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The Cleveland Browns hired former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as their head coach on Thursday. He replaces Rob Chudzinski.
Pettine becomes the Brown’s seventh coach since 1999, and their fourth coach in six years. He is the Browns 15th head coach overall. The Browns had interviewed 10 candidates before deciding to hire Pettine, according to the Associated Press.
Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels dropped their names from consideration.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter were also candidates for the job.
"We are thrilled to announce Mike Pettine as the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns," Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said. "Mike is the epitome of what we want the Browns to be -- tough, aggressive and innovative -- with a blue-collar, team-first mentality. He knows what's necessary to beat teams in the AFC North. Most importantly, Mike has repeatedly shown the ability to lead his players to consistent improvement and success, clearly what we are striving for as he leads the Cleveland Browns moving forward."
Pettine was the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets before joining the Bills after his contract expired in 2012. In 2009 the Jets were ranked first in defense, and this season the Bills ranked second with 57 sacks, according to ESPN.
Pettine has a difficult challenge ahead of him. The Browns have not won more than five games in each of the last six seasons, and they were 4-12 under Chudzinski. It will be up to Pettine to turn it around for the Browns.