Kosar Feels He Was Replaced Due To Slurred Speech, But Station Exec Issues Denial
Former NFLer Bernie Kosar on Thursday said that he has been "told by friends" that the Browns and WKYC-NBC replaced him as color analyst for preseason games because they were "concerned about his slurred speech," according to a front-page piece by Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. But WKYC President & GM Brooke Spectorsky "stressed the decision had nothing to do with his speech and that his performance was not a factor." He also said that it had "nothing to do with Kosar's harsh criticism of the Rams last preseason." Kosar said that he was "blindsided" when the Browns replaced him and he will "miss being in the booth." Kosar: "God gave me a gift for analyzing the game of football, for predicting plays and diagramming plays. I enjoy it and I'm proud of it. I'm proud of what I know about football. I just am.'' Kosar said that he was "called down to WKYC for a meeting on Wednesday night" and was told he was being "replaced in the booth" by CBS' Solomon Wilcots. Kosar: "It came out of left field. ... I'm not upset. I just wasn't expecting it and it's really unfortunate." Spectorsky said that he "wants Kosar to be more involved with the team's programming throughout the season," including "appearances on the pre-game shows, radio spots and opportunities" on the team's website. Spectorsky added that the "decision is in Kosar's hands now." However, Kosar said, "I left it in their court." He added, "Right now, I really, truly don't know what the next steps are" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 4/25). ESPN.com's Pat McManamon wrote in "sacking Kosar and bringing in Solomon Wilcots, the team did not really recognize the local audience." Instead of "adding an ex-Brown who connects to the community, the team went the 'national' route when another ex-player might have eased the sting" (ESPN.com, 4/24).