• Author:
  • Published: Sep 19th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered”

The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered”

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BrownsLogo1

 

While the cat is away the mice will play.  The cat is owner Jimmy Haslam.  He is away dealing with his own issues around the investigation by the Justice department into Flying J/Pilot.  The mice include both team president Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi.  The mice just stole the cheese and traded it to the Colts.

 

There are several things that stink like 10 year old limburger about this deal.  The Colts will likely end up with a record of 10 or 11 wins.  That severely dilutes the value of the first round pick the Browns got in exchange for RB Trent Richardson.  That means that the pick will be in the 20’s.

 

Before the 2012 draft the Browns tried to trade for QB Robert Griffin III with the fourth and 22nd picks overall but were rebuffed by the Rams.  Just because they have two first round picks does not guarantee they can trade up to get the best QB.  The first pick is most likely to go to Jacksonville who will not trade it because they need a QB worse than the Browns do.

 

Based on the Banner/Lombardi draft of 2013, there is little evidence that these two could pick a good player if they knew exactly what those teams in front of them were going to do.  The 2013 draft looks bad because the team drafted players with lingering injuries or that have not developed as they hoped.  The only productive pick in the draft was the first round for Barkevious Mingo who made his first appearance last Sunday.  He has been out with an injury as well.

 

In addition, Banner has no history of successful involvement in the draft.  He has been known as a numbers cruncher.  Lombardi has been known as a draft guy but has a track record that would choke three horses and a herd of buffalo.

 

Team management has decided to dump the 2013 season to get a high draft choice.  The fans now understand that and are not happy about it.  There is another issue as well.  How does Banner expect to resign C Alex Mack and other priority free agents on the team?  How do they expect to bring in free agents to supplement the draft given their propensity for throwing seasons away?  The answer is clearly they do not and could care less.

 

Banner and Lombardi are out to prove they are the smartest guys in the league.  Usually when someone thinks he is the smartest guy in the room he is not even in the running.  For the second time in two tries, the Browns are lead by a group that wants to prove they can do it their way.  Mike Holmgren had that same attitude.  His tenure led to disaster.  Only time will tell how this regime will do.  I will believe it will succeed only when I see it.

 

 

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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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 25th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns/Colts live thoughts

Browns/Colts live thoughts

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Browns2

 

KO-9 allowed the Colts to take the ball to the 40.

Kruger with a nice play v the run

Kruger gets the sack on a 5 step drop by Luck

Wayne beats McFadden.  The blitz didn’t get there.

Haden missed a tackle on the end around

RB Ballard blows through for 13 yards.

Jackson beats Ballard to the edge for a 5 yard loss

Winn stops Luck for a 2 yard gain

Luck breaks contain against the blitz for 6 yards.  Kruger did not hold his contain.

That was not a good job on D.

32 y FG GOOD IN 3 CL coming to bat

Richardson with a great move to get the 1st

Greco makes a great block to turn the DE Richardson gets 13

Weeden hangs a ball for Cameron high but JC comes down with it.  Great blitz pickup by TRich

Holding call on Thomas was weak

Obi1 gets a nice catch on a circle pass for 5

The Colt blitz forces Weeden to throw short.  Cameron double catches but the Browns punt.

Short punt gets the ball down to the Colt 12.

=

Rubin just missed a sack but Luck was able to compete for a 1st  at the 34

Jackson stops the run wide for no gain

Blitz with 6 fails again but the pass goes incomplete Skrine covering Wayne

Richardson gets only a yard on a sweep left

Little with a nice catch vs tight cover and gets the 1st 

Good throw by Weeden.

The first deep throw is incomplete

On 3rd and 8 Cameron missed the pass.

29 yard punt.  THAT is not good enough.

=

Bey gets away from Jackson and gets a 1st

Luck with all day to throw gets 14 more to Wayne

Winn and Taylor take down Brown for 2 yard gain

Luck runs up the middle as the pocket breaks down.  No pressure up the gut.  The Browns did not stay in their lanes on the pass rush.

Wayne uncovered by Skrine and gets 15.

Luck runs for 6.  Pass coverage was good in a zone

Pass to Bey good to the CL 3.

