The new face of the Browns includes two new coordinators eager to get to work and justify the faith Romeo Crennel is showing in them.
Offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham on Friday were introduced to reporters covering the Browns. They did not say a lot about their strategy, but each made it clear he is eager for training camp to see players live and in action. Each has spent the last couple weeks watching film to evaluate exactly what the Browns have as a team.
"All I can look at is where I've been in my past," said Carthon, a 12-year coaching veteran. "I can go back two years to when we were in Dallas. I felt like we needed a quarterback and a running back. We needed some offensive linemen. We needed a tight end. The next thing you know, we put what we thought were the best players on the field and we won 10 games and we were in the playoffs."
The perception is the Browns are trying to change the offense into one that will run to set up the pass - a smash-mouth offense that will wear people down in Cleveland in November and late December. This will not be a one-dimensional team, Carthon said.
"That's what we've done in the past, but we're going to do whatever it takes to win," Carthon said. "There's more than one way to skin a cat.
"I don't want to get into the scheme of what we're going to be doing because I don't want to give our opponents any advantage. People don't know if I'm going to be New England or Dallas. Heck, I could run the run and shoot."
This will be Carthon's fourth year as offensive coordinator, but it will be his first year calling plays. He had the O.C. job in Detroit in 2002 and in Dallas in 2003 and '04. Bill Parcells called the plays, but Parcells leaned on Carthon for advice," Carthon said. Now Carthon, a former running back in the USFL and selfless blocking back in the NFL will lean on Crennel for advice."
"If Romeo says to me, 'Mo, I want to be aggressive this week,' I'll be aggressive," Carthon said. "If he says he wants to be conservative the next week, we'll be conservative.
"I have a good defensive head coach who can help me know what to expect from certain defensive fronts, coverages and blitzes. Romeo has been there and coached defensive lines and linebackers. Having that crutch to lean on as a play-caller is important because he knows what teams are going to try to do to us defensively."
Coach Crennel and Carthon go back almost 20 years to when Crennel was a defensive line coach for the Giants and Carthon was a blocking fullback for the Giants from 1986-91. Together they won two Super Bowls in New York.
Crennel and Grantham have never coached together, but Crennel relied on coaching friends and people he respects when seeking opinions of Grantham, who for the last three years was the defensive line coach for the Houston Texans. The Texans played a defense using three defensive linemen and four linebackers. Crennel wants the Browns to switch from a four linemen, three linebacker defense, and that is one reason he tabbed Grantham.
"The 3-4 is tougher for the offense to prepare for because you have two outside linebackers that could rush," he said. "One could rush and one could drop. You could bring three, four, or five guys. It's something we want to get to.
"We're in an evaluation on the players we have now. It's a work in progress."
Grantham did say he would like to find a place for Courtney Brown, whether it is on the line or as an outside linebacker. He also said Orpheus Roye and Alvin McKinley are good candidates to play the nose tackle.