The Indians season will depend on scoring runs and defense.

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Tribe

Note: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the Browns recent transactions and previewed the Indians 2015 season. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

The Tribe has been called one of the top teams in MLB this season. That is much more attention that the team deserves. The team has pretty good pitching but will struggle again scoring runs and preventing unearned runs.

The top 3 starters are solid. Starters 4 and 5 are still question marks. But compared to the offense the pitching is outstanding. Last year the team lost way too many games where the pitching held the opponent to 3 runs or less.

The only offensive addition was outfielder Brandon Moss. The team needed at least a second right handed power hitter. The rest of the O is a problem. Michael Bourn is solid if he is healthy. That is anything but a sure thing. The other players are inconsistent.

The defense is also an issue. Last season the team has the worst defense in the American League. Getting Lonnie Chisenhall off the field will help but there are still issues.

Given the issues that both Kansas City and Detroit have had the Tribe has a chance to over take them. But unless they can fix the D and do better on O it will be a long season.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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Pettine, Farmer and company, have a nice life.

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Farmer

Note: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the Browns recent transactions and previewed the NFC South. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

NFL NEWS FLASH: This is a quarterback league. If you don’t have a starting quality QB you will lose and be replaced by a group that will find one.

You reportedly spent $100,000 on a study to see which quarterback in the 2014 NFL draft had the best chance for success. The result of the study indicated that Teddy Bridgewater was that guy. So with him on the board, you drafted Johnny Manziel. If you had been reading FPS you would have known that Bridgewater was the best available QB on the board when your second first round pick came up. But you decided for whatever reason to go with flash over substance.

We saw what Manziel could do last year. First he was abysmal vs the Bengals. Then he tried to run the RG3 read option (which he never ran at Texas A&M) and ended up on IR. The comments from Mike Pettine indicate that Johnny will be much better in the new system. Just tell us what the “new system” is and maybe we can agree.

Now Manziel is in rehab. That is the first decision he has made I can support. I hope he gets his life together but having evaluated players coming into the draft since 1960, I have no confidence he will ever be even a quality backup let alone a decent starter.

Rather than resigning Brian Hoyer, they decided to go with Josh McCown who is 5 years older than Hoyer. Hoyer showed that he could win games. When his mechanics broke down later in the season the coaching staff seemed unaware or unable to correct them. McCown has been on 9 teams in his 12 year career. He is not a starting quality guy. Lovie Smith brought McCown to Tampa as the designated starter just as the Browns have done. McCown repaid his coach with a record of 1-10 and almost got Smith fired. The Bucs now have the 1st pick in the 2015 draft.

If the Browns were listening to me, they would have used their 2nd round pick in 2012 to take Russell Wilson and the QB issues would be history. I do like that fact that Ray Farmer finally convinced a couple of wide receivers to sign. Without a starting quality QB on the team that is hard. But his pick of Manziel may do him in. Unfortunately it may also do in the entire crew.

But maybe this is part of the plan to get the 1st pick next year. With either Manziel or McCown starting they have a pretty good chance of “winning” the first selection. To survive both Farmer and Pettine would have to have the approval of owner Jimmy Haslam. The new catch phrase of the Browns must be “Crash for Cardale.”

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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2015 NFL Draft – QB

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NFL Draft (2)

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I previewed the NFC East.  The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith

1. Brett Hundley QB UCLA rJr 6-3 227

Hundley could have been the 1st pick in the 2014 draft but decided to stay in school. He suffered this year from a lack of quality receivers and a bad line.

Strengths:

He has played in a pro style system in terms of pass patterns although has not worked much under center. He has an NFL arm and anticipates throws fairly well. He reads college defenses well but will need work to adjust to NFL coverages. He is athletic and can run when necessary. He will be a value and be taken in the middle of the 2nd round.

Weaknesses:

Like almost all QB’s coming out of college, he needs to improve his drop back footwork. He also has not seen many complex defenses in the Pac-12.

2. Marcus Mariota QB Oregon rJr 6-4 215

Mariota will likely be the 2nd QB off the board. There is a concern if he can adapt to the NFL pocket style passer.

Strengths:

He is a winner. He led his team to the Championship game. He has good touch with all throws and is accurate on short and medium throws. He has a quick delivery. He shows the ability to run when necessary and protects himself.

Weaknesses:

He has not had the opportunity to show he has NFL arm strength. He was not required to do that in school. He has accuracy issues on long passes.

3. Bryce Petty QB Baylor rSr 6-3 230

Don’t assume Petty will have the same problems that RG3 had. Petty is much more interested in improving his game and less on building his brand.

Strengths:

Petty has an NFL arm and a quick delivery. He is athletic and can avoid the pass rush. He has good vision and accuracy. He stands in against a hit and deliver the ball.

Weaknesses:

He is inconsistent on long throws because of his footwork. He has no experience under center. He seldom huddles and has no experience in pre-snap reads.

4. Garrett Grayson QB Colorado State rSr 6-2 215

Grayson is a developmental QB at best. He has a very strong arm but no accuracy or anticipation.

Unrated Jameis Winston QB Florida State rSo 6-4 232

Winston has #1 ability on the field but will get a GM that drafts him with a top pick fired. He has played in a pro offense and can make all the throws. I would not draft him in the 7th round. He will be the face of a franchise and says all the right things but I don’t trust him.

2015 Quarterback Rankings by Kelron Sykes:

  1. Jameis Winston, Florida State

Strengths: Prototype with his physical makeup. Big, athletic and durable. He moves decisively well within the pocket, and displays elusiveness outside the hashes. He displays good intangibles- poise, savvy, toughness, leadership, and good vision. He delivers catchable balls beyond the second and third levels, while having great zip on the ball when delivering in tight coverage. Remarkably consistent in coverage recognition and displays good field awareness dissecting defenses. He displays great anticipation, instincts, and mental toughness within the tackles. He is remarkably competitive, and thrives on the big moment.

 

Weakness: Has major character issue. With all the off the field transactions, i.e. shop lifting, sexual assault, and the incident on campus. Jamesis would be off the draft board of many NFL draft boards based upon those transactions. Jamesis will need to quicken his release, as he displays a long wind up release. He will need to develop better eye elusiveness, as he stares down receivers on his intermediate throws.

 

  1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Strengths: Has good size, athletic ability, a good frame to go along with having a tactical work ethic and highly desirable character makeup. He is vastly elusive outside the hashes, and displays enough athletic ability to separate from defenders within the Oregon Offensive System. He is remarkably accurate within short proximity passes, and looks to have a catchable ball with a tight spiral. He looks to be better throwing outside the hashes when pressed to do so, and having a high completion percentage on balls beyond the third level.

 

Weakness: Does not come from a traditional offense. He struggles throwing across his body, while also struggling to identify coverages. Mariota is a run first quarterback, and struggles with going through is progression. He is highly inconsistent; he will make a tremendous throw on one possession, and then follow up with a blunder of a throw the next. He struggles with vision and awareness, as he looks to be a one read player. Mariota will not take chances vertically, as he struggles with accuracy beyond the second level. He will need to develop natural quarterback reads, as the offense he ran in college was all pre-determined.

 

  1. Brett Hundley: UCLA

Strengths: Very well built athlete that displays good arm strength to zip the ball in tight coverage, while also having a precise touch to throw the deep ball. He looks to have a quick release and reliable vision to process his decision making out of the shotgun. He displays good elusiveness and pocket awareness, while also having adequate acceleration to separate from defenders. Brett displays good mental toughness that should translate into moderate success at the next level.

