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  • 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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  

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

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 24th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for week 3

News, Notes & Rumors for week 3

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nfl

 

News:

There is trouble in 49er land.  The passing game has gone south because the O line can’t protect Colin Kaepernick and the receivers can’t catch, the running game has disappeared and the D can’t get off the field.  Now LB Aldon Smith’s locker has been cleaned out and the team reports he has been given a leave of absence indefinitely while he goes to a rehab facility.

 

The Giants and Redskins are equally miserable.  Both are 0-3 but for different reasons.  The Giants can’t run the ball and QB Eli Manning throws as many to the other team as he does to his own.    The Redskins are waiting for Robert Griffin III to get back to where he was last year.  He is getting better every week but needs his receivers to catch the ball.  The Redskin defense stinks.  Neither team is getting into the post season but the Skins have hope.  The Giants do not.

 

The Browns traded RB Trent Richardson who was the third pick overall in 2012 to the Colts for a 2014 1st round pick.  For my thoughts on the  trade check out my editorial The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered” right here on FryingpanSports.com.

 

Notes:

Bengals 34 Packers 30 – Bengals founder Paul Brown once said “I would rather be lucky than good.  Goot teams lose.”  While the Cincy D played great, the offense did its best to give the game away.  In the 2nd quarter alone QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals gave the ball away four straight times inside their 40 yard line.  The Pack took a 30-14 lead in the 3rd quarter but Dalton led them back to the win with some help from Packers’ turnovers.  While the Bengals are 2-1 they are not that good.  The Pack was driving for the clinching TD when rookie RB Johnathan Franklin fumbled and DB Terence Newman returned it 58 yards for the winning TD.  QB Aaron Rodgers drove the Pack down to the Bengal 20 but the 4th down pass was deflected.  The Pack at 1-2 needs to watch out for the Bears 3-0.  But the Pack O will be OK in the long run as long as they can protect Rodgers.  Their D is a serious issue.

 

Bears 40 Steelers 23 – In the second half the Steeler offense started to gel but they were too far behind to finish the comeback.  The Bears D scored two TDs off of pressure on Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger.  The O line is a disaster and there is no running game.  The D still plays hard but do not get the turnovers they did in previous years.  The Bears are doing OK on O but depend too much on scores from the D.  QB Jay Cutler is spreading the ball around more than last year and is having a good season.  But he has O line issues too that have not yet cost the team.

 

Colts 27 49ers 7 – Kaepernick had a bad game but so did the O line and the defense.  Kaepernick does not have his TE.  The opponents are doubling WR Anquan Boldin and the other WRs were not getting open.  The running game with Frank Gore looks old and slow.  With no running game the play action was ineffective.  The WRs are not getting off press coverage.  In game 1 vs. the Packers, they used the bunch formation and used a lot of motion.  They did not in the last two losses.  I wonder why?

 

The D could not get off the field on 3rd down and Smith did not have a sack.  The 49ers are no longer as physical as they were last year on both the O and D lines.  Part of that is the poor season Gore is having.  But Kaepernick is not running effectively either.  Defenses have solved the read option to some degree.  When the up the gut running does not work, the read option will fail as well. The Colts played well but the win came from the poor play of the 49ers.  QB Andrew Luck is outstanding. The 49ers will get better and so will the Colts.

 

Panthers 38 Giants 0 – Manning was punished by the Panthers D line with 7 sacks and a bunch of hits.  The O line is struggling badly and the running game has disappeared.  They are -9 in turnover ratio.  The team is in disarray.  I doubt Coughlin can get it turned around any time soon.  The Panthers are OK but not outstanding.  QB Cam Newton has had an up and down season so far but the Giants D made him look great.  He led the team to their first win.

 

Browns 31 Vikings 27 – The Vikes were so bad the city has traded them to London.  The team will play the winless Steelers there next week and that will be a LONG flight.  Check out my Live game notes right here on http://fryingpansports.com/.

 

 

Rumors:

There are rumbles that the Giants management is not at all happy with Coach Coughlin.  HC Tom Coughlin is in serious trouble.  It looks to me like the team has tuned out the coaching staff.  The pass rush is missing in inaction and the O line is a mess.  There is no running game and Manning is getting pounded.  The front office is in part to blame for the issues.  They have allowed key players to walk away in free agency.  If someone becomes the fall guy it could be the coach and the GM.  That is something to watch.

 

Mike Florio of NBC Sports reports that the NFL is quietly pushing the NFLPA for the 18 game regular season.  Most stadium leases require at least 10 games.  The league would not cut the preseason to 2 games without the agreement of the union to go to 18 regular season games.

 

Could the Vikings be tanking to get a QB in the 2014 draft?  There is little doubt that the one thing holding the team back is the poor play of QB Christian Ponder.  The team needs to fix the situation quickly because the key players on the defense are near the end of their careers.

