The Browns of the Butch Davis era were a secretive organization, afraid to let any of their top-secret planning be exposed to the public.
Version 2005 of the Browns seems to be just the opposite... at least if the non-secret of Romeo Crennel's hiring is any indicator. There was very little mystery about whether or not Romeo Crennel would be the next Browns coach - it was more a matter of timing.
The timing, as it turns out, was two minutes after the Super Bowl ended, as Team President John Collins reportedly contacted Crennel on the field.
Just minutes after the Patriots captured their third Super Bowl in four years, reports of Crennel's agreement to become head coach started showing up on the forums, first based on Fox News reports out of Boston, then via the AP wires, Sirius radio, and the team's official web site.
Crennel confirmed following the Super Bowl today that he is headed to Cleveland later this week to accept the position of head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Negotiations with Crennel's agent, Joe Linta, will begin Monday morning in Cleveland, and it's anticipated that Crennel will be introduced as the team's new head coach on Tuesday or Wednesday.
After waiting several decades to get this opportunity, it's doubtful that Crennel will ask his agent to prolong negotiations. With the Indianapolis Combines just a couple of weeks away, followed by Pro Days and decisions on personnel at the beginning of March, Crennel will likely want to get to work as quickly as possible.
Crennel reflected on the long wait to become a head coach earlier this week, saying "...I think that in the NFL if you become a coordinator you have a chance to become a head coach, and that's the process and the way it's been for much of the time. I became a coordinator much later, but I've had some success and I think that pushed me into the forefront."
In interviews during Super Bowl week, Crennel also admitted that he had a frank interview with Butch Davis back in 2001, as he left to become Bill Belichick's defensive coordinator.
"I talked with Butch (Davis) and he was pretty honest with me at that time", Crennel told reporters, "He told me that I was not really one of his guys, and he didn't really have a chance to get to know me and wouldn't have time to get to know me, and at that time, I had another opportunity and that maybe I should pursue that other opportunity.
Crennel, obviously, was much better off leaving. That "other opportunity" has produced a number of Super Bowl rings, and now has enabled Crennel to return to Cleveland to seek success as a head coach.
According to press reports, look for Maurice Carthon to be announced shortly as the team's offensive coordinator, followed by a decision on defensive coordinator in the week to follow, as the Browns compete against the Patriots for the services of Eric Mangini.