Why the Cleveland Browns are firing Mike Pettine

Browns head coach Mike Pettine will be removed of his duties following Sunday's finale against the Steelers, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

But the why -- Pettine was believed by some to be safe just a few weeks ago -- is almost as jarring.

Per Rapoport, Pettine told players in a Saturday night speech before playing the Bengals on Sunday, Dec. 6, that he was likely going to be fired, and that his players did not do their part in the matter.

Another example? With his team down at halftime against Kansas City last weekend, Pettine told the players in the locker room that he guaranteed they would come back and win the game. Most simply rolled their eyes and the Browns lost, 17-13.

Sadly, stories like these are the genesis behind yet another Browns hiring cycle. Pettine replaced one-year head coach Rob Chudzinski who replaced two-year head coach Pat Shurmur. Shurmur replaced two-year head coach Eric Mangini.

By the time Pettine went into Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's office on Friday to ask if he was safe, Haslam had already started the process of looking for a new coach, Rapoport said. Haslam did not tell Pettine whether or not he was safe.

Cleveland has not had a coach finish his tenure with a winning record since Marty Schottenheimer back in 1988. They have not had a candidate last more than 65 games since Bill Belichick in 1995. If Pettine's firing also means the ouster of general manager Ray Farmer as reports suggest, Farmer will leave having only made two of his four first-round draft picks over two years. As Rapoport mentioned, Johnny Manziel was a Haslam decision and cornerback Justin Gilbert was a hand-picked prospect by Pettine.

The four picks represented a chance for the organization to start over and dull a bit of the fan unrest over the last two decades of football in Cleveland. Instead, it just contributed to another regime change.

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