ATI Highlights: Weekend Edition

Lane Adkins has been out-of-control in the ATI forum of late, and here is a small sample of Lane providing more info on the head coaching search, the possibility of old friend returning, and the recent debate about Jeff Faine (pictured) and Melvin Fowler at center...<BR><BR>

LifetimeDawg: Barry, Lane, I have been hearing rumblings from San Diego that the chargers are having trouble signing Marty S and his assistants...If Randy wants to really get the fans back into this why not try to bring back Marty S. Is this even a possibility? Insiders would love to hear your thoughts on this especially since SD is now out of the playoffs.

Lane: Don't expect any Marty-ball sightings with the Browns.

Barry: Interesting article I read earlier today about Marty and his "coaching tree". For all that's been made about Belichick's influence, we have a potential coach who was mentored by a guy that Marty mentored: Russ Grimm.

Marty Schottenheimer -> Bill Cowher -> Russ Grimm

It will be interesting, if Grimm is the coach, to see if his approach reminds us of Marty at all. There might be a gleam there, after all, LOL.

JB42776: ESPN news is reporting that Romeo is the favorite for the browns job. Is this true? If so when will he be offered and who are his potential assistants?

BravoZulu: I'm not an insider, but i believe that if the GOLDEN CHILD is presently in the playoffs he cant be offered a job until his team is eliminated.

Lane Adkins: Correct, the job cannot be officially offered until the team the candidate coaches for is eliminated from competition.

Barry McBride: ESPN must be mind readers, then, because the Browns brain trust of Collins, Lerner, and Savage won't even be discussing it until Monday. Len Pasquarelli talked the other day about someone in the front office advocating Jim Fassel. So, I guess some of the folks at that omnivorous network might want to exchange some memos or something.

This may very well simply be planted spin going into ESPN and spewing forth via their news channel. Keep in mind that Crennel is interviewing with the 49ers as well, and the appearance that Cleveland is hot for Crennel wouldn't hurt his situation at all.

I'm not saying that report is false, or that Crennel won't be the guy, but based off of what the Cleveland brass has said publicly (and my own skepticism when I see something like this in the press) I wouldn't suggest that anyone put too much into it.

Ramllov: I do not blame the Browns, but maybe SF, it almost appears that both teams relieve themselves of interviewing a minority candidate by talking with this candidate in the bye week. I do not know if Crennell as the guy, however, it does take care of a requirement. I would think the Browns would go with an offensive coordinator type of head coach. It appears more work is needed on the offensive side of the ball.

Lane Adkins
: While interviewing Crennel fulfills the requirement regarding minority candidates, I can state with certainty, he is not being used as a tool, much like Art Shell has been. Crennel is a candidate that deserves recognition and attention for the fine job he has done for years.

Barry McBride
: Crennel has a legit chance at both of the jobs he's interviewing for. It's interesting to note that Crennel's agent, Joe Linta, made headlines by talking about the 49ers "dog and pony show" of interviewing a minority candidate a couple of years ago, trotting him out in front of the press, and then escorting Dennis Erickson in through the back down. I don't think the Niners would tempt fate by doing the same to another Joe Linta client. I believe they're serious about Crennel, and so are the Browns.

Lane Adkins: I can tell you that the Crennel interview went extremely well with the 49ers. Indications are the 49ers are not going to rush their search.

Ramllov: Mort indicated Crennel and Childress are high on the Browns list. Troubled players in Cleveland could be another reason for Crennel. A strong figure and no nonsense guy, is a strong feature to Crennel's character. It is interesting the feedback the various candidates are receiving for the Cleveland and SF job opportunities.

Lane Adkins: Crennel is a strong candidate and comes with a glowing recommendation from Belichick. Savage has great respect for Bill and this will be something that will be of strong consideration.

I don't know if Crennel is the top-guy at this time, but he is going to merit serious consideration.

Childress on the other-hand is an assistant that has garnered serious play as being the dynamic up and comer to HC ranks.

