5 Reasons Mike Pettine Will Succeed

I would like to say that I wasn’t a supporter of the Chud firing. The front office basically gave the man a type writer and axed him because he couldn’t send e-mails with it. Fast forward 6 weeks and we have Mike Pettine. A hard-nosed, gritty, blue-collar head coach that holds his players accountable. So, on to the reasons that I think he’s the man who will ride in on the white horse and lead this team out of the NFL cellar.


This is a word that I’m not positive was in Chuds vocabulary.  Had Mike Pettine been the coach last year Devon Bess would have been at home dropping instagram bombs with the devils lettuce by mid-season.  I understand that Chud was a players coach, but to march that guy on the field week after week was about as bad a move as he made all year.  This can not, and will not happen with Pettine.

     3-4 Defense,  I would have literally pulled what remaining hair i have, out of my head, if we would have hired Quinn.  Not so Much because he’s a bad coach, but to go from a 4-3 defense in 2012 to a 3-4 in 2013 back to a 4-3 in 2014 is the definition of dysfunctional. this team blossomed in a 3-4 defense until they seemed to give up at the end of the year. Players like Mingo, Krueger, and hopefully Ward will flourish in Pettines attacking Defense. It should be a seamless transition.

     Josh Gordon, if this guy keeps his nose clean he could be the next coming of Jesus Christ to Cleveland Browns fans. No matter who is throwing the ball next year, Flash Gordon will be the key to offensive success.He is a fast, 6’5, flat-out red zone MONSTER. Whoever is taking snaps next year ( from whoever is snapping the ball for that matter) will benefit greatly from this once a decade talent. Line up Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans on the opposite side and dare i say it…. Playoffs.

     6 Probowlers,  Is it just me or does this team closely resemble the Kansas City Chiefs (minus Jamal Charles) last year? New coach, multiple pro bowlers the previous year, and the biggest thing of all, a fresh start.  This team is a bona-fide QB away from being a serious playoff contender. if Brian Hoyer doesn’t get hurt last year I’m not sure I am even writing this blog now. It’s all on the front office now to make the right decisions and get a QB in here that can take us to the promise land. We have the roster to do it Browns fan, we just need a field general.

 10 Draft picks, I know we haven’t had the best luck in the draft lately, especially the lower rounds, but this year things need to change. Having 10 picks, 5 of which are in the top 100, should at the very least add some much-needed depth to a roster that could be losing 2 pro bowlers to free agency. If the front office wants to turn this thing around and stop passing the blame, they need to hit on these early draft picks.  I know I’m not making the picks but i would rather have Sammy Watkins than Johnny (college) “Football”.  Call me a homer but i would really love to see them draft Carlos Hyde in the 2nd or 3rd. The guy has undeniable talent and this team needs a thunder to Dion Lewis’ lightning.

Whatever they do in this years draft and free agency i hope it works out. The browns are becoming a hard sell to my 7 and 5-year-old children who have hardly seen a glimmer of hope in their short time here on earth.    I will not stand for a Squeeler fan in my immediate family. So please, Mr. Haslem and company, do whatever it takes to save me the embarrassment of my child coming home in black and yellow one day.


A Browns’ Fans Guide to Super Bowl 48

Let’s face it, Sunday’s in January suck but the first Sunday in February is the worst. While fans of almost every other team can speak about their Super Bowl experiences, we are left with our “Championships” and our hatred for everything John Elway (more on horse teeth later). So instead of instead of finishing the last six pack of Christmas Ale and getting blackout drunk, here are five reasons to watch Super Bowl 48.

1. It’s Gonna Snow!!!

The forecast is for 20 degrees and some light snow for a football game.  Just watch for the sideline reports about how many people it took to remove the snow and make Peyton Manning warm. Of course, this will be the story of the game. Unless Richard Sherman starts yelling at the snow and telling it to stop talking about him (because that would be awesome).

This will make it interesting for a little while into the pregame-five-hour-long-when-will-this-shit-end show. I better see Al Roker’s smiling happy face on my TV. That needs to happen.

2. Ex-Browns’ Players to Root For

Much like your own ex, you watch from afar and hope they have a nice life. Not too nice, not as nice as yours, but that they do well. Since Phil was knocked out last week (which, let’s face it, we were all rooting for him to make it), that leaves us with…. Kellen Davis??? Ugh. There are really no ex-Browns’ players to root for in this game. Just pick some squares.

3. Players to Root Against

There are no more words needed…..

And I know he isn’t playing, but seriously, I still well up when I see this. I don’t want to see his smug face winning it all as a GM. I would rather drink kerosene.

4. Gambling

For the last couple of years I’ve done those prop bets for the Super Bowl. Like how many times the times the word “thug” will be used in reference to Richard Sherman. Or how many times Eli Manning will be shown on TV (over/under about six, with one “highlight” interception for good measure). It’s a good time and keeps you interested in the game for a little while longer. One year I tried to make into a drinking game. This did not go as planned. Please do not attempt this.

4 Things Only Browns Fans Understand

As a Browns fan, there are hardships and trials that you understand that no one else ever will.

