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  • Published: Mar 14th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Is GM Ray Farmer too slow to make decisions?

Is GM Ray Farmer too slow to make decisions?

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Farmer

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the trades and free agent signings. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

So far in the Browns off season from hell they have signed a backup QB and yet another #2 wide receiver. At least Brian Hartline is taller than most of the receivers on the roster.

There is almost no chance that the Browns can land an above average WR with the list of quarterbacks on the roster. Wide-outs want a stable offensive system with a QB that they trust to get them the ball. The Browns have neither of those qualities.

GM Ray Farmer missed a chance to bring in a true #1 WR in Kenny Stills. He has speed and size. Since the team has struggled to bring in FA wide-outs, getting a young player with 2 years left on his 5th round salary by a trade would have been huge. But the Dolphins got the deal.

The frustration of Browns fans everywhere is that despite having a ton of cap space, the Browns seem to be hording it. There is no question that the Browns lack of stability means that they will have to over pay to get any FA particularly those on offense. They could get some quality players on defense however.

While there has been a lot of instability on offense, the defense has been good and could get better with the addition of free agents. But the Browns either can’t attract free agents or decide which they should pursue. Whichever is the case, they must at least try to recruit free agents to improve the team. But as we know they won’t.

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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Ohio State coach Fickell has failed his team.

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 The win yesterday by the Buckeyes against Wisconsin was not amazing. It was not even too surprising that freshman QB Miller brought the team back from a 29-26 deficit against a top 25 team. It was an indication that the young QB had developed into a playmaker. Miller winked at his coach indicating that despite the deficit and the limited time on the clock, he was confident he could bring the team back. It is not bragging if you can do it. But that brings us to a very perplexing question.

What would have happened if Miller had been named the QB to start the season? Miller has blossomed in his stint as the starter. He has developed much more quickly than anyone could have guessed. Most likely Miller would have developed in time to have won against Miami. But newbie HC Fickell chose to give the practice snaps to his choice the 5th year senior instead. The problem is that young man is an outstanding guy but is not capable of playing QB at the major college level. No one can guess why Coach made that decision. But there are a couple things we know for a fact did not impact his decision.

1. Was it in the long term interest of the program to start a senior? No. In fact, the long term interests of the program would have been served much better if the young man with 4 years of eligibility had been allowed to get both the practice snaps of a starter and the experience of playing in the Shoe against some lesser teams PRIOR to taking on a major school on their field.

2. Was there a significant difference in experience between the freshman and the senior? No. The senior had very little game experience. The senior had thrown a grand total of 47 passes in his 3 years on the roster. Miller was part of the team in the Spring so that he could participate in spring practices. Except for the practice snaps allocated by the coach, neither player had a major edge in experience.

3. Was there an indication that the senior would be more successful than the freshman? No. As a matter of fact any pee-wee coach should have been able to tell in the first practice that Miller had much more upside and very little downside in both the short and long term.

4. Would the “locker room” have reacted negatively to a freshman being picked over a senior? No. My experience with several levels of football indicates to me that the guys that give their sweat to the team want the best chance to win. When a coach chooses to start a guy that hurts their chances to win, that coach is in danger of losing the locker room. Once that happens, it is impossible to get it back. Players at this level of college know by the end of the first practice in pads who can play and who can coach. There is no fooling the locker room. The OSU players have gotten behind Miller very quickly because he gives them everything he has and gives them the best chance to win.

The result was not only a miserable start to the season that included 3 losses and an offense so inept it scored a total of 13 points in two of those defeats.

So why did the coach decide to go with the senior? I don’t know and will not speculate. Let me leave it at this. Fickell is the interim coach. Anyone would love to have this job because it is one of the best in the country. I hope he made his decision based on his true feeling about what was in the best interest of the team and the program.

That’s what I think. What do 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 edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. He edits .

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Tonight on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

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Tonight at 6;20 PM EDT Samantha Burton Indians beat writer for the Bleacher Report and I will discuss the Indians season and some of the prospects that might be contributing to the Tribe next season.

Then we have a mystery guest that will join us.  This is someone you will want to hear.  I am very thankful that he has agreed to join us.

Then at 7:20 Tim Bielik the Ohio State  beat writer for the Bleacher Report joins me
to talk about the Toledo game and preview Saturdays game at Miami.

Listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear our sports show Monday-Friday 6-8 PM EST on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ or http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.

Please join us and be part of the show by calling our Herbalife 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 is a senior writer for
and edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on
and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  

 

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A different view of Stanford QB Luck’s decision and the “Cutlering” of Miami coach Spirano.

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There has been a lot of talk about why Andrew Luck and his golden arm will stay at Stanford for another year when every NFL draft analyst agrees he would be the #1 selection in the 2011 draft.

Some believe that he just really likes the college life style.

Some think he wants to work a little more on his game. He is a redshirt sophomore and has 2 more years of eligibility. He has only started 2 years for the Cardinals.

I have no idea why he decided to stay but it raises a HUGE red flag to me.

