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Mike Pettine standing taller in Browns' messy coaching search

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Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine just got a little closer to leaving the Buffalo Bills.

Pettine's chances to get an offer from the Cleveland Browns to be their head coach improved significantly this morning.

Multiple reports state a top candidate, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, has informed the Browns he's not interested and to move on without him.

Many insiders believe Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn now is the frontrunner for the job if he wants it, but the Browns reportedly asked Pettine for a second interview.

The Browns are getting crushed by their local media and fans for moving slowly. They're the last club without a head coach.

Might Gase's public rejection jolt the Browns into making a hire before Quinn is done with the Super Bowl?

Pettine has gained coaching-philosophy points because he runs a version of the Ryan 46 defense, which continues to gain popularity around the NFL. He learned the defense working closely with New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.

The Bills' defense was rejuvenated under Pettine. The Bills sent four defensive players to the Pro Bowl, and he helped salvage pass-rusher Jerry Hughes and safety Aaron Williams.

The Bills ranked 10th in yards allowed, an amazing accomplishment, considering where they were a year earlier. The Bills also finished second in sacks and second in interceptions.

  • George Mikillfirth

    Well Mike... everybody else dropped out and now you have it by default.

  • Paul Bruhns

    I hope he doesn't take it... It's like somebody who want's to be married so badly, they marry the worst possible person thinking they'll change them for the good. It's never good. Mikey...don't do it!

  • ptato22

    Bad decision for him and even worse for the Bills. What experience does he have running a team and running an offense? Just gain some more experience and help make the Bills a team like Seattle and then you'll have more possibilities and not be stuck in Cleveland. Otherwise, it's out of the frying pan and into the fire. In three years he'll be begging for a DC job with an up and coming team...

  • Ron

    The Cleveland Media reported that Mike Pettine will be interviewed for the second time tonight in Mobile. After Gase pulled out, the sense is that the Browns want to move fast and don't want to wait until after the Super Bowl. I don't think Mike is a good fit for the Browns at this point. The entire franchise is really messed up, esp after Chud was let go. QB??? Can Mike possibly do any better in one year with the Browns?

    • K77

      He'll raid our defensive staff for his, but hopefully he'll take more from the Jets staff.

      • Ron

        If Mike goes, so goes Bills D Coaches. Foregone conclusion. Browns have serious QB issues and serious WR issues. Who wants to deal with Benn? Ohio Franchise is a mess. Banner has complete control..MIke should sit this out.

  • JoeSchmoe22

    Maybe I am ignorant, but don't coaches sign contracts? If so, how many years was Pettine's for? If it was more than one year, isn't that considered breaking the contract?

    If that's the case, what is the point in contracts?

    • K77

      Love the snark! Awesome deadpan delivery! You sir brought a smile to me and I'm sure many others who appreciate such humor.

    • ptato22

      Contracts usually are more designed for the protection of the person in the weaker position (the person getting paid), although that can be debated in a business like football. Anyway, I think it's an unwritten rule that any coach will be let go if offered a clearly better position (i.e. head coach).

  • Robert McAvoy

    It used to be that the coaches from good teams were the ones that got raided for HC jobs. Now, we have crappy teams raiding other crappy teams of their decent coaches. Why is that? Are they cheaper? Are they easier to control? I mean, the Bills did that last year when they got a HC from a mediocre college team and a Def Coord from a lousy NY Jets team. What was their reasons? Probably similar to the Browns this year. I think it is about control of the HC.

  • Robert McAvoy

    It used to be that the coaches from good teams were the ones that got raided for HC jobs. Now, we have crappy teams raiding other crappy teams of their decent coaches. Why is that? Are they cheaper? Are they easier to control? I mean, the Bills did that last year when they got a HC from a mediocre college team and a Def Coord from a lousy NY Jets team. What was their reasons? Probably similar to the Browns this year. I think it is about control of the HC.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.