Thursday, November 13, 2008
Browns GM: Lewis, Cribbs just tried sending a message
By James Walker ESPN.com
CLEVELAND -- Amid accusations from some players that the Cleveland Browns "quit" during their loss to the Denver Broncos, general manager Phil Savage weighed in on the matter Thursday.
In his weekly interview on Cleveland radio station WTAM, Savage said he doesn't believe the sentiment shared by running back Jamal Lewis and receiver Josh Cribbs from last Thursday's 34-30 loss to Denver. The Browns blew a 13-point lead in the second half by giving up 21 fourth-quarter points.
"I think they were maybe trying to deliver a message to certain players," Savage told WTAM. "Who those players are, I don't know. But we evaluate and watch all of our games, and I wouldn't characterize it as quitting. I would characterize it as there was not the focus that was needed in the key moment and the key play."
After watching Cleveland blow a lead for the second time in a five-day span, Lewis was the first Browns player to broach the subject of quitting. Cribbs seconded his teammate's thoughts earlier this week.
"When you have a team like that that comes into our house and we're capable of beating them, that's the first thing that comes to mind,'' Cribbs said Monday. "We can't figure out what man, but that's what it looked like -- some guys quit. ... We know if everybody didn't quit, we would have won that ballgame.''
With 10 days between games, the issue has taken on a life of its own in Cleveland as the Browns (3-6) prepare to play at 5-4 Buffalo on "Monday Night Football."
The game also will mark the second career start for quarterback and former first-round draft pick Brady Quinn, who threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns against Denver.
"I thought Brady showed a lot of poise," Savage said. "I made the comment to the staff that I have no regrets whatsoever that Brady's had the opportunity to sit and watch for a year and a half. I don't think that there's any question that it's helped him."
James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com.