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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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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 20, six days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five pivotal games on the Redskins’ schedule

All NFL games are important but some seem to be a little more important than others. At first glance at the Redskins’ schedule, these seem to be the five most pivotal games. 

Week 1 @Cardinals—Wait, Week 1 is pivotal? It is if you’re Jay Gruden and you are 0-4 in season openers. Starting off in an 0-1 hole again after losing a winnable game would not get things off to a positive start. 

Week 7 Cowboys—The only Redskins-Cowboys game that Kirk Cousins started in the last three years that Washington won was the 2015 season finale in Dallas, a game that was meaningless to both teams. Alex Smith needs to take advantage of his shot at the Cowboys. Beating Dallas is important for being competitive in the division and for job security in general. This is their shot at them at home.

Week 9 Falcons—Atlanta has been among the league’s big boys the last couple of years. The Redskins get them at home, on grass, when the weather could be turning a little bit chilly. It’s a good opportunity to upset a dome team. The game also ends the first part of the season and the Redskins face a second half of the schedule that has just three home games. 

Week 14 Giants—This is one of the aforementioned scarce home games in the latter part of the season. It’s preceded by road games in Dallas (9-7 last year) and Philadelphia (Super Bowl champs) and followed by roadies in Jacksonville (lost AFC title game) and Tennessee (won a playoff game). Nobody is quite sure to what extent the Giants will rebound from their dismal 2017 season but this game has the feel of a possible oasis surrounded by hostile deserts. 

Week 16 @Titans—If the Redskins are in playoff contention, this game will determine a lot even though its non-conference. As noted, the Titans are looking to improve on their playoff season last year and they will not be a pushover by any stretch. But if the Redskins want to be able to say that they are a better team than they have been the last couple of years, this is the kind of game they should win. 

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

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 32
—Training camp starts (7/26) 97
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 142

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and you will not have to wait long for pundits and fans alike to begin predicting team’s season-long win-loss record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing. Myself included. 

But don’t read much -- if anything -- into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)

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