New Week Starts with Flurry of Moves

The Browns started Romeo Crennel's first full week with a bang on Monday, dumping QB Jeff Garcia, hiring someone to revive the offensive line, and starting a renewed chase for a defensive coordinator. Here are some of the details...

GARCIA DUMPED: The press release by the Browns on Jeff Garcia approximates how he will be written up in the chronicles of team history:

"The Cleveland Browns will release QB Jeff Garcia on Feb. 22, 2005, the club announced this afternoon.  Garcia had three years remaining on his existing contract.  Last season for the Browns, Garcia appeared in 11 games, including 10 starts, and completed 144–of-252 passes for 1,731 yards with 10 TDs, nine interceptions and a QB rating of 76.7."

Three sentences. Zero outstanding accomplishments.

When Garcia was acquired by the team, a number of pundits (and at least one webmaster) proclaimed that the team had upgraded themselves at the quarterback position over Tim Couch.

Perhaps that prediction didn't come true because the Browns offensive scheme wasn't appropriate. Maybe the offensive line was inadequate or Garcia himself is losing his touch. Whatever the reason, the quarterback is on his way out of town. He could potentially re-appear in Detroit, where head coach Steve Mariucci has a West Coast offense and only one quarterback.

The Browns avoid paying Garcia's roster bonus, but will be responsible for pro-rated portions of last year's signing bonus.


COACHING MOVES: The weekend saw the Browns lose out on Eric Mangini and hire new offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon. In addition, the Browns hired John Lott to serve as the team's new strength and conditioning coach, replacing Buddy Morris.

The new jobs are lateral moves for both Carthon and Lott, who held similar positions with the Cowboys and Jets, respectively.

Two members of last year's staff will be staying on with Crennel. The new Browns head coach is keeping Terry Robiskie as wide receivers coach and Jerry Rosburg as the mentor of the special teams unit. Robiskie has repeatedly stressed a desire to remain in Cleveland, although he had aspirations to the head coaching job after being promoted to interim head coach in 2004. Robiskie's son, Brian, is finishing his senior year at Chagrin Falls High School and will be playing for Ohio State this fall.

Larry Zierlein will no longer look after the Browns offensive line, as the team has hired Jeff Davidson to tutor the much-maligned offensive line in 2005. Davidson was tight ends coach and assistant line coachfor the Patriots over the last three years.

"Jeff (Davidson) will certainly help us develop our offensive line with his detail oriented approach and tremendous work ethic," said Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel.  "He thoroughly understands the intricacies of the running game and pass protection and shares the same offensive philosophy as Maurice and I."


DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR POSSIBILITIES: While Pepper Johnson has been rumored to be the team's back-up plan following the decision by Eric Mangini to stay in New England, the team is looking at other possibilities.

Both the Miami Dolphins and the Browns have reportedly turned their interest toward Texans defensive line coach Todd Grantham since the weekend announcement. An interview with Crennel is anticipated. Grantham has expertise with the 3-4 defense that appears to be part of the Browns defensive future.

The team officially released defensive coordinator Dave Campo along with Zierlein on Monday.


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