News, Notes & Rumors for 8-26-2014

News, Notes & Rumors for 8 26 2014

News:

Still no news on the possible suspension of Josh Gordon. Check out my editorial “The entire NFL drug testing program is at risk over Gordon.” right here on http://fryingpansports.com.

The trial of Colts owner Jim Irsay has been postponed from August 28 to October 30. That will give Roger Goodell more time to figure out how to punish him without pissing off the owners. All the players are watching what happens to Irsay.

Rams QB Sam Bradford tore the same ACL (left) that ended his season last year. He is out for the season and put a fork in the Rams—they are done.

The Packers have lost DL B.J. Raji for the season. That is a tough blow and will result in the Pack giving up more run yardage this season.

It was good to see the extra point back to normal. Whoever came up with the 33 yard extra point has WAY too much time on his hands. It would be no different than the NBA moving the free throw line to 3 point distance.

Browns QB Johnny Manziel was fined 12K for his single finger salute to the Redskin fans. Maybe if he had used two fingers the fine would have been doubled.

Saints TE Jimmy Graham was fined 30K for two goal post dunks. The claim is that because he knocked the goal post out of alignment once, this move has been outlawed. Of course this is the same league that allows zebras to throw 35-40 flags a game. Does anyone at NFL headquarters have a brain?

The Washington Post announced it will no longer use the name Redskins when reporting about the team.

Notes:

Rams 33 Browns 14 – Check out the NNR podcast News, Notes & Rumors 08-25-2014 Browns Rams review on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ for our hour long analysis of the game.

Eagles 31 Steelers 21 – The Steeler starting O is not working. QB Ben Roethlisberger is not in the same city let alone on the same page as the receivers. It would help if the receivers could hold onto the ball. The running game is OK but is not strong enough to offset the lack of a passing game. The Steeler D looks better. ILB Ryan Shazier is the real deal. He will help the team get back to becoming solid against the run. The Eagles looked good but QB Nick Foles is not going to have the year he had in 13. The Eagles will not be as effective taking the top off the D because of the loss of WR DeSean Jackson.

Packers 31 Raiders 21 – This is the biggest mismatch since the Polish horse cavalry faced the German tanks in WW2. Raider QB Matt Schaub never had a chance. He has to wonder who’s side his O line was on. While the Raider D is fairly solid, unless the O can protect Schaub, they will play a lot of D. QB Aaron Rodgers is ready and as sharp as ever. RB Eddy Lacy will pick up where he left off last year walking away with the Rookie of the year award. The Packers O line still has some issues but the D looks solid IF it can stay healthy. The score was 22-7 at half time. The Raiders were able to cut the deficit against the bottom third of the Packers roster in the 2nd half.

Lions 13 Jags 12 – This is the type of game the Lions have to win if they are going to make a move in the NFC North. They won but did not look good doing it. RB Reggie Bush did look good with a 86 yard TD run. He still has the eyes and jump step to get to the hole. QB Matt Stafford seems to have a brain cramp at a critical time. Jag QB Blake Bortles continues to outplay designated starter Chad Henne. But Bortles is the backup in part because the O line needs to develop to protect the 3rd overall pick. The O line struggled to protect vs a good Lion D line. RB Toby Gerhart is fools gold.

Seahawks 34 Bears 6 – The half time score was 31-0. The Hawk O and D looked in regular season form. QB Russell Wilson was on target and very sharp. The Hawk D is solid and very deep. They will cut players that become starters on other teams. The Bears O was in trouble from the first snap. I think they will be fine except when they play a super team like the Hawks. If QB Jay Cutler can keep his ego under control the Bears might make the playoffs. He tends to think his arm can make passes it can not.

Patriots 30 Panthers 7 – The 1st O of the Panthers did not score on the Pats #1 D. The Pats ran up a score of 20-0 against the Panther 1st D. QB Cam Newton is still trying to figure out where the group of WR from last years went. Panther QB Derek Anderson drove the 2s to the Pat red zone then promptly tossed a pick into double coverage. The Panthers are in for a fall this year due to losses on both sides of the ball.

49ers 21 Chargers 7 – The Niner starting O line stinks. Colin Kaepernick can do nothing and there was no room for Gore or other backs. The Niner D will be on the field a lot without IB NaVorro Bowman & OLB Aldon Smith assuming he is suspended. Charger QB Phillip Rivers looks very good. Even RB Mathews looks decent. The Charger D looked really good but a lot of that was due to the lousy play of the Niner O line. Look for them to threaten to make the playoffs again.

