• Author:
  • Published: Nov 6th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What to do about Johnny?

What to do about Johnny?

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Manziel (2)

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from the previous week, previewed all week 9 games and discussed the Browns/Bengals game.

Now that Johnny Manziel has played 2 games this season the question is what should we do about Johnny? Should the Browns go back and play veteran Josh McCown or let Manziel play the rest of the season?

To decide it is necessary to take a look at what has been learned about Manziel’s progress learning the NFL game.

What we saw in the Bengal game last night was a player that was more accurate throwing on the run. That was a good thing because he was harassed all evening because of a pathetic O line performance. He was also more able to keep his eyes down field under pressure. That allowed throws down field against the rush. That is a key ability.

He has adequate arm strength to be an NFL starter. And he is getting better at moving safeties away from his intended targets. While he does this on the move, he struggles to do it in the pocket.

All that is good. However, there are a number of things that make me believe he will never be an adequate NFL starter.

The most significant issue is Manziel’s lack of ability to throw out of the pocket. I can not believe that Coach Mike Pettine said at half time that he wanted to keep Manziel in the pocket. That is exactly what the Bengals wanted to do. They knew that to keep him in the pocket would limit his ability to extend plays.

The next biggest issue is that he does not read defensive coverages nearly well enough to be effective. While time in the film room will help fix that, it is not something that is easy to repair. The ability to learn to read coverage is not only a function of time in the film room and live snaps but also a function of his basic football intelligence and willingness to spend the time to learn his craft. So far he has said all the right things but his actions indicate he is not ready to dedicate himself to his craft.

The big plays that Manziel has made have almost always come from this ability to extend plays. The problem is that no NFL team can build an offense based on extending the play. He also lacks vision from the pocket. While some blame his lack of height that has not prevented other QB prospects from doing well. Both Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are short but see the field much better than Manziel.

He also has issues with putting touch on the ball when needed. Another factor involves his speed. Is he fast enough to get out of the pocket and escape pressure? Again I doubt he does.

Another issue is his ability to physically survive an entire season. He is not nearly as thick as Wilson and is more likely to be injured.

In my opinion with 55 years of watching college and pro football and studying the draft, Manziel is not ever going to become a quality NFL starter. It is time in my opinion to start Austin Davis to whom the team has given an extension. Regardless if he is successful or not the team should draft a QB of the future and let him develop behind Davis for a while. Despite what GM Ray Farmer believes, the NFL is now a passing league that requires a quality QB and tall fast WRS.

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

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 27th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What I would do to fix the Browns.

What I would do to fix the Browns.

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Roadkill

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from week 7, our views of all week 7 games including the Browns/Rams.

It is clear to anyone with a half a brain (not sure that includes GM Ray Farmer) that the Browns are headed for another bad season. Can the season be turned around? I doubt it but here is my prescription to try to fix the situation.

1. Fire GM Ray Farmer TODAY! – He clearly has no idea what it takes to put a competitive NFL roster together. Ray, the NFL is a passing game. A passing game requires a franchise QB and WRS that are taller than 4’2” and heaver than 100 pounds. He is now putting together the 2016 draft information and I don’t want him within 100,000,000 miles of the next draft. Get an experienced GM as a consultant to help guide the Browns 16 draft preparation and find a GM.

2. Fire DC Jim O’Neil – It was clear from the beginning that he is not qualified to be DC. He has had 2 years to figure out why the Browns can’t stop the edge run but seems clueless. This move will not only put a fire under the more than ample butts of the D but also will send a message to HC Mike Pettine that friends don’t let friends blow up a season.

3. Fire ST coach Chris Tabor – If I had been the owner of the Browns when Tabor’s crew had the huge screw ups in Oakland, I would have fired him on the spot and left him there. The ST have been a complete disaster. Penalties have called back some good returns and the Browns have had some the worst starting positions in the league for years. This team is offensively challenged and can not overcome bad field position on every possession.

