The Browns are not the train wreck that some believe.


Note: On NNR today Ziffles & I discuss the Browns situation, the NFL’s issues and the SB. The podcast is on

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote an article detailing his view of the Browns team issues. While I really enjoy reading his articles, I disagree on several points he made.

We disagree on the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Dowell Loggains. When Shanahan put in or was forced to play Johnny Manziel the OC tried to use the RG3 read option offense rather than design something specifically for Manziel. The problem was that Manziel had never run the read option at Texas A&M. Shanahan should have known that and designed something with which his QB would have been more comfortable.

Add to that the total disintregration of the mechanics of QB Brian Hoyer. Shanahan and Loggains were either unable to fix the problem or were unaware of the mechanical flaws. That is inexcusable. But I do think the Browns should have gotten a draft pick or two from whatever team signed them.

There was a comment about the firing of Mike Holmgren. As I said here before Mike was hired, he was Read more at FryingPanSports

The Browns chose wisely for their OC.

John DeFilippo

Note: The NNR podcasts are on

Yesterday the Browns introduced John DeFilippo as their new offensive coordinator. In my judgment, that was an excellent choice. He had been the QB coach of the Raiders. But what I like best about him is he brings a history of fixing broken QB mechanics. If the Browns are ever going to get anything out of their 1st round pick of Johnny Manziel, DeFilippo is going to have to do major surgery on Johnny’s mechanics and attitude.

As QB coach for the Jets in 2009, he faced a difficult problem. The team drafted rookie Mark Sanchez who had started just 1 year for USC. It was DeFilippo’s job to turn Sanchez into an NFL starter. He was able to help Sanchez lead the Jets to the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

As QB coach for San Jose State, he molded Jordan La Secla into a serviceable QB that threw for 2860 yards and a QB rating of 125.8 in 2010. The next season he helped Matt Faulkner throw for 3149 yards and a QBR of 131.6.

In 2012 he was named QB coach for the Raiders. He turned Terrelle Pryor from Read more at FryingPanSports

Browns face the QB issue yet again this off season


Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the Browns Ratbirds game including major issues the Browns face going into the off season. The podcast is on

Tomorrow, Kelron Sykes College football Insider joins me to preview the NCAA playoff semi-finals.

Connor Shaw played as well as could be expected overall against the Ravens Sunday. The Browns had the lead going into the 4th quarter. But again, as has happened so often before, the D wore down and the Browns lost.

The Browns are in worse position than they were coming into this season in terms of finding a starting QB. Coming into the 2014 season, they had an injured Brian Hoyer and a possible future starter in first round pick Johnny Manziel. Now Hoyer is a free agent and it is very clear that Manziel is a long way from being a starter.

There is very little chance Hoyer resigns with the Browns. Despite the late season decline in production, he will likely get an offer from the Texans to compete for a starting job.

Manziel is a head case. He admitted he was not ready to start even into the last Read more at FryingPanSports

What to expect from Shaw at QB vs. the Ravens

What to expect from Shaw at QB vs. the Ravens

Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I preview the Browns Ravens game including my advice picking against Week 17 point spreads. The podcast is on

For the 7th time in the last dozen years, the Browns will start their 3rd string QB in the final weeks of the season. This time it is Connor Shaw, undrafted rookie from South Carolina. He will become the 22nd QB to start a game for the Browns since the team was reborn.

Shaw has an arm roughly equal to that of Brian Hoyer. It is not particularly strong. But unlike in recent games, Shaw’s mechanics are good. He is accurate in the short and medium game even against a blitz or serious pressure. He can throw long but those passes hang in the air for too long to be effective in the NFL.

He has the courage to stand in against a hit and make an accurate throw. He will run if he can’t find an open receiver but is small and is not able to survive big hits. He lost the last few games Read more at FryingPanSports

OC Shanahan didn’t do Johnny any favors.


Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns Bengals game, Johnny Manziel’s play and the coaches that may be on the hot seat. The podcast is on

Something that missed nearly everyone’s notice was how much the Johnny Manziel offense by Kyle Shanahan looked very much like the offense that he and his father put in for Robert Griffin. In fact, the read option was something that Manziel never used in Texas A&M.

There was a rumor that the Wednesday installation practice went terribly wrong. If practice went that badly, what would make the coaching staff have any confidence that the game would go better? The answer is they knew that Johnny was doomed to fail.

I have to begin to wonder if Kyle is in over his head without the loving embrace of his father as his boss. In Cleveland Kyle is on his own. He used the RG3 offense because he couldn’t design an O that would fit Johnny.

It was ugly beyond words. But it was only one bad game. It is far too soon to decide if Johnny Manziel can play or not. The next two games will Read more at FryingPanSports

Brownie has fallen and he can’t get up.

Brownie Down

Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns Bills game, the possible change at QB and the other games of the week. The podcast is on

The biggest issue facing the Browns is which QB to start. Yesterday I suggested that they should start Johnny Manziel in my editorial “It is time for the Browns to change QBs” right here on

Without a true test of what Manziel can do, the Browns will go into 2015 trusting the season to him. Given the poor performance of Brian Hoyer over the last 3 weeks, the team has little choice. Manziel may give the Browns the best chance to win. Regardless, the team is not going anywhere in the playoffs even if they get in.

Hoyer is not going to sign a low ball deal with the Browns unless he is guaranteed the starting job. The Browns can not afford to do that. As a result Hoyer is likely to leave.

The team risks all of the 2015 season unless they give the rest of the season to him. The Browns face 2 division foes including the Ravens game on the road and two other good Read more at FryingPanSports