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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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Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2017 Redskins

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2017 Redskins

Jay Gruden set out to dispell the "doom and gloom" that has overtaken many Redskins fans this offseason when he talked to the media earlier this week. To what extent do you agree with the coach that the feeling should be one of optimism and excitement? 

As always, hit the poll and then either reply on Twitter to talk about your answer or come back here and hit the comments. 

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Jay Gruden loves Rob Kelley, but would also love drafting a 'special' RB

Jay Gruden loves Rob Kelley, but would also love drafting a 'special' RB

Redskins coach Jay Gruden has a very high opinion of running back Rob Kelley. He surprised many by making the 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie last year and when starter Matt Jones faltered, Kelley took over as the starter for the last nine games.

“Oh, man, I love Rob Kelley,” Gruden told reporters earlier this week at the NFL meetings in Phoenix.

“I thought he played great. You throw a rookie free agent into the fire like that and see him play and compete. Not one time did I feel like it was too big for him. Not once. That’s a hell of a thing to say for a kid out of Tulane who only had a couple of carries his senior year. He came right in, he competes on every play.”

Actually, Kelley had 65 carries as a senior at Tulane, for 232 yards and one touchdown.

But Gruden’s overall point about Kelley being a little-used back in college. In four years with the Green Wave he never had as many as 100 carries in a single season.

RELATED: UPDATED NFL MOCK DRAFT 6.0

Kelley got 168 carries in the NFL last year, gaining 704 yards. He scored six touchdowns, the same number that he scored in 49 games at Tulane.

Gruden was not done singing Kelley’s praises.

“He had some of the greatest two-yard runs I’ve seen,” the coach continued.

“He gets back to the line of scrimmage, he keeps his feet moving, he protects the ball. He’s going to get better in pass protection. Catching the ball, he did a nice job. He dropped a couple here and there but for the most part he catches the ball. I really think the vision he has he’ll be more patient as a runner this year. I think he’s going to be a good back, I really do.

“A lot of people think we need a great running back. I think Rob is a great running back, I really do.”

While that certainly is a ringing endorsement, Gruden wouldn’t shy away upgrading the position in the draft.

“There are some special players in this draft, if they’re available they’d be hard to pass up, quite frankly,” Gruden said moments after lauding Kelley.

MORE REDSKINS: JAY GRUDEN BULLISH ON 2017 REDSKINS

Two of the running back considered “special” who may be available when the Redskins make their pick in the first round are Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford. In a separate interview with JP Finlay of CSN, Gruden talked about those two backs.

 “That’s the thing about those two guys, they can move around,” said Gruden. “They’re not just lining up in the I formation running the power play. They can line up outside at different spots, play receiver, catch the ball out of the backfield and they can also run it between the tackles. They’re not just one dimensional players, they’re very exciting.”

So to sum up the coach’s thought process here, Gruden thinks that Kelley is a “great” running back but the team would find it tough to pass on “special” and “exciting” alternatives. It doesn’t sound to me like Kelley should get too comfortable with the idea of being the lead dog at running back. And those Redskins fans who have earmarked that first-round draft pick for defense may end up being very disappointed.   

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.