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Jim Leonhard reunites with Mike Pettine in Cleveland

Jim Leonhard AP

Safety Jim Leonhard said recently that he had spoken to the Packers about coming aboard for the 2014 season, but the Wisconsin native never reached agreement on a deal with the team.

He won’t have to leave the Midwest to play football this year, though. Leonhard tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that he has signed a contract to play for the Browns.

The move reunites Leonhard with Browns coach Mike Pettine, who was an assistant on Ravens, Jets and Bills teams that featured Leonhard. That year with the Bills came in 2013, when Leonhard started seven times and played all 16 games for a defense coordinated by Pettine. Leonhard had 41 tackles and four interceptions in Buffalo.

With that kind of familiarity and a thin group of backup safeties, the late start to camp shouldn’t hurt Leonhard much. Donte Whitner will hold one starting safety job for the Bills and Tashaun Gipson is pencilled in alongside him, although Leonhard could change that if Pettine decides to go with what he knows come the regular season.

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17 Responses to “Jim Leonhard reunites with Mike Pettine in Cleveland”
  1. TheDPR says: Jul 30, 2014 6:19 PM

    Where, geographically, does the “midwest” actually start?

  2. coachbeck says: Jul 30, 2014 6:29 PM

    So basically the browns safeties are struggling

  3. peefrimgar says: Jul 30, 2014 6:41 PM

    Should help the other guys learn the system more quickly and provide some relief if necessary.

  4. idoubtiwillbother says: Jul 30, 2014 7:10 PM

    Completely unsurprising, and good news for all except the guy who will now get cut.

  5. jayovalentine says: Jul 30, 2014 9:27 PM

    The Factory of Sadness is making some good solid pick ups quietly. Everyone is focused on Johnny Football the coke head bust but you hate Bridgewater ?? (Vikings suck btw) Brownies shock everyone and win the north this year

  6. Ed Bandell says: Jul 30, 2014 10:00 PM

    Jim is a very solid player and plays bigger than his measurements. He’s not the fastest, strongest, or biggest, but he’s always where he is supposed to be and makes all the plays he should. Loved him when he was with the Ravens.

    He also helped us out as a returner from time to time so he adds depth in that area too.

  7. therocksplace says: Jul 30, 2014 10:29 PM

    we need all the help we can get….I hear the #1 pick= Justin Gilbert is looking real good…..

  8. maxkingpin says: Jul 30, 2014 11:45 PM

    It was apparent in 2013 that Leonhard lost a step, and he was not very fast ever. He relied heavily on his experience, but he was below average tackling and poor in man coverage.
    Put him in a zone with an above average pass rush and he can be an asset.

  9. norton20 says: Jul 30, 2014 11:55 PM

    Donte Whitner, a legend in his own mind, might not be happy with this development. Leonard might be a step slower than he was but is bright, knows the system and can be a useful player for Cleveland.

    The Midwest starts in Buffalo and ends in Denver.

  10. GrossmanDaSexCannon says: Jul 31, 2014 1:17 AM

    Called it.

  11. N/A says: Jul 31, 2014 1:34 AM

    Special teams and depth – can’t wait for some real stories

  12. mattcloudobr says: Jul 31, 2014 1:52 AM

    Excellent move by Pettine….. Hopefully they can find someone to give up a 5th, 6th, or 7th for the awful selection of CB Leon McFadden….. By the late/great Mike Lombardi!

    The only pick he could make was to get the thong from his arse!

    Gordon or not, this Browns team WILL surprise many in the 14′ season!

  13. jimmysee says: Jul 31, 2014 2:03 AM

    very good addition

  14. packmanfan says: Jul 31, 2014 2:14 AM

    Where, geographically, does the “midwest” actually start?

    Whatever the midpoint is between the very top of Washington and the very bottom of California.

    I call it the midstates where I’m from which is Wisconsin.

  15. packmanfan says: Jul 31, 2014 2:15 AM

    Bummer! I was hoping he would join the Pack.
    Oh well. Kiss goodbye a chance to win a ring for this year Jim.

  16. mrfrostyj says: Jul 31, 2014 10:23 AM

    The Midwest consists of the Dakota’s, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and according to the Census bureau only half of Colorado.

  17. deltaoracle says: Jul 31, 2014 3:53 PM

    Great guy, great hops, effort second to none.
    But he’s small, not real fast, and getting a bit old for pro ball. Certainly wish him the best though.

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