• 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 .

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

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 22nd, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What I look for in a college QB.

What I look for in a college QB.

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What I look for in a college QB.

NOTE: Monday on NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I looked at the teams that did not make the playoffs last year and what 5 things they had to do to get in this season.

1. Work ethic – It doesn’t matter how physically gifted a college QB might be. The NFL game for a QB is 70% mental and 30% athletic. There is no college QB that is mentally ready to play in the NFL. As good as Andrew Luck was at Stanford, he was not ready to read NFL defenses. It took a lot of film study to get him ready. When a QB has a reputation of being a party guy it is an indication that he does not take his game seriously enough.

2. Ability to convert film & playbook learning to the field – One of the reasons I was so high on Russell Wilson was his ability to step into Wisconsin and lead the team on the field. A QB has to totally internalize the playbook. He not only has to know what he is doing but what every other player on the field needs to do as well. Any NFL player can tell in the huddle if a QB knows the playbook or not. If not the team will loose respect for him and let down.

3. Arm Talent – This is not only arm strength but also accuracy and throwing motion. If I have to choose between accuracy and arm strength I select the former. The faster and smoother the throwing motion the better the chances of a QB succeeding at the NFL level.

4. Ability to stay healthy – This is much more than the ability to avoid the rush. It includes being smart about getting down or out of bounds to avoid a big hit. Wilson knows how to avoid the rush and can run but takes care of his body by running smart. Robert Griffin III has no feel for the rush and puts his body at risk every time he runs.

5. Leadership – While some downplay the leadership issue, it is critical for success at the NFL level. The QB must be the leader of the team.

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 21st, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What happened to the NFL ready rookie QB?

What happened to the NFL ready rookie QB?

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NOTE: Yesterday on NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I looked at the teams that did not make the playoffs last year and what 5 things they had to do to get in this season.

There are a lot of teams looking for a franchise ready quarterback in the draft. But the league is not doing what they need to do to transform the college spread QB to an NFL drop back pocket guy.

Let me make 1 thing very clear. It is not the job of college coaches to get a QB ready to play at the next level. College coaches need to win games to stay employed. They have no incentive to get a QB ready for the NFL.

The spread offense defines the throw for most QB reads. Most college offenses use an either/or read on one defender. If the corner comes up to cover the short pattern, the throw goes to the long route. If he covers the deep route, the throw is to the short guy. If both are covered, most college QBs run.

In addition most pre-snap reads are done by the coaches then signaled in on picture boards. College QB prospects are also not expected to adjust protections. Those adjustments are made by the center or the signal from the coaches.

In the NFL, a QB must not only read the defense before the snap, but adjust to post snap defensive changes into things like combination man/zone coverages not seen in college ball. While defenses in college have not figured out the spread, NFL defenses have progressed well beyond the spread into the the most complex defenses in the history of the game.

The only way to transform a college spread QB into an NFL pocket passer is to give him a QB guru beside the QB coach. But in the NFL, the QB coach is not a destination but a stepping stone to Offensive Coordinator. As a result most QB coaches fail to recognize issues with mechanics, footwork and throwing motion. Those issues compound the problem and reduce the number of qualified potential QBs that could develop into starting quality guys.

There are issues as well teaching a college QB to read coverages. While tape work is required, a college QB has to be taught how to watch film. The QB also has to have a work ethic like that of Russell Wilson.

So the most important position in the NFL goes unfilled for many NFL teams. While there are potential candidates, they fail because they do not get the kind of coaching that it takes to develop them.

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: Apr 20th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Maybe the Browns should listen to the NNR Pod shows.

Maybe the Browns should listen to the NNR Pod shows.

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Maybe the Browns should listen to the NNR Pod shows.

NOTE: Today on NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I projected a complete first round mock draft. It is up on fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Friday we break down the Browns schedule.

In 2011 I recommended the Browns take Colin Kaepernick to solve their QB issue. He was available in the 2nd round. They didn’t listen and Colin took the 49ers to the Super Bowl and 3 NFC championship games.

