Posted on: November 30, 2008 7:31 pm

Part 1: Fixing the Cleveland Browns' Offense

Out of sheer frustration, I've decided to break down the Cleveland Browns in a two part series. The first part will take a look at the Browns' offense and what they need to focus on heading into 2009.

On offense, the problem starts with personnel. The Browns would be an infinitely better team if they only took advantage of their players' strengths. I've said it before and I maintain my original position - there is tons of talent and potential hidden throughout this team. What's been killing the Browns this season is failing to maximize that talent and turn it into production.

Rob Chudzinski and the Browns' coaching staff are stubborn. Chudzinski's greatest weakness as a coordinator is his inability to adapt. Like trying fitting a square peg into a round hole, Chud continuously takes the offensive personnel on this team and applies them to his system - regardless if they properly fit. There are two great examples in Jamal Lewis and Kellen Winslow. Jamal's running style and and lack of ellusiveness make him best suited for two-back sets. Jamal cannot create on his own - so a fullback is absolutely necessary for him to have any success in this system. Seeing the Browns have one of the best run-blocking fullbacks in the NFL, it's common sense to use the two together - but no. Lewis constantly runs out of singleback sets and stretch plays.

Kellen Winslow is a receiver blessed with the size and strength to play tight end. Winslow has the speed to go with arguably the best set of hand in the NFL. Such a dynamic game-changing player should be the focal point of the Browns' offense. Winslow needs between 10-15 targets per game to best utilize the talent he brings to the roster. Kellen Winslow is a Terrell Owens or Larry Fitzgerald type who can constantly win regardless of coverage. For Kellen average 4.3 receptions per game to this point is a joke.

What the Browns need to do offensively is establish an identity, and that starts with the running game.

Based on the personnel available on this roster, the Cleveland Browns are best suited running an aerial-based possession style of offense. Since the Browns have finally committed to Brady Quinn as the future quarterback, it is essential to build the offense around his strengths and weaknessess. Quinn has shown the ability to make good decisions and accurate throws in the short to mid-range passing game. It is critical for Phil Savage, the head coach, and Rob Chudzinski to build the offense around Brady Quinn. This means, the running backs, fullbacks, tight ends, and wide receivers all need the necessary skillsets to support that offensive philosphy.

In a west-coast type passing attack, running backs H-backs, and fullbacks must be able to catch the ball out of the backfield and possess the ability to create yards after the catch. Such a system obviously favors a feature back like Jerome Harrison, who has continuously proven he posesses big play ability and the speed necessary to thrive in such a scheme.

Since Harrison is a relatively smaller back (5'9, 205lbs), the Browns would need a short yardage back to compliment Harrison's speed and agility. Enter Lawrence Vickers. I've said it before, but Vickers is a sensational talent. He has the hands to become part of the passing attack, the size (6'0, 250lbs) to gain the tough yards, and the vision to remain an excellent lead blocker. The Browns would be best served to use Lawrence Vickers in conjunction with Jerome Harrison to form a running back tandem. Together, the two runners give the Browns unlimited options for creativity in the running game alone. The split back formation, the strong-I formation, and the weak-I formations would become base sets for the Browns. The conversion of the offense would be a tremendous aide in pass protection - an area the Browns have struggled with from the running back position.

Staying with the offense, the wide receiver play is paramount to a successful offense - regardless of the change in philosophy. Speed and consistency are a huge part of the short-range passing game, so players like Braylon Edwards and Syndric Steptoe should be counted on to get open and use their ability to create after the catch.

Offense Review
  • Kellen Winslow 10-15 targets per game
  • Build around Brady Quinn's strengths
  • Harrison/Vickers running back tandem
  • Continuous solid wide receiver play

Thank you to everyone for reading. Keep an eye out for the second of this two part series entitled, "Fixing the Cleveland Browns' Defense."
Posted on: November 30, 2008 4:22 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2008 4:42 pm

Week 13: Browns Paper Bags

Have you ever finished watching a football game and had a sinking feeling in your stomach? That was exactly how I felt after watching the Cleveland Browns squander an opportunity to salvage an embarrassment of a season.

