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  • Published: Jun 24th, 2017
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Top 5 Questions facing the AFC North

Top 5 Questions facing the AFC North

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Ravens
5
Will the Run D improve its level of play w/addition of DT Williams & loss of DE Guy?
4 Will the rebuilt O line protect Flacco better than last year?
3 Will Macklin help the passing game?
2 Will the pass D hold up with the additions of Jefferson, Carr & keeping Webb?
1 Will quarterback Joe Flacco be as productive as he was last year?
Bengals

5

Can a banged up and aging D compete with PT & BA?
4 How much heat is HC Lewis feeling this year about making playoff & win 1 game?
3 Will the run D improve its level of play w/addition of ILB Minter?
2 Will O line recover from loss of LT Whitworth & RG Zeitler?
1 Can Andy Dalton (the reverse vampire) ever win a playoff game?
Browns

5

Will WR Gordon ever play again for the Browns?
4 Can the staff get WR Britt & the 2nd yr WRS corps to produce with the loss of Pryor?
3 Can the D ever figure out how to stop the run?
2 Can CB Joe Haden play up to his 2014 level or is he done?
1 When will QB DeShone Kizer be ready to start?
Steelers

5

Does anyone but staff believe Landry Jones is capable of winning games?
4 Has the coaching staff realized that PT is now an O based team?
3 Can the D backfield hold up this year better than in 2016 w/addion of Sensabaugh?
2 Will Le’Veon Bell sign his franchise tag & play this year?
1 Can the O line protect Roethlisberger or will he be hurt again?

 

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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  • Author:
  • Published: May 23rd, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Dissecting the 2014 NFL Draft – Cincinnati Bengals

Dissecting the 2014 NFL Draft – Cincinnati Bengals

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NFL Draft (2)

Note: On News, Notes & Rumors we have all pro RB Abner Haynes. Last night’s interview with former Browns QB Kelly Holcomb covered the impact of a QB controversy on the players involved and the team. It is available on fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Join us at 6 PM EDT on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

The Bengals have made the playoffs the last couple of years but have yet to win a playoff game. The biggest issue in those games has been the lack of accuracy and decision-making by QB Andy Dalton.

1/24 Darqueze Dennard CB – Dennard is a do it all CB without top speed but will fit well in the Bengals D scheme. He was a value at 24.

2/55 Jeremy Hill RB – Hill is a very skilled RB with enough off field baggage to require a 747 to transport it to Cincy. The old joke about the Bagels was they had to go no huddle because too many of the players were not allowed to be within 10 feet of another felon.

3/88 Will Clarke DE – Clarke was one of my under the radar guys. He is very productive and will do well in the Cincy D scheme. While others are calling this a reach, I think he is a solid value here.

4/11 Russell Bodine C/G – Bodine surprised scouts by coming out and should have stayed in school another year. He was a reach by a round that the Bagels traded up to get.

5/164 A.J. McCarron QB – The Bagels drafted another weak armed QB. A.J. Survived in the south with anticipation making up for the lack of a big arm. That will not work in the winds of December in the AFC North.

6/212 Marquis Flowers OLB – He is fast and is fairly productive but lacks the instincts to make him special. His best chance to make the squad is to be a special teams star.

7/239 James Wright WR – Wright never became a starter at LSU despite his 6-3 size. He was totally off the radar of most scouts and is a long shot to make the team.

7/252 Lavelle Westbrooks CB – A small school guy that is a big hitter against the run and the pass. At 5-11 he has decent size and was picked where he was expected to go.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft 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 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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  • Author:
  • Published: May 20th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Dissecting the 2014 NFL Draft – Baltimore Ravens

Dissecting the 2014 NFL Draft – Baltimore Ravens

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NFL Draft (2)

Ravens and pigeons are just rats with wings. That is why I call them the Ratbirds.

17 C.J. Mosley ILB – C.J. was the top ILB on my board. He has speed and instincts but does not make many plays behind the line of scrimage.

48 Timmy Jernigan DT – Jernigan went into the 2013 season as the 2nd DT in the draft. He fell late in the season and in the pre-draft period in part due to a diluted drug test. He is a fair value at 48 and will be part of the rotation.

79 Terrence Brooks FS – Brooks is an under rated player that is productive and a tough center fielder. He will likely start for the Ratbirds and was picked about where he was expected to go.

99 Crockett Gillmore TE – Gillmore was one of my favorite under the radar guys. He is big with good hands and will block more than most TE prospects. While others see him as a serious reach, he was taken about where I expected.

134 Brent Urban DE – Urban has a history of injuries and was a reach in the 4th round. He was not as productive as you would expect based on his physical assets. He has little experience and it remains to be seen how much they get from him in 2014.

138 Lorenzo Taliaferro RB – RB Ray Rice looked done in 2013. But Taliaferro was a serious reach. I am not sure what they saw in him but I rated him as a 7th round value.

175 John Urschel OG – Urschel was another serious reach. He is a decent G with fair feet but again I had him rated as a 7th round pick not a 5th rounder. They need help on the O line.

194 Keith Wenning QB – He is not going to challenge for a starting position any time soon but is a decent developmental QB. He has a decent arm and can make most of the NFL throws. He was a minor value in the 6th round.

