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Mike Pettine takes on bigger role with Browns' offense

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Cleveland's offense went off the rails late last season, a swoon that only looked worse after play-caller Kyle Shanahan resigned in January with two years left on his contract.

This time around, Browns coach Mike Pettine is taking a different approach, attending meetings with new coordinator John DeFilippo and learning the playbook "just like a first-year player would learn it."

"I have flash cards to help me learn a lot of the formations," Pettine said Friday, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. "It was like being a rookie."

Said Pettine: "I'm with (DeFilippo) every step of the way as far as, 'Here's what we're implementing today. Here's what's going in.' It's been great. I feel very rejuvenated as a coach."

Pettine, of course, spent years with the Jets under Rex Ryan, the defensive mastermind with a blind spot on offense that ultimately cost New York wins -- and helped usher Ryan out of town.

Pettine won't be mistaken for a quarterback whisperer, but he's finished bathing exclusively in defensive tape, saying: "Flip and I are very much on the same page with where this offense is headed."

Still, Pettine's new assignment has generated a few awkward moments.

"I was not thrilled with (offensive line) coach (Andy) Moeller the other day," Pettine said. "He was showing cut-ups and showed a film from when I was in Buffalo as the defensive coordinator, and we gave up a 30-yard touchdown run. The players were all getting after me. More so because I was wearing white pants on the sideline. I wear what they put in my locker."

Pettine undoubtedly felt burned by Shanahan's exodus. The hiring of DeFilippo was largely about bringing in a loyal, young assistant who would work in tandem with the head coach.

Successful coaches are willing to travel outside their own comfort zones. It's a wise route for Pettine, who hopes to become the first Browns figurehead since Romeo Crennel to earn a third year on the job.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Lindsay Rhodes to discuss the Patriots' response in the "Deflategate" saga and the latest names revealed on the "The Top 100 Players of 2015" countdown. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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