Cleveland Browns Were a Mess Last Year (Part 6? 7? 8?)

Lane has done a great job of telling you how bad the Cleveland Browns were last year under Mike Pettine. Here are a few more issues that I recently learned from under Pettine's "leadership."

You can take a look back through previous Fast Lane's to see all the crazy stuff that has been told to Lane.

To back up that comes stories from the NFL Combine, where loose lips about the past and lies about the future are everywhere.

First, Browns players were very aware that Pettine played favorites and had no desire to work with players that he didn't like. Once you were out, you were out and there was little you could do about it. This really killed motivation for many players whose personality or work ethic had made a bad first impression on the coach.

We all know that Mike Pettine spent far more time with the offense than he had in his first season with the Browns. What we now know is that Pettine was rarely seen by the defensive players during practices. 

Pettine rarely stepped into defensive meetings.

Pettine rarely engaged with anyone on the defense during practice.

Pettine rarely engaged with any player in the locker room.

This disjoint was obvious as the defense, which most around the league think is full of talent, struggled mightily all season. With Pett giving over what seems like all of his defense to Jim O'Neil, Browns players began to lose respect for their head coach. They knew that O'Neil was over his head but Pettine's lack of involvement meant he wouldn't see it.

Defensive players' confidence eroded day by day.

There was also an issue with practice reps. Healthy players, many of which ended up starting or playing important minutes, would give few or no reps in practice. Standing on the side stretching, pacing, waiting with no real clear plan in place. Many of these players got "mental reps" and tried to stay engaged with the plan but didn't get the physical reps most assumed they should before being needed prominently in the game.

Finally, the random reps became even more problematic as players often had to wait until right before the game to find out who was starting. Going from few reps in practice to starting in a game happened regularly. With all the injuries the Browns struggled with, who was starting was rarely told in advance.

Players getting few reps ended up starting. Players getting most of the practice reps ended up getting few snaps during the games. Players quickly knew that Pettine hadn't learned much from his first season, had regressed and was in over his head.

Just a few stories, of many others that Lane has told and those likely to come out in the future, that prove Mike Pettine was not qualified to lead an NFL team. For those Browns fans who were begging for continuity, this writer particularly, these stories help close the book on Pettine's era.

Questions remain: Do these type of things happen with winning teams? Or, do these things keep teams from winning games?

Are these just stories from bitter players, agents, handlers, family members, etc?

Will Hue Jackson and the rest of the Browns learn from mistakes of coaching staffs past?

What do you think about all the Pettine related stories over the last 2 years?


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