The Browns-Steelers game has been over for about two hours, and if Randy Lerner hasn’t started handing out pink slips in the Browns locker room at Heinz Field, he’s inexcusably late.
Yes, I heard the stuff all over ESPN last night and this morning — a meeting on Monday, Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel losing their jobs, perhaps with Romeo staying with the team in some capacity.
That’s what needs to be done, and I hope they don’t stop with those two. I still have crystal-clear memories of the 1995 season, the second half of which I watched knowing that the team was leaving for Baltimore at the end of the year. That was a horrible feeling — the team I had supported for my entire life was being yanked out from under me — but I honestly think this year was worse. Professional football players don’t quit. They do their jobs. They catch footballs. They don’t get shut out in consecutive weeks. I know the Browns returned to the league in 1999, but now that I think about it, I’m not sure that professional football ever came back with them. And that’s a problem with the players, the coaches and everyone who brought them to town.
I don’t care about the injuries. There’s a house in Berea that needs to be cleaned out. Let’s get started. Now.
I’m not going to offer opinions on every player on the Browns roster, but I have some advice for whoever’s left in the front office when the lights are turned off Monday evening. Let’s take a look:
Phil Savage, general manager: Liked picking talented head-cases. His player-personnel moves were fair at best, and getting into an obscene e-mail exchange with a fan, while kind of funny, wasn’t especially smart. Go.
Romeo Crennel, head coach: Nice guy suffering from Dave Wannstadt Disease. Great coordinator. Shouldn’t ever be a head coach. Go.
All of them (with a couple of exceptions): Go.
Willie McGinnist, linebacker. A character guy who, sadly, didn’t have enough character to keep his teammates from quitting. I can’t fault his effort, but with 15 years in the league, it’s time to cut him loose if he’s still bent on playing. If he’s retiring, make him an assistant coach. Go.
Shaun Rogers, defensive lineman. Professional. Solid, consistent effort. Where do we find more of this guy? Stay.
Joshua Cribbs, kick returner/wide receiver: Probably the most talented guy on the roster. Doesn’t quit. Stay.
Braylon Edwards, wide receiver: Recently ranted that Cleveland fans hate him because he played at Michigan, and vowed to never again do charity work in Cleveland. Forgot that professional wide receivers catch footballs, which probably has more to do with his dwindling fan base. A side note: I should have known what we were getting after watching him play for Michigan for years: talented, made spectacular catches but lacked the concentration to make the easy ones. Disappeared in big games. Braylon — you want to be a Michigan guy? Great. Go play for the Lions. Go. GO. GO ALREADY!
Offensive line: Good unit that will get better. Helped Jamal Lewis rush for just short of 100 yards on Sunday, against the second-best rushing defense in the league. Stay.
Kellen Winslow Jr., tight end: Not quite as easy to hate as Braylon. When he’s healthy, he played hard, and he often played hard despite injuries. But when he had extra time on his hands, he turned into an idiot. Motorcycles? Conspiracy theories about the team’s front office? Enough. Go.
Jamal Lewis, running back. It’s a bit odd to think that the team’s convicted felon is perhaps its most professional player. Stay.
Joe Jurevicius, wide receiver. A Cleveland guy who’s spent much more time being hurt than playing. A sentimental fan would lean towards keeping him, but I’m not feeling especially sentimental. Go.
Derek Anderson, quarterback. Used up every bit of his talent playing over his head a year ago. Go.
Ken Dorsey, quarterback. Smart, character guy, but if you don’t have the arm strength to throw a 15-yard out pattern, you don’t belong in the NFL. Go.
Brady Quinn, quarterback. I think he has the tools to be an NFL starter. But after getting into a fight with a teammate a couple weeks ago, I’m not sure he has the head to match. Stay (but start thinking about other options RIGHT NOW).