• Author:
  • Published: Nov 14th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Thoughts on the 1st half of the NFL season.

Thoughts on the 1st half of the NFL season.

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NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from week 9, and previewed all week 10 games including the Browns/Steelers.

AFC East

Patriots – No question Tom Brady is playing at a very high level. The question is will issues in the D backfield cost them a Super Bowl?

Bills – New coaching staff, solid D but the same old problem—No QB.

Jets – No question the D is one of the very best. They have the same issue as the Bills.

Dolphins – The team quit on their former coach and this team is headed for a total rework.

AFC North

Bengals – QB Andy Dalton has played very well but can they win a playoff game? No.

Steelers – Injuries have decimated this team but the D backfield has never been worse.

Ravens – The only thing that will save HC Harbaugh’s job is the super bowl win.

Browns – It is time to blow up the organization again. The sooner they fire GM Ray Farmer the better the 2016 draft will be.

AFC South

Colts – If things weren’t bad enough Andrew Luck is hurt. The D is pathetic and now the QB is 85 years old.

Texans – Once they stopped flipping coins to decide which QB to start the team has started to win. The D has always been solid. The Colts had better watch out.

Jaguars – Blake Bortles is playing well but needs more weapons. The D is a disaster and needs to be upgraded.

Titans – They drafted a QB and have 2 legitimate starters. They need to trade 1 to get more players.

AFC West

Broncos – Peyton Manning has fallen and he can’t get up. He is clearly not the QB he used to be. The D has saved them often but will not get him to a Super Bowl win.

Raiders – HC Jack Del Rio has this team headed in the right direction. He has a QB and a couple of receivers. One more good draft will make this team very dangerous.

Chiefs – It was clear that KC would struggle on O but the D has disintegrated as well. Maybe the pass rushers’ wallets are slowing them down.

Chargers – Any team that has rumors of moving out of town is bound to be hurt. Phillip Rivers has carried this team on his back for years. This year he is getting even less help than in the past.

NFC East

Giants – Eli Manning is struggling without a run game and an O line in flux. The D needs to generate more pressure on the opposing QB but the injury to JPP has made that unlikely.

Eagles – Chip Kelly has made some strange moves collecting 2 RBS and a QB with serious injury histories. The high speed O will kill the D unless they can make 1st downs and hold the ball.

Redskins – This team is a dumpster fire and yet they are looking down at the Cowboys. They have no QB and the run game has gone south. The D has never been good.

Cowboys – Jerry Jones has no one to blame but himself. He thought either Brandon Weeden or Matt Cassel could replace Tony Romo and keep the team winning. He was VERY wrong.

NFC North

Packers – The Panthers showed every team how to stop the Pack O—cover the receivers until the D line can sack the QB. The D has fallen off as well in the last 2 losses.

Vikings – The combination of Bridgewater and Peterson have the team in the hunt for a playoff spot. But the D is contributing by holding opponents to 17.5 ppg.

Bears – Cutler will be gone next year. Some coach will think they are the guy that can turn him into an superstar but they will be wrong.

Lions – “With the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select…”

NFC South

Panthers – Newton is playing OK but is not an MVP candidate completing just 53.7% with 14TDS but 9 interceptions. The D has been outstanding allowing 20.6 ppg.

Falcons – They were undefeated until the O played road kill. It has always been the D that did them in.

Saints – Brees is doing all he can but has to wonder who’s side the D is on. The DC is a big part of the problem.

Buccaneers – Winston is learning that the NFL is not like the ACC. He will get it but it will take a while. The D needs more players like LB David.

NFC West

Cardinals – This team is a time bomb waiting for Carson Palmer to get hurt again. As long as he is healthy this team is a Super Bowl contender.

Rams – Foles is not the answer at QB but neither was Bradford. They have the RB in Gurley and the D. All they need now is the QB and some bigger WRS.

Seahawks – Russel Wilson has been sacked 85 times in 8 games despite his mobility. The O line is killing their chances to get back to the Super Bowl. The D has also given up leads late in games.

49ers – Kaepernick will be gone at the end of the season. Some coach will think they are the guy that can turn him into a star and they will be right. Ownership will be sorry they let their HC and QB leave.

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: 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: Oct 14th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What is RIGHT with the Browns?

What is RIGHT with the Browns?

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Flip

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from week 5, our views of all week 5 games including the Browns/Ravens. On Thursday Ken Becks of 1stdownscouting.com/1st down will join me to talk about what scouts look for in judging college players for the NFL Draft.

Every Browns fans know that the defense can’t stop the run or the pass. They have seen even very average running backs look like the 2nd coming of Jim Brown against the D. But enough of that.

Craig Lyndall in the yardbarker wrote the following:

I’m just ecstatic to see John DeFilippo use the weapons he has to their fullest. We have watched too many coaches like Pat Shurmur fail miserably to maximize what they were given over the years. In Flip, Browns fans are seeing a guy who doesn’t seem to waste any time bemoaning the lack of a true number one receiver. He also doesn’t bemoan the inability of the team to run the ball. Instead he calls 51 smart passes from Josh McCown.

Read more at: http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/its_more_fun_to_win_but_browns_flaws_still_exist/19708441?mb_edition=5068&linksrc=mb_favorites_head

I agree with him. On Dec. 3 of last year I wrote an article entitled “The Browns chose wisely for their OC” in which I said He had been the QB coach of the Raiders. But what I like best about him is he brings a history of fixing broken QB mechanics. If the Browns are ever going to get anything out of their 1st round pick of Johnny Manziel, DeFilippo is going to have to do major surgery on Johnny’s mechanics and attitude.

