• Author:
  • Published: Apr 3rd, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Browns have to stop the run in 15.

The Browns have to stop the run in 15.

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

The Browns were in the top 5 against the pass in 2014. But as usual the numbers don’t tell the entire story. They were last—dead last—against the run. Given the harder schedule in 15, the Browns need to find ways to stop the run.

Part of the issue last year was the injuries along the front line. But the fact is that NT Phil Taylor was not playing well when he was healthy. The injuries to Desmond and Armonty Bryant hurt the pass rush as well as run defense as well.

Those of you that listen to NNR on the radio show page know that the Browns have struggled for years at containing the edge run. In the 3-4 defense that falls on the outside linebackers. They have to force the edge run back into the middle of the field where the defenders have help. Both Barkevious Mingo and Desmond struggled to hold the point of attack against the edge run.

In short, the Browns allowed their opponent to run almost at will against their D. That has to stop. Taylor was a decent choice in a bad draft. Mingo so far has been a miss. He doesn’t have enough lower body power to hold up against the run and not enough moves and upper body strength to get past the blockers.

While the Browns have done a good job by signing Tramon Williams at corner back the key to the season for the defense will depend on how well they stop the run.

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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Live game notes Browns/Cowboys

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Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 200...

Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 2008 National Football League Pro Bowl football game at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Feb. 10, 2008. VIRIN: 080210-N-8623G-010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Live Game Notes Browns/Cowboys

 

Good move to defer after winning the coin toss.

 

Nice stop by the D.

 

 

Good catch by Little. Maybe he is beginning to get it.

 

No room for the run. WE NEED A FB!

 

Cooper shows his youth and goes just sort of the LTG.

 

The punt almost got blocked. Bad news. That will cost us sometime soon.

 

=

 

OLB JMJ’s speed to cover good to see. It is a refreshing change from the slow old guys that played there last season.

 

Robertson and JMJ are the best OLBs we have. They need to start full time.

 

Hagg with nice coverage.

 

 

Good run by TRich on his own. Shows vision and strength.

 

Great catch by TRich.

 

Gordon reaches behind him to pull in the pass

 

No hole again for TRich. He is not dancing he is looking for a hole.

 

Obbi1 as a FB? What is that?

 

Good block by Cribbs on the pass.

 

The O line needs work on run blocking.

 

Great catch by Watson for the TD.

 

What is this thing called TOUCHDOWN? I have never seen it before.

 

=CL 7 DA 0

 

D does a great job of getting Boys off the field.

 

 

Great play by TRich to move the ball deep into Boys land.

 

=CK 10 DA 0

 

Double TE working on the sweep. The Boys are struggling to set the edge against the run.

 

Greco doing a nice job pulling on the inside run. He reminds me a little of Steinbach.

 

Bubble screen won’t work with Small WRs blocking.

 

The Boys shoot themselves in the foot again with a roughing the QB call.

 

The communication breaks down again and the Browns call a TO.

 

Hardesty with a nice run. Showing better vision than last year.

 

On 3rd and 7 Weeden should have run. He needs to be encouraged to tuck and run when the field is open like that.

 

=CL 13 DA 0

 

Good pressure again and Hughes gets the sack

 

The challenge is a bad idea. And the Browns lose the TO

 

Skrine bad move to cover Bryant. He is way too short to cover a big WR.

 

At least the call was not pass interference.

 

On the next play they get the call again.

 

On the long pass to Austin Skrine could have been called again. He has to stop using the arm bar and trust his speed to keep contact with receivers.

 

 

=half time

 

The first down run TRich got hit on the ribs again. He is still no where close to 100%.

 

Bad thow on 2nd and 5 wide of the mark.

 

TRich gets the catch and the FD. THAT is what he can do that others can’t.

 

Another FD on a pass to TRich.

 

Shurmur is being way too conservative in play calling. He is playing not to lose.

 

Great pickup of the blitz by Smith on the long pass to Little.

 

Thomas gets beat by Ware for a sack and the punt goes into the end zone.

