If Jim O’Neil joins the Browns as defensive coordinator, it looks like he’ll have a familiar face other than head coach Mike Pettine on the staff.
O’Neil has been given permission to interview for the coordinator job and Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Chuck Driesbach, O’Neil’s partner as a linebacker coach from Buffalo in 2013, will be coming to Cleveland as well. It’s not known what role Driesbach will fill on Pettine’s staff.
Driesbach was fired after the end of the regular season in a move that he said he never saw coming.
“I have no idea what happened. I don’t know if they felt like I did a [poor] job or somebody better became available,” Driesbach said after he was fired, via the Bucks County Courier Times. “I don’t know and probably never will. It’s the bad part of the business.”
With Pettine interested in bringing Driesbach on board, he can at least take some solace in the fact that at least one of his bosses liked the job he did. Driesbach worked mostly with the inside linebackers in Buffalo and has a long history with the Pettine family. He went to the same high school as the Browns coach (and O’Neil), where he played for Mike Pettine Sr. on the football team. Driesbach also gave the younger Pettine his first college coaching job at the University of Pittsburgh when he was the coordinator for the Panthers defense.