Jimmy Haslam says head coaching search to begin immediately following firing of Pettine, Farmer

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BEREA, Ohio - Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine have been fired, the Browns said in a release Sunday night.

Farmer, promoted by owner Jimmy Haslam in 2014, was let go after the Browns lost at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mike Pettine, left. Ray Farmer, right.

Mike Pettine, left. Ray Farmer, right.

Shortly after the news was announced, Haslam held a press conference. He said speaking with Pettine and Farmer was difficult, but they both handled it well and knew that changes needed to be made.

Haslam said he takes the blame for the 10-22 outcome of the last two seasons because it is his job to put people in the right positions.

“It’s a steep learning curve coming into the NFL,” he admitted.

Pettine was with the Browns for two seasons, and before that he was the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and spent the 2009-12 seasons as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

Haslam said that the search for a new head coach will happen before a new GM is hired. He wants the new head coach to have a say in the hiring of the new GM.

"I still think this is an extremely attractive job…great franchise, great fans," he said.  "I don’t think this a team that’s going to go from 3 wins to 13 in a year."

He admitted that rebuilding the team would take several years.

He ended with saying that there are no other coaches that have lost their jobs and those discussions will happen in the future.

Haslam released the following statement before the press conference:

"We greatly appreciate Ray’s and Mike’s dedication and hard work while with the Cleveland Browns. We’ve made this decision because we don’t believe our football team was positioned well for the future. We are all disappointed with where we are and we take full responsibility. We will approach the search for our next football coach and executives to lead our football operations with a clear vision regarding what we need to do to build a successful organization. We will be methodical in looking for strong, smart leaders with high character who are relentlessly driven to improve our football team, willing to look at every resource possible to improve, and who embrace collaboration to ultimately make the best decisions for the Cleveland Browns. We are fully committed to bringing our fans the winning organization they so clearly deserve.”

Haslam also released a letter to Browns fans: "We are all disappointed with where we are and clearly understand your frustrations. We take full responsibility and understand you expect better from us. Your support and loyalty to the Browns is beyond compare, and as the stewards of this franchise, we take the task of creating success to heart. We are confident we will build a winning football organization." Read the entire letter here.

For more on the Browns, click here.

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