State of the Browns: Mike Pettine

With Cleveland Browns fans feeling disappointed, our OBR staff came together to give our thoughts on the State of the Browns. We start with looking at Head Coach Mike Pettine.

Given how this year started, how do you feel about Mike Pettine long-term as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns?

Jared - For the first time since his hire I have concerns about Pettine. The effort on defense, and the schemes in general, leave something to be desired so far this season. Can’t blame coaching fully but it is the first thing that pops out to me. Above anything else for the Browns, I want a coach to get 5 full seasons before getting fired. I still want that and think Pett has shown enough so far to deserve that but my concern meter is raised. 

Barry - Pettine is in an almost-impossible situation, with an owner with legal concerns, an unproven GM who is sidelined for texting, a roster sparkingly clean and unmarred by playmakers, and myriad off-the-field problems involving unsourced media stories and more. If Pettine can keep this thing from completely derailing as the team goes into a tougher stretch of games, he’s got my vote to continue. That’s a big IF. Pettine’s ability as a leader and head coach is about to be tested. If he passes that test, I’m willing to keep him on board.

  • AH- It really is a difficult situation Pettine has been placed in. Tests no other head coach sees all at the same time.


Lane - There comes a point where you have to separate thoughts about Mike Pettine the person and Mike Pettine the football coach -- the head coach. Pettine is a good man, quite possibly to a fault, if that is possible and this aspect of his make-up translates to his football team -- his process. A season and a quarter into his his head coaching job at the professional level, you have to look at the body of work as he gains experience (training camp?). A critical aspect he works within is a front office / plater procurement that has struggled, as well as an organization with its extraordinary amount of influx and indecision - which directly will relate to the on-field product.

Andrea - I like Pettine, but I think he’s too much of a players’ coach. There are a few issues, like the secondary talking about being all-world last year (and it was) but then these guys not going out and playing now. He needs to keep guys motivated, and that’s a hard thing to do in a locker room that has a pervasive culture of losing. His job does not feel safe to me at all right now. Though I think canning O’Neil might be the better play.

  • JM- Pettine seems to be a stubborn guy, have to wonder how willing he would be to cut “his” guy, especially since we all assume this is Pettine’s defense.
          AH- I don’t think that Pettine would be all that into canning O’Neil, but in an ideal hypothetical world, I think it’s a good move.

Rick - I think lost in everything that has been happening is that Pettine (a defensive coach) was paired with a first time offensive coordinator. Not a magical combination. I do wonder if Pettine’s training camp was enough to prepare these players for the season.

Fred - I think like many of the defensive coordinators the Browns have had that were turned into head coaches, the learning curve seems to take a while. It all boils down to player procurement, whether it’s all on Ray Farmer or how much Pettine, Jimmy Haslam are involved remains to be seen, but the team desperately needs playmakers. Pettine needs to do the unpopular with veterans and bench them from time to time instead of seemingly defend non-production. With that said, I don’t see Haslam starting over with a new head coach next year at this, eight losses in a row could change that however!

Hayden - Mike Pettine is at the wrong place at the wrong time. Generally, it seems that he has what it takes to be a head coach in the NFL, as he doesn’t get caught up in the nonsense and takes a week-by-week approach to the schedule. That being said, however, he’s coaching in Cleveland, Ohio-- the home of football nonsense and overreaction. The only issue I can see with Pettine is that his loyalty to certain individuals-- Jim O’Neil, Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer-- isn’t something that always works in this league. He’ll have to take some risks down the road, but he’s between a rock and a hard place in Cleveland, which leaves him little room to do so here. Overall, Pettine’s days in Cleveland are numbered, but he should get a chance somewhere else.

State of the Browns Series

Part 1: Mike Pettine     Part 2: Ray Farmer     Part 3: The QB Situation     Part 4: Changes Next Year?

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