• Author:
  • Published: Feb 5th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Browns are not the train wreck that some believe.

The Browns are not the train wreck that some believe.

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haslam

Note: On NNR today Ziffles & I discuss the Browns situation, the NFL’s issues and the SB. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote an article detailing his view of the Browns team issues. While I really enjoy reading his articles, I disagree on several points he made.

We disagree on the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Dowell Loggains. When Shanahan put in or was forced to play Johnny Manziel the OC tried to use the RG3 read option offense rather than design something specifically for Manziel. The problem was that Manziel had never run the read option at Texas A&M. Shanahan should have known that and designed something with which his QB would have been more comfortable.

Add to that the total disintregration of the mechanics of QB Brian Hoyer. Shanahan and Loggains were either unable to fix the problem or were unaware of the mechanical flaws. That is inexcusable. But I do think the Browns should have gotten a draft pick or two from whatever team signed them.

There was a comment about the firing of Mike Holmgren. As I said here before Mike was hired, he was the wrong choice. He had been stripped of GM duties in Seattle because he was terrible at drafting. He should have been prosecuted for theft for getting paid that much.

The Browns did blow the Josh Gordon issue by not providing a babysitter after the 2013 season. That could have prevented some of his problems. The new GM Ray Farmer missed on his 2 first round picks last year. Manziel is a disaster. Even if the Browns new staff fixes his mechanics, his lack of dedication to putting in the work that is required is a problem. Checking into rehab is the first thing he has done I can support. While I believe that new OC John DeFilippo has the experience to fix the mechanics of Manziel, I have very little faith in the rest of the offensive coaching staff recent hires.

Farmer also picked CB Justin Gilbert who was a problem child in college and continued his issues with the Browns. He also seems to have problems dedicating himself to improvement. Farmer should drafted a WR in 2014 because that position the deepest it had been in years. Even in the 4th round there were quality guys avaiable and he knew that Gordon was facing another major suspension.

The bottom line is that the Browns have a good defense and parts of a decent offense. The things they lack are an NFL quality starting QB and wideouts with speed and size. Hoyer is a quality backup but will likely not return. Manziel is a disaster but the Browns may not have a better option. No good free agent QB would want to throw to the WR corps the team has. There is no QB in the draft that is NFL ready that I trust although Brett Hundley is close and should be available with a late 1st round pick. The best bet for the Browns would be trying to get Hoyer back for at least a year.

So the Browns will likely start Manziel. With the 2015 schedule including the AFC and NFC west we are likely to hear the following: “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: Jan 27th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns are somewhat guilty for the Gordon suspension.

Browns are somewhat guilty for the Gordon suspension.

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Gordon

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the many issues facing the Browns and NFL. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

There is no question that WR Josh Gordon has a major problem. Time and time again he has put his career at risk from pot or in the latest case alcohol. He has cost himself a couple of million dollars because he does not have the self control to stay away from those things that can get him suspended.

The common belief is that Gordon is suspended for a year. That is not the case. Under NFL rules, it is an indefinite suspension. He will continue to be tested during the suspension. He must stay violation free for at least a year to apply for reinstatement. 

But in my opinion the Browns are nearly as guilty as the player. When Dallas had problems with the player formerly known as Pacman, they hired a guy to keep him out of trouble. While the babysitter did not solve the issue for the Boys, it could have with Gordon. Gordon has shown no violence tendencies.

Had the Browns done that after Gordon’s career season of 2013, he might still be a productive member of the team. That could have significantly impacted the 2014 season and the team’s chances for the playoffs. The Browns vertically challenged receivers did well early in the 14 season. The 2013 Gordon would have made a big difference. But after yet another suspension, the 2014 Gordon clearly did not have the same mindset as he did in 13. During the 14 suspension, Gordon was allowed to attend meetings only because it was reduced from the indefinite suspension to a 10 game ban. Even then he violated his reinstatement terms just after the Browns season concluded.

So the question is now that the horse and WR are both out of the barn, what should the Browns do?

First, there is no financial or football advantage to cutting him. His contract is frozen during the suspension and that in effect extends the Browns control of him. He will not become a restricted free agent until 2017. He will not count against the cap or roster for the year.

There may be an advantage to cut him from a team perspective. It would tell Johnny Manziel and others that despite the talent they may have, if they screw up they will be gone. Maybe that would get Johnny to study a little more. No, probably not.

