2014 Browns Autopsy today on NNR

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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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The NFL better come down very hard on the Patriots.

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Goodell Pressed

Note: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Super Bowl game including issues around the Browns recent hires. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reports that Browns GM Ray Farmer faces a multi-game suspension and loss of draft choices for texting and or calling coaches during games. That is an illegal use of technology under NFL Rules.

He is not an X’s and O’s guy. Based on his first two first round draft picks last year, I am not sure if he is a player evaluator either. He had a habit of calling or texting former QB coach Dowell Loggains. Based on how the QB position deteriorated over the season, Loggins clearly needed all the help he could get.

Now if the Browns can be punished like that for something as dumb as illegal texting, the penalty for Bill Belichick and the Pats should be 10 times that for Deflate-gate. But we all know it will not.

If a player had violated the rules, he would have faced suspension for the next game. Conveniently the NFL was not able to complete their investigation in the two weeks leading up the Super Bowl. Anyone that believes that also waits for the Great Pumpkin on Halloween. The NFL managed to crown the leading rule violators in the NFL as their 2014 champion. Congrats to the NFL. Now we will see what they do about violations of competitive balance in the game.

My best guess is they will lose a #1 draft choice and be forced to pay a fine. That would make commissioner Roger Goodell the biggest boob in the history of the game. It would show his inability to control his franchises or do his job. It would also prove yet again that Goodell is gutless.

Pats owner Robert Kraft drew his line in the sand with a demand for an apology if the NFL did not have absolute proof of wrong doing. Not only should Belichick be suspended for a significant part of the season, Kraft should also be suspended. In addition as I have said in a previous article, there is no way that QB Tom Brady did not realize the balls were under-inflated. He was most likely the one that ordered the ball assistant to do it. If that is the case he should be suspended as well.

So Mr. BADell it is easy to dump on the bottom feeder Browns. It will be a lot harder to drop the hammer on the heads of the Champions. But nothing less will do.

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 are somewhat guilty for the Gordon suspension.

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Gordon

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the many issues facing the Browns and NFL. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

There is no question that WR Josh Gordon has a major problem. Time and time again he has put his career at risk from pot or in the latest case alcohol. He has cost himself a couple of million dollars because he does not have the self control to stay away from those things that can get him suspended.

The common belief is that Gordon is suspended for a year. That is not the case. Under NFL rules, it is an indefinite suspension. He will continue to be tested during the suspension. He must stay violation free for at least a year to apply for reinstatement. 

But in my opinion the Browns are nearly as guilty as the player. When Dallas had problems with the player formerly known as Pacman, they hired a guy to keep him out of trouble. While the babysitter did not solve the issue for the Boys, it could have with Gordon. Gordon has shown no violence tendencies.

Had the Browns done that after Gordon’s career season of 2013, he might still be a productive member of the team. That could have significantly impacted the 2014 season and the team’s chances for the playoffs. The Browns vertically challenged receivers did well early in the 14 season. The 2013 Gordon would have made a big difference. But after yet another suspension, the 2014 Gordon clearly did not have the same mindset as he did in 13. During the 14 suspension, Gordon was allowed to attend meetings only because it was reduced from the indefinite suspension to a 10 game ban. Even then he violated his reinstatement terms just after the Browns season concluded.

So the question is now that the horse and WR are both out of the barn, what should the Browns do?

First, there is no financial or football advantage to cutting him. His contract is frozen during the suspension and that in effect extends the Browns control of him. He will not become a restricted free agent until 2017. He will not count against the cap or roster for the year.

There may be an advantage to cut him from a team perspective. It would tell Johnny Manziel and others that despite the talent they may have, if they screw up they will be gone. Maybe that would get Johnny to study a little more. No, probably not.

The risk is that being cut off from the team there is little chance that Gordon can stay clean during the time away. The team can have no contact with him at all. That will significantly reduce his chances of staying clean.

The suspension is not certain. The NFLPA may appeal it. An appeal may reduce the term and thus allow club contact. But given the 2 reductions in suspensions Gordon has already received plus his escape from punishment for an OMVI plead, there is very little chance he will get yet another break. He has to grow up and comment to his profession. But the Browns share some responsibility for his situation as well.

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 chose wisely for their OC.

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John DeFilippo

Note: The NNR podcasts are on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Yesterday the Browns introduced John DeFilippo as their new offensive coordinator. In my judgment, that was an excellent choice. He had been the QB coach of the Raiders. But what I like best about him is he brings a history of fixing broken QB mechanics. If the Browns are ever going to get anything out of their 1st round pick of Johnny Manziel, DeFilippo is going to have to do major surgery on Johnny’s mechanics and attitude.

As QB coach for the Jets in 2009, he faced a difficult problem. The team drafted rookie Mark Sanchez who had started just 1 year for USC. It was DeFilippo’s job to turn Sanchez into an NFL starter. He was able to help Sanchez lead the Jets to the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

As QB coach for San Jose State, he molded Jordan La Secla into a serviceable QB that threw for 2860 yards and a QB rating of 125.8 in 2010. The next season he helped Matt Faulkner throw for 3149 yards and a QBR of 131.6.

In 2012 he was named QB coach for the Raiders. He turned Terrelle Pryor from a runner to as much of an NFL QB as was possible. Pryor ended up with a 70.8 QBR in 12 and 69.1 rating in 13. Pryor’s mechanics improved dramatically in the two years he spent with DeFilippo. It is not easy to turn a spread QB with run first mentality into anything approaching an NFL QB.

When Pryor went down in 2013, DeFilippo’s work with backup rookie Matt McGloin was obvious. McGloin became a serviceable QB and ended with a passer rating of 76.1.

This past year DeFilippo converted another rookie spread QB, Derek Carr, into a viable NFL starter. While the team did not win many games, it was not because of Carr. Carr threw for 3,270 yards and 21 touchdowns.

DeFilippo is an open minded OC that will be willing to adjust his system and terminology to match what the Browns used last year as much as possible. If he turns Johnny into a decent starter, DeFilippo deserves a metal.

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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Deflationgate

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Deflategate

Note: The NNR podcasts are on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Deflationgate is a disaster for the NFL, the Pats, HC Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady. I do not believe that anyone in the Pats organization even blinks without approval of Belichick. He runs that team with an iron fist. To think that he did not know about balls being under inflated is a joke.

If the AFC Championship game was the first time that it had happened, it could be seen as an anomaly. But we have learned that the same thing happened when the Pats went to Indy to play the Colts. The latest report from NBC Sports is that the game balls used by the Pats in the Indy dome were also deflated.

For those of you that have not been around football, let me make one thing clear—There is no way that an NFL QB can pick up a ball that is 2 pounds per square inch under inflated by 16 percent without knowing that something is different. At 10.5 psi the hand can dig into the ball significantly. It is MUCH easier to grip and throw particularly in bad weather. Brady claims he didn’t realize there was anything different. That is just not possible.

The next question is what should the NFL do? I believe that both HC Belichick and QB Brady should be suspended for some time. While it would be appropriate to suspend them for the Super Bowl, there is no way the NFL has the balls (excuse the pun) to do that. What will happen is that the NFL will likely fine the team and possibly void a draft pick or two.

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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