 

The Steelers are in deep trouble and there is no help in sight.  The O has struggled because of injuries but also because the team has drafted poorly.  QB Roethlisberger has been beaten often and has no running game to fall back on.  He also misses Mike Wallace’s speed to stretch the D vertically.  The D has struggled badly as well.  It has gotten old and fragile.  It no longer forces turnovers.  The team is in freefall and there is no quick fix to their issues.  Again the front office has to take a lot of the blame for the team’s fall.

 

The Browns are reportedly taking offers for WR Josh Gordon.  That is not because they don’t want him on the team.  The team is worried about another off the field issue that could cause the league to suspend him for a year.  While that is a risk with a player in the drug program, the team needs to spend more time helping him stay clean.

 

 

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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  

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

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 19th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered”

The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered”

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BrownsLogo1

 

While the cat is away the mice will play.  The cat is owner Jimmy Haslam.  He is away dealing with his own issues around the investigation by the Justice department into Flying J/Pilot.  The mice include both team president Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi.  The mice just stole the cheese and traded it to the Colts.

 

There are several things that stink like 10 year old limburger about this deal.  The Colts will likely end up with a record of 10 or 11 wins.  That severely dilutes the value of the first round pick the Browns got in exchange for RB Trent Richardson.  That means that the pick will be in the 20’s.

 

Before the 2012 draft the Browns tried to trade for QB Robert Griffin III with the fourth and 22nd picks overall but were rebuffed by the Rams.  Just because they have two first round picks does not guarantee they can trade up to get the best QB.  The first pick is most likely to go to Jacksonville who will not trade it because they need a QB worse than the Browns do.

 

Based on the Banner/Lombardi draft of 2013, there is little evidence that these two could pick a good player if they knew exactly what those teams in front of them were going to do.  The 2013 draft looks bad because the team drafted players with lingering injuries or that have not developed as they hoped.  The only productive pick in the draft was the first round for Barkevious Mingo who made his first appearance last Sunday.  He has been out with an injury as well.

 

In addition, Banner has no history of successful involvement in the draft.  He has been known as a numbers cruncher.  Lombardi has been known as a draft guy but has a track record that would choke three horses and a herd of buffalo.

 

Team management has decided to dump the 2013 season to get a high draft choice.  The fans now understand that and are not happy about it.  There is another issue as well.  How does Banner expect to resign C Alex Mack and other priority free agents on the team?  How do they expect to bring in free agents to supplement the draft given their propensity for throwing seasons away?  The answer is clearly they do not and could care less.

 

Banner and Lombardi are out to prove they are the smartest guys in the league.  Usually when someone thinks he is the smartest guy in the room he is not even in the running.  For the second time in two tries, the Browns are lead by a group that wants to prove they can do it their way.  Mike Holmgren had that same attitude.  His tenure led to disaster.  Only time will tell how this regime will do.  I will believe it will succeed only when I see it.

 

 

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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  

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

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 11th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors Week 1

News, Notes & Rumors Week 1

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nfl

 

 

News:

The running game in week 1 was WAY down in part because lots of NFL teams have major O line issues.  The Seahawks struggled to score 12 points against the Panthers.  The Browns could not run or pass in a loss to the Dolphins.  The Steelers lose their C Maurkice Pouncey and score only 1 TD.  There was only one RB that got 100+ yards (Shane Vereen of the Pats). and he has a broken bone in his wrist.

 

Colin Kaepernick QB of the 49ers was outstanding against the Packers.  He was 27-39 412 yards with 3 TDs and no picks.  His new best friend is former Raven WR Anquan Boldin who caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a TD.  Despite only running for a total of 90 yards the Niners beat the Pack.   Jim Harbaugh is going to owe brother John a REALLY nice Christmas gift for the trade of Boldin.

 

While the Bills D played well, the Pats are clearly hurt by the loss of targets for Tom Brady.  Of course the two fumbles by RB Stevan Ridley did not help the O.  The same can be said for the Ravens losing Boldin and the Steelers losing Mike Wallace.

 

The Pats have put Vereen on the IR with designation to return list.  That means the earliest he will be back is week 8.

 

The Browns wideouts have shown their speed.  Unfortunately for the team it was in cars on the streets of Cleveland and not on the field.  Both Greg Little and Josh Gordon have been fined for speeding.

 

 

Notes:

 

Bronco QB Payton Manning looks much better to me than he did at any time last year.  Even in the middle of the 2012 season the ball speed was down from his days in Indy.  As much as the 7 TDs were outstanding, his ability to hit very small openings between defenders this year is much better than any time last year.

 

There were two rookie QBs starting and Terrelle Pryor as a new starter for the Raiders.  Bills rookie starter EJ Manuel nearly beat the Pats with a passer rating of 105.  Geno Smith of the Jets had a rating of 80.6 but at least there were no butt-fumbles.  Pryor threw for 217 yards and ran for another 112 scoring a total of 3 TDs with 2 picks.  While none of the three got starter reps from the beginning of training camp, each did pretty well.  They will only get better with more experience.

