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  • Published: Oct 29th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for week 8

News, Notes & Rumors for week 8

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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 https://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.



Eagles Coach Chip Kelly’s offense has now gone 8 quarters without scoring a TD.  The team is now 3-5 and have lost 2 in a row.  Kelly has been forced to slow down the super speed O because of injuries and turnovers.  The only thing keeping the Eagles in the race for the NFC Least title is the bad records of the other teams in the division.  The future of this O is still very much in question.


Cowboy WR Dez Bryant went off on the sideline during a loss to the Lions.  He is right that he is the most talented receiver on the team and needs to get the ball more often.  QB Tony Romo is struggling this year to get the ball out.  If they want to win they had better find a way to get the ball to Dez.


Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth suffered a knee injury and will have an MRI this week.


Cardinal WR Larry Fitzgerald is the youngest player ever to amass 800 passes in his career.  He will be a first ballot Hall of Famer as soon as he is eligible.


Lions WR Ryan Broyles has a ruptured Achilles’ and will be lost for the season.  He has struggled with injuries in his brief career.


Pats RT Sebastian Vollmer was carted off the field with a knee injury.


Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season.






Giants 15 Eagles 7 – The G-Men kicked the Eagles to a win with 5 field goals.  The Giant D was not the key.  The Eagle O was totally inept and did not score a point.  The lone TD of the game came on a fumble recovery and return by the Eagle special teams member Najee Goode.  The O converted only 3 of 12 third down attempts and turned the ball over 3 times.  QB Mike Vick left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury but it did not matter.  He was 6 for 9 for 30 yards and a pick.  QB Matt Barkley threw only 1 interception and a fumble lost.  But behind Barkley the team was not close to getting the ball into the red zone let alone the endzone.  The Eagles had just 48 yards on 19 rushing attempts.  Giant QB Eli Manning threw for 246 yards and did not have a pick.


Broncos 45 Redskins 21 – Neither team could give the ball away fast enough.  The teams combined for 9 turnovers including 3 interceptions thrown by Payton Manning.  But Manning also threw 4 TDs and the combination of Robert Griffin and Kirk Cousins together threw only 1 TD.  Griffin was hurt again and replaced by Cousins.  The Broncos overcame the turnovers to dominate the fourth quarter and the final score.


Patriots 27 Dolphins 17 – The Dolphins were up 17-3 at half time.  Pats QB Tom Brady threw for 116 yards with a TD and a pick.  Brady’s throwing hand was badly swollen.  Most would expect the Pats lost but the D came through with 6 sacks and 3 turnovers.  The key adjustment in the second half was the Pats began to blitz often.  That stopped the Fish’s O cold.  The Pats scored 24 straight points in the 2nd half to put the game away.  The Pats ran for 152 yards.  Despite the injuries the Pats just find a way to win.


49ers 42 Jaguars 10 – The people of London have not seen such a one sided affair since they had to evacuate their troops from Dunkirk.  49er QB Colin Kaepernick ran for 2 TDs and threw for another.  RB Frank Gore ran for a pair of scores as well.  Jags QB Chad Henne did his best throwing for 228 yards with a TD and no interceptions.  But the Jags converted just 4 of 14 third down opportunities and the 49ers only faced 3rd down 9 times.  They converted 6 of the 9.  The Jags need a QB and will likely get the first pick in the 2014 draft to select one.


Raiders 21 Steelers 18 – Raider QB Terrelle Pryor opened the scoring with a 92 yard run for a TD.  RB Darren McFadden added 2 rushing TDs.  The Raider D held the Steelers to just 35 yards rushing on 19 carries and allowed just 4 first downs on 15 tries by the opponent.  Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 45 times and was picked twice with 5 sacks.  After two consecutive wins it looked like they had turned things around.  But the loss to the Raiders showed there are still a bunch of issues in Pittsburgh.


