• Author:
  • Published: Nov 4th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Browns are in the hunt—IF

The Browns are in the hunt—IF

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Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns game in detail. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. For this week only the pregame pod will be up at 6 PM EDT right after Moohead radio at 5 on http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/. The post game show will be up Friday at 6.

No question it was an UGLY win on Sunday against the Bucs. But even ugly wins are beautiful to a fan base that has seen so few of them. The O got off to a terrible start again last week. The O line continued to struggle without all pro C Alex Mack. The latest sub trying to fill that hole is Nick McDonald who got blown back into the QB on nearly every play. The O line still can’t figure out how to block the End Tackle game where the end comes inside and the tackle goes outside. The OT MUST drop straight back and push the DT to the outside while the OG pushes the DE into the DT’s path.

The running game disappeared in a swarm of white Bucs uniforms. RB Ben Tate had 3 yards in 10 carries. Terrance West did a little better but is still dancing rather than finding a hole and cutting up field.

QB Brian Hoyer was decent but threw an interception. The other pick was off the hands of a receiver. The mini-mite WR group continues to impress. WR Travis Benjamine, Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin and Taylor Gabriel all had solid catches. I wish Benjamine could catch punts the way he catches passes. Hoyer still struggles with his accuracy due to poor footwork. That is now more a case of Hoyer not being able to step into throws due to the collapse of the middle of the O line.

The combination of no running game and spotty passing attack resulted again in more field goals than touchdowns. But with all that, the O did enough to win.

The D still can’t stop the run. Injuries have hit the D line more than any other position for the Browns. But the D has been helpless against the run for years. This scheme seems to be better but the Browns can not stop the edge run. DE Desmond Bryant crashes inside too often before seeing if the play is a run. That leaves the OLB responsible for turning the run inside. ROLB Barkevious Mingo can’t hold up against a WR block let alone an O linemen.

The Browns went back to the heavy blitz scheme again with very little to show for it. Even sending 8 guys the team could not get to the QB. That left the WR corps with man coverage which did not turn out well. It does look like CB Joe Haden is becoming the shut down corner the Browns need so badly. The rest of the backfield is coming around and undrafted CB K’Waun Williams has been a pleasant surprise. First round pick CB Justin Gilbert took a step back on Sunday but is starting to show promise.

The “IF” is based on the Browns beating the Bengals in Cincy on Thursday. If they do, they are truly in contention. If not, they are pretenders rather than contenders. I was on Chicago radio last week and asked which the Browns were. I said they were neither because even pretenders beat the teams they are supposed to beat. The loss to the Jags was nearly terminal to the Browns chances of getting into the playoffs. But a win over Cincy will go a long way to moving the Browns into the contender class.

Today is election day. Many great Americans have given their lives to allow us all the right to vote. Please honor their memory by voting. Thank you.

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: Jul 14th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Johnny Manziel should watch LeBron James to see how to be a pro.

Johnny Manziel should watch LeBron James to see how to be a pro.

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Manziel Drft

Tonight we will discuss the return of LeBron James and all the ramifications of that move with David Kay of walterfootball.com and the latest Browns news 6PM EDT on News, Notes & Rumors on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

One of the most promising things that has happened recently in Cleveland sports is the return of LeBron James to the Cavs. Despite being the best basketball player in the world, we never see LeBron making a fool of himself in his off time. Even at 18, he handled himself in a professional manner. However that is not the case for Johnny Manziel.

Manziel looks up to LeBron and should follow his example in both selecting friends and enjoying his down time. They are clearly friends. We can hope that some of LeBron’s professionalism rubs off on Manziel. Somehow I doubt that will happen.

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: Jan 31st, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Super Bowl preview tonight on NNR

Super Bowl preview tonight on NNR

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nfl

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 Monday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discuss the results of the weekend. Thursday shows alternate between NFL Draft and basketball. On Friday Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York joins Samantha and me to preview the upcoming games.

