The Browns defense suffered second-half collapses in two late-season games as the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers both stormed back from large deficits using no-huddle spread offenses. The inadequate performance of the defensive line this year was certain to focus attention on Hamilton, who had the responsibility to get the most out of defensive tackle Gerard Warren and enigmatic DE Courtney Brown. Neither stepped up to the level of play expected when they were selected high in the 2000 and 2001 drafts. Someone else now has the challenge of coaxing these two players to reach their potential.
The most active rumor regarding a replacement defensive coordinator centers around Dave Campo, recently fired as the Dallas Cowboys head coach. Campo has worked with Butch Davis before in the Cowboys organization and is a highly regarded defensive coach (as was Fazio). Campo is travelling, possibly to Seattle to interview for their open defensive coordinator position, and could not be reached this evening by Bernie's Insiders.
As Mike McLain reported earlier today, Fazio's retirement may not set well with players close to him, such as Robert Griffith. Fazio was well-liked by many players, but others expressed frustration this year as poor communication and assignment mistakes revealed weaknesses in the Browns defense.
More on this story as it develops here on Bernie's Insiders.