Ratbirds 23 Redskins 17 – Robert Griffin looks totally out of rhythm. He is slow making decisions, inaccurate and tends to throw into coverage. But part of the issue is the Skins O line which is not giving Griffin very good protection. That is not a surprise to Browns fans because Shawn Lauvao is starting! I agree that Kirk Cousins looks better than RG3 but he will never get a chance to start in Washington. Skins D stopped Ratbird #1 O twice on 4th inches. Ratbird O line is giving up pressure vs 4 man rush. Joe Flacco looks OK but WR corps except the Smith boys can’t catch. Ratbird D was OK even without starting 3 corners.

Rumors:

SB nation reports that Manziel still has not gotten a grasp of the Kyle Shanahan playbook.

The struggles of the Steeler O have some people calling for the firing of OC Todd Haley. Even Snoop Dogg wants him gone.

Steeler RB Le’Veon Bell said he didn’t know he could get a DUI while high. DAH! How dumb do you have to be to think driving while high is a good idea?

The NFL has always had free Super Bowl half time entertainment. Now the word is that the league wants the performers to PAY to get that exposure. Greed is an ugly side of the NFL.

Browns WR Nate “the pizza man” Burleson told the Akron Beacon Journal that Manziel is the man. The interesting point here is that Nate has been MIA on the football field. Before you give veteran quotes, how about doing something to help the team. He is not likely to make the final 53.

PFT reports that the Seahawks are serious about letting All Pro S Earl Thomas return punts. That is both foolish and dangerous. He is too valuable to risk returning punts.

The latest rumor from the NFL is that the competition committee will look seriously at moving the extra point in 2015. This is a bad idea that should end up in the circular file.

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

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

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/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl.

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 entire NFL drug testing program is at risk over Gordon.

 

The entire NFL drug testing program is at risk over Gordon.

There is a reason we have not heard a word about the possible suspension of Browns WR Josh Gordon. A suspension based on one sample slightly over and the other well under the limit could generate a law suit by the NFLPA. That suit could easily knock down the entire drug testing program.

The problem is this—How can 2 tests of the same sample come up with 2 entirely different results? That result puts the entire program and methodology in question. If the methodology is flawed, should the league be able to continue testing? A judge will clearly side with the players.

The other issue is the NFL level of failure is 100 lower than that of the Olympics. If the league can not get the same result from the same sample, what validity does the test have? The obvious answer is none.

So Commissioner Roger Goodell must step carefully or risk throwing the baby out with the bath water. If there was a negotiated settlement, it would have been announced already. I am betting that the League will hope this debacle just fades away. If the league decides to punt, there will be no announcement. At this point for Browns fans and Gordon, No news is good news.

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

NOTE: Check out the News, Notes and Rumors podcast Monday, Wednesday and Thursday on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

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/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl.

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

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

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Today on News, Notes and Rumors Podcast

Today on News, Notes and Rumors Podcast

On NNR Today I was joined by John Tuvey Senior NFL Analyst at TheHuddle.com. We previewed 2014 Fantasy Football. Topics included the impact of fewer franchise RB candidates, Top players and potential stars under the radar. The podcast is up on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Please join Mr. Moohead and Michelle at 5 PM EDT on http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/.

Thanks

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

NOTE: Check out the News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday podcast. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

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/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl.

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

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

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Tonight on News, Notes and Rumors Podcast

Tonight on News, Notes and Rumors Podcast

Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports joins me to dissect the first two weeks of preseason games including the Browns/Redskins game and decision on the starting QB. The podcast will be up on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/after 6 PM. Join Mr. Moohead and Michelle at 5 PM EDT on http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/ then check in with FSP at 6.

Tomorrow night I will be joined by John Tuvey Senior NFL Analyst at TheHuddle.com. We will be previewing 2014 Fantasy Football.

Thanks

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

NOTE: Check out the News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday podcast. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

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/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl.

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

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

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News, Notes & Rumors for 08/19/14

News, Notes & Rumors for 08/19/14

The radio version of NNR is a podcast while we look for a new broadcast host. Check out last night’s show reviewing week 2 and previewing the Browns/Redskins game.

News:

Thank heavens that the stupid extra point from the 15 yard line is over. The only thing that would be similar to this dumb move would be to move the free throw line to the 3 point distance. Somebody in the NFL office has WAY too much time on his hands.

It was Flag Day weekend again this week. Someone in the NFL office has to get the zebras under control. Every time a pass hits the ground both the QB and WR involved campaign for a flag. The refs are getting more camera time than a senatorial candidate.

