Pettine wasn't happy. Not because of the content of the report; he didn't care about that. He was bothered that he was being told about it at all.
"I shot the messenger a little bit, because I asked, 'How does that affect my tenure as the head coach?'" Pettine said at the scouting combine on Saturday morning. "I think my next sentence had the word 'flying' followed by something, or referenced a part of a rat's body. I think that's noise. That's something that has no bearing on my job moving forward."
Pettine will eventually settle into his job, but he has had to deal with a lot of that noise he talked about.
He wasn't Cleveland's first choice. Multiple NFL assistants reportedly turned down the Browns. Cleveland had some level of talks with San Francisco about trading for Harbaugh, according to a story first reported by Pro Football Talk. The Browns have been very positive about Pettine, who was Buffalo's defensive coordinator, but it's no secret he wasn't at the top of their wish list.
Then Pettine was caught in the middle of a front office shakeup, not long after he was hired. CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi left the team, and Ray Farmer took over as general manager. Farmer wasn't involved in the interview process, Banner and Lombardi were, but Pettine has not let that odd situation affect him.
"Not at all. If it's not something that's going to affect my ability to lead the Cleveland Browns, that's not something I'm can't worry about," Pettine said. "I'm full speed ahead with Ray Farmer."
He has had an unusual start to his NFL coaching career, but that's OK. He didn't seem thrilled to answer questions about Harbaugh and a revamped front office, but he also kept pitching a positive attitude.
"This a dream come true," Pettine said. "I pinch myself every day. I wake up in the morning and say, 'I'm head coach of the Cleveland Browns and I can't wait to get to work.'"
Pettine has had to deal with much more than most first-year NFL head coaches during his first month or so on the job, but he's handling it the best he can and focus on his job. It can't possibly continue to be this hectic ... he hopes.
"I'd like to think it's going to get quiet," Pettine said. "That's my goal, to quiet the noise."
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