The Browns are bad and hilarious, and it sure looks like they will never stop being that way. The latest report on the team’s persistent, ingrained dysfunction comes from ESPN reporter Tony Grossi, and it reveals that GM Ray Farmer’s practice of texting members of the coaching staff during games was carried out even more stupidly than we thought.
Farmer has previously admitted to and been punished for texting then-QB coach Dowell Loggains to complain about playcalling, but Grossi’s report claims that Farmer did much more than that, having appointed the team’s director of player engagement, Jamil Northcutt, to be his in-game mouthpiece:
On game days, Northcutt had an undefined role on the sideline. Sources have told ESPN Cleveland that Northcutt was a recipient of Farmer’s in-game texting, and that he relayed messages from Farmer to the coaches. Another source said that was absolutely false.
There is a story of Northcutt having a confrontation with defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil during that horrible 23-7 loss to the Houston Texans on Nov. 16, in which nondescript Houston running backs Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes combined for 49 carries and 210 yards on the ground. O’Neil did not take kindly to Northcutt’s intrusion during the difficult day, sources said.
That unexpected loss, with the Browns sitting atop the AFC North at 6-3, was the beginning of the end of the 2014 season.
There is also a story of Northcutt having a “conversation” with offensive line coach Andy Moeller concerning the non-use of reserve guard Vinston Painter after the injury to center Alex Mack. According to a source, that was outside the boundaries of Northcutt’s job description.
Northcutt was recently fired, which Grossi points to as evidence that there is still a considerable rift between head coach Mike Pettine and Farmer. No matter how sad the team you root for makes you, always remember that it could be worse: you could be a Browns fan.