There were a number of serious injuries this week. The Falcons lost their starting LT Sam Baker (PCL) for the year. The Jags have lost WRs Cecil Shorts (hamstring), Allen Robinson (hamstring), Tandon Doss (ankle) and RB Toby Gerhart (hip) for several weeks. The Rams lost OL Barrett Jones to back surgery. He is out indefinitely. They also lost RB Isaiah Pead to a ACL injury. He is expected to miss the season.

Several rookie QBs showed promise this week. Titan rook Zach Mettenberger was outstanding again this week. Third pick overall QB Blake Bortles continues to out preform Jags starter Chad Henne. Bortles has made very good progress in tightening up his footwork. Vikings Teddy Bridgewater looked good again.

All pro Chiefs RB Jamal Charles hurt his foot moving out of his training camp dorm. You would think the team would provide their stars some help.

Notes:

Pats 42 Eagles 35 – It looks like QB Jimmy Garoppolo has moved in front of Ryan Mallett. Forget talk about a Mallett trade. Despite the number of teams that need a QB, Mallett has little trade value. Pats’ running game will suffer with the loss of LeGarrette Blount. Eagles will take a step back due in part to the loss of WR DeSean Jackson. Teams have a plan against the Eagle O—Pressure Nick Foles. They still win the NFC Least.

Saints 31 Titans 24 – The rookie QB that has impressed me the most is Titan QB Zack Mettenberger. He has thrown 3 picks but 2 of them bounced off the hands of his WR. He has more arm strength and talent than any rookie QB. When QB Jake Locker suffers his annual injury, it should be Mettenberger that replaces him. Saints look like their #1 O is in regular season form. There is no threat to them to win the NFC South.

Seahawks 41 Chargers 14 – Hawk QB Russell Wilson continues to be incredible. He still suffers from a bad O line but avoids sacks as well as anyone while looking down field for a target. The Chargers look OK and might earn a playoff spot this year rather than stumbling backward into it like they did last season. That says more about the weakness of the AFC more than it does the strength of the Chargers.

Texans 32 Falcons 7 – This was a game between two under-achievers last season. As bad as the Texans O looked the Falcons O looked worse. The injury to LT Baker will not help at all. The Falcons bet on a comeback from RB Steven Jackson who was used up by the Rams. Without a running game, the O will depend on a badly protected QB Matt Ryan. Ryan was just 3-7 for 37 yards. Neither of these two teams will be going anywhere although the Texans D will make the AFC South fun to watch.

Broncos 34 49ers 0 – The rumor that the 9ers have renamed Levis’ Stadium to Titanic is not true but that is the way their first game in the new digs went. Payton Manning did surgery on the 9er D and the patient died. Colin Kaepernick was harassed on nearly every throw. Some believe the 49er O line is great but it crumbled against the Bronco 4 man pass rush. Neither team is a it looked in this game. The 49ers played their 2nd D against the Bronco 1s after the 2nd possession. The refs did no favors for the 49ers. Multiple hits to the head were ignored by the zebras.

Packers 21 Rams 7 – The Packer O was in regular season form. QB Aaron Rodgers went 11-13 128 yards and a TD. The Packer D looked improved. They held the Ram O to 3 of 13 third down conversions and 2.9 yards per rush. While Rams starter Sam Bradford looked good, the team is doomed if he goes down.

Redskins 24 Browns 23 – Neither Johnny Manziel nor Brian Hoyer deserve to be named the starter after 2 games. The only Browns QB that didn’t stink was undrafted rookie Connor Shaw who drove the team 90 yards to a touchdown with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game. Despite a good D the Browns are doomed to a 5 or 6 win season. The Skins have to be wondering if QB Robert Griffin will ever be the same. He is not progressing in his reads. He tends to check his first read and if covered he runs. That is a prescription for another injury filled season.

Rumors:

Several coaches have gotten the “win or else” memo from their owners. Dolphin coach Joe Philbin probably has to win 9 games to keep his job. That will not happen. Raider coach Dennis Allen is there too but is expected to win the division. He is good as gone. Jets coach Rex Ryan is well past his due date. He was able to eek out last year to get a return. That will not happen again. Another bad year for the Falcons will mean the firing of coach Mike Smith. That is too bad because he is a good coach with a bad team. Even Bears coach Mike Trestman’s seat is a little warm. If he gets the team to the playoffs he should be fine.