The risk is that being cut off from the team there is little chance that Gordon can stay clean during the time away. The team can have no contact with him at all. That will significantly reduce his chances of staying clean.

The suspension is not certain. The NFLPA may appeal it. An appeal may reduce the term and thus allow club contact. But given the 2 reductions in suspensions Gordon has already received plus his escape from punishment for an OMVI plead, there is very little chance he will get yet another break. He has to grow up and comment to his profession. But the Browns share some responsibility for his situation as well.

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: Sep 10th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Here is why the NFL is rushing to get the new drug testing deal done.

Here is why the NFL is rushing to get the new drug testing deal done.

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Goodell

                                                      Roger Goodell

Clearly fans of any team with a player that has been suspended are excited about the possibility of getting those players back. But understand that the NFL and NFLPA have been working on a new drug policy for more than 3 years. What is the rush go get it done now?

Let me say that I have no inside information about the issue but I do think I know what is going on. And we will know if I am right by what is in and is not in the new policy.

Here is what I believe is driving the NFL to try to get a new deal—As I said here several weeks ago, the new pressure on the NFL is the different results of the Gordon test.

I have a feeling that the NFLPA is pressuring the NFL to get this new deal done or it will explore the cancellation of the entire drug testing program because of unreliable test results. There is no excuse or explanation for a single urine sample yielding two so different results. That is a threat to the weed testing at a minimum or the entire testing policy at a maximum.

The only way that the NFL can walk away from the disaster of two answers to the same question of how much weed was in the sample is to get a new and higher standard for weed. The NFL and NFLPA have been trying to get a deal that would include testing for Human Growth Hormone (HGH) for more than 3 years. A new more realistic measure for weed will be included in the deal. That will give the NFL the door to escape a bad testing system.

So how can we tell if I am right? There will be 3 indicators of who has the upper hand in the final negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA.

3 Does the weed level increase significantly? If it does, there is a very good chance that the Gordon result had a lot to do with the pressure to get this deal done so fast.

2 Is testing for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) limited to in season testing. Right now a PED does a player no good if taken during the off season. If the new policy has testing for PEDs only from OTAs to the Super Bowl, then the NFLPA won a MAJOR concession.

1 The biggest and most divisive issue between the parties is the power of the Commissioner to handle and decide on appeals from a failure on a drug test. The NFL has stood firm that the Commish must retain that power. The NFLPA wanted a neutral party to make the call on an appeal.

If somehow the NFLPA wins on two of these three issues, I will feel justified in my assumption that the Gordon test debacle has had a major impact on the balance of power between the union and the league. I fully expect the new policy will include wins by the NFLPA on issues 2 and 3. issues.

But either way, there is no question that the NFL in general and Commissioner Roger Goodell are sweating this one out. They screwed up and thanks to Pro Football Talk everybody knows it.

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

NOTE: Check out the News, Notes and Rumors podcast Monday, Wednesday and Thursday on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports 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, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for 8-26-2014

News, Notes & Rumors for 8-26-2014

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News:

Still no news on the possible suspension of Josh Gordon. Check out my editorial “The entire NFL drug testing program is at risk over Gordon.” right here on http://fryingpansports.com.

The trial of Colts owner Jim Irsay has been postponed from August 28 to October 30. That will give Roger Goodell more time to figure out how to punish him without pissing off the owners. All the players are watching what happens to Irsay.

Rams QB Sam Bradford tore the same ACL (left) that ended his season last year. He is out for the season and put a fork in the Rams—they are done.

The Packers have lost DL B.J. Raji for the season. That is a tough blow and will result in the Pack giving up more run yardage this season.

It was good to see the extra point back to normal. Whoever came up with the 33 yard extra point has WAY too much time on his hands. It would be no different than the NBA moving the free throw line to 3 point distance.

Browns QB Johnny Manziel was fined 12K for his single finger salute to the Redskin fans. Maybe if he had used two fingers the fine would have been doubled.

Saints TE Jimmy Graham was fined 30K for two goal post dunks. The claim is that because he knocked the goal post out of alignment once, this move has been outlawed. Of course this is the same league that allows zebras to throw 35-40 flags a game. Does anyone at NFL headquarters have a brain?

The Washington Post announced it will no longer use the name Redskins when reporting about the team.

