By Tom Withers | Associated Press
CLEVELAND -- Bernie Kosar didn't back down.
The former Browns quarterback, who angered St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher for criticizing Rams backup quarterback Kellen Clemens and others during a TV broadcast last week, did not apologize in his first public comments on Thursday night and defended the way he analyzes games.
Working as a color commentator for Cleveland's exhibition game against the Rams last week, Kosar made harsh comments about Clemens, Rams wide receivers and assistant coach Ray Sherman. Fisher took issue with Kosar, saying he had lost respect for him and questioned his motives.
During the first 15 minutes of the Browns' pregame show before Cleveland hosted the Detroit Lions on Thursday, Kosar stood by his remarks.
"I love the game so much, there's no way I'd want to disrespect or hurt, or make fun of, any players or coaches," Kosar said. "That being said, the way I look at the game and the way I like to analyze it from a football perspective, it is what it is. And again, I don't want to disrespect and hurt any of the players and coaches in the league.
"I do like the way I look at the game and I have strong feelings about the way the game's played," he said.
In the second half last week, Kosar tried to make a joke when play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan mentioned that Clemens had recently met the Pope.
"Bless me father for I have sinned," Kosar said. "I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter."
Fisher didn't find anything amusing about Kosar's remarks.
"I feel bad for them (the Browns) that they had someone doing the broadcast feel the need to speak that way about players, specifically on our team and coaches for that matter," Fisher said. "I'm just surprised that Bernie has such a lack of respect for players and this game. To be honest with you, I lost a lot of respect for him. It's highly unlikely he knew anything about our football team, but felt the need to make those comments. I don't think they were justified."
One day after Fisher erupted, the Browns condemned Kosar's actions.
CEO Joe Banner issued a statement saying the team didn't "condone the personal and unprofessional approach that Bernie took with some of his comments during the broadcast."
Fisher said he received a phone call from Kosar, who apologized.
Kosar met with Browns officials on Wednesday. The team said he will continue to provide commentary during the remaining preseason telecasts.