Is Mike Pettine another Dick Vermeil?
Ron Jaworski doesn't just know Mike Pettine from NFL circles.
Besides the many times Jaworski's work as an NFL analyst for ESPN caused them to cross paths, there is also the Pennsylvania connection. Jaworski has made the Philadelphia area his home since his days as a quarterback for the Eagles, and he long ago became acquainted with Pettine as a standout high school football coach in Pennsylvania, and as the son of one of Pennsylvania's and the nation's top high school football coaches.
Jaworski believes that Pettine's background – along with his notable accomplishments as a defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets – makes him an excellent fit as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
"When the Browns hired Mike Pettine, I was excited for Browns fans," Jaworski said while visiting the Browns' mandatory minicamp this week. "He reminds me of a guy that turned around a couple of organizations, that being Dick Vermeil. In Philadelphia, when I was there, and then the St. Louis Rams, two downtrodden organizations.
"And you can honestly say, right now, the Browns are a downtrodden organization. So you have to hire the right person. And I think Mike Pettine is the right person for the job. Time will tell if I'm right, if everyone's right, but I think the choice was terrific."
Jaworski sees Pettine's leadership skills and ability to instill discipline going a long way toward helping the Browns change their losing culture.
"I think, realistically, you can see a .500 team here," he said. "And that would be a quantum leap to get to .500. This division is tough. You're looking at Pittsburgh and Baltimore and Cincinnati. You can play good and lose those games. You can play great and lose those games." >>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for "Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford" on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com. We take your questions at 216-578-0850 and via Twitter @Browns_Daily.