• Author:
  • Published: Jun 24th, 2017
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Top 5 Questions facing the AFC North

Top 5 Questions facing the AFC North

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Ravens
5
Will the Run D improve its level of play w/addition of DT Williams & loss of DE Guy?
4 Will the rebuilt O line protect Flacco better than last year?
3 Will Macklin help the passing game?
2 Will the pass D hold up with the additions of Jefferson, Carr & keeping Webb?
1 Will quarterback Joe Flacco be as productive as he was last year?
Bengals

5

Can a banged up and aging D compete with PT & BA?
4 How much heat is HC Lewis feeling this year about making playoff & win 1 game?
3 Will the run D improve its level of play w/addition of ILB Minter?
2 Will O line recover from loss of LT Whitworth & RG Zeitler?
1 Can Andy Dalton (the reverse vampire) ever win a playoff game?
Browns

5

Will WR Gordon ever play again for the Browns?
4 Can the staff get WR Britt & the 2nd yr WRS corps to produce with the loss of Pryor?
3 Can the D ever figure out how to stop the run?
2 Can CB Joe Haden play up to his 2014 level or is he done?
1 When will QB DeShone Kizer be ready to start?
Steelers

5

Does anyone but staff believe Landry Jones is capable of winning games?
4 Has the coaching staff realized that PT is now an O based team?
3 Can the D backfield hold up this year better than in 2016 w/addion of Sensabaugh?
2 Will Le’Veon Bell sign his franchise tag & play this year?
1 Can the O line protect Roethlisberger or will he be hurt again?

 

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 http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ 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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A plan for rebuilding the Cleveland Browns

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Where do the Browns go from here?

The Browns are now 3-5 and their chances of winning any more games are small.  They might steal a win from either the Jags or the Rams but the way they are playing there is no chance they can win any of their last 5 games.  Even the trip to the Cards on week 15 seems like an impossible win.

So the question is what do they do now and how do they proceed to prepare for 2012?  Here
is a plan.  The D has played fairly well despite being pushed around last week by the Texans.  The big issues are on offense.

  1.  The key issue is can the team win with Colt McCoy at QB?  I think they have decided that the QB must be replaced.  But this team is not likely to draft a QB in the first round.  The problem is this—When you pick a 2nd or 3rd round QB you get a guy with a great arm that could not hit the state of Ohio from downtown Columbus or a guy with good to very good accuracy but no stronger arm than McCoy’s.            Will  either of those guys do the Browns any good?   Probably not.  The Browns  have been the great arm 0 accuracy route with Anderson.
  2. They need to limit the playbook to the shotgun formations, go 2 TE 1 RB, and put Cribbs in motion as the flanker to  help Colt get a better pre-snap read of the D.  That will also allow him an additional half second to throw the  ball.  The WRs MUST run more accurate patterns and all plays that require the WR to stop and wait for the ball must  be eliminated from the playbook.  The West Coast Offense depends on hitting a moving WR with a short pass then  generating additional yards after the catch.
  3. Sign RB Hillis with FB money.  They MUST draft a RB high in 2012.  They let FB Vickers go and so far FB Marecic is a big time bust.
    He will not get any offer from another team because he is a one year wonder.  His injuries this year have eliminated
    any market value he might have otherwise had.  He is a victim of too many carries last season and the Madden
    Curse.  He is a good kid that has been in limbo all season due to injuries and his pending free agency.  If he refuses to sign a reasonable deal, the team should put him on IR and see what they can do next season.  He has been a valuable FB and can be
    again.  He catches the ball well and is an effective blocker.
  4. Promote RB Smith from the practice squad and start him.   He is the only back with any speed.
    He can be very effective running draws and sweeps out of the gun.  He has the speed to break a wheel route or
    draw for big yards as well.
  5. Put WR Massaquoi on IR.  He has suffered 3 concussive episodes in the last 2 games.  He needs to go on IR to protect his health.  I am not sure if he will ever be an effective WR but he must be healthy before the team can determine his long term ability to help the team.
  6. Put both WRs Norwood and Mitchell must get on the field.  Norwood has shown he can get open and catch
    the ball in the few opportunities he has had.   Mitchell is the only WR with great speed and size.  He must get a shot because this team has no one that can stretch the D.  They should  check on getting one more vet WR from those available.  Even WR Moss would help the team this year and help the evaluation of McCoy by providing a reliable guy that still has the speed to get deep and stretch the D.  A vet would also help develop the younger guys.  Say what you want about Moss.  He has a work ethic that no one questions.
  7. Most important, Pres. Mike Holmgren is going to have to take a much more active roll n the team.  HC Shurmur has proven that
    the combination of his duties of both HC and offensive coordinator are WAY too uch for him to handle.  He has held onto
    the job of OC because he is comfortable with that function.  He has failed to supervise the correction the pecial teams’ issues and the execution of the O has been abysmal.  Holmgren has to do the parts of the HC job that Shurmur cannot or will not do.
    Holmgren put his desire to be in the Hall of Fame on the line with his hire of Shurmur.  Now he has to step in
    to prevent the entire franchise and his hopes for election to the HOF from going up in flames.
  8. The team needs to draft a RB and a fast WR in the first round of the 2012 draft.  Given a 4 or 5 win season, they
    may be in a position to take RB Richardson of Alabama.  That would give them a combination of speed
    and power the team has not had since Hall of Fame RB Leroy Kelly.  They should take a QB with the 2nd
    round pick.  At this point it is possible that QB might be Griffin (Baylor) or Cousins (Michigan St.).  Both of these players have issues but would be a great improvement over the Browns current backup.
  9. The team MUST be more active in free agency in 2012.  This team has multiple needs on D and O that
    no amount of draft choices can fill.  Here is the problem with the draft only philosophy of the Browns.  By the time that you finally have enough good picks to fill the holes you will lose the 2009 and 2010 picks because they will be tired of losing and hearing “rebuilding is a process.”  If the team is not at least 8-8 by the end of 2012 it risks losing the fan base as well.   No team has been as inept and badly run over the last decade as the Browns.  Even the Bengals have won the division and gone to the playoffs in the last 5 years.  This fan base is dwindling because the team since its return in 1999 has been a disaster.

