Ask the Browns Insiders: Are there changes coming for the Cleveland Browns?

Jim O'Neil? Mike Pettine? Ray Farmer? Could any or all of these three be gone after the Steelers game? Our insiders answer subscriber questions.

Prosecutor: Is it time for a code red? Lane, in response to an earlier question you said this: "Another issue which will come to a head is the lack of production they are getting from the high draft selections --- we are seeing the FO believing the talent can. play but the staff handles differently...I wouldn't go as far as saying rift, but they are not 100% on the same page as far as the utilization of talent in game-day."

OK, so the FO "believes the talent can play but the staff handles [it] differently".

At this point with a 2-7 record the Browns are clearly not "on the verge" of being a winning team. Exhibit A - they were willing to move Joe Thomas, which clearly indicates they think it's going to take 2-3 years to get where they need to be in order to contend, and that's a best case scenario. They obviously need to improve at a number of positions.

So if the front office believes in the talent, why doesn't Farmer or Haslam just tell Pettine that he needs to get Manziel, Erving, Cooper, Mingo, Orchard, and Gilbert onto the field? Just order him to do it?

If Pettine is refusing to play guys the front office invested heavily in and thinks can play, and the team's record is 2-7, how is Pettine going to keep his job? At least if he plays the high picks and they lose games he can say it was the FO's fault, right?

Land Adkins: Don't think for a second that Farmer has not relayed his thoughts on getting other personnel on the field -- Pettine by contract has control of the game-day roster and he does what he sees fit. Pettine does not report to Farmer, he reports to Jimmy Haslam.

As I understand the situation, Haslam hasn't demanded the HC to play specific talent. I am also of the impression the owner has expressed his concern and expects growth and development.

With this team realistically out of playoff consideration, the expectations are to see these guys gain looks.


Mikehey52: Do you see a change coming after the Steelers game?

Fred Greetham: If they lose this week, I wouldn't be surprised if they started playing all the young guys. Don't know if they'd fire O'Neil, but don't think they'd fire Farmer or Pettine then.


Tochigi: What adds to the frustration this year is that we were expecting an improvement on or a record at least similar to last years 9-7. Most of us genuinely thought we had improved talent and depth at every position (except WR). Our only concern was play of the QB. 

Relative to what we were expecting, the play of the QBs has been surprisingly good.  One could argue that if we had McCown last year, we might have been in the play offs.

Anyway, some of us had high expectations. The question is, what was the HC/ Farmer/staff really thinking. Were they expecting they could in fact run the ball, stop the run etc.? Or was that just sort of media generated hype and they themselves knew better.

IOW I was picking Browns to go 8-8 or 9-7. Realistically, I wonder what Pettine was picking?

Or to rephrase - do you think Pettine (and Farmer) have realistic views of the team and of the players?

Another rephrase? - how are they at judging talent?

Fred Greetham: I do think they thought they would have a lock down defense that would keep them competitive and were hoping the offense would come along. When McCown has been healthy, the opposite has been true. I think they over estimate the value of some of their veteran players. Obviously, they either aren't bringing in the right players or their scheme isn't working.


Artimusprime: Gilbert, in your opinion how did he do? He got away with that PI but was at least in good position. Didn't seem to be the target a lot beyond that.

Fred Greetham: Thought he did ok and the coaching staff said as much, but they went back to Desir, which speaks volumes that they had more confidence in Desir.


James1234: If Pettine is fired, would Jimmy and Ray go after Kevin Sumlin? Worked with Johnny and young energetic coach fiery guy and won't put up with crap.

Fred Greetham: Would be very surprised if Haslam fired Pettine but not Farmer. Tend to think he'd keep Pettine over Farmer because the biggest problem has been talent acquisition. Have heard Sumlin's name in rumors because of the obvious connection to Manziel.


Rutger: If Pettine is mainly concerned with Manziel taking the 1st read when it's there before he leaves the pocket isn't that playing at best 1/3 of the field? Even Pettine said he made some nice plays on the move.

So why not move the damn pocket and roll him out at least part of the time? You're playing at least 60% of the field when you roll to the wide side and the same 1/3 of it rolling to the short side?

What's with these coaches that can only coach THEIR system?  Haslam needs to find some coaches that make the system fit the talent, not try to force the talent to play within their system or reboot an entire team just to fit your system.

Fred Greetham: Agree. The sign of a good coach is one that can adjust their system to their players. I'm more concerned with the defensive scheme not making adjustments to stop the run.


Browns49: 1. Are the NFL owners limited as to how much money they can offer their head coaches and general managers?

2. If not, why haven't the Browns billionaire owners (the Lerner's and Haslam) used their wealth to lure quality GMs and HCs instead filling these positions with rookies learning on the job?

Fred Greetham: They are able to offer people whatever they want to. Lerner opened up the wallet for a big name head coach named Mike Holmgren, however he came took the big money and didn't coach, but ran the business side of things. The problem with getting a 'retired' former great is many times they aren't hungry to do it again. The key is getting an up and comer but they haven't hit on any of them or they don't wait long enough to get results.

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