BEREA, Ohio--Mike Pettine introduced his three coordinators on Thursday. In addition, the Browns also announced 11 additional assistant coaches added to Pettine's first coaching staff.
"(When the) players get in they're going to see a dedicated group of coaches, great teachers, great passion with a desire to win," Pettine said.
The most recently named coordinator was Kyle Shanahan, who was just hired officially, on Monday. Shanahan joins defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.
"Kyle Shanahan is one of the best offensive minds in football," Pettine said. "When I've been on the defensive side and had conversations with when going against Houston or Washington (I've seen) it's aggressive, very creative and at the same time, very fundamental (offense) that presents a lot of problems. The other thing that was appealing to me, Kyle had a great interview. He's firm, he's fair and he's very demanding. I wanted to have a coaching staff that has high standards and knew i was going to hire a guy who would hold players to those standards."
Shanahan is charged with running the Browns offense after spending the last six years as an offensive coordinator, the past four years with the Redskins under his father, Mike Shanahan. With Pettine's expertise on the defensive side of the ball, Shanahan is expected to have a big influence in what scheme the Browns will run.
"I was really excited to talk with Coach (Pettine)," Shanahan said. "It was the first time to meet coach and the first time to spend time together. This is my first time to get to work with a defensive coach and really looking forward to it. I think there's a lot of talent on this roster and looking forward to the challenge."
The perception is that Shanahan has been under the direction of Gary Kubiak and Mike Shanahan, even though he's had the title of offensive coordinator the past six years. However, he disputes that notion.
"It's good to get out (from under Kubiak, Mike Shanahan for the media) perception," he said. "But, I put in my system in Houston and in Washington and I feel good about what my responsibilities were in those buildings. Being with a defensive coach it will be nice to prove that to (the media)."
Shanahan said he enjoyed working with his father, but said it was time to break away.
"It always was a goal to be at a place with my Dad," he said. "I started my career away from my Dad and prove myself before at UCLA and had four good years in Houston. "I enjoyed it and had some ups and downs, but wouldn't take it back. I'm excited to move on and it made me better and I'm glad I did it."
Shanahan had success with Robert Griffin III in his rookie season in 2012 after he was drafted second-overall, and knows that he might be faced with starting a rookie quarterback again in 2014, if the Browns choose a quarterback with the fourth overall pick. That is one of the positives of bringing Shanahan in.
"I've started one rookie before and that's my experience. Any time you bring in a rookie and they start right away, you have to put them them in a position to be successful," he said. "You don't ask too much of them. Usually, if you spend a high pick on a guy there is some stuff that they do pretty good and you really have to study and find out what they do good by watching college tape and anticipate how the NFL is going to play that when you put that into your scheme.
"You don't want to put too much pressure on them and have them doing things that he's confident in doing in his career before and hat has made him successful and do that early," he said. "You try to build them and prepare them and how defenses are going to adapt to him and how he eventually is going to have to grow and build his portfolio so he can have sustained success in this league, but I think the most important thing is to ask them to do what they're great at and then work on other aspects of their game."
Shanahan put the 'pistol' offense into the Redskins attack once Griffin arrived on the scene. However, he said the offense is flexible enough to run no matter who the quarterback is.
"The pistol gives you the threat of the zone read, but doesn't mean you have to run the zone read," he said. "The great thing for us in Washington about it is we could do everything we had done before and we could also run the zone read."
If the Browns were to draft a mobile quarterback like Johnny Manziel, Shanahan knows it brings another dimension to the offense.
"If you have a guy that can do that, it's a threat and it makes the defenses account for another guy."
Shanahan said he expects to have some input in to the upcoming draft, as far as quarterbacks, as well as other personnel.
"I'm going to evaluate everybody and that's my job to do that as best as I can and give you a true, honest opinion and the people who make the decisions decide off of that," he said. "There's lots of ways to move the ball in this league. I've been a coordinator six years and I've played with seven different quarterbacks. Each guy was different . I had some real athletic guys and some not so athletic guys. the main thing is you have to adjust and put in a scheme that is flexible and do what the quarterback is best at and if the quarterback is good at what you're doing you have a chance to succeed. You have to figure out who the best (quarterback) is and figure out how to make (him successful)."
