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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Mike Pettine

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Mike Pettine

On Monday the Redskins announced that they had interviewed former Browns head coach Mike Pettine for their vacant defensive coordinator position. Why would they be interested in bringing in Pettine? Let’s take a look at his coaching resume.

Before becoming a coordinator: Pettine traveled an unusual path to the NFL. After playing at Virginia, he was a high school assistant coach and head coach for 12 seasons with two years as a graduate assistant at Pitt sandwiched in there. In 2002 Pettine made the jump to the NFL, joining the Ravens and serving in a variety of roles before becoming the outside linebackers coach in 2005. When Rex Ryan was hired as the Jets head coach in 2009, he took Pettine with him as his defensive coordinator.

Note: If you want more complete stats on Pettine’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2009 Jets (9-7)

Rankings: Yards 4,037 (1st), points 236 (1st), takeaways 31 (8th), 3rd down conversion 31.5% (1st), DVOA -25.5% (1st)
Notable players: CB Darrelle Revis*+, DE Shaun Ellis*, LB Calvin Pace, LB Bart Scott

The Jets had a middle of the pack defense in 2008 and they became a dominant unit. Revis went from being a good player to a great one as the Jets defense carried the team to the AFC championship game.

2010 Jets (11-5)

Rankings: Yards 4,664 (3rd), points 304 (6th), takeaways 30 (8th), 3rd down conversion 37.0% (10th), DVOA -10.9 (5th)
Notable players: CB Revis*+, CB Antonio Cromartie, LB Bart Scott, LB David Harris

The defense took a step back from its dominant 2009 form but it was still a solid top-five unit as the Jets again made the AFC title game, winning in New England along the way.

2011 Jets (8-8)

Rankings: Yards 4,993 (5th), points 363 (20th), takeaways 31 (5th), 3rd down conversions 32.7% (4th), DVOA -16.1% (2nd)
Notable players: CB Revis*+, LB Harris, LB Pace

The team’s record took another step back but the defense remained strong.

2012 Jets (6-10)

Rankings: Yards 5,174 (8th), points 375 (20th), takeaways 23 (18th), 3rd down conversions 37.2% (12th), DVOA -16.1% (2nd)
Notable players: CB Cromartie*, S LaRon Landry*, DE Muhammad Wilkerson

Revis went out with a torn ACL in the second game of the season but the defense held things together reasonably well. After the season Ryan survived but Pettine, whose contract had expired, was not retained.

2013 Bills (6-10)

Rankings: Yards 5,334 (10th), points 388 (20th), takeaways 30 (6th), 3rd down conversions 37.1% (14th), DVOA -13.8% (4th)
Notable players: MLB Kiko Alonso, DT Marcel Dareus*, DT Kyle Williams*, FS Jairus Byrd*, OLB Mario Williams*

The Bills were second in the league with 57 sacks and three members of their front seven were rewarded with trips to the Pro Bowl. Their DVOA improved from 27th in the league in 2012 to 4th. After the season the Browns hired Pettine as their head coach.

2014 Browns (7-9)

Rankings: Yards 5,857 (23rd), points 337 (9th), takeaways 29 (4th), 3rd down conversion 37.7% (11th), DVOA -3.0% (11th)
Notable players: SS Donte Whitner*, FS Tashaun Gipson*, LBC Joe Haden*, MLB Karlos Dansby

This wasn’t exactly a shutdown defense but it was an improvement over the 2013 edition of the Cleveland D. They gave up a lot of yards but they were solid in takeaways, good on third down, and very good in the red zone (5th in NFL). And, as the head coach, Pettine led the Browns to their best record since 2007.

2015 Browns (3-13)

Rankings: Yards 6,067 (27th), points 432 (29th), takeaways 21 (22nd), 3rd down conversions 39.9% (20th), DVOA 10.5% (29th)
Notable players: MLB Dansby, SS Whitner

This is Cleveland, after all, and the success of the previous season melted away. After a second season as head coach, the perpetually impatient Browns organization let him go.

RELATED: Defensive coordinator resume: Gus Bradley

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Redskins practice observations OTAs 05.24.17—Injured players getting back on track

junior_galette_otas_usat.jpg
USA Today Sport Images

Redskins practice observations OTAs 05.24.17—Injured players getting back on track

The skies were dry but the fields were wet and that forced the Redskins into the bubble for their second OTA practice.

