Adkins: What We've Been Told

Lane Adkins relays what he's heard, and offers his take on the status of the team as we head in to Week 15 of the season. Yes, Week 15. It only seems like Week 50.

- Let's jump into the fray and discuss former Cleveland Browns head coach Marty Schottenheimer. Anybody who visits the "Ask the Insiders" forum at The OBR has the latest insight on Schottenheimer. The "revelation" via ESPN that Schottenheimer is being considered by the Browns as an option to replace Romeo Crennel is old news to Orange and Brown Report subscribers.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I wonder how many people leaking Schottenheimer's name out for the post have talked to him? Not many, I would guess.

Schottenheimer is not actively pursuing a head-coaching post and the Browns job is only one of maybe two he would be interested in. Never say never; Schottenheimer is an excellent head coach, he knows how to build and develop a roster and is not short on energy despite his age. The Browns organization has not discussed a position on the team with Schottenheimer, but, with Crennel likely to be terminated at season's end, the veteran coach will be one of a few notable coaches the Browns will likely have an interest in.

- One coach that is a "definite" on Browns' radar is former player and coach Bill Cowher. Say what you will, Cowher has received plenty of attention in league circles as a likely fit with the Browns. Cowher, who has stated on numerous occasions he does not intend on coaching in the 2009 season, will field an "official" call from the Browns organization as soon as the head-coaching position becomes available. While it remains an open question as to whether Cowher will return to the sidelines, personable and emotional Browns team owner Randy Lerner will be difficult to turn down. If Cowher does not coach in the 2009 season, it will not be due to lack of financial or job responsibility commitments offered by the Cleveland Browns.

- Don't weep for Romeo Crennel. Crennel, who signed a contract extension in the off-season, appears headed off to hopefully greener pastures. Crennel is a good man, a solid man, but he could only get so much out of this roster of players and is far from being the sole cause of a terrible season on the shores of Lake Erie. Sold out by the general manager in recent weeks, Crennel was not provided the talent he requested prior to the season as his concerns at cornerback and wide receiver were realized. Although a lot of the fault for the travesty that was the 2008 season does, in fact, fall on Crennel's shoulders, he had plenty of help from the general manager on down through the ranks of the coaching staff and into the depth chart.

- With Crennel's termination  bordering on being a certainty, there will be significant change within the coaching staff. Some voices within the organization are baffled with the play of the offense in recent weeks. It appears almost as if the coaching staff has given up on the players' ability to perform. Some of those very same players appear close to mailing in the remainder of the season.

- With the season done for all intents and purposes, there is a faction within the organization that would like to see some of the youth on the roster get more playing time. If the embattled head coach is refusing to play the youth, then he shouldn't be manning the sidelines for the team any longer. This organization should be clearly in the mode of evaluating talent on the roster, while also providing an opportunity for inexperienced players with potential upside to get on the field. There is absolutely no reason players like Beau Bell, Martin Rucker, Paul Hubbard and Jerome Harrison shouldn't be gaining opportunities.

- I don't care who is responsible for the 45-player game-day roster and the 53-player roster. The product and effort put out on the playing field week-in and week-out has been consistent in recent weeks -- consistent as in bordering on terrible. Sitting through three-hours of a Browns game has become as exciting and rewarding as... words just can't begin to describe my frustration. Despite all the shortcomings in this 2008 season, I see most players fighting to remain competitive; but, this team is out-gunned and over-matched on the sideline. Look no further than the manner in which this team worked in training camp; this coaching staff was not prepared for what it would take to build upon a surprising 2007 season. Concerns about wearing players out physically were not justified. 

- Randy Lerner will have the opportunity to change the complexion of this organization quickly come the New Year. There is talent on the roster, but it requires a much different perspective in the locker room and on the practice fields. Physical football, aggressive play and attitude are all instilled in those early days in the off-season. Crennel was not the type to bring that out in players; he is viewed as a "friendly Uncle"-type to many a player. This team and organization needs a plan, not the latest-and-greatest up-and-coming (but unproven) talent. What it needs is the hard-nosed, fundamental, get-in-your-ass coaching often lacking today's league.

- And, yes, the name on the door says Cleveland. And, once again, the door on the season has been slammed closed in embarrassing fashion. We've seen that door shut in our faces a lot. 


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