These moves will not do a lot of good in generating wins this year.  But this team is not going anywhere this season.  The one sure
full time job in sports talk in Northeast Ohio is the NFL Draft analyst.  Because within 2 or 3 weeks of the beginning of the season the fans are wondering what we should do with our early draft pick the next year.  The draft is the Browns fans’ Super Bowl because it is the only thing we have to look forward to.

 

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 and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear
his sports show Monday-Friday 6-8 PM EST on
http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/
or
http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.   You can be part of the show by calling our Herbalife Hotline at 216-539-0607.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 30th, 2011
  • Category: Football, NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Monday night on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

Monday night on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

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The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft.

Image via Wikipedia

At 6:20 PM EDT Edward Cole of FNN Network joins me to talk about the NFC West teams that the Browns will face in 2011.

At 7:20 Mark McLeod of ESPN Gainsville joins me to talk about the 2011 season in the SEC, the NCAA issues of that conference and the future of Denver QB Tebow.

Join us on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ or http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.

You can be part of the show by calling the Herbalife Hot Line provided by Drew Elkins at 216-539-0607.  If you mention you heard about Mr. Elkins on NNR he will give you a discount on your first order.  Call him at 614-906-2321.

Please also visit Mr. Eller’s group website and sign up for the free newsletter.

Also please visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nfl_retiree_rightsandbenefits/ and let the NFL and NFLPA know how you feel about the needs of the retired players.  Thank you in advance.

For replays of recent shows, check out archives of our shows on the VoiceBase player at http://fryingpansports.com/ .

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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

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  • Author:
  • Published: May 30th, 2011
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Monday on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

Monday on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

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Tonight on NNR I will replay the interview from last Tuesday with Abner Haynes former RB in the AFL.
Then tomorrow we have Mr. Haynes live on the show at 6:15.

Anyone that has heard any of our interviews with Mr. Haynes knows he brings a love of the game and a love of his fellow human beings that will make you laugh and cry and most of all think.

Please join us live tomorrow and be part of the show by calling our Herbalife Hotline at 216-539-0607 provided by Drew Elkins at 614-906-2321.  Mr. Elkins will give you a 20% discount on your first order if you mention you heard about him on NNR.

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

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Monday on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

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At 6:20 PM EDP ex-Indian Roy Smith talks about his days with the Tribe.  He is now a sports marketing agent.

At 7:20 ex-Ram Scout Kelron Sykes talks about Browns HC Shurmur & 2011 college football.  Mr. Sykes
is now a respected college scout that is published in several places.

Tomorrow at 6:15 PM EDT ex-AFL RB Abner Haynes joins me to talk about his days in the league and his program for kids.  He brings a sense of history to the show that will entertain and educate our listeners.

Be part of the show by calling our Herbalife Hotline provided
by Drew Elkins at 216-539-0607.  He will
give you 20% off your first order.  Call
him at 614-906-2321.

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 ttp://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Friday 6-8 PM EST on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ or http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.

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The John Bright Incident

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Johnny Bright, 1962 Topps CFL card

Image via Wikipedia

Visit the African/African-American Historical Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and one of the most unforgettable displays (among many) is dedicated to John Bright. Bright was born in Fort Wayne in 1930, the son of a steel worker. His years playing football at Drake College (now Drake University) in Des Moines, Iowa would be his claim to national recognition. They would also forever link him to a racial incident that brought national disgrace. Despite being the victim of this ugly incident, Bright went on to live his life with grace and resilience.

On October 20, 1951, Drake College’s football team, the Bulldogs, played the Oklahoma A&M Aggies (now the Oklahoma State Cowboys) at Lewis Field in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The star of Drake’s team was the talented young halfback, Johnny Bright, an NCAA All American. At the time, Bright led the nation in yards per game. In 1950, he set the single-season total offense record with 2,400 yards, a record that stood until 1964. That same year, he averaged 266.7 yards a game and scored 18 touchdowns. In 1951, he won the Swede Nelson Award for outstanding sportsmanship and finished fifth in Heisman trophy balloting.

