Unfortunately for the Cleveland Browns all the positive momentum from hiring Mike Pettine, promoting Ray Farmer and Day 1 of the NFL Draft has quickly faded away. Instead of still basking in the glory of getting the Buffalo Bills 1st and 4th rounders next year, a team that could finish with the worst record in the league, while still adding Justin Gilbert and future franchise QB Johnny Manziel, the team and fans are faced with the negatives of Manziel and the problems of Josh Gordon. While we here at DPD are big fans of personal responsibility for everyone are the Browns responsible for Gordon and Manziel?
Does the employer hold responsibility to try to keep their employee from making bad choices? Tom Reed of Cleveland.com made the point related to Gordon and the constant changes within the Browns organization:
It’s true the wideout must help himself before he can think of salvaging a promising career. But almost anyone above the player level trying to assist Gordon over the past two years has been removed from the club.
There have been no constants in his life save for the friends who enable and coddle him. Now, comes new coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer. Their decision to release receiver Greg Little, despite the Browns’ paucity of depth at the position, was a wise one.
It is a valid argument that organization dysfunction creates begets problems, especially for people who need stability to help them. We know sociologically that stability is key to raising kids, teaching and for social learning. With the lack of that within any organization the mission gets changed, the voices change and the buy in tends to lessen. We all remember when we had a substitute teacher for a week or two in school and we assumed things would change. Things are similar when players get the feeling that the leadership could change at anytime, as it seems to have in Cleveland.
Besides that responsibility should the Browns have done more to protect Gordon and Manziel from their own poor choices? Would Gordon accepted the babysitter/security the way Dez Bryant did in Dallas? Unsure if Pettine or Farmer think that is the best way to treat an adult but should they have for the protection of the player and their asset? Is Manziel starting to border on needing one himself? Would he accept it?
Could the team been more active in disciplining Gordon? Based on the CBA there are limitations but could the coaches created a discipline oriented environment to hold them accountable? Eric Mangini required players to run laps for false starts, fumbles, drops, etc. The Browns could institute this type of punishment for poor choices made on social media or with the law. Players have to be careful about using Kangaroo Courts anymore after the whole bounty scandal. Instead of lazily peddling a bike during off-season practices should Gordon of looked like he was competing the Tour De France?
We know that for the team to succeed they need to stop having so much change within the organization. Hopefully Pettine is around for years to come. Hopefully the coaching staff will stay together for 2 or 3 years before some move on for promotions. Hopefully Farmer gets a chance to make this team in his vision for 4 or 5 years. And finally, and possibly most problematic, hopefully owner Jimmy Haslam stays out of prison.
When the season starts hopefully Manziel will focus on football. Hopefully Gordon gets his life together, and maybe gets to play for the Browns at sometime. Hopefully during Training Camp both players will be shown what it means to be a Browns player so Gordon doesn’t repeat all his problems and Manziel stops before actually doing anything wrong or illegal.
Either way this 2014 should be a very entertaining one in Cleveland if nothing else, so be sure to get your Browns tickets from Razorgator today.
What percentage responsibility do you give the Browns in the Gordon and Manziel situations?