 

Join Tony Williams, Giants beat writer for Metro New York, Kelron Sykes former NFL scout and me for a unique Super Bowl preview. It is live on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Thanks

 

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

 

You can listen to the podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and hear NNR Live Mondays and Fridays at 6PM Eastern time on . The Monday show is a review of the previous week and the Browns game. The Friday show previews the upcoming games.

 

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: Oct 1st, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4

News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4

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nfl

 

News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4

 

NOTE:  This week’s radio version of NNR with my co-host Samantha Bunten will be Friday Oct. 4 at 6PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  A special NNR will be on Monday Oct. 7 at 6PM to wrap up week 5 with Samantha and Giants beat writer for Metro New York Tony Williams.

 

News:

Week 4 key injuries:  Vince Wilfork DT (NE) torn Achilles out for the year.   Dwight Freeney LB (SD) torn quad out indefinitely.   Brian Cushing LB (HO) and Eric Fisher T (KC) both suffered concussions.

 

Titan QB Jake Locker was hospitalized after taking a big hit in the game against the Jets with a hip injury.  At this point it looks like he will be out several weeks.

 

After week 4 a few QBs have had their meeting chairs move a lot closer to the emergency exit door.  Bucs QB Josh Freeman was not only replaced as the starter by rookie Mike Glennon, Freeman was deactivated this week.  Josh asked to be traded but few teams are going to be willing to eat over six million dollars to rent him until the end of the season given his low completion percentage and lack of leadership.

 

Browns QB Brandon Weeden can’t hold a ball yet but that is mute point since QB Brian Hoyer has led the team to back to back wins.  Brandon, let that thumb heal.  You might need it stacking groceries at the Piggly Wiggly store.

 

Jets QB Mark Sanchez had better put his house up for sale soon because he too will be moving down significantly in job status and salary.  Geno Smith has not been lighting it up but Sanchez is history.  He will have season ending surgery on his throwing shoulder this week.  He is lucky the previous administration gave him his 20.5 million dollars guarantee.  If he is in the league at all next season he can expect the veteran minimum.  Maybe he can join Weeden stacking groceries.

 

 

ESPN 1500 Twin Cities reports that despite backup quarterback Matt Cassel engineering a win over the Steelers, head coach Leslie Frazier reportedly said there is no quarterback controversy and Christian Ponder is still the starter.

 

At 0-4 the Giants are the worst team in the state of New York.  The Jets and Bills are 2-2.

 

 

Notes:

Bills 23 Ravens 20 – The starting D backfield of the Bills was out.  So the Bills didn’t have a chance to beat the Ratbirds.  WRONG!  Raven QB Joe Flacco evidently felt sorry for the Bills so he threw 5 interceptions including a key pick as they were in range for a field goal to tie the game.  Rookie QB EJ Manuel was just OK but did not give up the ball 5 times.  The Bills lost to the Jets last week.  This week they beat the Ravens.  That means the Jets would beat the Ravens???

 

Chiefs 31 Giants 7 – NY QB Eli Manning cut down on his picks but the O still could do very little.  The Giants were 1 for 14 in 3rd down coversions while the Chiefs converted 9 of 16.  That was the critical difference in the game.  The Giant D could not get off the field on 3rd down.  One of 14 on 3rd down will not get a win.

 

Lions 40 Bears 32 – The Lions were up 40-16 with less than 9 minutes left in the game.  Bears QB Jay Cutler brought them back to the final score with two garbage time TDs.  But Cutler also threw 3 picks and was sacked 3 times.  Lions RB Reggie Bush had 139 yards and DT Nick Fairley returned a fumble for a TD.  Both teams are now 3-1.

 

Redskins 24 Raiders 14 – The Skins had their usual slow start.  A blocked punt and TD pass by Raider QB Matt Flynn replacing Terrelle Pryor had the Raiders up 14-0.  The Redskins scored 24 straight points.  But the Skins D scored on an interception return and an improved game from QB Robert Griffin III led the team back.  Flynn did OK with a final rating of 87.3.  Griffin was 18-27 227 yards and a TD.

