Berea, OH (WGR 550) -- Lasting 25 days, the Cleveland Browns took the longest of any team in the National Football League to hire their new head coach. If they waited much longer to hire Mike Pettine away from the Buffalo Bills, they might have had to restart the search once again.
Speaking with WGR Sports Radio 550 in a one-on-one following his introductory press conference as the Browns head coach, Pettine expressed remorse for how long it was taking and the fact that it was putting the Bills a bit behind the eight-ball.
"That was starting to wear on me these last couple of days," Buffalo's former defensive coordinator said. "I talked to 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.'"
The Browns didn't approach Pettine until about two to two-and-a-half weeks into the process, meaning the coach was getting ready for life in Buffalo. The Bills continued to be supportive, even if the timing of the inquiry wasn't ideal for their purposes.
"They've been nothing but first class about this whole thing," Pettine said. "Russ Brandon especially, Doug Whaley and Doug Marrone. Just the way that they've handled it almost kind of talking to me saying 'Hey listen, you never know when you're gonna get this opportunity, so hang in there.'"
In fact, Marrone actually helped prepare Pettine not just for the head coach interview process but for the Browns themselves.
"Well he had interviewed with the Browns a year ago, so he was very familiar with how the interviews were structured and who I'd be meeting with and the questions that were being asked," he said. "He had researched the franchise. It was a situation where he had a lot of good information for me. It was very helpful."
Knowing that Pettine would be getting calls to be a head coach eventually, the Bills head coach took it upon himself to include his defensive coordinator in a lot of things that he didn't need to. Marrone prepared him for things to expect when he would become a head coach.
Even with all the excitement of potentially becoming a head coach in the NFL, a part of Pettine was torn. He was of the belief that what the Bills had done defensively in 2013 was the beginning of something big.
"It's truly bittersweet for me. I'm walking out of a defensive room away from some great players and some guys that I've bonded with and built some great relationships with," Pettine said. "The regret I have is unfinished business there. I think we were getting ready, that we had started something that was going to be special there, and I didn't get a chance to finish that. That to me, like I said, that's what makes today bittersweet for me."
But when an opportunity arose to be the head coach, he just couldn't say no.
"I was fully set on looking forward to next year with the Bills," Pettine remarked. "When this opportunity presented itself, I attacked it head on and was fortunate enough to land the job."
The Bills' search for a new defensive coordinator to replace the Browns new head coach is underway.
Pettine was close to pulling out from Browns search
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congrats to you mike pettine.
I will say this for you. out of three bad season for the buffalo bills defense; you were and still a man of his word. our d is on the rise again. Its just going to be a shame that the man who brought us back won't be their. And congrats to you o'neil, both of you will be miss. Can't wait to see this plan that bills are selling us. lets keep our finger cross.
One guy to consider
I know because of Russ Brandon, this won't happen, Wade Phillips....Thanks Russ, no playoffs again....
well looks like he has what it takes to be a HEAD coach- he just delivered his first line of Baloney to the fans- I wish him well but if he doesn't? or Cleveland fires him after the first year? he just might figure out that the grass is not all that much greener on the other team?
Close to pulling out?
That's hard to believe. I don't buy it one bit. He got what he wanted. Let's not make it look good. He's gone...let's move on.
I do not think that Pettine is ready for a head coach position. He needed to keep the Bills D going for a couple years before he has arrived as a head coach! Think this is a bad idea for him career wise because its the Browns. The Browns D was good all ready...they needed an offensively minded coach to get them some points on the board...especially if they are going to draft a quarterback in the draft this year. You have seen the amazing results that Rex Ryan has had with Quarterbacks...Right?
The Players on this Defense make this a very attractive coordinators job. I dont think the Bills will have a problem finding a very good coordinator to replace Pettine. I wish him the best. I think hell do well in Cleveland.
On everything besides the close to pulling out because it's not fair to the Bills. If that was the case you would have never entered the job search 21 days into it. I respect wanting to be a coach, and I respect taking the Browns job. One everyone calls awful but they have talent on that team, I don't respect the masquerading. You would have waited until June to take this job, tell the truth.
re:to close to pulling out.
Did you see that brown tie he had on for lol. And you can tell this was setup from the day he became a bill. thats why he thank marrone for all the grooming he got form him. Thats why he only sign the one year deal. Him and o'neil. Ok we all took the knife out of our back; He's gone lets talk about what do the bills do now. Not a whole day on mike or o'neil. thats just a waste of time.
We are so screwed...
The title says it all...
Pettine seen the hand writing on the wall.
The Bills are going no where.
bring back wade phillips
lets bring back wade phillips .every year he took a new team to playoffs as first year with new team.he can also help with coach marone
It's only one of 32 jobs
Pettine was not going to remove himself from consideration. He was going to wait until being told yes or no.