Lions 31 Cowboys 30 – The Boys kicked a field goal with 1:02 left in the 4th to take the lead to 30-24.  Then they let Lions QB Matthew Stafford drive the length of the field to score the winning TD with 12 seconds on the clock.  The issue was the scheme.  The Boys doubled the TE and left Calvin Johnson man to man.  Stafford hit him with the pass that setup the final score.  Stafford threw for 488 yards including 14 catches for 329 yards to Johnson.  The Boys had a 20-10 lead with 11:32 left in the game but could not hold on.  The Cowboy pass defense is a mess.


Bengals 45 Jets 9 – The Bengals D made Geno Smith look like a rookie.  They sacked him 3 times and picked him off twice.  In the first quarter the Jets netted 1 yard on 9 plays.  The Bengals played long ball against the Jets defensive backfield.  The line gave Bengal QB Andy Dalton time and he threw a career high 5 TDs.  The Bengal D contributed 2 pick 6’s.  The over hyped Jets D looked slow and confused by the young Dalton.


Saints 35 Bills 17 – It was just another day at the office for Drew Brees.  He threw 5 TDs and passed for 332 yards and no interceptions.  The Bills were totally overwhelmed and looked like they would rather be anywhere other than the Super Dome.  Bills QB Thad Lewis was OK.  He went 22 for 39 for 234 yards with a TD and a pick but also lost 2 fumbles.  The Bills can’t compete against a top level NFL team.


Chiefs 23 Browns 17 – QB Jason Campbell is the 20th guy to start a game for the Browns since the team came back in 1999.  At least the Browns did not trade him in the middle of the 3rd quarter like they did Charlie Frye on his start game 1 against the Steelers in 2007.  For my complete analysis of this game check out Browns Chiefs Live Game Notes here on https://fryingpansports.com/.




With the trading deadline this Tuesday at 4PM EDT, the rumors this week revolve around possible trades.  Normally there is a lot of talk and very little action around the NFL trade deadline.  This season could be different because of the large number of injuries that have occurred.


WRs seem to be the most needed addition to teams looking toward the playoffs.  The Colts are interested in trading for one as are the Packers.  The Colts have already traded their first pick in 2014 to the Browns for RB Trent Richardson.


The Browns have the for sale sign out on just about everyone.  According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports they are willing to trade TE Jordon Cameron as well as WR Josh Gordon.  The 49ers are looking to move both WR Jonathan Baldwin and CB Nnamdi Asomugha.


The Falcons may consider trading TE Tony Gonzalez after their loss to the Cardinals.  They would ask him if he wanted to be traded first.  He resigned this year only to try to get a championship ring.  Now that the Falcons are 2-5 that is not likely to happen in Atlanta.


The Jags have the for sale sign out but have very few players that would attract interest.  DE Jason Babin is the one player in which a contender might have interest.


The Giants are willing to trade DE Justin Tuck according to La Canfora.  He also believes that the Vikes are trying to move DE Jared Allen and the Raiders could be willing to trade RB Darren McFadden.  With the emergence of RB Andre Ellington, the Cards might trade RB Ryan Williams.  The Saints would like to trade former 1st round bust RB Mark Ingram.


The Cards will have to trade WR Larry Fitzgerald or restructure his contract because of a very large base in 2014.


The salary cap issues are going to force the Cowboys to make some serious moves next season.





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.


  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 1st, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4

News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4

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News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4


NOTE:  This week’s radio version of NNR with my co-host Samantha Bunten will be Friday Oct. 4 at 6PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  A special NNR will be on Monday Oct. 7 at 6PM to wrap up week 5 with Samantha and Giants beat writer for Metro New York Tony Williams.



Week 4 key injuries:  Vince Wilfork DT (NE) torn Achilles out for the year.   Dwight Freeney LB (SD) torn quad out indefinitely.   Brian Cushing LB (HO) and Eric Fisher T (KC) both suffered concussions.


Titan QB Jake Locker was hospitalized after taking a big hit in the game against the Jets with a hip injury.  At this point it looks like he will be out several weeks.


