Browns fire coach Mike Pettine, general manager Ray Farmer
CLEVELAND — Hours after a 28-12 loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the season finale, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer.
Pettine went 10-22 in two years, dropping 18 of his final 21 games after a promising 7-4 start in 2014. Pettine’s job security had been in doubt for months, and not even Haslam’s vow at the start of training camp not to “blow things up” could stop another regime change in Cleveland.
Pettine was the team’s seventh full-time coach since 1999, and the team has changed coaches and GMs five times since 2008.
“We’ve made this decision because we don’t believe our football team was positioned well for the future,” Haslam said. “We are all disappointed with where we are and we take full responsibility.”
A former defensive coordinator, Pettine’s ouster can be partly linked to the performance of his defense, which ranked at or near the bottom in the league in nearly every statistical category.
Following the game on Sunday (Monday Manila time), the 50-year-old Pettine said he understood change was looming — and inevitable.
“It is a bottom-line business and you guys don’t have a column in the newspaper for moral victories,” Pettine said. “Our record is that we have won three of our last 21 games. That is just not good enough.”
One of Farmer’s biggest mistakes over the past two years appears to be the drafting of quarterback Johnny Manziel. The former college star hasn’t lived up to expectations on the field and continues to be a headache off it.
He spent 73 days in a rehab facility during the offseason, got benched by Pettine for two games during the year for misbehavior and missed Sunday’s game with a concussion. While his teammates finished the season, Manziel was reportedly in Las Vegas.