View Full Version : Crennel’s time might be ticking away in Cleveland By ERIC K

09-16-2008, 12:49 AM
Crennel’s time might be ticking away in Cleveland
The Tribune-Democrat
http://www.tribune-democrat.com/prospor ... d=topstory (http://www.tribune-democrat.com/prosports/local_story_259003726.html?keyword=topstory)

Romeo, oh Romeo, what were thou thinking? The Pittsburgh Steelers extended their dominance over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night, thanks in large part to Romeo Crennel’s coaching blunders.

The Steelers were far from dominant in their 10-6 win over the Browns, and it might have turned out differently if not for the home team’s inability to effectively manage the clock.

Crennel’s first big mistake came near the end of the first half.

With the Browns trailing 7-0, quarterback Derek Anderson was able to run for a first down to the Pittsburgh 11-yard line.

Problem was, the Browns were forced to call their final timeout. Rather than take the three points, Crennel put Anderson in the difficult position of trying to find an open receiver while being careful not to give up a sack or throw short of the end zone.

Instead, Anderson was intercepted by Troy Polamalu.

It wasn’t Crennel’s finest moment, but his late-game decision-making turned out to be even worse.

In a game that was played in poor weather conditions, the offenses were severely limited.

That’s what makes Crennel’s decision to kick a field goal with less than 31?2 minutes remaining even more curious.

His team was in the midst of a 14-play, 60-yard drive that took 7:29 off the clock. It was one of the Browns’ few opportunities to find the end zone, but when faced with a fourth-and-7 play at the Steelers’ 20-yard line, Crennel took the easy way out.

He sent kicker Phil Dawson onto the field for a meaningless field goal. Even if the Browns stopped the Steelers’ offense – which they didn’t – they still needed a touchdown to win the game. Another field goal wouldn’t cut it.

Now the Browns, who had a a turnaround season a year ago, are a disappointing 0-2 and in danger of falling out of the AFCNorth race. A few more games like this, and the clock might run out on Crennel in Cleveland.

Eric Knopsnyder is the sports editor of TheTribune-Democrat.