Jeff Fisher: I lost respect for Kosar
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Saturday he's lost a lot of respect for former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar, who was highly critical of Fisher's team while serving as color commentator for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night during the teams' preseason opener.
Kosar regularly criticized the Rams, specifically their wide receivers and backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.
Fisher was asked about Kosar's comments after the Rams' practice Saturday and did not hold back.
I'm just surprised that Bernie has such a lack of respect for players and this game. To be honest with you, I lost a lot of respect for him. It's highly unlikely he knew anything about our football team, but felt the need to make those comments. I don't think they were justified.” -- Jeff Fisher on Bernie Kosar
"First off, let me say this: The Cleveland Browns' organization is a first-class organization from top to bottom and it has been that for years and years and years," Fisher said. "I guess I'm a little disappointed. I feel bad for them that they had someone doing their broadcast feel the need to speak that way about players, specifically on our team and coaches for that matter.
"I'm just surprised that Bernie has such a lack of respect for players and this game. To be honest with you, I lost a lot of respect for him. It's highly unlikely he knew anything about our football team, but felt the need to make those comments. I don't think they were justified."
Among some of Kosar's pointed comments Thursday night were:
After an incompletion intended for Tavon Austin: "I really think that he didn't overthrow him and that Austin has to make that catch in the NFL. I see why Sam Bradford has been struggling watching how bad these receivers have been for him."
After Nick Johnson dropped a pass: "This is actually not a bad throw. These St. Louis receivers are horrible. That's a drop there."
After Browns play-by-play man Jim Donovan asked Kosar what he'd think if he knew some of the parents of Rams receivers were watching, Kosar said he "would be embarrassed."
Kosar then turned his attention to receivers coach Ray Sherman.
"I'm checking through the itinerary here of guys and coaches to see who the receivers coach is to make sure I don't know who this guy is because he's not doing very good either," Kosar said.
Kosar had praise for Bradford but didn't feel the same way about Clemens. When Donovan told Kosar, who had been asking for the use of a telestrator throughout the evening, that he might get one if he was on his best behavior, Kosar responded with a seemingly out-of-nowhere shot at Clemens, an eight-year pro out of Oregon.
"I must not be because the next quarterback in, me and him haven't done too well with each other, too," Kosar said.
Browns CEO Joe Banner issued a statement on the incident Sunday.
"We don't condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast Thursday night," Banner said in a statement. "We've spoken to Bernie, he understands that, and we would expect the situation is resolved moving forward. We've also reached out to the Rams organization and have shared those same sentiments."
Clemens wasn't in the game at the time. Later, when Clemens came in, Donovan relayed a story about the QB giving an autograph to Pope Benedict XVI. Kosar responded by saying he didn't think he'd ever want it.
"Bless me father for I have sinned," Kosar said. "I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter."
Clemens finished the game by completing 6 of 13 passes for 116 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the Rams' 27-19 loss.
"Bernie's got his issues; they're well documented," Fisher said. "Kellen played well, he played hard, he made plays."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.