The perception is that Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer, the team's former head coach and general manager, respectively, could never get coordinated on the type of personnel they wanted for the Cleveland Browns. A couple of months after both men were fired, though, they ironically were finally coordinated in the sense that they both spent Monday and Tuesday of this week providing interviews that spoke out on the failures of the team's 2014 NFL Draft.
Regarding the selection of former Browns QB Johnny Manziel, Farmer told CBS Sports radio that "it’s the reality of the National Football League -- whoever gets selected, that name is going to get attributed to the general manager, whether he selected that guy or not. ... For good, worse, better, it doesn’t really matter. Johnny Manziel is mine. I have to own it."
Pettine would be proud of that last phrase used by Farmer. Anyone who subscribes to The OBR would believe that Farmer had a vision for the 2014 draft, only to see it crumble in front of his eyes due to groupthink and not standing on his own ground. That's what Farmer has to own.
There were a lot more quotes from Pettine, who opened up exclusively to ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi on Tuesday. The article was published this morning; below are some notes summarizing what Pettine had to say.
- In talking about the quarterback position, he said the draft room thought that Teddy Bridgewater would be gone by the time they were on the clock (the second time around). He says, "The two guys we felt good about [at quarterback] were Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo." All three quarterbacks ended up being available...yet the Browns traded up to get Manziel."
- Pettine says that Manziel was not the No. 1 quarterback on their board, and opinions were mixed on him. They knew the biggest knock on him was his size, and for him to overcome that, he needed to be elite in all other areas, including his off-the-field behavior. It doesn't sound like Pettine had faith that he could deliver on that, but the pick was made anyway. Pettine also notes that Manziel definitely came to work serious except for that one day at the end of the season where he was removed from the quarterback room, either for a concussion or for being hungover.
"When you look at rookie coaches that take first-round quarterbacks, you’re immediately tied to him. Your whole future is, if this guy works out, you’re set. If he doesn’t, you’re out. It’s easy now to regret that one." -Pettine
- We've heard many times before that Pettine was the driving force behind the selection of CB Justin Gilbert. All Pettine would say on the selection of Gilbert was this: "I think a lot would have been different had we taken somebody else there."
- Regarding Farmer's texting, Pettine said that Farmer sent a message to a trainer once that was directed to Pettine. Pettine said he "nipped that in the bud" right away, but that he was unaware that Farmer continued texting other coaches until Kyle Shanahan cited it as a reason for wanting out. Pettine did defend Farmer a little bit when it came to the signing of WR Dwayne Bowe, saying that when the coaches reviewed the 2014 tape, they liked what they saw from him. He labeled Bowe as a "different guy" once he came back in the fall from injury.