Is It Time to Bid Farewell to Crennel?

John is back, and he is a little mad about today’s Browns game. John the floor is yours. 

It’s bad enough that the Browns’ secondary couldn’t cover a high school receiving corps, but when your coaching crew wastes 2 valuable timeouts to review a play that was an obvious catch it might be time for Savage to line up some interviews for some new coaching. Harsh? Maybe, but when the game is close it comes down to coaching and the Steelers with rookie head coach Mike Tomlin out-coached the Browns staff to beat Cleveland when it counted.

Kudos to Roethlisberger, Tomlin and the Steelers for playing 60 minutes and pulling off the comeback. Down 21-9 at the half, the Steelers made the defensive adjustments that stymied the Browns’ offense in the second half. Pittsburgh’s D didn’t even give up a first down in the second half until there was less than 2 minutes in the game.

So why do I blame this loss on the Brown’s coaching staff? Fundamentals, plain and simple. The Cleveland defense allows teams to pick apart their secondary consistently week after week. What have they done about this problem? I really don’t know because there has been no obvious adjustments being made. Penalties: while they are not one of the most penalized teams in the league, the penalties always seem to come at the critical times in the game destroying drives and extending the opponents’ drives at just the wrong time. And how does a defense give up a 30 yard touchdown run up the middle to the quarterback? Arm tackles and blown coverage are becoming the norm for the Brown’s late in games. And that’s bad coaching when it comes to fundamentals.

When you add the 2 wasted timeouts that kept Cleveland from an effective drive for a last second field goal, I have to ask the question, “What exactly are the coaches teaching this team?”

Let me add that I have been a Crennel supporter until very recently. I was very critical of the people calling for Crennel’s job since mid-season last year. It is just that this coach is supposed to be defensive minded and our defense has regressed since last season. I take my hat off to Phil Savage for building what has become a good offense this season. I also give big props to Derek Anderson who has stepped up and become the starter without question.

So has this team improved? Indeed, the Browns are a much better team that they were last year. Isn’t that enough to earn Crennel another season? Maybe, I’ll reserve my final opinion on this until the end of the season. Just watching the second half of today’s game was frustrating and I look at this team that has the personnel to finish with 9 or 10 wins (although I will still be thrilled with 8-8) and I wonder if they have the coach to get them there.

Here endeth the rant.


Filed under Browns, Cleveland Browns, Derek Anderson, football, NFL, Phil Savage, Romeo Crennel

8 responses to “Is It Time to Bid Farewell to Crennel?

  1. I see your point John, but I would have to say that Anderson looked awful in that second half. He wasn’t getting the ball to receivers 4 yards down the field, let alone 15. Then I hear Simms talk about Anderson being rattled from the pressure…what pressure??? The Steelers had 0 sacks, and honestly not many hurries. The Browns may not have been wide open in the second half, but you have to make a play somewhere.

    I hope that Savage addresses the RB position in the offseason, because Lewis is a short yardage back at best right now. But obviously our most pressing need is for the front seven to get some pressure and make some tackles in the backfield.

    As far as Romeo goes, I think he deserves another year. This loss stung, but it stung because we could have won. About 8 weeks ago we never thought we had a chance in this one. Let’s see how Crennel handles this loss. Will the team bounce back for next week’s game? Will they come out flat? Next Sunday against the Ravens will tell me more about the character of this team and the job that Crennel is doing. But without question all applicants for the D-Cooridinators position should be submitted by Christmas.

  2. darthbith

    That call with the timeout and the challenge was one of the worst coaching decisions I have ever seen – ever. I would venture to say that cost them the game – or at least a shot at overtime.
    And Romeo even made the right challenge call on Braylon’s amazing touchdown. Ah well.

  3. Was he simply awful in the second half? Indeed. Should it cost him his job? I don’t think so.

    I totally agree with your sentiment of next week’s game being very telling. Crennel is never one to show much emotion on the sideline, but you could tell that he was extremely irked when BR broke the first run up the middle. Now, of course, that didn’t help them as the Browns gave up another one – for a TD – but you can tell he’s very unhappy with his defense at this point. Expect a lot of D-Line focus this offseason.

  4. I wouldn’t put Romeo’s job on the line right now. He was awful today and he might have cost us the game, but I still think this team is improving and I think consistency is one of the keys to improvement in the NFL. We’re invested in the 3-4 defense now and we’re invested in Romeo Crennel now. I think he needs at least 2 or 3 more years to try to finish making this team better.

  5. I’m not a Browns fan, but…Crennel is on pace to give the Browns only their second winning season since their re-founding, and you want him gone? Just as it looks like they’re making real progress? Sure, that makes sense.

  6. IowaDawgFan

    We all share in the frustration of watching RAC grow into the job of head coach. And that is really what is going on — he’s a rookie head coach with many more lessons yet to learn. But like DA, I think we see him learning from mistakes and making better decisions game-by-game (albeit more slowly than we would hope).

    Personally, I can’t think of any other head coach I would want on this team at this point. The RAC/Sav partnership has gotten us to a point of a possible playoff berth, with some serious potential to be a dominant force next year and for several years to come.

    A new head coach would come in with zero expectations and yet another change in strategy and house-cleaning — and more stories of needing another 3 years to get the ship headed in their particular definition of a successful direction. And most likely it would be another first time head coach who would need time to learn the lessons we’ve spent 3 years teaching to RAC.

    Start over? NO THANKS!

  7. teufelmann

    First of all, I like the template. I just can’t help but think it was the frustration writing this one. I do give you props for being a Crennel supporter up until now, as odd as that sounds. You don’t find many people who supported him through the past two years and finally decide to stop giving him some credit. I don’t think it’s time for him to leave. He deserves to keep building with the team because that translates into winning with consistency. However, in April’s draft, I’m thinking defense, defense, defense.

    By the way, check out my Cleveland sports blog:

  8. Thanks for all the great comments. Teufelmann, you’re right, it was the frustration talking. Romeo deserves a chance to see this construction through at least until his efforts plateau at the extent of his talent. Hopefully that can be a ring in a few of years. I would really like to see continued improvement (obviously) and that means defense.

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