Berea, OH (WGR 550) -- The coaching search for the Cleveland Browns is over, and the replacement strategy for the Buffalo Bills has just begun. The Browns officially named Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as their next head coach, replacing Rob Chudzinski after just one season on the job.
Pettine is expected to be introduced to the Cleveland media at 4:45, a full 25 days after they fired Chudzinski. The Browns had the last remaining opening for a head coaching position in the NFL, and they filled it with the now former defensive coordinator in Buffalo.
Pettine leaves the Bills after just one season calling the defense, coming on board in Orchard Park with the hire of head coach Doug Marrone. He helped the defense to reach a franchise mark for sacks in one season as well as ranking 10th in yards allowed per game.
The focus now shifts for Buffalo to the replacement of Pettine as their defensive coordinator. At this point in time, there isn't any indication if that hire will come from inside the organization or from the outside.
The franchise has held firm that they had a plan in place to replace Pettine if he indeed left to be the Browns next head coach. Since it has happened, that strategy must be put in action.
However, the Bills may have to replenish more than just one job. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Browns will name Jim O'Neil as their defensive coordinator if the Bills do not block the move.
Since it is not a promotion to a head coaching position, the Bills have every right to hold O'Neil to his current contract. O'Neil served as the Bills' linebackers coach in 2013, and came to Buffalo with Pettine from the New York Jets.
More details to come out of Cleveland, Ohio as they become available. Keep checking back for more!