One Manziel game does not make him a bust, BUT…

One Manziel game does not make him a bust, BUT...

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I previewed the Browns Panthers game including my Fab 5 picks against the spread.. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

One game or for that matter three games will not prove Johnny Manziel will be a bust. But there were a number of very scarey concerns about Mazniel’s performance.

First, he will never become a good let alone great QB until he fixes his footwork. I am amazed that he is still throwing without setting his feet, squaring his shoulders, and stepping into the throw. He has had seven and a half months of professional coaching but still looks like the Texas A&M QB. He got away with that in college because in his 2 years starting faced only a handful of NFL quality defensive backs. Without solid mechanics, Manziel will never be accurate enough to be a starting NFL team QB.

His flaky mechanics were the reason I had him as a 2nd or 3rd round prospect. While a QB can have good mechanics at practice, it is a lot harder to maintain them when he is being chased by 300+ pound defensive linemen in regular season action.

Second, his decision making is seriously flawed. Part of that comes from him trusting his arm strength way too much. He sees someone open and believes he can get the ball there before the coverage catches up. But he is still seeing things from a college perspective. NFL backs are much faster and have better ball skills than even SEC players.

Third and nearly as significant is Manziel is consistently late throwing the ball. He has to be able to anticipate a receiver coming open. He can not wait until he sees him free because by the time the ball gets there his guy will be covered. He has very little anticipation and has to trust the receiver will run the pattern and get open on time. If the WR fails to do that, the pick is on him not on the QB.

Fourth, he can not depend on his legs to create time or yardage. He runs a 4.6 40. Many defensive ends run 4.5 and most linebackers run that or better. He has to understand that he can run when the play breaks down and he sees an opening. But he has to learn to slide and protect himself. He also has to have better vision running the ball.

The bottom line: The Browns need to go back to a more standard offense and dump the RG3 scheme. Manziel did not run the read option in college and looked totally unable run it quickly enough to be effective.

There are not enough hours between the horrendous loss to the Bengals and the next game to fix what is wrong with Manziel. But I will be watching to see if any of the issues we saw last week are getting better. Don’t expect the Browns to win either game against two teams that need the win to have a chance to get into the playoffs. While Manziel will not generate enough points to win these games, Brian Hoyer would not have either.

The season will end with the Browns at 7-9. Seven wins is an improvement over the last few years results. However, a lot of that came from a very weak out of division schedule. This team, as I have said for weeks, is not playoff quality. At least not yet. A couple of good drafts and major surgery on Manziel’s mechanics will help. It is anyone’s guess if the surgery will be successful. It is a long shot. But unless the Browns decide that Manziel will not become a quality QB and select a QB in the 2015 draft, Manziel will be the likely starter in 2015. Good luck with that.

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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OC Shanahan didn’t do Johnny any favors.

OC Shanahan didnt do Johnny any favors.

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns Bengals game, Johnny Manziel’s play and the coaches that may be on the hot seat. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Something that missed nearly everyone’s notice was how much the Johnny Manziel offense by Kyle Shanahan looked very much like the offense that he and his father put in for Robert Griffin. In fact, the read option was something that Manziel never used in Texas A&M.

There was a rumor that the Wednesday installation practice went terribly wrong. If practice went that badly, what would make the coaching staff have any confidence that the game would go better? The answer is they knew that Johnny was doomed to fail.

I have to begin to wonder if Kyle is in over his head without the loving embrace of his father as his boss. In Cleveland Kyle is on his own. He used the RG3 offense because he couldn’t design an O that would fit Johnny.

It was ugly beyond words. But it was only one bad game. It is far too soon to decide if Johnny Manziel can play or not. The next two games will give the coaches and GM a better view of his abilities. If he looks better in those games, fine.

But regardless the Browns should try to sign Brian Hoyer to a contract between a low end starter and back up money. He won’t get many offers due to the last several games performances. So he may be interested.

