• 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 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: Sep 30th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns/Bengals live game notes week 4

Browns/Bengals live game notes week 4

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Browns2

 

Good run by Ogbonnaya

Browns O line has not improved since last week on pass protection.

Three and out for the Browns.

=

Taylor throws the C away and stuffs the run

Bengals are going to be throwing at Skrine all day

Gresham was WIDE open for the 1st. The zone is leaky.

2 Runs get another first

Browns are still using a lot of zone.  That allows Green to be free of Haden

Kruger gets the arm of QB Dalton and the drive is over.

Brown need a TO on 3rd and 1 because they were not organized.  This has happened way too often.  The problem was again personnel getting into the game.

Good 11 yard run by Ogbonnaya.  Grecco got to the second level on the run.

Bubble screen to Bess well executed with a nice block by Little

Hoyer looks off the safety with a fake bubble screen right then throws to Benjamin on the left.  Great YAC and Benjamin runs to the Bengal 22 for 61 yards.  Thomas and Grecco get good blocks on the play.

The Browns confuse the Bengals with a wild cat formation and the visitors call TO

Two vanilla runs put the Browns behind the sticks at 3-6

Bess with a great run after a slant and go to the 1 for 17 yards.

Bengals with great penetration force a loss to the 3.  The running game is too predictable having to run to the left due to the issues on the right side.

Great catch by Cameron from Hoyer for the TD!  Hoyer should copyright that fade play in the endzone.

95 YARD DRIVE for the score!

CL 7 CN 0

=

The Browns tried a type of on-side kick that failed.  The kick hit LB Iloka and was recovered by him giving them GREAT field position at their 47.

Browns run D not as effective when the team can pass too.

Jackson takes a bad angle on the pass to Bernard and he runs for the first.

Inside pressure on Dalton forced him to run and Mingo got the sack

Mingo gets penetration vs. the run and the rest finish the job.

Hands to the face foul against Bryant let the Bengals off a 3-13 hook.

Gipson read the QB and located the long pass but dropped it.  Green ran a fly but Haden had him in man.

Robertson with decent coverage on TE Eifert

Browns use the wander around D front but did not stop the pass for the 1st

Decent pressure on Dalton prevents the throw to the endzone

Browns get out of their lanes on the pass rush and Dalton runs for the 1st

There is an advantage for a short RB.  The Browns lost him behind the o LINE

Great tackle by Haden on the bubble screen to Green forces a field goal

CL 7 CN 3

Little brings the KO out to the 26 on a nice return

Pocket collapses and Hoyer misses his first throw of the game.

Gordon catches his first behind CB Jones’ head for the first to the Bengal 37

Browns are late again and use their last TO with 9 min left in the half.  This HAS to get fixed.

After a drop by Bess and a run backwards by Rainey they face a 3-14

Gordon catches for the 1st

37 yard field goal attempt NG off the left upright.  There is no excuse for this.  Banner and Lombardi are brain dead to allow an injured kicker to try to play.

=

Skrine nice play against the run

40 yard penalty on Skrine to the Browns 15

Haden knocks the ball away from green in the endzone but could have caught it

Mingo tips the pass but it is caught by Eifert.

Browns get penetration and stop the 4th down run by Bernard

Good run by McGahee is wasted with a bad play

The Browns were totally disorganized and snapped the ball on a run without blocking.

Pass again was short of the LTG and was incomplete anyway.

=

Kruger with good coverage on Bernard on a pass route

Skrine was on Green but Dalton missed him.

Three and out for the Bengals.

2:18 on the 8 with no timeouts left.

The only thing that has kept the Browns in the game is the inaccuracy of Dalton.

Browns have to make a 1st

Pass to Ogbonnaya for the first

The Browns play hurry up rather than running the playclock out.  That could hurt them

Hoyer to Cameron with a nice 15 yard gain for the 1st

Hoyer runs for 8

Gordon was hurt on a long pass.  The same thing that Skrine was called on the Bengals were not.

