The Browns are hiring former Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Chuck Driesbach, a league source confirmed this afternoon for the Beacon Journal. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has yet to announce the move.
When new Browns coach Mike Pettine served as the defensive coordinator of the Bills last season, Driesbach was a linebackers coach for the team. But Bills coach Doug Marrone fired Driesbach on Jan. 13, and he was stunned by the move.
“They just wanted to change the dynamic of the staff and they had to let me go,” Driesbach told Tom Moore of the Bucks County (Pa.) Courier Times the night he was fired. “[Marrone] said I hadn't done anything wrong, shook my hand and I walked out of the office.
“I have no idea what happened. I don't know if they felt like I did a [poor] job or somebody better became available. I don't know and probably never will. It's the bad part of the business.”
Regardless of the reason for the dismissal, Pettine wants Driesbach, 61, on his staff in some capacity. Driesbach coached in the college ranks for 36 years before landing his first NFL job last year, but he has a long history with Pettine.
Driesbach was a defensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh from 1993-96, and Pettine served as a defensive graduate assistant coach for the Panthers from 1993-94. Driesbach also played for Pettine’s father, legendary coach Mike Pettine Sr., at Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown, Pa.
The younger Pettine, 47, was an all-state quarterback and defensive back at C.B. West before graduating in 1984.
The Browns are also expected to make another Bills linebackers coach, Jim O’Neil, their new defensive coordinator. O’Neil, 35, played for Pettine Sr. at C.B. West in the mid-1990s.