 

Robert Griffin III did not look 100% to me.  I was not as concerned about his inaccuracy in the first quarter as I was about his mechanics.  Some of that was rust from not playing at all in the preseason.  But I wonder how healthy he is.  There were no QB runs and he looked a little clumsy getting out of the way of the rush.  That is something to watch.

 

Check out my analysis of the Eagles Offense posted yesterday.  I think you will find it interesting.

 

 

Rumors:

There are a couple of teams that are hoping that the Raiders, Jets and Bills fall in love with their new QBs.  The teams that want QBs from the 2014 draft don’t need those three teams joining in the bidding war to get the best candidates.

 

We saw more fights and jawing this week than in any week in recent memory.  The players are generally in a nasty mood and are taking it out on fellow union members.  If the NFL does not get control of this issue there is going to be trouble.

 

Don’t look for Jets’ QB Mark Sanchez to start any time soon.  His injury is worse than the team will admit and management wanted Smith to start day one anyway.  Management is not convinced Smith is the QB of the future but have seen more than enough of Sanchez.  The Jet fans agree.

 

The leash on Browns QB Brandon Weeden got a lot shorter this week due to his 3 picks and many misfires.  The management did not draft him and is not happy with his lack of development.  They will likely allow him to start the next 2 games at the Ravens and at the Vikings.  By the third game WR Josh Gordon will be back from suspension.  But unless he shows significant improvement he could be out week 4.  Backup Jason Campbell would likely replace him.

 

Local media is expressing doubts about the Browns personnel decisions.  The basic issue is that with injuries to the CB and RG spots the team failed to bring in any experienced help.  Instead they brought in undrafted rookies.  There are a couple of OGs available in free agency including Brandon Moore (Jets) and Deuce Lutui (Titans).  After week one a team can bring in a veteran player without having to guarantee his total salary.

 

Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin was fuming on the sidelines after seeing his team turn the ball over six times.

 

OSU is in trouble again but this time it is Oklahoma State University.  While the full scandal found originally by Sports Illustrated is not yet uncovered, it looks really bad.  The charges include payments to players, work done for them by tutors and even recruits getting a “happy ending” from their official hosts.

 

The zebras of the NFL did not have a good week.   While we never hear about penalties by the league against officials, there will be some this week.  Way too many of the officials seem to think the fans come to the game to see them.  Get a clue guys.  You are supposed to be the rule enforcers.  I have no issue with a judgment call being missed.  There is no excuse for not knowing the rules.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell us what you think.

 

You can listen to the podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and hear NNR Live with Samantha Bunten of NBC News and me Mondays at 6PM Eastern time on

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football 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/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 25th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on My interview with former Browns QB Kelly Holcomb

My interview with former Browns QB Kelly Holcomb

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KHolcomb One of my favorite Browns and favorite people Kelly Holcomb joined me to talk about the pistol offense now being used in the NFL, the risks of a running QB and Middle Tennessee football for whom he does color on the radio broadcast.

 NNR072413 Kelly Holcomb

You can listen to the podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football 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/.

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

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Top 3 Football Cards of 2012 NFL Draft

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Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck at the footba...

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The 2012 NFL draft is sure to be one of the best rookie classes in a long time.  Some of the hottest players are going to be on top of many football card collectors’ want lists.  Part of the reason why this draft class is getting so much attention from collectors is the amount of offensive players that are supposed to be drafted in the top 10. Many scouts believe that at least 5 of these players are going to be franchise type players that can change the dynamic of a struggling franchise right away.  Here is a breakdown of our top 3 football card picks for the 2012 NFL draft class.

Andrew Luck – Andrew Luck football cards will be at the top of most collectors’ want lists in 2012.  The Stanford quarterback has become one of the elite prospects to come out of college in over a decade.  Most scouts believe that Luck will be drafted first by the Colts.  If the Colts decide to stick with Peyton Manning then you can expect the Colts to trade the #1 pick in the draft to a team willing to over pay to get the Stanford star.

Robert Griffin III – The Heisman winning QB is on top of many teams’ draft charts especially those who are in need of a franchise quarterback.  Griffin has great passing skills and can improvise with his legs.  He has the potential of being an elite all around quarterback with scrambling abilities which are needed in today’s game.  Companies like Upper Deck and Topps are sure to give collectors more than a few options when it comes to the Robert Griffin rookie cards.

Trent Richardson – Many scouts believe Trent Richardson is one of the top all-around backs to enter into the draft since Adrian Peterson.  The Alabama running back has all the gifts that are needed to be a great back in the NFL.  He can run, catch, and even block well which makes him the total package for NFL teams in need of a playmaker at the running back position.  You can expect his football card prices to skyrocket once the season starts.

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