There is a reason why a coach such as Crennel is getting the love shown his way, now. The man has been around a long time, coached some many tremendous teams, most of which typifies teamwork, hard-word, and a strong focus toward putting players into a position to succeed.

One argument against Crennel will be regarding how much of the New England defensive game-plan, coaching, and scheme is he responsible for. Belichick remains involved on both sides of the ball in New England during preparation for an opponent. On the defensive side of the ball, Crennel garners credit for planning with input from Belichick.

Crennel has a solid background making him a serious candidate for the job in Cleveland.

MattMP: I know Lane has said people in the organization have mixed opinions on Faine... Zeirlein has reportedly said that Fowler did a better job at center than Faine. I did some number crunching for the 2003 season, comparing the rushing numbers when Fowler was the starting center and when Faine was the starting center. Is there anything to this, or is it just a statistical abberation?

2003, with Fowler as starting center

SD 23 att for 110 yds; Green, 65 yds
NE 19 att for 84 yds; Jackson, 71 yds
SEA 16 att for 47 yds; Jackson, 32 yds
STL 24 att for 162 yds; White, 101 yds, 1 TD
DEN 26 att for 102 yds; White, 55 yds
BAL 24 att for 78 yds; Suggs, 68 yds
CIN 40 att for 264 yds; Suggs, 186 yds, 2 TD

7 games, 172 att, 847 yds, 4.9 yards per carry, 3 TD

2003, with Faine as starting center

IND 26 att for 98 yds; Green, 86 yds
BAL 20 att for 60 yds; Green, 54 yds
SF 20 att for 51 yds; Green, 47 yds
CIN 22 att for 69 yds; Green, 47 yds
PIT 40 att for 124 yds; Green, 115 yds
OAK 32 att for 171 yds; Green, 145 yds, 1 TD
KC 21 att for 80 yds; Jackson, 66 yds, 1 TD
ARI 33 att for 89 yds; Jackson, 45 yds, 2 TD
PIT 28 att for 90 yds; Jackson, 94 yds

9 games, 240 att, 823 yds, 3.4 yards per carry, 5 TD (1 by Couch)

Lane Adkins: There are many factors which can sway the statistical focus...........

Now, if we want to discuss Fowler being better at the initial point of attack, but less mobile, we can. Or if we want to realize that Fowler does a better job against the larger defensive tackles, then we can. Faine is much more mobile, can get to the second line of the defense, and may be better in certain schemes.

Fowler is the physically stronger player and his technique is improving. One knock that has been on Fowler is he at times can be a lazy player. When he becomes lazy, his technique suffers dramatically.

Depending on the offensive scheme, we won't know who the better fit at center will be. But, if the Browns are looking to be a physical offensive line, Fowler may be the best fit due to his limited range, which would place his responsibility in a close area. If the Browns are looking to be zone type line, then Faine may be the better fit.

MattMP: Thanks for the breakdown, Lane. Some fans have wondered why the schemes haven't taken advantage of Faine's mobility. If I remember the post-draft press conferences correctly, I thought Faine was described as more of a "mauler" type.

IIRC, Wohlabaugh had some success and was able to get a hat on Ray Lewis in some games. Is Faine similar to a Wohlabaugh type? I was under the impression guys like him and Oben weren't popular with Davis because they were too "finesse" and he wanted a smashmouth, physically dominating line.

Lane Adkins: Faine may have been a player that could maul or man-handle at the collegiate level, but he not shown that ability at this level.

Faine has had plenty of moments where he drove a defensive lineman or linebacker into the next area code........but consistency is critical and there has been a lack of this along the offensive line and with Faine.

Getting to the second line of the defense is always a good thing, but necessary in all offensive line schemes. Wohlabaugh had the ability to get a hat on a linebacker, Faine also has done this at times, a player like Fowler cannot be depended upon to achieve this type of play, he does not move well in space.


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