 

Seahawks 23 Texans 20 OT – “Schaub giveth and Schaub taketh away.”   The Hawks had three starting O linemen out and the Texans D took full advantage of that.  QB Matt Schaub and RB Arian Foster built a 20-6 lead going into the 4th quarter.  But Hawks QB Russell Wilson and the D took over from there.  Wilson who had suffered pressures and dropped passes began to run the ball.  He drove the team to the three then faked a run and gave it to RB Marshawn Lynch for the score.  Then Schaub suffered a brain cramp.  He threw the ball into a crowd of Seahawk defenders.  It was picked off by CB Richard Sherman and returned for a shoe-less TD.  Schaub ended up with 2 TDs but 2 critical picks as well.

 

Broncos 52 Eagles 20 – The Chip Kelly offense is failing to win primarily due to the pathetic defense.  After a win over the Redskins and “not ready for prime time” Robert Griffin III, the Eagles have lost three straight.  In first two losses the O has had the ball about half the time of the opponent.  The O can’t score enough and the D can’t get off the field.  Nobody is going to have an easy game against the Broncos in Denver.  Mike Vick suffered a number of drops and there were some serious problems on special teams like the 100 yard TD kickoff return.  But the Eagles do not have enough of the Kelly type players to make this work.  The three main producers for the Eagles (TE Brent Celek, WR DeSean Jackson and RB LeSean McCoy) had a total of 15 targets but just 6 catches.  The Eagles D cannot tackle at all.  Payton Manning is just outstanding.  He finished with 28 of 34 for 327 yards and four TDs.

 

Chargers 30 Cowboys 21 – The Cowgirls found another way to lose.  They jumped out in front only to see the D wilt under pressure from QB Phillip Rivers and the Charger O.  Dallas QB Tony Romo struggled with accuracy in the second half and ended up 27 for 37 but averaged only 6.1 yards per attempt. Even a defensive TD couldn’t save the Boys.

 

Vikings 34 Steelers 27 – The Steeler’s biggest problems are the O line and the defense’s inability to tackle.  With no D and no running game QB Ben Roethlisberger feels like he has to do it himself.  There is no one to take the top off the coverage and the lack of receivers hurts Ben most.  He is the one getting hit on almost every play.  Two Steeler garbage time TDs only made the score more respectable.  The Vikes started backup Matt Cassel and he did OK.  RB Adrian Peterson broke open over and over.  He ended up with 140 yards rushing on 23 attempts.

 

Browns 17 Bengals 6 – This game was not as close as the score indicates.  The Browns missed two chip shot field goals and the first Bengal FG came on a 30 yard drive.  For the first time in a long while the Browns are tied for the AFC North lead at 2-2.  For more on this game check out my Live Game Notes right here on FryingpanSports.com.

 

 

Rumors:

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport “Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership is behind head coach Greg Schiano. Ownership knew it would take time to correct the mess left by the previous coaching staff.”

However Schiano did not get any more popular with the fans or the team by his change of QBs to Glennon.  I think the deactivation of Freeman was as much about his unauthorized interviews as it was about his play.  That just proves the truth may set you free but it does not guarantee employment.

 

According to Giants Beat writer Tony Williams of Metro New York, I was wrong about the team tuning out HC Tom Coughlin.  On my NNR show Friday, Tony said the team likes playing for Coughlin.  That may be but the team was thumped again this week 31-7 by the Chiefs despite the Giant D getting three turnovers.  I still think Coughlin is in serious trouble unless he gets the team turned around soon.  Given the issues with the team that is not likely.

 

There might be some pressure on Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin due to the team losing four in a row.  However, that would not be fair.  The issue of the Steelers has much more to do with the drafting by team management than it does with the coaching.  In the near future I will analyze the recent drafts of General Manager Kevin Colbert to show the poor choices he has made.  Look for the analysis here on FryingpanSports.com.

