Mike Pettine On the Hot Seat Already?


Cleveland Browns’ Head Coach Mike Pettine has made it through his first 2 Pre-Season games. Both games haven’t looked very good as Pettine and new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan implement their new systems. Could he be on the hot seat already and possibly be fired? According to a new ranking by SI’s Doug Farrar he is. The article gave no explanation, instead used a creative photo to show how their rankings, Pettine was named in the  Hottest of Hot Seats area.

The complete photo is at the bottom of this post but since the article doesn’t have an explanation we will try to put some reason behind the ranking. First lets note the guys Pettine is noted with on the hottest of hot seats: Dennis Allen and Joe Philbin are in their first jobs as HCs and haven’t been overly successful, Ron Rivera and Jason Garrett are also first timers, just with a longer history of ups and downs. Pettine is the only rookie coach in this area, even though there is a category for New Guys who won’t get fired yet.

So what could lead Farrar to put Pettine in this spot? Two things jump to mind which could create problems for Blunt Force Trauma. Pettine is employed by Jimmy Haslam who just fired a head coach after 1 season. He also let go of his top two football guys, after they helped make the decision to fire the coach. The instability in leadership puts anyone’s job in jeopardy. That new GM Ray Farmer was not in his position when Pettine was hired and that Pettine and Farmer both report directly to Haslam puts everything up in the air.

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Pettine’s handling of the QB competition also creates some concern about his job. If Brian Hoyer goes out and keeps the Browns in games and wins 6 to 8 all will be forgiven. If he struggles and the team is noncompetitive his handling of the competition will be questioned all over again. Haslam could look at this process, and a desire to see Johnny Manziel on the field, as a poor indication of future performance from Pettine and decide to move on once again. While Haslam would have to be concerned about whether another coach would take the job, after 2 first year guys are fired, he is brash enough to make that decision.

Pettine is likely not on the hot seat. Yet with the recent history nothing can be ruled out. Likely Pettine is given a minimum of 2 years to turn things aroud, and hopefully four. After four years Pettine, and Farmer, would have time to build the type of program they want and can be judged following that. Anything earlier continues unrest and instability for a team whose narrative, since 1999, is full of that.

What do you think of this SI ranking?

The full photo ranking is found below: