• Author:
  • Published: Nov 30th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on It is time for the Browns to change QBs.

It is time for the Browns to change QBs.

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BrownPrac

Note: On NNR tomorrow Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I discussed the Browns Bills game and the impact of the QB change in the 4th quarter. The podcast is on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

As I have said for weeks, the Browns are not a playoff contender. I wish they were but this team has to win the games they are supposed to in order even to be a pretender. They are not. And with this roster, they are at least a great draft away from contending.

So what do the Browns do about the QB position? As anyone that reads FPS regularly knows, I am not a Johnny Manziel fan. I believe he was the wrong choice and was drafted too early. But it is clear after 12 games that Brian Hoyer is not the QB that will take the team to a championship. And make no mistake, it is the Super Bowl that is the target rather than just getting into the playoffs. If you wonder about that just ask the Bengals.

I am not convinced that what Johnny did in college will translate to the NFL. Having scouted the draft since 1955, I seriously doubt it. I would have preferred Russell Wilson, Teddy Bridgewater or even Zach Mettenberger. They each were much more ready for the NFL than Johnny.

But given where the Browns are now, the only choice that makes any sense is to play Johnny to see what he can do. If he plays well then the Browns have a QB that can start next year. That will be a total of 22 different starters at QB since 1999. But that is not an issue. The Browns need to give Johnny a 4 game tryout to see if he can do the job. If not then they need to draft a QB next year. While there are not many 1st round guys, there are a number of developmental QBs that will give them an option should Johnny fail in 15.

A lower round QB will be a good move because they need to shore up the O and D lines. Those positions should be a high priority. Those positions are consistently costing the team wins. Without an upgrade at RG and RT, the Browns will not contend. That is also true of the D line. They thought they were deep at that spot only to see injuries ravage it. They need younger more aggressive D line players.

The Bottom Line: One thing I learned early in life, there is no future in martyrdom. Starting Hoyer at this point in the season will only postpone the QB issue until the off season without ever giving Johnny a chance to prove he is or is not the future at the position. That would be a huge mistake. It would only cause the fan base continued despair in 2015.

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 https://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 https://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 https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits .

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

 

  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 26th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns should live cam their public practices

Browns should live cam their public practices

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BrownPrac

NNR AFC N & S top 3 questions Monday 6PM on or https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

OPEN LETTER TO JIMMY HASLAM

I have been a Browns fan since 1954. Now I am no longer able to go to practices or games due to a major back problem. Since the practices are sold out, the Browns should live cam them on http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/ so that the rest of us can see what is going on. This would be a great service to the fans and the technology is cheap and effective.

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 https://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 https://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 https://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 https://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.

  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 25th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Manziel battling the playbook is not a good thing.

Manziel battling the playbook is not a good thing.

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Manziel Drft

Browns head coach Mike Pettine made the comment yesterday that Johnny Manziel biggest challenge is the playbook rather than Brian Hoyer. ESPN and most of the national media took that to mean that as soon as Manziel gets the playbook down, he will be the starter. Not so fast my friend.

What Pettine means is that Manziel is struggling to learn and understand the playbook. That is not a surprise. At Texas A&M the playbook was the size of the US Constitution. To Manziel the Browns playbook looks more like the IRS rules and regulations.

We were told that he was studying even while going to and from Vegas. Maybe the inflatable swan had an I-pad built in. His time enjoying himself could be costing him now. You can’t win the locker room as a QB unless you know the playbook COLD and can communicate it in practice. Until he can do that he will not get a snap in the regular season.

Also in college Manziel never had to make pre-snap reads. His offensive teammates took their position on the field then read the signs on the sideline to determine which play would be executed. Manziel also never had to worry about blocking adjustments but he will be expected to know and implement them now.

In the NFL, a GM or coach that listens to what the fans want will be sitting with them soon. Manziel hurt his standing in the locker room with his off the field partying. Once a QB loses the locker room it is very hard to get it back. Hoyer seems to have a better understanding of the playbook and the support of most of the team.

The bottom line: Don’t expect Johnny to be the starting Browns QB any time soon.

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 https://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 https://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 https://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 https://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.

  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 1st, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Does Effort to Extend Hoyer Indicate Concerns about Manziel?

Does Effort to Extend Hoyer Indicate Concerns about Manziel?

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B Hoyer

Extending Brian Hoyer’s contract now makes some sense. However, given the cap space that the Browns have, it is not critical. They could easily afford a long term deal with Hoyer after the season even if he becomes the starter with his play in 2014. So why is GM Ray Farmer so concerned about getting Hoyer signed before the season?

I believe that the recent off field actions by 1st round pick Johnny Manziel have something to do with it.

First, there is the injury concern about Manziel. As the Redskins found out, when a relatively frail QB runs as part of his game, it is critical to have a quality backup. Both Manziel and Robert Griffin III have similar body types. And Griffin has been hurt in both of his seasons in the NFL.

A second reason is more significant. The efforts to resign Hoyer now indicates to me that the team has serious concerns about Manziel’s maturity and development. The recent statements by veteran Browns show some are tiring of the drama that Manziel brings. Each time he makes the NFL Channel opening

segment the view of Manziel by the vets sinks a little lower. Manziel is going to have to much better moving the ball than Hoyer to win the job.

Third team management is clearly concerned about Manziel’s drinking. While his party attitude does not violate laws or NFL rules, there is a growing concern by some that the drinking could become an issue. A DUI will result in suspension just like a failed test for a PED.

Last and perhaps most significant is the recent decrease of comments by the coaching staff about how quickly Manziel is developing. All the news about Manziel involves his party habits. Early on I questioned his willingness to commit the time in the film room necessary to take full advantage of his athleticism. We will see. The thing about being a scout of college players is the truth about wither you were right or wrong will always be obvious.

I want to make it clear as a long suffering Browns fan I am hoping Manziel and Hoyer are both very productive. But at this point I have my doubts about Manziel.

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 https://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 https://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 https://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 https://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.

  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 23rd, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns/Vikings live game notes.

Browns/Vikings live game notes.

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BrownsLogo1

 

Good job by Rubin getting Peterson.

Robertson did a nice job tracking TE.

Peterson was one missed tackle away from a 70 yard TD.

Nobody even in the same area code of Jennings.  Where is the D?

Wright WIDE open too.  Anyone playing D?

Skrine had to jet back to get to the receiver.  Bad read by him.

9 yard run by Peterson.  GRAB GRAB GRAB

Gibson misses the tackle of Peterson.  1st & goal at the 2.

TD MN.

MN 7 CL 0

Rainey with a one yard run and Hoyer is 0-2.  Great start to the “New, new Browns.”

=

Good coverage by Skrine on Peterson.

Kruger gets by the block and gets the tackle of Peterson.

Haden missed the tackle but others fill in to force the 3 and out.

Bess has the first and gave it back trying to extend the run.

Ogbonnaya gets a third of a yard on his first two rushes.

Hoyer throws the ball into the ground.  Looked bad.

Great effort by Cameron to reach for the first down.   The O line did OK.

Hoyer finds a wide open Gordon.  Gordon got open on a stop and go that froze CB Jefferson.  Good throw by Hoyer.

MN 7 CL 7.

=

Sheard gets off the block and makes the tackle.  Rubin cut off the inside run.

Ponder had 2 guys open but didn’t get the ball anywhere close to either of them.

Winn gets the sack with a big assist by Mingo with pressure on the edge.  Browns get another 3 and out.

On the punt return Benjamin ran the wrong way and lost 9 yards but that does not work in the NFL.

Gordon avoids 4 tacklers and gets the first.  Great run but he almost dropped the ball on a scrape.

Hoyer runs the slowest QB keeper I have seen since Bernie Kosar.

Ogbonnaya gets the pass but Mitchell shuts it down quickly.

Bess is again the safety blanket for Hoyer.

Gordon with a great reverse run.  Mack got out on the run with a nice block.

Little catches the ball but loses a yard.

== end of the 1st quarter

Hoyer on a great pass to Cameron for the 19 yard TD.  Great catch by TE with keeping his feet in.

Hoyer has hit 7 straight passes.  Unlike Weeden he is not staring down his receivers.

CL 14 MN 7

=

Ponder is accurate despite Taylor’s pass rush.

Browns are playing a lot of zone to keep an eye on Peterson.

AP breakes three tackles and got 8 yards.

D line keeps its lanes and prevents Peterson from getting away.

Peterson burns Skrine again for 37 yards.  He looked like Moss.

Play action with Peterson makes completions easy.  The D reacted to the run fake and lost Jennings

Ward gets Peterson after the catch.  Nice tackle.

1st goal at the 7

Winn stops Peterson for a gain of 1

QB draw for the TD.  Nice run against a spread D.

MN 14 CL 14

McG gets 4 yards.  Longest run of the day.

Ogbonnaya gets the swing pass but is stuffed on a run.

Gordon a yard short on the crossing pattern.

Aubry takes a direct snap on the fake punt and runs the ball for 37 yards

McG held to a gain of just 2.  Maybe the lack of a running game was not TRich’s fault

Hoyer makes a business decision and throws it away rather than getting stuffed by the Vike D.

Third and 9 and the pass goes for just 4 yards.  Somebody see if Shurmur is calling the pass plays.

There is no excuse for running a pattern on 3rd down that is short of the LTG.  That is bad design.

CL 17 MN 14

=

KO short of the end line.  KR is 30 yards.

The Browns D is playing their lanes very well preventing a big run by Peterson.

Pass is tipped by Robertson and Ward picks it.

Sherills knocks the ball away from Gordon on the slant.  Nice defensive play.

Great throw by Hoyer on the crossing pattern to Gordon.

Bad no call on PI against Sherrils vs Cameron.  Hoyer put the ball in but the CB had his arm around the TE.

Rainey gets 6.

Throw to Bess is a little high and he can’t come up with it.

Fake FG by Lanning to Cameron for the TD.  This is the most wide open O we have ever seen by the Browns.  It was a player option.  When Lanning saw the TE without coverage, he threw the pass.

CL 24 MN 14

=

Taylor gets the sack of Ponder at the 12.  Taylor beat C Sullivan.

Jackson covers the TE keeping it to a short gain.

Ward and Gipson knock the ball down deep to Peterson.  Another 3 and out.

Benjamin muffed the punt and the Vikes recover it.

The NFL has to fix the 15 yard penalty on a coach challenging a call that cannot be challenged.  The ref declared the Benjamin gaff a muff which can’t be advanced.  The Vikes coach challenged and was penalized 15 yards for thowing the flag when

Jackson makes a tackle with

Haden gets Simpson after 8.

Haden gets Peterson after a 1 yard pass.

43 yard FG GOOD.  The Browns D did a great job holding the Vikes to 3 after the TO.

CL 24 MN 17

1:08 left and 1 TO for Hoyer.

Bess gets the 1st on a great out pattern.  Rainey with a nice block to protect Hoyer.

Hoyer throws a bad pick. He never saw the safety doubling.  MN has 3 TOs and 47 sec.

=

Kruger gets to Ponder.  Winn hurt.

Patterson is being covered by Jackson and gets the 1st.

Ponder runs for 12.

Gerhart to the 11 on a pass from Ponder.

Skrine knocks the ball away from Jennings preventing the TD.

Ponder fumbles the ball on a hit by Sheard and Roberson picks it up and runs out the half.

CL 24 MN 17 Half time.

 

Browns are forced to take a TO on 3rd and 8 because the play is not in.

Bess with a great scoop up for the 1st.

Bess again with a 1st down catch.

Bubble screen nets only a yard.

Little on a slant with a great throw by Hoyer.

Hoyer picked again.  He never saw OLB Greenway in the zone drop.  He was staring down the receiver and Greenway saw it.

=

Jackson hits Peterson and forced the fumble.  Sheard recovered.  Sheard hurt on the play.

McGahee with a nice run for 8.

Hoyer missed two passes in a row and the Browns punt.  Gordon was going long Hoyer throught he would break off the pattern.

38 yard punt puts the Vikes inside the 10.  Well done.

=

Nice pass breakup by Haden on Patterson.

Rudolph drops the ball.  Mingo on the coverage.

Sheard returns

Ward knocks Peterson out of bounds short of the LTG.  Browns with a 3 and out.

Great punt return by Benjamin to the 43 for 27 yards.  HE CAUGHT THE BALL!

Rainey runs for 6.  Running game beginning to open up.

Hoyer just a little too far out to let Gordon make the catch.

Hoyer’s pass is knocked down on 4th and 4.  The play and personnel were too late.

=

Peterson has 9 with Mingo getting bulled over.  Sheard’s return is doubtful.

Haden good coverage on 82.

Hughes sacks Ponder on a stunt with Taylor.

Mingo gets the sack on 3rd down.

McGahee is not following the play and spins around and gets blasted.

Penalty for 12 men in the huddle.

2nd and 21 pass is tipped and picked on the Brown’s 8.  The right side of the line collapses under the pressure for the pick.

=

Webb wide open but is missed by Ponder.

Taylor gets Peterson.

QB run again for the TD.

MN 24 CL 24 2:36 left

Hoyer sacked.

Screen pass is again blown up and Hoyer is called for grounding.

3rd and Los Angeles. Ogbonnaya get to the 28 but can’t make the LTG.

=

Peterson for 3 Bryant and Jackson on the hit.

Browns lose contain and Ponder runs for the 1st.  If they do that against Peterson it will be a TD.

END OF THE 3rd quarter.

 

Jennings pushed over the LTG by Kalil.

Ponder flings it down field but no one is home.

Kruger and Jackson both miss the sack and Jackson called for a face mask.

Peterson runs for 5 to the Browns 15.