Here are my observations from the session:

OLB Junior Galette took a light workload but it was surprising that he did anything at all considering that he is 10 months removed from an Achilles tendon tear. He was sprinting during stretching and he took part in some team drills. It’s early but if he is healthy in September the Redskins’ pass rush could be a force.

Not present were TE Jordan Reed, OT Trent Williams, and RB Matt Jones. Jay Gruden said that Reed and Williams are working out elsewhere and he was vague about the absence of Jones, although he said that it was not unexpected.

Also in good health was TE Niles Paul. He suffered a shoulder injury in Week 8 last year and finished the season on injured reserve. The veteran appeared to be a full go in both individual and team drills.

RB Rob Kelley looks like he lost a few pounds in an effort to become more durable and maybe a little quicker. He also is sporting a new jersey number.

Rob Kelley now wearing No. 20. #Redskins

A post shared by Rich (@richtandler) on

P Tress Way is in midseason form. He lofted a punt that landed in one of the light fixtures some 100 feet above the floor of the practice bubble and stayed in it. The third-year player said that he couldn’t do that again if he tried 100 times.

RB Mack Brown faces some serious competition for his job but he is not going to give it up easily. He looked good on some runs off tackle, showing some good speed and quickness.

They rotated a lot of defensive linemen through during team drills. Undrafted rookie Ondre Pipkins got a lot of run at nose tackle and Anthony Lanier played quite a few snaps at end as did Ziggy Hood. Top draft pick Jonathan Allen’s reps were somewhat limited as were those of Phil Taylor. They likely plan to rotate  their linemen a lot throughout OTAs, minicamp, and training camp to try to find a good combination.

QB Kirk Cousins mostly kept to shorter passes but in seven on seven drills he did launch one deep down the middle that WR Maurice Harris went up and grabbed for the nicest offensive play of the day.

Rookie TE Jeremy Sprinkle dropped a pass on a short crossing pattern. As a fifth-round pick he can afford some mistakes now but he can’t drop too many in August.

QB Nate Sudfeld was shaky in the beginning, throwing a few passes at the shoe tops of his receivers. But he did get better as the practice went on, through some nice, accurate passes while rolling out.

Gruden called for a trick play at the end of on team session. Cousins threw a quick backwards pass to WR Jamison Crowder, who was on the left. RB Chris Thompson snuck out of the backfield and he was open along the right hashmark. But Crowder’s pass was underthrown, allowing ILB Zach Brown to break it up.

Brown, Will Compton, and Mason Foster rotated in and out at inside linebacker. All possible combinations of the three were on the field at various times. It will be interesting to see how the lineup settles in when the season starts.

I think that S D.J. Swearinger is going to be annoying to players and fans from other teams. After Harris caught a pass, he was jogging down the field with the ball after the whistle blew. Swearinger came up and gave the ball a bunch to try to knock it out of his grasp. It was more playful than violent but I can see how he will get under the skin of opponents.

WR Josh Doctson appears to be healthy. He turned on the jets to catch a QB Colt McCoy pass down the right sideline. Of course, it’s May and the goal is for him to be healthy in September but it looks like it’s so far, so good.

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Kirk Cousins sounded optimistic about contract talks with Redskins

Kirk Cousins sounded optimistic about contract talks with Redskins

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins repeatedly sounded optimistic about his ongoing contract negotations with the organization, though he acknowledged the talks will probably go until the last minute.

"Deadlines do deals," Cousins said.

Speaking Wednesday to the media after an OTA session, Cousins explained that talks with the Redskins have been positive and ongoing. He also admitted that he doesn't expect a deal to get finished before the July 15th franchise tag deadline.

In 2016, conversations between the Redskins and Cousins largely broke down before the tag deadline. That seems to be a different story in 2017, and while it may only be a glimmer of hope, it's an encouraging development for Washington fans that want to keep their passer. 

"It's been very positive," he said. Of July 15th, Cousins said, "it will be a telling date, as it was last summer."

Over the last two seasons as starter, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards, twice breaking the franchise single-season passing record. In 2015, Cousins emerged in the second half of the year to play some terrific football and lead the Redskins to a division title. In 2016, Cousins never quite hit the same highs as 2015, but was much more consistent and piled up passing yards. 

Redskins team president Bruce Allen said earlier this week he remains positive about a long-term deal for Cousins. Allen maintained that talks are ongoing with Cousins' representatives, and similarly to Cousins, expects the bulk of the talks closer to July 15th.

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