Mailbag: Can hot heads Pettine and Shanahan get along in Cleveland?


This week I get to answer our weekly dose of questions sent in by the many fans for the Cleveland Browns from all over the globe! Is Kyle Shanahan a good fit and will the team draft Johnn Football? Here are my thoughts and answers.


Okay so first Pettine and now Kyle Shanahan…aren’t both of those dudes hot heads? How is that going to work out in the meeting rooms in Cleveland?

-Paul in San Diego


Great observation, Paul. The nickname of Cleveland’s head coach Mike Pettine is “Blunt Force Trauma” due to his short-tempered approach. The Browns’ new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is so hot-headed he was fined $25,000 back in 2012 for berating an official. And now they’re both coaching for the same team. While that would appear to bode trouble, I don’t think it will be an issue. Mike Pettine’s limited experience is solely on the defensive side of the ball, and I don’t see him reaching his hand into the offensive cookie jar. The ideal situation for the Browns would be to have Shanahan draw up the plays and call them from the field, and keep Pettine in a “rah-rah”, coach-‘em-up role. If they are each given sole control over what they do best, they don’t have to work too closely together. If they don’t have to work too closely together, the chances of having conflict are minimized. But time will tell.



The Seahawks just won the big one with Quinn as defensive coordinator who said he would have been interested in the Browns’ head coaching job. Did the team panic and not wait long enough?

-Jon in Cleveland


Yes. They made a horrible mistake in settling for Pettine. Next question.



With Shanahan’s experience with RG3 do you think they go after Johnny Manziel or pick up Kirk Cousins who Shanny coached in Washington?

-Dom in DC


That’s really hard to say. I’ve made the case that drafting a dynamic young quarterback (Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater are the best candidates) is the only way to turn this franchise around. A number of playoff teams were there this year because they took a chance on a young, dynamic college quarterback. But the Shanahan hire certainly seems like a ploy to lure the talented Kirk Cousins to Cleveland. If I had to bet, I think their plan A is to see if they can land Cousins. If he goes somewhere else (or stays in Washington), then plan B will be drafting Manziel. Honestly, I hope some other team offers Cousins a huge contract that Cleveland won’t be willing to match, and they end up going for Manziel. Either way it’s an improvement, but I think drafting a QB is the surest way to change the Browns’ depressing culture.



Should we be excited for the draft or are the big wigs just going to screw up this team more than Haslam screwed up Flying J?

-Michelle in Ohio


As much as I distrust the Cleveland front-office, I’m holding out hope that they won’t screw this one up. If they draft any one of the top QB prospects with their 4th overall pick, it will be successful. If they trade up to get either Bridgewater or Manziel, it will be spectacular. However, if they trade down or take players at other positions with their two first-round picks, then brace for another horrible season. In the meantime Michelle, definitely get excited! No matter how the draft goes (and I think it will be one of the best in years), the Browns will end up with more talent on their roster than they have currently. And that is pretty exciting, even if we are not happy with the Cleveland big wigs. When it’s all said and done, a franchise with great players and a terrible front-office will win more games than a great front office with terrible players.


Read Eric Kelly’s thoughts on Kyle Shanahan as a boom or a bust at OC.

cover32 Shield b
Make sure you follow @cover32_cle and @cover32_NFL on Twitter for all the latest breaking news, columns, blogs and features from the Browns and the entire NFL.

Previous articleBengals in need of a veteran quarterback to work with Dalton
Next article49ers fan crashes Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory parade
  • Browns4ever

    hahahaha dude you really hate the pettine hire don’t you???

    • Eric Johnson

      Pettine is an unproven coach who was hired by the ineffective Browns front office. Firing Chud just to replace him with Pettine did not make the Browns better, and might have even hurt the team from a continuity standpoint. Yes, I really do hate the Pettine hire.

  • tigersbrowns2

    give pettine a chance , for pete’s sake … he will bring a much needed toughness , discipline & fire to this team. he even had the balls to tell haslam & banner to hire him or get somebody else … i like him already. let’s judge the hiring at the end of next season , not before the season even starts.

    why are you so sure quinn would’ve been the answer ?? … we’ll never know now , will we ??

    • Eric Johnson

      Just look at Quinn’s body of work – his defense just blew out the #1 offense in NFL history…in the Super Bowl. Pettine is merely a tough guy.

      • tigersbrowns2

        i believe pettine has coached a top-10 defense the last 5 years …

        • Eric Johnson

          In New York, he had a very good defense, but Rex Ryan was actually the D-coordinator. Pettine was just there as an assistant. Why else would they just let his contract expire? Then he had a #10 defense in Buffalo (#20 in scoring defense).

          Sorry, I don’t think he’s even in the same league as Quinn.

          • tigersbrowns2

            you or i could’ve been a great D-coord with the players they have in seattle … i guess this could be debated until the cows come home … i still say judge pettine when the season’s over.

  • Kevin Gillikin

    Tigersbrowns2, you are absolutely right we can’t “judge” anything until the end of the season but we as fans and writers usually pick one side or the other. Either hopeful or pessimistic. It’s not fun to go 6 months just saying “we will see” as a fan and as a writer it’s not even possible which I’m sure you understand. No one KNOWS anything that will happen but Caveman is a bit more dismal about the season than I am, that’s for sure!

  • Eric Johnson

    I will be posting an “I Told You So” column midway through the 2014 season.

    • tigersbrowns2

      why ?? … because that’s the way it’s been around here since 1999 ?? most browns fans feel the ‘ol “same old browns” thing year after year … and nobody can blame them for feeling that way … they are loyal to a fault … they are the best.

      but , i’m gonna let you in on a little secret … pettine was the guy needed all along to turn this thing around. even though he was the last head coach hired , it was SUPPOSED to work out that way. you see , the football gods have finally decided we have suffered enough & have made sure good things start happening in cleveland. i just thought i’d share that with you so you don’t have to even think about your “i told you so” column.

      maybe i am too optimistic , but good things are on their way for the browns … just sit back & enjoy.

      • Kevin Gillikin

        I agree with you TB2! If they get JFM, this team will be FOH REAL!

      • Eric Johnson

        Haha, well I have to say that I respect your loyalty and faith, even if I don’t have the latter.

  • Kevin Gillikin

    Dude, pretty sure you and I will have to make some wicked bet about the outcome of the 2014 season….We have plenty of time to think on it!

    • Eric Johnson

      I’m game! You name the stakes.


    Pettine making through the whole season would be interesting with the 3 stooges at the helm!!! I expect 0-16 this year and drafting a qb is a horrible idea. with Hoyer and Cousins as a back up we would be better off than getting another Weeden which both Johnny and Teddy are going to be busts watched both play and am very unimpressed. We have Mack getting ready to get out and the right side of the line is atrocious fix that or even Tom Brady would get horrible qb ratings. not to mention why is Little still on the roster, and Weeden these guys are hopeless!