BEREA, Ohio - Mike Pettine ran practice today under the watchful eye of team owner Jimmy Haslam, but that wasn't the most critical set of eyes watching the rookie head coach.
Mike's father, Mike Pettine Sr., is in Berea this week and has been a big part of his sons coaching life since they worked together coaching high school football at Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. This is where Pettine Jr. eventually replaced Pettine Sr. after he retired with more than 300 career wins and four state championships.
"He has been watching some of the practice tapes. We had, I wouldn't call it heated, but an Italian conversation this morning before practice," Pettine Jr. told media Wednesday.
Pettine Sr. has been a very influential part of his sons coaching life, offering advice, sometimes solicited and sometimes unsolicited when it comes to anything football.
"It's great to have him here, it's just another guy as I always say who is not immersed in the scheme but it's nice to have some one give you the 30,000 foot view sometimes when you're deep in it where he can make some comments," Pettine Jr. said.
Pettine Sr. has been referred to as "The Godfather" of the teams coaching staff due to his connections to many of his sons staff. Not only did Pettine Jr. play for his father but so did Browns defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil and linebackers coach Chuck Dreisbach who played for Pettine Sr. back in the 70's.
It's a rare bond of generations on one team. Pettine Jr. understands just how rare a relationship like that is and he is grateful to be able to have his father share this experience with him.
"A lot of times I tell my dad, it's sometimes how you say it, how you package it and usually the content is accurate but sometimes my defenses go up when he delivers the message the way he delivers it."
That sounds like a very typical parent-child relation, one they both hope will last long enough to get the Browns back on track.