• 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”

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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 .  

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

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 18th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Can The Browns Breakthrough In The Tough AFC North?

Can The Browns Breakthrough In The Tough AFC North?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns (Photo credit: zoonabar)

In 2013, the AFC North enters the season as possibly the toughest overall division in the NFL. The division boasts the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the all-time Super Bowl leaders and a popular Super Bowl sleeper pick in 2013. Oh, they also have the Cleveland Browns, who are young and improving, but still waiting for a true breakout season. So can 2013 be the year they start to contend for the playoffs?

Whenever a team is forced to start a rookie quarterback and running back, they are in for a somewhat long season. Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson did a pretty good job in 2012, but they did not have enough help to get them anywhere. With a year under their belt, things could be better for them, with Richardson particularly being seen as someone who can do a job for your team in fantasy football 2013.

After an off-season full of changes at the management and coaching level, the team seems to be quickly adjusting to the new way of doing things. They also have a young core that continues to grow, thanks to quite a few high draft picks in a row. New head coach Rob Chudzinski, along with his coordinators Norv Turner and Ray Horton, hope that their changes in the offseason and during camp will result in a few more wins.

While the Browns will be better, so will the rest of the division. Cincinnati made several improvements to their team, especially offensively, that should put them in the playoff and Super Bowl discussion. Baltimore, even if they have a true Super Bowl hangover, will still be solid, while Pittsburgh is, well, Pittsburgh. Despite an 8-8 season a year ago, the Steelers have had the Browns’ number for quite a few years now, so that will be a tough match-up.

While the other three teams in the division seem to have their quarterback for the foreseeable future, the Browns are still unsure about Weeden. At times, he looked good as a rookie. Other times, he looked like a guy who has already peaked. His play will probably end up determining whether or not the Browns can get into that 8-10 win range, or if another last place finish is in their future.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Live Game Notes Week 8 Browns vs Chargers

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 23: Wide receiver Jo...

CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 23: Wide receiver Josh Cribbs #16 of the Cleveland Browns is tackled by wide receiver Brad Smith #16 and and strong safety Da’Norris Searcy #25 of the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bills defeated the Browns 24-14. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Live game notes Week 8 Browns vs Chargers

Marecic is a healthy scratch.  Maybe the coaching staff is finally waking up to the fact he can’t block, run or catch.

The only way deferring on the coin toss helps is if the D can stop the Chargers and get good field position for the O.

JMJ is playing well but Maiava is too slow to be a starter on a good team.

Three straight runs give the Chargers a first down.

Haden missed the tackle on Floyd but the WR went out of bounds anyway.  THAT is why he will not be a top WR.

The first drive is right down the Browns throats.

The Chargers got greedy and it cost them.  TJ Ward is much more valuable at the LOS than in coverage.   He came in unblocked to stop the 4th down play.

The play calling by Shumur is no better.  The 1 yard pass was stupid.

The Browns got bailed out by the penalty.  Otherwise it would have been 3 and out.

TRich is running hard and the bigger WRs are doing a nice job blocking down field.

The O line is not punch blocking to allow the quick slant to get through.  That is a coaching issue.

Weeden did a great job finding Ogbonnaya with the pass on 3rd and long.  Weeden is keeping his eyes down field under pressure which is critical to his future development.

The wind is playing havoc with both passers.  It knocked down the pass to Gordon in the endzone.

TRich showed why they drafted him with the 3rd pick.  Great run for the TD.  Lauvao helped a lot by rebalancing him as he broke free.

=CL 7 SD 0

 

Bad challenge by Shurmur.  You don’t challenge a 5 yard pass.  Challenges are way too valuable.

Good defensive effort to get the punt.  Stevens is out with a neck injury.

After an 8 yard pass the Browns go 3 and out failing to get 2 yards in 2 tries.

=

Weddle is an outstanding S and got a great punt return.

MLB Jackson got a good hit on the ball and the Browns get the TO.  DT Winn is having an outstanding year.  He recovered it.

The Chargers are weak on the edges and the Browns need to attack them more than the middle.

The double reverse blows up in Shurmur’s face.  Too cute by a half.  Why would you call a double reverse between guys that had not practiced together in this kind of weather?

The team ended up wasting the TO.

=

Bad punt followed by a sack by Winn and a tackle for loss.

Young knocks down the pass and the Chargers go 3 and out.

The Throw back jerseys are perfect for Pitts.  They all should be wearing prison stripes.

A bad punt by SD gave the Browns good field position.

A penalty gives the Browns a 1st in SD territory.

