“We greatly appreciate Ray’s and Mike’s dedication and hard work while with the Cleveland Browns,” owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam wrote in a letter to Cleveland fans. “We’ve made this difficult decision because we don’t believe our football team and football operations were positioned well for the future.
“We are all disappointed with where we are and clearly understand your frustrations. We take full responsibility and understand you expect better from us.”
Cleveland’s new coach will be a part of the search for the new general manager, Jimmy Haslam told reporters Sunday night.
Haslam also took responsibility for the team’s failings.
Haslam says "it's my fault" franchise hasn't been better. Calls NFL ownership "humbling" and says he came to it "naive"— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) January 4, 2016
Pettine was fired after Sunday’s 28–12 loss against the Steelers, which dropped the Browns to 3–13. In two seasons with the team, Pettine is 10–22.
Cleveland.com reported that Browns staffers met with Pettine on Friday and came away uncertain about his future with the team, and that Jimmy Haslam had designs on firing the coach, along with Farmer, as soon as Sunday night.
Cleveland’s last four head coaches have been fired after a season-ending loss against the Steelers. The last five coaches fired within the AFC North have been Browns head coaches.