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

The Browns are in the hunt—IF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits .

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

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 19th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for 08/19/14

News, Notes & Rumors for 08/19/14

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The radio version of NNR is a podcast while we look for a new broadcast host. Check out last night’s show reviewing week 2 and previewing the Browns/Redskins game.

News:

Thank heavens that the stupid extra point from the 15 yard line is over. The only thing that would be similar to this dumb move would be to move the free throw line to the 3 point distance. Somebody in the NFL office has WAY too much time on his hands.

It was Flag Day weekend again this week. Someone in the NFL office has to get the zebras under control. Every time a pass hits the ground both the QB and WR involved campaign for a flag. The refs are getting more camera time than a senatorial candidate.

There were a number of serious injuries this week. The Falcons lost their starting LT Sam Baker (PCL) for the year. The Jags have lost WRs Cecil Shorts (hamstring), Allen Robinson (hamstring), Tandon Doss (ankle) and RB Toby Gerhart (hip) for several weeks. The Rams lost OL Barrett Jones to back surgery. He is out indefinitely. They also lost RB Isaiah Pead to a ACL injury. He is expected to miss the season.

Several rookie QBs showed promise this week. Titan rook Zach Mettenberger was outstanding again this week. Third pick overall QB Blake Bortles continues to out preform Jags starter Chad Henne. Bortles has made very good progress in tightening up his footwork. Vikings Teddy Bridgewater looked good again.

All pro Chiefs RB Jamal Charles hurt his foot moving out of his training camp dorm. You would think the team would provide their stars some help.

Notes:

Pats 42 Eagles 35 – It looks like QB Jimmy Garoppolo has moved in front of Ryan Mallett. Forget talk about a Mallett trade. Despite the number of teams that need a QB, Mallett has little trade value. Pats’ running game will suffer with the loss of LeGarrette Blount. Eagles will take a step back due in part to the loss of WR DeSean Jackson. Teams have a plan against the Eagle O—Pressure Nick Foles. They still win the NFC Least.

Saints 31 Titans 24 – The rookie QB that has impressed me the most is Titan QB Zack Mettenberger. He has thrown 3 picks but 2 of them bounced off the hands of his WR. He has more arm strength and talent than any rookie QB. When QB Jake Locker suffers his annual injury, it should be Mettenberger that replaces him. Saints look like their #1 O is in regular season form. There is no threat to them to win the NFC South.

Seahawks 41 Chargers 14 – Hawk QB Russell Wilson continues to be incredible. He still suffers from a bad O line but avoids sacks as well as anyone while looking down field for a target. The Chargers look OK and might earn a playoff spot this year rather than stumbling backward into it like they did last season. That says more about the weakness of the AFC more than it does the strength of the Chargers.

Texans 32 Falcons 7 – This was a game between two under-achievers last season. As bad as the Texans O looked the Falcons O looked worse. The injury to LT Baker will not help at all. The Falcons bet on a comeback from RB Steven Jackson who was used up by the Rams. Without a running game, the O will depend on a badly protected QB Matt Ryan. Ryan was just 3-7 for 37 yards. Neither of these two teams will be going anywhere although the Texans D will make the AFC South fun to watch.

Broncos 34 49ers 0 – The rumor that the 9ers have renamed Levis’ Stadium to Titanic is not true but that is the way their first game in the new digs went. Payton Manning did surgery on the 9er D and the patient died. Colin Kaepernick was harassed on nearly every throw. Some believe the 49er O line is great but it crumbled against the Bronco 4 man pass rush. Neither team is a it looked in this game. The 49ers played their 2nd D against the Bronco 1s after the 2nd possession. The refs did no favors for the 49ers. Multiple hits to the head were ignored by the zebras.

Packers 21 Rams 7 – The Packer O was in regular season form. QB Aaron Rodgers went 11-13 128 yards and a TD. The Packer D looked improved. They held the Ram O to 3 of 13 third down conversions and 2.9 yards per rush. While Rams starter Sam Bradford looked good, the team is doomed if he goes down.

Redskins 24 Browns 23 – Neither Johnny Manziel nor Brian Hoyer deserve to be named the starter after 2 games. The only Browns QB that didn’t stink was undrafted rookie Connor Shaw who drove the team 90 yards to a touchdown with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game. Despite a good D the Browns are doomed to a 5 or 6 win season. The Skins have to be wondering if QB Robert Griffin will ever be the same. He is not progressing in his reads. He tends to check his first read and if covered he runs. That is a prescription for another injury filled season.

Rumors:

Several coaches have gotten the “win or else” memo from their owners. Dolphin coach Joe Philbin probably has to win 9 games to keep his job. That will not happen. Raider coach Dennis Allen is there too but is expected to win the division. He is good as gone. Jets coach Rex Ryan is well past his due date. He was able to eek out last year to get a return. That will not happen again. Another bad year for the Falcons will mean the firing of coach Mike Smith. That is too bad because he is a good coach with a bad team. Even Bears coach Mike Trestman’s seat is a little warm. If he gets the team to the playoffs he should be fine.