Ogbonnaya took his eyes off the screen pass on 3rd and 7.  Browns drive ends with a decent short punt OB at the 12.

=

Two runs give SD a first.

Ward is playing too close to the LOS.  Watch for a long pass to TE.

Young takes the RB out of the screen pass and 2nd down pass fails.

DQ Jackson struggles in coverage.  He failed to get Brown in time to prevent the 1st down.

Young covered Floyd well preventing the long completion.

Ward gets to Rivers and the pass is incomplete.  SD got some yards and a couple of firsts but did not get past their 40.

The Browns commit yet another special teams penalty and lose field position.  This happens WAY too often.

TRich is again sent up the gut for no yards.  All his best runs against SD have been on the edge

Nice catch by Cameron.

Gordon gets open again.  Makes the first and YAC.  Weeden is showing much stronger arm than Rivers.  I wonder if there is something wrong with Rivers’ arm.

TRich’s runs show his patients and vision.  Outstanding 2 runs in a row.

Greco has proven he is an OK backup but he struggles to get the outside blitzer across the formation.  The O line is playing better now than early in the season.

=

Browns fail to jam on the 1st down throw.

Rivers has thrown a lot more this year to the RBs than to either TEs or WR.  I do think he has an arm issue.  You would expect that the D would be paying a lot of attention to the RBs but they don’t seem to be.

Brown runs to the Browns’ 33 for a 1st .  SD is driving right down the field.  The Browns tend with 2 minutes left to play too loose.

The Chargers get a FG to cut the half time score to 7-3 CL.

=

Another good return called back by a penalty.  When will special teams coach Tabor get canned?

Again the Browns are trying to run up the gut rather than going to the edge.  Bad choice

Little with a catch.  He did much better last week than he had earlier in the season.

Another unnecessary batted pass.  TE Watson was open but the ball was blocked down by the DE.

Just as I complement Little he drops a 3rd and 10 pass.  I should know better than to give him some love.

=

OLB Robertson is doing a good job covering TEs.  He was on Gates for the 3rd down pass.  Gates dropped it.

The Chargers get a 59 yard punt.  Sign the guy next year for the Browns.

The Browns are 2 of 9 on 3rd down.  Make that 2 for 10.

3 and out for the Browns and they punt from the endzone.

At least Hodges got a good punt off for 50 yards.

=

JMJ again on the tackle.  He is playing well.

Meecham was WIDE open and he dropped the ball.  Again Ward was late on coverage in a blitz situation.

But another great punt puts the Browns on the 8.

Good run by TRich for a 3rd and 2.

The Browns fail to covert and give the ball back inside their territory.

=

The Chargers are running right down the throats of the Browns D.

A brain cramp by the playcaller allowed the Browns to stop them.  They tried to do a reverse that lost 6 yards.  That was the only thing that prevented a TD.  I wonder if the Browns’ game plan blew over to the Chargers like it did against the Bengals.

CL7 SD 6

After another pass that is knocked down (and almost picked) the Browns get a 1st down on a 22 yard complete to Little.  He is showing more FB IQ.  But then he holds a LB and you know he is not getting smarter.

Gordon gets the 1st on a crossing route.  Nice pattern.

Browns are forced to call a TO because the play was late getting in.  In a one point game that is ridicules.

Weeden gets sacked which takes them out of FG range.

Good punt and great ST play gets the ball down to the 3.

=

Another pass to an RB gets the ball to a 3rd and short situation.

A tough run goes for the 1st at the 13.

The supposed weak O Line of SD steadly pushes the Browns back on runs.

Miava fails to cover the WR and SD gets another 1st.

Ward makes a tackle but after the hit Mathews gets 4 more yards.  Ward does not rap up.

Good coverage by Haden allowed a stop.

Shumur was too busy arguing with the official to call the play and the team had to call a TO.

Hardesty fumbled but got the ball back.  That would have been the end.

The Browns move the ball a little but had to punt.  Now is when we see the BIG screw up that costs them a game.

=

The Chargers continue to throw to the RBs and move the ball from deep in their territory to the Browns’ 40.

DQ Jackson is just too slow recognizing a RB release and lacks the foot speed to cover effectively.

Rivers missed on a wide open TE at the 20.

Skrine makes the play of the day by tipping the ball away from the receiver on a 4th down pass.

The Browns hold on to get the win.