I have serious doubts about how important his NFL career is to Luck. If I was the owner of the Carolina Panthers, I would not want to spend 50 million dollars on a guy that may or may not be committed to the game and the team. Payton Manning went back for a final year at Tennessee but it was clear that his goal was to beat the Gators for once in his career.

This will be the last draft in which the first pick will get 50+ million dollars guaranteed. As soon as there is a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, a rookie salary scale similar to that of the NBA will be in place. The first pick will get something closer to 25 million. Both the owners and NFLPA Ex. Dir. Smith want the extra money to go to the vets not rookies.

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Miami Owner Ross “Cutlered” head coach Tony Sparano.

When he took over the HC job, ex-Bronco McDaniels had a pro bowl QB in Cutler. But that was not good enough for him. The grass is always…you get the idea.

McD wanted “his” QB Matt Cassel, the reserve QB that McD tutored when all world Tom Brady was out for the year. McD thought he could negotiate a trade with the Pats without anyone knowing. It got out and when the Chiefs got Cassel, Cutler demanded to be traded.

That is the exact same thing that the Dolphins Owner Ross did to his HC Sparano. There had been a lot of talk about the coach being fired but Ross said nothing. At the end of the season, Ross said that he would keep Sparano. But then there was that REALLY green grass.

When Stanford coach Harbaugh’s people agreed to a meeting with Ross, he jumped at it. Ross reportedly offered Harbaugh 7 million a year. When the flavor of the month refused to take the job, Ross had a problem.

Today he wanted to have a make up press conference announcing a year extension contract with Sparano. The only problem was that Sparano didn’t show up. This is a receipt for disaster. Look for the Dolphins to be in the running for the 2012 1st draft pick when the locker room divides.

Ross should be fined for interviewing and offering a contract to a coach when they had one on the staff at the time. If that is not a rules violation, it should be. At any rate, not only will the fish likely dive in 2011 but Ross will have even more trouble finding a coach that will take the job because of his Cutlering Sparano.

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. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. He edits . Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Friday 5-9 EST on http://www.cleveland.com/dsn/index.ssf/2010/11/dsn_video_live_stream.html

Technorati Tags: Dolphins,NFL,CBA,NFLPA,NFL Owners. Ross,Sparano,Harbaugh,Cutler,McDaniels,Broncos,Cassel,Panthers,Luck,Stanford,rookie salary scale,NBA,Manning,Tennessee,NFL Draft,draft player ranking
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THE Game turned into THE SHAME–Heat 118 Cavs 90

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The entire NBA world was watching THE Game last night. The fans were great. They cheered their guys and booed with vigor the traitor James. The fans had great and creative signs and despite the national media praying for violence or an act of stupidity by the fans, those that were there did themselves and their city proud.

However, the team that they paid so much to see laid down, rolled over and stuck their feet in the air like a road kill groundhog at the side of the highway. The team and Coach Scott disgraced themselves beyond anything that I could have even believed was possible.

Let me state my bias up front. I have been a Cavs fan since the city was granted a franchise. I was in the old downtown barn the night they beat the Lakers for the first time. When they sold stock to the public, I bought some to support my team. Even through the bad years, and there were a lot of them, I never turned my back on my team. I also never thought they would turn their backs on the fans but that is exactly what they did last night.

The Cavs showed no support for their owner, their fans, or their city. Worse yet, they proved to everyone that LeBron was justified in leaving them because it is impossible to win a championship with these guys. The problem with that is this roster was put together with LeBron’s consent if not approval because Owner Gilbert handed LeBron the keys to castle and told him to invite whoever he wanted to join him on the floor.

What was the ultimate stab in the heart of the fans was the vision of the spurned Cav players joking and chatting up LeBron like he was a long lost brother rescued from a reality show. The Cav players looked like they were hoping LeBron would pick them as a dance partner next year to play in Miami. But by their sickening play, they cut their trade value by 2/3rds. Right now the Cavs couldn’t get a bag of used balls for Gibson, Williams, or even the young Hicks.

The funny part of that is that it is not inconsiderable that LeBron will leave Miami next season. The team is not playing well with all three big names on the floor. HC Spoelstra played a lot of the first half with either LeBron or Wade on the bench. That move allowed the Heat much better spacing on the floor and eliminated the other 4 standing and watching the 1 play against the opponent by himself. The problem with 3 high priced players on 1 team is that the salary cap leaves little room for the 9 other players. Championships require a strong bench and the Heat do not have that.

Time after time, the Cavs let the Heat leisurely stroll to the bucket and score at will. LeBron had a career night and the game was over at halftime. Owner Gilbert left at half time. He just couldn’t take any more. I spent the evening celebrating one of the greatest days of my life, the birth of my daughter Kristina. It was her birthday so being with her made even this debacle tolerable. I gave up on the team and left her house mid way through the 3rd quarter.