 

They have to get a better punter.

 

=

 

Bryant should have scored but the whistle blew.

 

Jones for 12 and the Boys O is moving

 

Hughes chased Romo and the throw was off but they get the face mask despite no one being tackled

 

Parker puts pressure on Romo and gets the holding call against the Boys. He has been playing very well for an old guy.

 

-CL 13 DA 3

 

JMJ shows his football instincts with a great recovery of an onside kick.

 

Greco got no push on the run by TRich.

 

Shurmur is getting too conservative on the play calls.

 

=

 

Bryant gets the long pass. Look for him to be more involved.

 

With the long penalty against Ward the wheels begin to fall off.

 

Skrine is giving too much ground and the DL is not getting pressure against the 3 step drop. That combination will take DA to the win.

 

The Boys score the TD and the wheels are off.

 

=CL 13 DA 10

 

Cribbs fumbles and the Boys get it. The call was bad because he was down.

 

Hockley got it right. I was surprised they reversed the call.

 

Weeden panicked and threw the ball into the crowd. Can’t do that.

 

Another season another NEW starting QB.

 

Three and out and the Boys get the ball outside their 40.

 

=

 

Skrine jumped and knocked the ball away at the 5 Good play.

 

Rubin stuffed the 3rd and 1 run.

 

Vickers catches the 4TH down pass. He was allowed to go free agent because they said he couldn’t catch.

 

Pass for the TD and the game is over

 

-DA 17 CL 13

 

Special teams blow it again and the team starts from the 11

 

The ball was almost picked at the 17 but the penalty against Ratliff gave the Browns a 1st.

 

Weeden under pressure loses his cool and throws it away.

 

Weeden fumbles and that is the ball game.

 

With the second overall pick in the 2013 draft the Browns take …

 

=

 

The D forces a fumble but Romo’s knee was down.

 

WHAT? A break for the Browns? I can’t believe it.

 

 

A pair of great catches by Little and Gordon move the ball inside the Boy’s 20.

 

Shurmur will go for the FG and hope to get the ball ball.

 

Bad call on the 4th down fade pass to the TE. Should have given Weeden a pass run option. I can not remember the last time a fade worked for the Browns. SHURMUR WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

 

=

 

Great stop by the D gives the Browns the ball in good field position

 

 

Great throw by Weeden gives the Browns a 20-17 lead. But cheer up draft fans, they will still not win.

 

=cl 20 da 17 1:07 left

 

Fouls by the D give the Boys a field goal.

 

-DA 20 CL 20 OT

 

Romo takes the Boys right down the field.

 

Robertson gets the sack but Romo recovers for the 1ST

 

The Browns get off the field but not soon enough.

 

 

 

 

“Great” call by Shurmer results in a 3 and out and a punt.

 

=

 

TOLD YOU WE WOULD FIND A WAY TO LOSE.

 

 

 

Final thoughts:

 

As a coach the worst thing that anyone can say is the coach took away our chance to win. By getting too conservative, Shurmur ended the chances of the team to win. He should not be permitted to continue to call plays. In the 2nd half the difference was the number of 3rd and long situations the Browns faced. The Boys made adjustments and the Browns were not able to understand what was happening and adjust themselves.

 

When you look in the eyes of TRich and the other young players used to winning, you see a frustration that is going to drive them to leave when their deals expire. THAT will kill any chance the team will ever become competitive.

 

Shurmur needs to be fired now so that the team doesn’t lose all hope for the season.

 

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/.

 

He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

 

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Niblets for April 2010

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nib

Best comment of the month: 96 Teams in the NCAA Tournament is the worst idea since the BcS selection process.

Crime Scene Cleanup Tucson said “I completely agree with you..More teams is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Gotta be the money…”

CSC you hit it on the nose. The plan that came out after my editorial was that the NCAA planned to bid out every game between the 5 networks to increase the take. Check out the update below.

