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Browns to hire Jim O’Neil to be DC, Jeff Hafley to be DBs coach, Brian Fleury to help with LBs
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BY PETER SMITH -

 

JAN 27TH, 2014 AT 4:17 PM

The Cleveland Browns will hire Jim O’Neil to be their defensive coordinator. This has been a move that was ready to happen when Mike Pettine was announced as the head coach of the team. The Browns were simply waiting for permission from the Buffalo Bills to talk to him.

O’Neil, 35, served as the linebackers coach for Pettine in Buffalo, has worked for him for five years including this past year with the Bills and four with the New York Jets. He worked with defensive backs in his time under Pettine with the Jets. Pettine has known O’Neil since he played for his dad in high school.

Jeff Hafley will be the Browns secondary coach and Pettine had actually hired Hafley only 11 days before to work for him in Buffalo. Hafley, 34, spent the previous three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, working as a safeties coach most recently. He went with Greg Schiano from Rutgers to the NFL and before he got there, he was with Pittsburgh.

Brian Fleury is going to be an assistant linebackers coach after spending last year as a defensive quality control coach under Pettine. Before that, he spent four years at Towson in FCS and four years at Sacred Heart. He played quarterback for Towson after transferring from Maryland, where he would later operate as a graduate assistant.

The defensive staff is starting to take shape and not surprisingly, Pettine is gathering many of the coaches he handpicked with the Bills. The staff is made up of a number of young coaches. O’Neil knows Pettine from high school and O’Neil appears to be familiar with Fleury from Towson.

 

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Plus we picked up Driesbach who was recently let go from Bills

 

Browns expected to hire former Bills linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach
Posted by Josh Alper on January 27, 2014, 3:42 PM EST
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If Jim O’Neil joins the Browns as defensive coordinator, it looks like he’ll have a familiar face other than head coach Mike Pettine on the staff.

O’Neil has been given permission to interview for the coordinator job and Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Chuck Driesbach, O’Neil’s partner as a linebacker coach from Buffalo in 2013, will be coming to Cleveland as well. It’s not known what role Driesbach will fill on Pettine’s staff.

Driesbach was fired after the end of the regular season in a move that he said he never saw coming.

“I have no idea what happened. I don’t know if they felt like I did a [poor] job or somebody better became available,” Driesbach said after he was fired, via the Bucks County Courier Times. “I don’t know and probably never will. It’s the bad part of the business.”

With Pettine interested in bringing Driesbach on board, he can at least take some solace in the fact that at least one of his bosses liked the job he did. Driesbach worked mostly with the inside linebackers in Buffalo and has a long history with the Pettine family. He went to the same high school as the Browns coach (and O’Neil), where he played for Mike Pettine Sr. on the football team. Driesbach also gave the younger Pettine his first college coaching job at the University of Pittsburgh when he was the coordinator for the Panthers defense.

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I am pretty excited about the Defensive side of the ball, between the talent and staff, we are looking solid... but how about some help on the offensive side of it....you can leave the buffalo peeps at home for that :)

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what an angry lookin bunch of mother fuckers!!

 

finally someone is doing something right.

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what an angry lookin bunch of mother fuckers!!

 

finally someone is doing something right.

 

I was gonna elude to a similar comment...I just hope we put this kind of care and attention on Offense.

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off the top of my head, i can't think of anyone right now that the browns/pettine would look at as an OC. he said he wanted an experienced ex-HC to help him out.

 

is sam rutigliano still alive? what about marty?

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I would love to get John Teerlinck as D-line coach...he's intense as well as insane... I love'em.

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It says something when all of his peers want to follow him.

^^ +1

 

Really like the fact that all these coaches are jumping ship to be with Pettine. They either see that he is a good coach, has great talent in Cleveland to work with, or they are just being loyal to a friend... either way I like it.

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off the top of my head, i can't think of anyone right now that the browns/pettine would look at as an OC. he said he wanted an experienced ex-HC to help him out.

 

is sam rutigliano still alive? what about marty?

He said it would be beneficial not that he specifically was looking for an ex HC to be his OC.

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Lindy Infante just bought a house in Strongsville.

Z

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Lundy Infante just bought a house in Strongsville.

 

Z

Bill Walsh is his Real Estate agent

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Not surprised...

 

 

Hey...

 

Marv Levy is still above ground...

 

Make him OC...

 

Draft Blake Bortles..

 

and...

 

run...

 

 

(Wait

 

for

 

it)

 

 

The BB-gun...