Browns call TO 8:13 left.  Not looking good on O or D

TD pass to FB Havilli.

IN 10 CL 0.

Bad choice by Bademosi to bring the kick out ends up at the 15.

Weeden gets Gordon for 15.

Pressure from a 7 man blitz forces Weeden to throw it away

TRich through a small hole for 3.

Good throw to Little but he lost the ball.  Colts ball after a 15 yard foul on Schwarts.

=

Haden with nice coverage on Wayne Incomplete

McFadden knocks the ball down

Wayne gets the 1st vs Skrine

Taylor and Rubin stuff the run.

Skrine got the hand on the ball to Wayne Incomplete

Wayne takes a head shot and gets the catch at the 7

Ball on the 4 after a penalty

Kruger forces a bad pass and Gipson comes up with a pick at the 2.  Great play on both ends

TRich gets 2 on his own.

Weeden throw into triple coverage is incomplete.  He is staring down his receiver causing the triple coverage.

Weeden throw Inc Browns punt from their 4.

Great punt 65 yards.

=

Great throw by Luck gets the 1st .  Ward missed the tackle that would have held them short of the 1st

Skrine knocks the ball away from Wayne

Browns get to Luck pass Incomplete

Browns force an incompetion and the Colts punt

1:39 Browns ball on the 20 with 2 TOs

Weeden gets OK protection but throws the ball away

Weeden runs for 5

With the clock running he throws into triple coverage again because he stared down his guy.

=

Good punt coverage No return 50 yard punt 55 sec left

Ballard runs for 7 TO 39 sec left

Fake the Blitz and Luck passes for the 1st He read it while Weeden does not.

Home town timer 38 seconds left 2 nd down.  No way that play took just a second.

Long pass Inc with pressure by Kruger 33 seconds left

Run fails to get the 1st

Punt downed at the Browns 4

Half time Ind 10 CL 0

 

 

Long pass inc  Little has to knock the ball down or it would have been picked.

Gordon drops a 3rd down pass.  Browns go 3 and out.

Bad coverage gives the Colts the ball on the Browns 48

=

Brown breaks tackles for 22 yard run

Nobody covers the FB and he gets the ball into the 15

Brown eating the Browns lunch for another 8 yard run

Carter with a nice tackle for loss of 1

Hilton is WIDE open and catches an 8 yard TD pass

IND 17 CL 0

The Colts put in their 2nd d

Catch by Gordon gets the Browns to 3rd and 2.  First short yard to gain in this game.

Good catch by Cooper for the 1st

Marecic CAUGHT THE BALL!  After he realized he had not been touched he got up and ran

TO Browns.  Not organized blow a TO.

Under pressure Weeden misses Little Holding on Indy

Jackson drops a pass in the flat

Ogbonnaya gets 3

Cooper gets open and gets the 1st on a 9 yard gain

Pressure again Weeden misses a wide open TE Davis

Blitz again and Weeden missed Cooper.  Weeden does not handle pressure well.

Blitz on 3rd and it almost gets picked on a throw to Cooper

50 Yard FG GOOD Ind 17 CL 3

=

Auguste stops the run.  If he missed it would have been a BIG gain.

Another great play by Auguste on a TFL

Slaughter hits the receiver just as the ball gets there. Pass INC

Bad punt by Colts gives the ball to the Browns at the 50.

Campbell complete to Davis for 6.

Smelley with a nice block on Jackson’s run for 3.

Davis was wide open but Campbell missed him badly.  He got hit after the play.

On 4th and 1 Jackson is tackled for a loss

=

CB Kena almost picks the pass from Hasselbeck

Auguste loses the WR and it goes for a 28 yard gain.

Sanford gets the back for a 3 yard loss

RB Williams is tackled for no gain

Auguste is caught for interference at the Browns 12

Fort catches FB Hughes for no gain.

Adams gets a tackle on Williams for 3

WR Whalen is open in the endzone but cannot catch the ball.

IN 20 CL 3 1:15 left 3rd quarter

Nice 6 yard run by Cook

15 yard run by Cook is called back Holding on Hauptman

Smelley with a nice catch runs for 6 more yards and gets the 1st.