 

The NFL has not given up on the 18 game regular season schedule but is now pushing a change to the preseason and playoffs.  The latest trial balloon being filled with hot air is the reduction of 1 preseason game.  To offset the revenue loss, there would be one more wild card playoff team in each conference meaning that only the top seed would get a bye.  This will be put up for a vote of owners at the next league meeting but probably not go into effect until 2015.

 

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the league is considering fines for Jets defensive ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples for their actions on the hit on Titan QB Jake Locker.  Is any tackle on a QB now a finable offense?

 

The NFL Channel showed a picture of a Texans’ fan burning a Schaub jersey.  The fact is that he is not an elite NFL QB and the team is now wondering if it is time to move on.  While he is good enough to lead the team into the playoffs, it is clear he is not good enough to get to the Super Bowl.  The problem is that team management gave Schaub big time contract extension.  The team would be hit with a 3.5 million dollar cap hit in 2014 and 7 million in 2015 if they cut him after the June 1 deadline next season.

 

Before the regular season started I predicted that the Redskins and Vikings would not return to the playoffs.  So far that prediction is right on target.

 

Despite leading the Browns to two straight wins, Head Coach Rob Chudzinski refused to make QB Brian Hoyer his starter beyond Thursday’s game against the Bills.  Can this group really want to see Brandon Weeden play more before deciding he is not the guy?

 

 

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 .  

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

 

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 26th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What is wrong with the Redskins?

What is wrong with the Redskins?

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Redskins

 

NOTE:  Friday Sept. 27 at 6PM Eastern time I will have a special NFL week 4 preview with special guest Tony Williams, Giants beat writer for Metro New York paper.  Hear it live at The Bill Smith Radio Show or the archive there or at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

 

 

The Skins won the NFC East last season but this year the team is 0-3.  The questions have centered on the comeback of QB Robert Griffin III but that is only part of the real answer.

 

4.  The team has changed the offense to limit Griffin’s exposure to injury.  That is a necessary move considering how many draft picks the team gave up to select him.  For that to be a wise investment, Griffin has to play in D.C. for many years.  Last year RG3’s running opened wide lanes for RB Alfred Morris.  Since RG3 is not running as much the overall rushing offense of the Skins is down.  Last season the team was first in attempts and yards with 519 for 2,709 or 169 yards per game.  This year the team is 20th in yards averaging only 100.7 yards per game.  The Redskins have been outscored significantly early in the first three games this year and gave up on the run.

 

3.  Griffin’s footwork has deteriorated significantly.  That has lead to four interception in three games.  Last year he had only six picks in 16 games.  His QB rating has fallen from 104.2 to 77.7.  He is not stepping into his throws.  He is also not planting his back foot properly.  While part of this is due to him not fully trusting his repaired knee, the majority is him not trusting his protection.

 

2.  The O line has not played as well as it did last year.  The line held up remarkably last year after the injury to T Jammal Brown.  It has not done nearly as well this season.  The team averaged only a half a sack per game last year.  This year the line has given up six sacks in 3 games.  Another effect of this is Griffin having to throw the ball sooner than he did last year.   WR Santana Moss average yards per reception has fallen from 14.0 last year to 11.5 this season.  WR Leonard Hankerson has gone from 14.3 to 12.4 yards per catch.  RG3’s yards per attempt has gone from 8.1 to 7.0 this season.  The O line has also generated many more penalties than last year.

 

1.  The defense has given up a lot more points and yards than last year.  Last year the D gave up 24.2 points per game.  This season it has become one of the worst in the league at 32.7 per game.  Yards per game went from 377.7 to 488.0 this season.  Defensive penalties are also up slightly.  Even when RG3 is completely healthy, the defense will still have to improve greatly for the Redskins to compete.

 

 

 

 

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 .  

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

 

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