Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hasta La Vista, Mo

It's just uncanny the way that things sometimes happen, isn't it? I mean, Romeo Crennel steadfastly refuses to throw Maurice Carthon under the bus over the bye week, and then, all of the sudden, he's gone. Now, we all know that Phil Savage is a good Christian man, so I'm sure that neither he nor anybody else in the front office had anything to do with Tony Grossi's article on Sunday floating the possibility of Jim Tressel as a replacement for Crennel. I'm just as sure that the ensuing speculation about Crennel's own job played no role whatsoever in his quick about-face. Others may have their suspicions, but not me, no siree!

Don't get me wrong. I think Carthon was part of the problem on offense and I'm glad they canned him--although as Barry McBride pointed out last week, we can never be sure about what we know with the Browns, since the paranoia runs deeper in Berea than it did in the Kremlin. But there are a couple of things about the move that bother me.

First of all, like every move the Browns make, the whole thing looks a little sordid. Use of the media by various factions to gain the upper hand in a power struggle has been a common tactic with this franchise, and this obviously has happened once again. I can't imagine that intrigue like this does anything to improve morale or engender loyalty in the organization, and it needs to stop right now. Frankly, it makes the Browns look unprofessional. Hey, if the shoe fits....

Second, and more importantly, I'm afraid that this kind of mid-season move signals that Randy Lerner may be tempted to press the reset button on this franchise yet again. I think that would be a mistake. Is Crennel the second coming of Vince Lombardi? Is Phil Savage another Bill Polian? No, but the more I've watched the NFL, the more I've come to believe that continuity is essential if a team is going to have a chance to compete over the long haul. Right now, the Browns are on their third regime in seven years. If you want to look at the differences between this organization and perennial contenders like the Patriots, Broncos and Steelers, start with that one.

Like most fans, I'm about out of patience with this train wreck of a franchise that I've wasted thousands of dollars on over the last seven years, but there don't appear to be a lot of good options available other than staying the course with Crennel and Savage. There is some talent on this team, and eventually, these two may figure out how to use it. As disappointed as I am, I'd rather give them a chance to do that than start over again. I just don't have the stomach for it.


Peter said...

I'm with you Rhino. The first season I remember is 1965 (1965!), and I've never seen a streak of utter incompetence like these years since 1999. Why do I bother buying season tickets? So I can keep standing up so the twenty-somethings who seem unable to get beer at home can get more and more and more. Too watch what? I'm disgusted, and I'm ready to give up. I never thought that day would come.

Anonymous said...

I think that continuity IS something to strive for, all else being equal. However, I don't think that continuity can really be an end goal. Its not that your guys will become competent just because they've had continuity. You have continuity BECAUSE your guys are competent. So, the important point is to hire the competent guys, and then back them up through tough times. And if you've got a guy in there who is incompetent, then get him outta there fast so his replacement can take over and start building his own continuity. The tough part is determining if your guy is a competent guy who needs to be backed during the tough times, or if he's incompetent and should be ditched immediately. For Carthon, it appears that the latter case was probably at play.