The Colts were held in check by a great gameplan and some timely plays made by defenders. There was no reason for the Browns to lose this home game, but they did. The loss drops the Brownies to 4-8, officially making us one of the worst teams in the AFC.

The Good
  • It is a little known fact, but D’Qwell Jackson actually leads the NFL in solo tackles. Jackson played another great game today – making solid tackles and playing a fundamentally sound game.
  • Brandon McDonald also played very well in this losing effort. Reggie Wayne made his share of plays, but McDonald for the most part showed good technique and covered the Pro Bowler well.
  • Game Management: Romeo Crennel played the final minutes of the Colts’ final drive masterfully. He made the correct decision in running the clock down and conserving his two timeouts. Penalties were a non-factor, so this one was decided on the field.
The Bad
  • Derek Anderson: Whether it was the wind or not, Anderson did not look very accurate. A majority of the passes were either thrown behind or below receivers. Anderson’s pocket presence for the most part was OK, but his fumble returned for a touchdown proved to be the difference in the game – and in the end that’s what people will remember.
  • Jamal Lewis: The game plan called for a heavy dosage of the running game and Jamal was not there to answer the call. If it wasn’t clear before, Jamal Lewis has obviously lost his status as an elite runner. He hesitates in the backfield and shows terrible vision as a runner. A “power back” like Jamal should have had a field day against the under-sized Colt linebackers. He did not generate push – and that ultimately was the difference in this contest.
The Ugly
  • The Cleveland Browns organization as a whole is looking very ugly. Aside from literally 7 people, this has the look of a very average ball club. Browns fans are a very loyal, well-meaning group, but they are generally some of the most fickle fans in the NFL. Fans cry for “smashmouth football” yet boo when the team commits to the run. I don’t understand it, and I never will.

This was pathetic.

You know what? I want every Browns fan reading this to break out the brown paper bags, because this team is embarrassing. Quite frankly I’m disgusted to be a Browns fan. There are so many things wrong with the team that I don't even know where to begin. Maybe if I just close my eyes, this will all go away...
Posted on: November 26, 2008 6:40 am
Edited on: November 26, 2008 7:05 am

A Golden Boy No More: Quinn Out For Season

The Plain Dealer among other news sources is reporting Brady Quinn is done for the rest of the year.

And I for some reason, I can not stop smiling.

Only in Cleveland. Add Brady Quinn's name to a list of top-tier talent which includes Courtney Brown, Kellen Winslow, LeCharles Bentley, and Joe Jurevicius. What do those players all have in common? They are prominent Browns who have showed promise and given fans something to cheer about. They've inspired hope within a city desperate for a winner. They made us believe - even for one second - that good things might just come to a city that has waited over 40 years for an NFL championship.

The comedy of the situation does not stop there.

Back in April when General Manager Phil Savage refused to trade Derek Anderson, people openly questioned whether such a decision was right for the immediate success of the Browns. Savage held firm in his decision, stressing the importance of having two able-bodied quarterbacks on the roster. He mentioned how unpredictable the league is, and how depth is critical at such an important position.

Just where do they sell those crystal balls?

Quinn's departure opens the door for Derek Anderson - a door which should not have been closed in the first place. If Derek happens to be reading this, I have two words for you my friend:

Carpe Diem!

These next 5 games will ultimately determine the path Anderson's career will take with the Browns or otherwise. Derek Anderson has demonstrated the ability to be a franchise quarterback. He's played up and down all season - leading to a loss of his job.

Now is the time for DA to make good on all 24 million of those promises to the Cleveland Browns. Many players in the NFL are not afforded a second opportunity to prove their worth. Let's wait and see exactly how Derek answers the call this time around.

It has been said before, but quarterback controversies have a way of working themselves out. Derek Anderson has one last shot to prove himself a capable starting quarterback. If Anderson can utilize the experience he's accumulated over the past few years and turn it into success, things will become very interesting in Browns Town.

And just maybe you'll be smiling too.

Posted on: November 25, 2008 3:36 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2008 3:58 pm

Randy Learner Speaks Up

Cleveland Browns owner Randy Learner addressed some of his concerns regarding Phil Savage, Romeo Crennel, and the state of the team.