As QB coach for the Jets in 2009, he faced a difficult problem. The team drafted rookie Mark Sanchez who had started just 1 year for USC. It was DeFilippo’s job to turn Sanchez into an NFL starter. He was able to help Sanchez lead the Jets to the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

As QB coach for San Jose State, he molded Jordan La Secla into a serviceable QB that threw for 2860 yards and a QB rating of 125.8 in 2010. The next season he helped Matt Faulkner throw for 3149 yards and a QBR of 131.6.

John DeFilippo has justified my confidence in him. He quickly realized that the Browns were not going to win being a run first O. While the team is 2-3, the O has given fans something about which to be hopeful.

Flip is helping QB Josh McCown use the few weapons they have available. McCown gets rid of the ball quickly. Based upon how the O line is protecting him, that is a really good idea. He is reading the field very well. On the TD throw to RB Isaiah Crowell he quickly checked out 3 other options before wisely making the decision to throw to Cro.

Those of you that read this site regularly know that GM Ray Farmer has not given Flip many weapons with which to work. So what Flip and McCown have done is that much more surprising.

Browns fans can only hope that the D gets better and the O continues to surprise both the fans and the opposition.

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 10th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Thoughts about NFL weeks 1-4

Thoughts about NFL weeks 1-4

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NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from week 4, and previews of all NFL week 5 games including the Browns/Ravens.

AFC East

Patriots – They look like the best team in the AFC. Only the Court can stop Tom Brady.

Bills – Ty Taylor has been really good and the D is solid.

Jets – The defense is great but no QB means no playoffs.

Dolphins – New head coach but the same players. That is a bad mix.

AFC North

Bengals – Andy Dalton looks great now but he hasn’t played a night or playoff game yet.

Steelers – Mike Vick is no Roethlisberger but the defense isn’t the steel curtain either.

Browns – The offense was questionable but the defense has been terrible.

Ravens – The D is not what it used to be but neither is the O.

AFC South

Colts – Luck is lucky he plays in the AFC Least. Colts get to the playoffs without a D.

Titans – They have 2 NFL starting quality QBS. Lots of teams have none.

Texans – HC Bill O’Brien is not the first to flip a coin to decide who starts at QB. The Browns did it years ago.

Jaguars – They are getting better but need more play makers.

AFC West

Broncos – Team goes as far as Peyton Manning can throw them. That won’t be to the Super Bowl.

Raiders – HC Jack Del Rio has the team playing tough and ready to steal Manning’s lunch money.

Chargers – Phillip Rivers won’t have to move but has to carry the team on his back.

Chiefs – Both O and D are very over rated. Andy Reed is not getting it done.

NFC East

Cowboys – Jerry Jones is learning Brandon Weeden is NOT a good insurance guy.

Giants – Think where they would be if HC Tom Coughlin could figure out how to get off to a fast start.

Redskins – RG3 is playing CB on the scout team. Enough said.

Eagles – 29th in O plays per game? “Chip, the U of Texas is calling. You really need to talk to them.”

NFC North

Packers – In Aaron we trust. He needs to score because the D leaks badly.

Vikings – Does Bridgewater + Peterson = playoffs? Maybe a wild card.

Bears – Only the Lions keep them out of the basement in this division.

Lions – They need coaches and a GM but who wants to live in Detroit?

NFC South

Falcons – HC Dan Quinn has this team playing great. The D is way under rated.

Panthers – I’m still not sold on Cam Newton but love the rebuilt D.

Buccaneers – Jameis Winston completes a lot of throws but some are to the opponent.

Saints – The bag heads are back wondering how DC Ryan keeps his job.

NFC West

Cardinals – They win as long as Carson Palmer is healthy. The O line needs to work harder to insure that.

Seahawks – They have a great QB and RB but the O line is pathetic and may keep them out of the playoffs.

Rams – Nick Foles is not the answer but Bradford wasn’t either. The D is solid.

49ers – Jed York let the coach go when he should have fired the GM. Now Michigan has a better D than the 9ers.

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 22nd, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Scouting: Why do so many NFL teams have weak O lines?

Scouting: Why do so many NFL teams have weak O lines?

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NFL Draft (2)

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, the Browns Titans game and every other game from Week 2. Check it out on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

No one would deny that the QB is the most important position in the NFL. And yet so many teams are struggling protecting the QB. One thing that can help a QB most is a solid running game but again without a strong O line it is hard to generate one.

Many of the problems of the NFL can be directly traced to the rise of the spread offense in college football. The problems finding quality O line candidates is one of them.

In the spread offense, the college O lineman is almost always blocking 1 opponent. The splits (distance between O linemen) are so large that few college defenses even try to run tackle/end games in which the DT attacks outside and the DE comes inside. As a result, the O line face only 1 guy to block. That means that the pro scout does not get to see the O lineman’s footwork or ability to slide.

The passing game at the college level is based on a shotgun formation and very quick release. A college O lineman need only brush most D linemen to keep the quarterback upright. There is also a significant weight advantage for the O lineman in college. The college D linemen are often in the 250 pound range while the O linemen tips the scale at around 300.

In the run game college spread offenses seldom use combo blocks. That makes it harder for the pro scout to figure out which O linemen can combo block and then move to the 2nd level of the defense to block a linebacker.

Those college offenses that use a more pro style O will get more O linemen selected earlier in the draft because it is easier for the scouts to tell if they will fit into the pro game. But with more teams going to the spread/hurry up systems, the pro game will find fewer and fewer quality O linemen in the future.

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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