The already deep ties between the Cleveland Browns and the Minnesota Vikings could become deeper this offseason.
Following the Super Bowl, the new Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell will begin building his staff.
According to Jason La Canfora, former Browns head coach Mike Pettine is reportedly among the list of candidates under consideration for the Vikings defensive coordinator position.
With Kevin O'Connell going to Vikings, I keep hearing Mike Pettine as the likely DC there.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 4, 2022
The Kevin O’Connell And Mike Pettine Connection
O’Connell has known and worked with Pettine throughout the years.
It started during O’Connell’s playing days with the New York Jets from 2009 to 2010 when Pettine was the defensive coordinator.
Mike Pettine was the head coach with the Browns during O'Connell's first season (2015) as a coach. He was also the DC with the Jets when O'Connell spent time there as a player. Former Packers DC and senior defensive assistant with Bears last year.
— Kevin Brown (@KevinBrownNFL) February 4, 2022
Pettine gave O’Connell his first NFL coaching opportunity with the Browns.
When Pettine was the head coach in 2015, he hired O’Connell as his quarterbacks’ coach.
What Has Pettine Been Up To?
Pettine has moved around a lot since being fired by the Browns after the 2015 season.
He was out of football in 2016 and reemerged as a consultant with the Seattle Seahawks in 2017.
Pettine then spent three seasons as the Green Bay Packers DC from 2018 to 2020.
During the 2021 season, he acted as a senior defensive assistant to the Chicago Bears.
The #Bears have hired former #Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as their new senior defensive assistant, sources say. From Green Bay to Chicago, Pettine switches sides in the NFC North and will serve as a veteran sounding board for new DC Sean Desai.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 10, 2021
Pettine’s Era With The Browns
Pettine’s only stint as an NFL head coach was with the Browns for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
His Browns teams went 10-22, and he lost 18 out of the final 21 games.
He had Johnny Manziel as the quarterback during his Browns tenure.
I think Mike Pettine could have had a more successful time as HC of the Browns if he didn’t have Ray Farmer and Johnny Manziel https://t.co/1Zju4lk9Br
— John (@JohnHillbery) October 6, 2019
Pettine’s strength is on the defensive side of the ball.
He rebuilt his reputation in that area with the Packers.
Super Bowl Is First Priority For O’Connell
Rare opening statement from Kevin O’Connell during weekly presser this morning, who says he’s focused wholly on the Rams Super Bowl appearance right now but looking forward to unnamed opportunities ahead.
He did confirm, however, that he still owns a winter coat.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) February 4, 2022
Since it is Super Bowl week and O’Connell’s current team, the Los Angeles Rams, is in the big game, he is busy.
The current Rams OC naturally wants to win the Super Bowl title before officially exiting the Rams.
There will be plenty of time and more speculation in the offseason as to who O’Connell picks for his coaching staff.