 

Weakness: Most if not all his snaps came out of the shotgun, which made most his reads pre-determied. He doesn’t possess the elusiveness to evade defenders from the pocket, and lacks straight line speed to separate from defenders beyond the first level of defense. He will need to improve ball placement on second and third levels throws as his balls appear to be not in relation with the receivers.

 

  1. Sean Mannion: Oregon State

Strengths: Tall athlete with moderate build and muscular frame. He does a good job in being fundamentally strong with his delivery of the ball. He possesses good arm strength and can make all three throws adequately well. He comes from a pro-style offense which he appeared to have good field vision and command of the offense. He displays calmness and looks to have command of the offense, along with a solid chemistry with his receivers. He displays a very accurate ball, along with having a desirable touch for the vertical ball. His biggest attribute is his ability to throw through small windows with a touch of velocity to equate to success.

 

Weakness: He is not overly athletic, and has very slow feet. He looks to struggle gaining depth in his drops, and struggle to maneuver away from on-coming defenders. He will hold on to the ball too long and takes too many chances forcing the issue of deliverance. He has a history of telegraphing his throws, and relies too much on his arm strength. He appears to be very sluggish if not sloppy in mechanics, and struggles to follow through with throwing motion within short to intermediate throws.

 

  1. Bryce Petty: Baylor

Strengths: Solid size and arm strength, and a very reliable and accurate ball placement. He throws a very catchable ball and thrives on the vertical game. He looks athletic enough in the pocket, and has enough athletic ability to be successful outside the hashes as a runner or thrower. He looks to have precise accuracy within short proximity, and has good pocket presence to dissect defenses.

 

Weakness: He looks to have most of his reads predetermined from the sidelines. He locks in on receivers, and doesn’t do a good job in eye manipulation. Most of his snaps came from the shotgun, and struggles to quickly identify defensive fronts. He will struggle to avoid on coming rushers, and appears to lack the foot speed to separate from level one defenders.

That is what we think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

Kelron Sykes is a regular guest on NNR and played at Oregon State. He did scouting for the Jaguars as well.

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Is GM Ray Farmer too slow to make decisions?

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Farmer

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the trades and free agent signings. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

So far in the Browns off season from hell they have signed a backup QB and yet another #2 wide receiver. At least Brian Hartline is taller than most of the receivers on the roster.

There is almost no chance that the Browns can land an above average WR with the list of quarterbacks on the roster. Wide-outs want a stable offensive system with a QB that they trust to get them the ball. The Browns have neither of those qualities.

GM Ray Farmer missed a chance to bring in a true #1 WR in Kenny Stills. He has speed and size. Since the team has struggled to bring in FA wide-outs, getting a young player with 2 years left on his 5th round salary by a trade would have been huge. But the Dolphins got the deal.

The frustration of Browns fans everywhere is that despite having a ton of cap space, the Browns seem to be hording it. There is no question that the Browns lack of stability means that they will have to over pay to get any FA particularly those on offense. They could get some quality players on defense however.

While there has been a lot of instability on offense, the defense has been good and could get better with the addition of free agents. But the Browns either can’t attract free agents or decide which they should pursue. Whichever is the case, they must at least try to recruit free agents to improve the team. But as we know they won’t.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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2014 Browns Autopsy today on NNR

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B05adOeCEAAZiD3

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the Browns 2014 season and discussed the needs of the team in the draft and free agency for 2015. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi has talked about covering the Browns in terms of the 100 years’s war. Unless the Browns are able to convince a veteran QB to come, they will be forced to start Johnny Manziel or a rookie QB in 2015. That could well make the 100 year’s war seem like a weekend in Vermont.

There is almost no chance that the Browns can bring in a quality veteran QB in giving the reputation of instability and lack of solid wide receivers. But there is no chance to bring a quality WR in without a solid QB to throw to him. The best chance the Browns have is to trade for a QB under contract then recruit a veteran WR.

