The Cleveland Browns announced today that they have fired Browns offensive
coordinator Bruce Arians. Also released were running backs coach Todd McNair,
and quarterbacks coach Carl Smith.
Arians presided over an offensive decline this season which saw the team go
from 344 points scored in 2002 to 254 in 2003. This steep decline was opposite
of fan and team expectations, which anticipated an explosive offense and leaky
defense this season.
Arians was the far-and-away leader for "goathorns" in yearly
BerniesInsiders.com Gameballs and Goats voting, and clearly was considered to be
a weak link in the coaching chain by Browns fans. Arians, however, was also
victimized by a plague of injuries, particularly along the offensive line.
The team used a large number of different offensive line combinations in 2003,
creating problems within a unit that typically needs a large number of
repetitions to gel properly.
Arians, however, is likely to bounce back, as he has 28 years of coaching
experiences that will surely prove of value to potential employers. Arians
served as offensive coordinator at Mississippi State and Alabama, as well as the
Browns, and was also head coach at Temple for six years (1983-1988). Arians have
also served as a quarterbacks, running backs, tight end, and receivers coach
during his career.
No word is available at this point about Arians replacement or that of any of
the other coaches.