Johnny Bright was a star in the making.

He was also an African-American man visiting a Southern state. Two years earlier when Drake played Oklahoma A&M, Bright had been the first African-American to play at Lewis Field. There had been no incidents that day in 1949. Since then, the Oklahoma A&M Aggies changed head coaches. J. B. Whitworth replaced Jim Lookabaugh. The change in coaching signaled a change in attitude.

While the (all white) rest of the team stayed in a Stillwater hotel, segregation laws at the time forced Bright to board with a Black minister in town. In 1951, the civil rights movement had barely begun. Brown v. Board of Education was still three years away, and the integration of the Arkansas public schools wouldn’t come about until 1957.

In the middle of the first quarter of the game, the undefeated Drake led 7-6. Seven minutes into the game, Bright handed the ball off to the wingback, Gene Macomber. Two Oklahoma linemen rushed toward Bright. One went toward Macomber, who had the ball. The other, Oklahoma’s #72, Wilbanks Smith, headed right for Bright, though Bright was no longer involved in the play. Smith cocked his elbow and deliberately ran into Bright’s face. At the time, football helmets had no face shields. Bright went down. Then he got up.

On the next play, Bright was able to throw a 61-yard touchdown pass. Apparently unaware of how seriously he had injured Bright, Smith cocked his elbow in an illegal position and struck Bright again. At the end of the first quarter, Coach Warren Gaer pulled Bright from the game. Trainer Ben Mankowski and Drake guard Jack Hamm (#26) had to help Bright off the field. An x-ray later confirmed Bright’s jaw was broken; Bright said he could feel the bones move. Bright played in only two more games with Drake the rest of the season.

Erin E. Schmidt has written for magazines including True Love, The Saturday Evening Post & The Almanac For Farmers and City Folk. Honestly more of a basketball fan, she’s the author of The Magical Girls’ Guide to Womanhood and can be found online at http://erineschmidtsmith.com.

Works Cited

Drake University News Bureau press release. Undated. Accessed through http://ddr.lib.drake.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=%2Fdu-jb&CISOPTR=41&DMSCALE=100.00000&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMMODE=viewer&DMFULL=0&DMOLDSCALE=22.22222&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMTEXT=&DMTHUMB=1&REC=10&DMROTATE=0&x=29&y=110, February 2, 2010.

Edmonton Journal, The. “Black athletes survive sports’ very bumpy road.” The Edmonton Journal, January 20, 2010. Accessed through , February 2, 2010.

“Film crew visits Drake to depict ‘The Slugging of Johnny Bright.’” Drake University Update, Winter 1999. Accessed through http://ddr.lib.drake.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/du-jb&CISOPTR=39&REC=12, February 2, 2010.

Hanson, Dave. “Bright not bitter: Blow helped clean up sports.” Des Moines Tribune, November 13, 1980. Accessed through http://ddr.lib.drake.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/du-jb&CISOPTR=36&REC=4, Drake University Digital Collections, February 1, 2010.

“Johnny Bright, Drake.” Biography created for Bright’s induction into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame, 2003. Accessed through, http://ddr.lib.drake.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=%2Fdu-jb&CISOPTR=46&DMSCALE=74.07407&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMMODE=viewer&DMFULL=0&DMOLDSCALE=16.33987&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMTEXT=&DMTHUMB=1&REC=17&DMROTATE=0&x=69&y=15, February 2, 2010.

Kelly, Martin. “Overview of Civil Rights Legislation, Supreme Court Cases, and Activities: Civil rights activities of the 1950s and 1960s.” http://americanhistory.about.com/od/civilrights/a/civilrights1.htm. Accessed February 2, 2010.

Moorehead, Jim. “1951 John Bright Incident Causes Drake Withdrawal From MVC.” Drake Times-Delphic, October 30, 1964. Accessed through http://ddr.lib.drake.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/du-jb&CISOPTR=37&REC=1, Drake University Digital Collections, on  February 1, 2010.

Podolsky, Mickey. “Johnny Bright All Time Drake Great.” Drake Times-Delphic, November 1, 1963. Accessed through http://ddr.lib.drake.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=%2Fdu-jb&CISOPTR=47&DMSCALE=100.00000&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMMODE=viewer&DMFULL=0&DMOLDSCALE=9.43396&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMTEXT=&DMTHUMB=1&REC=16&DMROTATE=0&x=10&y=23, February 2, 2010.

Turnbull, Buck. “Johnny Bright, Drake University, 1970.” Des Moines Register, March 24, 1970. Accessed through , February 2, 2010.

White, Maury. “Aggies Outlast Drake, 27-14.” Des Moines Register, September 21, 1951. Accessed through http://ddr.lib.drake.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/du-jb&CISOPTR=26&REC=2, Drake University Digital Collections, February 1, 2010.

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