Despite a second losing season and Cleveland's failure to beat a team in its division, Savage said one person shouldn't bear the responsibility for everything that went wrong with the team in 2006.
“There's no way I can look in the mirror and say all of this is Romeo Crennel's fault,” Savage said Wednesday. “It's just not fair to him.”
Savage blamed injuries, a difficult schedule and the lack of a core group of winning players as the main reasons for the Browns' 4-12 record in his second season in charge.
Savage, speaking during a year-end news conference, reaffirmed that Crennel has the support of his players and that to make a change at head coach would set the franchise back.
“I had a number of players come up to me during the latter stage of the year saying, 'We believe in Romeo,”' Savage said.
He noted that in spite of their record - 10-22 over the last two seasons - there was progress being made behind the scenes in terms of the organization's stability. He identified a core group of players to build around that includes tight end Kellen Winslow, wide receiver Braylon Edwards and linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.
But at the same time, he acknowledged they don't know who their quarterback will be next season, saying that while Charlie Frye is the incumbent starter, Derek Anderson, who started three games late in the season, will have the chance to beat him out in a training camp competition.