Mike Pettine's plea for Browns togetherness may be too late

What is Manziel's NFL future? (1:37)

ESPN's Herm Edwards joins First Take to share his thoughts on how he sees Browns QB Johnny Manziel's future in Cleveland, and the NFL, play out. (1:37)

BEREA, Ohio -- The scene has played out over and over in Cleveland.

A coach hits the point of feeling besieged and fights back in the only way possible -- by saying a team’s dismal record is not only about coaching.

As Mike Pettine pointed out Monday, discontent is simply the fallout from losing. Losses fuel internal discussion and debate about how players are used and decisions are made. Fingers are pointed. A coach feels cornered.

Pettine’s Monday might have been worse than his Sunday, with questions galore about so many elements of a 2-10 season and a 37-3 loss. One can also imagine that Pettine walked out of whatever meetings were held and said to himself: Geez, guys, it’s not just me.

So Pettine went public Monday with some interesting admissions about dissension and disagreement within the team, admissions that open a window to how difficult it is to be 2-10 and how difficult it is for an organization to stay together when a team is 2-10.

There are so many examples of disagreements.

The most glaring, of course, is quarterback, where Johnny Manziel has been a lightning rod since the day he was drafted. Almost every move the team makes is judged amidst the Manziel circus. This atmosphere is created not just by Manziel but also the unparalleled interest in his every move.

Now a coach who just two weeks ago took an extreme disciplinary measure with a guy who thumbed his nose at said coach must rely on the quarterback. Call it life with Johnny.

Manziel will either be the savior, or the weight of his presence is going to drag an entire organization to unemployment and a new coach or GM or holdover owner will decide Manziel’s fate.

The Dwayne Bowe situation has been an embarrassment. The Browns paid him an outrageous $9 million in guaranteed money. He showed up out of shape, has never gotten in shape, and the coach barely plays him -- for good reason.

There are the failed first round picks. From Manziel to Justin Gilbert to, now, Cam Erving being benched in a blowout loss because he was playing so poorly.

Terrelle Pryor's situation has become almost comical. The Browns tried to make a quarterback into a receiver during a training camp, kept him on the roster, cut him, then brought him back and made him inactive. Pryor is in no way an accomplished receiver, but Pettine kept Pryor and Bowe inactive in lieu of playing Marlon Moore and Darius Jennings.

On the field, the defense is a mess, clock management has been an issue and Sunday will make the sixth quarterback change this season.

The point Pettine was making is it’s not a solo ship, that the team was built on the front office working together. Picking each other apart while losing does not lead to any kind of cohesiveness.

“We have to be brutally honest with ourselves and brutally honest not just looking into the mirror but to other parts of the building as well,” Pettine said. “The one thing, if you are going to be successful, your building has to be unified.”

Is it unified?

“It is hard to be at this point,” Pettine said. “I just think it is human nature when things don’t go well, I think. Everyone has a tendency to bunker in and get into that mode when things aren’t going well.”

Edges fray when double-digit losses arrive. As the edges fray, the turf that’s left is defended further. Which only serves to erode the situation faster. Blame others and save your own self.

Pettine’s plea for togetherness may be noble.

It also may be too late.