At long last, the Cleveland Browns have found a new head coach. The job goes to the now former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Always under the radar, Pettine may end up being the perfect coach to bring the Browns back to prominence.
Firstly, Pettine is a defensive guru. Despite losing multiple members of his secondary, the Bills gave up only 204.4 passing yards per game. While that number is very impressive, its his work from even earlier that’s the most impressive. While most didn’t know he even existed, Pettine was the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 2009-2012. In his first year as coordinator, the Jets allowed the least amount of points in the NFL. With players like Joe Haden, Barkevious Mingo, and Paul Kruger, the Browns have the potential to compete for the best defense in the NFL.
While everything above is true, people already began to realize how good the defense was. The offense is the problem for the Browns. Notably, the quarterback position was a mess last year. Luckily, this draft is stacked with talented offensive players for Cleveland to have their hands on. Browns GM Michael Lombardi looks like a genius at this point for trading Trent Richardson for a first round pick. While that pick (26th overall) Will definitely help, the number four pick in the draft is what can catapult this team into the playoffs.
The Browns have are most likely to go for a quarterback with that pick. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and UCF signal caller Blake Bortles will likely be available with this pick, but that’s not who Cleveland wants. The Browns from office has made it abundantly clear that they want to draft Texas A&M leader Johnny Manziel. Last season, Johnny Football threw for 4114 yards, with a completion percentage of 70%, and 37 touchdowns. Not without risk, But between his speed, athleticism, and arm, Manziel could be a face of the NFL before too long.
With a defense stacked with talent, Pro Bowl receiver Josh Godron, and a fresh new quarerback (no matter who it is) this team is going to need a motivator and mentor at the head coaching position. Once again we look at The new head coach. A student of Rex Ryan, Pettine has helped tons of players develop over his tenure with the Jets and Bills. These players include Darelle Revis, Mario Williams, and Jairus Byrd. In reference to his new head coaches previous work with Darelle Revis, Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden said, “That means he knows what a good corner is supposed to look like and I hope I can give him exactly what he wants, I just can’t wait to talk to him and see what approach he wants to take with me.” If he can obtain that kind of excitement and respect from players, as he did in the past, the sky is the limit for this team.
While they were the last team to hire a new head coach, they may have gotten the best. With a ferocious defense, a well-respected head coach, a top five receiver and a brand new quarterback, this may finally be the Browns year. The talent is there, now its time for the execution.