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Fast Lane: Trust and Respect

Is the Cleveland Browns situation truly a "Tug of War", as members of the media would have you believe? Or is it something else? Lane Adkins looks into the real situation with Mike Pettine, Ray Farmer, and the Cleveland Browns front office.

Yesterday's firestorm of reports on a "rift" between Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine made for good discussion on a slow news day.

The issue with the entire Farmer/Pettine situation and additional organization departures is in the timing and details, as theOBR reported on Tuesday.

Yes, the departure of Jamil Northcutt, the Browns Director of Player Engagement is true. Northcutt was a ‘Farmer guy’. The departure of Northcutt wasn’t a situation which suddenly evolved, and is part of the organizational fallout following the late-season/early off-season revelations centered around the texting scandal that encompassed the organization.

Interestingly, lost in prior off-season additions to the Browns organization was the hire of Ron Brewer to the Manager of Player Engagement position.

From a difference of opinion regarding the QB position to Farmer ‘guys’ attempts to inject the front office views, the issue of trust continues to be a work-in-progress within the Browns organization, namely the front office and the coaching staff.

Farmer and Pettine have been working to improve a relationship which was seriously strained throughout the course of the 2014 season and before. Contrary to the spin put on yesterday's report, the climate within the Browns organization isn’t volatile, as parameters of responsibility, expectation and a common ground are being respected.

This itself is an improvement within the Browns organization, but does not necessarily mean everything is ‘rosy’.

The turnaround of the Cleveland Browns starts with the general manager and head coach — the organization as a collective unit worked well together in player procurement during the off-season.

The ultimate question remains whether Farmer and Pettine get past what led them to this point. It all starts with trust and respect.

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