In 2012 I was pounding the desk for the Browns to take Russell Wilson. He was available in the 3rd round. But they didn’t listen and all he did was set the record for the most wins by a rookie QB and win 1 Super Bowl and but for the worst play call in SB history almost win a 2nd straight.

In 2014 I was calling for the Browns to take Teddy Bridgewater. He was available at pick 22 but the Browns took Johnny Manziel. While he didn’t take a bad Vikings team to the Super Bowl (no one could have), he had a good season. Even late I recommended they take Zach Mettenberger. He had the best arm in the draft and was available in the 6th round. Again they didn’t listen.

It is not like the Browns are waist deep in quality QB candidates. But they don’t listen and probably never will. But I have been studying the draft since 1960. I have seen a lot of QB prospects come and go. This year I would like to see the Browns take either Brett Hundley from UCLA or Bryce Petty from Baylor. Both have better arms than any of the so called QB candidates on the roster now. Hundley threw to receivers running pro route trees (for the most part). Petty has a remarkable easy delivery.

However don’t hold your breath. The Browns won’t listen to me or you or anyone for that matter. If they start either Johnny or former TB QB Josh McCown they will be at or close to the 1st overall pick in the 2016 draft. Looks like a plan to “Crash for Cardale” to me.

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 Fri days 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: Jun 19th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The NFL Channel is desperate for programming.

The NFL Channel is desperate for programming.

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nfl

NOTE: No NNR show until Monday. Thanks

One trick that sports talk shows use to generate calls and controversy is making lists. Lists of teams, players or anything else cause calls and fills an otherwise slow period of late June and early July. Now the NFL Channel is doing the same thing.

The Top 100 player list is not only stupid, it is bad TV. I am convinced that it is impossible to rate players from different positions in an overall list. The NFL is a quarterback league. Any guard that is rated above a Super Bowl QB like Russell Wilson is unjust. If the NFL Channel needed to rank players, do it within each position. These overall ratings are nothing but a popularity/PR contest. No fan should pay attention to them.

It is June and the NFL is desperate for programming to broadcast. So watch it at your own risk. Those are hours of your life you will never get back. But don’t take it too seriously either.

That is what I think. Tell us 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.

He also edits .

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

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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 5th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for week 9

News, Notes & Rumors for week 9

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nfl

NOTE:  Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show or the archive of the shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.  On Monday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discuss the Browns game and the results of the weekend.  On Friday Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York joins Samantha and me to preview the upcoming games.

 

News:

By far the biggest news of the weekend was the Monday night injury to QB Aaron Rodgers.  The latest report indicates that he has a break in his collar bone.  Without Rodgers the Pack has little chance to make the playoffs.

 

Our thoughts go out to two NFL head coaches with health issues.  FPS staff wishes both John Fox and Gary Kubiak a fast complete recovery.  The job of an NFL coach is a 20 hour a day 52 week a year sentence.  Those that take the job understand the physical demands that come with it.  However, they do it for the love of the game.

 

Season ending injuries are way up this season.  If the trend continues this season will set an all time record for such injuries.  Many of the injuries are to the legs and knees.  This is an unexpected result of the focus on concussions.  Defenders are hitting lower causing the knee injuries.  If the league tries to legislate low hits it will make tackling almost impossible.

 

 

Notes:

Jets 26 Saints 20 – The Jet D line kept pressure on Saint QB Drew Brees all day.  The two interceptions by Brees were both tipped balls caught by the Jets’ DBs.  The D held the Saints to 3 of 11 3rd down conversions.  Former Saint RB Chris Ivory burned the team that traded him by running for 139 yards on 18 carries for a 7.7 average with a TD.  Jet QB Geno Smith was just 8 for 19 for 115 yards with no TDs and no picks.

 

Eagles 49 Raiders 20 – Eagles QB Nick Foles tied an NFL record throwing for 7 TDs.  He burned the Raiders D for 406 yards with a 14.5 average per attempt and no interceptions.  Raider QB Terrelle Pryor had a bad game going 22 for 41 for 288 yards but no TDs and 2 picks.  The Eagles D sacked Pryor three times but ran for 94 yards on 10 attempts.  He hurt his knee but may be able to play next week.  Foles performance may put an end to the Eagles career of Mike Vick.

