It shouldn’t have been much of a surprise when the power flickered on and off eleven different times on Sunday at five minutes to Browns kickoff against the Steelers. After the previous night of “football” against the USC Trojans on Saturday night, I probably should have seen the power outage as an omen that I really shouldn’t watch what was about to come next. Still, I am a glutton for punishment. What Cleveland sports fan isn’t a glutton for punishment, right? So, like a good little abuse victim, I trudged out to my car to head to my mom’s house where the electricity was still working so I could take my beating. Go ahead and insert your own joke about the lack of electricity in the Browns’ locker room. The good news is that one of my favorite pastimes, bashing Romeo Crennel, is finally back in season.
Last season with the hiring of Rob Chudzinski and the trading of Charlie Frye, the Browns came out on top 10 out of 16 times, and my bandwagon lost a lot of steam. People actually thought that Romeo might have even been one of the keys to not letting this team quit after an opening loss to Pittsburgh. Maybe for a brief moment in time Romeo was able to stop sucking for 37 seconds in between the first and second game. But trust me when I tell you I never closed the bandwagon even though a lot of people had jumped off. In fact, last year, I started the calls for Romeo to be fired before the season began on August 27th, 2007 as a preemptive strike.
See, I couldn’t possibly forget the Mo Carthon debacle. We had heard whispers of Carthon running pass blocking schemes on running plays and run blocking schemes on pass plays. We had heard about the lack of trust that everyone in the offense had for Carthon. Yet it took some Phil Savage strong-arm tactics to finally push the worst offensive coordinator in Cleveland Browns history out on his butt. It was then that I knew that Romeo Crennel wasn’t the right man to be a head coach in the NFL.
If that hadn’t been enough, the in-game “management” should have been the other clue. Whether we are talking about horrendous percentages on coaches challenges, or clock mis-management, it was plain to see. Romeo never came out from halftime with a team all fired up. He never had any mid-game adjustments that we could really notice. And this is when the bandwagon started to grow.
So, now just in case didn’t know where I stood on the Romeo Crennel situation, I am giving it to you straight. And yes, I have a plan to finish out the year. Wait until the Browns are eliminated from playoff contention. If the Browns lose the next two games, or collect enough division losses where the playoff picture looks completely statistically impossible, give Romeo his pink slip. For the rest of the season, make Chud your interim head coach and see if he has what it takes to manage a team with the in-game decisions like punting, field goals, timeouts, coach’s challenges and going for it on fourth down.
If Chud doesn’t work out, go out and throw a bunch of money at either Bill Cowher or Marty Schottenheimer. Both would be good choices to energize the fanbase and the team. Both have proven that they can win. Plus if it is Schottenheimer, he would have an opportunity to come full circle in his career and finally get over the playoff hump back in Cleveland. First things first, though. We need to see how this plays out and get rid of Romeo. And even if the Browns somehow turn it around, make it to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl, without some kind of miracle, I will STILL be calling for Romeo Crennel to be fired after this season. No matter how well the Browns play at times when he is coaching, I have enough proof in my head against Romeo that I will always think the Browns could be even better with a good head coach.