Carthon out as Cleveland offensive coordinator

Updated: October 24, 2006, 12:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The one-win Cleveland Browns, among the worst offenses in the NFL the last two seasons, relieved offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon of his duties on Monday night.

 Maurice Carthon
Carthon

The Browns are terming it a resignation. A team statement released Tuesday morning said the Browns had "accepted the resignation" of Carthon.

Regardless of whether Carthon resigned or was fired, Browns owner Randy Lerner, general manager Phil Savage and former Brown great and team consultant Jim Brown spoke with head coach Romeo Crennel during Cleveland's bye week about replacing Carthon, a source told ESPN Insider's Jeremy Green. Crennel was opposed to a change and stuck with Carthon for Sunday's home game against Denver.

But after another dismal offensive performance and speculation that Crennel might indeed lose his job after the season if he did not acquiesce with the front office, the decision was made to dismiss Carthon.

Assistant head coach/offensive line coach Jeff Davidson will take over play-calling duties for now, with an assist from Crennel, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports. Davidson is a former Patriots offensive assistant whom Crennel took with him to Cleveland.

The team has scheduled a news conference at 1:30 p.m. with coach Romeo Crennel to address Carthon's departure.

Carthon was in his second season as the Browns' offensive coordinator. He came to Cleveland after serving in the same capacity under Bill Parcells in Dallas for the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Under Carthon's direction, the Browns' offense has scored 88 points (fifth worst in the league) in six games and averaged an NFL-worst 245.2 yards a game. Cleveland finished last season last in points scored (14.5 per game) and 26th in overall yards.

Despite having two weeks to devise a game plan, the Browns picked up only 165 total yards in losing 17-7 to the Broncos on Sunday. Cleveland's offense didn't move the ball inside Denver's 40-yard line until the final play of the third quarter and scored its only touchdown following an 18-yard drive set up by Browns linebacker Andra Davis' interception. interception

Cleveland, at 1-5 in last place in the AFC North following Sunday's 17-7 loss to the Broncos, plays host to the Jets (4-3) on Sunday.

Jeremy Green, director of NFL scouting for Scouts Inc., contributed to this report. The Associated Press contributed to this report.