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  • Published: Dec 15th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Problems with Johnny Manziel.

The Problems with Johnny Manziel.

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Manziel Money - The Problems With Johnnie Manziel

The Problems With Johnnie Manziel

After guiding the Browns to a win over the 49ers lots of people are thinking that Johnny Manziel may be the QB of the future that the Browns have been looking for since 1999. One thing that has to be considered is that the 49ers could not beat the Sisters of the Perpetually Miserable on a consistent basis. The SF O and D linemen should be bagging groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly.

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from the previous week, and reviewed all of this week’s games including a detailed analysis of the Browns game.

I am not among the group that feels he is an NFL starting quality player. But unlike most of the others, I am going to tell you why.

Manziel’s footwork is bad and he is not stepping into his throws. Way too often he throws flat footed. It is very hard to be accurate doing that. In addition he does not step into his throws. That also hurts his accuracy.

He is not consistent in his throwing platform. Even at his height he throws side armed. That will get a lot of passes batted up in the air causing potential interceptions. He needs to work on his over the top delivery. That would help in the accuracy as well as allowing fewer passes to be batted up.

Manziel lacks poise in the pocket when he is under pressure. Unfortunately that happens a lot for any Browns QB. His instinct is to run out of the pocket leaving any protection and risking injury. We saw the interception he threw across his body to the middle of the field as he was getting hit. That can not happen.

He misses WRS that were wide open because Manziel still doesn’t see the field well. On a team with WRS that struggle to get open it can’t have that. The problem is not his height. Russell Wilson is shorter than Manziel but still sees the field very well. The problem is his lack of focus.

He lacks touch particularly on short throws. If you remember Derick Anderson never completing a pass to a running back you have seen a lot of BAD football. Manziel puts way too much heat on short throws. Add that to the fact that RBS tend to have much worse hands than experienced WRS and that takes away one of the potential weapons of the Browns.

Manziel takes chances throwing into coverage. Those that have great arms tend to trust it to get the ball into very tight coverages. Even those like Manziel that have just a decent arm do that as well. Johnny trusts his arm way too much.

He is not carrying out his fakes. To be effective, play action requires a good fake. Failure to carry out the fake allowed the linebackers to ignore it and stay in zone coverage. It also negates the threat of his run ability. That would open up the running lanes for the backs.

All these things can be fixed but will not unless be unless Manziel changes his attitude & practice habits. While he has shown some dedication to the team and his craft, he is someone the I would not trust with my career were I the head coach or general manager. His action after he was named the starter for the rest of the season was all I needed to see.

If I was the GM I would take a QB with the 1st round pick because the Browns can not trust Manziel.

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 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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  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 1st, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on April Fools Day extends to the Draft for the Browns.

April Fools Day extends to the Draft for the Browns.

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Brownie Down

Note: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the Browns offense after their free agent deals. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

The recent history of the Browns drafts makes me think there was an April Fools Day hangover. Here are just a few of the jokes that have been forced on Browns fans.

The 22nd overall pick has been a cruel joke on the fans waiting for a quality QB.

2014 Johnny “football” Manziel – The team reportedly spent 100K to decide which QB in the draft had the best chance of success based on metrics. The result was that Teddy Bridgewater had the best chance of success. So with Teddy on the board the Browns traded up to the 22nd pick to take—Johnny Football. His season spent under the watchful eye of the coaching staff didn’t mean much when in his first start he laid a dinosaur egg against the Bengals. He spent a lot more time with blowup swans than his playbook. We all hope he can overcome his demons in rehab. While some say he deserves another chance, in my opinion he should at least have some competition before being anointed the starter.

2012 Brandon Weeden – The best thing I can say about Weeden is that at least he did not get traded at halftime of his 1st start like Charlie Frye did. In his first season Brandon completed 57% of his throws and tossed more picks than TD’s. He regressed in his 2nd year with Cleveland completing only 52.8% of his throws. By his 3rd season he was in Dallas backing up Tony Romo.

2007 The curse of the 22nd pick started with the team’s selection of Brady Quinn. Brady played in just 1 game in his rookie year. But his 37.5 percent completion rate was a sign of things to come. In 08 he started 3 games but completed just over half of his throws. That should have been enough for management but he was allowed to start 9 games in 2009. Both his completion percentage and passer rating were in the 50’s. He has now been on 5 teams in his last 5 years in the league.