Updates on FPS Stories:

96 Teams in the NCAA Tournament is the worst idea since the BcS selection process.

The NCAA announced this week that they had scrapped the 96 team plan. They will add 3 play-in games for the spots to play the top seeds in each region. That is a much better solution. Let’s hope that the NCAA Executive committee stays away from the funny mushrooms.

The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

The Ex-Steeler now Jet Santanio Holmes had another run in with authorities. According to the airline personnel he refused to turn off his iPod when the plane was landing. He claimed and the police report confirms that he turned it off but did not remove the headphones.  He was not charged but can expect another call from the Commish. He might get his suspension extended but maybe not.

Super Values in the NFL Draft 2

Several players from my list were taken. That list included O’Brien Schofield OLB Wisconsin (4th round Cardinals), Jamar Wall CB Texas Tech (6th Cowboys), and Doug Worthington DT Ohio State (7th Steelers).

Who SHOULD the Browns draft?

The Browns ended up taking Larry Asante SS Nebraska in the 5th round and WR Carlton Mitchell South Florida in the 6th. As I told radio audiences in 4 states, the draft parties for Browns fans prior to Holmgren taking over this draft were more suicide prevention support group meetings than celebrations of the Browns picks.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

General thoughts about the Draft

QB was the position that fell the farthest. As I predicted Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame fell to the 2nd round 48th pick (Panthers). That pushed the other QBs down as well. Colt Coy QB Texas was taken in the 3rd round pick 85 (Browns). John Skelton QB Fordham was taken in the 5th round pick 155 (Cards); Tony Pike QB Cincinnati (Panthers 6-204), and Dan LeFevour QB Central Michigan (Bears 6-181). There is a lot less risk in taking a QB after the 2nd round.

The Bryant interview the the Dolphins

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will not punish general manager Jeff Ireland for asking WR prospect Dez Bryant about his mother’s profession. There is some difference of opinion about exactly what was asked. Ireland issued a statement of the conversation that Bryant disputed.

SS Lawyer Milloy signed a 1 year deal with the Seahawks.

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 is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Draft,NFL Football,Holmes,NCAA Basketball Trournament,BCS,Steelers,Jets,Cardinals,Cowboys,Draft grades,Clausen,Panthers,McCoy,Skelton,Notre Dame,Texas,Seahawks,Dolphins,Bryant,LeFevour,Pike,Milloy
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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 21st, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The NBA: First half season review

The NBA: First half season review

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nba

Game of the week–LA 87 @ Cleveland 93

The Cavs trailed for 3 quarters but the 4th quarter is LeBron time. LeBron scored 37 with 12 in the last period to make the difference. Bryant had 31It was an outstanding game. Varejao adds so much energy and rebounding and that was critical in this game. He hit 2 free throws with 20 seconds to go after forcing a fowl going after a miss on a free throw by LeBron. This is the kind of game that the Cavs would have lost a couple of years ago. They have now swept the Lakers in their 2 games.

Top NBA teams are struggling with injuries.

The top teams from last year are all struggling with injuries.

Cleveland (33-11) leads the Eastern Conference but will not have G Mo Williams for up to a month. They traded for Shaq but Coach Brown has not figured out yet how to make a square peg fit into a round hole. He is not playing enough minutes to have the impact the Cavs expected. The Cavs need to find a way to stay in front of Boston and Orlando to keep the home floor advantage in the East. There are problems on both ends of the court. On O the team is depending too much on LeBron and the others are going to have to make up for the loss of the scoring of Williams. They will particularly miss Mo’s 3 pointers. The D has allowed twice as many 100 point games as they did last year at this point in the season.

Boston (27-13) has been playing without Garnett for too long. They hope to have him back this week. That is going to help them get back in the run for the top spot in the East. Boston has lost games they should have been able to win like recent losses to Detroit, Chicago and Dallas.

Atlanta (27-14) has crept up on the big three by winning most of the games they should be able to and pulling off a few upsets. But after a really nice win over Phoenix, they lost at home to Oklahoma City. Just like last year, their problem has been consistency of intensity.