Cameron finally drops one

Cameron catches the 3rd down pass and gets out of bounds

49 YARD FG ATT  NO GOOD.

HALF TIME

 

Bengals go on a slow painful drive.  Owens blitz causes a fumble by Dalton and Owens recovers.

Great screen pass to Rainey but Mack is called for a peal back block.

1-25 Holding on Schwartz on a no gain pass to Cameron.

Screen pass again to Rainey for 15 with a great block by Grecco.

3rd down pass in inc.

=

Rubin with good pass rush hurry on Dalton

Skrine breaks up the pass to Green on 3rd.

McGahee catches the blitz from the Bengals and allows the throw.

Cameron on a great catch at the sideline.

Browns wild cat with TE Grey gets 3

Ioka missed the interception on a pass to Cameron.

Gordon gets the slant for the 1st

Harrison stops McGahee for a 5 yard loss.

Grecco gives up a sack to Adkins

The Browns send out the injured Cundiff after he fell down with a practice Kick

51 yard FG Good with a nice breeze at his back.

CL 10 CN 3 but the score should be 16-0 if the Browns had a healthy kicker.

=

Eifert with a great play for 29

Mingo bats down the pass but Skrine is called for a personal foul

The Browns get the call on the spot of a 3rd down pass but the Bengals QB sneak for the 1st.

On 3rd and 4 Bryant got Dalton short of the LTG.

43 yard attempt is GOOD.

CL 10 CN 6

The Browns can’t run the ball at all.  On 2nd and 10 McGahee gets just 1 because there is no push by the O line.  The Browns are still not getting to the second level of the D with the blocks.

END OF THE 3rd Quarter.

 

Adkins power rushes Grecco for a sack of 10 yards.  Lanning with a great 52 yard punt with no return.

= 14:21

Dalton has not been able to get the big pass to Green YET.

He hits Gresham for the 1st

The Bengal center snaps the ball like Dalton was in the shotgun.  The ball goes past Dalton and the Bengals are lucky to recover.

Robertson, Kruger and Rubin smell out the screen on 3rd and 13 and stop the play.

-11:21 left

The D has played more than well enough to win.  It is time for the O to put more points on the board.

McGahee pushes the pile to the 1st.  Nice run with little help from the line.

Hoyer gets a ton of pressure but escapes to complete to Rainey near a 1st down at the 29.

Gordon battles Jones for the 1st.

Cameron is WIDE open and gets to the Bengals 24.  Nice throw by Hoyer.

Browns have to take another TO due to the calls and personnel not getting in.

McGahee with a 9 yard run.

McGahee to the half yard line with a great run.

Ogbonnaya get the TD pass.

That was a great drive from the 9 to the endzone. 454 left

CL 17 CN 6

=

Gipson plasters Gresham and knocks the ball out.

Dalton is picked by Skrine on a deflection off the hands of 85.

– 343

TO again due to the O not being ready.

Browns try to throw but Hoyer is sacked at the 37.

Browns will punt.  Good kick by Lanning to the Bengal 8 yard line.

=

Gipson knocks the ball away at the 20.

Green catches the pass at the 23.

2:00 left

Taylor hurries Dalton and the pass on 3rd is INC.

The long pass to Jones was caught but Skrine knocks it away.

– 1:39 left and THE BROWNS WIN!!!!!!!!!

 

 

OFFENSE:

QB Brian Hoyer was very solid but a little erratic.  He did not throw a pick and had two TD throws.  But he missed a number of open receivers that could have put the game away early.  He finished 25 for 38 for 269 yards for 2 TDs with a rating of 103.9.  Half of Brandon Weeden’s ratings added together would not equal 103.  The O line was as usual OK on the left and very shaky on the right.  Hoyer was sacked 3 times and hit many times.  But he hung in and engineered five scoring drives.  It was not his fault that the kicker missed two reasonable distance field goals.