Fortunately the Browns do not have the 22nd pick this year. They need a QB unless they are planning to “Crash for Cardale” Jones from Ohio State. My fear is with either Josh McCown or Manziel starting is this: “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 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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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 5th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Where the Browns SHOULD go from here–QB

Where the Browns SHOULD go from here–QB

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Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I analysed the Wildcard playoff games including my picks against the spread. The podcasts are on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

First the team needs to set the priorities. In my opinion they should be the following:

1. Quarterback – The one thing that was painfully obvious was the team as 3 backup quarterbacks and no starter quality guy on the roster. While part of that is inexperience, a larger issue is terrible mechanics. The Browns need a new QB coach because all three QB’s showed no progress in fixing their techniques. In fact the starter most of the season Brian Hoyer’s mechanics deteriorated during the season.

I would not be opposed to resigning Hoyer as long as there was someone on the staff that could help him with his mechanics. I doubt that will happen because he thinks he is a starter. He is not a starter given the mechanics issues and lack of arm strength.

My preferred solution would be a trade for Zach Mettenberger if the Titans select a QB with their 2nd overall pick. Mett has a huge arm, was playing in a pro style O at LSU and played well on a very bad Titan team. His mechanics are better than any of the current Browns and he has the size and arm talent to be a QB of the future.

If Mett is not available, the Browns need to bring in a young veteran not named Kirk Cousins. If you are replaced by Colt McCoy, you are not a QB of the future for anyone.

There are a number of used QB prospects that are young but have some experience. In addition the Browns need to draft a QB in the first 3 rounds. I am not convinced that Johnny Manziel is a bust, but at the least he is all talk and no action. He needs to work hard and that does not seem to be part of his DNA. He like the other QB prospects on the roster needs better coaching.

Bottom line: This is a QB league. If you have a good one you get to the playoffs. If not, you get fired. It is just that simple. Had the Browns listened to me or my show, we would have used the 2nd round pick in 2012 on Russell Wilson and not be in this fix.

So that is step 1 of the plan. I will be detailing the other steps needed in future articles.

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 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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  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 29th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns face the QB issue yet again this off season

Browns face the QB issue yet again this off season

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BrownPrac

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the Browns Ratbirds game including major issues the Browns face going into the off season. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Tomorrow, Kelron Sykes College football Insider joins me to preview the NCAA playoff semi-finals.

Connor Shaw played as well as could be expected overall against the Ravens Sunday. The Browns had the lead going into the 4th quarter. But again, as has happened so often before, the D wore down and the Browns lost.

The Browns are in worse position than they were coming into this season in terms of finding a starting QB. Coming into the 2014 season, they had an injured Brian Hoyer and a possible future starter in first round pick Johnny Manziel. Now Hoyer is a free agent and it is very clear that Manziel is a long way from being a starter.

There is very little chance Hoyer resigns with the Browns. Despite the late season decline in production, he will likely get an offer from the Texans to compete for a starting job.

Manziel is a head case. He admitted he was not ready to start even into the last weeks of the season. He misses rehab sessions, is friendly with blowup swans, and has every defensive player in the NFL wanting to break him in half because he doesn’t respect the game.

Manziel also has a ton of work to do before he could ever be a winning QB. He needs to totally rework his throwing mechanics, footwork, knowledge of the playbook, and ability to read defenses before and after the snap. I have very little faith that he will work hard enough to accomplish any of those changes in this off season.

At this point Shaw would beat out Maziel for the starting QB spot. But Shaw is at best a decent backup. He has very limited arm strength but is able to read defenses to some degree and has much better throwing mechanics. I wonder if the current staff has enough QB knowledge to fix what is wrong with Manziel. I have very little faith in QB Coach Dowell Loggains’ ability to fix Manziel. Perhaps the reason that Shaw’s mechanics are still decent is that Loggains has not taken the time with him to screw them up.

There may be a chance to get a player that has some experience and is young enough to be the QB of the future. If the Titans draft a QB with their second pick overall, their 6th round pick last year Zach Mettenberger could be available for a mid round pick. He would be a major upgrade over any QB currently on the roster. I was not wrong about Russell Wilson and I doubt I am wrong about Zach.

