Death Chat: Defcon 5 Edition

With the Cleveland Browns teetering on the brink of unfettered sub-mediocrity, the OBR crew of geniuses gathered once again to battle it out in the Death-Chat-o-Drome. Who will survive? Who eats too much Pizza Hut? Answers within...

Barry: Rich, how does it feel to have everyone agree with you now.
Rich: Is it too late to change my mind?
Barry: LOL

Barry: OK, We're on a tight schedule tonight. Let's get this thing started.
Barry: Welcome to a special Defcon 5 Edition of the OBR Death Chat
Barry: Alright, geniuses, let's get this out of the way quickly.

Barry: 1. Why wait to replace the head coach?
Rich: Good question.
Fred: Randy insisted today that his mind wasn't made up
Rich: He's a slow thinker.
John: "Because an interim coach never does anything." Insert puke here...
Barry: Lane offered a pretty good case for making a change now in his "In-Box" earlier today.
Rich: This club can't get any worse than it is now.
Rich: It's not the same as when Robiskie took over for Davis and the club collapsed. This club is much more talented.
Fred: He said he hopes not to make a decision to late January
Rich: Late January? Does he really think his team will make the playoffs?
Fred: he is holding out hope or not facing reality

Barry: If what we've heard is true and Tucker would like to try some differnet things, it seems like we're holding back player
evaluation. I'm coming around to changing my mind in favor of dumping RAC now.
Barry: Is there any other reason to keep RAC other than the owner's indecision?
Fred: None
Rich: Not one scintilla of a reason.
John: Randy's mind isn't made up enough to make it public.
John: It's not owner indecision, it's owner respect for the soon-to-be-former head coach.
Rich: Respect my butt.
John: Lerner respects the hell out of RAC, Rich.
Rich: As a coach?
John: As a man.
Barry: Or just posturing publicly...
Rich: Well, the man is not" a good coach.
Rich: And isn't that what he's getting paid for?
John: The season's mortally wounded. Randy should've just shot it today and put it out of its misery.
Rich: Got that right.
Fred: He seemed really a little lost on what to do
Rich: He had nothing to lose by removing Crennel.
Barry: With the off-season getting so crowded and dense with workouts, etc, you'll want to move quickly.
John: Their main object of affection is not under contract to anyone but a broadcasting company. There's plenty of time. ;-)

Barry: OK, question 2
Barry: 2. Other than Romeo Crennel's coaching, what do you regard as the biggest issue the Browns have faced in 2009?
Rich: The defensive scheme.
Rich: It needs to change back to the 4-3.
Fred: The defense collapse
Fred: The offense collapse
Rich: It's painfully obvious that the current setup is not working. Hasn't for four years now.
John: True dat, Rich. Something has to, and will, change.
Barry: I think we overrated the team's talent based on 2007's easy schedule and luck with injuries. Ultimately, I think that's the biggest failure. So, I guess I'd say "the schedule".
Fred: The team did have an easy schedule
Fred: They should have an easier one next year again
Barry: Really, over-estimating the talent falls on Savage. He didn't fill what we were calling some major roster holes.
John: Cavs up 27 late in the 3rd Rich.
Rich: Impressive. Can LeBron play wide receiver better than Braylon?
Barry: More of a TE
Rich: Rhetorical question.
Barry: You have a take on this question JT?
John: I actually just noticed you posted the second question...
Barry: Pay attention! Turn off NASCAR!
Rich: They need to bring in someone with a 4-3 state of mind and make the appropriate changes in drafting philosophy and free-agent signing.
John: The second biggest question, besides RAC as the HC, facing the Browns is Romeo A. Crennel being the HC.
Barry: Ah, yes, I see.
John: RAC is the biggest problem with this org; there is talent. It's NOT being utilized.
Barry: So the biggest problem, other than RAC is their head coach, is that someone else is not their head coach. Got it.
Rich: Is that good enough reason to say bye-bye to him then?
Fred: Lerner said today that he thinks the team has talent and a change doesn't mean the team needs to be blown up
Rich: I believe the talent is there for the most part. It is not being coached properly.
Rich: He's correct in that regard.
Barry: It better not be blown up. This fan base has had too many five-year plans.
John: The roster doesn't need blown up like it was in '05.
Rich: To a degree.

