Thursday, January 23, 2014
Pettine leaving Buffalo benefits Dolphins
By James Walker
The Buffalo Bills were a 6-10 team in 2013, but two of those wins came via a sweep of the Miami Dolphins. Those ugly losses essentially knocked Miami (8-8) out of playoff contention and resulted in changes within the organization.
But the Dolphins received some good news Thursday with the Cleveland Browns hiring Mike Pettine as their next head coach. Buffalo’s former defensive coordinator was a major reason Miami struggled mightily against the Bills.
The Dolphins averaged just 10.5 points per game in two contests against Pettine’s defenses. Miami’s 19-0 shutout loss to Buffalo was easily the Dolphins’ worst performance of the season. Pettine learned under New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who also had success late in the season against Miami.
Pettine climbed the NFL ladder fast, from a defensive coordinator in New York who didn’t call plays and wasn't fully in charge of the Jets' defense. He left for the Bills in 2013 to take over their defense, and the Browns came calling with their head-coaching position a year later.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 276 combined yards and was sacked nine times against Buffalo last season. Tannehill and the Dolphins can breathe a little easier now that Pettine is out of the division in 2014.