• 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 .

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

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 18th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for 07/18/14

News, Notes & Rumors for 07/18/14

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NNR

Monday on NNR we will present the results of my Browns Season Simulation. Please join us at 6 PM EDT on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

News:

Saints TE Jimmy Graham got his money. He is a first round pick in any fantasy draft.

Browns WR Josh Gordon did not help his cause with a 2nd legal issue since he appealed his indefinite suspension. Both issues show he has major issues. After failing a test for weed, he was caught speeding with a friend smoking pot. Then he was arrested for DUI. At this point I doubt he can stay clean for a year to qualify for reinstatement. He may never play again.

49er RT Alex Boone says he won’t attend training camp unless he gets a new deal. The way he played in 2013 he should be more than happy with his salary. He missed way too many blocks to get a raise.

Flying J/Pilot President Jimmy Haslam signed an agreement with the fed. It will cost the company 92 million dollars. All Browns fans should buy as much gas as possible because Haslam needs the money.

Panthers DE Greg Hardy was found guilty of assaulting a female and communicating threats. It is likely he won’t suspended any time soon. He has filed an appeal of the conviction and it is doubtful that the appeal will be heard before the end of the season.

The Cowboys cut backup QB Kyle Orton. That allowed him to keep the 3 million dollar portion of his signing bonus. The upside for the Boys is a 3 million dollar cap savings. The down side is that former Browns QB Brandon Weeden will now backup Tony Romo who is recovering from 2 back surgeries this off season.

Notes:

The Broncos want to resign TE Julius Thomas but not at Graham money. Thomas profited greatly from having Payton Manning at QB. Thomas is not at all close to Graham in talent and would be average on most teams.

USC has done the right thing for its football players. Nearly all schools grant scholarships a year at a time. If a player gets injured or wants to quit football, the scholarship is not continued. USC has changed its policy to grant 4 year scholarships that are guaranteed regardless of the player’s status.

Rumors:

Most people believe that Haslam is safe from prosecution. For my opinion check out my editorial “What does the Pilot/Flying J settlement mean to the Browns?” on http://fryingpansports.com/#5yjPTbKkRpqXMmsO.99

The rumor is that the Panthers might cut Greg Hardy but don’t believe it. He is way too talented to cut and the team needs the D because the offense is hobbled by a lack of quality receivers.

Despite what WR A.J. Green thinks, the Bengals are not likely to give QB Andy Dalton a big dollar extension any time soon. The team is concerned about his inability to win playoff games. He threw 1 TD with 7 interceptions in his 3 playoff losses.

Cowboy backup QB Weeden has looked good in OTA drills. But when he is pressured by a D line, he falls apart.

The Timberkitties are insisting on any trade with the Cavs for Kevin Love including Andrew Wiggins the 2014 overall 1st pick. LeBron James wants Love and the Cavs will probably give in. If they were willing to wait the pressure on Minnesota will grow exponentially. The value of Love will decrease with each passing day. No team is willing to give their top star for a 1 season rental.

Love can facilitate the deal if he said publicly he would only sign an extension with the Cavs. If he did the Timberkitties would probably settle for PF Tristan Thompson, SG Dion Waiters and a 1st round pick or 2.

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

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 football 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 .

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

News, Notes & Rumors for 07/18/14

Monday on NNR we will present the results of my Browns Season Simulation. Please join us at 6 PM EDT on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
News:
Saints TE Jimmy Graham got his money. He is a first round pick in any fantasy draft.

Browns WR Josh Gordon did not help his cause with a 2nd legal issue since he appealed his indefinite suspension. Both issues show he has major issues. After failing a test for weed, he was caught speeding with a friend smoking pot. Then he was arrested for DUI. At this point I doubt he can stay clean for a year to qualify for reinstatement. He may never play again.

49er RT Alex Boone says he won’t attend training camp unless he gets a new deal. The way he played in 2013 he should be more than happy with his salary. He missed way too many blocks to get a raise.

Flying J/Pilot President Jimmy Haslam signed an agreement with the fed. It will cost the company 92 million dollars. All Browns fans should buy as much gas as possible because Haslam needs the money.

Panthers DE Greg Hardy was found guilty of assaulting a female and communicating threats. It is likely he won’t suspended any time soon. He has filed an appeal of the conviction and it is doubtful that the appeal will be heard before the end of the season.

The Cowboys cut backup QB Kyle Orton. That allowed him to keep the 3 million dollar portion of his signing bonus. The upside for the Boys is a 3 million dollar cap savings. The down side is that former Browns QB Brandon Weeden will now backup Tony Romo who is recovering from 2 back surgeries this off season.

