Shaw criticizes the idea of Browns hiring Schottenheimer

Bud Shaw of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that the Browns would only essentially be applying a band-aid fix to their soon-to-be head coaching vacancy by hiring Marty Schottenheimer.

Romeo CrennelIn fact, it sounds exactly like something Lerner would do if he can’t land Cowher and that’s what should concern you. It would be taking the easy way out. Hire a coach with experience primarily because the last one you hired had never been a head coach and it showed.

But with Schottenheimer, all you’d be doing is rinsing and repeating two or three years from now.

Maybe Lerner wants a quick turnaround so he can sell. But that kind of short-term thinking doesn’t do Browns fans any good.

If you make the right choice based on a wide knowledge of the coaching talent around the league, it makes it easier to ride out the bumps. In picking Crennel from New England and Savage from Baltimore, Lerner was intent on borrowing from successful organizations. But within a year he was ready to fire Savage and had serious concerns about Crennel.

Getting the right people is what’s most important, not taking one from Column A and one from Column B as if you’re ordering in Chinese.

This next hire demands foresight. Sorry, that’s not Marty Schottenheimer, whose time here came and went 20 years ago.

What’s ironic about Shaw’s criticisms of Lerner “borrowing from successful organizations” is that Shaw goes on to note that the Ravens were wise in taking a chance on John Harbaugh, who came from Philadelphia…a successful organization.

As I wrote when the news first broke, the Browns could do a lot worse than Marty Schottenheimer – a lot worse. Would he be a band-aid fix? Yeah, probably. It’s Lerner and Savage’s responsibility then to make sure that Schottenheimer’s eventual replacement is already on staff so when it’s time to move on, you already have someone familiar with the organization and the direction it wants to go in. Don’t just write off Schottenheimer because he’s not a long-term answer. Bring him in to establish structure and to get his players to believe in a system and then make a transition to one of his coordinators that could be a long-term solution.

I say this assuming the Browns can’t land Cowher. Because if they can, than clearly he’s the ideal choice.

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Browns’ GM Phil Savage says “F-You” to Bills fan in e-mail

Cleveland general manager Phil Savage apparently used profanity in an e-mail responding to a badgering Bills fan following the Browns’ 29-27 win in Buffalo on Monday night.

The exchange was first reported on the Website deadspin.com.

“I heard something about it this morning,” said coach Romeo Crennel. “We all get frustrated at times. Phil, generally, like the rest of us tries to be professional and hold it in, but sometimes some things slip out. It’s unfortunate that it slipped out.

“But (during) tough times, tough things happen. I’m sure if we had to do it over again, we’d do it a little bit differently. I talked to him this morning and said we just have to hang in there, keep fighting and try to get this thing turned.”

The email exchange occurred during the Browns’ 29-27 win in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Monday night.
The fan, who appeared on WKNR radio on the Tony Rizzo Show without identifying his real name, said he had been badgering Savage during the course of the evening.

Savage’s last response was: “Go root for Buffalo. F*&# you.”

I’m all for being professional, but I don’t have a problem with what Savage wrote. If the Bills fan wants to be an a-hole, than Savage has every right to drop an F-bomb in his lap. That said, he still shouldn’t have written it and I’m sure after he hit the send button he thought to himself, “Ah, sh*t – I shouldn’t have f’n said that.”

Considering Roger Goodell suspended Dallas QB coach Wade Wilson for five games and fined him $100,000 for purchasing an using performance-enhancing drugs last year, Savage can probably expect a call from the league office soon.

Brady Quinn ready for NFL starting debut

Brady QuinnTonight marks the much-anticipated NFL debut of Brady Quinn as the second-year quarterback will make his first career NFL start when his Cleveland Browns host the Denver Broncos on the NFL Network at 8:15 PM ET.

Quinn has been given a fantastic opportunity to succeed tonight. Not only does he make his first start in the comforts of the Dawg Pound, but he’s also facing a Broncos’ defense that has been shredded by air, ground and sea this year, and will also be without cornerback Champ Bailey, who continues to nurse a torn groin muscle.

Some feel that starting Quinn is a final desperation move by Romeo Crennel to save his job. That might be, but former starter Derek Anderson didn’t give him a lot of choice either. He was plagued by dropped passes (see Edwards, Braylon) and injuries (see Winslow, Kellen), but outside of a great game against the Giants and a decent first half against the Ravens, DA flat out hasn’t made as many plays as he did last year.

