Cleveland Browns: Can Head Coach Mike Pettine Hold It Together?


Can Browns head coach Mike Pettine hold it together? Hold what you ask? How about composure. For a second year coach, Pettine has had the unenviable position of trying to defend the Cleveland Browns perception in the eyes of the media.

From the moment the 2014 season ended, he has had to answer questions about Brian Hoyer‘s future with the team, Johnny Manziel‘s rehab stint, Josh Gordon‘s one-year suspension, his offensive coordinator Kyle Shannahan’s 30 reasons why he quit and general manager Ray Farmer‘s “text-gate.” Through it all, Mike Pettine found the words to keep the name of the team afloat and keep the media sharks at bay.

He doesn’t want wedges driven between the players, the coaches and the city based off media perception of his team.

However, the 2015 season is fast approaching, and with it, Pettine will begin to face a new level of scrutiny. Will he continue to keep the team’s cool? One hot topic question he has to answer constantly will revolve around the future of Johnny Manziel. The team brought in former Tampa Bay and Chicago Bears veteran QB Josh McCown to replace Brian Hoyer in the off-season.

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All along Pettine has said that McCown will be the starter going into training camp and the leader in the clubhouse to start game one against the New York Jets.

These types of comments spawned bloggers like Tony Grossi of radio station 850AM ESPN Cleveland to write an article for the station’s website accusing the team of putting all their eggs in Josh McCown’s basket and moving on from Manziel.

When Pettine learned of the article, he went a bit out of character and indirectly referenced the article in his next press conference with the media. He lost his cool and called the article as “irresponsible” reporting and mentioned that the team didn’t need such reports driving spikes or wedges in his team. If Pettine is going to start calling out members of the media, should we be looking at whether his cage is getting too rattled?

Is he losing that cool, calm demeanor he showed as a coach and communicator last year? You have to admit, Pettine has dealt with a lot in his first two seasons as a head coach.

Perhaps more than any coach has ever dealt with before. However, it’s no excuse to start attacking the local media or even being concerned about what opinions they are putting out there. His focus shouldn’t be on what the media says about his team and fighting it at the podium, it should be on rewriting what the media says by winning on the field.

The Cleveland Browns as an organization are a running punchline in the NFL since coming back in 1999. More than 20 quarterbacks have started for this team, and only once have they made the playoffs. In order for Mike Pettine to get this team on the right track, his focus shouldn’t be on the articles posted by local media paid to write their opinions of hear-say and rumors.

The only wedges that should be driven between the players are the ones forced by competition in OTA’s, Mini-Camps, and Training Camp in August, not the media.

The Cleveland Browns need a strong leader, but not one who is rattled by what the media says about his team. Let’s hope Pettine regains his composure at the podium before August, and doesn’t let the pressure of being the head coach of the Cleveland Browns consume him.

Next: 5 Cleveland Browns Who Stood Out At Minicamp

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