I think it is a foregone conclusion
that Romeo Crennel will be fired this off-season. If not this week, I expect it will happen once some big names become available after the Super Bowl. And he should be fired,
the team has not improved in any way during the two years since he has
Lately, there has been a lot of conjecture that Jim
Tressel would be a likely replacement, and at the risk of sounding like
Lee Corso, I will say, “Not so fast my friend.”
First, lets take a look at Randy Lerner’s situation. He has inherited this team, and
they are horrible. They are on their fourth rebuild in eight years
and revenues are going to start reflecting that fact. He has to make
a change, but it has to be a change that will excite the fan base.
Who better than the hero of the Browns rebuilding years ... Jim Tressel?
You see, for the last six years, while the Brown’s have floundered,
Jim Tressel has taken the Buckeyes to unbelievable heights, so much
so, that the Buckeyes are beginning to take over Cleveland, a thought
that would have been unbelievable fifteen years ago.
Will Lerner pursue him?
ABSOLUTELY. Will Jim Tressel impress the Browns management?
I think so. Will they give him a very lucrative offer? Maybe,
but this is where I think that Browns fans are over playing their
hands. I think that Browns fans think that the Cleveland job
is better than it really is, similar to what is happening right now with the University of Alabama.
The popular opinion right now is that Jim Tressel would love to come to Cleveland, riding in on
a white horse (heck maybe he will even bring Troy Smith) and elevate
the Cleveland Browns to their proper standing in the world, based largely
on the fact that he is from the area. This is where the Browns
job is similar to the Alabama job; I think that most people outside
of Cleveland realize that this job is a lot worse than Browns fans
think it is.
Browns fans think that since
this city has a rich history, is hungry for a winner, and has a rabid fan base ...
that Cleveland would be a great place to a coach, a dream job of sorts.
Well that's really not the case. All the energy and passion that
Browns fans have and the city’s desire for a winner make this job
a nightmare. This team is nowhere near winning and a coach is
not going to get four or five years to build a winner. This should
sound eerily like the Alabama job; they too have a very enthusiastic
fan base and unrealistic expectations, and just like the Browns,
they have no chance of winning any time soon.
It is rather convenient that
Jim Tressel has an escape clause in his contract should he win a title,
but I think that this is more a case of happenstance than of some great
overarching conspiracy to get the Cleveland job. Tressel signed
that contract in May of this year and at that time, Crennel seemed pretty
secure in his position. Ultimately, I think that contract will
just end up providing additional negotiating leverage with the Buckeyes
and Tressel will get a new deal worth somewhere in the ballpark of
$3.5 million per year to stay in Columbus.
In order for Randy Lerner to
lure Tressel away from the Buckeyes, he would have to offer him considerably
more money and in doing so would be paying a rookie NFL coach more money
than last year’s Super Bowl champion coach, Bill Cowher.
I understand the plight of
the Browns fan, for I am one myself. I also endured The Drive,
The Fumble, the glory of the Bernie years, and the treachery of 1995, but
I am also a realist. I realize that if a coach has other viable
options (particularly long term, stable, and lucrative options) he would
have to be insane to come to Cleveland. I give any coach that
comes here a fifty-fifty chance of surviving two years.
This team literally has a hole
or a band-aid at every position on the field. We need an entire
offensive line, a quarterback, the running back appears to be mediocre
(but we won’t know until he gets a line to run behind), the receivers
stink, Kellen Winslow has a big mouth, the defensive is a 3-4 with a
gaping hole at NT and two mediocre DEs, they only have one sure thing at LB (Wimbley), and last but not least, there is
no depth in the secondary. Any coach that comes here, will have
2-3 years to try to fix all that and make a serviceable team.
Jim Tressel is going to want to leave Columbus for that?
I know coaches typically have
big egos and think they can turn around anything, but this is not the
behavior that we have seen in Jim Tressel. I will acknowledge
that there is a possibility that Tressel could end up in Cleveland,
but I don't find it likely. As a matter of fact, there has
been no credible reporting to suggest that Tressel is seriously considering
the position, nor has there been any that suggests the Browns have seriously
considered him. All there is at the root is an article or two
from Tony Grossi, and if you are counting him or the Plain Dealer as
credible than you are definitely overplaying your hand.
Right now Jim Tressel is sitting
on a “Nut Flush,” and the Browns job is a lowly pair
He has one of the best jobs in college football, why
would he trade that in for the worst job in pro football?