I was particularly disappointed in Coach Scott. He never struck me as a coach that would allow the team to snuggle up to LeBron. Reportedly, one of the assistant coaches told LeBron to leave the Cav players alone. But Scott never took control of the situation. He also did not get the Cavs mentally ready to play this game despite knowing how much media interest the contest would get. That is inexcusable. The championship Lakers teams he played on never would have put up with Bird chatting the bench up during the game. But then it would never have occurred to Bird to do that. He was a great competitor and would never have even tried such a punk act.

The question is where do the Cavs go from here?

Gilbert has to blow this team up. The way this club rolled over for the Heat indicates to me they will have a high draft choice next year. They should also look to move anyone that has any value left. There are a few guys around the league that could help this pathetic roster that other teams might be willing to trade. In addition, Gilbert might hold an open tryout to replace those Cavs that have 0 value and must just be released.

It will cost Gilbert a ton of money because NBA contracts are guaranteed but unless he does make major changes on the Cavs roster between now and the trade deadline, he will lose the majority of his fan base. That base backed Gilbert against the world when he issued the famous email criticizing LeBron. Now he has to show the fans that he has their back and take some significant actions to correct the situation and punish those that contributed to the debacle.

If Gilbert does nothing, the fans should stay away from the Q. By continuing to support this team as it stands now makes the fans accessories after the fact. Cleveland fans have been enablers for bad teams for years. It is way past time that we stop enabling and start voting with our hard earned dollars for effort and pride and against meritocracy and gutless players.

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. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA BAsketball,LeBron James,Cavs,Heat,Gilbert,NBA Draft,Wade
  • Heat vs. Cavs: Reaction to Ban on Anti-LeBron James Gear for Tonight’s Game (bleacherreport.com)
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What did we learn from this weekends games?

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football

College football

I didn’t do quite as well this past week in predicting winners in college football. This past week I went 5-3 so now have a total of 10-4.

#1 Alabama went down hard to #19 South Carolina. SC beat a top 3 team for the first time in the history of the school. They key was shutting down 2009 Heisman winner RB Ingram. The win by SC went against everything we have seen from the team for several years.

#2 Ohio State got some shocking news this week. Yesterday ESPN “BCS guru” Edwards projects that the BCS computer system shows OSU is the 10th highest rated team which is at the bottom of the undefeated group. According to him, the BCS formula would put Boise St., Oregon, TCU and Oklahoma ahead of the Buckeyes at this point in the season despite OSU being #1 in the human poll.

#3 Oregon didn’t quite put up the 50 points I predicted but did score 43 in the win over Washington St. The Oregon D showed some vulnerability to the pass and the Duck O lost WR James Rogers for the season. With all the weapons the Ducks have that should not hurt too badly but we will see.

#8 Auburn struggled on D against an aggressive 0-2 SEC Kentucky team. Ky QB Hartline went 23-28 for 220 yards and a TD. Auburn will have to do much better than that if they expect to beat Arkansas or Alabama.

Unranked Oregon State is finally starting to look like the 22nd ranked team it was projected to be in the preseason poll. As I predicted, it went to #9 Arizona and won the game 29-27. The Beavers made plays when they needed them most and were 10-15 on 3rd down conversions. Arizona was 6-11.

Two of the best games of the week pitted top 25 teams against each other in Florida. #12 LSU beat #14 Florida in a come back win scoring on the last play of the game 33-29. It took a fake field goal to convert their last 3rd down and put the Tigers in a position to score the final TD with 6 seconds left.

In Miami #23 Florida State overwhelmed the #13 Hurricanes 45-17. Miami did not look prepared for the game. It looked lethargic and uninterested.

The Pros:

For a detailed analysis of the pro game check out NFLDraftDog.com News Notes and Rumors.

The Monday night game:

The Vikings came into New York really needing a win and left without it. Frankly, I think QB Farve has arm problems. It has affected his accuracy more than velocity. Next week is Desperation Bowl between a 1-3 Dallas team and the 1-3 Vikings. The loser of that game will be virtually out of the playoffs.

Cowboys: With both the current coach Phillips and the Coach in waiting Garett on the hot seat, it is hard to predict what Owner Jerry Jones will do if the Boys go to 1-4. The Boys have never replaced a coach in the middle of a season, but JJ has made a lot of noise about wanting to be a home team for the Super Bowl which will be in Dallas this year.

Vikings: The Vikes are in better shape than the Boys for a couple of reason. First, they are in the NFC North which has been weaker than most other divisions prior to this season. At least they are not in the basement because Detroit is also in that division. Second, the Vike D is much better than the Boys D and plays more consistently. The problem has been the O in general and QB Farve in particular. He has turned the ball over WAY too much and that has led to the losses. The running game which struggles in the last half of 09 has been better this season despite losing RB Taylor in free-agency.

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. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,BCS,BCS Rankings,Polls,college football,Alabama,Ohio State,South Carolina,Oregon,Oregon State,Washington State,Auburn,Kentucky,LSU,Florida,Florida State,Miami,Cowboys,NFL Football,Super Bowl,Vikings,Farve,Jerry Jones
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