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Old 11-09-2008, 01:06 AM   #1
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Default Lewis calls teammates QUITTERS!!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008 1:29 AM EST
By Jeff Schudel
JSchudel@News-Herald.com

For three years, Romeo Crennel never used injuries as an excuse, even when things were at their bleakest for the Browns.

That changed Friday when he desperately looked for reasons to explain how the Browns blew a 14-point lead and lost, 37-27, last Sunday against the Ravens and then blew a 13-point lead and lost to the Broncos, 34-30, on Thursday.

Both games were at home, where the Browns are 1-4 this season. They are 3-6. With every game, they make the 10-6 record of last year seem unreal.

"We haven't been as consistent as we need to be," Crennel said Friday. "I think it goes back to training camp when we lost some key people to injuries. We haven't totally recovered from that yet.

"We started to make some progress. Sometimes we make progress on one side of the ball, and then for whatever reason the other side of the ball drops down. We have to get the whole team to be consistent."

Crennel was referring to the Monday Night Massacre in the Meadowlands on Aug. 18.

In that game, the Browns lost quarterback Derek Anderson (concussion), running back Jamal Lewis (hamstring), kick returner Josh Cribbs (ankle), safety Brodney Pool (concussion) and linebacker Willie McGinest (groin) in a 37-34 preseason loss to the Giants.

Prior to that game, Braylon Edwards was spiked by teammate Donte Stallworth while running sprints Aug. 9.

All of the injured with the exception of Pool returned for the opener against the Cowboys. Stallworth was hurt in pre-game warmups before Dallas and missed the Cowboys game and the next three plus the game against the Ravens on Nov. 2. Joe Jurevicius won't play at all in 2008 because of complications from staph infection in his right knee.

The players in question used the first three games of the regular season to shake off the rust, and the Browns lost them all.

But the problem for the Browns runs deeper than injuries, according to Lewis.

Lewis opened up in the locker room after the game Thursday in a way few players ever would.

"Some people need to check their egos at the door and find some heart to come out here and play hard," Lewis said darkly. "This is a man's game. The way we went out and played two weeks in a row, finishing the same kind of way, it's just not there. Some men around here need to check themselves. Straight up. That's it."

Lewis would not be dragged into naming which players have to check their egos. He could have been referring to a teammate or even a coach. He did not stop there.

"It looked to me like some people called it quits when we were up," Lewis said. "You can't do that. You have to finish. Denver's back was to the wall just like ours is to the wall. But they came out and played good football. They were down. They kept their heads up, stayed poised and finished.

"This is as frustrated as I've been in however many years I've been playing. I've never seen anything like it. I'm not cut from this kind of cloth. I play physical football. I come out here and give it my all. I give it my all all week. This is the NFL. You can't call it quits until the game is over."

The 564 yards piled up by the Broncos was the third-most ever against the Browns. That covers 55 years and 803 games dating back to 1950. Adding that to the 429 yards allowed last week means the Browns allowed a combined 993 yards in back-to-back games a franchise record the team would just as soon keep under wraps.

"The guys are trying to do what they're supposed to do," Crennel said when asked about Lewis' comments. "They don't always do it at the level they need to get it done."

The Browns don't play again until they face the Bills a week from Monday in Buffalo. They were off Friday and have the weekend off as well.

Crennel hinted there might be lineup changes. He said that when the Browns were 0-3, and nothing happened.

"We have to look at everybody and see who's not carrying their load and who's not holding up their end of it," Crennel said. "We have to see if we have other people available to try to motivate them.

"It's been a heck of a week. We've played two games in a short amount of time, and we've had the lead in both of those games and weren't able to hold it. We're going to go back to the drawing board and we're going to try to work and try to fix that so we can hold a lead.



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Old 11-09-2008, 08:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lewis calls teammates QUITTERS!!!!!

LOL... Lewis would have a stroke if he played for the Raiders!
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Lewis calls teammates QUITTERS!!!!!

Someone has to take a you know what in the cornflakes of his teammates. Might as well try to have some leadership.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lewis calls teammates QUITTERS!!!!!

Hey, hats off to Lewis for saying something. When losing becomes acceptable in can take a long time to change things no matter who's on the roster. Just look at what's been going on in Detroit for years.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lewis calls teammates QUITTERS!!!!!

There was an article in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer where columnist Bud Shaw.

The team didn't so much "quit" as in give up. They had the lead with just under 5 minutes to go in the game, it's not like they were down by 30 at halftime.

It's moreso a case of a bunch of players who haven't really done anything in the NFL pouding their chests and not playing with the same enthusiasm when they have a lead, therefore letting leads slip away.

Lewis pointed out how he was used to in Baltimore, being on a very veteran team, especially the Super Bowl winning team where everyone came to work and did their jobs. There wasn't a curfew or anything like that, the players didn't need to be babysat...where in Cleveland it feels somewhat like guys need to be babysat because they can't just be professional.
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