Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy fired defensive coordinator Dom Capers last week, and his replacement might raise an eyebrow or two. The Packers have hired Mike Pettine to serve in the role.
Pettine has been out of the NFL the past two seasons, having been fired by the Cleveland Browns in 2015 after a 10-22 stint as head coach. Prior to his time with the Browns, Pettine served as defensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 2009 to 2012 and the Buffalo Bills in 2013.
I bring this up here because he had a bit of a rocky parting with now San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. In 2014, Shanahan joined Pettine’s staff as offensive coordinator. He left after one year amidst disagreements over quarterback Johnny Manziel. Pettine was not pleased with Shanahan’s decision to force his way out, and said as much in a 2015 interview.
“The bottom line is essentially that Kyle didn’t want to be a part of the organization anymore,” Pettine said. “You can use the word quit. Those are the facts that I think he used maybe some of the disagreements with Ray maybe as an excuse to do it. If a guy truly doesn’t want to be a part of the organization, then I wasn’t going to sit and waste a lot of time on it. I didn’t need to go through 32 points or whatever it was.”
This past year at the Super Bowl, Shanahan said that Pettine had been cool about his departure. I could see how Shanahan’s 2017 comments reconcile with Pettine’s 2015 comments. I wouldn’t expect Shanahan to trash his former boss.
The 49ers and Packers square off this season at Lambeau Field. I don’t know if Pettine will care much about what happened after the 2014 season, but it’s at least worth keeping on our radar as that matchup approaches later this year.
Fooch’s update: I forgot this classic video