1.  The Perils of buying a player’s jersey.

How many of you wore this twice?

How many of you wore this twice?

To fans not in Cleveland, buying your favorite player’s jersey is a joyous occasion. You get the duel benefits of representing your favorite team and usually the recognition of other fans about the skilled players that your team has. Cleveland Browns fans however, no the ugly truth of buying a player’s jersey. You see, the odds of buying a Browns Jersey and the player remaining an active member of the roster are slim to none.  Less than that even really.  I personally have a Tim Couch jersey, a Gerard Warren jersey, two Peyton Hillis jersey’s (one in white, one in brown), a Braylon Edwards jersey (ugh), and a Lebron James jersey.  I know Lebron wasn’t a Brown, but man, I bought the “official” one and paid like $200 for it.  Come on man.  I haven’t bought a new Browns jersey since the Peyton Hillis ones, because at some point you’ve got to stop bleeding money and wise up right?  Wrong.  Wrong.  I’m sure I’ll have a new Johnny Manziel jersey after this draft.

2.  The Perils of getting attached to any player or coach

Mike Pettine's "Fire Watch" started 15 minutes before his hire was complete.

Mike Pettine’s “Fire Watch” started 15 minutes before his hire was complete.

There have been a lot of Browns players I’ve really liked over the years.  Currently, I secretly admire Joe Thomas and D’Qwell Jackson.  Not just because they’ve been here for a long time, relatively, but because they’re both great (Thomas) or good (DQ) at what they do, I fear that if I admit how much I like them, they’ll either be seriously injured or leave town.  I mean, how many times has that happened?  I remember how pumped I was when the Browns signed LaCharles Bentley.  A great player who wanted to be in Cleveland?  He’s my new favorite!  Wait, what happened during his first practice as a Brown?  Oh, right, he’s hurt and never going to play again.  Quarterbacks are even more precarious.  More than likely, they’ll struggle through a few barely watchable games, the fans and media will turn on them, and they’ll spend the rest of their time loathing Cleveland before they move on to be a backup somewhere else.  Hell, they’ll be lucky if we don’t announce our intentions to draft another first round QB before they finish their first three and out.  Coaches are even worse.  I started to get attached to Chud.  I really did.  I loved his hometown story, his love for the team, and his reckless aggression on fourth down.  Fired.  I really wished that the Brian Hoyer Dream would turn into a movie someday, but of course he blew out his knee.  You have to take on a Buddhist mindset as a Browns fan.   Attachment leads to pain, pain leads to a range of bad emotions.  Be Zen, man.

3.  The Perils of discussing your team allegiance with anyone who is not a fellow Browns fan.

We stand alone.  So very, very alone.  Hold me.

We stand alone. So very, very alone. Hold me.

How many times at your job or other place where people gather have you been the lone Browns fan?  Show of hands.  No, those of you who work for the team do not count.  Wait, you’re still the only one?  Seriously?  That explains so much, actually.  Anyhow, if you’re like me, you’ve been in a situation where other fans are talking football, and naturally, you want to join in.  Ah, but this is a precarious situation you’ve found yourself in, isn’t it?  Because the second you blurt out “Yeah guys, I love football too!  I’m a BROWNS FAN”, all eyes are immediately on you.  As the assistant manager of IT, Larry, glares down his stupid hipster glasses at you, you suddenly find yourself as a figure of fun.  “Hehe, we weren’t talking about Pop Warner football, we’re talking about PROFESSIONAL football” Larry says, in his stupid nasally nerd voice.  Fuck you Larry.  This isn’t revenge of the nerds, you don’t get to score points off me.  GO FIX MY COMPUTER AND SHUT YOUR FACE HOLE ABOUT FOOTBALL NERD.  Now you have to go to human resources to explain your behavior, all because you took on the socially uncool position of being a fan of your home team.  No one else deals with this shit.

4.  The Perils of that feeling of impending doom.

You feel it right now, don't you?

You feel it right now, don’t you?

Being a Cleveland Browns fan, it’s like… it’s pretty god damn impossible to enjoy the simple things in life.  Because if being a Browns fan has taught you anything, it’s that all your dreams and happiness will only come alive to murder you in the most horrific, twisted sort of ways.  Dreams of a hometown quarterback, entering the NFL undrafted, working his ass off for years until he finally comes home to get his shot.  Then he blows out his knee in a Nationally Televised game, just so everyone else on Earth can join in witnessing what God does to those he hates.  Dreams of a hometown boy, chewing on dog biscuits in the Dawg Pound, growing up to be the teams offensive coordinator and eventually head coach, only to be fired after one year, both times.  11 MONTHS.  They fired the guy who loved their team and would chew off his arm to coach it AFTER 11 MONTHS.  Dreams…  They’re just dust.  We’re all just dust in the wind.

Shawn is an Army Sergeant, husband to the beautiful and brilliant @MrsStarr, dad to three, and lead writer/publisher here at Dawg Pound Nation.  You can follow him on twitter @ShawnMStarr.

5 Reasons Why Bernie Kosar Should Be Calling The Plays

Some people might think i am crazy for even considering this, or they think i was out all night with Bernie drinking “All the damn vodka”. But here are my 5 reasons as to why the old gun slinger should be calling the plays in 2014.

