Cleveland Browns Sack Coach

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam took responsibility for the team's failure and said being an NFL owner is "a lot harder than we thought.” (photo Cleveland Browns)
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Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired the team’s head coach and general manager yesterday (Sun) after they ended the season with another loss.

Coach Mike Pettine and G-M Ray Farmer could account for only three victories this year, tied for the worst record in the league.  Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports


Mike Pettine is the third coach Haslam has fired since he bought the team in 2012.  But the Browns have not had a coach with an overall winning record since Marty Schottenheimer finished in 1988. Pettine only had two years but even before he got the news, he knew his time was up ..

” I feel like we’ve done a lot of good things, but I’m the first one to tell you – you’ve heard me say it a million times – this is a pass/fail league, and the results aren’t there. Nobody wants to hear it takes time. Nobody wants to hear it’s a process" 

 Jimmy Haslam said it’s been a process for him as a new owner.

“It’s steep learning curve coming to the NFL.  It’s been very humbling and it’s been a lot harder than we thought.” 

 The team had some quarterback issues, among them star Johnny Manziel,  who was out with a concussion and reportedly gambling in Las Vegas over the weekend.  Haslam agreed that's a key position for any team.

“I don’t think, however,  quarterback was the problem on the team this year.  Our QB play was OK.  It wasn’t great; it wasn’t terrible.  We do have the second pick in the draft.”

Tennesseee has the first pick but they drafted a new quarterback last yeaer so the Browns will likely have their choice of the QB's available.

To help decide that, Haslam promoted team executive Sashi Brown to the head of Football Operations.   He will choose first a new coach and then a new General Manager.   Haslam says with the Brown’s many draft picks this year, Cleveland should be able to attract good candidates. 

“There’s only one way to go with the franchise.  11 draft picks this year, two first rounds picks because we have the 32nd pick in the draft, some talented young players.  And we’re totally committed to winning.  So do I think it’s easy? No. But do I think for the right person this is a great job?  I absolutely do.” 

The Browns led the league this year in number of concussions.


Letter to Browns fans from ther Haslams:

It was important to us that we communicate directly with you regarding our decision to part ways with General Manager Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine.  We greatly appreciate Ray’s and Mike’s dedication and hard work while with the Cleveland Browns. We’ve made this difficult decision because we don’t believe our football team and football operations were positioned well for the future. 

We are all disappointed with where we are and clearly understand your frustrations. We take full responsibility and understand you expect better from us. Your support and loyalty to the Browns is beyond compare, and as the stewards of this franchise, we take the task of creating success to heart. We are confident we will build a winning football organization.

Our focus as we move forward is on finding strong, smart leaders with high character who are relentlessly driven to improve our football team, willing to look at every resource possible to improve, and who embrace collaboration to ultimately make the best decisions for the Cleveland Browns.

We will approach the search for our next football coach and executives to lead our football operations with a clear vision regarding what we need to do to build a successful organization. Along with strong leaders, we need to build out a strategic plan, stay disciplined to it, and develop the right systems and processes to make better decisions for short and long-term success. We will be methodical in looking at candidates that epitomize the values we have laid out. While we understand the inherent challenges that come with changes, we’ve learned valuable lessons during our past four years as owners that will help us make sure we provide our team the best people, leadership and resources to succeed.

Our family is deeply committed to bringing you the winning team you deserve while continuing to try and make a difference in the community.

We are excited for the new opportunities ahead of us and embrace the hard work that needs to be done.

Respectfully and gratefully yours,

Dee and Jimmy Haslam


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