After watching nine, mostly dreadful weeks of Cleveland Browns football, Factory of Sadness writer Justin Blum identified the Browns biggest problem: Poor coaching. And he makes the case that Cleveland should part ways with Mike Pettine.
Through the first nine weeks of the NFL season, I wrote a column identifying a Browns player to watch. But heading into the Week 8 matchup in Cincinnati, I was stifled.
I won’t tell you a lie and say that the short week was to blame. Instead, I’ll tell you the truth: I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t care. I wanted to take a week off, much like the Browns did on national television. I mean, who should we have watched on Thursday? Johnny Manziel?
The Cleveland Browns are absolutely painful to watch. I can’t in good conscience tell anyone to watch any player for the Browns. It’s difficult for me to be so pessimistic because I’m very optimistic. But the Browns make it come out of me.
I will optimistically say that the good news is abundant in this most dreadful football season. Good news: at least we know that the problem is: Coaching. More specifically, bad coaching. Mike Pettine should be fired. I wanted Pettine to work out. I really thought he had a shot to be a long-term answer. But now it’s clear, he and his staff all deserve to be fired.
The Browns have enough talent to win. Coaching is SO important in the NFL. All rosters are full of talented athletes. It’s the coaching that makes that talent winners or losers.
Pettine wants his team to be a bully and run the ball while stopping the run. This entire philosophy is outdated in today’s NFL. It’s a passing league. Everything about the rules favor quarterbacks and receivers. A running game should complement the passing game. Not vice versa.
Playing it close and winning in the fourth quarter was great for Bill Parcells in 1990, not anymore. I want a coach that wants to annihilate a team in the first quarter. Why let a team stay close? So that they try harder to beat you? Squash their competitive spirit as soon as possible and win games by 21, not one.
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More good news: The Browns once again will have more than 10 draft picks in the upcoming draft. Granted, the top 10 might not be the strongest ever, the top 150 might be. This draft will have a ton of high-quality, high-value players. The Browns will have the ammunition and the budget to either trade up to get the number one pick, or trade down and collect even more picks. Personally, with the way the college quarterbacks look, I’d trade down, charge someone a lot to do it, and I’d draft a dozen more players to overhaul the roster once again.
Jimmy Haslam said that Farmer and Pettine were safe this year no matter what. Keep Farmer. I think he knows talent. But let him hire his own coach and see what happens.
Pettine has a 3-4 defense and linebackers who can’t make it work. Instead, the team is full of defensive linemen and should play a 4-3 that is basic, line up and rush–much like you’ll see in Seattle. This would help the defense and cover up some of its shortcomings.
Pettine isn’t forward thinking enough. He is a reactionary coach. The Browns need to get the next coaching hire right.
With a true LEADER at the helm, the Browns will at least have a chance. Under this group, the team doesn’t stand a chance and the city of Cleveland and it’s fans deserve that much!