Learner said many interesting things - some good and some bad. Here are his statements and the possible implications behind their meanings...

Learner: "I will take issues and concerns and criticisms very seriously and think them through and evaluate them in January."

Analysis: Whose issues, concerns and criticisms is Learner referring to? The fans. Randy Learner cares deeply what the fans think. Learner isn't dumb. He is in the business of making money, and the Cleveland Browns fans are the ones that fuel that engine. All issues relating to the Browns will be dealt with in January, so Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage will keep their jobs until the season is over.

Learner: "I think that Phil recruits as aggressively as anybody could ask a guy to do and as thoroughly as anybody could ask a guy to do. I think we've been a beneficiary of those skills and that determination and commitment."

Analysis: Phil Savage's job will most likely be secure at the end of the season. Learner expressed his understanding of Savage's tremendous hard work and attributes as a general manager. Savage has done a good job putting this team together, and Learner's compliment seems to indicate Savage is not part of the problem. The use of the word "commitment" is key in suggesting the Browns will retain Phil Savage.

Learner: "I care about the team."

Analysis: "I care about the money."

Learner: "When I reflect on that concern and criticism, it's a byproduct of the management approach I've chosen. If you're going to give people authority and hold them responsible and ultimately accountable for their performance, you've got to get out of the way. Especially when they have unique skills you don't have like picking players and coaching."

Analysis: We are fortunate as Browns fans to have an owner who understands exactly what his role is in the organization. Learner is right - he doesn't have the unique skills of picking players or coaching the team. Leaving the football to the football people is exactly what the owner of any NFL team should do. Learner's reference to accountability of performance is a direct shot at Romeo Crennel. Unlike Savage, Crennel's performance is measured by something as tangible as a win/loss record. As many have already imagined, Romeo Crennel is in deep trouble.

Learner: I'm not prepared to throw in the towel at 46 and suggest I can't get the job done. On the other hand, I don't want to live in some delusional bubble somewhere."

Analysis: Learner will continue to do his best to bring a championship to the Browns. The team isn't going anywhere. The reference to the delusional bubble means Learner has an idea of what's being said about his football team as well as his approach as a "hands off" owner.

Learner: Sunday's home loss to the Texans was "sickening"

Analysis: Yikes! That's certainly a strong choice of words for such an anemic offensive output. Learner could be referencing Crennel's decision to bench Brady Quinn and play Derek Anderson in the fourth quarter. There has been speculation Learner has always liked Quinn - and played a role in Quinn's promotion as a starter. If this is the case, Romeo Crennel may be already be gone.

Learner: "What happened? How do you go 10-6, play good football, have the NFL generally excited, get six prime-time does that happen and you struggle this way?"

Analysis: Randy Learner has the football intelligence of a casual fan. He is only able see the result of what has happened, and most likely will make decisions based off that. From his point of view it's easy to understand where he's coming from. The Browns won 10 games, improved along the defensive line (which he can clearly see with Shaun Rogers' play), and seemed likely to improve once more. What Learner does not understand is the Browns played a soft schedule last year, fell victim to injuries, and played a significantly more difficult schedule this year.

Learner expressed concern with the credibility issues that arose from the e-mail and Winslow situations, as well as the organization's image on a national scale.

Analysis: Randy cares about public perception more than anything else. His previous comment about the NFL being "generally excited" and getting "six prime-time appearances" reaffirm that. Public opinion and perception indicated the Browns should start Brady Quinn and look what happened. Now, public perception states the Browns should fire Savage and Crennel. Sadly, I can already see whom Learner may target...

I'm glad Randy Learner spoke up regarding the state of his franchise. While I disagree with some of the sentiment he echoed, I do appreciate him being forthright with the media. If I had to make a prediction on what this means for Browns' management, I'd imagine...

Phil Savage has a 70% chance of staying in 2009.
Romeo Crennel has an 15% chance of staying in 2009.

