Mike Pettine jokes that he’ll use Browns head coaching experience to tell Packers HC Matt LaFleur what not to do
Mike Pettine’s first season with the Green Bay Packers didn’t exactly go as planned. Still, it’s safe to say the longtime coaching veteran was more pleased with his unit’s performance in 2018 than he ever was as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Pettine suggested as much on Monday at Packers headquarters, joking that he would help Matt LaFleur navigate the rocky waters of being a rookie head coach by intentionally defying decisions made during his ill-fated tenure with the Browns.
Pettine joked he'll bring from his experience in Cleveland as head coach not what to do. Working relationship so far has been very smooth.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) February 18, 2019
The 59-year-old was hired as Cleveland’s head coach in 2014. Though the team enjoyed relative success his first year on the job, finishing 7-9, the Browns reverted back to their long-suffering ways one season later, going 3-13 in 2015, leading to Pettine’s dismissal. The Browns were a dismal 3-18 after his final 21 games roaming the sidelines.
After spending the 2017 season as a consultant for the Seattle Seahawks while otherwise taking time away from the game, Pettine was hired as Green Bay’s defensive coordinator in January 2018.
Though ousted former head coach and team offensive mastermind Mike McCarthy shouldered most of the blame for the Packers’ disappointing 6-9-1 season, it was the other side of the ball where they struggled most. Green Bay finished 18th in total yards allowed, 25th in points allowed per game, and created just 15 turnovers, third-fewest in the NFL.
Pettine expressed confidence on Monday that the marriage between he and LaFleur would be successful.
Not only did the two supposedly hit it off upon the latter’s hiring last month, but they also share many prior ties in the coaching world, leading to an innate sense of familiarity that Pettine believes will serve Green Bay’s defense well.