END OF THE 3RD Q

Campbell gets sacked by Rayford

Pass for 2 yards on 3rd and 6.

The Browns punt almost gets blocked but Lanning gets it out.

=

The Browns get confused by a rollout pass in the flat that goes for 12

JM Johnson gets a TFL

Whalen gets open against Auguste again and gets the 1st

Meggett gets a 1st on a 15 yard run

Browns TO 10:13 left

Hasselbeck is hit and fumbled but the Colts got it back.

Auguste gets Whalen on a short pass.  Colt WR Palmer hurt on the play.

Browns ball on their own 9

Campbell misses TE Gronk

Edwards bobbles the 3 yard pass from Campbell and drops it.

RB Cook catches the pass and jukes for a 1st

LB Harvey breaks through again and grounding is called on Campbell

Nice throw to WR Edwards for 18.  3rd and 2

WR Roberson gets the 1st catching between 2 defenders

Rayford sacks Campbell but offsetting penalties negates it.

Croom makes a great catch for the 1st

Campbell throws behind the receiver on a crossing route.  Lucky is was not picked

Roberson makes a nice catch to the Colt 13.  Campbell got hit by the blitz but threw a nice pass.

OT Butler who got called on the hold jumps off side

Campbell gets buried and hurt by a blitz.  The entire line blew the assignment.

44 YARD FG GOOD IN 20 CL 6

Roberson gets the onside kick.  Great play

Hoyer’s first pass is picked by former Brown Asante for a TD.

IN 27 CL 6

Roberson was open but dropped a pass right in his hands.  Nice throw by Hoyer

Gilkey with a false start.

Two short competions force a Browns punt

=

Kerwin Williams stops selling paint and runs for 25 yards

Harnish is in at QB

 

Final IN 27 CL 6

Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden (Photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost)

 

Overall thoughts

1st team Offense:

The game started with the Colts providing pressure on Weeden.  After that he was staring down the receivers way too often.  That tends to draw a crowd of DBs.  The throws into coverage become double and triple teams when DBs read the QB’s eyes.  He was obviously bothered by the pressure.  That was a knock on him coming out in the draft.  He stopped looking down the field and if his first option was not open he went to the check down or threw it away.

 

Weeden was not reading the defense well.  The Colts faked a lot of blitzes but came infrequently.  On the first drive they faked but rushed 3 and got a hit on Weeden.  It looked like he was afraid to throw deep.  At the start of the 2nd quarter he was 5 for 5 but all were very short throws.  I was wondering who gave Pat Shurmur the mike to Weeden’s head set and let the former coach call plays.  Weeden has always had trouble against the zone D.  Tonight was no different.  He will really struggle playing against the Steeler’s zone blitz schemes.

 

Weeden’s accuracy had been outstanding in the first two preseason games.  It was not tonight.  It is impossible to win when you miss wide open receivers.  The inability to make yardage on first and second down led the team back to third and long again way too often.  One drive was stopped by the failure to make 1 yard on two attempts.  That is due to the inability of the line to drive the D line back.

 

The receivers did not help Weeden or the other QBs at all.  While there were some nice catches too often the receivers were dropping the ball.  Little’s fumble stopped what looked like a nice drive mid way through the 2nd quarter when the score was just 10-0.  That error was compounded by a personal foul on Schwartz.

 

Oniel Cousins got the first chance to play RG but he is not a starting quality OL.  The pressure up the middle by the Colts was a result of C Mack trying to help Cousins in pass protection.  Cousins is better blocking the run than the pass.  He shows he has the feet to pull and is fairly accurate getting his block on the edge.  Cousins is alert to players rushing the passer but does not anchor well enough to blunt the attack.

 

The coaching staff did not trust the replacement RGs and ran to the left most of the game.  The rest of the O line did not play well either.  There were a lot of penalties and neither starting tackle played well.  The Colts got pressure with a 3 man rush.  That cannot happen.  Schwartz struggled all game long against the pass rushers of the Colts.  A lot of pressure was coming off the right side of the line.  Thomas had a holding penalty.