Orlando (27-15) has had a tough January so far. They are only 3-6 since the first of the year. That included a couple of tough road trips and a costly loss at home to Toronto. Despite a win over Atlanta in that run, they fell behind the Hawks due to the losses on the road. Road trips tend to even out over the season. Orlando has more talent that the Hawks and should overtake them.

Charlotte (21-19) has been one of the hottest teams in January. They have gone 9-1 including wins at Cleveland and Miami. They have moved up to 5th place in the East. Their only loss was a bad game at New York. If the Bobcats can stay hot, they have a chance to move higher in the final rankings. Don’t bet on that though. Starting on the 25th they have a 6 game west coast road trip that will bring them back to reality.

Miami (21-20) went 3-3 in a January west coast trip and is 5-5 in January. They took a bad loss on Wednesday to the Bobcats 104-65. The team has been very inconsistent. They are also playing Wade 37 minutes a game which may be too much. They need his scoring as well as his assists.

Western Conference

Los Angles (32-10) has the best record in the league but the team has been up and down in intensity. Bryant has been playing hurt because the team isn’t close to the same without him. He looks healthy now and playing again at a high level. However, his accuracy on 3 point shots has suffered due to a finger injury. The Lakers have a 2 games in the loss column advantage over the Cavs going into the game last night between the two conference leaders. They are 7-3 in January but lost to the Clippers 102-91. Including last night, they are on a 7 game road trip to the east cost. That will be key to their ability to stay on top.

Dallas (28-14) is 5-3 so far in 2010. They had a nice win at Boston and are in a 5 game east road trip. They have to find a way to beat the Lakers. They have already lost to LA twice this month. Despite the team trying to build to beat LA, they don’t match up well. They have missed Howard. He has only played 21 game so far. He is critical to the team’s success.

Denver (27-14) is hot. They are 7-3 in 2010 including a nice win at home against the Cavs 99-97. The key is that the Nuggets are winning the close games which is something they had trouble doing last year. They have 10 players averaging 10 or more minutes a game. That helps. Billips is averaging 18.8 points per game. That helps too. He has been the best addition this team has had in a long time.

San Antonio (25-16) has gone 6-5 in 2010. They are currently 4th in the West but because they have so much talent and experience in the playoffs, they are always a threat to get to the finals. When you have a player the quality of Ginobili coming off the bench, you are really good. Despite the age of the roster the team has been pretty healthy this year. That could be trouble for the rest of the league in the playoffs.

Portland (26-17) has suffered the loss of C Oden. He was the first pick in the 07 draft but seems very brittle. His entire career is threatened by his injuries. Even so they have been one of the pleasant surprises in the league this year. They have gone 5-4 in January. Roy and Aldridge have picked up the slack. Roy is scoring 23 a game with 5 assists and Aldridge is pulling down over 8 rebounds a game. They are too inexperienced to know they shouldn’t be doing this well. That makes them dangerous.

Phoenix (25-18) has been a surprise. They failed to make the playoffs last year but are 1 win up in the standings for the 6th spot. There was a lot of trade talk involving Stoudemire last off season but he is back and playing well putting up 21 points a game. The key is that he has been able to play nearly 35 minutes a game. Nash, Richardson, Frye and Grant have all been contributing and have been healthy so far.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

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 is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA,NBA Playoffs,Cavilers,Celtics,Hawks,Magic,Bobcats,Heat,Lakers,Maverics,Nuggets,Spurs,Suns,Trail Blazers,LeBron James,Bryant
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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 26th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tampa Bay—Pick a quarterback; any quarterback

Tampa Bay—Pick a quarterback; any quarterback

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t

The Buccaneers have a new coaching staff. new GM, new players, but one thing hasn’t changed since the days of Jon “Chuckie” Gruden—The team is still searching for a legitimate QB. They need an NFL quality QB to compete in the NFC South. Right now they don’t have one.

