Pettine 'full-speed ahead committed' to fixing Browns

On the latest Around the NFL Podcast, we unpacked a parcel of coaches facing uncertain futures as their teams spiral into oblivion.

Coaches saddled with "Hot Buttz" is how Dan Hanzus coined the segment, which featured, among others, Mike Pettine of the Browns.

Asked Thursday about his job security, Pettine -- whose Browns sit at a troubling 2-9 -- acknowledged that he might discuss his future with team owner Jimmy Haslam before the end of the season.

"Thank you for reminding me of that by the way," Pettine joked about his status. "Anybody that knows me and anybody that knows Jimmy Haslam, our conversations are always blunt. Time is so valuable during the season that we get into a conversation and we deal with topics head on. There's no dancing around them."

Said Pettine: "I feel very upset about the record. I've talked about this before, that that's on us. We own it. This is a bottom-line business and where we are isn't good enough. The question is: Do we have a plan to fix it? Is it fixable? I feel like we do, but we'll have to wait and see."

Cleveland's problems are widespread. Hired to fix a long-leaky defense, Pettine oversees a unit that ranks 31st against the run and 25th against the pass. It's not just the numbers: So many of the club's high draft picks -- cornerback Justin Gilbert and pass rusher Barkevious Mingo, for starters -- have barely made an impact.

The team spent all offseason promising a punishing, clock-chewing ground game, but the Browns haven't had a back run for more than 50 yards since Week 4. That said, first-year coordinator John DeFilippo has put together a surprisingly strong passing attack that represents the team's greatest strength.

Pettine knows the record is a mess, but assured scribes that he remains "full-speed ahead committed to getting this fixed here in Cleveland."

"I know the results aren't anywhere near where they need to be but that doesn't mean that we're not making strides, that we're not getting it set up. It can be done," Pettine said. "To me, it's a belief that we can. I know we have five games left and we're going to go out and wear the Cleveland logo proud and try to win football games."

We can't help but question what kind of support Pettine has inside the building. Whispers have circulated for months about a front office that doesn't see eye-to-eye with the team's young coaching staff, leading to all sorts of questions about who stays and who goes come January.

After so many years of turnover and organizational flux, blowing up the machine again feels mildly insane. Find a big-name coach willing to take on this mess. You can't. Pettine's second season has been trying, but rebooting the machine simply invites more chaos for a franchise lost in space.

We'll find out soon enough if Haslam agrees.

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