The one coach constantly talked about as being on the hot seat is the ever under-achiever Dallas Cowgirl coach Jason Garrett. He is safe only because no decent coach will want to put up with the GM/Owner/Pain in the Butt Jerry Jones.

While the Giants talk positively about the offense and QB Eli Manning, behind the scenes there is worry. Eli had the worst season of his career with 27 interceptions last year. He and the O has not looked good at all so far in the preseason. Given that teams play very vanilla defense in the preseason, the struggles of the O are particularly troubling.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly is open to trading back up QB Mark Sanchez. The problem is that starter Nick Foles is not proven. While he had a remarkable 2013, he has not looked consistently solid this year. There is also a limited trade value for the Butt-Fumble QB.

Manziel was accused of giving the Skins bench the finger. I am sure he was just indicating the Browns were #1. Our Johnny wouldn’t do that…Never mind.

I was asked what would I do if I was in Mike Pettine’s position. I would ask the Bills for my old job back.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits .

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

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 22nd, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on QB Controversies can be hazardous to a coach’s employment.

QB Controversies can be hazardous to a coach’s employment.

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nfl

One of the things that head coaches at all levels of sports fear the most is a QB controversy. That is particularly true in the NFL. This preseason there are a number of them around the league. However, the analysis of each will be the fodder for future articles.

The point of this posting is the danger that they pose for the continued employment of coaches around the league. Despite what you have heard about pro players there is one thing you should know—players know which QB gives the team the best chance to win. If the coaching staff make the right choice everyone has a decent chance of holding onto his job. If not, the coaching staff will appreciate the extended unemployment benefits the federal government now provides.

The biggest risk of making a job threatening mistake is in the hands of Rex Ryan. The Jets have said that there will be a true competition between Geno Smith and Mike Vick. The staff wants Smith to win the job but based on what I have seen Vick gives the team a much better chance to win now. However I suspect that unless Smith stinks the place up so badly that the Jets need to call in the EPA Super Fund to clean up the mess, he will keep the job.

The problems for any coach that selects a QB that the team sees as second best involve losing games, and worse yet losing the locker room. A QB that loses his team can get it back with great play. It is almost impossible for a coach to get a lost locker room back. When he loses the locker room, the players tune him out. They no longer feel they can win. They refuse to take coaching. And they are willing to pad their own stats than do what is best for the team. When those things happen ownership needs to find a new staff.

So watch the preseason games of teams with a QB controversy. If nothing else, they will be fun to watch. THAT is truly “reality TV.”

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits .

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

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  • Author:
  • Published: May 13th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Biggest Reaches of the 2014 NFL Draft

The Biggest Reaches of the 2014 NFL Draft

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NFL Draft (2)

A reach is defined here as a pick well above the rated position of the player. These are some of the worst reaches.

Jets Dexter McDougle CB Maryland – They spent the 80th pick on a guy that was a 7th round value even when healthy.

Bucs Kevin Pamphile OT Purdue – He struggled all season but the Bucs took him with the 149th pick. I had him ranked in the 790s.

Seahawks Jimmy Staten DT Middle Tennessee – Staten was ranked in the 790s but despite a good draft the Hawks took him at 172.

49ers Kenneth Acker CB Southern Methodist – The Niners had a good draft but this one is a head scratcher. Acker was rated in the 550s but they took him with pick 180.

Rams Maurice Alexander SS Utah State – The Rams did well over all but took Alexander with pick 110 despite most analysts thinking he was undraftable. I had him in the 450s.

Jags Brandon Linder OG Miami (Fla.) – Linder was a 7th round value but the Jags took him with pick 93.

Redskins Spencer Long OG Nebraska – The Skins had only a few picks but wasted on on Long who was a 7th round value at best but was taken with pick 78.

Falcons Dezmen Southward SS Wisconsin – He was a late 6th round value but they took him with the 68th pick.

Giants Jay Bromley DT Syracuse – Bromley was a 6th round value but the G Men took him with pick 74.

Raiders Derek Carr QB Fresno State – OK I am one of a few analysts that really didn’t like Carr. At best he is Brandon Weeden lite. The Raiders took him with the 36th pick. I had him ranked as the 254th best QB but only 17 QB prospects were considered draftable.

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

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits .

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

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Christmas gifts for NFL Teams.

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Photo of Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutig...

Photo of Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano around 1979. Taken in the team’s lockerroom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas gifts for NFL Teams.

 

AFC

Browns:  I give the Browns a head coach that will let Weeden be Weeden.  Shurmur is way too much of a control freak to allow his QB to even audible out of a bad play.  He has to go.

 

Steelers:  The team needs an offensive line.  Being a Browns fan I give them a subscription to Direct TV so the players can watch the playoffs on the team set.

 

Bengals:  I give them a steep decline of both the Steelers and Ravens.  That not only helps them but helps the Browns as well.

 

Ravens:  I wish the Ratbirds nothing but bad luck forever.  They stole the Browns and deserve to suffer for it.  I also wish that former Browns owner Art Muddle never gets elected to the HOF.  He deserves to be elected to the hall of infamy.