Good vs Bad
Good for Pettine.Bad for Bills!If Wade Phillips were to come back as new DC I would feel much better!
re: We are so screwed..
Really screwed eh? Yeah right we might even "fall back to" 6 and ten again huh...
Really screwed. Can you say Lagarrete Blount? Have another beer.
This could only happen in Buffalo?
That your neighbor up Lake Erie would steal your Best coaches and make it to the promise land first because of their defense and Coaches. Only in Buffalo could this happen?
Pettine is not as goood as they claim
Bills defense was ranked 20th, NOT 10th. Why the league goes by yards allowed per game and not points allowed per game is absurd. The Browns don't lose games 327 yards to 286 yards. They lose games 31-24. Bills gave up plenty of points. Not a good red zone team, just like Horton's overrated D.
Look forward to coaching search 2015 next January.
Cleveland must be a real sick puppie?
One year with the Bills, and now promoted to a NFL head Coach? This is a real far>>>>>>> reach.
Too bad for Cleveland
The Browns just hired a guy who was a coordinator for a 6-10 team. and had a defense that could not stop the run. Thinking that being a Cleveland fan may be worse that being a Bills fan.
Just Move On!
Hey its not the end of the world like some of you so called fans are stating. As long as the people One Bills Dr. makes the right call here, we will actually get better. Pettine did a nice job his first year and we just need to stick to that game plan and find a DC that runs a similar style. The other option is to promote form within so lets see how it goes.
We are screwed
We're not going to find a top DC with proven NFL experience this late in the game. I'm hoping someone on the defensive staff can take over and keep the scheme in place. If we go back to giving up 200 yards on the ground per game we will be very lucky to win 6 games again. Marrones an offensive coach, but our offense was much worse than it was under Gailey with a bunch of misfits.
The Bills can hire Wade Phillips as DC, I dont care. As long as they DONT make him head coach again! He is NOT cut out to be a head coach. Wade was THE most boring coach in Buffalo history. And he was responsible for the QB controversy -and for the loss in the Bills last playoff appearance by benching Doug Flutie in favor of Rob Johnson. He inherited a good team from Marv Levy -but things just went downhill from there.
Same old Soap Opera
This team -the Bills -is never gonna go to the playoffs. At least not until they get new management -and new ownership.
Goodbye Wilson, goodbye Brandon, goodbye Whaley, goodbye Marrone!
Good luck, Mike!
wade back in buffalo?
Hey it might happen And i also said it might be one of the coldest days in buffalo. And oh boy its cold as hell out side. I still like pepper or henderson. thats why i'm not upset; because all these coaches who i name got a chip on their shoulder. And that what the bills need coaches who got something to prove. you put them with the rest of the coaches. who still got something to prove. and we will be right back on track. fighting for the playoffs. nothing to lose but every thing to win.
From all indications, this was a class act all the way through and by all involved. Sure there is a bit of uncertainty about the future DC, but the world would be much better off if all similar scenarios were handled as this one was. Good luck Mr. Pettine
Wade....your kidding right?
Wade left on bad terms with Wilson....This will never happen
I have been a loyal Bills fan since 1972....
to all those wanting Wade Phillips, you may want to give that a second thought. Check out his def stats against the "Almighty Patriots" and compare his to the defensive performance of teams coached by the Rex Ryan tree of coaches against the Pats. I think Wade is a very good def coordinator. but am skeptical that he would succeed in this situation. I'd prefer someone from the Rex Ryan tree instead. WGR analytics why don't you speak to this?
EVERYONE IS MISSING THE REAL TRUTH!
Open your eyes and ears people, no one wanted that job in Cleveland, no one. Pettine was Clevelands last choice and only hope of getting a head coach. If not him, it would have been total embarrassment to the whole D-M franchise and it still is.
re; to everyone missing the real truth!
I did some studying on the browns and you are correct. I didn't know that they were getting turn down like that. And i found out this wasn't the first year that this have happen. Well browns we know what your fans are going through. Because we were going through that same thing two. And we took a chance on marrone; And we are moving forward thank god for that. My advice you need to start looking at the college ranks. or canada league to fill those postions. Because the only other coach that you can steal from us is o neil. And beleive me that got somebody in mind already. And when i said we might get wade i had forgot how he left on bad terms. I never seen mr wilson so mad in my life for lol.
Wheres the loyalty ?
Im sure IM in the minority here , but I think its pretty ignorant of Pettine to leave the Bills after one year into his contract, they got him out of a train wreck organization brought him here to a team with young talent and he ditches us after one year, wheres the loyalty ?
WGR is an off-season joke!
Marcel Dareus makes the pro bowl, Kiko Alonso wins defensive ROY and no articles or news on WGR's website. At least give us fans something during Sabres season (you only have 2 pro sports to cover). I see more Bandits news for pete's sake!
sounds like a good catholic boy- I hope he has a good reliable helmet? for protection