Ward throws Rudolph out of bounds short of the LTG.  3rd and 2

Roberson plasters Ponder for a hurry.

30 yard FG Good MN37 CL 24

Bubble screen to Gordon almost picked again.

Hoyer Got Gordon for the first.

Hoyer goes for Gordon up the middle and it just about was picked again.

Hoyer gets past Schwartz and is sacked by Allen.

3rd 19 Hoyer throws behind Cameron and the Browns punt again.

=

Kruger forces a hurry.

Hughes slams Peterson again.

3rd and 10 Skrine grabs a leg of TE Rudolph and calls for help.  Ownes makes sure he did not get the 1st.

  • 7:11 left

Great throw into tight coverage to Bess for the 1st.

Hoyer gets nailed by a late blitz by Henderson for a 10 yard loss.

After illegal motion 3rd and 19 so Hoyer throws a 3 yard pass.

=

Gipson and Jackson stop the WR sweep by Peterson.

Two incompletions force the Vikes to punt.

  • 3:21 Browns on the 45

When pressure comes on Hoyer he tends to throw the ball away.  He does not have much sense of pocket.

Gordon catches a ball behind him for 11.

 

Long throw almost picked.

Throw to an Open Cameron to the 20

Gordon to the 7 with 1:19 left.  Clock running.

Fade to Little Incomplete. 1:00 left

Hoyer throws it away with no one open. 0:55

Cameron reaches up over his head and brings in the TD.

CL 31 MN 27 0:51 left.

=

Ward and Jackson knock down the hail Mary.  04 left

Bryant gets the sack and the BROWNS WIN—THE BROWNS WIN.

 

 

Conclusion:

Offense:

A lot of Browns fans were “Hoyerfied” about the QB change during a tough week.  However, it was unfounded.  Hoyer brought the team from behind to win the game with a final drive.  That is something that has not happened in a number of close losses with Weeden at the helm.   Hoyer did throw three picks but did a number of things that improved the overall O.  He was fooled by the defense on two of the picks.  That is not unexpected for a QB that has started just one game prior to this.  He was mobile in the pocket which helped reduce the pressure of a leaky O line.  He also was much more decisive and threw the ball quicker than Weeden does.  Part of that is his ability to make pre-snap reads.   Hoyer has great touch and throws the fade very well.  He was very accurate putting the ball in the best place for the WR to make the play.  While he made some mistakes, he fought through them and made the plays to win.

 

The development of TE Jordan Cameron has given the team some hope.  He has come a long way and this coaching staff is owed some of the credit for that.  He caught three TDs yesterday.  The addition of Gordon was critical.  He looked like he had been with the team since day 1.  Bess is a major upgrade from Little as a starter.  Bess catches the ball in traffic and gets the key first downs to continue drives.  He runs great patterns and always gets past the sticks to get the first if he gets the ball.

 

While some will say that the O line played much better, unfortunately that is not true.  The fact is Hoyer did a much better job of getting rid of the ball.  Weeden waits to see a receiver break open.  With the guys on this roster (without Gordon) that did not happen often.  Weeden got sacked before the WR ever got open.  Hoyer throws with anticipation.  He throws to the spot where the WR will be.

 

The play calling was nothing short of spectacular.  The fake punt and run for the first was good.  The fake field goal and pass for the TD by P/Holder Lanning was outstanding.  OC Norv Turner was also more aggressive by throwing on early downs.  That was good because the running game is appearing on a milk carton.  The best run was the fake punt.  While it is possible to beat the Vikes without a running game, it will cost the Browns against good Ds like the Bengals.

Defense:

The biggest part of the D’s contribution to the win was the ability to hold RB Peterson to 88 yards on 25 attempts.  The 3-4 has been very good against the run.  That continued this week.  The front 7 did give up two runs by Ponder for TDs which was due to the spread formation of the Vikes.  The inside backers need to be aware of that tendency.  The D did get 6 sacks one interception and forced two fumbles.  Overall a good day for the D.

The passing game of the Vikes is suspect.  But the backfield did a very solid job in covering the receivers.  Because the front 7 was able to keep the running game under control, the backs were free to cover.  The team played a lot more zone than usual in order to keep an eye on Peterson.  The zone allowed the Vikes to convert 8 of 17 third downs.  That is not acceptable.  In particular Buster Skrine played his best game of the year.  He was better but not yet a starting quality CB.

The Bottom line:

Is Hoyer the long term answer at QB?  Probably not but he showed enough to warrant another start.  If he plays as well against the Bengals, he should continue to start whether Weeden is healthy or not.  The Browns will still be looking for a college QB in the 2014 NFL draft.

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 https://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 https://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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