Mike Pettine takes on bigger role with Browns' offense


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.

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