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Browns will interview Bills LB coach Jim O'Neil for DC job

New head coach Mike Pettine is hoping his sidekick in Buffalo will follow him to Cleveland.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam
Jason Miller

The Cleveland Browns have received permission to interview Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Jim O'Neil for their vacant defensive coordinator position, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

O'Neil has spent 2013 coaching the Bills' linebackers under Mike Pettine, who was Buffalo's defensive coordinator before being announced as the new head coach of the Browns last week. It was widely speculated after Pettine's hiring that O'Neil could follow him over to Cleveland to serve as his defensive coordinator. Since O'Neil is still under contract with the Bills, the Browns had to wait for them to approve an interview.

O'Neil has spent the last five seasons with Pettine. He served as an assistant for four years while Pettine was running the New York Jets defense, then followed him to Buffalo in 2013.

Rapoport reported on Saturday that Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach Don Martindale would be the next in line for the Browns defensive coordinator position if Buffalo did not grant the interview with O'Neil.

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