218 Michael Campanaro WR – This was the second best value for the Ratbirds. Campanaro is a slot guy with speed and quickness that can separate in a short area. He was rated as a 5th round value.

Overall they had 4 good picks and the rest were reaches or just so-so. The Ratbirds are an aging team with a lot of holes. They only filled a few of them in the draft.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft 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 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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  • Author:
  • Published: May 15th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on NFL Draft grade for the AFC North

NFL Draft grade for the AFC North

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NFL Draft (2)

NOTE: NNR Tonight explores the Browns roster after the 2014 NFL Draft.  Join us on 6 PM EDT.
Thanks

In my opinion it is useless to grade a draft before the players have spent 3 seasons in the league. As a result, here are my grades for the AFC North in the 2011 draft.

Cleveland A

While the Browns ended up with a number of keepers, only one was a pro bowler.

21 Phillip Taylor DT Baylor – Solid starter that needs to get in better shape.

37 Jabaal Sheard DE Pittsburgh – Starter but suffered due to the change to a 3-4

59 Greg Little WR North Carolina – Starter that drops a lot of balls and should be replaced.

102 Jordan Cameron TE USC – Pro bowl starter

137 Buster Skrine DB Tennessee-Chattanooga – Undersized nickle back.

150 Jason Pinkston T Pittsburgh – Decent starter with a recent history of injury.

Cincinnati B+

The Bengals had fewer players make the team but they became part of a 3 time playoff team.

4 A.J. Green WR Georgia – All pro and one of the best in the league.

35 Andy Dalton QB Texas Christian – Under achiever that did lead the team to 3 playoffs with no wins.

101 Clint Boling G Georgia – Decent starter that could be replaced by 14 pick Russell Bodine.

Baltimore C

The Ratbirds got a couple of starters and some solid backups from the 2011 draft.

27 Jimmy Smith CB Colorado – Decent starter with 3 train car loads of baggage.

58 Torrey Smith WR Maryland – Starter with speed that continues to develop.

85 Jah Reid T Central Florida – Hanger-on backup LG that has yet to contribute.

164 Chykie Brown DB Texas – Part time starter/nickle back that needs to be replaced.

165 Pernell McPhee DE Mississippi State – Borderline backup outside linebacker.

180 Tyrod Taylor QB Virginia Tech – Seldom used backup QB who may lose his job to 2014 pick Keith Wenning.

Pittsburgh C-

The Steelers got a couple of starters and a backup..

31 Cameron Heyward DE Ohio State – Solid starter.

63 Marcus Gilbert T Florida – Decent starter at RT.

128 Cortez Allen DB The Citadel – Dime back that plays OK.

162 Chris Carter LB Fresno State – Substitute starter that needs to be replaced.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft 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 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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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 18th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Can The Browns Breakthrough In The Tough AFC North?

Can The Browns Breakthrough In The Tough AFC North?

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Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns (Photo credit: zoonabar)

In 2013, the AFC North enters the season as possibly the toughest overall division in the NFL. The division boasts the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the all-time Super Bowl leaders and a popular Super Bowl sleeper pick in 2013. Oh, they also have the Cleveland Browns, who are young and improving, but still waiting for a true breakout season. So can 2013 be the year they start to contend for the playoffs?

Whenever a team is forced to start a rookie quarterback and running back, they are in for a somewhat long season. Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson did a pretty good job in 2012, but they did not have enough help to get them anywhere. With a year under their belt, things could be better for them, with Richardson particularly being seen as someone who can do a job for your team in fantasy football 2013.

After an off-season full of changes at the management and coaching level, the team seems to be quickly adjusting to the new way of doing things. They also have a young core that continues to grow, thanks to quite a few high draft picks in a row. New head coach Rob Chudzinski, along with his coordinators Norv Turner and Ray Horton, hope that their changes in the offseason and during camp will result in a few more wins.

While the Browns will be better, so will the rest of the division. Cincinnati made several improvements to their team, especially offensively, that should put them in the playoff and Super Bowl discussion. Baltimore, even if they have a true Super Bowl hangover, will still be solid, while Pittsburgh is, well, Pittsburgh. Despite an 8-8 season a year ago, the Steelers have had the Browns’ number for quite a few years now, so that will be a tough match-up.

While the other three teams in the division seem to have their quarterback for the foreseeable future, the Browns are still unsure about Weeden. At times, he looked good as a rookie. Other times, he looked like a guy who has already peaked. His play will probably end up determining whether or not the Browns can get into that 8-10 win range, or if another last place finish is in their future.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 22nd, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Paul Banks and Samantha Bunten join me for NNR Podcasts

Paul Banks and Samantha Bunten join me for NNR Podcasts

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SBurton

 Paul Banks of Sportsbank.net and Chicagonow.com joined me to talk about the NFL, league drug policy and the Browns.

Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports joined me to talk Browns, AFC North and some Tribe talk as well. We also announced that she will be my co-host for the Browns Monday analysis shows this season. Those of you that are regulars know she brings an insight, and sense of humor that is critical to withstand another nail biting year following the Browns.

On Wednesday former Browns QB Kelly Holcomb is scheduled to join us for a special podcast about the mobile QB. Be sure to join us for all of these on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

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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