1.  Johnny Manziel would benefit greatly!

If you sit and listen to Bernie slur and stumble over his words during the preseason and are able to make out the garble that he is talking, the man knows how to play the QB position. With a young rookie QB pegged to start his tenure in the land of the dying quarterback, Bernie would keep Manziel”s head out of the clouds and his eyes down the field in the face of a Steelers pass rush. The Browns need someone to help Johnny out when it comes to reading a defense, going through his progressions, and most of all winning!

2. Familiar with his surroundings

Since the 80’s Bernie has dealt with the wind, the snow, and the cold that blow in off the shores of Lake Erie. He knows the way an offense has to operate in Cleveland and has won, and won a lot in his years in Cleveland. The Browns for years have hired and fired this coach and that coach and haven’t so much as even opened up the back door to take a look at the tall, lanky curly haired, possibly a little intoxicated man in the back yard that goes by the name of Bernie.

3. Hungry for a winner

Bernie has been in Cleveland for years and is a true fan of the Browns. He bleeds orange and brown and just like the fans, is hungry for a winner like yesterday. He has sat back and watched the past regimes botch draft after draft, fall head over heals with a coach who doesn’t know his ass from the endzone, and the front office and owners hire the likes of Michael “By no means related to Vince” Lombardi. Bernie would not let this team quit in the 4th or hang their head when they are down by 7 with two minutes left in the 4th.

4. A great eye for talent

During the preseason he gets to watch all of these backups and nobody go out and try and impress the coaching staff playing against a bunch of other nobody’s. But to Kosar they aren’t a bunch of nobody’s they are a bunch of guys who are going out and busting their asses and showing they are somebody’s. Well unless you are the St.Louis Rams or the parents of their players. He knows a winner when he sees one and would take a little nobody guy from some hole in the wall school and push him to get every ounce of talent out of him as he could.

5. Last but not least…….The fans love Bernie!

The fans remember the days of Bernie going out and side arming passes in the face of a rush, the long bombs down the field, and all the W’s he put up for the brown and orange. No matter if he seems a little slow or maybe has a hint of vodka on his breath, the fans still know that he is the last glimmer of once knowing what winning was. They still line up to get a picture with Bernie whenever they have a chance, they still cheer him on in the city and know that he will always be a Cleveland Brown for life. Most of all he relates to the fans, he knows how much we have all been through, all the heartache, the betrayal, the lies of the team being built into a “Winner”, he knows that Cleveland wants and deserves so much better, to be relevant and a powerhouse in the league again. To play games in December and January that have meaning behind them and the sound of the crowd roaring on a frigid windy day on the shores of Lake Erie, that’s what we all want as browns fans right?

That’s my opinion as to why Bernie should be the new OC for the Cleveland Browns in 2014…..

Hey a guy can dream right?

Cory Napolitano

Mike Who?

As soon as the Browns introduced Mike Pettine as the 15th head coach in franchise history, mostly everyone was thinking “Who is this guy?”. Just like Rob Chudzinski, no other team interviewed him as a candidate for the head coaching vacancy. As a Browns fan you are thinking the worse as most of us do. Pettine’s appearance has been compared to look like WWE’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Vin Diesel, and Pawn Stars Rick Harrison. Hopefully Pettine can open up a can of “whoop ass” when the Browns face the division rivals (the Bengals, Steelers, Ravens) and can strike a deal with a franchise Quarterback.

As a fan, you get tried of consistently hearing; “Oh, there’s always next year” One thing Pettine did say was that impressed me was that he “isn’t in Cleveland to win press conferences”, he wants to win football games. Pettine seems like a smash-mouth type of coach who holds his players accountable but wants to win, but doesn’t every coach that comes to Cleveland? When you hire a former Baltimore Ravens assistant, the eyebrows tend to go up due to the fact of the Brown’s leaving in 1995 and moving to Baltimore.

No matter who the Coach, Owner, General Manager, President, or Quarterback; Browns fans tend to hear the same two words: Next Year. This time though, the Brown’s may have finally got it right. You have a guy who knows how to build a great defense, a great NFL draft coming up where more then likely end of with a “Franchise Quarterback”, Improving young players who have had time to adjust to the NFL, but the best of all, New score boards and stadium seating. Let’s just say no matter what they do to the stadium, that doesn’t help a NFL team win but it makes spending $200 for tickets to a game a little bit better. Overall, I think every Brown’s fan and every person in the world would like to see the Brown’s get better. It’s crazy how much these people get paid to put a 4-12 team on the field every year. As a coach, no matter what level of talent you have you should be able to alter your game plane to best fit your players. One thing that Mike Pettine really hit on the nail in my eyes was when he said that he would evaluate the players and find a scheme that would best fit the team. Now that’s a coach who wants to win and is willing to alter his game plan to win football games. As a die hard Brown’s fan, I hope they can get the act together and put out a team that is deserving to make the playoffs. Like always, Go Brown’s.

Payton is a writer for Dawg Pound Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @paytondearth