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Mike Pettine opens up on his coaching philosophy for a good cause

Remember the 28-hour Radiothon hosted by the Cleveland Browns Foundation last September on ESPN 850?

The main objective of the Radiothon was to promote a live auction that included dozens of Browns-related prizes. The money from the auction was used to stimulate education and youth development initiatives across the Northeast Ohio area. More than $104,000 was raised in less than two days from ravenous members of the Dawg Pound.

Perhaps the Willy Wonka golden ticket of all the prizes was an hour long chalk-talk with coach Mike Pettine, an event that took place Thursday at the Browns' facility in Berea. The highest bidder from the Radiothon was PNC's Regional President Paul Clark, who brought 15 football-hungry guests with him for an unfiltered session with Pettine in Cleveland's offensive line room.


Pettine started his presentation talking about his leadership style, which he said begins with honesty and consistency.

"If you try and please everybody, over time, you'll please nobody," Pettine said. "Frauds get discovered quickly."

The coach went in-depth about being truthful with a player who is going to see less playing time. The 10 seconds of discomfort will benefit everyone in the long run as opposed to misleading the player.

The free-flowing conversation continued with Pettine describing, in detail, his game-day routine, how he handles referees, what goes on during the locker room at halftime, how the Browns teach players life skills, how he grades players during the draft process and his true feelings on HBO's Hard Knocks football documentary series.

There were moments and glimpses behind the curtain that were riveting.

"I thought this prize was a special behind-the-scenes, once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn't pass up," Clark said. "And it turned out to be more so than I ever could have imagined."

Clark and his companions saw the real Pettine. The same guy who doled out witty one-liners and playfully chided a Steelers fan in the group was also the same guy who spoke intimately about the benefits growing up around youth football served him.

Other prizes that were available from the The Cleveland Browns Foundation's Radiothon were hosting a movie night with 20 friends at FirstEnergy Stadium, attending the Super Bowl in Arizona, watching film and having lunch with Browns general manager Ray Farmer, having a famous Cleveland chef come and cook for you at your home and an abundant number of other rewards.

Radiothon is gaining even more steam for 2015. The Cleveland Browns Foundation released its community impact report in March, detailing where the money donors like Clark provide is benefitting the community.

The Marion Motley scholarship program has 100 percent of its participants on track to graduate on time. More than 1,200 families have joined the 2,000 Days Pledge, an initiative that encourages families to take an active role in their child's education. The Adapted Football League, featuring current and former players, gave children with disabilities a chance to participate in a competitive and developmental sport.

The Cleveland Browns Foundation is changing the landscape of Northeast Ohio with the money they are raising. And you can help, all while experiencing a new cherished memory, like a Pettine chalk talk, with your favorite NFL team.

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