Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crennel Takes Blame for Losses

Steve King, Browns.com Staff Writer


Following Sunday's loss to the Texans and then again on Monday afternoon in the routine player media availability, Browns players insisted that it was them, and not head coach Romeo Crennel, who should be blamed for the Browns disappointing 4-7 start to the season.

When asked what the players taking responsibility for the disappointing season means to him, Crennel said, "It means that they are incorrect because I am the head coach, and the buck stops at my desk. It is my charge. If we don't win games, it's on me.

"We've got coaches who work very hard to try to get a good plan, try to put it out there and try to get the guys to execute, and when they team doesn't play well, it falls on the head coach. Just like when the offense doesn't do well, a lot of times, it falls on the quarterback, rightly or wrongly. In this position, the scrutiny goes with it."

He later repeated, "I'm the head coach, and the buck stops here. When we go out there and we don't play well, I don't do well. When we play well, I do well. That's the way it has been all along."

It's the same thing he says when he discusses the state of the team with Browns owner Randy Lerner.

"I tell him that this team hasn't lived up to expectations," Crennel said. "We are not as consistent as we need to be. We are working to try to be what everybody wants us to be, but it hasn't happened the way we expected it to happen. I tell him we are going to keep fighting, and we are going to try to win a game.

"He is saying that he appreciates that attitude. He knows that there are no guarantees in this business. Every game is different, and you have to line up and play it. That was his indication."

Those are similar to Crennel's conversations with general manager Phil Savage.

"We talk on a regular basis," he said. "We know where we're at, 4-7, which is not good enough. Going forward from that, we've got a game on Sunday (against the Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns Stadium) that we need to try to win. Then after that, we have other games we need to try to win, and, one by one, they become the main focus.

"If we can win a game on the field, then the organization looks better. That is what we're going to try to do."

I have yet to get on the "Fire Crennel" bandwagon mostly because I respect him as a man and quotes like this reaffirm my feeling. Romeo is a good man and the players love him, I just don't know if he is getting the job done. When does the responsibility lie on the assistant coaches or the players? Who knows. We will see what happens this offseason if Romeo survives the ax. I think we need to finis

Monday, November 3, 2008

Quinn is Starter; Jurevicius Not Done Yet

Browns move Quinn into starting lineup, replacing inconsistent Anderson at QB

Updated: November 3, 2008, 5:46 PM ET

BEREA, Ohio -- Quarterback Derek Anderson has been benched by the Cleveland Browns, who will start popular backup Brady Quinn on Thursday night against the Denver Broncos.

The switch was confirmed Monday by the team, just hours after coach Romeo Crennel said he had no plans to make a change.

Anderson, who has been inconsistent this season, threw a costly interception that was returned for a touchdown in the final minutes of Sunday's 37-27 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The pick prompted Browns fans to begin chants of "Brady! Brady!" for Quinn, the former Notre Dame star who has thrown just eight passes in two seasons.

I am completely on board with this move and think Brady is our franchise player we have been desperately searching for since 1999.

Browns WR Jurevicius, out with staph, hopes to return for '09

Updated: November 3, 2008, 4:06 PM ET

BEREA, Ohio -- Joe the Football Player isn't ready to give up the game he loves.

Cleveland wide receiver Joe Jurevicius, forced to sit out the 2008 season because of a serious staph infection in his surgically repaired right knee, plans to come back next season for his beloved Browns.


"I'm not giving up," he said. "I'm playing next year. It's not, I'm going to try. I am playing next year."

The passionate 33-year-old, who grew up in the Cleveland area and attended Browns games as a kid, revealed Monday that he has undergone five procedures in the past 10 months to clean out staph, which he contracted following arthroscopic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in January.

Jurevicius is one of five known Browns players to get staph in the past three years, an outbreak that led to the team calling in infectious control specialists for assistance. Kellen Winslow recently had a second bout with staph, and the tight end was briefly suspended by the team for criticizing its handling of his hospitalization.

Jurevicius plans to have another operation on his knee to remove scar tissue. But instead of going back to the Clinic, he'll have his next procedure performed by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo. Jurevicius doubts that he'll need microfracture surgery, an operation that involves drilling holes in the kneecap to promote cartilage growth and requires a longer rehab period.

Jurevicius said he contracted staph within 1½ weeks of his surgery. He isn't sure where he got it.

"I'm not a doctor," he said. "I'm not here to point fingers, whether it was the Cleveland Clinic or the Browns' facility. All I know is that I contracted a staph infection and wasn't happy with it. It is what it is. I battled, still have some work to do and we go from there, but now is not the time for me to point fingers."

He was asked about his theory on why the Browns have had so many staph cases.

"There's been some numbers here and it does make people open their eyes," he said. "I just feel that for me personally, I've seen enough of the Cleveland Clinic in terms of the amount of times I've been in there. For me, I would personally just like to start with a clean slate, a fresh chalkboard and write the rest of the story up. That's the reason I plan on going out to Vail. But I will be back here after that. But in terms of the number of staph infections, it makes you open your eyes."

Jurevicius, who also played for the New York Giants, Tampa Bay and Seattle, signed as a free agent with the Browns in 2005. It was his dream to end his career in Cleveland, and he's determined to see it through. Sitting out has been difficult for Jurevicius, who has found driving to Browns games extremely difficult.

As he passes fans tailgaiting -- some of them wearing his No. 84 jersey -- before games, Jurevicius remembers Sundays spent with family and friends.

"I take the long way to the stadium every game because my memories are of the Muni Parking Lot," he said. "When you see No. 84s out there, when you see the smoke from the barbecues, or people fighting, that's what I miss. It tears me up inside."

His teammates were not surprised to hear that Jurevicius is planning a comeback.

"He's a pro's pro and truly a leader on this team," kicker Phil Dawson said. "You can take a poll of this locker room and every last person would tell you that they respect Joe Jurevicius. I appreciate the fact that the guy wants to come back and play with us. He's a hometown guy and we can all learn a lesson from his passion and his commitment. I'll be really excited when he gets back in that helmet."

Jurevicius wants to leave the NFL on his own terms, not because of an infection he was powerless to stop. When he's done, he hopes to walk off the field at Browns Stadium in his uniform and wearing his orange helmet with daughters Caroline and Ava under each arm.

"I don't want them to see me give me up," he said. "I could take the easy way out and say I'm done. I'm going to take the tough road and I'm not done.

"I'm going to play."

From: ESPN.com

This man is an inspiration and a gift to the city of Cleveland. Hopefully, Quinn will lead the team to a Super Bowl in his final season next year!