New head coach Raheem Morris has yet to name a starter. He has a few choices but none of them have “it” that an NFL QB requires. Luke McCown, Byron Leftwich, and rookie Josh Freeman are all in the mix with Freeman a little behind the other two. McCown is 1 and 6 as a starter. He has a career passer rating of 75. No “it” there. I like Leftwich more than the other 2 but he is not an NFL quality starter either. He had a passer rating of 104.3 last year in Pittsburgh. But that was on only 36 attempts. Overall he has a career average rating of a little over 80. As of today, McCown seems to have a slight edge. Morris has said he would reveal the Game 1 starter before the 3rd preseason game. Freeman is the wildcard. He has a ton of physical ability but came from a spread offense at Kansas State and never had to do a lot of reading coverages. In addition the Big 12 is not known for D.

Derek Ward looks to be the pick for starting RB. He is a UFA from the Giants and is starting quality. The backup and short yardage guy is Earnest Graham. Graham is versatile and has played RB and FB effectively. He is also a good receiver out of the backfield. Cadillac Williams is the often injured potential superstar of this group. He has had 2 ACL injuries in the last 2 years. If he is healthy he is the most talented guy on the team. B.J. Askew and Jameel Cook will battle for the FB spot. Both are decent blockers but Cook is younger and cheaper. He wins ties in this contest.

Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton are the starting WRs. Bryant became they kind of WR for Tampa that the Browns though he could be when they drafted him in 99. The Bucs franchised him this off season. Clayton has been slow to come around but the team resigned him. They hope he will finally begin to produce. Rookie Maurice Stovall and Dexter Jackson will try to become the 3rd WR. I like Jackson’s chances to win the 3rd spot and possibly unseat Clayton. The Bucks traded for Kellen Winslow, Jr. He will become the security blanket for whichever QB wins the job. He will never become the deep threat he could have before his accident. But he is a warrior and plays with pain every snap.

The team has a lot more confidence in their O line than I do. G Davin Joseph was a pro bowler last year. The left side of the line will have T Donald Penn and G Arron Sears. They are both OK but no better. In camp, G Jeremy Zuttah is pushing Sears hard for his spot. C Jeff Faine wasn’t good enough for the Browns. Enough said. T Jeremy Trueblood is developing but has serious technique problems.

The Chuckie Tampa 2 is history. The problem is that the players were selected with the 2 in mind. They really don’t fit the head up 2 gap system that Morris is installing. The projected starters are DEs Jimmy Wilkerson and Gaines Adams, NT Chris Hovan, and DT Ryan Sims. Hovan is no NT even though he is bulked up to 310 pounds. He is a penetrator. Sims is a run stopper with some ability. Wilkerson is average at best. Adams is developing but has yet to prove he is worth his high draft choice. The team wants to get more sacks. The 2 gap system is not going to do it with this group. The bench is a bunch of rookies and “hope so’s.”

The D lost its heart and soul when Derrick Brooks was cut. MLB Barrett Ruud is the only sure thing at linebacker. He is one of the better IB when healthy. Jermaine Phillips was penciled in on the weak side but it is a position move from safety. That is not an easy transition.  He will be moved back to safety soon.  The other side is wide open. Quincy Black and UFA Angelo Crowell (Buffalo) are still fighting for the strong side starting spot. Crowell is coming back from a season ending injury but looks like the leader.

Again the change in scheme is going to be a challenge. CB Aqib Talib should be fine. CB Ronde Barber may not. He has played his entire career in the Tampa 2. Speed is not his strength. The bump and run requires speed. SS Sabby Piscitelli can’t tackle and that is a huge problem. He fills in for Phillips. FS Tanard Jackson is very inconsistent. Last year was not good for him. There is even less on the bench. The team has to be watching the waiver wire to get help at both LB and DB.

OVERALL: This team could be OK but would be better in their former Tampa 2 system. There are just too many questions in the transition. The team has always depended on their D and a conservative O. Now they really don’t have either to depend on. Morris is starting over with this team. It won’t be pretty early. The Bucs will be 3rd or 4th in the division.