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All these guys aren't coming here because they have doubts, that's for sure. It's also exciting that, at least on the defensive side of the ball, his Coaches already are familiar with his grading system for holding players accountable. Seems to me that a couple or few Buffalo defensive players rose to another level with Pettine & staff pushing them this past season.

I'm anxious, as many of us are, to see what happens on the offensive side with the Coaches.

 

Mike

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Is Mike Martz still in the business? Everyone seems to be running his offense these days, bring him on.

 

Maybe we can get an interview with Mike Pettine's Dad.

 

Zombo

-- Not sure if we need permission from Central Bucks West.

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Not surprised...

 

 

Hey...

 

Marv Levy is still above ground...

 

Make him OC...

 

Draft Blake Bortles..

 

and...

 

run...

 

 

(Wait

 

for

 

it)

 

 

The BB-gun...

 

wow. that's all you got? :mellow:

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wow. that's all you got? :mellow:

 

I haven't had dinner yet...

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It says something when all of his peers want to follow him.

yea the Browns are known for givin money to almost anyone

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This is interesting. I like that Pettine has that much confidence in his LB unit from Buffalo, I like that they enjoy working with him enough to follow him (at least a couple of them did get promotions, though; let's not ignore that as a possible motivator), and I like that this group of guys who already know and are used to each other are going to stay together.

 

That being said, I'm always a little unsure about mass moves like this because it seems unlikely that ALL the best guys for these positions were coaching for one team last year. Do you know what I mean? Like I said, it's great that he knows and likes these guys, but the mass move makes it seem like familiarity may have been a bigger factor than skill/promise/potential/demonstrated success.

 

Don't get me wrong, please. I'm all for this. I hope that this group of guys comes in and works like a well-oiled machine, makes a seamless transition, and turns the Cleveland defense into an absolute juggernaut. I'm behind them 100%. I'm just always a tiny bit skeptical anytime the message behind a hiring seems to be "We found all of the best guys for these positions... and they were all on this one team where I happen to have just worked."

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what an angry lookin bunch of mother fuckers!!

 

finally someone is doing something right.

Everyone who lives in Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, etc. looks like that now after this freaking weather.

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Actually, I think they did. I heard (don't really have a reference on hand) that Buffalo was pretty reluctant to let O'Neil go. I know that my contacts in Buffalo (just fans) were unhappy to see at least some of them go.

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what an angry lookin bunch of mother fuckers!!

 

finally someone is doing something right.

Well, I guess if they can't coach they can make a fearsome WWE tag team.

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off the top of my head, i can't think of anyone right now that the browns/pettine would look at as an OC. he said he wanted an experienced ex-HC to help him out.

 

is sam rutigliano still alive? what about marty?

I hear the name Bill Callahan, ex-Raiders HC. And if we are just throwing out random names of active ex HCs who were primarily associated with the offensive side of the ball, here are a few:

 

Brad Childress

Leslie Frazier

Chan Gailey

Kevin Gilbride

Todd Haley

Scott Linehan

Mike Martz

Eric Studesville

Jim Tomsula

Joe Vitt.

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Everyone who lives in Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, etc. looks like that now after this freaking weather.

Last title:

Detroit 1957

Cleveland 1964

Buffalo 1965

 

The football Gods must hate Lake Erie.

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Last title:

Detroit 1957

Cleveland 1964

Buffalo 1965

 

The football Gods must hate Lake Erie.

Maybe the excess pollution back then gave us super abilities.

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Right on, keep the young, no name, yet innovative guys coming. I feel better about these no name coaches than I did at week 12 with our dream team, "everybody knows us" staff that kept finding new ways to lose games.

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Brad Childress - WCO

Leslie Frazier - Is Tampa Bay's new DC?

Chan Gailey - Erhardt-Perkins (ball control)

Kevin Gilbride - Run n Shoot (option route)

Todd Haley - Short Pass

Scott Linehan - Heading to Dallas?

Mike Martz - Spread (and get your QB killed)

Eric Studesville - RB Coach and was Interim HC when McDanials was axed... Scheme?

Jim Tomsula - SF D-side coach?

Joe Vitt. - strictly D-side experience

 

A number of the listed either appear to be spoken for or don't have the background for OC.

 

The one that surprisingly (to me) caught my eye is Chan Gailey. He was very adaptive in Buffalo and while not a good HC in either gig, he had more than a few top 5 Offenses under him as OC in his career.

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