The one coach constantly talked about as being on the hot seat is the ever under-achiever Dallas Cowgirl coach Jason Garrett. He is safe only because no decent coach will want to put up with the GM/Owner/Pain in the Butt Jerry Jones.

While the Giants talk positively about the offense and QB Eli Manning, behind the scenes there is worry. Eli had the worst season of his career with 27 interceptions last year. He and the O has not looked good at all so far in the preseason. Given that teams play very vanilla defense in the preseason, the struggles of the O are particularly troubling.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly is open to trading back up QB Mark Sanchez. The problem is that starter Nick Foles is not proven. While he had a remarkable 2013, he has not looked consistently solid this year. There is also a limited trade value for the Butt-Fumble QB.

Manziel was accused of giving the Skins bench the finger. I am sure he was just indicating the Browns were #1. Our Johnny wouldn’t do that…Never mind.

I was asked what would I do if I was in Mike Pettine’s position. I would ask the Bills for my old job back.

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

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

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/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl.

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

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

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Tonight on News, Notes and Rumors

Tonight on News, Notes and Rumors

Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports joins me to dissect the first two weeks of preseason games including the Browns/Lions game and preview the Browns/Redskins game. Our podcast should be up on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ AFTER 9 PM Tonight.  Also join Mr. Moohead’s show on http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/.  Thanks

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

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6 PM Eastern on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

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/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl.

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

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

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Browns Offense is not ready for prime time.

Browns Offense is not ready for prime time.

Quarterbacks:

Brian Hoyer is still having problems with his plant leg. High throws over the middle usually come from the inability to plant properly. That should improve with time. Hoyer found the open receivers when they were there but that was infrequent. His timing was OK. He got the throw off on time on most of his throws. The one time he was late was the long throw to Austin to start the 2nd quarter. He showed good accuracy but does not have the arm strength you would like. The failure to get the TD when he had 1st and goal from the 8 was not acceptable particularly with the 1st string against the 2nd team of the Lions. To win in the AFC North you need 7 not 3. He also did not covert a single 3rd down.

Johnny Manziel does not make reads and that limits his pocket effectiveness. When his pre-snap choice is available he is effective. When that player is covered, he tends to run rather than make a 2nd or 3rd read. He doesn’t anticipate the receiver coming open. As a result he is often late on passes. That is a big problem he will have to overcome before he can be a quality NFL QB.

Coach Pettin felt like he had to add Rex Grossman to teach both Hoyer and Manziel the offense. That is a bad sign for the development of the team. The Browns should have added Rex June 2 (after it would no longer affect compensatory pick calculation) if they felt that the QB duo was having trouble picking up the system. While Rex will help the QB teaching, he does not provide any help with the wide receiver situation.

Offensive Line:

New LG Joel Bitonio played very well. RG John Greco did OK. The only issue with the 1st team was RT Mitchell Schwartz as usual. He was responsible for penalties and leakage against the pass rush. The second unit was a sieve. G Paul McQuistan looks like a solid player but everyone else is expendable. The O line depth is an issue.

Receivers:

If Josh Gordon is suspended, the Browns will have a bunch of 3rd or 4th wideouts but no 1 or 2. Miles Austin did not show anything and has a history of injury. Andrew Hawkins is a slot guy that is not a threat outside. Nate Burleson, the pizza delivery disaster, did not play. Charles Johnson caught 3 passes but did not show the speed or elusiveness I had hoped to see. He is recovering from an ACL so he might get better. Taylor Gabriel showed some promise but had a critical drop. Marlon Moore has return skills and the size and speed to become a player. TE/FB MarQueis Gray looked good but also had a bad drop. The rest of the group are just guys and have not shown they deserve to be on the 53. The Browns will not see how good the QB duo can be without out a decent receiver corps. They do not have one now.

Running backs:

Import Ben Tate has a great deal of talent but has never been able to stay healthy for a full season even as a backup in Houston. Now he is “the guy” but needs to hold onto the ball better. He should be showing better because he has experience in this system. I was a big Terrance West fan going into the draft. He has shown an NFL jump step and good vision. West uses his blockers like a pro. He is a fantasy sleeper that can be had in the late rounds of most drafts. Nobody else has impressed me at all.

The bottom line:

When the kicker is the team’s MVP the O needs work. At this point the Browns look like a 4 or 5 win team on offense. The D should be better in 2014 but the way the O looks the defense will spend a lot of time on the field. That is not a good sign.

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

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6 PM Eastern on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

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/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl.

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

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

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