My first choice would be to trade with the Titans for QB Zack Mettenberger. He played college ball at LSU in a pro style offense. He is 24 years old and started 6 games for the Titans. If they decide to take a QB with their 2nd overall pick, he could be available. He has a very strong arm, decent mechanics and the problems off the field were several years ago.

The 2nd choice would be Bear’s QB Jay Cutler. This prospect has a million dollar arm but has not produced enough to justify his 7 year $126,700,000 dollar contract. But the lack of wins is not all on him. His O line has been pathetic. His mechanics suffered due to the lack of protection. He could welcome a trade to a team with a good to very good O line. The money should not be a problem for the Browns. Their cap hit will be 15.5 million because the Bears have to assume the cap hit for the signing bonus. He is 31 but is signed through 2020.

My thrid choice would be the often injured Ram QB Sam Bradford. While he has had injury issues, because they are not concussions, there is hope that he may regain his health and have a productive career. A part of his injury history are due to a less than stellar O line. He will be only 28 in 2015 which should give him a number of years to play for the Browns. The downside of trading for Bradford is that he is only under contract through 2015. That would require the Browns to be able to resign him to a long term contract. If he likes Cleveland and the team, that should not be a problem. However, due to the hard schedule the Browns win total will be down considerably.

With the last 2 prospects the Browns should be able to recruit a quality veteran WR or two. Otherwise, there is very little chance the team will get a veteran WR with 2nd WR skills.

But we know the Browns will hesitate to pull the trigger on this big a deal. Good luck with Johnny Football leading the team against the AFC and NFC west teams.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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The Browns are not the train wreck that some believe.

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haslam

Note: On NNR today Ziffles & I discuss the Browns situation, the NFL’s issues and the SB. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote an article detailing his view of the Browns team issues. While I really enjoy reading his articles, I disagree on several points he made.

We disagree on the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Dowell Loggains. When Shanahan put in or was forced to play Johnny Manziel the OC tried to use the RG3 read option offense rather than design something specifically for Manziel. The problem was that Manziel had never run the read option at Texas A&M. Shanahan should have known that and designed something with which his QB would have been more comfortable.

Add to that the total disintregration of the mechanics of QB Brian Hoyer. Shanahan and Loggains were either unable to fix the problem or were unaware of the mechanical flaws. That is inexcusable. But I do think the Browns should have gotten a draft pick or two from whatever team signed them.

There was a comment about the firing of Mike Holmgren. As I said here before Mike was hired, he was the wrong choice. He had been stripped of GM duties in Seattle because he was terrible at drafting. He should have been prosecuted for theft for getting paid that much.

The Browns did blow the Josh Gordon issue by not providing a babysitter after the 2013 season. That could have prevented some of his problems. The new GM Ray Farmer missed on his 2 first round picks last year. Manziel is a disaster. Even if the Browns new staff fixes his mechanics, his lack of dedication to putting in the work that is required is a problem. Checking into rehab is the first thing he has done I can support. While I believe that new OC John DeFilippo has the experience to fix the mechanics of Manziel, I have very little faith in the rest of the offensive coaching staff recent hires.

Farmer also picked CB Justin Gilbert who was a problem child in college and continued his issues with the Browns. He also seems to have problems dedicating himself to improvement. Farmer should drafted a WR in 2014 because that position the deepest it had been in years. Even in the 4th round there were quality guys avaiable and he knew that Gordon was facing another major suspension.

The bottom line is that the Browns have a good defense and parts of a decent offense. The things they lack are an NFL quality starting QB and wideouts with speed and size. Hoyer is a quality backup but will likely not return. Manziel is a disaster but the Browns may not have a better option. No good free agent QB would want to throw to the WR corps the team has. There is no QB in the draft that is NFL ready that I trust although Brett Hundley is close and should be available with a late 1st round pick. The best bet for the Browns would be trying to get Hoyer back for at least a year.

So the Browns will likely start Manziel. With the 2015 schedule including the AFC and NFC west we are likely to hear the following: “With the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select…”

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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