Braylon – a bad Meechigan egg?

It’s never good when a coach receives a vote of confidence, but it makes no sense for the Browns to fire Romeo Crennel during the season.

The last thing the Browns need is an interim coach.

Northeast Ohio sports fans should have seen enough coaches fired during a season to know that it rarely works. Remember Terry Robiskie after Butch Davis quit/was fired with five games left in 2004? The Browns responded by finishing that season 1-4 and were outscored 124-51.

The Cavaliers fired Paul Silas with 18 games remaining in 2004-2005. They were 8-10

with Brendan Malone.

When a coach is canned

during a season, many fans

think, “Great, that will shake them up.”

The players look at the interim coach and think, “substitute teacher.”

The Browns are 3-8. They have a battered offensive line, a depleted secondary, an offense that hasn’t scored a touchdown in 10 quarters and a wide receiver whose mouth has helped light the fire that has landed Crennel on the hot seat.

You’d hate to wish that team on your worst enemy because nothing can be done during this season to make a major impact. The best Crennel can do is to restore some order on the sideline, and keep his players from arguing and his quarterback out of the hospital.

At Thursday’s press conference, General Manager Phil Savage implied he wanted “continuity” and that he and Crennel “were in this together.” He essentially, and wisely, said Crennel would finish the season.

Crennel is the Browns’ fourth coach in eight years. Firings aren’t always the answer, but Crennel has been at the crossroads of his head coaching career since early in the season when it was clear offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon had lost the support of many in the organization, especially the players under him.

The coach refused to acknowledge the obvious. No matter how they spin it — remember, Carthon officially “resigned” — the front office stepped in and persuaded Crennel to replace his friend.

At Thursday’s news conference, Savage stressed that the Browns were under control, that they have had relatively few problems — compared with most teams.

That’s true.

They’ve had a lot of trouble with one guy who just so happened to be Savage’s top pick in the 2005 draft. Braylon Edwards had an adventure-filled eight days in which he:

• Hired a helicopter to fly to and from the Ohio State/Michigan game, and then was a few minutes late for a team meeting the night before the Browns/Pittsburgh Steelers game.

• Ripped defensive back and teammate Brian Russell.

• Ripped offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson.

• Ripped into the offensive line during the 30-0 loss to Cincinnati, while at the same time seeming ready to rip Charlie Frye’s jersey to make a point.

Through it all, Crennel has been stoic.

Whatever the coach did after Edwards was warned by veteran players not to take that helicopter trip to Columbus for the game because he could miss a meeting — well, Edwards ignored it.

He started the next day against the Steelers.

Then he just kept disrespecting his coach with some of the silly things he did all week.

Savage and Crennel insist the discipline is being handled internally, but all the fans see is Edwards starting on the field and talking far too much away from it.

Maybe he will sit this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs. If so, why not say it? People will notice come Sunday. Right now, there’s a sense Edwards will not suffer any serious consequences, and that Crennel is being too lenient.

A few fans have defended Edwards’ actions by saying that at least he cares enough to call out the offensive line. He has not been around long enough or produced much in his 21 pro games to have any real respect from his teammates.

Crennel should say that, too. He also should have announced a benching for the Kansas City game. Perhaps that would grab Edwards’ attention.

The Browns need a way to reach this 23-year-old, who possesses the talent to be a star.

This much is certain: Crennel’s approach to Edwards until now has not worked — except to put his own future in jeopardy.

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1 Comment »

  1. whobody Said:

    Brownstown burns, while coach fiddles

    Doug Clarke
    The Chronicle-Telegram
    With apologies to Green Day:

    “Here comes the rain again
    falling from the stars
    drenched in my pain again
    becoming who we are.
    As my memory rests
    but never forgets what I lost
    wake me up when football ends!”

    It’s dark. It’s dreary. It’s desolate. It’s depressing.
    It feels like another Browns season winding down.
    There was Phil Savage standing at the podium (thankfully without the silly ball cap perched atop his head, which would surely have put him on rails out of town) for his State of Disarray address, giving a vote of confidence to Romeo Crennel — the nicest 3 and 8 coach you’d ever hope to meet.
    If you’ve wondered what a vote of confidence looks like, it looks like this: Picture a man’s head atop a nice square set of shoulders. Now take away the shoulders and put the man’s head on something else. A chopping block, say.
    Go ahead and draw in the guillotine above the man’s head, if you want. A bucket for the man’s head to fall into? Sure, draw that, too. If you need help, it’s all there in the NFL Pictionary Book, dating back to the days of the Chicago Stanley Steamers.
    “Our only chance is to stay the course,” Savage told the gathered assemblage of jackals, cleverly disguised as reporters.
    As he spoke the words, I closed my eyes and saw a grainy, black and white film. It looked just like a Green Day video: a deserted town, a vulture flapping its wings, road kill filling the blacktop, a hot wind blowing in off the desert, the road ahead lonely and flat with no end in sight.

    “Don’t know where it goes
    but it’s home to me and I walk alone …”


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