After week 4 a few QBs have had their meeting chairs move a lot closer to the emergency exit door.  Bucs QB Josh Freeman was not only replaced as the starter by rookie Mike Glennon, Freeman was deactivated this week.  Josh asked to be traded but few teams are going to be willing to eat over six million dollars to rent him until the end of the season given his low completion percentage and lack of leadership.


Browns QB Brandon Weeden can’t hold a ball yet but that is mute point since QB Brian Hoyer has led the team to back to back wins.  Brandon, let that thumb heal.  You might need it stacking groceries at the Piggly Wiggly store.


Jets QB Mark Sanchez had better put his house up for sale soon because he too will be moving down significantly in job status and salary.  Geno Smith has not been lighting it up but Sanchez is history.  He will have season ending surgery on his throwing shoulder this week.  He is lucky the previous administration gave him his 20.5 million dollars guarantee.  If he is in the league at all next season he can expect the veteran minimum.  Maybe he can join Weeden stacking groceries.



ESPN 1500 Twin Cities reports that despite backup quarterback Matt Cassel engineering a win over the Steelers, head coach Leslie Frazier reportedly said there is no quarterback controversy and Christian Ponder is still the starter.


At 0-4 the Giants are the worst team in the state of New York.  The Jets and Bills are 2-2.




Bills 23 Ravens 20 – The starting D backfield of the Bills was out.  So the Bills didn’t have a chance to beat the Ratbirds.  WRONG!  Raven QB Joe Flacco evidently felt sorry for the Bills so he threw 5 interceptions including a key pick as they were in range for a field goal to tie the game.  Rookie QB EJ Manuel was just OK but did not give up the ball 5 times.  The Bills lost to the Jets last week.  This week they beat the Ravens.  That means the Jets would beat the Ravens???


Chiefs 31 Giants 7 – NY QB Eli Manning cut down on his picks but the O still could do very little.  The Giants were 1 for 14 in 3rd down coversions while the Chiefs converted 9 of 16.  That was the critical difference in the game.  The Giant D could not get off the field on 3rd down.  One of 14 on 3rd down will not get a win.


Lions 40 Bears 32 – The Lions were up 40-16 with less than 9 minutes left in the game.  Bears QB Jay Cutler brought them back to the final score with two garbage time TDs.  But Cutler also threw 3 picks and was sacked 3 times.  Lions RB Reggie Bush had 139 yards and DT Nick Fairley returned a fumble for a TD.  Both teams are now 3-1.


Redskins 24 Raiders 14 – The Skins had their usual slow start.  A blocked punt and TD pass by Raider QB Matt Flynn replacing Terrelle Pryor had the Raiders up 14-0.  The Redskins scored 24 straight points.  But the Skins D scored on an interception return and an improved game from QB Robert Griffin III led the team back.  Flynn did OK with a final rating of 87.3.  Griffin was 18-27 227 yards and a TD.


Seahawks 23 Texans 20 OT – “Schaub giveth and Schaub taketh away.”   The Hawks had three starting O linemen out and the Texans D took full advantage of that.  QB Matt Schaub and RB Arian Foster built a 20-6 lead going into the 4th quarter.  But Hawks QB Russell Wilson and the D took over from there.  Wilson who had suffered pressures and dropped passes began to run the ball.  He drove the team to the three then faked a run and gave it to RB Marshawn Lynch for the score.  Then Schaub suffered a brain cramp.  He threw the ball into a crowd of Seahawk defenders.  It was picked off by CB Richard Sherman and returned for a shoe-less TD.  Schaub ended up with 2 TDs but 2 critical picks as well.


Broncos 52 Eagles 20 – The Chip Kelly offense is failing to win primarily due to the pathetic defense.  After a win over the Redskins and “not ready for prime time” Robert Griffin III, the Eagles have lost three straight.  In first two losses the O has had the ball about half the time of the opponent.  The O can’t score enough and the D can’t get off the field.  Nobody is going to have an easy game against the Broncos in Denver.  Mike Vick suffered a number of drops and there were some serious problems on special teams like the 100 yard TD kickoff return.  But the Eagles do not have enough of the Kelly type players to make this work.  The three main producers for the Eagles (TE Brent Celek, WR DeSean Jackson and RB LeSean McCoy) had a total of 15 targets but just 6 catches.  The Eagles D cannot tackle at all.  Payton Manning is just outstanding.  He finished with 28 of 34 for 327 yards and four TDs.


