Crennel: Monday Press Conference Remarks

Text of the remarks made by Browns head coach Romeo Crennel


Attached is the full text of Romeo Crennel's remarks, as provided to the media by the Cleveland Browns organization. With all the media attention on the decisions of the Browns head coach (such as whether or not to start QB Charlie Frye), we felt that there was value in providing this text to our visitors. Thanks again to the Cleveland Browns for providing this transcript:

(Opening statement)- "We went down to Houston and thought we had a good opportunity to come back with a victory. The guys played better, there was more offensive production and more rushing yards. Defensively, we held (Houston) to field goals except for one trip where they scored a touchdown. We didn't play as well on special teams as we needed to in that situation. So, we were not able to come back with the victory that we thought we could come back with. I probably say this every week but this team is one play away (from winning). We were not able to make that play and we couldn't get ourselves in a situation where we don't have to depend on that play. Until we can make that play or put ourselves in a better position during the course of the game, that is what it's going to come down to. We are going to keep working and try to improve. We are going to try to make that one play at some point. I don't know when that will be. I thought we would be able to make that play this past week, but we didn't. Sometimes it feels like you have one area that you've straightened out, but another area screws things up. You put one finger in the dike and then another leak springs. Then you stick another finger in that leak and another leak pops up somewhere else. We are trying to fight these leaks and eventually we are going to get them plugged and win. We still have nine games left in the season. There is a lot of football left to play. If we get it on the same page and all areas function then I think we can come up with a victory. Until that happens we'll be trying to make one play. That's where we are."

"As for the break down of special teams, (Houston) had a speed returner. We knew that he was fast. He was fast the week before, he was fast yesterday and he'll be fast again next week. We didn't do enough to slow (Jerome Mathis) down. He was able to outrun us early in the game and when the game was on the line he was able to outrun us again. We have to fix that. (Kyle Richardson) had a really bad day. He kicked two poor punts when we were backed up and that gave Houston good field position. They got a touchdown from one of the bad punts. That's hurts. We need to get all of the field position that we can get. When we don't get it, it's harmful for the team. (Richardson) needs to improve his performance. If he does he can help us. That's what we have with the special teams."

"The defense continues to hang in. They scratch and they bite. For the most part they hold opponents to field goal attempts. In the NFL, if you can hold your opponents to field goal attempts you give yourself a pretty good chance. When you allow touchdowns the game can get out of hand. Holding them to field goals keeps the game pretty close. We are not able to score any touchdowns offensively. That's something that we have to get done. We've been talking about it and we think that all of the plays we use are good. We are not able to execute the plays the way we need to. Offensively, our third down efficiency wasn't very good and our red zone efficiency wasn't very good. We are going to put a major emphasis on those things this week to try and improve. If we can improve the third down efficiency we can move the chains and get some momentum. Hopefully, we'll get to the red zone and if we can improve our efficiency there, we can put some points on the board. That's where we are. It's not where anyone wants to be or where I want to be. No one said it was going to be easy. Even though we won two games early on and gave the fans some hope, we are not executing as well as we need to. I don't think we need to throw in the towel and I don't think the fans need to throw in the towel. We still have nine games left. We are going to play hard in those nine games and if we get to the point where we can make that one play, we'll win some games."

(On bringing in punters to look at)- "We're going to take a look at our short list. We'll probably bring in one or two guys to take a look at."

(On bringing in players before this past week)- "Yes, we had different guys come in at different positions. Not punters, but other positions."

(On QB Trent Dilfer)- "It looked like he played better because we were able to put up 325 yards of net offense. Half of that was basically with the running game. I'm sure he'll tell you that he left some plays out on the field. We weren't able to make a play on the last play of the game. He had Dennis (Northcutt) on the sideline for another play which we could have made. All along we've been talking about (the quarterback) position. I think we'll continue to look and talk about that position. I don't think anything is set in stone on how we'll approach it, but we'll do what we think is best. Trent did better."

(On QB Trent Dilfer holding the ball too long on the third down sack in the fourth quarter)- "There was some adjustment involved between the quarterback, wide receiver and running back in that play. When we ran it on second down the receiver broke the route off and we threw to the shorter route. I think there was some expectation on third down and that didn't occur. We ended up taking a sack. I hoped we wouldn't take a sack in that situation. Throw the ball away if you have to. Sometimes when you are reading routes and you have more than one guy involved everyone has to be on the same page with what they see. We weren't effective on that play."

