Today Mike Pettine was able to sign Jim O’Neil as his defensive coordinator.
In addition, Pettine plucked assistants Chuck Driesbach (linebackers), Brian Fleury (assistant linebackers coach) and Jeff Hafley (secondary) off the staff he worked on in Buffalo as defensive coordinator.
Pettine made Brian Angelichio, who spent the past two seasons in Tampa Bay, his tight ends coach and kept Bobby Babich (assistant secondary coach) and Shawn Mennenga (assistant special teams coach) from Cleveland’s previous staff.
O’Neil was Buffalo’s linebackers coach last season, his fifth straight with Pettine. They were together in New York, spending four seasons on Rex Ryan’s staff with the Jets. Pettine’s connection with O’Neil predates their time in the NFL. O’Neil played for Pettine’s father, Mike Sr., in high school. With the help of Pettine and O’Neil, the Bills set a franchise record with 57 sacks, second-most in the NFL. Buffalo finished 10th (333.4 ypg) in total defense, after finishing 22nd in 2012.