Pressure Stays on Crennel

The Browns head coach is getting continuing pressure to dump Mo Carthon, whose offense unit remains ineffective.

Romeo Crennel is facing pressure from the media and Browns fans to dump offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon during the bye week and replace him with Terry Robiskie or Jeff Davidson before the season resumes October 22, with a home game against Denver.

The Browns are 1-4. They have offensive weapons in Kellen Winslow Jr. and Joe Jurevicius that they did not have a year ago when they were 2-3 after five games.

"Going forward this week, we are going to try and self scout ourselves, evaluate the things that we think are good, look at the things that are bad, try to eliminate the negatives and accentuate the positives," Crennel said. "I'm not discouraged by what the players are able to do or the effort they give. They try to play hard and do what we coach them to do. We're not as consistent as we need to be and that's something we have to work on during the bye week."

Crennel's options are limited. He hinted Jurevicius might replace Dennis Northcutt as a starting receiver. One other possibility would be benching left guard Joe Andruzzi and starting Lennie Friedman.

"One of the things we'll do this week is give the backup players more reps in practice to see where they are and if they can help us," Crennel said. "I'm not ready to say if that will turn into lineup changes."

Carthon has been in the eye of the storm since last year, when the Browns scored the fewest points (232) in the 2005 season. Five games into the season, the Browns have yet to score a touchdown in the first quarter. The offense is ranked 31st in the league.

Asked whether Carthon will call plays for the balance of the season, Crennel answered: "Ask me next Wednesday," but when answering a follow-up question Crennel said he was not pondering a switch.

As with any possible lineup changes, Crennel's options are limited if he does shake up his coaching assignments. Crennel coached defense throughout his career, so he would not take over the play-calling. The only possibilities are receivers coach Robiskie, who was the offensive coordinator at the beginning of 2004 before being named head coach with five games left or Davidson, the offensive line coach/assistant head coach. The Jets wanted Davidson as their offensive coordinator in the past offseason, but the Browns kept him by promoting him to assistant head coach.

"The team is 1-4 and we haven't done as well as we wanted to do or hoped to do," Crennel said. "We're going to work and try to get better. I'm not going to sit up here and analyze individuals, players or coaches. The buck stops at my desk. I'm not doing as well as I would like to do and I'm going to try to do better."

No matter who calls the plays, the offensive line that has given up 16 sacks will still be the same group protecting a quarterback that has started only 10 NFL games. Charlie Frye has been hit after passing another 47 times. Crennel said problems in the line and Frye's inexperience limit what plays can be called.

The line cannot point to Frye being green as the only reason for protection problems. The Browns are averaging just 3.2 yards a carry.

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