Chargers 30 Cowboys 21 – The Cowgirls found another way to lose.  They jumped out in front only to see the D wilt under pressure from QB Phillip Rivers and the Charger O.  Dallas QB Tony Romo struggled with accuracy in the second half and ended up 27 for 37 but averaged only 6.1 yards per attempt. Even a defensive TD couldn’t save the Boys.


Vikings 34 Steelers 27 – The Steeler’s biggest problems are the O line and the defense’s inability to tackle.  With no D and no running game QB Ben Roethlisberger feels like he has to do it himself.  There is no one to take the top off the coverage and the lack of receivers hurts Ben most.  He is the one getting hit on almost every play.  Two Steeler garbage time TDs only made the score more respectable.  The Vikes started backup Matt Cassel and he did OK.  RB Adrian Peterson broke open over and over.  He ended up with 140 yards rushing on 23 attempts.


Browns 17 Bengals 6 – This game was not as close as the score indicates.  The Browns missed two chip shot field goals and the first Bengal FG came on a 30 yard drive.  For the first time in a long while the Browns are tied for the AFC North lead at 2-2.  For more on this game check out my Live Game Notes right here on FryingpanSports.com.




NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport “Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership is behind head coach Greg Schiano. Ownership knew it would take time to correct the mess left by the previous coaching staff.”

However Schiano did not get any more popular with the fans or the team by his change of QBs to Glennon.  I think the deactivation of Freeman was as much about his unauthorized interviews as it was about his play.  That just proves the truth may set you free but it does not guarantee employment.


According to Giants Beat writer Tony Williams of Metro New York, I was wrong about the team tuning out HC Tom Coughlin.  On my NNR show Friday, Tony said the team likes playing for Coughlin.  That may be but the team was thumped again this week 31-7 by the Chiefs despite the Giant D getting three turnovers.  I still think Coughlin is in serious trouble unless he gets the team turned around soon.  Given the issues with the team that is not likely.


There might be some pressure on Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin due to the team losing four in a row.  However, that would not be fair.  The issue of the Steelers has much more to do with the drafting by team management than it does with the coaching.  In the near future I will analyze the recent drafts of General Manager Kevin Colbert to show the poor choices he has made.  Look for the analysis here on FryingpanSports.com.


The NFL has not given up on the 18 game regular season schedule but is now pushing a change to the preseason and playoffs.  The latest trial balloon being filled with hot air is the reduction of 1 preseason game.  To offset the revenue loss, there would be one more wild card playoff team in each conference meaning that only the top seed would get a bye.  This will be put up for a vote of owners at the next league meeting but probably not go into effect until 2015.


Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the league is considering fines for Jets defensive ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples for their actions on the hit on Titan QB Jake Locker.  Is any tackle on a QB now a finable offense?


The NFL Channel showed a picture of a Texans’ fan burning a Schaub jersey.  The fact is that he is not an elite NFL QB and the team is now wondering if it is time to move on.  While he is good enough to lead the team into the playoffs, it is clear he is not good enough to get to the Super Bowl.  The problem is that team management gave Schaub big time contract extension.  The team would be hit with a 3.5 million dollar cap hit in 2014 and 7 million in 2015 if they cut him after the June 1 deadline next season.


Before the regular season started I predicted that the Redskins and Vikings would not return to the playoffs.  So far that prediction is right on target.


Despite leading the Browns to two straight wins, Head Coach Rob Chudzinski refused to make QB Brian Hoyer his starter beyond Thursday’s game against the Bills.  Can this group really want to see Brandon Weeden play more before deciding he is not the guy?



