Browns hire Mike Pettine, ending highly entertaining coaching search

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns finally wrapped up their coaching search. We break down what the news means.

The NFL head coaching market has officially dried up. The Cleveland Browns announced today that they have hired Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The coach search was getting a little comical, as the Browns found themselves spurned by numerous candidates. Former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin reportedly turned them down for Penn State, Broncos OC Adam Gase turned them down, and the number of names that showed up on their radar was rather impressive.

The Browns hiring decision means there are no more HC positions open for 49ers assistants. The Browns reportedly had inquired about Jim Tomsula, but never scheduled an interview. There were no reports they contacted the 49ers about Greg Roman or Vic Fangio.

That would seem to mean most of the 49ers coaching staff will return in 2014. Offensive assistant Paul Wulff and co-OL coach Tim Drevno left for college jobs, but otherwise, most of the crew is back. Secondary coach Ed Donatell has been a popular one the last couple years, with teams getting rebuffed by the 49ers in attempts to interview him for defensive coordinator work.

Cam Inman tweeted that Donatell's contract was set to expire after this past season. I found this interesting:

There is currently a DC opening in Cleveland, and now a DC opening in Buffalo. There are rumors Pettine will bring a defensive coach from Buffalo, but that is just rumor for now. There is no word of Donatell getting contacted for the Cleveland or Buffalo DC jobs at this point. Maybe he signed a new contract already, and that's that.

Whatever the case, things appear to remain fairly stable for the coming year. I know there will be some grumbling about Roman returning, but we'll see what another offseason can bring to this offense. It will be interesting to see if Jim Harbaugh goes outside the box again with some former head coaches like he did with Eric Mangini, and Paul Wulff prior to that.

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