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Browns hire Jim O’Neil as defensive coordinator

Jim O'Neil AP

As expected, new Browns coach Mike Pettine has hired a former Bills and Jets colleague to oversee Cleveland’s defense.

The Browns announced the hiring of Jim O’Neil as defensive coordinator on Monday night. The 35-year-old O’Neil was the Bills’ linebackers coach in 2013, the Jets’ assistant secondary coach from 2010 through 2012 and the Jets’ defensive quality control/defensive backs coach in 2009. In all five seasons, he worked with Pettine, who was the Jets’ defensive coordinator from 2009 through 2012 and the Bills’ defensive coordinator in 2013 before taking Cleveland’s head coaching job last week.

The Browns also announced the retention of special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, who has been with the Browns since 2011. Assistant defensive backs coach Bobby Babich and assistant special teams coach Shawn Mennenga were also retained.

The Browns have also hired the following assistants: Brian Angelichio (tight ends), Chuck Driesbach (linebackers), Brian Fleury (assistant linebackers) and Jeff Hafley (secondary). Angelichio and Hafley were members of the Buccaneers’ coaching staff in 2013, while Driesbach and Fleury were Bills assistants a season ago.

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24 Responses to “Browns hire Jim O’Neil as defensive coordinator”
  1. madcapdawgfan says: Jan 27, 2014 8:28 PM

    The great thing about the title of this article, is that in one year they will only need to change the “H” in hire to “F” for fire.

    But really, I do hope they get this thing turned around. Browns fans have good reason to be cynical.

  2. jakec4 says: Jan 27, 2014 8:30 PM

    Junior will get some practice being a defensive coordinator where nothing really matters. Pretty good gig for a guy who looks as green as grass.

  3. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 27, 2014 8:37 PM

    He’ll bring some fresh faced exhuberance to the role.

  4. ariani1985 says: Jan 27, 2014 8:42 PM

    Could be worse browns fan. At least u don’t have dom capers.

  5. berniesboys says: Jan 27, 2014 8:47 PM

    Super Bowl!

  6. gerard33 says: Jan 27, 2014 8:53 PM

    Based on that resume, it looks like Pettine will be doing the hefty lifting as far as scheme goes this year…

    Bigger question: is Jimmy Haslam already the worst owner in the league?

  7. wwwmattcom says: Jan 27, 2014 8:56 PM

    Now they just need a defense with talent. OOPS

  8. depotnator says: Jan 27, 2014 9:13 PM

    Even when they hire an outsider to be a head coach, it’s still the same ol’ boy network of retread
    assistant coaches. Maybe the priority for assistant coaches is to have a track record of doing what you’re told and don’t make waves.

  9. tolan04 says: Jan 27, 2014 9:13 PM

    Pettine will miss that bills d-line, pass rush, secondary. Well let’s just say he will miss his old team. See you in buffalo as an opponent.

  10. dablitz2 says: Jan 27, 2014 9:14 PM

    2012:Dick Jauron
    2013:Ray Horton
    2014:Jim O’Neil.

    They are regressing each year. I knew this would happened when they put Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi in charge.

  11. pmars64 says: Jan 27, 2014 9:45 PM

    This kid will command a locker-room? You’re kidding, right? He’s 35 going on 21! Yikes! And the Browns consider him an upgrade over Ray Horton? Ouch!

    The silver lining may be that a 2-14 season next year forces Jimmy “candidly” Haslam to sweep out the five foot nothing Banner and his pet, Lomb-lardi. This, itself, would garner a parade through downtown Cleveland that would rival winning a Super Bowl!

    Now, more than ever, we need a true football man to save us from the eternal damnation that is being a Browns fan. What did we do to deserve this? From the torture of losing the most games since 99 to watching the Steelers and Ravens both win 2 Super Bowls to watching Mike Brown make the playoffs five times. Aaaaaggggghhhh!!!!

  12. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jan 27, 2014 9:45 PM

    Next major announcement the 3 Stooges will make:

    Mike Pettine Sr is the new OC

  13. rugbyisbetter says: Jan 27, 2014 10:30 PM

    Wow people are already judging this HC and DC like they already have failed, or proven they have in the past…

    Last year people were hating on Chip Kelly and Bill Davis… They don’t look so bad now… Give the guys a chance, Banner has been there for 1 year, dumped a bad first pick, Likely will with the other… The division is not the NFC West..

    Not a Browns fan.

  14. charman11 says: Jan 27, 2014 11:19 PM

    Welcome aboard and I hope to God you guys do good. One thing is you don’t have a tuff act to follow ya can’t do much worse. So you have that going for you. Just make it looked like the team isn’t scared to play pittsburg like they looked last year.
    HIT somebody for crying out loud!!

  15. henryjones20 says: Jan 28, 2014 2:05 AM

    coulda been worse browns fans,pet tine coulda brought our special teams coach with him.danny cross man

  16. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jan 28, 2014 4:23 AM

    Rubgyisbetter, the story ends the same every year

  17. backdapack4evr says: Jan 28, 2014 4:40 AM

    Poor guy hit rock bottom…

  18. dapollock69 says: Jan 28, 2014 6:39 AM

    Will he be able to start the job before or after the prom?

  19. exboomer says: Jan 28, 2014 7:56 AM

    gerard33 says:
    Jan 27, 2014 8:53 PM
    Based on that resume, it looks like Pettine will be doing the hefty lifting as far as scheme goes this year…

    Bigger question: is Jimmy Haslam already the worst owner in the league?

    The answer to that is no. Ralph Wilson is the worst owner in the NFL. 14 plus years with no playoffs..are you kidding me?

  20. exboomer says: Jan 28, 2014 7:58 AM

    ONeil is joined at the hip to Pettine so this hiring is no surprise. They are BFF’s.

  21. leonitas21 says: Jan 28, 2014 9:01 AM

    Browns fans, I can understand the negativity. After all, I’m a Skins fan… so lets just say we understand the plight of a passionate fan base with a team that has grossly underachieved. However, from what I know of Jim O’Neal, you guys are getting a young, extremely hard working, passionate coach. Look at his resume and how fast he has risen to become a DC in the NFL. It doesn’t take a genius to see that a guy that rises that fast must have something great to offer.

  22. arnoldziffel says: Jan 28, 2014 1:05 PM

    A line from the movie “Major League” …

    “Who are these freakin’ guys??” …

  23. jimmyjoejohnbob says: Jan 29, 2014 6:46 AM

    Judge Reinhold look-alike Jim O’Neal.

  24. jeffsnow7 says: Jan 30, 2014 7:02 AM

    Coach O’neil is one of the hardest and most passionate coaches that I have been around and played for. He has already either under Rex Ryan and Pettine will make sure the job is done right. High hopes for O’neil

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