Adkins: Thoughts From A Dangerous Mind

More scuttlebutt from Lane Adkins about what's really happening behind the closed doors in Berea. Get the latest of what Lane's heard and his take on the developing drama around potential post-season changes...

- Those in and around the game are not the least bit surprised that Browns team owner Randy Lerner has not fired embattled head coach Romeo Crennel and made more of a reference to the fate of general manager Phil Savage. Lerner is all about evaluating the issues which steered this team and organization off course so quickly. Lerner did not see any positives coming from relieving the head coach of his position a few weeks ago, but his mindset may be changing because the team has not raised its level of performance.

- While some within the organization would like to see young and relatively inexperienced players gain some time on the playing field, the head coach remains steadfast in his focus on winning games rather than developing players. For an organization that will be on the outside looking in once again, there appears to be no direction coming from the top of the organization. From what we have been told, the head coach has not been told to provide opportunities to the developing talent on the roster. Shame on you Phil Savage and Randy Lerner, if you have not stepped in and given this organization a direction heading into the off-season.

- This organization has often proclaimed that continuity is critical for long-term success. Those making such pleas, of course, are often directly involved in the demise of a once-promising season. While there is absolutely no doubt that injuries played a role this season -- as we have heard on numerous occasions -- but the mindset of this staff and the lack of urgency within in the organization to fill roster voids is numbing. For a team that believed it was on the verge of something special in Cleveland, ignoring glaring issues within the roster is inexcusable.

- As a potential for an in-depth purge remains a definite possibility for the Cleveland Browns, many in the player personnel department are conducting business as usual. Granted, those within this department know and understand the circumstances involved; however, they continue to work long hours breaking down film, scouting college and professional players while planning the future of the Browns.

- Recently, a long time successful NFL executive told me the picture is not all as it seems in Cleveland. Some of the talent on the roster has simply failed to develop, with some of the talent actually tuning out the head coach. The executive notes Randy Lerner has expressed some concerns about the scope of the front office and has discussed his situation with New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft recently.

- While former Browns coaches Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Cowher gain exposure as candidates for the Browns' yet-to-be-open head-coaching spot, there are some telling signs regarding what may happen:

  • Schottenheimer chooses his words VERY carefully; he is not going to state any interest in the head coaching job out of respect to the man currently in place, as well as the seriousness he portrayed in his departure from coaching.

    If and when the head coaching position of the Browns comes open, we may then hear Schottenheimer speak with a very different tone -- if the team chooses to discuss the potential opening with him. This former Browns head coach still has the fire and desire to make one last run, but he has adapted to life away from the game well and does not need the game for him to feel whole.

  • Bill Cowher is in a position in his life where he really is uncertain that he wants to coach again. The former Browns player and assistant coach is very happy with his decision to leave the game, as he now has the time to focus on family without the pressures of the game causing him to miss more important stages of his children's lives. Also, the personalities on the CBS game-day set rib Cowher at every turn regarding the Browns' potential opening; if he was serious about the Browns, I have been told the brakes would have been applied to the game-day banter.



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