When Romeo Crennel was lured away from his defensive coordinator position with the New England Patriots to be the head coach of the once proud Cleveland Browns, he was as highly regarded as just about any coordinator in the National Football League. The Browns won 6 games during his first year in, which actually had folks along Lake Erie excited about the future of the franchise. After a disappointing encore in , the Browns then surprised the league by winning 10 games and knocking on the door of the playoffs in.Then there was last season. Just about everything that could go wrong for the Browns did. They got off to a slow start thanks in part to the tremendous struggles of quarterback Derek Anderson. He eventually was lost for the year with an injury. As was his replacement Brady Quinn.
The defense was atrocious, the game management and coaching decisions were suspect and by the time the dust had settled on the year, the Browns had finished with a 4-12 record. That number in and of itself is usually enough to fired in the NFL, but considering all the unfortunate developments that mired the season, Crennel might not have lost his job had the team stuck together and remained competitive each week. Instead, by the middle of the season, the Browns essentially gave up on their head coach.The consequence for Crennel was his job. The longtime defensive teacher and former head coach of the Browns joined WKNRin Cleveland from a charity golf event to talk about his tenure in Cleveland, what he’s been up to since his dismissal and what the future may hold for him.
On if current head coach Eric Mangini ever talked to Crennel about staying in Cleveland to work on his staff:
“Eric talked to me about staying and I told him what my concerns were – particularly my hip, I wanted to get that taken care of. Andthen I felt like for Eric, it’s his show now. He has to be the guy in charge and he has to run it the way he wants to run it and he doesn’t need anybody looking over his shoulder.”
On his disappointment about how things shook out for him and the Browns during his tenure there:
“Well you know we had a tough year last year. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. But the nature of this beast is you have to win and we didn’t win. So they decided to make the change and that’s in the past so we’ve got to go forward.”
On the Browns having to sign a 4th string quarterback by season’s end due to injuries to their top three guys:
“We were [disappointed], particularly with the expectations going in, but you learn that this game, it’s not a forgiving game, you know. The things that happen in the game happen and you have to deal with them.”
On if he thinks that he lost his team in terms of effort:
“No, I didn’t feel like I lost the team because like I said, I thought that they were still trying and still playing but when you go from a first string quarterback to a fourth string quarterback, there is a difference in talent and ability. So generally, that fourth stringer, he’s not as good as the first stringer.