Griffith Voices Concerns Over Playing Time

When the Browns went into their salary cap reduction mode, one player who was a candidate was safety Robert Griffith. Injured early in the 2002 season, Griffith did not provide the team with the experienced playmaker in the defensive backfield that they envisioned when signing him to a five-year deal before the 2002 season.

"Griffith was being counted on to be a solid contributor and really a force in the defensive backfield," a team source said. "When he was injured he was really just coming on and feeling comfortable in the defensive scheme. In reality, Griffith came back from the shoulder injury too early and we did not see the real Robert Griffith last season."

The real Griffith recently made some comments that appeared questionable in nature about his role last season with the Browns. Brought to Cleveland to be the quarterback and veteran presence of the defensive backfield, Griffith's role never materialized in the 2002 season.

"I could have helped out our team a lot, but there were some situations from the sideline that I could have easily taken care of," Griffith said. "You can only do so much from the sideline. That was more frustrating than everything else."

BerniesInsiders has learned that Griffith was not pleased with the playing not to lose defensive scheme utilized throughout the season. He also had some issues with players and coaches about the communication and commitment of the defense.

"Griff was pretty pissed off with allot that was going on in Cleveland last season. From his injury to being pulled at times from games, to the lack of organization and planning, he was not happy," a former 2002 teammate said. "(Foge) Fazio wanted to attack defensively, (Butch) Davis wanted to play soft, he didn't have any confidence in the defensive backfield, he had issues with some of the defensive coaches."

"In the end, the coaching staff did not make adjustments, nor did they communicate with the players, and the players did not communicate on the field. Fazio and (Chuck) Pagano did not like one another, there was a definite division within the masses on the defensive side of the ball."

Now, ironically Griffith is being counted on to be that veteran presence and playmaker that he was originally brought to Cleveland to be.

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