Pettine’s father has watchful eye on Browns’ staff
CLEVELAND – The watchful eye of coach Mike Pettine is always focused on the staff of Browns assistants.
Not the Browns head coach, but his father Mike Sr. The elder Pettine was a high school coaching legend in the Philadelphia area, where Mike Jr. got his coaching start at Central Bucks West High School.
The assistant who’s probably on the receiving end of most of Pettine Sr.’s advice-giving is defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil. O’Neil and linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach played for Pettine Sr.
“Two or three a day,” O’Neil said of the number of emails he receives from Pettine Sr. “It’s good. It’s a great resource for us to have. It’s a competitive advantage because he’s not scared to speak his mind. He sees it sometimes from a different perspective because he’s not with us every day. Ninety percent of his emails are right on and you listen to them. The other 10 percent go in one ear and out the other ear because of how he says it.”
Pettine Sr. spent time with the team during training camp. Father and son won’t see each other as much now because of the start of the regular season, but modern technology has kept Pettine Sr. on top of everything that’s happening.
“The iPad is the worst thing ever invented because he’s watching the game before you’re even home,” O’Neil said. “You’ll get an email Sunday night about what you should have done. It’s actually grown to the whole defensive staff getting them now. The worst thing you can do is respond.”
BACK TO NORMAL: Special teams coach Chris Tabor is glad the extra-point experiment used by the NFL early in preseason has been shelved. The experimental rule called for the ball to be placed at the 15 for extra-point kicks.
Tabor hated the idea of making the rule permanent because of the complications associated with kicking in First Energy Stadium, where winds blowing off Lake Erie can be treacherous.
Asked if he’s changed his feeling about the experimental rule, Tabor said, “Not one bit at all. We’re not kicking in a dome. We’re kicking off a Lake. It’s different than kicking anywhere else. To move it back doesn’t make sense to me.”
CAN’T HAVE ENOUGH: Tabor was pleased to see 12 defensive backs make the 53-man roster. It gives him more choices to make when he hands Pettine a list of players he wants for special teams when the 46-player, game-day roster is assembled.
“I will always take good athletes,” Tabor said. “Obviously, being defensive players they’re able to tackle.”
NOT A WORRY: Pettine isn’t upset that the Steelers will play two running backs – Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount – who were recently arrested for possession of marijuana, while Browns receiver Josh Gordon was suspended the entire season for marijuana possession. It was Gordon’s third violation of the NFL’s drug policy.
“I know there’s a thing called due process, and I know the league has a system for how they handle it,” Pettine said. “I’m assuming there’s something that occurred there and that they will be punished at some point.”
PROUD PAPA: Quarterback Connor Shaw was excused from practice to be with his wife Molly on the birth of a daughter.
INJURY REPORT: The Browns could be short on depth along the defensive line. Desmond Bryant (wrist) hasn’t practiced and is doubtful. John Hughes (hamstring) has also missed practice time. Bryant is the listed starter at right end. He’ll be replaced by second-year lineman Armonty Bryant.