(On the positives and negatives to making a switch at quarterback)- "You would anticipate that (a switch at quarterback) would be more of a spark for the offense. You have to throw him in there and see if it would be a positive. A negative would be the opponent bringing every blitz known to man. Only time would tell if the quarterback would be able to survive it. If he can survive that it would be a positive. If he can't it would be a negative."

(On the upcoming schedule playing a factor on the decision to switch quarterbacks)- "That doesn't factor in. If I think a new quarterback should be in there, then he will be in there. It doesn't make a difference if it's on TV or not."

(On the team's performance since their 2-2 record heading into the Baltimore game)- "I think you are what your record is. I think we said we were an average team at that point. Now, we are below average. I think everyone didn't expect us to be 2-2 at that time. When we were 2-2 everyone's hopes got up. Even mine. Since that point, we haven't made the plays that we needed to make. We took a beating in the Baltimore game, but we've been in the past two games. If we can make a play we can win the game, but we haven't been able to make that play to win. If you could add two more wins to that record that would make a difference. We would still be average. If we could have made two plays we would have been average. If we don't make the two plays we are below average. That's what we are because that's what the record says."

(On QB Charlie Frye)- "I think you'd like to find out what you have with any young player on your team. They way you find out is by putting him in the game. My focus is not what collegiate quarterback is out there. I hope that we don't have the first pick in the draft and I have to make that decision. I'm going to try to win the games that we have left. Whatever quarterback is out there will be a decision down the road." (On his decision to challenge the out-of-bounds catch by Antonio Bryant) – "From my vantage point, this time it was on my side of the field. I could see what was happening, and I thought that he caught the ball. I didn't know how close it was or wasn't, but I thought he caught the ball. When I saw that he caught the ball and they ruled it incomplete, at that point in the game I said that this is a good challenge situation. I knew that if I won the challenge, it would give us a touchdown, and they've been hard to come by. If we get a touchdown, we probably can win the game."

(On whether he considered challenging Houston's touchdown) – "I looked at that, and it crossed my mind. From my vantage point, the guy who was defending (the receiver) was a step behind, and it looked like the ball was in the receiver's hands. Now, the second DB came across and raked the ball, and that's when the ball came out. The official who was right on the play—behind it—didn't make the call. It was the other official who was coming down the line. He was the guy who made the call, and it looked like he had a better view of it. Because it was the second guy that raked and the ball came out then, I decided not to challenge that one."

(On the timing being off between Dilfer and the receivers) – "It's hard to say that it's one or the other because you've got two people that are involved. The quarterback has to have time to throw. Then, when he's got time, the receivers have to get open. Whether it's a man-coverage situation and how many yards are needed also become factors. The longer the yards, the more he waits for them to get open. A lot of times, it's tougher to get open in that man situation. I think you have to look at the down-and-distance and the coverage aspect to make that determination. It's both of them. It's hard to say it's one or the other."

(On the opportunity to make a play on the final fourth-and-17) – "The play was there. Their guy made the play, and we didn't make the play. If we had made the play, I would have felt really good about it. Maybe (Dilfer) could have thrown it a little further. If he had, maybe Antonio (Bryant) wouldn't have had to come back."

(On the decision not to squib kick) – "A lot of times, squib kicks affect field position. On squibs, there's no guarantee where it's going to go. Sometimes, those squibs wind up hitting a front line guy or those shorter guys in the middle end up with it, and they end up with great field position. We decided to go ahead and kick it and try to cover. That's what kickoff coverage is supposed to be about. We do have a decent guy, as far as kicking. He doesn't kick them all in the end zone, but he gets them up there and gives our guys a chance to get down the field. We got outrun a couple times."

(On why they didn't kick away from Jerome Mathis) – "When the kicker lined up, the two returners would be together. The kicker usually places the ball one way or the other. If they're going to kick it one direction, they'll try to angle it in the direction they're going to kick. So they would wait until the kicker sets the ball and moves back. Now, for the kicker to change his approach, he's screwing with his rhythm. If I angle the ball (one direction), to kick it (the other direction) I've got to adjust my angle or try to come across my body. Adjusting the angle lets them know where the ball is going. Coming across your body with the kick usually results in a poor kick or a kick that doesn't have hang time, so he kicks it to try to give us the best hang time and the best kick we can get."

(On distributing playing time between William Green and Reuben Droughns) – "Usually, going in, we say that we're going to give William some carries in this case. It's not set that he's going to get eight carries or 10 carries or anything like that. Sometimes, it goes by personnel groups, like playing William with three wide receivers and Reuben in regular. It's a little bit of a feel. We talk about William being in and Droughns not being out there, but if you look at what William did in the game, he ran the ball pretty decently. William wasn't the reason we lost the game. I don't think anybody can say that because William Green was the running back, we lost the game. That wasn't the case."