 

Both TRich and Cook ran very hard.  But again they were hit too often at or behind the line.  Jackson looked like he had cement cleats on running for 8 yards on 5 carries.  Cook is not likely to make the team but there is no quality depth behind TRich.  Hardesty is too fragile and Jackson is too old.

 

Coaching staff showed a few new wrinkles like the 231 formation with 2 RBs 3 TEs and 1 wide out.  The run formation allowed Gordon to get open and get an 18 yard pass.  But there was way too many check downs.  The O looked a lot like last year’s disaster.

 

It looked like the team in general and Weeden in particular got nervous once the game started to go downhill.  The Colts jumped out to a 17-0 lead and the game was over.   The Browns never made a charge to threaten the Colts.  That is unacceptable.  To be a factor in the AFC North, the team must have the guts to fight back from a deficit.  The Colts did a good job taking field position away from the Browns.  But that too is no excuse.

 

1st team defense:

The D made some good plays but there were too many missed tackles.  Ward missed a chance to prevent a touchdown by missing the receiver.  The lack of experience at the CB and FS positions have haunted the team for years.  Injuries have added to the need for those positions to get experienced depth.  The team gave up a ton of long plays last year because it did not have a true center fielder to stop them.

 

FS Gipson had a great interception on the 3 yard line after the Little fumble.  But he is more of a strong safety than a free safety and is just beginning to understand coverages and techniques.

 

Kruger had an outstanding game.  He was getting pressure however against a bad offensive line.  He did get pressure on Luck with regularity.  Groves played well but was up against a replacement LT once Castonzo went down.  The D line in general played well.  NT Taylor and DE’s Winn and Rubin absorbed blockers but the backers did not take advantage of it.  Way too many plays made serious yardage when the Browns backers lost outside contain.  We also did not see the good pass coverage of the inside backers we had seen in previous games.

 

The DBs struggled to cover Wayne who regularly ran open through the defensive backfield.  He is a shifty older player.  However it is hard to understand how the pass coverage made WR Heyward-Bey look like an all pro.  He is a bust from the Raiders but looked like a super star tonight.

 

Injuries have taken a toll on the D backfield.  It looked way too inconsistent to even think this team could contend in the AFC North this year.  The team needs much better corner play opposite Haden and have to find a FS that is able to play center field.  Unless they do the D will give up a ton of passing yardage.

 

Special teams did OK for the most part.  P Lanning was inconsistent.  K Shayne Graham was solid.  The question with him is can he make long field goals in the winds of December when they really count?

 

The bottom line:

The failure to move the ball on offense had more to do with bad execution than the Colts D.  The Colts are not a great D.  If the Browns struggle to move the ball on them, how will they fare against the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals each of whom have a much better D.

 

 

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 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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CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Punter Brad Mayn...

CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 25: Punter Brad Maynard #7 holds as place kicker Phil Dawson #4 of the Cleveland Browns kicks the game winning extra point to defeat the Miami Dolphins 17-16 at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Dolphins 17-16. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Tonight on News, Notes and Rumors

 Brent Sobleski of ESPN joins us to preview the Browns Colts game.

Doug Upstone of Sports-Watch.com joins us to preview the top college games.

Tony Williams Giants and Knicks beat writer for Metro New York Paper joins us to talk NFL.

Tim Bielik OSU and Browns beat writer for the Loraine Morning Journal joins us to talk Buckeyes.

Samantha Bunten joins us to talk Browns.

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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Top 5 NFL Quarterbacks of All-Time

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Joe Montana on the set of an ESPN broadcast.

Joe Montana on the set of an ESPN broadcast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 #5 John Elway – Denver Broncos 

John Elway had about a storied of a career as you can have as a quarterback.  After much Super Bowl disappointment early in his career Elway ended his storybook career as a signal caller who back-to-back Super Bowl crowns.  Maybe the most famous of Elway’s career was the 98 yard drive he led the Broncos on in the 1987 AFC Championship vs. the Browns to secure Denver a trip to the Super Bowl.  He was a 9-time pro bowler, NFL Hall of Famer, and 1987 league MVP.  When we think Broncos nowadays we think John Elway, who is now apart of the team’s front office as well.