Notes:
The Broncos want to resign TE Julius Thomas but not at Graham money. Thomas profited greatly from having Payton Manning at QB. Thomas is not at all close to Graham in talent and would be average on most teams.

USC has done the right thing for its football players. Nearly all schools grant scholarships a year at a time. If a player gets injured or wants to quit football, the scholarship is not continued. USC has changed its policy to grant 4 year scholarships that are guaranteed regardless of the player’s status.
Rumors:
Most people believe that Haslam is safe from prosecution. For my opinion check out my editorial “What does the Pilot/Flying J settlement mean to the Browns?” on http://fryingpansports.com/#5yjPTbKkRpqXMmsO.99

The rumor is that the Panthers might cut Greg Hardy but don’t believe it. He is way too talented to cut and the team needs the D because the offense is hobbled by a lack of quality receivers.

Despite what WR A.J. Green thinks, the Bengals are not likely to give QB Andy Dalton a big dollar extension any time soon. The team is concerned about his inability to win playoff games. He threw 1 TD with 7 interceptions in his 3 playoff losses.

Cowboy backup QB Weeden has looked good in OTA drills. But when he is pressured by a D line, he falls apart.

The Timberkitties are insisting on any trade with the Cavs for Kevin Love including Andrew Wiggins the 2014 overall 1st pick. LeBron James wants Love and the Cavs will probably give in. If they were willing to wait the pressure on Minnesota will grow exponentially. The value of Love will decrease with each passing day. No team is willing to give their top star for a 1 season rental.

Love can facilitate the deal if he said publicly he would only sign an extension with the Cavs. If he did the Timberkitties would probably settle for PF Tristan Thompson, SG Dion Waiters and a 1st round pick or 2.

 

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

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

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 26th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors Week 3 of the preseason

News, Notes & Rumors Week 3 of the preseason

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nfl

News

Later this week I will post the AFC and NFC projections for the league.

When asked which team might be a surprising team, Chris Mortensen of ESPN suggested the Browns will “make it very interesting in the AFC North.”  He mentioned the improvement of QB Brandon Weeden in the new offense and the additions on the defensive line.  Needless to say that was before the Browns choked at Indy.

The Steelers traded to get RB Felix Jones from the Eagles.  Steelers’ 2nd round pick RB Le’Veon Bell has a lisfranc injury in his foot.  It is not a good idea to draft a back that has carried the ball as much as Bell did at Michigan State.  His injury could not have been a surprise.  Look for Jones to be a significant factor this year for the Steelers but the running game will struggle.

“DANGER—DANGER”  The first team of the Pats turned the ball over on 4 of their first 5 possessions against the Lions Friday night.  QB Tom Brady has been harassed consistently in the first 3 preseason games.  Brady looked disgusted with the play of his team.  Those are not good signs for the Pats.  The good news is the Pats are in the AFC Least with no real competition for the division title and the playoff spot.

Several major injuries marred week 3 of preseason.  The Cards lost OG Jonathan Cooper for the year with a broken leg.  The Jets saw QB Mark Sanchez go down with an injury to his throwing shoulder.  It does not look to be significant.  The Giants lost S Stevie Brown for the year with an ACL. That is a big injury for the G Men because he had 8 picks last year.  OLB Jarvis Jones (PT) was hospitalized after an undisclosed lung injury.  It sounds similar to what OLB Barkevious Mingo (CL) experienced.

Former Browns QB Colt McCoy has won the backup spot for the 49ers.

Colt McCoy

Colt McCoy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notes:

The Raiders cannot start QB Matt Flynn if they expect to have a decent season.  He has looked miserable in the last two preseason games.  There is a reason he was a very late round draft choice coming out of LSU.  Against the Bears in game 3 he threw two picks and generated 0 points in almost a half under center.  Former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor seems to be the only QB that can survive behind a very offensive O line.  In four drives Pryor generated 20 points with the 2nd team O of the Raiders.  While Pryor was moving the team to scores, Flynn was sulking on the sideline and not even wearing his head piece to listen to the play calls.

The Seahawks O line issues continued in week 3.  QB Russell Wilson did throw a pick but had another because the O line did not keep the D line’s hands down.  The O of the Hawks can be explosive ONLY if they can solve the O line issues.  The D looks fine.

Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith has not targeted WR Dwayne Bowe yet this preseason.  It could be that by the time Smith makes his drop and turns around Bowe is out of range of his arm.  Don’t expect Smith to throw much down field.  That is not what he does best.  The team has also struggled to protect Smith. He needs good protection to be successful.