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.



  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 26th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors Week 3 of the preseason

News, Notes & Rumors Week 3 of the preseason

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Later this week I will post the AFC and NFC projections for the league.

When asked which team might be a surprising team, Chris Mortensen of ESPN suggested the Browns will “make it very interesting in the AFC North.”  He mentioned the improvement of QB Brandon Weeden in the new offense and the additions on the defensive line.  Needless to say that was before the Browns choked at Indy.

The Steelers traded to get RB Felix Jones from the Eagles.  Steelers’ 2nd round pick RB Le’Veon Bell has a lisfranc injury in his foot.  It is not a good idea to draft a back that has carried the ball as much as Bell did at Michigan State.  His injury could not have been a surprise.  Look for Jones to be a significant factor this year for the Steelers but the running game will struggle.

“DANGER—DANGER”  The first team of the Pats turned the ball over on 4 of their first 5 possessions against the Lions Friday night.  QB Tom Brady has been harassed consistently in the first 3 preseason games.  Brady looked disgusted with the play of his team.  Those are not good signs for the Pats.  The good news is the Pats are in the AFC Least with no real competition for the division title and the playoff spot.

Several major injuries marred week 3 of preseason.  The Cards lost OG Jonathan Cooper for the year with a broken leg.  The Jets saw QB Mark Sanchez go down with an injury to his throwing shoulder.  It does not look to be significant.  The Giants lost S Stevie Brown for the year with an ACL. That is a big injury for the G Men because he had 8 picks last year.  OLB Jarvis Jones (PT) was hospitalized after an undisclosed lung injury.  It sounds similar to what OLB Barkevious Mingo (CL) experienced.

Former Browns QB Colt McCoy has won the backup spot for the 49ers.

Colt McCoy

Colt McCoy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The Raiders cannot start QB Matt Flynn if they expect to have a decent season.  He has looked miserable in the last two preseason games.  There is a reason he was a very late round draft choice coming out of LSU.  Against the Bears in game 3 he threw two picks and generated 0 points in almost a half under center.  Former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor seems to be the only QB that can survive behind a very offensive O line.  In four drives Pryor generated 20 points with the 2nd team O of the Raiders.  While Pryor was moving the team to scores, Flynn was sulking on the sideline and not even wearing his head piece to listen to the play calls.

The Seahawks O line issues continued in week 3.  QB Russell Wilson did throw a pick but had another because the O line did not keep the D line’s hands down.  The O of the Hawks can be explosive ONLY if they can solve the O line issues.  The D looks fine.

Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith has not targeted WR Dwayne Bowe yet this preseason.  It could be that by the time Smith makes his drop and turns around Bowe is out of range of his arm.  Don’t expect Smith to throw much down field.  That is not what he does best.  The team has also struggled to protect Smith. He needs good protection to be successful.


Lion head coach Jim Schwartz has to get his team back into the playoffs to save his job.  The Lions commit way too many penalties and Schwartz seems to be unable to correct that.

Bills’ QB Kevin Kolb’s concussion could end his career.  The Bills signed Matt Leinart and traded for Thaddeus Lewis for insurance.

The 49ers are trying to trade QB Colt McCoy.  So far there are no takers.  That is no surprise to Browns fans.

Jet HC Rex Ryan is taking a lot of heat from the NY Media over his decision to put QB Sanchez into a preseason game after QB Geno Smith threw 3 picks.  Sanchez got hurt.  As usual, Ryan is giving as good as he gets.  But this is the beginning of the end for Ryan in NY.  He is a nice guy but like so many others is a much better coordinator than HC.

QB Terrelle Pryor is getting first team reps with the Raiders because the Matt Flynn experiment is not going well.  Flynn will “rest” his elbow this week and Pryor will start.  Look for Pryor to end up as the #1 soon.  Flynn has proven he is not a starter in the NFL.

The Packers like what they see in QB Vince Young.  Look for him to be the #2 in Green Bay.

That’s what I think.  Tell us what you think.