...and for what it's worth, Bill Cowher has a 30% chance of coming to the Browns in 2009.
Posted on: November 23, 2008 5:28 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2008 9:03 pm

Week 12: 'Tis the Season for Giving

Ahh yes, Thanksgiving. It is the season for family, generosity, and celebrating the past. The game between the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns provided a perfect microcosm of the holiday - and I can't help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside because of it.

For two out of division teams, the Browns are so close they should be considered relatives. The two teams have exchanged so much personnel over the last few seasons. On the Browns, Shantee Orr, Robaire Smith, and offensive line coach Steve Marshall have all come from the Texans. Houston has former Browns Kevin Bentley, Chaun Thompson, and Andre Davis all starting on their roster.

The Texans are notoriously generous - ranking dead last in turnover differential at -13. Their defense has allowed a charitable 28.7 points per game heading into Cleveland. Sage Rosenfels and the Texans desperately tried to give this game away with two costly turnovers. Despite that show of kindness, it was the hospitable Browns who outdid them in the end - turning the ball over 5 times in one game.

Celebrating the Past
Cleveland honored Browns teams of years past with an anemic offensive performance and a sickeningly soft defense. Their play today was so nostalgic of the expansion Browns team, I almost shed a tear. The Texans also did their best honoring their sub-.500 ancestors, however they fell short and won the game.

The Good
  • Lawrence Vickers performed well in his return from injury. Both Jerome Harrison and Jamal Lewis benefited from Vickers' vision - which provided an offensive spark the Browns needed to help sustain drives. One of the main problems with this offensive unit is pass protection. With Brady Quinn under center, Rob Chudzinski has placed an emphasis on pre-determined reads and short 3 step drops. It is critical the offensive linemen hold their blocks for that short amount of time necessary to make the completion.
  • Josh Cribbs: Captain Cribbs seems to be the only returning Pro Bowler from a year ago who actually wants to go back to Hawaii. Field position is critical for any offense, and the Browns were fortunate enough to have Cribbs back there setting the offense up. While he did not contribute much on the offensive side of the ball, Josh Cribbs played a good game and did his part when called upon.
  • D'Qwell Jackson: If there is one bright spot for this football team this season, it has to be the play of D'Qwell Jackson. D'Qwell has developed into a fine young linebacker for this football team. Jackson is constantly around the ball - taking good angles of pursuit and making sound tackles when the ball comes his way. Unlike teammates Willie McGinest and Andra Davis, D'Qwell Jackson actually likes contact. It's certainly encouraging to see such a player play the linebacker position how it's supposed to be played.
  • Corey Williams played well today. He was stout in run defense and played a key part in generating what little pressure the Browns created. Williams must have taken what defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said to heart about tackling, because he did not miss a tackle. Corey wrapped up and delivered on what Savage and the Browns had expected out of him since day one.
The Bad
  • Jamal Lewis did not play his best game of the year. Even when the offensive line created space, his choppy style of running took away from the big gains and resulted in a loss of potential yards. The uncharacteristic fumbles make me wonder if Lewis' best years are long behind him.
  • Pressure is the key to football. If you can handle the pressure, you have a good chance of being a successful offense. If you can create pressure, you have a good chance of being a successful defense. Unfortunately the Browns could not do either - which resulted in a poor showing on both sides of the ball. Pressure can make a great quarterback look awfully average, and an average quarterback awfully great. In short, that was the story of this game.
  • Rob Chudzinski: While I can't fault Chud for calling a horrible game, there were things that left me scratching my head. Brady Quinn has proven himself comfortable with the short passing game and making quick, short decisions over the middle. How then, is it possible Kellen Winslow's only catch of the game came from Derek Anderson in the fourth quarter? The great coordinators play to the strengths of their personnel, and Chudzinski did a poor job of doing that this afternoon.
The Ugly
  • Braylon Edwards: Edwards appeared lost on not only the timing, but the execution of his routes. Braylon did not show good burst off the line, nor did he use his body to protect the ball on the short slants underneath. His routes were sloppy and his field awareness inconsistent. Braylon lacked focus and concentration - as apparent by the 4 dropped passes today. While his overall stats may have appeased fantasy owners, the reality of his performance left a lot to be desired.
  • Offensive Production: The Cleveland Browns mustered 6 total points in a game they so desperately needed. A win here would have put the team back on track at an outside shot at the postseason. Brady Quinn may be in his second start, but there is no excuse for managing only two field goals against one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL.

