INDIANAPOLIS – Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettinesaid Saturday his decision to hire former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahanfor the same role on his coaching staff was not affected by the way the Redskins‘ season ended.
Shanahan, who was hired by Pettine earlier this month, was fired on Dec. 30 by the Redskins after a season in which the Redskins finished 3-13 and his relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin IIIdeteriorated.
“We spoke about it at length when he came in for the interview,” Pettine said at Lucas Oil Stadium, site of the NFL combine. “I already had a decent amount of information on that topic, and it was something that was a zero factor in our decision to hire Kyle.”
Shanahan had been with the Redskins for four seasons and was the Houston Texans’ offensive coordinator the previous two seasons. That experience was paramount to Pettine, who has a defensive background and was most recently the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator.
“[He] started very young as a coordinator, and again, I have a soft spot for coaches’ kids, being one myself,” Pettine said. “His time in football, though, because he started so early and being around his dad – I think his time is almost like dog years. He was coordinating, I think, at age 26, and he’s been successful in a variety of ways.”
The Texans had the fourth-ranked offense in 2009 behind quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson, and the Redskins had the No. 5 offense in 2012 behind a strong running game anchored by Griffin and running back Alfred Morris.
“That was the most encouraging to me – there wasn’t just one way he got it done,” Pettine said. “He’s been in the top in the league in rushing statistics and also in passing statistics, so there isn’t one way for Kyle to get it done, and I think that was the most encouraging thing for me – the most enticing thing for me.”