BEREA - What was widely speculated in recent weeks became reality Monday when Browns offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was fired.
Coach Butch Davis also announced the release of running backs coach Todd McNair and quarterbacks coach Carl Smith. The offensive assistants remaining are tight ends coach Steve Hagen, receivers coach Terry Robiskie and line coach Larry Zierlein.
"You don't make any of these kinds of decisions haphazardly," Davis said. "It's not a knee-jerk reaction to any one set of games this season. To be honest, it's a by-product of three seasons. We just felt like we needed to go in a different direction."
Arians was the victim of an offense that didn't have much talent and was ravaged by injuries to the line. The unsettled quarterback situation didn't help the situation, nor did the loss of running back William Green at the midpoint of the season because of his suspension by the NFL for violating the drug and alcohol policy.
"There is no set of factors or reasons," Davis said. "The injuries did play a role, to some extent. Again, it's a three-year, broad-spectrum look at all of the things. The growth and development, and in a three-year picture I just felt it was time to make a change."
The coaching moves could signal the start of a new style of offensive play. Look for a fullback to be added to help bolster the ground attack, which will be the focal point of the offense.
"There are a few ways I'd like to see our offense go," Davis said. "A lot of things have to happen. I told the players I would have a one-on-one conversation with everyone on the team, and that includes the quarterbacks. Once we get into the interview process and decide on where we're going with the coordinator, then we'll go from there.
"(We want) more balance. There is no one perfect game plan. Every game plan is going to be uniquely tweaked to fit the opponent you're going to play against. You have to utilize the guys you have in the best way you can. I think we'll move forward in the future with a better assessment of that."
Davis said that he doesn't think he made the wrong call when he selected Kelly Holcomb as the starting quarterback in August.
"I stand by what I said. The day we made the decision to announce that Kelly was going to be the starter, based on the performances and opportunities he had, I clearly think it was the right decision," Davis said. "He deserved the chance to find out if he could be the guy.
"It wasn't so much what Tim did to lose the job. Tim won seven of the nine games a year ago. It was more what Kelly had shown that he might be capable of doing. If we had made the decision before training camp, everybody would have said, 'What happened to the competition?' "