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Jeff Fisher upset over Bernie Kosar's on-air comments

As the NFL's preseason schedule kicked off Thursday night, NFL Network's offices were abuzz about the return of local telecasts and game announcers featuring blatant "homerism."

In the case of Bernie Kosar and the Cleveland Browns, it often goes a few steps beyond to a bizarre realm of laughter, head-scratching observations and brutal, unleaded honesty.

This time, Kosar managed to raise the ire of St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher after the former Browns quarterback tore into several Rams players in Thursday night's 27-19 Browns victory.

The most egregious comments were directed at Rams backup quarterback Kellen Clemens, of whom Kosar said, "I can't stand watching him play."

When Browns play-by-play man Jim Donovan relayed an anecdote about Clemens giving an autograph to Pope Benedict XVI, Kosar quipped, "Bless me father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter."

Kosar went on to call rookie Tavon Austin and the Rams receivers "horrible," while suggesting their parents "would be embarrassed" if they were watching the game.

"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 in response Saturday. "I guess I'm a little disappointed. ... 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."

Fisher even referenced Kosar's "well-documented issues," which include problems with finances, taxes, a divorce and the potential effects of brain trauma from his playing career.

The Browns are reviewing the situation, a team spokesman said Saturday night.

In the buttoned-up NFL world of the 21st century, we're surprised the Browns would allow an admittedly immature, marble-mouthed loose cannon in their broadcast booth even for preseason games.

UPDATE: Browns CEO Joe Banner released the following statement on the matter Sunday:

"We don't condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast Thursday night. 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."

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