BEREA - Randy Lerner explained why Phil Savage was fired prior to Romeo Crennel. Savage was given the word on Saturday night and he returned to Cleveland soon thereafter.
"As Phil and I met over the last couple of weeks, we talked about our approach to change and strengthening the organization, it became clear our management styles were not compatible," Lerner said.
"Over a series of long conversations and the evaluation process it came closer at the end of last week," he said. "Phil reached out to see "Where do I stand" and that developed some urgency at the end of last week. It became artificial to wait until Monday, so I spoke to him late Saturday afternoon."
Lerner said there were no specific incidents as to why Savage was let go, other than what Lerner termed "management style."
"The management style, all inclusive, became very apparent," he said.
It is also believed that Lerner also didn't want to be saddled into not being able to pursue coaching/executive candidates from the beginning of his search such as the Patriots' Scott Pioli.
Lerner said he thinks Savage did a good job at upgrading the Browns talent level.
"When I look back, the priority of the Browns at the time was to get players and he had an impressive record of getting players."
Lerner admitted letting Crennel go on Monday morning was one of the most difficult things he's had to do.
"I get along very, very well with Romeo," Lerner said. "That's a very important relationship to me. He understood and wanted to wait and see what happens around here on the coaching staff."
Lerner said that Crennel took the news very well.
"He was gracious to a fault."
Lerner said that Crennel might even be willing to stay on the coaching staff or with the Browns in some capacity.
"Yes, there is a chance Romeo could remain on the coaching staff."
Brady Quinn said he wouldn't think it strange should Crennel remain.
"I don't think it would be weird because we're accustomed to Romeo."
Lerner also said the assistant coaches were still under contract and would remain with the Browns and would be allowed to interview for other positions.
Joe Thomas and Quinn, who were first-round draft picks brought to the Browns by Savage and Crennel talked about the pair.
"It was something that had been talked about," Thomas said. "We knew it comes down to wins and losses and, unfortunately, that's what happened."
"As a player, guys that scouted you and picked you and then coached you makes it tough," Quinn said. "This has been a crazy year for us as players, coaches. It just seems there's been a lot of adversity all year."
Crennel named Quinn the starter next year. Now what?
"That's up to whoever comes in," he said "Competition brings out the best, regardless of the situation. You want to go into every season to be the best quarterback out there."
Thomas and Quinn said Crennel held the meeting in which it was announced he was no longer the coach.
"It says a lot about him as a person and as a coach to be there when he's going through adversity like this," Quinn said.
Thomas said the locker room was a tough place to be on Monday.
"It's a really tough day to be here," Thomas said. "A lot of the guys don't know what their status is going to be. Sometimes, when a new coach comes in they bring their own guys and veterans."
Lerner said he takes the blame for the situation the Browns are in today and is focused on getting it right this time.
"I think I'm responsible for the fact that we're interviewing for these jobs," Lerner said. "I think we have some things to show for it. We have a more talented roster in terms of our organization compared to four years ago, but it's my responsibility."
Quinn Healing: QB Brady Quinn said he will have the pins taken out of his finger on January 15. He said that he anticipates to be fully healed.
"I expect to be able to throw the next day," he said. "I have had no setbacks and it's healed properly."