 

The passing game was very solid.  The Browns actually completed a number of screen passes something they had struggled with for years.  Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron are the deep threats and Davone Bess provided the key catches to move the chains.  Cameron is becoming one of the better pass catching TEs in the league.  For the most part Hoyer put the ball where the receivers could catch it.  Even WR Greg Little and RB Chris Ogbonnaya provided a spark with the later catching a TD pass.

 

The running game was not good but did just enough to keep the Bengals D line from coming all out on every play.  Most of the yardage was without much help from the O line.  RB Willis McGahee had only 46 yards but most came at the end of the game when the team was trying to run out the clock.  His runs were critical to that effort.  He will get better with more time to work with the team.

 

DEFENSE:

The Browns D was outstanding.  For the fourth time this year the D played well enough to win.  For the second straight game it stopped one of the most dangerous offensive weapons without allowing a score.  Last week it was RB Adrian Peterson.  This week it was WR A.J. Green.  The biggest effect of the overall defensive effort was holding the Bengals to 4 first down conversions on 14 attempts.

 

The D front 7 was very solid again this week.  Although they only got two sacks on QB Andy Dalton, there was a lot of pressure.  Dalton averaged only 4.8 yards per pass attempt.  He was 23 completions out of 42 attempts.  He ended up with a passer rating of 58.2.  A lot of his incompletions were due to pressure from the front 7.  The D front also limited the running game of the Bengals to 63 yards on 20 attempts.

 

The defensive backs played very well also.  Buster Skrine was picked on a lot.  But he came through with three passes defended and the pick on a deflection.  The Browns played a lot of zone like they did last game.  As a result, Skrine was covering Green often.  Dalton tried to take advantage of the mismatch but was not able to.  FS Tashaun Gipson played very well.  He too had three passes defended.

 

Coaching and front office:

Head Coach Rob Chudzinski did just OK.  There were still three blown time outs due to the team not getting the signals and/or personnel in on time.  That is not acceptable.  We have heard him say that was something that would be fixed but it still happens way too often.  I have no problem with the attempted on-side kick.  It would have been more effective if it was the traditional on-side effort kicking a bouncing ball just past the 10 yard limit.

 

I have a serious problem with team CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi not getting a healthy kicker in for this week.  It well could have cost the Browns the game.  This is just one more case of the management not giving Coach Chud what he needs to win.  The team should have signed a veteran guard and corner in free agency with a one or two year deal at the vet minimum.  The team is playing its heart out without the parts necessary to make it truly competitive.

 

The bottom line: 

Don’t look now but the Browns are tied for the lead in the AFC North behind only the Ravens but in front of the Bengals all of which are 2-2.  With a struggling Ravens team and an inconsistent Bengals club, the Browns could have been in a position to do what the Indians have done—shock everyone by getting into the playoffs.  But the failures of the front office have reduced the chances that could happen.

 

 

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/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith 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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Tonight on News, Notes and Rumors

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LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 23:  Andrew Hawkins #...

LANDOVER, MD – SEPTEMBER 23: Andrew Hawkins #16 of the Cincinnati Bengals avoids the tackle of Richard Crawford #39 of the Washington Redskins on his way to scoring the game winning touchdown on a pass from Andy Dalton #14 in the fourth quarter at FedExField on September 23, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Washington Redskins 38-31. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Tonight on News, Notes and Rumors

Cleveland sports legend Bob Karlovec joins us to talk about the Browns win over the Bengals.

Dave Kay of Walterfootball joins us to preview the Cavs season.

Jake Query of WNDE joins us to preview the Browns Colts game.

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/. Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Thursday 6-7:30 PM EST on or http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/?page_id=21.  You can catch any interviews you missed on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 17th, 2012
  • Category: Football, NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tonight on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

Tonight on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

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 Daren Gantt of NBC Sports/PFT joins us to talk about week 2 in the NFL.

Cleveland sports legend Bob Karlovec joins us to talk about the Browns loss to the Bengals.

And I will read my latest editorial about the Browns from FryingPanSports.com.

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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  

 

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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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  

 

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