OBR Roundtable: Should Romeo Stay, or Go?

To start the off-season, nine OBR and Scout writers will consider one question each day for the next five days. Today, we tackle the question of whether Romeo Crennel should leave, or stay, as the Browns head coach. Here with their individual answers are Adam Caplan, Frank Derry, Fred Greetham, Greg Hensley, Mark Leonard, Barry McBride, Rich Passan, Scott Petrak, and John Taylor...

ADAM CAPLAN: Stay. He didn't draft the talent so he shouldn't be held responsible for the players that he has to coach. What he needs to do a better job of his picking his coaching staff. The offense has underachieved from day one. Sure he's had injuries to deal with. But all teams deal with injuries. The decision of going with QB Charlie Frye all season was clearly a mistake and Crennel should have replaced him with Derek Anderson much sooner. By sticking with Frye, Crennel was basically saying we're not trying to win, we're trying to evaluate. That's not acceptable. 

FRANK DERRY: The Browns find themselves between a rock and a hard spot. Getting rid of him is a problem, Keeping him could be an even bigger problem.

The Browns, as well as many other teams, have proven that constant change is not the answer.That lack of consistency in coaching philosophy creates a huge problem because of the type of personnel which has been acquired to play a particular offense or defense. When you;ve gotten players for a 3-4 defense and suddenly a switch is mae back to a 4-3, problems airse. Likewise, when smaller offensive linemen are acquired to provide pass protection, the switch to a run-oriented offense can only disrupt development.

But when a coach lacks the respect of his players, something which is obvious more-so from actions than words, then maybe he needs to be replaced by a veteran head coach who has shown the ability to control his players.

If the Browns believe that Bill Cowher will be available in 2008, then I would give Crennel one more chance. If Cowher is out of the equation, it is time to make a switch immediately.  

FRED GREETHAM: I would keep him under certain stipulations. If he doesn't want to make some changes, I would change if another veteran coach is available. I would not change for the sake of change, if there isn't a proven commodity available and lined up. If the Browns don't come out of the gate well next season, then make the move.

GREG HENSLEY: Romeo should go. His failure to have this team prepared, lack of motivation, failure to discipline, in game adjustments, clock management, lack of passion, personnel decisions, playing to lose close instead of to win are reasons he will never succeed as a head coach. There are great head coaches and great assistant coaches and I believe Romeo falls in with Norv Turner in that  he is great at what he does but don't ask him to be the General.

BARRY MCBRIDE: Stay. Teams win with defense, and the Crennel/Grantham/Tucker troika is a terrific group of defensive minds. Crennel must accept some help to overcome holes in his approach. In order to stay, Romeo must accept more experienced help on the offensive side of the ball and adopt of firmer hand with his young charges. Don't fire Crennel unless he balks at changes or you have a sure thing (Fisher, Cowher) lined up to replace him.

MARK LEONARD: Regrettably, it seems evident Mr. Crennel lacks what makes great head coaches special. I no longer have confidence he can get it done. In addition to failing to maximize his youthful influx of newcomers---which seems highly-recommended when entrusted with turning around a talent-deficient roster of losers---the man is not extracting superior performances from his assistant coaches, a challenge I'd thrown down to his staff last off-season. In brief, he is not making those around him perform better and leadership remains short on all levels for which he is directly responsible.
As much as one could argue for continuity and stability, perhaps even if the wrong man were in place, the overall assessment is a change at the top seems inevitable and, assuming the right guy can be persuaded to come here---a huge assumption, indeed---that change may as well be made immediately. Romeo can indict his GM for some of his club's shortcomings, but his inability to affect significant positive change is on him. Special leaders get that much done.

RICH PASSAN: Is there any question that the man has to go? There isn't one redeeming quality about his coaching style and philosophy that convinces me he would finally get it in year three. Nothing. His abysmal record within the division is not a coincidence. It's the result of not having teams ready to play four quarters. I'm certain the fans are weary of seeing unprepared teams week in and week out.

Crennel's laissez-faire approach to head coaching does not work. It has become abundantly clear that the players no longer listen to him. Oh, they hear him, but don't listen. They've tuned him out. And in the National Football League, that's a death sentence. If the players had wanted to respond to him, they would have done so by now. That hasn't happened. Time to cut bait and bring in someone who will get the players' attention and maximize their talents.

SCOTT PETRAK: Stay. I know it's not popular, but stability is the right path at this time. Crennel is a proven winner and smart defensive mind who should get a third year to show he can be a good head coach. He stayed with Maurice Carthon too long and needs to improve the staff on the offensive side, but the perception that he doesn't have control of the team is misguided. With the exception of head case Braylon Edwards, the team has walked the straight and narrow. Bill Cowher and Jeff Fisher aren't available, so Crennel's the choice.

JOHN TAYLOR: Stay, but only with changes to his coaching staff--experienced offensive coordinator added and someone whose name rhymes with "Terry Robiskie" subtracted--and an assurance from Romeo himself that he'll go Red Foreman on players such as Braylon Edwards in the future.  Either way, it needs to be known that RAC is on a very short leash and that the ownership will not suffer through yet another debacle of a season.  Give him the 2007 to show signs of progression and development; anything less than that, and he's gone and a search for a new head coach will commence in the early stages of the next New Year.

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