BEREA - It appeared to be business as usual in Berea. Several players confirmed that Phil Savage addressed the team for about 10 minutes before the team disbanded until the off-season program begins.
"(Savage) addressed the team and gave us a general overview, that's all I can say," Ryan Tucker said. "He said, `We're going forward.' It didn't sound like a goodbye speech at all."
Romeo Crennel was asked early in is address with the media about Savage.
"I anticipate Phil Savage is the general manager and will continue," Crennel said. "I anticipate we'll get together this week and evaluate what we can do better."
Crennel was asked what his reaction was on Friday when the rumors came out about Savage being fired.
"I knew Phil was not fired and he still had a job," Crennel said. "We knew we had to get ready for the game."
Crennel said he's looking forward to continue to work with Savage.
"I think we have a good working relationship," Crennel said. "Phil is a good personnel guy. I think any organization that is working toward a common goal. You have different personalities, but you can work toward the common goal."
What if Savage does end up resigning?
"This is the NFL," Crennel said. "If something happens, you do what you have
Bodden Happy: CB Leigh Bodden said he is relieved to head into the off-season knowing that he will be back with the Browns after signing a four-year contract last Friday.
"It gives me peace of mind going into the off-season," he said. "I'm glad I'm going to be here."
Droughns Confident: After rushing for 1,232 yards, RB Reuben Droughns is confident the Browns will re-do his contract. He was asked if he thought he would be a holdout next year.
"I don't think so," he said. "I think everything will take care of itself. Jim Brown told me he thought it should be re-done."
Drew Rosenhaus represents Droughns and is notorious for having his players hold out.
"I definitely want to get it done professionally," Droughns said. "Yes, show me the money," referring to the line used by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the movie Jerry McGuire.
Under the Knife: Crennel said several players will have surgery on Tuesday. OL Cosey Coleman will have arthroscopic surgery to have his knee cleaned out. WR Braylon Edwards will have surgery to repair his ACL. FB Corey McIntyre will have his knee scoped to clean out cartilage. Practice player Pete McMahon will also have his knee scoped. Others who might have surgery in the near future mentioned by Crennel were DL Orpheus Roye (knee), OL Joe Andruzzi (knee), and TE Steve Heiden (ankle) and S Chris Crocker (dislocated shoulder) and they are waiting to see what needs to be done.
C Jeff Faine (torn biceps) said he will begin his rehab on Jan. 10 and is expected to be recovered by April 1.
On the Draft: Crennel was asked if he was happy with the 2005 draft.
"(Nick) Speegle got some experience on special teams. McMillan got reps in practice that will be invaluable. The experience these guys gained will help them," he said. "Just because they didn't play this year doesn't mean they won't play in the NFL."
There will be some turnover as there is every year. We have some unrestricted free agents that we have to make decisions on and they have to make decisions on us.
Biggest Plus: Crennel said he was most happy that he felt the Browns never quit.
"One of the biggest positives is this team played hard every game," Crennel said. "I told them that if they did that they would have a chance to win a share of their games. They did that and that's something you can build on.
"The one game (Pittsburgh) we got beat up pretty good, but they didn't give up."
Biggest Challenge: Crennel reiterated the biggest area the Browns need to address in the off-season is the front seven.
"I would like to see us improve our rushing defense and get more of a pass rush," he said. "We need to get better at both positions. If we can get two guys, one at each position we would be better."
Crennel said they would look at both free agency and the draft to address the need.
"It depends on who they are," he said. "I had (Richard) Seymour and he came from the draft and he stepped in and did a good job. We got Ted Washington in free agency."