Rumors:

Lion head coach Jim Schwartz has to get his team back into the playoffs to save his job.  The Lions commit way too many penalties and Schwartz seems to be unable to correct that.

Bills’ QB Kevin Kolb’s concussion could end his career.  The Bills signed Matt Leinart and traded for Thaddeus Lewis for insurance.

The 49ers are trying to trade QB Colt McCoy.  So far there are no takers.  That is no surprise to Browns fans.

Jet HC Rex Ryan is taking a lot of heat from the NY Media over his decision to put QB Sanchez into a preseason game after QB Geno Smith threw 3 picks.  Sanchez got hurt.  As usual, Ryan is giving as good as he gets.  But this is the beginning of the end for Ryan in NY.  He is a nice guy but like so many others is a much better coordinator than HC.

QB Terrelle Pryor is getting first team reps with the Raiders because the Matt Flynn experiment is not going well.  Flynn will “rest” his elbow this week and Pryor will start.  Look for Pryor to end up as the #1 soon.  Flynn has proven he is not a starter in the NFL.

The Packers like what they see in QB Vince Young.  Look for him to be the #2 in Green Bay.

That’s what I think.  Tell us what you think.

You can listen to the podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football 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/.

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

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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: Aug 9th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tonight on NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports on the Browns/Rams game.

Tonight on NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports on the Browns/Rams game.

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Bruce Matthews with his brother Clay Matthews ...

Bruce Matthews with his brother Clay Matthews in the mid-1980s. Photo taken at a game between the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Oilers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Samantha will be joining me weekly to discuss the Browns games.  Tonight you can hear it live on at 6PM EDT or check out the archive on http://fryingpansports.com

Thanks for your support.
 
That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.
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 .  
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.
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Browns vs Bengals: The Browns fans finally have hope for a brighter future for the team.

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Browns vs Bengals

Browns vs Bengals

Last week you had to take a number because there was a long line waiting to jump off the I90 bridge after the Browns lack of offense.  In that line were several of the Browns defensive players and coaches.

Week 2 took the team to Cincinnati to face the division foe Bengals.  The offense looked much better.  While the team ended up losing the second straight game, both QB Brandon Weeden and RB Tony Richardson showed the talent you hope every first round draft pick has.

The lack of coverage by the defense allowed the Bengals to win the game but for the first time in a long long time there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  And I do not believe it is an oncoming train.

The first great sign is the new owner Jimmy Haslam.  One of the things that I have talked a lot about on my radio show is the organizational lack of urgency to win.  My Dad was a smart guy.  One of the early lessons he taught me was there is a fine line between being laid back and laid out.  And you better know which side of that line you are on.

I am sure that Holmgren is a great guy.  But he has never proven his ability to lead an organization to win.  He was hired by the Seattle Seahawks as the GM and head coach.  He was relieved of his GM responsibilities due to a poor record of drafting quality players.  Before he was hired in Cleveland as team President, I warned my readers about his lack of success as anything other than head coach.

I believe that Mr. Haslam will inject the entire organization with an urgency to win.  That will be a gift to the long suffering Browns fans.

Weeden looked a lot better against an under rated Bengal defense.  He threw for more than 300 yards for 2 TDs and no interceptions.  He still makes great throws that get dropped by the young wide receiver corps.  But both the QB and the WRs are getting better.  With good coaching, Weeden has the talent to become a good NFL QB.

RB Richardson has extraordinary talent.  When I rated him as a potential draft choice, he ranked just behind Adrian Peterson overall.  Sunday, he gave us a glimpse of that talent.  He caught the ball, made tacklers miss and got into the endzone twice.  He also provided a running threat.  The West Coast Offense depends a lot on play action.  With no running threat last year the opponent linebackers laughed when Browns’ QBs faked to the RB.  Now they have to respect the running game.  That allowed the middle of the field to open up for Weeden.

So while the Browns are 0-2, there is for the first time hope of brighter days ahead.  Give the new group a little time to get things turned around.  It looks like we are finally headed in the right direction.

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

NNR at 6PM EDT follows the Moohead show at 5PM on http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/?page_id=21.  If  you cannot hear the show when Moo ends, press the join event button to hear the show and be able to ask questions written of Papa or his guests.

The complete archive of the show is available on the Mooheadradio.com front page an hour after the show ends.  The individual interviews are available the following day at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Be part of the show by calling our Merriam Press hotline at 216-539-0607.

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 and was a senior writer for .  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  

 

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