Barry: Alright, moving on.
Barry: 3. Butch Davis had total control of coaching and player/personnel. Mike Holmgren did as well. It's not been a successful model in a while. Why would the Browns cede Cowher this control?
Fred: Why does everyone think Cowher is golden?
Rich: Cowher might not be golden, but he's a damn sight better than anything they've got now.
Rich: He did not inherit a great team in Pittsburgh when he succeeded Chuck Noll, but he got it up and running in a hurry.
John: Crap, man, you don't get it either, do you Barry?
Barry: Have I ever?
John: At least Rich gets it.
Barry: Explain it to me, JT
Rich: I think Cowher would want to bring in someone like a Kevin Colbert (if he's available) to help him construct the team he wants.
Fred: If he comes in, it's blown up, because every guy wants a honeymoon to build his team
Barry: Fred's right... it's the same in corporate America... first task of the new guy is to tear apart whatever the old guy did. Savage sure did
Fred: I think it's more of an organization thing. The Rooney's have been able to plug someone in and not miss a beat. I thought they'd fail with Tomlin
Rich: That's because the system in already in place, Fred.
Rich: And Tomlin was not going to come in and disturb it.
John: Who had a very good deal of input into how the Steelers are currently constructed, and how is Tomlin doing with those players?
Rich: Colbert.
John: In tandem with Cowher.
Rich: Yep. And now in tandem with Tomlin.
John: With Cowher players.
Barry: Was Donohoe part of that?
Rich: At first, yes.
Fred: yes
Rich: Then when he moved on, Colbert moved up.
John: Donahoe, and yes, partly.
John: The constant was Cowher.
Rich: So given the continued success of the Steelers, is Tomlin the constant or Colbert?
Barry: Cowher's been gone two years. Why are the Steelers still successful? Tomlin didn't miss a beat.
Rich: Why not? The system.
Fred: They found someone who took over the wheel and kept driving the same way
John: With Cowher's players.
John: Why would Butch Davis' name even be brought up? What did he do in the NFL prior to be given the personnel keys to a franchise?
Barry: DC of the Cowboys
Rich: He was the defensive coordinator for one of the Cowboys' Super Bowl winning teams.
Barry: Hey, Butch Davis was the best man for the job. Carmen told me.
John: So, you think it's the same as giving Cowher the keys?
Rich: Carmen let Davis get too powerful.
Rich: Same way Modell let Marty Schottenheimer get too powerful.
Barry: So, basically, the reason that Cowher should be given the same role that Holmgren and Davis failed in is that he's a lot better at it? Is that right? Or is it that the people he would bring in are better?
Rich: If he's smart, he would use the same formula and system that worked in Pittsburgh.
Fred: The bottom line is whatever they do, they have to make the right decisions
Rich: And the sooner, the better.
Rich: Because the fans are sick and tired of his bullroar.
Barry: How many times does this work? Oy... Vince Lombardi with the Redskins, Paul Brown with the Bengals... oh my.
John: OK, you got me Barry. Gimme another hot coordinator or college coach. I'm all in.
Barry: JT, we're the media, we don't have to have ideas, just criticize other people's ideas. It's awesome.

Barry: Alright, moving on.
Barry: 4. How much of the blame for this season's poor performance should be laid at the feet of coordinators Mel Tucker and Rob Chudzinski?
Fred: None, RAC put them in charge
John: Option three: RAC's feet. The buck stops at him, as he stated earlier this week.
Rich: More at Chudzinski's feet than Tucker's.
Rich: He had more autonomy with what he did than Tucker.
Fred: More to do with Donte, Joe J, old Jamal, and poor play of DA
Rich: When did this turn into a poker tournament?
Barry: So the coordinators don't necessarily get a pass, but they can't be indicted, either?
Rich: Tucker did Crennel's bidding on defense.
Barry: That's what it sounds like, Rich.
John: If RAC were so aghast at the playcalling, the playcalling would change. He's large and in charge, afterall.
Fred: The head coach has to step in and fix things. if he can't he is not a head coach
Rich: Crennel had no say-so in the offensive playcalling.
Barry: Alright, seems we're of one mind on this one.

