Coordinators on the Chopping Block

In Arizona, Cleveland, and Baltimore, three different head coaches dealt with anemic offenses in the past several days. They took three different approaches, and the result will likely play a key role in the future of each...

If you don't produce in the NFL, you'll be history quickly. And that's not just for players -- ask the two offensive coordinator who were fired Tuesday. Baltimore let Jim Fassel go while Arizona's coach Dennis Green made Keith Rowan the first scapegoat following Monday's heartbreaking loss to Chicago.

Baltimore and Cleveland are on the opposite ends of the AFC North spectrum, with the Ravens leading the way at 4-2 and the Browns scuffling along in last place 2 1/2 games behind.

However, they share one thing in common -- porous offense.

The Ravens rank 28th in the league at 271.7 yards per game and the Browns 31st at 261.2. Baltimore's ranking would be even lower if not for two big plays off deflected passes last Sunday.

So it's understandable that both head coaches are taking a more active role in the offensive game plans for their respective teams.

Ravens coach Brian Billick made a bold move Tuesday, firing Fassel. Instead of promoting quarterbacks coach Rick Neuheisel into the role, Billick will take control of the play-calling.

Several Baltimore players have voiced displeasure with the offense in recent weeks, but Billick said that's not what prompted the move.

"There was no single incident or episode that brought about this change," he said. "It was a collective evaluation on my part that something dramatic needed to be done."

Romeo Crennel isn't being dramatic in Cleveland -- not yet, anyway.

He gave offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon a vote of confidence during the team's bye week, but admitted he might take a more active role in the play-calling. While Crennel said he's not likely to insert a bunch of gimmick plays, he has tabled some that haven't been working and emphasized a few he believes the offense should focus on.

"If I add pizzazz and that doesn't work, I'm going to have to go back and try to be consistent again," he said.

In Arizona, quarterbacks coach Mike Kruczek will take over for Rowen.

"I just don't think we've been scoring enough points," said Green. "Every week I've been saying that. We have not been as efficient. We're 23rd in the NFL in total offense and we're probably worse than that in scoring offense. Again, it doesn't all fall on one guy, but there is a job that has to be done and I'm going to give another guy a chance to do that job."

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