The quarterback switch at the end of the third quarter sealed Romeo Crennel's fate as Browns' Head Coach. Knowing what I do about this organization, he will most likely be fired in a couple days. It's unfortunate, but someone has to take responsibility for the disappointing season which started off so promising.

Maybe change like this will be good for the team. As of now, the Cleveland Browns are a mess of a football team, and we desperately need someone to come in and clean this up.
Posted on: November 18, 2008 4:34 am
Edited on: November 18, 2008 4:50 am

Week 11: Wagons Successfully Circled

Dear Diary,

Tonight I had the extreme displeasure of watching the Cleveland Browns take on the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football. I thought my Browns would come out and play hard in front of the nation, but I was wrong... oh so very wrong.
We won the game, Diary. I should be happy. I should be excited. This win puts us at 4-6, which allows for another week of finger-crossing and misguided hope for delusional diehards like myself. I should be thrilled...but I'm not. The Cleveland Browns played such a poor game on both sides of the ball that I feel nothing but disappointment and frustration after watching the game.

Oh Diary, I just don't know how much more of this relationship I can take! Every week the Browns and I go through this. They're so sweet at times and yet...they always find ways to let me down. Just when I'm ready to break it off and call it quits for good, this team does just enough to keep my by their side. Mother tells me to forget about the playoffs and move on, but I just can't! I know they are a good team deep down inside, and all that's left for them to prove it.


My therapist suggests I explore any feelings of angst and depression in this diary. For the sake sanity, here it goes:

The Good
  • Jerome Harrison: Harrison showed exactly what Browns fans have been clamoring about for the past few weeks. On his 72-yard touchdown run, Harrison showed the great vision and speed necessary for an NFL running back. Harrison's touchdown run on prime time television may have opened the eyes of those not already familiar with his talent. Running back tandems or committees are becoming quite popular in today's NFL. Jacobs and Ward...White and Williams... the change in dynamic between runners is quite effective, and hopefully Rob Chudzinski will recognize this in upcoming weeks.
  • Turnover Differential: The cardinal rule in professional football states if you turn the ball over 4 times or more, you will lose the game. Trent Edwards' three interceptions along with Fred Jackson's fumble proved the old adage correct. Here's an astounding statistic: after this game, the Cleveland Browns rank 3rd overall with a +8 turnover differential. While the team may have its problems, if they maximize takeaways and minimize giveaways, they will eventually have success...or at least I hope so.
  • Penalties and Game Management: Breaking news! Romeo Crennel challenged a play...and won! It took 10 weeks, potentially backbreaking field position, and Brady Quinn's statistical line, but Crennel finally let go of that red flag and it couldn't have come at a better time. Even better, the Browns minimized the self-inflicted wounds - only committing two penalties for 15 yards. Timeout management wasn't bad, and Romeo managed the clock well enough to take a charity win courtesy of the Buffalo Bills.
  • Shaun Rogers: If you haven't already, please go here to cast your ballot for the 2009 Pro Bowl.
The Bad
  • Andra Davis: To put it simply, Andra did not have a good game. He missed several open field tackles - including one that should have saved the Browns from a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run. He took a poor angle to the ball carrier on several long rushing plays. He showed poor instincts and awareness on gap assignments in the running game. While he did display soft hands on the interception, Davis did far more to hurt this defense than help them today.
  • Tackling: Football is a game of blocking and tackling. It always has and always will be. If a team struggles so mightily with one of the most basic elements of the game, they have no chance whatsoever of being successful. Just for fun, I tried counting all the missed tackles by Cleveland Browns defenders. I couldn't keep up. It wouldn't be fair to blame the coaching staff, because players were in position to make plays. I do blame Kamerion Wimbley, Andra Davis, Willie McGinest, and Corey Williams for that. Those players showed a lack of aggression engaging and shedding would-be blockers. Such a passive approach to football is reason for change. This cannot continue.
  • Pass Protection Adjustments: Overall, the Browns did not necessarily do a bad job of pass protection, but it wasn't good either. I recall several times during the game where Kawika Mitchell was afforded a free lane to the quarterback. Hank Fraley and the guys up front did as good a job as they could picking up the stunts and overloads, but it could have been better.
  • Jamal Lewis: I've been critical of his style of running for quite some time now, and last night's game should show you just exactly why. Lewis demonstrated exactly what not to do as a feature back. Running backs are taught to make one cut and then go. Unfortunately for us, poor Jamal thinks he's Barry Sanders out there and tip-toes around in the backfield. He takes short choppy steps in an attempt to generate forward momentum. That sort of approach may have worked 4 years ago, but Lewis is a completely different tailback now. Oh, and by the way: Jamal Lewis quit in pass protection.
  • Points Off Turnovers: Trent Edwards threw three first quarter interceptions setting up the Browns on their 48, Buffalo's 49, and Buffalo's 12 yard line. How is it possible to only walk away with 6 points after all this? I guarantee an average team is up by 13 at the end of the quarter. I understand Brady Quinn is still young, but such offensive ineptitude is unacceptable. 
The Ugly
  • Special Teams Coordinator Ted Daisher: Congratulations, Ted - you stand alone as this week's goat. Why Ted, why? Why did you continuously kick to the most dangerous part of the Buffalo Bills' team? My goodness! You would think someone who has the most dynamic return man in the game would understand the value of special teams! They say the definition of stupidity is making the same mistake over and over again. If so, then Ted Daisher is truly a stupid man. Leodis McKelvin completely abused the kickoff coverage unit on the opening play for 40 yards. He did it again for another 40. After seeing this - what does Daisher do? Kick it to him again, of course! Aye...

