Kyle Shanahan explains viral exchange with Packers’ Mike Pettine

SANTA CLARA — It’s safe to say Kyle Shanahan and Mike Pettine have some history.

Shanahan served as Pettine’s offensive coordinator for one season in Cleveland. When it was over, he reportedly gave Pettine a list of 32 reasons why he wanted to quit. On Saturday, they’ll face off with Shanahan as the head coach and Pettine on the other side, as defensive coordinator for the Packers.

This week, a video clip resurfaced of an interaction on the sideline between the two during that 2014 season with the Browns that may, to the outside observer, seem to show strain among the coaching staff.


Shanahan, when asked about it Friday, remembered it differently.

“I think that shows how cool of a guy Mike was and is,” Shanahan said.

It was a Week 8 game against the winless Oakland Raiders. Yet, at the start of the fourth quarter, Pettine and Shanahan’s Browns had failed to score a touchdown and clung to only a three-point lead. A fumble recovery gave them the ball at midfield and a couple quick passes from Blaine Hoyer got the Browns inside the 5-yard line.

“This is our chance now to go up two scores,” Pettine says in the clip.

He wanted to switch it up and run the ball.

Shanahan’s face says it all.

“You know what, I trust you,” Pettine says after after what feels like an infinite incredulous look from his offensive coordinator. “Call your best play.”

So Shanahan dialed up a bootleg for Hoyer, who rolled out and hit Andrew Hawkins for the score. Cleveland went on to win that game, 23-13.

Today, Shanahan is known for the open discourse he invites from his coaching staff. If they don’t think something is right, and believe so strongly enough, they should take it up with him.

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