Adkins: Right to the Point

Lane explains the steps that led to USS Cleveland Browns winding up at the bottom of the sea. More straight talk from one of the most trusted voices in Cleveland football...


Time to put a fork in the 2008 version of the Cleveland Browns. This is not a playoff team. All the grand illusions and the hopes for a miraculous turnaround can now be packed away.

- Team owner Randy Lerner must have been proud to see the stadium nearly empty in the fourth quarter of a game, even though the outcome wasn't yet decided. I openly wonder what got to him the most: another woeful effort by the team, the quick trigger finger of the head coach in pulling the QB or fans running for the exits at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

- Lerner should be an unhappy camper right now - as this latest loss was yetanother display of ineptness by coaches and players alike. This organization lacks accountability and a temperament to evaluate and change. Oh... and the Browns lost to a team which has not won a game on the road in over a year.

- Head coach Romeo Crennel made an urgent move to change quarterbacks following Brady Quinn's second interception. But this interception would have never happened if a WR named Braylon Edwards had powered through the route and made himself 'big' - meaning turning around and sealing the inside shoulder. That was his responsibility.

- Believe the following words as bring very sincere and accurate: QB Brady Quinn loves being a member of the Cleveland Browns, but does not like that he is being handcuffed in the current scheme provided for him and the offensive unit.

- Edwards is a talent and a detriment to this team. He does not play with focus, he gets lazy and discouraged - his inconsistency in routes and the endless number of dropped passes grows on those players surrounding him on the playing field.

- Due to the hole they dug themselves, every game is of the greatest importance. Today, Crennel's team came out unmotivated, did not show energy and played without a sense of urgency. The lack of focus was evident in the number of dropped passes and miscues, especially in the red-zone.

- Call it what you will... Romeo Crennel has failed, this team and organization gains nothing substantial for future development with his continued command of the team. The time has come to part ways and have a new set of eyes bring a different perspective to the team for evaluation purposes.

- I hope to never hear the word - continuity - ever uttered again by this organization. Continuity has meant regression. I also hope Lerner will find a means to add a respected new voice to the organization. I'd rather not listen to another Romeo Crennel post-game interview or press conference following a game - as they have about as much impact and substance as a Coors Light commericial which runs on game-day television.

- Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski must be acknowledged as well here. This Browns offensive creativity is in question. Why play Quinn if the scheme is going to be so condensed - and afraid to throw the ball downfield. The Houston Texans today, like the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, did not fear the passing game.

- It's interesting how the staff felt some urgency and provided backup Derek Anderson with the opportunity to throw the ball down-field, as well as displaying the issues which haunted the Anderson-led offense earlier in the season - that being a sense of being unorganized and undisciplined.

- Anderson did make some solid throws in this relief appearance - too bad Edwards did not come down with a couple balls thrown his way.

- A decision must be made at the QB position and let the player play the game. It proves little to feed either Anderson or Quinn to the wolves - as has been the ongoing situation in Cleveland. For Quinn, the stat-line does not dictate his presence on the field over the past two-plus games. I simply fail to find a reasonable explanation or anything bordering on player evaluation to explain the team's moves at the position. 

- Heading into the off-season, GM Phil Savage or whoever is running the personnel side of the organization must address the issue at WR - as well as the head coach and offensive line. Let's not fail to mention the dire need for improved physical play and mentality at linebacker. There's a lot of work to do. 

- Defensively, the Browns bent, but did not break - despite Houston QB Sage Rosenfels having an eternity to survey the field and play pitch and catch with receivers in the offensive set.

- The inability to create pressure without blitzing- which is only sporadically effective - places the team's cornerbacks in the position of making stops in front of them, rather than making plays.

- Nickel DB Terry Cousin simply cannot be counted on to make plays in the slot. Starting CB Brandon McDonald is not the same player today as he was earlier in the season - being beaten has shaken his confidence. He is not nearly as aggressive with receivers, and his positioning has been terrible at times.

- Outside of NT Shaun Rogers, the Browns defensive lineman are of little impact and provide marginal play at the point of attack.

- Safety Brodney Pool was looked upon as being the weak link in the defensive backfield heading into the season. As we are seeing so far this season, however, he and CB Eric Wright can play this game at a high level.

- This team did not quit today, but the decision-makers on game-day mailed this one in. They're responsible for the failure to address the defensive scheme against the short-to-intermediate passing game, as well as the failure to aggressively attack a porous Houston defense.

And today, I sit here again puzzled over what I just finished viewing. This team is like a ship lost at sea - just floating along until it hits something, sinks or runs upon some luck.

The luck must have been used up in the 2007 season. The 2008 season appears to be a ship-wreck.

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