Barry: Question 5
Barry: 5. Ignoring his off-field snafus with K2 and an emailing fan, what would be the major justification for getting rid of Phil Savage this off-season?
Rich: He's not qualified to handle the complexities of the job.
John: The record over nearly four years?
Fred: I think you keep him in place
Fred: Bring in some help
Barry: Again, Fred and I are of similar minds. I'd say you don't replace him unless you've got an experienced kick-ass replacement ready to go. Pioli, maybe Cowher/Colbert. Don't can him unless you've got an upgrade waiting.
Rich: Keep him as a talent evaluator. That's the only area where he's half decent.
Fred: He's brought in a lot more talent than anyone that's been here since 99--even though that's not saying much
Rich: You're right, Fred. That's not saying much at all.
Fred: Steinbach, Jurevicius, Bentley, Lewis, Quinn, Thomas, Pool, Rogers, Williams, Harrison, Fraley, Cribbs
Rich: I've been a Pioli guy for two years now.
Barry: Browns tried to get Pioli in 2005
Rich: Hire him as president, give him a small percentage of the club and let him do his thing.
Barry: I wonder if people agitating for more time for Quinn and Harrison pause to give credit to Savage for finding those guys. There seems to be a "toss out the bums" mindset everywhere now.
Rich: That's not to say he's done nothing in the last four years. Clearly, this is a better team than when he took over.
John: BTW, you can't ignore the off-the-field stuff over the last two months.
Barry: True, John, I just sorta think there needs to be more reason to toss out a guy who has at least done a ton better than Dwight Clark and Pete Garcia. Gag.
John: You might wanna send that sentiment to Randy, then.
Barry: Randy's #6 on my speed dial, right after Pizza Hut.
Rich: LOL
Rich: Don't toss him out. Change his job description.
Barry: Not sure he'd take that after calling the shots for a while, Rich.
Rich: Not certain Savage will go for it, though.
John: Savage won't go for losing control over the cap, the 53-man and the draft.
Rich: That's why he probably won't be around next year.
Fred: He'd turn over day to day stuff to McCracken or someone else
John: That's the only reason he took the job, and that's why the struggle with Collins took place.

Barry: Alright, you guys ready for LIGHTNING??!?
Rich: Bring it on!!

Barry: 1. Number of the remaining five games you expect to win
Rich: One.
John: 1
Fred: two
Rich: Optimist
Barry: Sorry, Fred, School Solution = 1

Barry: 2. Give the name of the individual who will own the Browns in five years
John: Randy Lerner.
Rich: John Taylor
Fred: Lerner
John: I can't even buy a friggin' laptop.
Rich: You will five years from now.
Barry: Lerner is correct, despite Taylor's quickly amassing fortune.

Barry: 3. Which of the following short phrases or actions best captures the RAC's thinking as he inserted Derek Anderson in at QB last Sunday: (A) "Oh no! Godzilla is destroying the city!", (B) "They all laughed at me at the university... now who's laughing!", (C) "I fear change" or (D) --Middle finger extended--
John: D
Rich: None of the above.
Fred: D
John: Wrong, Rich.
Barry: School solution is B, but we'll accept D.
Barry: Have an alternative Rich?
Rich: OK. E
Rich: Yes. E. I have no idea what I'm doing.
John: I'm surprised it only took you one attempt to spell "E" correctly.
Fred: abcde

Barry: 4. Percentage probability that Phil Savage will be GM in Feb 2009 between 0 and 100%
John: 50
Fred: 60
Rich: I'm thinking. I'm thinking.
John: This ain't the price is right Fred.
Fred: 51
Rich: 33.3
John: :-)
Barry: I'm an ex-engineer, so I request that you take everything to a greater number of significant digits. Correct answer is 54.63
John: Took you that long to come up with that, Rich?
Rich: Oh wait a minute. That's a record speed.
Barry: Fred went over.
Rich: OK. 45
Barry: LOL
Rich: 54.63 was my third answer

Barry: 5. Which movie best captures the mood you expect at the Stadium at 1PM Sunday:(1) "Tora, Tora, Tora!", (2) The Exorcist, (3) 300, (4) The Wicker Man, (5) Raging Bull
Fred: 5
John: (6) Titanic
Fred: Summer of 42
Rich: I'm with John on that one.
Barry: LOL, yeah we were Kings of the World until the season started.
Rich: Well, some of us were.
Barry: Well, (SPOILER) they burn a guy at the end of Wicker Man, so that was my choice (/SPOILER)
Rich: Thanks, Barry.

Barry: Alright folks, we're done. We'll try this again next week, maybe.

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