Over the past few weeks, we have accused Browns’ coach Mike Pettine of being a fake tough guy.
He certainly looks tough, the bald head, the goatee, and the scowl, but in reality, he’s a player’s coach just like Rob Chudzinski and Pat Shurmur before him.
That might work if the Browns were a veteran team, but the players they are supposedly building around are young guys, and they need someone demanding.
This is why we scoff at the whole situation with Johnny Manziel.
It’s the first time Pettine has been a tough guy, and quite frankly, it’s the toughness that would be displayed by a high school coach.
Regardless of what problems Manziel has with alcohol, and we don’t know for absolute certainty that he has one, his obligation to this football team is to be prepared for the next game.
No matter what happened over the bye week, if the former Heisman winner was prepared in practice and had the game plan down for Monday night’s game against the Ravens, he shouldn’t have lost his job.
That he didn’t know what the coaches asked, and then lied about it is secondary. It’s professional football, who cares.
It’s laughable that Pettine talked about accountability, because the Cleveland Browns haven’t held anyone accountable for a long time.
Look at our rivals to the east in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers have had injuries to several key players, including QB Ben Roethlisberger, and they sit at 6-4 and very much in the playoff race.
Why? Because they demand success and winning from the ownership on down to the front office and down to coach Mike Tomlin.
The Browns make excuses regarding their injuries, and keep telling their fans (more likely themselves) that they are close and they have a lot of talent on the roster.
This is where the Browns need to change the “culture”.
It will start with hiring a real tough guy as head coach when Pettine undoubtedly will lose his job at the end of this season.
Longtime radio personality floated the name of Mike Singletary recently, and quite frankly that would be a solid choice.
From what we have heard about former Patriots LB Mike Vrabel, now a Texans’ assistant, he would be a solid option too.
Those guys would demand performance and accountability for each and every player and each and every coach in this organization.
And until the Browns operate on this basis, nothing will change.
It doesn’t have to be one of those guys, it just has to be someone who will not accept mediocrity and excuses.
Instead of Pettine treating Manziel like his son, he should be demanding excellence ON THE FIELD from him.
He should not accept the poor performance of the defense from his friend, Jim O’Neil, and should tell his secondary coach to get Justin Gilbert ready to play on Sunday, and not be worried about techniques.
That why the accountability comment was a joke. He hasn’t demanded it all year from the players, his staff, or himself.
That’s why he hasn’t changed anything about the running game or the defense despite both being a problem from the FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON!
You would think a good football coach would have identified the problem and corrected it.
Real toughness is what is needed for the Cleveland Browns. They aren’t going to get it from “Papa” Mike Pettine.