(On the possibility of signing Andra Davis to an extension) – "With all our guys who are going to be free agents, we told them that we're going to get into the middle of this season and then make some determinations about personnel because we really didn't know them before. From a production standpoint, he's been pretty productive. I think we'll broach that subject in the next week or so."

(On Braylon Edwards getting more playing time) – "Like I've said all along, we've been working Braylon in more. As he continues to produce, I think that he'll get more playing time and we'll continue to work him in. It's not only throwing and catching for the wide receiver. There is some blocking that goes on, particularly when you run the ball like we were doing yesterday. There are some instances where we can do better as blockers at the wide receiver position. All of those things get taken into consideration."

(On the reason for Dennis Northcutt's decreased involvement on offense) – "All players have to be ready to play and have to be ready to make the play when it comes their way. You only have one ball out there, and you've got five eligible receivers. The ball cannot go to everybody. Going into the game, Antonio had about 10 more catches than Dennis had. I don't know that that's a major difference. It's not like he's totally out of the game plan. As far as why he's not getting more balls, maybe the quarterback can't see him. Maybe the quarterback is not looking for him. Maybe there's more coverage. Maybe he's on the strong side, where a lot of teams push the coverage. I think some of those things are involved, also."

(On Sunday's injuries) – "(Joe) Andruzzi banged his knee up, but he came back in. He's one of those tough warriors, so we'll see how the knee is today. It was a little swollen after the game, but we anticipate that he'll be ready unless we find out differently. Joshua (Cribbs) got a little stinger. He came back in the game and finished. (Ray) Mickens had a groin that we taped up, but he should be OK. (Chris) Crocker had a shoulder. He got hit on a tackle and hurt the shoulder a little bit. I think they're going to x-ray that, and they might even have to do an MRI. They'll let me know later on if there's anything major there. William (Green) had an ankle, and he got x-rays after the game on an ankle. The x-rays didn't show any damage, but it's an ankle sprain. Hopefully, it's not that dreaded high ankle sprain."

(On playing William Green more because of his effectiveness) – "If you're talking about giving a guy some turns and he goes in and he's productive, then you feel good about continuing to give him turns. That happened with William."

(On his basis for evaluating and playing William Green) – "I've only seen him in training camp and practice. William works really hard in practice, and he has another gear that shows up in practice. Because of that gear that he has, you say, ‘Let's see if we can see that gear in the game.' You put him in there and see what he can do. If he's not able to follow the fullback or gain positive yards, then his turns get basically eliminated. If he goes in and shows you a thing or two, then you give him a few more turns. That was the case yesterday. During the course of this year, there have been a couple times when he didn't do as well, so his turns were not increased. He goes in yesterday and shows one or two things, so he gets a few more reps. That's the way you do it unless you have a rotation. We're not to that point yet. We're not making it a rotation. We wanted to give William an opportunity to carry the ball. We gave it to him, and I think he carried the ball reasonably well."

(On whether Leigh Bodden has the talent to be effective in the NFL) – "I think he has enough talent to play in this league. He's been able to make plays on the ball the last two weeks. The work he got in training camp benefited him, and I think his confidence is growing. The confidence thing is important for a young corner or a corner who hasn't played a lot. (Confidence helps) on that island that they have to be on and to be able to come back and play the next play when you get beat."

(On the players' attitudes) – "I think that they're disappointed just like I am. They feel like if we make one play, we can win the game. They're disappointed that we can't make the play. These guys on this team want to win. That's why you're in this game. You play the game to win, so they're disappointed that we're not winning."

(On whether making 20 good plays would be better than making one big play) – "I didn't say that we don't want to make 20 good plays. The situation we put ourselves in is that we need to make one play to win the game. We haven't made that one play. There were several good plays yesterday. When you run for 156 yards, there are some good plays. When you have 325 yards of offense, there are some good plays. When the defense holds them to field goals, there are some good plays."

(On whether the team has thought about extending Reuben Droughns' contract) – "Droughns falls into the same category that everyone else falls into. We told them that once we got into the season, we would evaluate and start doing something about that. That's what we're going to do. We've still got another game before we're halfway through. We're getting this idea about who can do what. So far, he's been pretty good."

(On whether Dilfer was shaken up on the sack prior to his final pass) – "I don't think he was off. If he were off, he wouldn't have been able to make the throw. He made the throw. He stepped into it and delivered the ball."


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