Well Diary, there isn't much left to say. While I feel better about the win as well as Jerome Harrison, I didn't like what I saw from my football team at all. I fear this team is years away from being great. While I do still love the Browns, I honestly don't know how much longer I can wait for my ring. Afterall, I only have so many more years left! Until I see some commitment from this team to fundamentally sound football, we may need some time apart. Let's hope next week will be better!


P.S. - I miss Derek Anderson!
Posted on: November 14, 2008 9:57 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2008 10:09 pm

Monday Night Showdown: Browns @ Bills

Almost one year ago, the Cleveland Browns eliminated the Buffalo Bills from playoff contention.

This Monday night on ESPN, the Bills hope to return the favor.

“We need to get these guys from last year,” Bills quarterback Trent Edwards said of Cleveland.

“We owe them. They took our chance of going to a playoff game last year, and we still have that taste in our mouth.”

Edwards and the 5-4 Bills look to cleanse their pallets as they host the 3-6 Browns in an AFC showdown filled will playoff implications for both teams.
Cleveland and Buffalo enter Monday Night Football with similar divisional standings. Both teams are currently in third place and are coming off multiple game losing streaks. The Browns lost a close Thursday night contest to the Broncos while the Bills came up short against the rival Patriots last weekend.

This Monday night will go a long way in determining which paths both teams will take for the remainder of the season.

“We cannot lose,” Browns tight end Kellen Winslow said.

“It’s too big of a hole to get out of, so this is the most important game.”

Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel agrees.

“It’s a big game for us; a big game for them. It’s a Monday night venue, so we should be ready to play.”

Brady Quinn seeks his first win as a starter this Monday Night
as his Browns face the Buffalo Bills.

Cleveland hopes the result of this Monday night’s game will be similar to their last. During a week 6 Monday night battle with the 2007 World Champion New York Giants, the Browns shocked the world with a commanding 35-14 victory. The Browns clearly understand the magic of Monday night, but so do the Bills.

“Everybody knows Monday night football,” Bills coach Dick Jauron said.

“Everybody knows all their friends and their family are going to be watching because it’s Monday night. Should be a lot of fun.”

“Obviously it’s very exciting,” Trent Edwards added.

“It’s going to be a big night for us. We’re going to need to get a win out of that game. We need to be able to put on a show.”

