Jeff Fisher is a football coach obviously, not a TV critic. But he couldn’t wait to be asked Saturday about Bernie Kosar’s scathing criticism of Rams receivers, receivers coach Ray Sherman, and quarterback Kellen Clemens in Thursday’s Rams-Browns preseason opener.
“First off, let me say this,” Fisher told reporters following Saturday’s practice at Rams Park. “The Cleveland Brown organization is a first-class organization from top to bottom and it has been that for years and years and years.
“I guess I’m a little disappointed. I felt bad for them that they had someone doing their broadcasts 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 for this game. To be honest with you, I lost a lot of respect for him.
“This game, it’s a preseason game, players are playing hard. It’s highly unlikely he knew anything about our football team but felt the need to make those comments. And I don’t think they were justified.”
Rams wide receivers dropped three catchable balls in the first half, and Kosar — who was color analyst for the game on the Browns’ telecast — was highly critical each time. At one point, he called the Rams’ receivers “horrible.” Play-by-play man Jim Donovan then playfully chided Kosar, saying the receivers’ parents could be watching, Kosar replied by saying he’d “be embarrassed” if he was one of their parents.
But then came the real zinger by Kosar after backup wideout Nick Johnson had a pass sail through his hands on a third-and-3 play.
“I’m checking through the ’itinerary’ of coaches to see who the receivers coach is, to make sure I don’t know who the guy is because he’s not doing very good either,” Kosar said.
The Rams wide receivers coach is the well-respected Ray Sherman, a veteran of 24 years as an NFL assistant coach.
“I heard about that,” Sherman said, of Kosar’s comments. “I don’t worry about people like that. Hopefully, he’ll get himself some help because evidently he’s saying things that he really doesn’t have any knowledge about. He doesn’t know what the routes are; he doesn’t know what guys are supposed to do. But I don’t worry about that. Really I don’t want to get into it.”
Later in the broadcast, Kosar had his most strident criticism for Clemens, the veteran quarterback who’s battling for a job once again on the Rams’ roster.
Long before Clemens took the field, Kosar said he wasn’t looking forward to watching the Rams’ quarterback scheduled to play in the fourth quarter [Clemens] because “me and him haven’t done too well together.”
When asked about that remark, Clemens said, “I’ve had no interaction with Bernie Kosar that I’m aware of. I’ve never met him. Not that I remember.”
Speaking of Kosar’s playing career, Clemens said, “He gave us a lot of great examples throughout his career of what it’s like to play quarterback, and how to do it at a high level.
“Unfortunately, he also gave us a couple of examples in his commentating career of what not to do.”