CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Mike Pettine has lost 13 of his last 15 games as head coach of the Browns, and as he looks ahead to the final six and turns the reigns over to Johnny, I asked the question on "Tailgate 19" on Sunday: can Pettine still save his job? Former Browns cornerback Hanford Dixon didn't pull any punches.
"I think he's gone", the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback said. "I don't think he can save his job. Basically, I just think that when you're a head coach, you have to look at the guys you surround yourself with, and when you look at the guys he surrounded himself with...look at our defense."
The Browns defense, led by Pettine's coordinator and longtime friend Jim O'Neil, ranks 30th out of 32 teams overall, and is dead last against the run.
Bob Golic, another former Brown and three-time Pro Bowl defensive player, agreed that it might be too late for Pettine.
"The damage might be done. They (Browns front office) may have come to the point already, just because of the way the beginning of the season went, that it's gonna be a foregone conclusion unless something significant happens."
Bernie Kosar, who's been very outspoken concerning the Browns' poor history since returning in 1999, and issues that he says start at the top of the organization, hinted there may be one way for Pettine to survive as head coach.
"How the players play the next six weeks...how the players have self-pride in what they do and how blessed they are to be in this game...it's gonna come down to these next six games. I'm not sure it's fair to Coach Pettine, who I like, but I think there's a bigger, systemic cultural issue that I've been on my soapbox about all year, that goes deeper than just throw a coach in, throw a coach out."
Still, the coach ultimately pays the price, and in the end, after yet another dismal season wraps up, the only other question will be, who'll join him?