Notes:

Rams 33 Browns 14 – Check out the NNR podcast News, Notes & Rumors 08-25-2014 Browns Rams review on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ for our hour long analysis of the game.

Eagles 31 Steelers 21 – The Steeler starting O is not working. QB Ben Roethlisberger is not in the same city let alone on the same page as the receivers. It would help if the receivers could hold onto the ball. The running game is OK but is not strong enough to offset the lack of a passing game. The Steeler D looks better. ILB Ryan Shazier is the real deal. He will help the team get back to becoming solid against the run. The Eagles looked good but QB Nick Foles is not going to have the year he had in 13. The Eagles will not be as effective taking the top off the D because of the loss of WR DeSean Jackson.

Packers 31 Raiders 21 – This is the biggest mismatch since the Polish horse cavalry faced the German tanks in WW2. Raider QB Matt Schaub never had a chance. He has to wonder who’s side his O line was on. While the Raider D is fairly solid, unless the O can protect Schaub, they will play a lot of D. QB Aaron Rodgers is ready and as sharp as ever. RB Eddy Lacy will pick up where he left off last year walking away with the Rookie of the year award. The Packers O line still has some issues but the D looks solid IF it can stay healthy. The score was 22-7 at half time. The Raiders were able to cut the deficit against the bottom third of the Packers roster in the 2nd half.

Lions 13 Jags 12 – This is the type of game the Lions have to win if they are going to make a move in the NFC North. They won but did not look good doing it. RB Reggie Bush did look good with a 86 yard TD run. He still has the eyes and jump step to get to the hole. QB Matt Stafford seems to have a brain cramp at a critical time. Jag QB Blake Bortles continues to outplay designated starter Chad Henne. But Bortles is the backup in part because the O line needs to develop to protect the 3rd overall pick. The O line struggled to protect vs a good Lion D line. RB Toby Gerhart is fools gold.

Seahawks 34 Bears 6 – The half time score was 31-0. The Hawk O and D looked in regular season form. QB Russell Wilson was on target and very sharp. The Hawk D is solid and very deep. They will cut players that become starters on other teams. The Bears O was in trouble from the first snap. I think they will be fine except when they play a super team like the Hawks. If QB Jay Cutler can keep his ego under control the Bears might make the playoffs. He tends to think his arm can make passes it can not.

Patriots 30 Panthers 7 – The 1st O of the Panthers did not score on the Pats #1 D. The Pats ran up a score of 20-0 against the Panther 1st D. QB Cam Newton is still trying to figure out where the group of WR from last years went. Panther QB Derek Anderson drove the 2s to the Pat red zone then promptly tossed a pick into double coverage. The Panthers are in for a fall this year due to losses on both sides of the ball.

49ers 21 Chargers 7 – The Niner starting O line stinks. Colin Kaepernick can do nothing and there was no room for Gore or other backs. The Niner D will be on the field a lot without IB NaVorro Bowman & OLB Aldon Smith assuming he is suspended. Charger QB Phillip Rivers looks very good. Even RB Mathews looks decent. The Charger D looked really good but a lot of that was due to the lousy play of the Niner O line. Look for them to threaten to make the playoffs again.

Ratbirds 23 Redskins 17 – Robert Griffin looks totally out of rhythm. He is slow making decisions, inaccurate and tends to throw into coverage. But part of the issue is the Skins O line which is not giving Griffin very good protection. That is not a surprise to Browns fans because Shawn Lauvao is starting! I agree that Kirk Cousins looks better than RG3 but he will never get a chance to start in Washington. Skins D stopped Ratbird #1 O twice on 4th inches. Ratbird O line is giving up pressure vs 4 man rush. Joe Flacco looks OK but WR corps except the Smith boys can’t catch. Ratbird D was OK even without starting 3 corners.

Rumors:

SB nation reports that Manziel still has not gotten a grasp of the Kyle Shanahan playbook.

The struggles of the Steeler O have some people calling for the firing of OC Todd Haley. Even Snoop Dogg wants him gone.

Steeler RB Le’Veon Bell said he didn’t know he could get a DUI while high. DAH! How dumb do you have to be to think driving while high is a good idea?

The NFL has always had free Super Bowl half time entertainment. Now the word is that the league wants the performers to PAY to get that exposure. Greed is an ugly side of the NFL.