You can listen to the podcasts at https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football 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/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/. 

  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 25th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns/Colts live thoughts

Browns/Colts live thoughts

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KO-9 allowed the Colts to take the ball to the 40.

Kruger with a nice play v the run

Kruger gets the sack on a 5 step drop by Luck

Wayne beats McFadden.  The blitz didn’t get there.

Haden missed a tackle on the end around

RB Ballard blows through for 13 yards.

Jackson beats Ballard to the edge for a 5 yard loss

Winn stops Luck for a 2 yard gain

Luck breaks contain against the blitz for 6 yards.  Kruger did not hold his contain.

That was not a good job on D.

32 y FG GOOD IN 3 CL coming to bat

Richardson with a great move to get the 1st

Greco makes a great block to turn the DE Richardson gets 13

Weeden hangs a ball for Cameron high but JC comes down with it.  Great blitz pickup by TRich

Holding call on Thomas was weak

Obi1 gets a nice catch on a circle pass for 5

The Colt blitz forces Weeden to throw short.  Cameron double catches but the Browns punt.

Short punt gets the ball down to the Colt 12.


Rubin just missed a sack but Luck was able to compete for a 1st  at the 34

Jackson stops the run wide for no gain

Blitz with 6 fails again but the pass goes incomplete Skrine covering Wayne

Richardson gets only a yard on a sweep left

Little with a nice catch vs tight cover and gets the 1st 

Good throw by Weeden.

The first deep throw is incomplete

On 3rd and 8 Cameron missed the pass.

29 yard punt.  THAT is not good enough.


Bey gets away from Jackson and gets a 1st

Luck with all day to throw gets 14 more to Wayne

Winn and Taylor take down Brown for 2 yard gain

Luck runs up the middle as the pocket breaks down.  No pressure up the gut.  The Browns did not stay in their lanes on the pass rush.

Wayne uncovered by Skrine and gets 15.

Luck runs for 6.  Pass coverage was good in a zone

Pass to Bey good to the CL 3.

Browns call TO 8:13 left.  Not looking good on O or D

TD pass to FB Havilli.

IN 10 CL 0.

Bad choice by Bademosi to bring the kick out ends up at the 15.

Weeden gets Gordon for 15.

Pressure from a 7 man blitz forces Weeden to throw it away

TRich through a small hole for 3.

Good throw to Little but he lost the ball.  Colts ball after a 15 yard foul on Schwarts.


Haden with nice coverage on Wayne Incomplete

McFadden knocks the ball down

Wayne gets the 1st vs Skrine

Taylor and Rubin stuff the run.

Skrine got the hand on the ball to Wayne Incomplete

Wayne takes a head shot and gets the catch at the 7

Ball on the 4 after a penalty

Kruger forces a bad pass and Gipson comes up with a pick at the 2.  Great play on both ends

TRich gets 2 on his own.

Weeden throw into triple coverage is incomplete.  He is staring down his receiver causing the triple coverage.

Weeden throw Inc Browns punt from their 4.

Great punt 65 yards.


Great throw by Luck gets the 1st .  Ward missed the tackle that would have held them short of the 1st

Skrine knocks the ball away from Wayne

Browns get to Luck pass Incomplete

Browns force an incompetion and the Colts punt

1:39 Browns ball on the 20 with 2 TOs

Weeden gets OK protection but throws the ball away

Weeden runs for 5

With the clock running he throws into triple coverage again because he stared down his guy.


Good punt coverage No return 50 yard punt 55 sec left

Ballard runs for 7 TO 39 sec left

Fake the Blitz and Luck passes for the 1st He read it while Weeden does not.

Home town timer 38 seconds left 2 nd down.  No way that play took just a second.

Long pass Inc with pressure by Kruger 33 seconds left

Run fails to get the 1st

Punt downed at the Browns 4

Half time Ind 10 CL 0



Long pass inc  Little has to knock the ball down or it would have been picked.

Gordon drops a 3rd down pass.  Browns go 3 and out.

