Levine: How Will Crennel Handle Edwards?

Les looks at several Browns items, including the way he expects Romeo Crennel to handle integrating new wide reciever into the team's rotation. Here, perhaps, is another opportunity to see the difference between Romeo Crennel and Butch Davis...

After a false start, apparently Braylon Edwards has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns.  Now his fate is out of the hands of his agent and the Browns front office.  It is in the hands of Head Coach Romeo Crennel.  On Wednesday, Romeo said that he would be somewhere below former Toledo wide receiver Lance Moore on the depth chart.

That is part of the mental aspect of the game of football.   With the first exhibition game coming up on Saturday against the New York Giants, Crennel has some choices, and his veteran players will be watching.   Last year, Butch Davis gave first pick holdout Kellen Winslow, Jr. a slap on the wrist, demoting him for the first practice, then moving him up to the first unit for the second practice.  Obviously, Edwards will be the starter for the regular season opener against Cincinnati, and he will need plenty of work with the first unit, along with Trent Dilfer, but Dilfer probably won't see more than one quarter of action in the first exhibition game.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Crennel waits until the third or final exhibition game before officially naming Edwards to the starting lineup, after he has given everyone enough time to see just how good he is, and that he deserves it based on performance rather than the contract he has just received.


The release of offensive lineman Marcus Spears was curious.  He was originally signed for all the right reasons, but didn't even stay on the team until the first exhibition game.  He either was a distraction in the locker room, or the Browns made a mistake by overestimating his ability.   The only other possibility is that some veterans use training camp just to get in shape for the regular season; others have to be impressive enough to win a job.   Spears must have been told by the front office, upon signing, that he'd have to win a job, rather than have it guaranteed.  Now he will have plenty of time to latch on to another team prior the regular season.


I don't blame the Browns and the rest of the NFL for doing this, but it continues to amaze me that they are able to charge full price to season ticket holders for exhibition games.  I have been a season ticket holder for years, and have trouble giving those tickets away.  I know the popularity of the NFL, and the hold that the Browns have on this community, but this question begs to be answered.  If season ticket holders only had to buy the eight regular season games, and were given the opportunity to purchase exhibition games at full price, how many would buy them?  I once did an un-scientific poll on my television show and found that 90% would not buy the exhibition games at full price.  An additional 40% said they would buy them at half price.

It's just an educated guess, but my gut feeling (Butch Davis term) is that not more than 15-20,000 fans would attend exhibition games at full price.

I'd be interested to know if you agree or disagree with that.  And I'd also like to know if you think one of the two exhibition home games for NFL teams should be taken back on the road, as was done in the past.  The Browns front office has shown some interest in moving training camp to Columbus, which would be a PR mistake in northern Ohio.  But I don't think many would object to having the first exhibition game of the season being played at the Horseshoe, as opposed to paying full price to see a glorified scrimmage.

‘More Sports & Les Levine' can be seen M-F from 6-7pm with replays at 11pm on Adelphia Channel 15 in northeast Ohio.  E-mail msandll@aol.com or www.leslevine.com

CowboysHQ Top Stories