He’s the smartest guy in the room… it doesn’t matter who’s in the room. The more I talked to him, I realized, Holy cow, this dude knows everything, he’s a real football guy.
— Rex Ryan, who Pettine coached under with the Ravens and the Jets, and is now an ESPN analyst
He’ll be the best coordinator in the league that’s how good he is. I think the big thing is, the (Green Bay) fan base ought to be super excited about him because this is a good get. There’s other names out there or whatever, but this is the best coach out there that they could’ve got.
— Rex Ryan
Pettine has “a KILL philosophy – keep it likable and learnable” – and that’s what we do, and (Green Bay) is going to play fast and play physical, and I can’t wait to watch them.
— Rex Ryan
(Pettine’s system) will make good players great. If you’re an average player, you’ll be good. There were times when Mike and I were together, we literally had no NFL corner, and yet we found a way to make it work… If you love the game, then these guys died and went to heaven in this system.
— Rex Ryan
If you just look at Mike, he looks like an intimidating guy. But, man, when you get to talking to him, he’s just such a nice guy… you start talking to him and it’s, ‘Oh , man, this ain’t who I thought I was talking to.
— Tramon Williams, ex-Packers cornerback, who played for Pettine in Cleveland
He can command a team, a defense, just by his look.”
— Tramon Williams
He demands a lot of his players. He does. He’s a guy who has certain expectations on what football should look like, what your level of effort (should be) and what wins at that level.
— Jim Leonhard, ex-Badger defensive back, played for Pettine on the Jets and Bills
If he needs to be a screamer and a yeller, he will. But he wants the game to be fun… so if you handle your business and you’re a professional, he’s going to allow you to be yourself… But you’ve got to put the work in.
— Jim Leonhard
Two words come to my mind when I think of him: Flexibility — his system will be flexible to find the most talented playmakers and the matchups week-in and week-out. And then creativity — to be able to put those guys in position to make plays on a consistent basis.
— Jim Leonhard
I’m looking forward to bringing the Attitude (Era) back to Green Bay! Welcome to the squad coach!
— Mike Daniels, Packers defensive lineman
I love him. I absolutely love him. He’s a real angry, no-BS Jersey dude. He’s going to hurt some people’s feelings and we need that. We need that.
— Mike Daniels
Mike Pettine has coached defense on teams saddled with Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy, Tim Tebow, EJ Manuel, Thad Lewis, Jeff Tuel, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, Connor Shaw, Josh McCown and Austin Davis under center. Now: Aaron Rodgers.
— Marc Sessler, NFL.com writer
We would kill to go back to the days of Mike Pettine. He won 10 games in two years here. TEN VICTORIES. The most fun covering this team was in 2014 before the Johnny (Manziel) mess… ugh.
— Dustin Fox, Cleveland Browns Radio Network
Mike Pettine was DC of one of the greatest schemed defenses of all-time IMO. 2009 Jets allowed 1.04 points per drive (lowest of any team in last decade) with this (Jets defensive roster attached)
— Mike Renner, Pro Football Focus
You look for people that kind of view the game the way that you do. His background in analytics, the ability to teach and being in tune with today’s athlete, there’s a number of things (where) I thought Mike really knocked it out of the park. I knew early in the process that he was the right man for the job.
— Mike McCarthy, Packers head coach