Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Preparation C

We've been on vacation for a few days and our batteries are now freshly charged. We only wish the same could be said for the Browns.

Coach Romeo Crennel's charges looked woefully unprepared for their opening game, which is about the worst thing that can ever be said about a team. Any objective observer knows that this team lacks depth and only recently began acquiring players with some talent. So in that sense, not much in the way of tangible results was expected. But there is no reason for the collapse that was this past Sunday's game. And we're not ready to blame it on the players, yet.

The truth is, the Browns were outcoached in every imaginable way. And it wasn't just on game day, either. They were woefully unprepared, which is the most puzzling development. It's not like this was week 8 in a long season. Crennel and his coaches had all summer, indeed all offseason to get ready and this is the best they could do? The mental errors made by the players all speak to a lack of preparation by the coaches so before Crennel goes pointing to things like Jeff Faine pushing Two-Ton Ted Washington all over the field as the reason the defensive line allowed 170 rushing yards, he ought to first look in the mirror and figure out why he sent this team in this shape onto that field.

Speaking of coaches, if there is anything more puzzling then the lack of preparation, it is how Offensive Coordinator Maurice Carthon has retained his job. It's not the play calling so much as the lack of overall plan. We'd be shocked if anyone could articulate exactly what the Browns were trying to do when they had the ball. Crennel said they got away from RB Reuben Droughns in the second half because of the lack of success in the first half. But the game was close throughout and to abandon their best running back speaks less of a plan than it does of panic. From where we sit, Carthon is on the hot seat and deservedly so.

This isn't to give a pass to the players, but we need to keep in mind the bigger picture. If this team is going to ever transfer its promise to success, the coaches will have to do a better job, fast. As always, it's easier to replace a few coaches then an entire team.

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