleveland Browns last week, there was likely to be some interest in bringing some of his defensive staff members from the Buffalo Bills along with him. Pettine's right hand man, linebackers coach Jim O'Neil, will interview to join the Browns new head coach in Cleveland.
The Bills have granted O'Neil permission to interview for the defensive coordinator position with the Browns, just a few days after they had named Jim Schwartz to Pettine's old post. He is the favorite to land the job in Cleveland according to multiple reports.
O'Neil worked primarily with the pass rushers during his one season in Buffalo and also served as Pettine's point man in the defensive coaches booth to tell him what he was seeing from the press box. He joined the Bills staff after leaving the New York Jets to join Pettine in Buffalo.
If O'Neil's interview were to be successful, it would create a second void on their positional coaching staff. Already without a wide receiver coach, the Bills would have to find a new individual to coach up the linebackers.
Only three other members of the Bills' current defensive staff are connected to either Pettine or O'Neil before their year in Buffalo. The trio consists of defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, assistant defensive backs coach Samson Brown and defensive quality control coach Brian Fleury. None of those three names have requested permission to interview with the Browns just yet.