Mike Pettine was eager for search to end

January, 24, 2014
Jan 24
2:17
PM ET
Evidently the fans weren't the only ones growing restless during the Cleveland Browns coaching search.

Mike Pettine, the Browns new coach, told the Buffalo Bills flagship station WGR 550 in Buffalo on Thursday that he was getting to the point of withdrawing out of fairness to the Bills, where he previously worked as defensive coordinator. Pettine was always interested in the Browns; he just wondered how long he could keep the Bills waiting.

"That was starting to wear on me the last couple days," Pettine told Joe Buscaglia, the Bills sideline reporter. "I talked to [coach] Doug [Marrone] and it was getting to the point where I'd say, 'Hey, if this goes on much longer I need to pull out because it's just not fair to the Bills.'"

The Browns said they understood Pettine's thinking, but they said it had no effect on their decision. He is their coach and they're ready to move forward. Folks in Berea also seem weary of what they see as a tendency to spin any story related to the search in a negative manner.

The Browns said Pettine was their guy, and his thinking about withdrawing or not was irrelevant to the decision.

"I know we were exhaustive to the point that we caused people to question and wonder," CEO Joe Banner said when he introduced Pettine. "But we think that was the right way to do it. It's a very, very important decision to make sure we met as many people as we possibly could. We spent as much time as we could with Mike, who we had the chance to interview three different times and spent quite a bit of time with, [which] in our minds, maximize the chances that he knew us, we knew him."

Banner said the decision not to wait until after the Super Bowl to interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was the toughest part of the process. Quinn was that impressive when the Browns talked with him shortly after the 2013 season ended.

Banner said if the Browns felt Pettine was not the right guy, they would have waited to talk to Quinn.

"We would not like to have taken 10 more days of the pummeling, but we would have waited," he said.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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