4. Hire an experienced O line coach – When I coached an off side or false start was worth 1 lap around the field. Those that continued to have a problem with penalties would lose playing time. The O line was supposed to be a strength of the team. It has been anything but a strength. The only way the running game will bet going is to get a new voice to inspire them.

5. Cut Dwayne Bowe – The cost to the salary cap be damned. In the last season and a half I have caught just as many NFL touchdown passes as he has and I didn’t get paid 9 million. Cutting him will send a clear message to the other veterans that they need to produce or will be gone. Leaving him on the team sends a message that losing is OK.

If that turns the fortunes of the team around and they win 5 or 6 more games maybe Pettine can stay. If not at least there will be a sense of urgency on the team. In addition Farmer won’t be around to screw up yet another high draft pick.

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

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 30th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Some guesses about what is going on with the Browns.

Some guesses about what is going on with the Browns.

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BrownPrac

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from week 3, our views of all week 3 games including the Browns/Raiders.

Browns GM Ray Farmer is scheduled to return to the team next Tuesday. My co-host of NNR Samantha Bunten suggested that the Browns should change the locks to the facility. I completely agree with her view and would have told Farmer not to come back. To learn why check out my article It is time for Browns GM Ray Farmer to go!

Read more at http://fryingpansports.com/#BVXpRTuWwBBtujI8.99

QB Austin Davis had his contract extended yesterday. I like Davis and wonder if the Browns think he could be a starter down the road. It is unlikely that Farmer would have extended Davis because he is hoping (and his job may depend on) Johnny Manziel proving to be a quality NFL starter. Davis has a much better chance than Johnny of developing into a quality starter. The Davis deal could also be an indication that Farmer is on very shaky ground.

WR Dwayne Bowe was inactive last week. In the few targets he has gotten, he showed a “reluctance” to go for the ball over the middle. He has developed “Tyrannosaurus Rex” arms. With his lack of top speed and TR arms, he is a total waste of cap dollars. Remember that he was drafted by the Chiefs while Farmer was a part of that scouting operation.

QB Manziel was disappointed that he was not starting last week. HC Mike Pettine stayed with his plan in designing the game plan for the Raiders. That plan did not include Manziel.

HC Pettine is following a plan that has no chance of working. The plan involves great defense and a strong running game. So far we have seen neither of those qualities. The running game has failed due in part to a total inability of the O line to provide any push on the defense. The first plan was for a zone blocking scheme. That failed because the O line was not able to move in unison which is critical in that scheme. The team then adjusted the plan to include some man blocking elements but the Browns have not been able to make man blocking work either.

Overall no one has any idea what is going on in the Browns leaders heads. Many fans are wondering what Farmer and Pettine are thinking. Others wonder if Farmer and Pettine are capable of thought. No one outside the power structure knows what is going on for sure. All the Browns fans know for sure is that we do not like what we see on the field.

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

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jun 20th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Playbook-gate is an issue for the Browns.

Playbook-gate is an issue for the Browns.

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nfl

I could care less about the Jets or the Patriots. Some say the two are rivals but they are not. A nail is related to a hammer but they are not rivals. The nail gets pounded at regular intervals just like the Jets.

The media has missed the point of Playbook-gate entirely. Jet coach Rex Ryan is certain that he is the smartest guy in the sport. Most intelligent people realize that is not the case. It takes hubris to pass out playbooks like Halloween candy. And Hubris is Ryan’s middle name. However, Browns fans need to know one thing about Playbook-Gate.

Antonio Cromartie was on the NFL Channel and said something that disturbed me. He said that when Mike Pettine was the DC the Pats could tell what defense the Jets had called by the way the team was aligned prior to the snap. While Cromartie is infamous for spreading things around, if this is true it is a problem.

Browns fans have yet to see the team take the field with the Pettine defense. If Cromartie is mistaken there is no problem. However, teams in the AFC North are well equipped to take advantage of pre-snap reads of a defense. If there are tells the Ravens and Steelers will identify them and continue to dominate the Browns. Only time will tell. But unless Pettine can forge a defense that is unpredictable, the Browns will be doing another coaching search sooner rather than later.

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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