Former quarterback says football acumen and ability to describe game action remains well-received by Browns fans.
Nov 4, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns former quarterback Bernie Kosar signs a helmet prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports / USA Today Sports
By Fred Greetham
Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar issued a statement in response to his ouster as the analyst for Browns preseason games on WKYC.
"I was informed yesterday by the Cleveland Browns and WKYC that I have been replaced as a 2014 preseason game day color commentator. I believe that this decision stems from my slurred speech impairment, which is a direct result of the many concussions I received while playing in the NFL. This is very unfortunate, as I believe my football acumen and ability to describe what is happening on the field, has been well received by Cleveland Browns fans. I love to put the personal touch, pride in the Browns, and pride in our Cleveland community into the broadcast. Being able to share these preseason games with my fellow Cleveland Browns fans is truly one of the remaining joys in my life. I would hope that WKYC would reconsider utilizing my in-game talents and overlook my concussion-induced impairment. I want everyone to know that I still bleed Brown and Orange."
Kosar made statements during the Rams preseason game with the Rams last season criticizing Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens among others that drew ire from Rams' coach Jeff Fisher. However, then CEO Joe Banner issued a statement saying the team reprimanded Kosar for "the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast."
However, Kosar stayed on for the final three preseason games. During the next broadcast, Kosar defended his opinions and did not apologize or retract any of his statements.
Kosar has been replaced by veteran commentator Solomon Wilcots as the analyst. The Browns and WKYC issued a statement on Wednesday.
"The Browns and WKYC are revamping their broadcast team, welcoming veteran commentator Solomon Wilcots to the preseason television booth. Additionally, the Browns are exploring more opportunities to allow fans to hear from Bernie Kosar, the All-Pro quarterback who guided the team to three AFC Championship games in the 1980s.
The release also elaborated more on Kosar's role:
The Browns are in discussions with Kosar on potential new roles, which could include segments on ClevelandBrowns.com, Cleveland Browns Daily on WKNR-850 AM, and the PNC Bank Browns radio network.