Browns at the Bye: Good News, Bad News

The Browns are spending this week to "scout themselves" in the words of head coach Romeo Crennel. What they're finding is a mixed bag of progress and losses, according to

The Browns head into the Bears game feeling good about the way they've played, but bad about their record.

The approach comes from their coach. Romeo Crennel was a Bill Parcells guy, and Parcells always defined his team by its won-lost record.

Crennel is the same way. He's pleased his team competed against Indianapolis, but to him it was just a loss.

"Until we win more than we lose, we're going to be losers," Crennel said.

Fans certainly will view the Bears game as an opportunity to move to .500.

Chicago is playing a rookie quarterback and the Browns are coming off an "encouraging" loss to Indianapolis.

"It's about us players going out and making it happen," wide receiver Dennis Northcutt said. "You can be in all the right directions you want, but as players, if we don't go out and do the right things then ... "


Phil Savage's first off-season move was to target the interior of the offensive line.

To improve things, he brought in new guards Joe Andruzzi and Cosey Coleman. Savage figured that better guards would help center Jeff Faine.

When Ross Verba went off the deep end in his personal life, the team released him and signed L.J. Shelton.

Through three games, the moves have paid off. The team's offensive line won't remind anyone of the Redskins' famed Hogs of the past, but they are competent and professional - and playing better than any Browns line has in years.


Nothing bothers Romeo Crennel more than lack of discipline and immaturity, and the Browns have shown too much of it.

Two Dennis Northcutt punt returns for touchdowns have been negated by penalties. Taunting penalties on wide receivers Antonio Bryant and Braylon Edwards hurt the offense against Indianapolis.

The Browns candidly that they're not good enough to win games when they make silly mistakes, and Crennel wants it stopped.

He doesn't think it's a difficult proposition, either.

"If we don't play smarter, we won't give ourselves the chance we need," Crennel said.

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