Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Tell Romeo It Was Strictly Business. I Always Liked Him."

I've often thought that you can learn most things that you need to know about life by watching The Godfather, and it's starting to look like the Cleveland Browns' decision to consign Todd Grantham to the ash heap of history is a case in point.

Browns fans were surprised earlier this week when Grantham, who was given a three-year extension last June and who had been mentioned as a possible successor to Romeo Crennel, was fired from his position as the team's Defensive Coordinator. The surprise was heightened by the fact that Phil Savage had recently made statements about not wanting to make major changes in the coaching staff during the offseason.

Three days ago, John Taylor's column in The Orange and Brown Report clarified the situation, and this morning, The Plain Dealer even figured it out. As Taylor noted, several players reportedly stated that Grantham "'schemed behind RAC’s back' in an effort to get him fired before the bye so that he could take over as the interim head coach and, possibly, secure the position for years to come." The Plain Dealer quoted one insider as saying that "Grantham overplayed his hand and it backfired."

Well, I guess that makes Grantham the NFL's answer to Sal Tessio. Remember Sal? He's the one who tried to betray Michael by setting him up to be killed by the Barzini family after Don Corleone's death. When Tom Hagen told Tessio that it was time to go, and that he should bring his playbook with him, he figured out that he'd overplayed his hand:

Tessio: Can you get me off the hook, Tom? You know, for old times' sake?
Tom Hagen: Can't do it, Sally.
Tessio: Tell Michael it was strictly business. I always liked him.
Tom Hagen: He understands that.
I'm sure Romeo Crennel understands it too, Todd. But the bottom line's the same. As far as the Cleveland Browns are concerned, Todd Grantham sleeps with the fishes.


Erik said...

There seems to be some politicking involved in why Grantham was fired, but I still think the main reason Grantham got the axe was the Browns defense regressed statistically each year he was at the helm.

If the Browns rival the 2000 Ravens every year, I think Romeo and Grantham figure out a way to coexist. The combination of power-usurping and shitty play was too much to overcome.

It will be interesting to see where Grantham ends up. A D-coordinator who oversaw three straight years of steadily-worsening play from his defense, at the same time he made a play for his boss's job. Not a great 1-2 punch to have with your reputation if you're looking to get hired on elsewhere.

Joey Peeps said...

In the words of Michael Corleone, "It's always the smart one."