Bernie Kosar is an Ohio native who spent nine years with the Browns from 1985 to 1993. He compiled a 53-51-1 record in Cleveland, including five playoff appearances. Ties to the city run deep for the former first-round pick who works as a radio analyst for the team. So deep, it seems, that Kosar spent much of Thursday's night's Rams-Browns preseason opener taking shots at St. Louis' various offensive shortcomings.
The development left Rams coach Jeff Fisher "a little disappointed" in Kosar, who also didn't escape the wrath of Browns president Joe Banner.
"We don't condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast Thursday night," Banner said in a statement released by the team. "We've spoken to Bernie, he understands that, and we would expect the situation is resolved moving forward. We've also reached out to the Rams organization and have shared those same sentiments."
So what did Kosar say during the telecast to get in so much trouble? Here's a sampling:
“This is actually not a bad throw. These St. Louis receivers are horrible. That's a drop there.”
After Browns play-by-play man Jim Donovan told a story about Rams backup quarterback Kellen Clemens giving Pope Benedict XVI an autograph:
“Bless me father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter.”
On Rams receiver coach Ray Sherman:
“I'm checking through the itinerary here of guys and coaches to see who the receivers coach is to make sure I don't know who this guy is because he's not doing very good either.”
Over the weekend, Fisher responded, noting that "Bernie's got his issues. They're well documented. Kellen played well, he played hard, he made plays."
Fisher continued: "I'm just surprised that Bernie has such a lack of respect for players and this game. To be honest with you, I lost a lot of respect for him. It's highly unlikely he knew anything about our football team, but felt the need to make those comments. I don't think they were justified."
Banner, meanwhile, indicated that Kosar wouldn't be fired for his remarks.
Which means that Kosar should be in the booth when the Browns host the Lions this Thursday in Week 2 preseason action. Hopefully, he'll weigh in on whether Donovan McNabb was right to say quarterback Matthew Stafford has done "nothing" for Detroit.