Owl: Trashing Butch Davis

The Owl doesn't like what he heard from players after the Browns head coach stepped aside...


According to the National Football League Players Association, 70 percent of NFL players end up divorced.

This figure seems high, but it is easier to understand after a fly-by in the Browns locker room by The Owl. We are talking about one wild Dump on Butch Davis extravaganza now that Davis is gone.

"I talked to several players," safety Earl Little said. "Guys are happy. They want to have a party."

Davis benched Little a month ago.

"Four years should be enough," tight end Aaron Shea said. "Injuries played a role, but other teams have injuries, too. I don't think you can use that as an excuse. Maybe the change is for the best."

It's kind of crappy for Shea to throw Butch under the bus. Shea was on injured reserve in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and Davis brought him back each time.

Don Banks, a respected columnist for Sports Illustrated.com, went the wimp route and quoted players anonymously. He allegedly spoke to them after Davis bailed Tuesday.

"Guys just didn't trust him, point blank,'' Banks quotes one player saying. "With any coach, you have to buy into what the guy's selling. You have to believe in him, no matter what. That's essential. And we never bought into Butch. I never saw any trust coming from the players, because we knew he was full of [crap]. Guys had just tuned him out a long time ago.''

Banks quotes one player no longer with the Browns. Of course, he does not name him.

"You can tell he's lying, because his lips are moving,'' the player said. "That's how guys feel about him. You can't trust what he says.''

Strong safety Robert Griffith said he wouldn't have signed with the Browns if he knew what Davis was like. Davis would probably counter that by saying if he knew how many tackles Griffith was going to miss he wouldn't have signed him in the first place.

Players have no right to complain about fickle fans if they are going to turn on their coach like these guys turned on Butch Davis.

I was in Butch's corner, and I still believe he is a good coach. Things just did not go the Browns way. Just look at the last two games. Phil Dawson misses the two field goals against the Jets and they lose 10-7. Kelly "Cement Feet" Holcomb throws a ridiculous interception against the Bengals with the score 51-48 and the Browns lose 58-48 because of it. Holcomb is a backup for a reason.

Having said all that, The Owl likes the way players are responding to new coach Terry Robiskie. They are willing to run through a wall for him. Running through the Patriots defense would be enough.

Robiskie said his first practice was a spirited one Wednesday afternoon. Well, it should have been. If this 3-8 team cannot respond to a new coach then they should all be shipped off to Wyoming.

"Terry played and everybody respects him because he knows what it takes to win," defensive end Kenard Lang said. "He's a straight shooter. Everybody is willing to lay down their lives, go out and win some games to keep Terry here as coach. If Terry wins some games, there's no reason to go out and get a different coach."

Robiskie deserves every chance in the last five games. If he wins three, he should be retained, but it's probably a losing cause because the general manager Randy Lerner is going to hire will probably want to hire his own coach.

We'll see over the next month how good these players are. Davis has been roundly criticized for his drafts. We're about to find out if they were truly bad or if players just tanked it. If it is the latter and they suddenly play well for Robiskie, the next head coach should think twice about wanting them on his team. Because, as they have proven with their "trash Davis" comments, their loyalty could grow cold quickly.


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