 

Chiefs:  The team needs a QB.  But the 2013 draft class is not stocked with sure fire QB prospects.  They “won” the first overall draft pick by being a team that could not beat the Sisters of Perpetual Misery.  That must be the school where they got both QBs Cassel and Quinn.

 

Chargers:  I give them a coach that has a sense of urgency to win and a new GM as well.  HC Norv Turner has sleepwalked through several seasons.  It is WAY past time for him to go.  GM Smith has not chosen wisely.

 

Broncos:  For a Browns fan, wishing anything good to Denver is hard.  But I would like to see Payton Manning get a 2nd Super Bowl win.  He deserves it.  If not, he should get the football version of the movie Career Achievement Award.  He is a sure first ballot HOF selectee.

 

Colts:  My wish for the Colts is that coach Chuck Pagano recovers fully from his illness.  He deserves to and the team under interim HC Bruce Arians has earned a playoff spot.  Arians deserves to be a candidate for a HC job based not only on his job as interim but also his offensive expertise.

 

Texans:  I wish the Texans a heart.  To lose games at home like they have is inexcusable.  They have a very solid QB and great RB so how do they score 6 points last week against the Vikes.

 

Titans:  A do-over on the decision to let a great HC go.  Letting HC Fisher go was stupid.  They have a good running back in Johnson.  His only problem is being slowed down by a over-stuffed wallet.  QB Locker needs better coaching to get up to an NFL starting level.

 

Pats:  My wish for the Pats is early retirement of QB Brady.  I want to see if Brady made Belichick or if it was the other way around.  My guess is Billy B will not find it as easy to win without a HOF QB.

 

Bills:  The Bills are in need of just about everything.  But most of all they need a QB.  Fitzpatrick has the head but not the physical skills to be successful.

 

Jets:  For them I wish a muzzle.  If I never heard the word Jets again it would be WAY too soon.

 

 

 

NFC

Giants:  I wish the Giants better health in 2013.  The team always seems to be decimated by injuries.  The question that keeps recurring is that the result of bad luck or an outcome of practice techniques.

 

Cowboys:  I wish them and Jerry Jones a nice off season.  It will be longer because JJ can’t select the right people in the draft and will not give up his role as GM.

 

Eagles:  My gift to them is the luck to find a coach good enough to last 14 years like Reid.  That will not be an easy job.  I also wish coach Reid the peace he deserves.  He has suffered a lot over the last few years.  He is a good man and deserves better.

 

Redskins:  I wish the Skins a healthy RG3 for the future.  He is fun to watch and I hope he can continue to play for a long time.

 

Bears:  I wish the team and QB Cutler better OL play.  He has been beaten badly game after game.  He deserves better protection.

 

Lions:  I wish the Lions a brain.  They are way too talented to continue to play stupid football.

 

Vikes:  This team needs a QB to take pressure off of RB Peterson.  Ponder is not the answer in my opinion.

 

Saints:  The team needs some closure on the bounty scandal.  The scandal and its publicity have destroyed the 2012 season of a good team.

 

Bucs:  I wish QB Freeman some WRs that can catch.  With an outstanding young RB like Martin, some quality receivers would really help the O.

 

Cards:  I give coach Whisenhunt a job with a better GM than he has at Arizona.  He is a great coach but GM Graves couldn’t find a QB in the Football Hall of Fame.  My first choice for the Browns would be Whisenhunt.

 

49ers:  I wish them luck with QB Kaepernick.  He is solid and will develop into a top 5 QB.  Like RG3 he is fun to watch as well.

 

Seahawks:  They already got their gift in 3rd round QB Russell Wilson.  As I said in my pre-draft radio shows he was the 3rd best QB in the 2012 draft and will be a champion before he is done.

 

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/.

He edits .  

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The Social Force Of The National Football League

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Marine Corps Maj. (Ret) Mike Fonteno got a sur...

NFL Fans Among Most Social

American football as it is widely referred to in many quarters is one of the most celebrated sport in America and the National Football League (NFL)  is arguably the most profitable sports business on this planet. The American population is widely renowned  for the love of football, if it is not watching an NFL game on the television with a couple of friends or family then you will probably find them on the stadium cheering  on their favorite NFL team. That in itself goes a long way to show the social impact NFL has on the lives of many people.

Well, a number of factors come into play when you consider NFL fans among most social. Firstly, the NFL is usually associated with a lot of fun fare that goes a long way in attracting large audiences. Talk of the color and pomp usually seen on the game day inside and outside the stadiums, the cheering squads and the entertainment the fans get to enjoy inside the stadium during recess period. Those who opt to enjoy the game at the comfort of their living rooms are not left out as well, they get to  bond with friends  as they enjoy a game of football. All this activities go a long way in creating a socially conducive environment for the  interaction of fans.

And although the league has recently put some limits on players, coaches and referees using Twitter during the games and 90 minutes prior to the games, players are widely followed on social media and interact regularly with their fans.

In a nutshell, the NFL has cemented its place as one of America’s most  popular sporting culture and as such it is inevitable that it has grown to be a social force to reckon with. The passion it commands within its ranks certainly aids in the understanding of why we find NFL fans among most social.

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