Bye-week thoughts . . .
Coach Romeo Crennel made it perfectly clear Monday that he is comfortable keeping the status very quo for the immediate future.
With storm clouds swirling menacingly over his offensive coordinator, Crennel not surprisingly chose to side with Maurice Carthon, whose approach to offensive football can be considered, um, different.
It's not surprising in that it's difficult to admit you made a mistake about a coaching choice and changing now would only downshift a shaky situation into one that would border chaos.
At the same time, Crennel is putting his job on the line and gambling big time that Carthon will somehow bail him out.
The coach mentioned something about emphasizing strong points and moving
forward in his news conference. "We don't think we're that far away when you
look at the
One game in five. What he was saying was that if the Browns can bring it in one game, they can do it a good deal of the time.
No they can't because if they could, they would have by now. The losses to
"I have confidence in my guys and I believe we can get this thing turned around," Crennel said. "I believe I have good guys and coaches on the team and believe we can develop some consistency and be productive."
Based on what? Based on having good guys and coaches? What about the talent level? That's got to count for something. Then again, what else did you expect him to say?
In Crennel's 21 games as the Browns' head coach, his team has won just seven times. And the good guys have played like slugs for the most part.
"If you look at our games, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot," Crennel said.
Well, yeah, that's what bad teams do. Bad teams almost always find a way to lose and good teams almost always find a way to win.
Simple, basic, yet very true.
Crennel talks about coaching up the players. Maybe that's where the problem lies. Either the players aren't listening or they're not good enough to execute what they're being coached.
Which one is it? Maybe both . . .
In order for Charlie Frye to become a good National Football League quarterback, he must learn to do no more than his talent allows him.
He does not have a powerful throwing arm. Forcing passes into double and sometimes triple coverage begs for trouble.
He has to trust his receivers will be in the right place at the right time and deliver the ball before his receivers make their breaks. He cannot wait for receivers to make the break and then throw. That gives defensive backs time to recover and make a play.
He has to make quicker decisions and get the ball out of his hand much faster. Count to four. One thousand one, one thousand two . . . If Frye hasn't released the ball by four, preferably three, he's in trouble or something negative is about to happen.
Until he learns to do that, Frye still has a long way to go before achieving the kind of success most Browns fans envision for him. For every smart move he makes, he counters with two of the head-scratching variety.
For every clutch play he makes early in games, he conjures up those attached with brain cramps late in games. It's called inconsistency, the malady most rookies must battle through before turning a corner that leads in one of two directions: Stardom or mediocrity.
The most remarkable thing about Frye at this point of the season is that he's still vertical despite taking a frightful beating.
And yet, after 10 games as a starter, it's time to stop blaming a distinctly mediocre offensive line for all of Frye's problems. They are the root cause for some, but not all. The kid has to bear the responsibility for some of them.
Next season, he will have a whole new set of excuses – mostly by fans who desperately want to see the local boy succeed – as he starts all over again with a new offensive coordinator and a new philosophy . . .
Woulda, coulda and shoulda: The Browns could have won the season opener against New Orleans at home, should have won the Baltimore game at CBS and would have been 3-2 at this point of the season if coulda and shoulda were not didn't . . .
Man-mountain mush: When the Browns signed Ted Washington as a free agent, it was thought that unless the big guy played like a 38-year-old man, the Browns' problems against the run would be a thing of the past. After five games, in which the Browns have yielded 142 yards a game on the ground, it is painfully evident that the nose tackle is playing like a 38-year-old man, a washed-up 38-year-old man . . .
Secondary M*A*S*H: Last season, it was the offensive line. This season, it's the defensive backfield. Will the Browns ever catch a break in the health department? And why is it always concentrated on one position? Curse? What curse? . . .
Pro Bowl candidate: While fans ponder which Brown will break through and finally make it to a Pro Bowl, there is really only one who has a chance. And it's not punter Dave Zastudil, who has done a fine job. If he remains consistent and healthy, kick returner Joshua Cribbs is as sure a lock to get to Honolulu as you'll find in the NFL. He added punt-return duties to his repertoire in the Carolina loss and did well . . .
Bionic leg: Has anyone noticed Phil Dawson's kickoffs this season? He's reached the end zone far more than ever before, giving the opposition a longer field with which to work. There's something to be said for that. Steroids? Nah . . .
Convoluted thinking: What's with this "if the play works, it's good and if it doesn't work, it's bad" nonsense? Crennel hung around Bill Belichick too long. That kind of stuff is pure Belichick coachspeak. It's utter bullroar. It insults the intelligence of the fans. Well, most of them, anyway. Be your own man, Romeo. Man up and admit some calls, some strategies are worse than others. And don't be afraid to overrule your coordinators. Fans might be more understanding if you do . . .
Raving Romeo?: Cornerback Gary Baxter, a far-too-often visitor to the injured list, claims Crennel is not the same man off the field. "Don't push his buttons," Baxter reportedly said. "He can turn very vicious. He can be a different person." A Jekyll-Hyde, perhaps? We see Jekyll during games. I'd rather see Hyde.
Time to sit him: What is Terrelle Smith's value to the Browns? He might be a terrific blocking back, but has anyone noticed the Browns haven't been able to run the ball this season? They've averaged a puny 75 yards a game and Reuben Droughns has morphed into ordinary. For all the good he does, it's time to sit Smith. He's useless. It's time to go with a three-receiver or two tight end attack . . .
Crennel changes: No longer can the "he doesn't play rookies" label be pinned on the coach. Not with D'Qwell Jackson and Kamerion Wimbley forming half the linebacker corps. Playing the club's top two draft picks now will pay big dividends down the road.