Edwards leads a Bills team looking to contain newly appointed starter Brady Quinn and the Cleveland Browns’ offense.

Quinn played well in his 2008 debut last Thursday. He finished the game completing 23 of 35 passes for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns. Quinn hopes to continue his high level of play in his second start this season.

“Buffalo is a tough team,” Quinn said.

“They have a solid defense all around, so it presents a tough task not only for myself, but for our team going into an environment like Buffalo on Monday night.”

Quinn is thrilled to be making the first road start of his career on a national stage.

“It’s an exciting time, and I’m glad I’ve got the opportunity to start and be a part of it.”

Sources: (2008) Dick Jauron and Trent Edwards Press Conferences. Retrieved November 14th, 2008 from Website:
-b025-bc579356808d (2007) Brady Quinn, Romeo Crennel, and Kellen Winslow Press Conferences. Retrieved November 14th, 2008 from Website:
Posted on: November 9, 2008 8:00 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2008 5:52 pm

Cowher Cannot Come to Cleveland!

My Fellow Browns fans,

Over the past few weeks, there has been a growing sentiment within this fanbase to see Coach Crennel fired and replaced by former Steelers' coach Bill Cowher. This pro-Cowher movement is not only detrimental to the team, but it is degrading to our organization and needs to stop now.

There are two sides to this fundamentally flawed idea: Cowher must come and Romeo must go. In order to fully address the matter, I will attempt to explain the flawed logic running through both sides of the argument.

Romeo Must Go

As with any underachieving team, the head coach is the first person considered in the evaluation process. The 3-6 Browns failed to live up to this year's lofty expectations, and Crennel Bears the brunt of the responsibility for that. The NFL is all about production, and it's hard to justify retaining a coach who has been unsuccessful in 3 of the last 4 years. Despite what statistics and percentages say, they undoubtedly fail to tell the whole story about Romeo Crennel.

Romeo Crennel is a great head coach. His players believe in him and he has proven capable in getting the most out of this group. Fans have criticized Crennel for lacking passion and a "fiery disposition." If the Browns can remain as competitive as they have in recent weeks, I'll gladly take Crennel's stoic approach to any other coaches' method of motivation.
Along with Crennel's consistent approach, what the Cleveland Browns need at this critical stage of their development is continuity. With a promising young quarterback accompanied by a talented young defense, it becomes necessary to maintain the same group of coaches together to expediate growth at all positions. Changing schemes is taxing - especially on young players struggling to learn the system. By keeping the head coach in place, the Browns would subsequently keep their assistent and position coaches in place - maintaining the continuity so vital to the development of young talent.

Cowher Must Come

My appeal is one of pride and respect. Bringing in a coach who is the embodiment of all things Pittsburgh is the absolute last thing you want to see for the Cleveland Browns. How would it look on our organization if we turn to our most hated rival to become the face of this franchise? Additionally, how much pride would Browns' have in their team seeing Cowher schmooze it up with Steelers any time the two teams play?

Contrary to most, I have pride in this history and tradition of the Browns' franchise. The way Cowher came to be what he is was through years as the head coach in Pittsburgh. Coaches and players have had time to fine-tune their technique and knowledge within a system, and that is what made the Steelers into what they are today. For the Browns, it is necessary to have that same level of stability to keep this franchise heading in the right direction.

There are ramifications of Cowher coming to Cleveland. Offensive coach Rob Chudzinski is one of the most highly regarded young offensive minds in the NFL. Last year Chudzinski interviewed and turned down an offer from Baltimore to take over as head coach. With at least 4 coaching openings in the National Football League, it would put a tremendous amount of strain on Chudzinski - who certainly would be able to find a situation to his liking. Retaining Crennel would likely keep Chudzinski with the Browns - as the situation would be similar to what kept him here in the first place.

A plane uses 70% of its fuel while taking off.  After years lying in a dormant state, the runway has cleared and this team is finally ready to take flight. It took a long time to get here, so why stop the plane and change pilots now ? The system is in place. The talent is there. The coaches are ready. All the Browns need to do is maintain their composure, finish the rest of this season, and get ready for an exciting ride in 2009.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or