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 is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Gruden,Morris,McCown,Leftwitch,Freeman,Kansas State,Bryant,Clayton,Jackson,Stovall,Joseph,Faine,Sears,Zuttah,Trueblood,Wilkerson,Adams,Hovan,Ruud,Crowell,Phillips,Talib,Barber,Browns
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  • Author:
  • Published: Jun 16th, 2009
  • Category: NBA Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on LeBron is good as LeGone—Unless…

LeBron is good as LeGone—Unless…

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Cavs

The facts:

Fact 1: Given the debacle of 08-09, unless the Cavs do something spectacular, LeBron is LeGone. The Magic were better than the Cavs this year and the Magic will be significantly improved with the return of PG Jameer Nelson next season. The Magic’s key players are getting better.

Fact 2: The Cavs are likely to be worse next season unless they make some spectacular and admittedly desperate moves. Ben Wallace has already mentioned retirement. Despite his efforts, he is no where near the player he used to be. If some team offers Anderson Varejao a deal, he is likely to go. While he is not the answer for the Cavs, his departure will hurt the Cavs more than his arrival will help another team.

Fact 3: Mike Brown is not the kind of coach that is likely to be able to convince LeBron than the Cavs have a future. The Cavs should look for a high energy high profile offensive minded coach immediately.

Fact 4: Cleveland without LeBron could not attract a free agent offering a magic carpet ride through Shangra La. The ONLY hope the Cavs have for any kind of future is to do whatever the team can to try to keep LeBron.

Fact 5: The salary cap for 2008-09 was $58.680 million. The Cavs had one of the highest salary totals in the league last year. It was around 94 million.

Fact 6: Any team that goes above the salary tax level of 71.15 million pays a dollar for every dollar above that level. That meant that the Cavs had to give the league around 23 million in tax penalty payments.

Fact 7: There were only 2 teams, Miami and Portland, under the salary cap. And they were only popcorn money below the cap.

Plan 1 Amar’e Stoudemire (Pheonix 2008-09 Statistics PPG 21.4 RPG 8.10 APG 2.0)

Stoudemire is coming off an injury and there is reason to believe that the Suns are thinking about reworking their team. There are also rumors about the Suns needing to drop payroll to get under the tax level. Stoudemire is only 27 and is a consistent 20+ point 8+ rebound guy. Having another shooter to draw attention is critical. He would make Zydrunas Ilgauskas better by giving the team a 3rd rebounder. Stoudemire would create a very tough front line match up for opponents and someone that could slow down Dwight Howard.

Plan 2 Hedo Turkoglu (ETO) (Orlando 2008-09 Statistics PPG 16.8 RPG 5.30 APG 4.9)

The Turk has already announced he plans to opt out of the contract with the Magic. If the Cavs could land him, he would not only help Cleveland but hurt their prime opponent. A great thought if they could pull it off. Don’t hold your breath. Turk is looking for BIG money. He may not find it but other teams have a better chance of giving it to him than the Cavs.

Plan 3 Shaquille O’Neal (trade only) (Pheonix 2008-09 Statistics PPG 17.8 RPG 8.4 APG 1.7)

There has been a lot of talk about the Suns trading Shaq to the Cavs for Aleksandar Pavlovic and Ben Wallace. Shaq MIGHT be willing to take that trade for one reason—to beat Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a final. Shaq has only 1 or 2 seasons left at best. He would be a short term fix that would not entice LeBron to stay. But it might get LeBron a title as a thank you for what he has done for the Cavs.

The bottom line: No team can afford to lose a key player and stay competitive. Because they are all over the salary cap, they have only a mid level exception to bring in a free agent. That is expected to be around 6 million next season. The teams will do whatever it takes including overpaying marginal stars because they can’t afford to take any big money free agents.

The only chance the Cavs have is to make a trade but they just don’t have much to trade with. The Cavs have to do something but there are very few options. Look for them to try but I can’t see them being able to do much.

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 is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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