(AP) BEREA — Mike Pettine knows he could be coaching for his job over the next five weeks.
When asked about the possibility this afternoon, he once again said he’s committed to turning the Browns into a winner while acknowledging he may discuss his future with owner Jimmy Haslam before the season’s over. The Browns are 2-9 with the finale Jan. 3.
“Anybody that knows me and anybody that knows Jimmy Haslam knows our conversations are always blunt,” he said when asked if he’s talked to Haslam about returning next year and what it might take. “The time is so valuable during the season that when we get into a conversation we hit topics head-on, there’s no dancing around them.
“As the season winds down, that could potentially come up between the two of us.”
Pettine was hired in 2014 as a first-time head coach and went 7-4 to start his tenure. But the Browns lost the final five games last year to fall out of playoff contention, and the losing has continued this year, including a current six-game skid.
Haslam said in training camp he wouldn’t “blow up” the organization after the season, but he may reconsider after the regression in the record.
The question about Pettine’s job security included that the Browns are 2-14 over the last 16 games.
“Thanks for reminding me of that, by the way,” he said. “I feel very upset about the record and I’ve talked about this before, 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 plan to fix it? Is it fixable? I feel like we do, but we’ll have to wait and see. I can’t get wrapped up into all that now.”
Haslam hasn’t spoken publicly about Pettine since training camp, except after the loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 15 to say he wouldn’t make any changes over the bye week. Second-year general manager Ray Farmer is also considered to be on the hot seat.
“I’m full speed ahead to getting it fixed here in Cleveland and I know the results aren’t anywhere near where they need to be,” Pettine said. “But that doesn’t mean that we’re not making strides, we’re not getting it set up that it can be done, so to me it’s a belief that we can. We got five games left and we’re going to go out and wear the Cleveland logo proud and try to win football games.”