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).
I thought about you while I sat at the game. I said “Man, I wonder if Uncle Crappy is still watching or doing bongs of a Belgian”.
Hopefully the team will make the changes needed to make the Browns half-way decent again. I still prefer to see them lose, but it’s so much more fun when it’s at least a close game.
i agree with all of your thoughts. i especially think you’ve got the right idea about brady q. and as a someone who will never get the stiller-stink off of me, i want your team, a team with such great uni-s, to be respectable…it was very sad to watch the battle of OH-IO last week. i can’t say “go b@#$@#” but (because of my lovely t-shirt), i will say “go l’orange.”
I hate to say it, but I think I’m done as a Brown’s fan. I just can’t do it anymore. When the fans care more than the players, it’s over. I can’t believe the b.s. I’ve been hearing and seeing all year. Some of my favorites…
On at least three occassions, our resident Michigander at wide out stopped running a slant route and the ball, being thrown where he was supposed to be, was intercepted. Three times!! Three stinking times!!! What really gets me is that no one on the team punched him as soon as he got to the sideline. Hell, the coaching staff didn’t even get mad. Pick any successful coach from the history of football and ask yourself what would they have done? I’m thinking that Belicheck, Parcells, Johnson, Cowher, even Dungy would have smacked him with the clipboard the first time and he would have been fired by the third. Did I mention the drops?
Almost to man, the team said how much they liked Romeo and wanted to play for him. Of course, there was that little three hours week when they actually needed to deliver on those words and failed miserably. I can’t believe these guys can look Romeo in the face.
Chud?!? What in the hell happened to Chud?
If there’s a bigger mouth attached to a more unappreciative body than the one named Kellen Winslow in all of football, I haven’t seen it.
(This is quite cathartic. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve got a few more things I’ve got to get off my chest.)
When has a team ever been successful with two neophytes playing cornerback? Oh yes, the 49er’s of the mid-eighties started three rookies in the defensive backfield, supported by Ronnie Lott and that All-World offense.
When the discussion of your best player revolves around your nose tackle, your return specialist, and your placekicker, your team is awful!
When does the GM have time to read, react and respond to emails/tms from the local crazies? Phil didn’t you have something more important to do? I know, I know, Phil is one of those guys that starts at the bottom of his to-do-list because those are the easier tasks to complete.
When your specialty is player evaluation, and only two of the players you selected in rounds 3 – 7 over four drafts is starting for your team (that’s a 10% success rate), you need a new specialty. UC, here’s my plan. You and I take half of Savage’s salary and split it amongst the front office staff, scouts, trainers and other support personnel. We take some of the rest and throw a huge draft day party with our friends, family and an media members that want to attend. Then we auction off opportunities to make the teams draft selections. The proceeds going to charity. If the winning bidder is uncomfortable actually making the pick, we have all of the eligible players names on the wall, and the bidder gets to throw a dart and that is who we would select. Think of how much fun that would be and how much goodwill that would create for the franchise. And the best part, HOW COULD WE DO WORSE THAN A 10% SUCCESS RATE!!! (The truth is that it is only the second best part. The best part is we get to split half of $4 million dollars minus the cost of the party or slightly less than $1 million each.)
As much blame as all of these folks are getting let’s not forget the man at the top, Randy Lerner. The team has 2 winning seasons in 10 that you and your family have owned the team. With, 5 seasons of 12 or more losses. That sound you hear is tens of thousands of fans staying home. Through Policy, Clark, Palmer, Davis, Savage and now Crennel, there is one common denominator, Randy Lerner. You are in good company, the Fords, the Brown family, Al Davis, and the Bidwells, they always lose! It’s guaranteed. No matter what they do. Their teams always stink. Randy, welcome to the club.
P.S. Randy, hire me to run your franchise. I will work for less and create goodwill for your franchise. And, since I have never tm’ed anyone, I will not embarass you like the guy you just whacked.
Wow! That’s much better. Thanks for the opportunity to get that poison out of my system. My family thanks you in advance for the public service that you have provided, UncleCrappy.