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Rich's Rant: 'That's It; That's Enough'
How bad do the Browns have to become in order for Randy Lerner to admit, "That's it; that's enough; this is where it ends; this is not working." Either the owner doesn't care or he hasn't been paying attention.
How bad do the Browns have to become in order for Phil Savage to step away from his computer long enough to admit what most fans now realize about their team: "We stink. We are that close to a train wreck."
How low is low? Try Sunday's 16-6 loss at Cleveland Browns Stadium to the Houston Texans in yet another exercise of how not to play the game of football.
How bad is bad? How much worse can it get? Keep Crennel and find out.
It is time for the denizens of the ivory tower to put together what's left of their common sense and admit the Romeo Crennel era in Cleveland professional football has finally – and embarrassingly – run its course.
Kick him upstairs if you must. Give him a desk job or a consulting job. Just remove the current title from in front of his name.
It is time for a new voice in the locker room. Even on an interim basis, a new voice is a must at this point. The current one has been tuned out.
The players say they like playing for Crennel. The only problem is they don't actually do it in games. They're talking, but not walking.
It is time to make a change, if only for change's sake. Makes no difference whose voice it is. Be it Rip Scherer (the only assistant with head coaching experience) or Rob Chudzinski, the golden boy at the beginning of the season whose stock has fallen dramatically, a tourniquet must be applied to the bleeding.
It might seem desperate to make such a move at this point of the season, but hey, desperate times call for desperate action. The Browns aren't going anywhere, anyway.
It has become achingly obvious this team has stopped playing for Crennel. It has become sloppy, careless and just plain bad. Five turnovers and five dropped passes against the Texans, numerous missed tackles, uninspired play (not you, Shaun Rogers) and a malaise that seems to have permeated the core of the team. A litany of failure.
If for no other reason than to get the players' attention, a move must be made. This is a better club that it has played this season. This is not a bad club. It's a decent club playing bad football. With better coaching, particularly at the top, there is no way this team is 4-7 at this point and headed in a downward spiral.
The fans are restless, angry and frustrated with mean-spirited just around the corner and apathy gaining quickly on the outside.
What good would it do to make a change now, argue critics of such a move. It can't get any worse. Oh yes it can. Sunday proved it.
No one, especially fans still on a high following the Browns' victory six days earlier in Buffalo, expected what unfolded against the Texans, a team with an eight-game losing streak on the road.
This one figured to be a breeze against a team that had surrendered 102 points in its last three games and allowed eight of its first 10 opponents to score at least 28 points. And all the Browns could put up was six points against one of the worst defenses in the National Football League. It was enough to give the Texans a false sense of security.
What fans got for their money was an unemotional and unimaginative exercise in futility from the home team. The Browns arrived at CBS totally unprepared for their day's work. Sound familiar?
The Texans, an expansion team formed seven years ago, entered CBS Sunday ready to play and exited with a ridiculously easy victory.
Instead, it was the Browns who played like an expansion team. The manner in which they performed – using that term very loosely here – against the Texans conjured up memories of the club's first season in 1999. The only thing missing Sunday was the UFO defense.
Ten seasons later, it's the same old, same old. And frankly, it's getting staler than last month's bread.
Last season, the Browns were virtually unbeatable at CBS, losing only the season opener to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This season, they're 1-5 at home. Yes, bad football has returned to the lakefront.
The Texans spent more than half the afternoon in Browns territory and made relatively few mistakes. The Browns, on the other hand, were predictable with the five dropped passes, the usual number of pre-snap penalties and shoddy play on both sides of the ball.
Braylon Edwards, who possesses the concentration level of a third grader (an insult to all third graders), contributed his normal compliment of drops. That was sort of expected.
What no one expected were two Jamal Lewis fumbles – he almost never fumbles – and back-to-back penalties on the normally reliable Joe Thomas.
You knew it would be bad when the offensive left tackle was whistled for a false start and holding on consecutive plays midway through the final quarter. That probably won't ever happen again in his career.
The reason for all the negatives? Lack of concentration. That's a coach's fault. Teams that pay attention to details and make the fewest mistakes are teams that usually win.
Bottom line: Is this team better than it was when Crennel took over three years ago? Yes. Is it good enough to challenge for the playoffs? Yes.
Is it underachieving? Yes. Big time. Whose fault is that? The coaching staff.
The fans, of course, deserve better. But it would be unwise to factor them into the equation if and when a coaching change is contemplated.
If a change is made, don't do it because of what the fans think. Do it because it's the right move.
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