#4 Johnny Unitas – Baltimore Colts

Yeah, he played for other teams, but Unitas was above all a Baltimore Colt.  Unitas was important to the game because he absolutely revolutionized what we know now as the passing game.  He is looked at by many as being the original QB prototype that all others after him would be judged.  Unitas played in the pre-Super Bowl era so he had 3 NFL championships and was named a pro-bowler 10 times.  He was a 3 time MVP and truly the player of his generation with his legendary black high top cleats and flattop haircut.

#3 Tom Brady – New England Patriots

Tom is a three time Super Bowl Champion which isn’t bad for a guy who was picked in the sixth round of the draft out of Michigan.  Brady has amassed 2 league MVP’s and a Super Bowl MVP to go along with his absolute assault on the statistical record books as well.  Brady’s career is still a work in progress and we could see him at the top of this list before all is set and done.

#2 Peyton Manning – Indianapolis Colts

Manning is still writing his novel as an NFL quarterback as well and he is already the fastest QB to 4,000 completions and the fastest to 50,000 yards as well.  He is an 11-time pro bowler and before missing all of last season with a freak neck injury had started every game of his career.  He has one Super Bowl ring, a Super Bowl MVP, and has been the league MVP 3 times to boot.  The way he directs an offense is absolutely beautiful to watch so here is to hoping his health allows him to do so for years to come.

#1 Joe Montana – San Francisco 49ers

Yes, we know he played for the Chiefs towards the end, but Joe was a 49er.  Joe stands above the rest because of his big plays in the games biggest moments. He is a 4-time Super Bowl Champ and 3-time Super Bowl MVP.  He was no slouch in the regular season winning 2 league MVP awards as well.   He still holds the postseason record with 45 TD passes and has clutch moments in the playoffs that will live in the NFL forever.  Also of note is the fact that in his four Super Bowls, Montana threw 0 interceptions.  Not bad, especially for a skinny and lanky 3rd round pick that people said would never amount to much in the NFL.

Danny is guest writer and devoted Football fan who loves to watch games on 3D TV for the added viewing enhancement.

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Tonight on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

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Tony Williams of Metro New York paper joins me to talk about the NFL from a national perspective.

Special guest Jake Query of WNDE home of the Colts radio coverage and I will discuss the recent moves by the Colts and the decisions about QB Payton Manning and the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

Join us.

Also be sure to join Dactar for his Browns Pre-game show 45 minutes before kickoff.  Then for in game chat, join Mr. Moohead and me on http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/ and stay tuned for his half time and post-game analysis (and rant if the team loses or plays poorly which is too often the case).

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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Why Stanford QB Luck will not be a Colt in 2012

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There is a lot of talk in the sports world about which NFL team will by Luck(y).  Most people believe that the winner (by losing) will be either the Rams, the Dolphins or the Colts.  None of those teams have won a game so far.

The Dolphins – This team is struggling with bad coaching, no QB and a D that is constantly being put in bad field position by
turnovers.  The Fish would love to have Luck and he would love to play for them.   The coach is history after the season.
Having the first choice would allow the Fish to attract a top HC prospect.  It is likely the Fish will be in the battle for the top draft choice all season long.

The Rams – This is the only team that will likely trade the pick.  They have Bradford and are happy with him when he is healthy.
They have multiple issues on the O line and D that could be filled by the draft choices or young veterans they should get from trading the rights to Luck.  This deal will be made BEFORE the draft and not after they take Luck.  If they have both Luck and Bradford on the roster their negotiating power goes down not up.

The Colts – Most people are thinking that the Colts are the worst team in the league and will take Luck.  What they are missing is this—Luck does not want to sit for 4 or 5 years behind Payton Manning.  If the Colts end up with the 1st pick, I predict Luck will stay in school another year.  He is a red shirt Junior and can opt to come out for the draft or stay for another year.   He likes school and the college game.
While there is a risk staying in college, Luck is the closest thing to a sure thing and will not fall like Jake Locker did.  But having sat for a year in college I believe Luck will not want to sit for multiple years behind Manning.

 

That is what I think.  Tell us 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 http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

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