BEREA, Ohio - As speculation about his shaky future mounted and the rumor mill churned up another big-name coach with Cleveland ties, Romeo Crennel pushed ahead.
He has to. It's his job.
For at least 3 more weeks.
Crennel, who will likely be fired once the Browns finish this disheartening season, reiterated yesterday that he isn't worried about reports that he will be replaced after his fourth year.
"It's tough when you lose. I don't care what the circumstances," Crennel said of the engulfing distractions. "If you're in this profession, you don't like losing. But you have to get up every day and do the best that you can, and if the coach doesn't get up and do the best he can, then it's hard for the players to do the best they can."
On Sunday, the Browns (4-9) lost for the fifth time in six games, 28-9 to the Tennessee Titans. The loss guaranteed Cleveland its eighth losing season in 10 years since returning to the NFL as an expansion team.
The Browns, who have not scored a touchdown in 3 weeks, are on the verge of another rebuild.
Former Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher is believed to be owner Randy Lerner's top choice to replace Crennel. However, Cowher, who now works as an analyst for CBS, has not indicated whether he will return to coaching.
If Cowher isn't an option, or is signed elsewhere, former Browns coach Marty Schottenheimer could be.
ESPN.com reported that Cleveland is formulating a backup plan to bring back Schottenheimer if Cowher can't be lured to take the job.
Schottenheimer coached the Browns from 1984 to '88. He was fired by San Diego after the 2006 season despite leading the Chargers to a 14-2 mark. He did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. *