Tag Archives: Romeo Crennel

Week 14 Preview: Browns vs. Chiefs

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Brady Quinn and a number of Chiefs will have revenge on their minds Sunday.

Under normal circumstances, the prospect of the Chiefs taking on the Browns would come across as a rather boring endeavor. Without beating around the bush we can honestly say that the Chiefs suck, Browns suck, this game… Sucks. But, these are definitely not normal circumstances.

You could make a case that the Chiefs aren’t so much the Chiefs as they are the Zombie Browns. You see, their current roster is littered with former Browns, all of which will be coming to town looking for revenge for a multitude of reasons. Continue reading

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Cleveland Browns Cut Ties with Six Players Including Shaun Rogers

Now that the Super Bowl and 2010 season is over I will be analyzing the Browns piece by piece  and position by position over the next few weeks in preparation for the draft in April.  I am also working on a Browns 2010 season recap and awards article, so keep an eye open for that.  If anyone has an opinion they’d like to share please feel free to hit me up via email diehardnight@gmail.com, the Die-Hard Night Facebook page (link in the left side bar) on twitter @diehardnight.  I’m looking for some serious feedback and opinions on the Browns.  So please, don’t be shy!

The NFL season has been over for all of four days and already the Browns are beginning to cut the fat so to speak.  In an attempt to get younger and more talented the Browns terminated the contracts of the following six players: defensive linemen Shaun Rogers and Kenyon Coleman, linebackers David Bowens and Eric Barton, tight end Robert Royal, and right tackle John St. Clair.  The move doesn’t really come as much of a surprise.  All six players are over the age of 30, three have extensive ties to former head coach Eric Mangini, and along with the hiring of Dick Jauron confirms the Browns will be shifting from a 3-4 base defense back to the more traditional 4-3.

The most disappointing part of this move has to be Shaun Rogers.  He was brought here by Phil Savage to be the centerpiece of the defensive line under Romeo Crennel.  Unfortunately, the only thing Rogers was ever the center of during his time in Cleveland was attention… and not the good kind.  In Detroit Rogers was a beast and dominating presence on the defensive line.  In Cleveland Rogers was fat, out of shape, and lazy.  Yes, he was named a Pro-Bowl reserve in 2008, but other than that he was either hurt, benched, or completely ineffective.

The sad part is that Shaun Rogers occasionally showed glimpses of what he could be but a lack of motivation kept him from reaching the full impact of his potential.  When he tried and actually wanted to be on the field Rogers couldn’t be stopped.  Whether it was his inability to get along with Eric Mangini or a bad attitude in general, his on field contributions never lived up to the six-year $42 million dollar deal handed to him by Savage.  Of course one could place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Savage for this debacle.  It’s not like Rogers had a reputation for being a team player in Detroit.  Why else would they have given him away for Leigh Bodden and a third round draft pick?  In related news, I wonder why Phil Savage’s tenure with the Browns didn’t go too well?

Whatever your opinion is or was about Shaun Rogers we can all agree that he had to go.  The talent just didn’t live up to the hassle.  The only shame is that the Browns couldn’t get anything in return for him.  Once it appeared the 2010 season was going to be a lost cause they should have tested the market.  Why didn’t they call the Jets once Pro-Bowl nose tackle Kris Jenkins tore his ACL?  Even if a trade would have only netted them one or two late round draft picks it would have been better than giving him an outright release after the season for nothing.  It’s not like Mangini was playing him and when he did play he was nonexistent.  I think the Browns dropped the ball there.  Regardless, the Browns can move forward and bring in players that actually want to be here.

As for the other players the Browns didn’t lose much except for age and experience.  None of the defensive players were what you could consider to be impact players.  The Browns are shifting to a 4-3 defense with four down linemen and three linebackers and that is not a scheme these players are used to playing.  Robert Royal had hands of stone.  Why he was on this team in 2010 is still a head scratcher.  John St. Clair… ya, I think a Browns quarterback just got sacked again.  Glad to see him finally go.

Are these moves that dramatically improve the Browns overnight?  Not exactly.  It gets them younger and signifies a drastic shift in philosophy.  No more castoffs and high character guys.  The Browns look like they are headed in a direction that will focus more on youth, speed, and talent.  Quite frankly, it’s a move that had to happen.

Now Let’s just hope there’s football next year…

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And So Begins the Pat Shurmur Era

 

Pat Shurmur is the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns.  On a positive note, we now have a coach who we can call “The Shurminator” so that’s pretty cool.  Other than that all we can really say is…

Now what?

A coaching search that was supposed to be detailed, expansive, and bring in numerous candidates now seems like it was anything but.  Shurmur was the first of three candidates interviewed by Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert.  Apparently first impressions really do mean everything because he got the job.  Mike Mularkey and Perry Fewell now seem like token interviews made to look necessary to appease both the fans and well defined league rules.  Despite what ever you might think about the hire, and believe me there’s a lot here to have an opinion about, we as fans now have to come to terms with it and move forward.

