Cleveland Browns vs New York Jets: The backstories


This Sunday features the Cleveland Browns vs New York Jets at MetLife Stadium, game time is 1 p.m. Former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, now the Browns head coach, will bring his football team to town to face off against Todd Bowles and his team. This one promises to be a test for both teams in Week 1.

While not the most exciting matchup on the Week 1 schedule in the NFL, this one has some interesting story lines behind the scenes. These teams are connected in a number of ways. Of course Pettine is the most significant connection between the two teams, but it goes beyond that.

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Kevin O’Connell for those that remember, is a former quarterback for the Jets. O’Connell was acquired from the Detroit Lion for a 7th round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft in September of 2009.

He was cut by the Jets in 2010, and was resigned by the Jets in 2011. O’Connell never saw a regular season snap for the Jets, but appeared in 2 games for the New England Patriots in 2008. O’Connell was named the Browns’ quarterback coach in February of this year.

Aaron Glenn returns to NY as the Browns’ assistant secondary coach. Glenn is a former first round pick for the Jets in 1994. Glenn, often a fan favorite, played for the Jets from 1994 until 2001. After the Jets, Glenn played for the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints. Glenn retired after the  2008 season.

Jun 16, 2015; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2), Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13), Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coack Kevin O’Connell and Cleveland Browns quarterback Connor Shaw (9) during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Many of the assistant coaches for the Browns will be having a homecoming of sorts as well. Tight ends coach Brian Angelichio grew up in Ilion N.Y. and played his college football at St. Lawrence University in Canton N.Y. Browns’ offensive quality control assistant Mike McCarthy also has connections to the area, growing up in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Also with New Jersey connections are secondary coach Jeff Hafley, defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, and strength and conditioning coach Paul Ricci. All grew up within driving distance of MetLife Stadium.

The Browns also have two players that will be coming home for this game. Tight end Jim Dray grew up in Paramus, New Jersey and played his high school football at Bergen Catholic High School. Browns’ defensive back K’Waun Williams is a Paterson, New Jersey native and played his high school ball at St. Joseph’s Regional High School in Montvale N.J.

Of course, Buster Skrine is a former Brown. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 draft by the Browns and was allowed to walk away in free agency this year where he was signed by the Jets. Expect to see Skrine have an impact on this game, as he’s likely going to be out there to prove his former team wrong in their assessment of his talent.

Sometimes, the backstories to an NFL game are never told. Most will find them uninteresting, but others like them to help pique their interest in a game. I attempted to tell a bit of the backstory to this one. It isn’t a very exciting article, but one that I enjoyed writing. Just to wrap it up, I’d like to welcome all the Browns that have connection to our area home. Best of luck in the 2015 season.

Please leave us a comment as there is not much to discuss on this article but feel free to take up another topic below. Let’s Talk Jet Football!!

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