By Mark Gaughan
The Buffalo Bills have created two openings on their assistant coaching staff by their own choosing.
They could get another vacancy that wasn't in their plans. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is scheduled to interview with the Cleveland Browns for their open head-coaching job. The Bills confirmed Wednesday evening that they had granted permission for the Browns to talk to Pettine. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported the interview earlier this evening.
Pettine, 47, just finished his first season as Bills defensive chief. Buffalo’s defensive improved over the previous year in every statistical category kept by the NFL, finishing 10th in yards allowed and 20th in points allowed. Buffalo was second in the league in sacks and second in interceptions.
Cleveland already has interviewed six candidates for its opening, created when Rob Chudzinski was fired after just one year on the final day of the regular season. Cleveland interviewees included offensive coordinators Ken Whisenhunt of San Diego and Josh McDaniels of New England, defensive coordinators Dan Quinn of Seattle and Todd Bowles of Arizona, former Titans head coach Mike Munchak and Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo. Whisenhunt subsequently was hired as head coach at Tennessee. McDaniels and Bowles have removed their names from consideration. McAdoo accepted a job as New York Giants coordinator. That presumably leaves Quinn and Munchak still in the running.
Before joining the staff of Buffalo coach Doug Marrone, Pettine served for four years as defensive coordinator of the New York Jets under Rex Ryan.
Marrone earlier this month relieved two position coaches of their duties - receivers coach Ike Hilliard and linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach.