Mike Pettine joins a Browns team that has not won a playoff game since rookie QB Johnny Manziel was only 13 months old.
This year the annual NFL coaching carousel lands on seven coaches getting new positions as head signal callers in the NFL. Some have coached before and are getting a second chance, others are getting their first chance as a head coach.
In this series we will look at the head coaches that are starting with brand new teams and what they are getting themselves into. The first group to be examined will be the first-year head coaches:
Mike Pettine (Cleveland Browns) – Pettine is a defensive mastermind who helped the Ravens, Jets and most recently the Bills find success stopping the pass. Pettine at first followed Rex Ryan to the Jets before heading off on his own as the Bills DC. His success in turning the Bills from bottom 10 to top 10 earned him his first head coaching job. He now inherits a Browns defense that was already 9th in yards allowed, and added Justin Gilbert to the secondary in the draft.
Pettine will be the 8th head coach hired by the Browns since the team returned to the league in 1999. In that time the Browns have had 1 playoff appearance (2002) and two winning seasons (2002, 2007). The QB situation has also been atrocious, with more than a dozen different QBs starting at least one game from the Browns in the past 15 years.
Ultimately the games will be decided by the QB. Whether or not the rookie Johnny Manziel starts over incumbent Brian Hoyer and succeeds with the Browns may ultimately make or break Pettine’s tenure with the team.