 

Titans 28 Rams 21 – This was a battle of runners.  RB Chris Johnson finally began to earn his big check Sunday.  In his biggest game this season he got 39 yards.  Against the quality Ram D Johnson ran for 150 yards on 23 carries.  Rams RB Zac Stacy ran for 127 on 27 carries.  Both scored twice.  The game was even deep into the 4th quarter.  Kelllen Clemens was sacked and fumbled with 2:54 left.  The Titans recovered on the Ram 19 and scored the final TD.  The Rams got the ball back twice but could not recover.

 

Redskins 30 Chargers 24 OT – The Chargers defense scored first on a pass from the endzone being blocked and intercepted for a TD.  The Redskins had balance on offense and got one more interception than the Chargers got.  Redskin QB Robert Griffin threw for 291 yards and the team got 209 more on the ground.  The Chargers depend on QB Phillip Rivers’ arm because they left the running game at home.  RB Robert Mathews had two 100+ games coming into the game but got only 7 carries for 34 yards.  Rivers threw a 19 yard pass for a TD and the Chargers kicked a field goal to tie the game with just 3 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 24.  But the Skins got the ball first in OT and Griffin drove the team down the field for the TD that ended the game.

 

Seahawks 27 Bucs 24 OT – Tampa forced 3 turnovers including two interceptions and they built a 21-0 lead.  Buc QB Mike Glennon was outstanding throwing for 2 TDs without a pick.  But Hawks’ QB Russell Wilson and RB Marshawn Lynch brought the team back.  Tampa’s defense harassed Wilson all day.  He had no time to read the D and throw.  A TD pass from Wilson to Doug Baldwin tied the game with just 1:51 left in the 4th.  Then Wilson and Lynch drove the team to a winning field goal on their first possession in OT.

 

Colts 27 Texans 24 – The Texans had a 21-3 lead at half time. Then Coach Gary Kubiak collapsed leaving the field and the team seemed to lose focus.  The team supports the coach despite the struggles of this season.  The Texans played their best game of the year but the loss of their coach took the air out of the team and the crowd.

 

Panthers 34 Falcons 10 – The Falcons’ season is officially done.  QB Matt Ryan threw 3 picks and lost a fumble.  Panther QB Cam Newton did not play all that well but the D was solid enough to win.  With the loss by the Saints, the Panthers are only a game behind and in good shape to make the playoffs.

 

Browns 24 Ravens 18 – The Browns beat the Ratbirds for the first time in 12 games.  It was a big game for both teams and the Browns found a way to win.  For more on this game check out Browns Ravens Live Game Notes on http://fryingpansports.com/ and the radio version of NNR with Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports covering the game on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

 

 

Rumors:

 

The Redskins are protecting QB Griffin by not allowing him to run as much.  He did run 6 times but most were because the pass protection broke down.  He averaged only 2.8 yards per carry.  He is fearless running the ball.  The Skins are using option plays to replace his rushing yards with the TE or WR carrying the ball.  But even on those plays Griffin will get hit.  The team gave a lot to get RG3 and they need to protect their investment.

 

The Seahawks are going to get QB Russell Wilson killed because the O line is in shambles.  I pointed this out in week 1.  He is running for his life on almost every snap.  If he gets hurt the season is ruined.  It is the major failure of Seahawk management to fail to insure adequate pass protection.

 

The Bucs have to be heart sick having played as well as they did for four quarters in Seattle only to lose in OT.  The team is playing hard but it has way too much talent to be 0-8.

 

Don’t assume the Texans will be in the first round QB derby in the 2014 draft.  The organization believes that undrafted QB Case Keenum has shown enough to be a candidate for the job next season.  He has thrown 4 TDs without a pick.  He did fumble twice.  The O moved much more efficiently under Keenum than under Matt Schaub.  Keenum also helps attendance since he played at Houston.  This means that Schaub will be elsewhere next year.  The team may still draft a QB but it will likely be in the 2nd or 3rd round rather than round 1.

 

 

 

 

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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