The bottom line is that the future QB of the Browns is not on the 2014 roster.

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 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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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 30th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on It is time for the Browns to change QBs.

It is time for the Browns to change QBs.

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BrownPrac

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 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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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 22nd, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns: Better but not good enough.

Browns: Better but not good enough.

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The Browns played well against the Ravens but the game pointed out several areas that are not good enough to win games.

The sad part of the loss to the Ratbirds is that the Browns played well enough to win this game. But two special teams errors and breakdowns on both offense and defense late in the game prevented a win.

Offense:

QB Brian Hoyer was efficient and for the 3rd game this year did not throw an interception. He has the 2nd most consecutive throws without a pick. But there are issues. Hoyer missed a couple of open receivers either of which could have made the difference in the game. He is getting the ball out on time and sees the field even in the face of a rush. He was able to overcome penalties which is something that has not happened often since 99. Some have had issues with Hoyer’s arm strength but he has enough to throw the ball 40+ yards with accuracy as he did Sunday.

The running game was OK but I can not understand why Isaiah Crowell is not the primary running back for the Browns. He runs harder, has better vision, and makes better cuts to the hole. This is a coaching error that must be corrected.

The O line did a decent job blocking the run. But the line still struggles to pass protect. While the left side is usually solid, RT still is an issue.

The play calling was solid except in the 4th quarter. The last two possessions were poor calls. The Browns should have run on all three downs on both late game possessions to take time off the clock. Crowell should have been the back in at the time. He breaks tackles.

WR Andrew Hawkins deserves special mention. He is among the leaders in catches and had over 80 yards in receptions. His young running mate Taylor Gabriel only caught 2 passes but was also over 80 yards in receptions.

Defense?:

The preseason talk was about a D that would be top 10. Instead it ranks 31st overall. The D can’t even slow down the run let alone stop it. A perfect example was the 31 yard run by Ratbird RB Lorenzo Taliaferro early in the 2nd quarter. The D line had a game on where NT Ahtyba Rubin was supposed to slant to the RG spot. He never got there and the result was a long run. The run D is not getting off blocks, taking bad angles to the run, and is slow in recognizing the play. The front 7 failed to get much pressure on QB Joe Flacco.

The preseason chatter said the D would be blitzing from every direction and pressuring the QB often. We have seen very little pressure on the QB in the regular season.

The pass D has not been any better. All pro CB Joe Haden has not come close to his level of play in prior years. The 8th pick overall in 2014 draft, CB Justin Gilbert, has been targeted over and over successfully by the opponent. Gilbert either gives up a big play or causes a flag for a spot foul.

The D gave up nearly 5 yards per attempt rushing and 7 yards per pass attempt and had no sacks. It did get a pick and had an outstanding goal line stand early in the game.

Special teams:

The special teams cost the Browns the game. There was a high snap on the first field goal attempt that contributed to the kick bouncing off the left upright. A major leak in kick protection caused the 2nd FG attempt to be blocked. Either of those kicks would have forced the Ratbirds to score a TD to tie the game. Bad special teams play has haunted the Browns for years, several of which were under current position coach Chris Tabor. This is not the first time I have criticized Tabor and I am sure it will not be the last. But when the snap has cost the team an extra point in the last game and a FG in this game, it MUST be addressed. Nothing seems to change under Tabor.

Coaching:

There have been a number of 12 men on the field on defense. While the 4-4-4 D is effective, it is also illegal. The coaching staff has to get it together and get the right 11 guys on the field for each play.

The play calling late in the game was questionable. Not only was the wrong RB in the game but the attempt to pass on 2 of the 3 downs was inexcusable. Run the ball and punt if you have to but get as much time off the clock as possible.

The Bottom line:

The Browns are better than last year. But to win those close games in the AFC North, you have to win the 4th quarter. They have not yet figured out how to do that yet. The win over the Saints was a very positive step. But this is the Nasty North. To win here you have to run the rock and play solid run D. So far that has not happened. They managed to lose two games where they had the lead with 10 seconds left. There are no moral victories in the NFL. The Browns are better but not good enough.

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

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are on hold until the site is fixed. Thanks for your support and patients.

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 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 .

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

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

 

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