Meanwhile, the national media is having a field day analyzing the hell out of this hire.  It appears now that many national pundits know as much about Pat Shurmur’s past as we do.  That’s right folks, that would be squadoosh, zip, Continue reading

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And the Search Goes On…

And so continues the search for the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns… Mystery Date style.  Who’s going to be behind the door at the end?

Over the past few days info has started coming out regarding the newest candidates for the Browns head coaching vacancy.  The two newest dream boats in the running are St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.  Judging by the resume’s of these two coaches and the other candidates who have been named, it is fairly obvious that the next coach of the Cleveland Browns will have an offensive pedigree.  This is a welcome change.  The Browns offense has been abysmal for what seems like forever now.  This may be due in part to hiring 3 head coaches in a row who’s previous job experience all focused on the defensive side of the ball, Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel, and Eric Mangini.  Bringing in an offensive mind could be just what the doctor ordered for this team.

Pat Shurmur arrived in Cleveland last night and briefly met with the team.  He is slated to meet with the Browns today about the position.  I fully expect the center of these conversations with Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert to focus on Shurmur’s offensive philosophy and how exactly he would plan on molding Colt McCoy into a high caliber NFL quarterback.  He should be aided by the fact that he spent this past season helping develop rookie QB Sam Bradford.  Bradford’s rookie season is widely considered to have been a success.  He avoided injury, put up solid rookie numbers, and helped guide the Rams to a 7-9 record and within 1 win of a playoff appearance a year after going 1-15.  Granted this was accomplished in the putrid NFC West, but the future looks bright for Bradford.  The downside for Shurmur, however, is the Rams offense wasn’t exactly a juggernaut and he only has two years of experience as an offensive coordinator.  Does that really qualify him as a legit coaching candidate?  I’m not sure.  Apparently Mike Holmgren thinks so and in Holmgren we trust, right?

Mike Mularkey is another interesting candidate for the position.  Currently Mularkey serves as the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons, a position he has held since 2008.  Like Shurmur, Mularkey has spent the past few seasons helping shape and mold Falcons QB Matt Ryan.  To say that this molding has been a success is an understatement.  Ryan has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and this past season guided the Falcons to a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC.  In his time with the Falcons, Mularkey has consistently had one of the top offenses in football thanks to a plethora of weapons including the aforementioned Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez.  Mularkey also served as the offensive coordinator of the Steelers from 2001 to 2003 and regularly burned the Browns through his utilization of Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, and Antwan Randle El.

There are red flags surrounding Mularkey as well.  When he has weapons at his disposal his offenses are often ranked near the top of the NFL in terms of total offensive production.  The problem is that when he doesn’t have weapons, his offenses are atrocious.  In one unsuccessful season as offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins in 2006, Miami ranked 29th in the NFL and only averaged 16 points per game… ugh.  Another read flag is his only previous head coaching experience was with the Buffalo Bills in 2004 and 2005.  In those two seasons the Bills had records of 9-7 and 5-11.  He was also stuck with quarterbacks Kelly Holcomb and J.P. Lossman so the fact that he won that many games is rather remarkable.  It’s also important to note that Mularkey wasn’t fired as Bills coach, but instead resigned citing a disagreement in the direction of the organization which had recently hired a new management team.  Mulareky is expected to meet with the Browns on Saturday so stay tuned.

One name that can officially be removed from the Browns wish list is Jim Harbaugh.  The Browns placed a request to speak to the Stanford head coach, but he declined the request.  This isn’t exactly surprising.  Harbaugh is in such high demand at the moment that he could literally pick the job he wants.  Odds are he’ll choose to either stay at Stanford along with QB Andrew Luck and go for a title, take the 49ers job where he has a relatively loaded team competing in an awful division, or he could still take his talents to Michigan and restore glory to the Wolverine football program.  He could also end up in some mystery job that comes out of nowhere.  It’ll be interesting to see which direction he decides to go.

So stay tuned folks, the Browns head coaching search is in full swing.  Let’s just hope they make the right decision this time.  Who will be behind that door at the end?  Your guess is as good as mine.

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Should Mangini Return?

Much talk has been made about the future of the Browns given what we have seen on the field so far this season.  Despite the Browns record of 5-8 there is no doubt that the product on the field has been much more entertaining than what we have witnessed in recent years.  A lot of this is due in part to the emergence of certain players in different positions, Colt McCoy, Peyton Hillis, Joe Haden etc.  The overwhelming question remaining despite all of this improvement is, “Will Eric Mangini be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2011?”

It’s definitely an interesting topic for debate.  One could argue that the Browns have not made the type of significant strides that warrant a third year for the Eric Mangini era.  On the flip side, you can also argue that given the massive overhaul being carried out by Mangini, there is a huge skill and talent disparity between the Browns and their opponents each week.  Both statements hold merit.  I could make a strong case for either side of the coin and quite frankly I have formulated my own opinion on the subject after listening to all of the back and forth on the local talk shows and in the papers.  But before I get into what I think here are both of the arguments, at least how I see them. Continue reading

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