Browns WR Nate “the pizza man” Burleson told the Akron Beacon Journal that Manziel is the man. The interesting point here is that Nate has been MIA on the football field. Before you give veteran quotes, how about doing something to help the team. He is not likely to make the final 53.

PFT reports that the Seahawks are serious about letting All Pro S Earl Thomas return punts. That is both foolish and dangerous. He is too valuable to risk returning punts.

The latest rumor from the NFL is that the competition committee will look seriously at moving the extra point in 2015. This is a bad idea that should end up in the circular file.

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 23rd, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The entire NFL drug testing program is at risk over Gordon.

The entire NFL drug testing program is at risk over Gordon.

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There is a reason we have not heard a word about the possible suspension of Browns WR Josh Gordon. A suspension based on one sample slightly over and the other well under the limit could generate a law suit by the NFLPA. That suit could easily knock down the entire drug testing program.

The problem is this—How can 2 tests of the same sample come up with 2 entirely different results? That result puts the entire program and methodology in question. If the methodology is flawed, should the league be able to continue testing? A judge will clearly side with the players.

The other issue is the NFL level of failure is 100 lower than that of the Olympics. If the league can not get the same result from the same sample, what validity does the test have? The obvious answer is none.

So Commissioner Roger Goodell must step carefully or risk throwing the baby out with the bath water. If there was a negotiated settlement, it would have been announced already. I am betting that the League will hope this debacle just fades away. If the league decides to punt, there will be no announcement. At this point for Browns fans and Gordon, No news is good news.

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

NOTE: Check out the News, Notes and Rumors podcast Monday, Wednesday and Thursday on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports 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: Jul 31st, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Roger Goodell’s NFL Wheel of Misfortune!

Roger Goodell’s NFL Wheel of Misfortune!

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Wheel

Ryan Neiman of Sports District Radio is our guest on NNR tonight 6 PM EDT on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

“Hi I am Roger Goodell and welcome to my NFL Wheel of Misfortune show! Johnny who is our first victim?”

“Well Roger, it is Arizona Cardinal linebacker Daryl Washington come on down! Daryl has been a bad boy that has been caught taking PED’s for a third time.”

“Well Daryl spin the NFL Wheel of Misfortune!”

click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click

“Too bad for you Daryl you get indefinite suspension. That is the worst penalty we give out. It means you have to sit out for 12 months from today and petition for reinstatement. Then Daryl, if I feel like it and you have been a very good boy I might let you back in the league. Of course I might not let you back in too if I am having a bad day. Daryl would you like to appeal the penalty and spin again?”

“Yes please.”

(Buzzer sounds)

“Too bad Daryl. I decided your appeal is denied and you get the indefinite suspension. All in all Daryl that will cost you at least 3 million dollars. Please take our home version of the game as a cancellation prize. Johnny who is our next victim?”

“Well Roger, we welcome Brandon Browner cornerback for the Pats. Brandon come on down!”

“OK Brandon, spin the NFL Wheel of Misfortune! Brandon has been a bad boy as well taking things that are on our banned list.”

click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click

“Well Brandon you got lucky. You got just a 4 game suspension! Congratulations. Johnny who is our next victim?”

“Ray Rice, running back of the Baltimore Ravens, come on down! Ray was caught on video knocking his girl friend out cold in a casino and dragging her unconscious out of an elevator.”

“Ray welcome of NFL Wheel of Misfortune. Spin the wheel.”

click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click

“Ray, you win the game with just a 2 game suspension! The down side is you will have to marry her to keep her from testifying against you. In the long run that will probably cost you more than a long suspension. You can appeal and spin again if you want.”

“No, that is fine I’ll take it.”

“OK Johnny who is next?”

“Josh Gordon wide receiver for the Browns come on down! Josh has been a good boy that has passed 70 tests but he was a bit over the limit on a test for weed. Josh says it was because he was around people smoking weed.”

“Welcome Josh. Spin the wheel!”

click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click- click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click

“Sorry Josh but it looks like the wheel still spinning. I also have a shout out to a shut in player Jags wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Justin, we are sending you a home version of our game. Well folks, that is going to do it for this edition of Roger Goodell’s NFL Wheel of Misfortune. But tune in soon here on the NFL Channel to find out how Josh Gordon does and the penalty for Colts owner Robert Irsay.”

“Roger Goodell’s NFL Wheel of Misfortune is a production of Roger Goodell and the NFL.”

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, Wednesday and Thursday 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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