I'm cribbing LA's article talking with an insider, but the highlights were this:
- Many within the organization (meaning Haslam, Scheiner, Farmer, assistant coaches) believe Pettine gets "too personal" about whom he decides to start. It's not just Manziel, Bowe, and Gilbert... also Orchard over Mingo, whom the source called "the best SAM on the team and it isn't even close."
- The source believes Bowe didn't simply forget to play or couldn't be very solid move the chains guy like Austin last year. It's also known throughout the organization that Pettine shit talked Bowe for a legit hamstring issue, which didn't endear the coach to anybody. Now he's simply refusing the play him until garbage time.
- The biggest issue, the one that probably gets Pettine fired, is Manziel. Virtually everybody else in the organization thinks he's grown tremendously and has show a lot of ability all year since he got out of rehab. He has more to learn and needs to develop but Pettine has almost made that impossible, choosing to give all the starter reps to a journeyman and "develop" Manziel by having him run other teams' offenses on the scout team. Self-fulfilling prophesy.
- Manziel has the support of both Flip and O'Connell. If they were in charge, he'd be openly named the starter for the rest of the year. But Pettine has all but said he'd start an injured 1-7 journeyman over Manziel if he could limp his way onto the field. Some of the comments sound very personal and downright bizarre. They beg the question, "WHY???" But Pettine just won't come out and say it.
- And all of this comes from one simple truth the source confirmed: Pettine never wanted anything to do with Manziel. He didn't like him at all in the draft. He liked several QBs better... not just Carr and Bridgewater but also Garoppolo. But once that ship sails, a smart coach has to work with his Heisman winning first round QB of the long-term (hopefully) and the Browns have done precious little to prepare Manziel over the past two seasons. VERY little. He gets very few reps in practice and little has been done to tailor the offense for him, which is the prevailing wisdom around the league.
The idea that Pettine is some man of honor and nobility who would never do anything but for the greatest of reasons? I feel like we can let that one go now.