Yes, as you've read in the press, QB Brady Quinn and DE Shaun Smith did have a run-in recently. Smith, a starter along the Browns defensive line and Quinn, on the injured reserve list had words, which escalated into a physical conflict.
Following a verbal barrage between the two players, Smith struck the QB, with the QB attempting to give some back, prior to the combatants being separated by their fellow players. For Smith, he may have disproved the notion of being a lazy player (albeit one with a big-mouth) when making his only known QB hit of the season - one which he landed on the smaller, but game Quinn.
Smith did not play in the Browns game against the Bengals this past Sunday. The team will say it was a coaches decision, others will note a calf injury - but the real story is the defensive lineman was relegated to the sideline and could very well be fined for his involvement in the incident.
The stories coming out that Smith told Quinn he would never make it in the NFL echo ones we've heard as well as Smith telling Quinn he was someones bitch. According to our sources, Quinn also laid some smack on Smith about his big mouth and lack of obvious productive workout habits. Quinn, we were told, also made some comments about Smith's physical stature interfering with his ability to perform in areas other than the playing field.
From this, it sounds like the the poster boy from Notre Dame can talk smack with the best of them. Especially, it seems, in this case, where the rotund Smith started the incident and the QB tried to end it.
This is just another example of what has transpired within the Browns organization. This little battle was not the first of the season, and it is too bad the same fire hasn't been seen directed at opponents on the field.
Look for Smith to be searching for a new zip-code this off-season, as he has not been productive in his two-seasons with the Browns - on or off the field.
* * *
It is not a secret in league circles that head coach Romeo Crennel will be fired following this most disappointing season. Many simply are shocked that Crennel has remained on the job as the team sleep-walks to the 2008 finish line. While Crennel has all but ended his time with the Browns, general manager Phil Savage is going to be a more interesting story.
Savage has worked overtime to discuss his position within the organization, all he has accomplished in his time with the Browns and the upside potential the roster and organization has due to his work. Many in and around the game believe Savage will not buckle to what appears to be likely concession requests to be made by team owner Randy Lerner once the season ends and the owner meets with the G.M.
If Savage plays hardball, the owner will waste little time and effort in removing the G.M. from his post.
The state of the organization and that of the team owner can best be described as "impatient". There will be no talking Lerner into committing anything to Crennel and Savage again.
* * *
All the talk of Bill Cowher coming to Cleveland is just that - talk. There has been some discussion between those close to the Cleveland Browns football organization and those close to Bill Cowher. Nothing official has been in the works.
Through discussions with NFL sources, it is confirmed that the Browns are enamored with Cowher and the former Browns assistant coach has done absolutely nothing to refute any interest in coaching this Browns team.
Youth and experience is what you get in Pioli and McDaniels, along with a first-hand knowledge of the Patriots' way. Both men have played second-fiddle to former Browns' head coach Bill Belichick in New England, and are looked upon as serious candidates to make the leap elsewhere on their own merit - Pioli as a GM candidate and McDaniels another young and successful assistant coach.
Until Cowher either accepts or refuses what is expected to be an offer from the Browns, though, any other name means little.