Ten thoughts on the debacle home loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium:
1.) At one point in his post-game press conference, Mike Pettine said, “I told our staff, at times we looked like a scout team.” He said it almost to deflect the blame to his staff. But at the end of the day, Pettine is responsible for the product on the field. The only one to blame for the Browns looking like a “scout team” against the NFL’s perennial scout team in the Oakland Raiders is Mike Pettine. Plain and simple.
2.) Defensive Coordinator Jim O’Neil is so far out of his league it’s embarrassing. Pettine has given O’Neil full control of the defense this season so he can work more with John DeFillippo and the offense. O’Neil is covering wide receivers with linebackers in the redzone, his team is being torched on the ground more than any other in the National Football League, and his playcalling is wildly inconsistent. He is not an NFL caliber defensive coordinator, and if the Browns want to win with defense, Mike Pettine better get himself over to that side of the ball quickly.
3.) Speaking of coaching, Pettine does ZERO coaching during the game. He doesn’t interact with players. He doesn’t huddle with position groups during timeouts. He makes no adjustments, and leaves it up to his staff to communicate to the team. The Browns came out as flat as we’ve ever seen on Sunday, and it’s up to the coach to change that quickly. Call the team together. Yell at some people. Throw your headset every once and a while. Show them, and the fans, and the community that you’re invested in this thing. Instead, Pettine looks like he’s outmatched, clueless and totally confused. He stands far away from the rest of the sideline with the same stoic look on his face and watches as his team gets pounded in every facet of the game.
4.) Can we all agree that yesterday’s uniforms were almost as embarrassing as the team’s performance on the field?
5.) My thoughts on McCown vs. Manziel are “well documented,” as Mike Pettine would say. That being said, Pettine’s decision to start McCown created one of the most hostile home environments I’ve ever seen. The crowd was flat, except when the entire stadium at one point erupted in a chorus of “WE WANT JOHNNY!” That’s exactly what you want in your third game of the season.
6.) We HAMMERED Pat Shurmur for his overuse of the words #battle and #progress. Well, last night, Bruce Drennan (Drennan Live, STO) said it best about Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer:
7.) When you’re a team that wants to run the football, control the clock, and win with defense, it’s important to run for 32 yards, throw the ball 49 times, and give up 300 yards passing, 150 yards rushing, and 100 yards receiving to a rookie.
8.) Who else is real excited that season ticket prices went up on average more than 25% this year? Because when you have a loyal, suffering fan base that hasn’t seen quality football in DECADES, it’s important to raise their prices and then make the product worse.
9.) Ray Farmer is the worst GM the Browns have had since their return. That includes Pete Garcia of the Butch Davis era and George Kokinis in his two weeks with the team.
10.) There’s Always Next Year.