In addition the Browns must draft a QB in the 3rd or 4th round. That would give them an option should Johnny not pan out. I don’t want to even contemplate what the 2015 season would look like if the O played like it did Sunday. “With the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the 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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Brownie has fallen and he can’t get up.

Brownie has fallen and he cant get up.

Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns Bills game, the possible change at QB and the other games of the week. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

The biggest issue facing the Browns is which QB to start. Yesterday I suggested that they should start Johnny Manziel in my editorial “It is time for the Browns to change QBs” right here on http://fryingpansports.com/.

Without a true test of what Manziel can do, the Browns will go into 2015 trusting the season to him. Given the poor performance of Brian Hoyer over the last 3 weeks, the team has little choice. Manziel may give the Browns the best chance to win. Regardless, the team is not going anywhere in the playoffs even if they get in.

Hoyer is not going to sign a low ball deal with the Browns unless he is guaranteed the starting job. The Browns can not afford to do that. As a result Hoyer is likely to leave.

The team risks all of the 2015 season unless they give the rest of the season to him. The Browns face 2 division foes including the Ravens game on the road and two other good defenses. While a 4 game test is not optimum it will give them a decent view of how Manziel performs in real games.

It isn’t much but it is better than nothing. And nothing is what the Browns will go into the 2015 draft without watching Manziel in real games.

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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It is time for the Browns to change QBs.

It is time for the Browns to change QBs.

Note: On NNR tomorrow Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns Bills game and the impact of the QB change in the 4th quarter. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

As I have said for weeks, the Browns are not a playoff contender. I wish they were but this team has to win the games they are supposed to in order even to be a pretender. They are not. And with this roster, they are at least a great draft away from contending.

So what do the Browns do about the QB position? As anyone that reads FPS regularly knows, I am not a Johnny Manziel fan. I believe he was the wrong choice and was drafted too early. But it is clear after 12 games that Brian Hoyer is not the QB that will take the team to a championship. And make no mistake, it is the Super Bowl that is the target rather than just getting into the playoffs. If you wonder about that just ask the Bengals.

I am not convinced that what Johnny did in college will translate to the NFL. Having scouted the draft since 1955, I seriously doubt it. I would have preferred Russell Wilson, Teddy Bridgewater or even Zach Mettenberger. They each were much more ready for the NFL than Johnny.

But given where the Browns are now, the only choice that makes any sense is to play Johnny to see what he can do. If he plays well then the Browns have a QB that can start next year. That will be a total of 22 different starters at QB since 1999. But that is not an issue. The Browns need to give Johnny a 4 game tryout to see if he can do the job. If not then they need to draft a QB next year. While there are not many 1st round guys, there are a number of developmental QBs that will give them an option should Johnny fail in 15.

A lower round QB will be a good move because they need to shore up the O and D lines. Those positions should be a high priority. Those positions are consistently costing the team wins. Without an upgrade at RG and RT, the Browns will not contend. That is also true of the D line. They thought they were deep at that spot only to see injuries ravage it. They need younger more aggressive D line players.

The Bottom Line: One thing I learned early in life, there is no future in martyrdom. Starting Hoyer at this point in the season will only postpone the QB issue until the off season without ever giving Johnny a chance to prove he is or is not the future at the position. That would be a huge mistake. It would only cause the fan base continued despair in 2015.

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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Browns: Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

Browns: Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.Browns: Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.Browns: Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns Falcons game. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Also check out the interview with Brown’s all pro Felix Wright also on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

The Good: This is exactly the kind of game that the Browns would have lost in previous years. But despite 3 picks by Brian Hoyer and a last minute field goal by the Falcons, Hoyer drove the Browns down the field for a winning field goal.

The running game came back with the return of WR Josh Gordon. That is not a coincidence. Gordon’s presents on the field prevented the Falcons from bringing 47 guys into the box to stop the run. It also opened up the passing game by reducing the double team on the other receivers.

