BEREA—A video from Bleacher Report came out Monday saying that general manager Ray Farmer will be fired at the end of the season, while Jimmy Haslam will keep Mike Pettine for a third season. Pettine was asked if he had met with Haslam on that topic.
“No. There are reports out every day,” Pettine said on a conference call Monday. “I think every possible scenario has been reported on. I have a job to do and the job is to prepare this team as well as I can to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. I don’t get caught up in that.”
Pettine was asked if he has met with Haslam to talk about his future.
“We have our meetings,” he said. “We meet on the field during the week. We also meet usually on Mondays. I have a meeting scheduled with him later (Monday). It’s our standard scheduled meeting. As far as specifically addressing the job, I just think it had not been the time or the place at any of those to discuss it. As a coach, you have to have very short-term focus and it’s always been on the opponent for that week. This week, we’re full speed ahead on the Steelers.”
Pettine was asked what he sees as building blocks for next year.
“I just think if you look at our youth and also just the offensive system that Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) has put in and I think the guys have really bought in to; the production we’ve gotten from the quarterback room; I think the change in emphasis as the year evolved,” he said. “Our run game results of late, it’s kind of a league-wide trend and we’ve joined it. It’s almost the college type running game where you’re working off a box count and reading the back tight end, versus a light box you’re going to run it; heavier box, you’re going to throw it out there or have the quarterback pull it. I think you see the rushing totals in the league going up as a result. You don’t see a lot of teams having success running with two backs anymore.
“It’s the spread attack, and it’s something that we’ve evolved to as the year has gone on and in the last three weeks have had two of the highest rushing totals that the Browns have ever had,” he said. “That’s a positive and as you just look at our young players that are getting on the job training – the obvious one is Johnny (Manziel), but then you go to Malcolm Johnson before he got hurt, Duke Johnson (Jr.); defensively, (Nate) Orchard, Danny Shelton, Xavier Cooper, Ibraheim Campbell. Even the second-year guys, whether it was (Christian) Kirksey, (Joel) Bitonio before he got hurt, (Isaiah) Crowell. We have a lot of guys on this team that are first, second, third year that are playing a lot for us. All of that experience can do nothing but help as we move forward.”
New Johnny Video: A video surfaced showing QB Johnny Manziel singing and looking like he was drinking that reportedly took place on Christmas Eve. Pettine was asked if he had any comment on the latest video.
“I have not seen it,” Pettine said. “I do not have a comment.”
When asked if it concerns him after recent incidents.
“Anytime there’s something with our players that casts them potentially in a bad light, whether it’s Johnny or any of our other guys, it’s certainly a concern,” Pettine said. “I’m sure I’ll see it and have a discussion with him about it. These circumstances are different from the incident that occurred before, but I’m just not going to go into a ton of detail with it until I get a little bit more information about it. It’s something that I’m sure privately we’ll discuss, if it needs to be discussed.”
When pressed if Manziel could possibly be benched for the season finale because of the incident, Pettine didn’t rule it out.
“I don’t have all the information on it,” he said. “I am just not going to comment on it at this time because I don’t have all the facts with it.”
Armonty Done: Pettine was asked if LB Armonty Bryant would be disciplined for being arrested last week after a traffic stop. Bryant was inactive against the Chiefs.
“He wasn’t suspended [on Sunday],” Pettine said. “This is a matter that falls under the (NFL) personal conduct policy so the recourse that we have as a team would be deactivating him, and he will be inactive against Pittsburgh.”
Bryant finishes his season with 5.5 sacks.
DB De’Ante Saunders was released from the practice squad. He was the driver of the car that Bryant was in and he was arrested for OVI.