Imagine this: You are in charge of a team that has struggled mightily for the past nine seasons. You were brought in to try to improve a team that was left in shambles from previous regimes that had people trying to run a team that obviously had no idea how to.
Then, just when you think that you finally have things put together the right way after a season of success, and then spending an offseason making moves trying to build that success you begin mini and training camp with you have such anticipation for finally having a good season to start it almost kills you. Then the season starts and everything that could go wrong does, and right away.
Now imagine, during a season gone unexpectedly bad, siting down to watch your team and among all the other frustrations that you have about the team, you are constantly being egged on by a series of e-mails from a fan who obviously does not know how to do your job as well as you do.
How would you feel? How would you react to it, if you did at all? One thing for certain, if you did, it would most likely be kind.
These are the things that went through Phil Savage's head on Monday night when he received e-mails from a supposed Cleveland Browns fan who was living in Pittsburgh, non the less. Now, I am not saying that it is impossible to live in Pittsburgh and root for the Browns, but I have may doubts that many Browns fans live there.
Phil Savage's response to this fan may have been uncalled for, but it shows that even the someone who hold a high position in sports franchises have a human side to them. That's what Savage showed on Monday night when he sent a fiery e-mail back to this fan who was antagonizing him.
Think of it as the co-worker that is always looking over your shoulder and telling you how to do your job and you finally respond to him with the "If you think that you can do better then you do my job!" response. That is essentially what Savage was trying to tell the fan.
Is Savage to blame for what has been happening with this team? Not entirely, but some of it does fall on him. I am not so sure that trading draft picks is how you build a team. Savage traded most of this year's draft away so that he could make moves that would improve the team this season and in future one's, but does he really understand that the draft plays a major role in how you build a team?
That is just one of the lessons he is now learning. He also does not have the strong support staff as far as evaluating talent goes. In Baltimore, he had Ozzie Newsome; here, he essentially has to do it on his own.
Shaun Rodgers has been a great addition to this team and he has played his heart out here, but was he really worth the draft choice that he gave up for him?
For all of his fault's such as the draft, and failing to bring in a cornerback who is a proven starter to play opposite of Eric Wirght, what Savage did seemed to make sense, however it is the coach's job to get the expected level of play out of them.
He can tell Remo Crennel to play Jerome Harrison more since it looks like Jamal Lewis is regressing in front of everyone's eyes, or he can give orders to go back to playing a 4-3 defense instead of the 3-4 to try and get more out of Kamrion Wimbley (whom I think is starting show is more of a bust any way), but if Crennel won't do it, then other than firing him after the season is over, there is almost nothing that he can do about it.
This season has been a total detriment to all Cleveland Browns fans, they expect better, and they should. The Browns are the pride and soul of Cleveland. Anytime someone goes outside of Cleveland and meets someone, the Browns are the first thing that come into that person's mind when the Clevelander tells them where they are from.
It's easy to do finger pointing at a guy like Savage who has taken a lot of heat for this season.
Phil Savage has done as good of a job as he possibly can. The lack luster play of the team has to eat Phil Savage alive every day as he drives to his office in Berea because he to is passionate about this team and wants the fans to have a team that everyone in this city can be proud of.
He has shown at he press conferences that he is just as passionate about the Cleveland Browns as the fans here are. I would like to see what would happen if he brought the right coach in and they still failed, who would the mess be on then?
Ruining the Browns right now is a seemingly impossible task. Part of the problem could also be that Savage is in a spot where he is still left to clean up the mess left by Carmen Policy, Chris Palmer, and Butch Davis.
Was what Phil Savage did right or even professional? Absolutely not; however, if you were to hear the response of the fan, which we did in Cleveland today, he was not to terribly offended by Savage's response to him. He even apologized himself! An apology that Savage was man enough to accept and offer an apology himself for his actions.
If you are from Cleveland especially or anywhere else where they have football, it bring's out the worst in them. Men especially, because it someone panders to their aggressive nature inside them. Monday night's events were a perfect example of one fan over reacting to a situation and another stooping to the others level.
Change could very well be coming to the Cleveland Browns in the off season. Will it be something that Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel survive? Most likely not Crennel; however, it would be a shame if Savage is let go for a simple slip of the tongue.