If Buffalo loses Mike Pettine, they will lose more than just the mastermind behind their defense
This year the Buffalo Bills had a defense that was nasty. It looked like an old school Buffalo Bills defense, and gave you a little bit of hope when watching it on national television. There were some games where the run game looked bad like the Patriots game, but then you would have a game where the defense shut teams down, like Carolina.
The Buffalo Bills total defense finished 10th in the NFL, and they were second for both sacks and interceptions.
Losing Pettine would be a major blow to coach Doug Marrone in his second year of a rebuilding effort. Marrone lured Pettine away from the New York Jets, and in just one season, Pettine quickly turned things around for a defense that had struggled for years.
If Pettine eventually leaves for Cleveland, it would be a strong bet that at least two of his assistants would follow: outside linebackers coach Jim O’Neil and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver. Both have backgrounds with Pettine, and would likely become building blocks for Pettine’s staff in Cleveland.
With inside linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach fired this week, the Bills’ defensive coaching staff could essentially be cleaned out by this move. Secondary coach Donnie Henderson would be a wild card, as he has experience with both Marrone and Pettine, and there would be an outside chance he would replace Pettine as defensive coordinator.
Tonight Doug Whaley said they had a plan in place if Pettine is hired, but it could be a huge mistake to let him walk.
“Right now, I think he’s having an interview as we speak,” Whaley said. “If he does get it, we will be happy for him, but we do have a plan in place. We just hope this resolution comes sooner rather than later.”
If Pettine leaves, I have a feeling it will be the same ole mediocre Buffalo Bills, that will try to sell us a big time free agent signing to keep us quiet, while our team diminishes in the dust. While it might sound a little dramatic, Mike Pettine actually gave me a little bit of hope, losing him would make me sad.