Shanahan didn't want to share in too much depth his thoughts on the Browns current quarterbacks, but did say he coached Brandon Weeden at the Senior Bowl and studied Brian Hoyer coming out of college and when he was a free agent.
"I was familiar with both of them coming out from college," Shanahan said. "I looked at (Hoyer) coming out of New England in free agency. I liked him a lot coming out of college. He's a very capable guy. Everybody is trying to find a top five guy. Until you're a top five guy everybody wants a franchise quarterback and that's what you're looking for. He has shown he can play in this league and you have to see how high his ceiling is and I'm looking to study more of the tape and practices."
Shanahan was asked about his relationship with Griffin III, which was described as 'rocky'.
"We did a lot of good things," he said. "Arguably, he had one of the best years for a rookie quarterback (in 2012). I was able to do some things with Robert. Last year, with the injury it was a challenge. Anytime you go through a 3-13 season, it's a challenge on your relationship and everything, especially with a high profile player. But we'd get in the (meeting) room and deal with it. Nothing is easy when you go through it, but in the long run as hard as it was, i am really appreciative of the stuff he did for me and think he will be appreciative of some of the stuff I did for him."
O'Neil, who is in his first year as defensive coordinator is getting to know the Browns defensive personnel he has inherited.
"We are meticulously gong through the tape and you truly don't know until you get them here."
Pettine described O'Neil's path as similar to his. He was an assistant under Rex Ryan in Baltimore when Ryan took him to the Jets when he became the head coach and Pettine became his defensive coordinator.
"Jim played for my father (in high school) and that gave him instant credibility with me," Pettine said. "If he could play for him he could handle anything I could throw at him. Jim is a tenacious coach, smart, tough creative and he's been at my side for the past five years. When I was coordinator, I was really Rex's right hand guy and there's a lot of parallels. When I went to New York, I was the unknown factor."
O'Neil expects the Browns to be aggressive, but calculated. He was asked how the Browns might be able to close out games when they have the lead late--something they were unable to do in 2013.
"I wouldn't say we're gambling when we do pressure, it's calculated," he said. "I wouldn't say we're high risk. It starts with preparation and it's our job for the players to make plays. I know Coach Pettine is a big believer in 'We're going to thrive, not just survive' (mentality). We don't want our guys to be scared to make plays. If they see something, we want them to go pull the trigger. It's all part of winning in those critical situations."
Tabor returns to the staff after being retained as the special teams coordinator. He was originally hired by Pat Shurmer and kept by Rob Chudzinski and now by Pettine.
"He is one of the most well respected special teams coaches in the league," Pettine said. "It was evidenced by the number of requests (by other teams) to interview him. We're very pleased to be able to retain Chris."
Tabor was appreciative that he was able to stay with the Browns.
"The organization has given me an opportunity to stay here and to be able to stay in the same hometown is important to me," Tabor said. "It also allows you to keep your system in place.
In addition, to the three coordinators, Pettine announced 11 other assistant coaches, including George DeLeone assistant offensive line coach, Chris DiSanto assistant strength and conditioning coach, Richard Hightower offensive quality control coach, Dowell Loggains quarterbacks coach, Derik Keyes assistant strength and conditioning coach, Mike McDaniel wide receivers coach, Andy Moeller offensive line coach, Wilbert Montgomery running backs coach, Paul Ricci strength and conditioning coach, Tony Tuioti defensive quality control coach and Anthony Weaver defensive line coach.
Loggains, Moeller and Weaver had been reported as being hired previously, but the Browns officially announced their hirings Thursday.
Loggains was the offensive coordinator for the Titans in 2013 and was with Tennessee since 2006. DeLeone spent the last three seasons at Connecticut as offensive coordinator and associate head coach/offensive line. DiSanto was at the University of California last season. Hightower was with the Redskins the previous four seasons. Keyes was with the Texans in 2012. McDaniel was with the Redskins for the last three seasons. Moeller spent the last six seasons with the Ravens. Montgomery was with the Ravens from 2008-13. Ricci spent the last two seasons with the Jets. Tuioti spent the last six seasons at Hawaii. Weaver was the Bills defensive line coach last seasons and the Jets prior to that.
Previously named assistants were Brian Angelichio (tight ends), Bobby Babich (assistant secondary), Chuck Driesbach (linebackers), Brian Fleury (assistant linebackers), Jeff Hafley (secondary) and Shawn Mennenga (assistant special teams).