Quinn is going to be fine…at least tonight. The Browns have done a nice job building a solid offensive line and if they can get the running game going with Jamal Lewis, it’ll allow Quinn to take what the Broncos give him (which should be a lot) in the passing game. As long as offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski doesn’t ask him to do too much, Quinn shouldn’t have any problem moving the ball.

Looking ahead, Quinn has both favorable and nasty defensive matchups. Buffalo will be a decent test next week, but after that he faces two mediocre defenses in Houston and Indianapolis before getting his first huge challenge in Tennessee. He’ll also face Jim Johnson’s blitz-happy Philadelphia defense, as well as the Steelers at the end of the year so we’ll see what kind of mettle the young man has over the next two months.

But the thing to remember over the final eight weeks is that Quinn is still a pup. The torch has been passed, but everyone should give him time to develop. He might have a dazzling performance tonight, but fizzle next week; that’s just what you get from young quarterbacks. Regardless, the Browns have presented a great opportunity for him to succeed tonight. Let’s hope for Quinn’s sake that the offensive line opens holes for Lewis and the onus can be off of their young quarterback. As long as he doesn’t turn the ball over, he should be fine.

Should Browns release Winslow?

Patrick McManamon of the Akron Beacon Journal writes that the Browns should do themselves a favor and cut ties with angry tight end Kellen Winslow Jr.

Kellen Winslow Jr.Note that on Wednesday when his teammates were asked about Winslow, not one expressed concern about the team’s approach to staph, and not one came to Winslow’s defense.

That’s not an accident.

Savage and Crennel said they would welcome Winslow back, provided that he’s not disruptive and that he is productive.

It’s too late.

The Browns are a 2-4 team with Winslow playing while worried about his contract.

What will they be with him playing while obsessed about getting out of Cleveland?

It’s too bad the option to keep him inactive the rest of the season — a la the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Keyshawn Johnson — is no longer there. (That move does not exist under the current NFL collective bargaining agreement.)

So release him.

Winslow can find out what he’s worth on the open market, and the Browns can move on.

There comes a point where enough is enough and it appears that Phil Savage and the Browns are to that point with Winslow. He certainly hasn’t done himself any favors since he arrived in Cleveland and who could blame the team if they wanted to part ways? Considering he was a top 10 pick, it would be a shame if the Browns couldn’t get anything for him, but sometimes you have to learn when to cut your losses.

Is the end in sight for Winslow and Browns?

The Browns suspended tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. for one-game following his verbal bashing of GM Phil Savage and head coach Romeo Crennel in the wake of what he felt was the team’s mishandling of a staph infection. And as Patrick McManamon of the Akron Beacon Journal writes, this could be the beginning of the end for Winslow in Cleveland.

Kellen WinslowThis comes from nothing anyone said privately or publicly, but from the occurrences of the past few days and from the statement released by General Manager Phil Savage that was so cold it had icicles dripping from it.

This clearly is one angry GM.

Savage has always been restrained with announcements and news. That he was blunt and direct in the statement about Winslow speaks volumes.

Savage called Winslow’s comments ”unwarranted, inappropriate, and unnecessarily disparaging to our organization.” He said the comments ”brought unjustified negative attention to our organization, and violated the team-first concept of our football squad.”

…But Winslow undercut Crennel twice — first after the game on Sunday, then Monday morning when he had more to say after meeting with Crennel on the team plane Sunday night.

Winslow cares about the team. But he also believes that he is better than most anyone and that is why he expects the ball.

This time, though, he put himself ahead of the team. After a tough loss, he made it about himself. If his coach is not on board with the suspension — and does anyone expect Crennel to say anything today except ”we’ve moved on”? — Winslow need only realize he is the one who put his coach in this position.

McManamon goes on to note that the Browns were in no hurry to re-do Winslow’s contract this offseason and they even went as far to draft a tight end (Martin Rucker) in this year’s draft.

If the Browns do part was with Winslow, it would be another first rounder from the 2004 draft that a team has sent packing. The Lions recently traded WR Roy Williams to the Cowboys and released RB Kevin Jones, the Falcons dealt CB DeAngelo Hall to the Raiders this offseason and the Jets sent LB Jonathan Vilma to the Saints before the start o of the year. Interesting.

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