Browns make cuts, give Crennel vote of confidence

BEREA, Ohio -- Browns general manager Phil Savage on Saturday threw cold water on the notion that coach Romeo Crennel enters the season on the hot seat.

"There is no Romeo Crennel watch in this building," Savage said in a wide-ranging news conference. "I've said it 10 times: He's the right man for the job."

With the level of talent the Browns had the last two years, no one else could have won more than eight games as Cleveland's head coach, Savage said.

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Crennel went 6-10 his first year in 2005, then slipped to 4-12 last year. National experts and Las Vegas betting lines list Crennel as one of the NFL coaches most likely to be fired this fall. Savage said that's not going to happen and he said Crennel continues to have the respect of his players.

"There is no hot seat," he said. "If we get beat 50-0 in the first six games, that's a different story. But I don't think that's going to happen."

Savage announced 22 roster moves as NFL teams were required to get down to the regular-season limit of 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday.

Cornerback Gary Baxter made the roster and gets to continue his attempt to make history and return from a pair of torn patellar tendons suffered Oct. 22 in a game vs. Denver. He returned to practice in a limited capacity on July 30, but didn't participate in contact drills or play in a preseason game.

Baxter is within a few weeks of being able to play, Savage said.

"With everything he'd been through, the effort and work he had put into it, he deserved a shot to see where he is over the next few weeks," he said.

Backup quarterback Ken Dorsey wasn't as fortunate, losing out to Derek Anderson, as the team's third quarterback on the roster. Dorsey was a valuable mentor to rookie Brady Quinn during the preseason.

"We felt like we kept the three that give us the best chance to win right now," Savage said. "We have a lot of respect for Ken Dorsey. But from a physical standpoint, no one had said we need to put Ken Dorsey in to win the game."

Savage said the starting quarterback choice will be made by Crennel. He also said the team has no firm timeline for when Brady Quinn will see playing time, perhaps as a starter.

"Is it two weeks? Is it four weeks? Is it eight weeks? Is it at the end of the year? I cant answer that," he said.

The Browns also cut three 2007 draft picks: defensive lineman Melila Purcell, Chase Pittman and receiver Syndric Steptoe. Purcell was chosen in the 6th round, while Pittman and Steptoe were taken in the 7th round.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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