Two years is not a long time to get much done, but it is an eternity when one works for the Browns.
Both Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer were fired as soon as the 2015 season came to an end, signaling the start of yet another era in Browns football.
Thanks to Farmer, Pettine was never given much to work with. The coach was let down by the general manager, who made some baffling decisions in his two seasons in charge.
The first misstep came by drafting both Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, just two years after another front office group took Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden in the first round. It continued an absurd trend of missing on top picks that has plagued this franchise since 1999.
One may say it is unfair to use hindsight to say it was obvious the picks were bad, but it was indeed obvious the picks were bad. Maybe Gilbert just let the team down with a bad work ethic, but Manziel was clearly a college star that wouldn’t pan out in the NFL. Add in his persona and celebrity lifestyle and you have him getting paid in 2016 to sit at home and not associate himself with the team.
Farmer’s next move was sinking millions into a contract with Dwayne Bowe, who was openly benched by Pettine for much of the season. Unless Bowe had some dirt on Farmer or Jimmy Haslam, the move made zero sense and Pettine illustrated his pleasure by letting Bowe sit on the sidelines.
A 7-9 record in 2014 may have given fans some hope of a positive future, but the late-season collapse coupled with a 3-13 record in 2015 doomed both Farmer and Pettine. Their firings allowed yet another group to get a shot to make the Browns great again.