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Pettine on job status: However it falls out, it falls out

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Because all coaches who are uncertain of their job security have to say that they are not worried about their job security, Browns head coach Mike Pettine offered us this tidbit on Cleveland's potential vacancy Monday:

"I don't get wrapped up in that," Pettine said, via Cleveland.com. "I have more than enough on my plate. We're going to coach our tails off. We are going to go out and play with the same effort and focus that we played with yesterday and then some. However it falls out, it falls out. That is just not a concern. That can be debated and discussed outside of the building. We can't think like that. Our sole focus right now is recovering quickly from this game and moving onto the Seahawks."

With the Browns traveling to Seattle this weekend, Pettine is truly in the most interesting head coaching situation out there at the moment. His short-lived punishment of Johnny Manziel is over -- or was simply overruled -- and now Cleveland is back in the win column. The Browns are out of the playoff hunt regardless and could actually be digging themselves out of the basement for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

If Pettine is gone, he won't care. But if Pettine actually has a chance of keeping his job, does he have to change the kind of coach and person he is down the stretch? Is there something he can do that would actually keep him in Cleveland next year?

There is so much politicking involved with being a head coach and keeping a head coaching job. There are mediocre head coaches who survive for decades, namely for their ability to blend in with their surroundings and make nice with ownership. On Sunday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted that it is "unfathomable" to think that both Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer return next season. So is the owner deciding between one or the other? Has he made up his mind?

Pettine said that the Browns are going to "cut it loose" against the Seahawks this weekend, which makes him sound like a man prepared to pull out all the stops. Beating the second-hottest team in the NFL in their stadium with Manziel would go a long way toward swinging that pendulum of judgement away from him and maybe this is the way Pettine is thinking. Coaches have done less toward the end of a season and still managed to momentarily sweep the team's ownership up in hysteria, leading them to believe they should come back for another year. But a win would also call into question Pettine's judgement to bench Manziel -- and wait so long to start him -- in the first place.

NFL coaches are special in that they can almost always deflect questions about their status no matter how hot their seat gets. And maybe that is why someone like Pettine can see himself anywhere else but in between a rock and a hard place.

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