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The 5 best quotes from Browns general manager Ray Farmer


With the season at the midway point, the Browns made general manager Ray Farmer available to the media on Tuesday. Here were his top five quotes.

With the season at the midway point, the Browns made general manager Ray Farmer available to the media on Tuesday. Here were his top five quotes.

1)      On how Head Coach Mike Pettine has done to this point:

"I think Mike Pettine is awesome. I think he's phenomenal to work with. I think he's smart. I think he's a leader. I think that he's definitely taken the bull by the horns, and he's not afraid to balance today with tomorrow. He understands where we're trying to take this thing long term, but he also understands what we've got to accomplish today. I'm all in on Mike Pettine."

KJ's take: Read here about the time Pettine and Farmer had their first business meeting as the respective head coach and general manager. The two have remained in lockstep since day one. Pettine has joked that, "we are brothers."

2)      On if the Browns have closed the gap in the division in terms of overall roster or if the rest of the season will tell that:

"Good question. I would say right in the middle. There's a point where I think we've done some good things. So, I'm not going to diminish kind of how our coaches have utilized our guys and how they've performed to date, but I'll also tell you there's a lot more to go. I hate to say this, but the National Football League is always about the immediacy of now. What did you accomplish today? Every game this year – 'Oh, this is the greatest game. This is the greatest game for the Browns.' It's not going to change. As the season moves on, the very next game will be the biggest game for the Browns, and everyone will hold a different tale as to how well we're doing or how bad we're performing. I think we have to just go out and demonstrate kind of who we are on a week-to-week basis, and that consistency over time will prove who we are long term."

KJ's take: While acknowledging bright spots in the start of the season, Farmer knows that there's a long way to go before the end of the season. He understands and wants the rest of the Browns' season to increase in importance each week. But Farmer's eye is always positioned towards the long term future success of the Browns. He can't get caught up in just "closing gaps" in November of the season.

3)      On if Farmer has been on the road or in the building:

"A little bit of both. To be candid, I have been out of the building. I've left several times. I'll leave again. The next few weeks I'll be more and more active leaving the building. During the course of the year, specifically the first part of this year, I wanted to be around. So, I made the point to stay around. I'll increase that travel probably coming up after this game."

KJ's take: A few months back, Farmer told me something about scouting that will always stick with me. When the Browns' GM goes and evaluates college players, he uses his binoculars not to garner the action on the field. He watches players' body language after a bad play. He watches how players interact with coaches on the sideline. Later on, he will watch the game tape. But Farmer evaluates the people side of things as much as he does football players.

4)      On if Farmer can acknowledge that he's in a challenging situation when making decisions about Duke Johnson Jr. and Brian Hoyer's futures:

"No challenge at all. I think it's pretty simple. I think that at the end of the day, we sit down, we make decisions – what's good for our football team? That's really what it comes down to. We don't talk about the personal aspects in some respects, and that seems cruel and not right, but our goals and our charges are to win football games. That's what we try to make our decisions based off of."

KJ's take: Right now, in November, the Browns are in today mode. When the offseason comes – hopefully after a playoff run – Farmer will be in tomorrow mode. There's still eight games left to play. So much can change for the Browns between now and then.

5)      On if Farmer has seen any reason not to give Josh Gordon the opportunity and it being a big opportunity:

"What's a big opportunity? To me, I would say, 'Do you disrupt what you do offensively to just make sure that you throw the ball to Josh Gordon?' I don't know if that's really the right way to operate. Is he a phenomenal talent? Sure, I'd tell you that. He is a talented young man and he can do a lot of good things, but you kind of disrupt what you are to just make sure that one person gets the ball? I think that teams win, talent doesn't. It's really about building a team, and people have to find a way to fit into the team. I think that's what we're looking for here is a championship-level team."

KJ's take: Gordon's presence will boost the Browns offense when he returns on Nov. 23. But Cleveland is not going to overhaul its entire approach – smashmouth, running football – to get Gordon the world-beating numbers he put up in a different scheme in 2013. The excitement around the building is growing for Gordon's return, but he won't be asked to save the world. He'll be asked to play hard and fulfill his role.

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