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.