New Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine is in the process of assembling a coaching staff and asked the Bills for permission to speak with Buffalo linebackers coach Jim O’Neil. Buffalobills.com has learned that the Bills have granted the Browns permission to interview O’Neil.
Pettine’s interest in O’Neil is anything but surprising. The two coached together with the Jets, and when Pettine was hired by Buffalo as defensive coordinator he brought O’Neil with him to coach linebackers. It’s presumed that O’Neil will interview for the Browns defensive coordinator post.
O’Neil also played his high school football under Pettine’s father Mike Pettine Sr. at Central Bucks West in Pennsylvania.
If in fact O’Neil takes an assistant’s job under Pettine in Cleveland, Buffalo will be without both of their linebacker coaches from last season. Inside linebackers coach Chuck Dreisbach was relieved of his duties earlier this month by the Bills.