 

Analysis

A win is always better than a loss.  But this game was won more by luck and a couple of good plays by the team than by planning of the coaching staff.  The Charger staff is as good as gone.  Turner should have been fired a couple of years ago when they still had a top D.  It is too late now to get a good coach and take the team to a title.  That ship has left the dock.

This win will not change the decision on keeping Shurmur by the new owner.  Jimmy Haslam realizes that it was due more to luck and a bad opponent than skill by the coaching staff.  The only thing that can save Shurmur would be to win 4 of the 8 games left on the schedule.  There is very little chance that will happen.

The win does hurt the chance for the Browns to get a top 2 draft pick.  That would be very valuable for a monster trade like the Rams got.  There will be several teams desperate to get a top QB prospect in the 2013 draft.  Two extra first and second round picks would help fill the holes in the roster.

Conclusion

This win is not a turnaround.  As I said after the win over the Bengals, this team is not ready to turn around.  It is getting better.  Weeden is improving more because of his game play rather than coaching.  He is a smart guy and seldom makes the same mistake twice.

The WRs are beginning to improve.  Gordon is emerging as the number one guy for the Browns.  He has a long way to go to become a legitimate NFL #1 guy but is developing.  He has the speed and athleticism to achieve that.  The O line is also improving.  One sack in the last 3 games is a vast improvement over the first 5 games.  The line has a long way to go blocking the run but it was no accident that the running game was better with Smith at H-back rather than Marecic.

The D is suffering with the injuries to the DTs.  Having both starters out hurt the team against the run.  Winn is going to be a star as I predicted before the draft.  The 3rd round pick Hughes has played better than I expected.   But any team needs to have quality players to rotate into the line.  With the starters hurt the team lacked rotational players.

The LBs are playing better as well.  I am not a big fan of Maiava because he is too slow to cover in the zone effectively.  I do like both the young guys JMJ and Robertson.  Both show real potential.  Jackson is fine but is not getting any faster.  He lacks the speed to cover the new fast TEs down the seam of the 2 deep zone.

The D backfield is also improving somewhat.  Brown is doing his best but lacks the speed to play man coverage much.  The young guys are showing a little improvement.  Skrine has the speed but often struggles to make the tackle on big WRs.  The one star is Haden.  One of the top draft needs of the team is a top CB across from Haden.  That would have a huge impact on the pass coverage.

Overall the win was nice but it doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of the season record.

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 . Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Thursday 6-7:30 PM EST on or http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/?page_id=21.  You can catch any interviews you missed on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Author:
  • Published: May 19th, 2012
  • Category: Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Betting For The 2012-13 NFL Season Begins

Betting For The 2012-13 NFL Season Begins

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A photo of the Logo of the National Football L...

A photo of the Logo of the National Football League (NFL) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The upcoming National Football League (NFL) appears to be gearing up with intensity. Odds on the 2012-13 conference winners, Super Bowl champion and other match-ups are already being offered by several online Sports-books.

Super Bowl 2012-13 Favorites

The Green Bay Packers have been listed as favorites for Super Bowl champions by several sports betting sites including 888Sports, William Hill and bet365 and their odds range from 6/1 to 11/2. Odds of 7/1 are being offered by Hill on the Patriots, 10/1 on the Texans , 14/1 on the Eagles and 49ers. The other betting sites are pretty much in line with these numbers.

888Sports has odds of 18/1 on the 2012-13 winners, the Giants, while Hill and bet365 have odds of 20/1 hinting that the Giants may not repeat their victory. Therefore, this season offers a great chance to bet on an unlikely winner.

Betting on Conference and Other Matches

The three top online sports books show odds in favor of the Packers for the NFC Conference and the Patriots for the AFC Conference. Their Week 1 placements and spreads show some possible big games between the Cowboys and Giants, 49ers and Packers and Steelers and Broncos.

Several player season specials already have odds offered by 888Sports. For Rookie of the Year, they are looking at Andrew Luck at 3/1, both Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson at 5/1 along with fifteen other top players.

NFL Fever in Vegas

While the NFL teams are still in pre-season preparation, the sports-book operator for the Palms, Cosmopolitan, Hard Rock, Tropicana, M Resort, Palazzo and the Venetian casinos in Las Vegas, Cantor Gaming, has already released spreads on the regular season games up to Week 16.

The online sports betting sites and the Vegas sports-books have already published the Week 1 odds and the bettors are deciding which predictions to go with for the hope of placing big future bets on the various NFL games.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Top 3 Football Cards of 2012 NFL Draft

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck at the footba...

Image via Wikipedia

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.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

© 2011 FryingPanSports. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by the Wordpress platform and beach rentals.