In particular RB Isaiah Cromwell ran very well. His last TD was a piece of art worthy of hanging in any museum. His vision and jump step are outstanding.

The Bad: The one thing that has kept Hoyer as the starting QB is the lack of turnovers. But against a below average backfield, he had 3 picks yesterday. In his last 4 games he has thrown 3 touchdowns but 6 picks. For the season he now has 11 touchdowns and 8 picks. That is not taking good care of the ball. I blame Hoyer for 2 of the 3 picks. There is no reason to throw into coverage with a 1st and goal at the 6. Not only was that a bad pass, it was a bad call. The last pick was just miss-communication between Hoyer and Gordon. Given the short time they had to work together this week, I can excuse that.

The O line has regressed in the last four games. The line has allowed 6 sacks and nearly constant pressure. That was even true against a poor front 7 of the Falcons. In addition it has struggled to get to the 2nd level blocking the run. It needs to get a lot better if the Browns have any hope of contending for a playoff spot.

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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If the playoff committee has 2 SEC teams in there will be trouble.

If the playoff committee has 2 SEC teams in there will be trouble.

Note: On NNR yesterday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I previewed the Browns/Falcons and other games this week. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

I have no problem with 2 SEC West teams being in the top 4 with a couple of weeks to go in the college football season. However, if the committee keeps 2 SEC teams in the final 4, I have a BIG issue with it.

No team that does not even play in their league’s championship game should ever be considered for a spot in the playoffs. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer had a great point last week after his team’s win over 25th ranked Minnesota. He suggested that if the teams in the south are so good, let them come up north in late November and play a Big 10 team in the cold and snow. That would be a true test of their ability.

While ESPN seems to think the SEC is nearly equal to the NFL, many around the country see things differently. While Auburn prepares for their big game at Alabama, they will play the Sisters of the Perpetually Miserable this week. That is not unusual.

There are 5 conferences that are included in the chase for 4 playoff spots. The field should include at the very least the champions of 4 of those 5. If a team can’t win its own division, what gives it the right to compete for the national title?

So we will be watching those of you that decide which teams get a shot at the title. If the committee doesn’t get it right we will campaign for a new committee next year.

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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Will the Browns beat the Falcons in Atlanta?

Will the Browns beat the Falcons in Atlanta?

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I previewed the Browns/Falcons and other games this week. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Before the loss to the Texans last week most Browns fans would have said ‘Of course the Browns can win.’ Now I am not that sure they will win.

There are positive factors going into the game including the return of WR Josh Gordon. The biggest impact of Gordon’s return will be on the running game. It is unlikely that the Falcons or anyone else will feel free to bring 9 or 10 defenders into the box with Gordon on the field. Given the lack of productivity of the Falcon secondary, they will be very aware of Gordon.

Without the ability of the defense to over load the box, the Browns SHOULD be able to run the ball. But the Browns have struggled to run the ball since the loss of C Alex Mack. But the problem running the ball has not been limited to his replacement Nick McDonald. The issue has spread like a bad cold all along the O line. It will be up to RB Isaiah Crowell and others to take full advantage of the reduced defensive presence in the box.

The biggest question is can the Browns D backfield cover the outstanding passing game of the Falcons?

The Falcons have two outstanding wide outs including Julio Jones and Roddy White. While I expect Joe Haden to be able to limit one of them, will the other CB candidates be able to limit the other? While CB K’Waun Williams has been a free agent jewel, 1st round pick (8th overall) Justin Gilbert has struggled badly. One of them will need to step up and perform if the Brows are to win.

The running game of the Falcons has not produced much. That is good news for the Browns having lost both ILB Karlos Dansby and OLB Jabaal Sheard last week. The Browns D line has been decimated by injuries as well. The D will have to have their best day of the year to win the game.

Will the Browns win? I doubt it. The Browns have struggled badly in dome games. In addition they seem to fold when facing a road game. The Falcons are very beatable. The question is are the Browns strong enough physically and mentally to beat them?

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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