23 Aug 2007
Let me say from the beginning that I want to like Romeo Crennel. When I watch one of his press conferences, I see a head coach who -- unlike his old boss -- tries to provide a meaningful response to each question. When I watch the Browns play -- an infrequent occurrence over the past few years -- I don't find myself pounding my fist in coaching frustration (unlike when I watch, say, the Kansas City Chiefs). Crennel sometimes prompts those warm, fuzzy, bear-huggable, uncle-I-never-had feelings that I only get from certain NFL head coaches (Mike Holmgren or Andy Reid, for example).
Likeable Crennel may be, but he's sure making it awful hard to respect him. Case in point: the alleged quarterback "controversy" in Cleveland. A week or so ago, when asked if he planned to start Frye or Anderson during the preseason game against the Lions, Crennel said he planned to flip a coin. OK, whatever -- it's the preseason, and even though there's something untoward about the head coach deferring his starting decisions to random luck, the reality is that they both suck, and it doesn't really matter who he chooses since we all know Quinn will be starting once he can comprehend the playbook at a third-grade reading level.
But now here's Crennel, as quoted on the Browns' official website, describing how he plans to choose his opening day starter:
"With the competition we've had, which has been good, not announcing a starter is a possibility. Our first opponent might have to wonder who the quarterback is going to be. They might have to prepare for two guys which could be an advantage for us."
Ignore the loud guffaws you hear emanating from 31 defensive coordinators around the country. Disregard the demoralizing effect this must have on long suffering Browns fans -- to say nothing of the team in general -- to be toyed with this way. Instead, focus on the fact that this strategy makes no sense. If you really are going to play the whole "I'm going to confuse you, Mr. Defensive Coordinator, by playing coy with my two Arena-League level quarterbacks" game, you shouldn't announce your intentions in advance. Doing so simply alerts your opponent to scheme for both quarterbacks, instead of preparing for one quarterback only to get the other.
I understand that Crennel is on the hot seat this year. But if he keeps this nonsense up, the Browns should just fire him now.
23 comments, Last at 24 Aug 2007, 5:11pm by Tom
Are the best defenses against play action the best against regular passes too? How much impact does play action really have in an NFL game, and does it correlate from year to year?