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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The Cavs loss to the Spurs bodes well for the playoffs.

The Cavs loss to the Spurs bodes well for the playoffs.

Note: On NNR today Kelron Sykes College Football Insider & I discussed the NFL & our favorite defensive values in the 2015 NFL Draft. The podcast will be up on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ after 8 tonight.

The Cavs lost but gave the NBA Champion Spurs all they wanted and more last night. The difference was the familiarity between the players on the floor. For the most part the Spurs have been together since 1900 (OK not quite that long) while the Cavs were playing just their 10th game together. Even so the Cavs were just 1 TO from winning the game.

The strength of the Spurs is their knowledge of what every player will do in each situation. That is why they have so few turnovers. It is also what allows their ball movement.

The Cavs are on the shake down cruise portion of the schedule. Add to the new teammates the fact that both the coach and the systems on both ends of the floor are new and the early season is bound to have ups and downs. The Cavs need to work hardest on the defensive end of the floor keeping the guards out of the lane and protecting the rim better. That will come. The Cavs will only get better and the Spurs will only get older.

In the mean time just enjoy three of the best players in the world on the Cavs. This year there will be no discussion of the NBA 2015 Draft in mid December as has been the case since LeBron James left the team. There will be talk of playoffs in the late spring. That will be a pleasant change for all of the Cavs fans. So   R E L A X          A N D    E N J O Y.

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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I am the Good. The NFL & NFLPA can cut up the Bad & Ugly.

I am the Good. The NFL & NFLPA can cut up the Bad & Ugly.

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I held our noses as we discussed the Browns game with the Texans and other games of the weekend. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Neither the NFL or NFLPA have a leg on which to stand in the argument over the Commissioner’s powers in personal conduct issues.

The NFL has been totally inconsistent in deciding penalties for players. I detailed the randomness of the penalties in my editorial Roger Goodell’s NFL Wheel of Misfortune!” (http://fryingpansports.com/roger-goodells-nfl-wheel-misfortune/).

One would assume that the power given to one man would result in consistent decisions. The fact is Roger Godell’s decisions appear to have been the result of throwing darts at a dart board filled with suspensions of various lengths.

Then there is the ridiculous claim by Goodell that he never saw the video of what Ray Rice did in the elevator. Local law enforcement said they sent the tape to the NFL. But it seems that there were two people with the same name and the tape went to the janitor rather than the head of security.

But the NFLPA is not without sin either. During negotiations for the most recent CBA, the union had the commissioner’s power over personal conduct on the table. The union chose to go for more money for active players than a a change in the Goodell’s powers. They got the money and now want to reduce the power of Goodell as well.

So pox on both their houses. No one in this melodrama has clean hands. Not the NFL, the union or any of those accused of domestic violence. And as usual the only ones that will make money from this mess are the lawyers. I considered becoming a lawyer so I could sue other lawyers for malpractice.

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 roadkill vs Texans

Browns are roadkill vs Texans

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I held our noses as we discussed the Browns Texans game and other big games this weekend. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

When you get run over on both the O and D lines, you have very little chance of winning. The Browns played roadkill against the Texans. JJ Watt spent more time in the Browns backfield than most of the running backs. The D line was pushed around like loose dirt by a bulldozer.

The Browns seem to play down to the expected level of competition. The result is they have flushed away their good games by reverting to the “Same old Browns.” Along with that went first place in the AFC North.

Several things concern me about the loss. Most significant is the inability of the coaching staff to get the team ready to play. They have not started fast in any game this year. After the big win over the Steelers, they lost at Jacksonville. Then after a big win at the Bengals, they lost to the Texans. The Browns can’t stand or build on success.

While injuries have hurt both lines, that is part of the game. It is up to GM Ray Farmer to make additions to the club to help reduce the impact of those that were lost. We will see what transactions are made. Both lines need to play much better if the Browns have any hope of competing in the division.

The running back distribution of carries bothers me as well. It would have seemed logical to have Ben Tate get significant carries against his former team. But he got just 2 carries both directly at Watt.

The final and most long term issue is the starting QB going forward. While Brian Hoyer has played well at times, he has a very low competition percentage and 3rd down conversion rate. The team needs to find out what Johnny Manziel has in terms of ability to translate his athleticism to the NFL game.

The bottom line is the Browns are not playoff contenders. I am not sure they are even playoff pretenders because those teams win the games in which they are favored. But 6 wins are better than 4.

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. On Thursday we talk Cavs or NFL. My co-host on Mondays and Fridays 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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Playoffs? Playoffs?

Playoffs? Playoffs?

Note: On NNR today Tony Williams Giants and Knicks beat reporter for Metro New York and I discussed the NFL and NBA in detail. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

With the Browns win over the Bengals Thursday there has been a lot of talk of the Browns being a contender for the playoffs. We got Tony’s answer on the podcast. But for me the answer is “Maybe.”

The reason I am not sure is the loss to the Jaguars. If the Browns had taken care of business they would have a game and a half lead on the rest of the AFC North which at least this season is the best division in the NFL. The history of the Browns since they have come back is they play up to their opponents or down depending on if the team they are facing is better or worse. Playoff teams win those games.

Playoff teams are able to run the ball. The Browns did well against the Bengals D, but in the previous 3 games averaged under 3 yards per carry. That is not what Playoff teams do.

The third area that distinguishes playoff teams from pretenders is their ability to stop the run. At times this season the Browns D has stopped the run. But more often they have struggled to do so. This season they are giving up an average of 134 yards per game which is 28th in the league.

A win over the Texans would be another good step toward the playoffs. But there are still criticial games ahead. The Browns need to keep winning and not over look anyone. Even a winless Jags team beat the Browns.

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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