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Romeo interview (1 Viewer)


Here's a transcript of the media interview with Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday:

Opening statement:

At this time last year I was fresh off a Super Bowl win. I didn't know what was going on and had to stand up here and talk to you. Since that time I've encountered a lot of different things as a head coach. I think I'm pretty comfortable with being able to do some of the things that a head coach has to do. And the biggest thing is ... win football games, and we didn't win enough of 'em, so we're gonna try to win more.

We know a little more about the team now ... what we're looking for. Some areas where we have to improve for us to get better and to win games. One, the defensive side of the ball, we have to improve our run defense, so we're looking for run-stoppers, as far as this draft and free agency. The other thing we need is some pass-rush production. Whether that's a pass rusher, or exotic or new schemes, which probably we're not gonna have those. So, we're gonna have to try to get us a pass rusher to help us improve our sack production.

Offensively, we have to get Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow back on the field. Those are two guys who can make some plays and help us win. They're in rehab ... they're working extremely hard every day. It's coming along. There's no timetable, but they're doing good at this point. The other thing I think we have to get is a wide receiver since there's a possibility that (Antonio) Bryant will go test the free agency market. We have to get somebody in to replace that production at that spot. If we can

get a veteran, that would be good. If we don't, we'll have a body out there who's gonna line up and play. We need to get a runner to complement Reuben (Droughns), because he had just about every carry we had. Even though he gained 1,000 yards and he's tough and hard-nosed, which we appreciate and which we want in Cleveland, I think maybe it would be good if we had somebody who could complement him, maybe to take some of the load off him.

Then, depth on the offense, particularly the line. We've got some guys who are more experienced. Some of those guys are coming off some surgeries. If we can get some depth there, that will help us. We are presently trying to keep our left tackle, L.J. Shelton. If he goes on the market then we have Plan B and Plan C and all those things we need to have ready. We've identified some guys we may be interested in if they become available.

Our players are optimistic about the '06 season. I think they're looking forward to it. The coaches are optimistic. I think the organization is optimistic.

We were able to get some things done last year. The guys were competitive. They played hard. I think maybe there was one game people will say we weren't competitive and didn't play hard. We just got beat ... and it was the eventual Super Bowl champions that did that (41-0 on Dec. 24 to the Pittsburgh Steelers). That's who we've gotta beat. That's who we're aiming for. We feel if we can compete with the guys in our division, we feel we'll be able to compete with the other teams in the NFL.

Q: What are the strong suits in the draft?

There are more guys on defense, particularly as we look at it, that can be able to help us from our needs, so we've done some work there and that's what we're gonna try top focus on a little bit.

Q: Is there a 2006 linebacker who can have the kind of impact Shawne Merriman (Chargers) did

last year?

There's one guy ... He's right down the street (in) Columbus. The initials are A.J.

Q: What do you like about A.J. Hawk?

Coach Tressel was telling me he has a center and a wide receiver and some dee bees and a lot of good players. But this guy's a playmaker, and he runs all over the place, and he runs to the ball. He's got some size, some speed, some production. I like all of those things.

Q: In that Kellen Winslow Jr. has played only two games in two years, what is his mental state as he proceeds through rehab?

He's a competitor. I know that about him. He wants to get back. He wants to show everybody that he is the playmaker that he was coming out of college. I think that's his main focus right now.

Q: Is Art Shell coming out of retirement good enough in terms of hiring black head coaches this year, or is there still some frustration?

You would like to see the process work where more minorities would have been chosen, but progress was still made ... I don't know if it's ever happened before ... probably never ... where a black coach was traded for, and got a draft choice for. Then, as you look at the coaching situation, coaches get recycled a lot of times. Other than Tony Dungy, who lost a job in Tampa and got a job in Indy, now we have Art Shell coming back even after he's been out of coaching for a little bit, so that's a little sign of progress in itself. It might not be the total progress that we want, but it is a form of progress. We look to the positives and go forward. Everybody's not gonna get an opportunity because there's only 32 jobs. There's some good coordinators, both white and black, who never have a chance to become a head coach. Keep working and keep doing the best job you can do.

Q: What about the concept of bringing a young quarterback along slowly?

It's becoming increasingly difficult to do that with any position that's drafted high, because of the amount of money that's in it, because of the free agency situation. If you miss a year with a guy, that's a year you'll never make up, and he might be playing for somebody else. So, it's tougher to do. I'm not saying you can't do it.

Q: What's the update on your plans for determining your No. 1 quarterback?

The update is, the position is open for competition, just like every position on my team is open for competition. I told the guys that before they left. They understand that, and I think that if now I came back and said, OK, I got a starter here ... even Andra Davis, who we've re-signed ... he understands his position is open for competition. That's

the way it's gonna be and that's the way it's gonna be at the quarterback spot. The difference is, I've got two guys at quarterback who have a leg up on the young kid who didn't play at all last year. So, it's an open competition. We're gonna see who's the best, and that's who we're gonna play.

Q: Will you name your No. 1 quarterback before training camp?

I'm not exactly sure how long it will extend. Sometimes as guys compete, the cream rises to the top. If it rises quickly, then we'll name him quickly. If it takes a little bit long to rise, then we'll take a little bit longer to name him.

Q: What are the contingency plans if Braylon Edwards doesn't recover from knee surgery in time for the season opener?

One is ... this receiver we're trying to work in free agency ... that'll be some guy there, because now I only have one spot to fill if Braylon's not able to come back. But Braylon did miss some games at the end of this year but we were able to still go ahead and be able to play. So, we're gonna use who we have and we're gonna play with 'em.

Q: More teams are going to the 3-4 scheme. Presumably, that increases competition for players who fit the scheme?

That's correct. Therein lies more of a problem. If you have more 3-4 teams, they're all looking for similar type guys. That impacts us more. We have to do a really good job with the guys we do pick.

Q: On installing a 3-4 scheme on a team that had been a 4-3 before 2005 ...

I knew it was gonna take some time to develop. You saw that in preseason, but you also saw those guys get a little bit better as the season went along, and they were able to keep guys out of the end zone. I think the second year should be better, just like the second year with our coaching staff will be better ... because we were all working together for the first time. So, now this next year we should be better as a coaching

staff. The players should be better because they have another year in the system. They understand what the system calls for, what it needs, what the coaches want. How much better? I don't know. But it should be better.

Q: Do you have a better chance of winding up with a roster of guys who fit the 3-4 this year?

Whether they fit or not, I need guys who can play ... all right? If a guy is not 6-5 and 275 but he can still make play, he can rush the quarterback. We'll find a spot for him. Whether we have to adapt the defense to him or whatever we have to do, we're gonna find a spot for the playmakers.

I was interested by his RB comments. Didn't bring up Suggs or Green but that they had to get a back to compliment Droughns. ALso "the WR we're trying to work in free agency"

Last edited by a moderator:
I was interested by his RB comments. Didn't bring up Suggs or Green but that they had to get a back to compliment Droughns. ALso "the WR we're trying to work in free agency"
Most likely David Givens given Romeo's ties to New England.

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