Bad coverage gives the Colts the ball on the Browns 48


Brown breaks tackles for 22 yard run

Nobody covers the FB and he gets the ball into the 15

Brown eating the Browns lunch for another 8 yard run

Carter with a nice tackle for loss of 1

Hilton is WIDE open and catches an 8 yard TD pass

IND 17 CL 0

The Colts put in their 2nd d

Catch by Gordon gets the Browns to 3rd and 2.  First short yard to gain in this game.

Good catch by Cooper for the 1st

Marecic CAUGHT THE BALL!  After he realized he had not been touched he got up and ran

TO Browns.  Not organized blow a TO.

Under pressure Weeden misses Little Holding on Indy

Jackson drops a pass in the flat

Ogbonnaya gets 3

Cooper gets open and gets the 1st on a 9 yard gain

Pressure again Weeden misses a wide open TE Davis

Blitz again and Weeden missed Cooper.  Weeden does not handle pressure well.

Blitz on 3rd and it almost gets picked on a throw to Cooper

50 Yard FG GOOD Ind 17 CL 3


Auguste stops the run.  If he missed it would have been a BIG gain.

Another great play by Auguste on a TFL

Slaughter hits the receiver just as the ball gets there. Pass INC

Bad punt by Colts gives the ball to the Browns at the 50.

Campbell complete to Davis for 6.

Smelley with a nice block on Jackson’s run for 3.

Davis was wide open but Campbell missed him badly.  He got hit after the play.

On 4th and 1 Jackson is tackled for a loss


CB Kena almost picks the pass from Hasselbeck

Auguste loses the WR and it goes for a 28 yard gain.

Sanford gets the back for a 3 yard loss

RB Williams is tackled for no gain

Auguste is caught for interference at the Browns 12

Fort catches FB Hughes for no gain.

Adams gets a tackle on Williams for 3

WR Whalen is open in the endzone but cannot catch the ball.

IN 20 CL 3 1:15 left 3rd quarter

Nice 6 yard run by Cook

15 yard run by Cook is called back Holding on Hauptman

Smelley with a nice catch runs for 6 more yards and gets the 1st.


Campbell gets sacked by Rayford

Pass for 2 yards on 3rd and 6.

The Browns punt almost gets blocked but Lanning gets it out.


The Browns get confused by a rollout pass in the flat that goes for 12

JM Johnson gets a TFL

Whalen gets open against Auguste again and gets the 1st

Meggett gets a 1st on a 15 yard run

Browns TO 10:13 left

Hasselbeck is hit and fumbled but the Colts got it back.

Auguste gets Whalen on a short pass.  Colt WR Palmer hurt on the play.

Browns ball on their own 9

Campbell misses TE Gronk

Edwards bobbles the 3 yard pass from Campbell and drops it.

RB Cook catches the pass and jukes for a 1st

LB Harvey breaks through again and grounding is called on Campbell

Nice throw to WR Edwards for 18.  3rd and 2

WR Roberson gets the 1st catching between 2 defenders

Rayford sacks Campbell but offsetting penalties negates it.

Croom makes a great catch for the 1st

Campbell throws behind the receiver on a crossing route.  Lucky is was not picked

Roberson makes a nice catch to the Colt 13.  Campbell got hit by the blitz but threw a nice pass.

OT Butler who got called on the hold jumps off side

Campbell gets buried and hurt by a blitz.  The entire line blew the assignment.


Roberson gets the onside kick.  Great play

Hoyer’s first pass is picked by former Brown Asante for a TD.

IN 27 CL 6

Roberson was open but dropped a pass right in his hands.  Nice throw by Hoyer

Gilkey with a false start.

Two short competions force a Browns punt


Kerwin Williams stops selling paint and runs for 25 yards

Harnish is in at QB


Final IN 27 CL 6

Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden (Photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost)


Overall thoughts

1st team Offense:

The game started with the Colts providing pressure on Weeden.  After that he was staring down the receivers way too often.  That tends to draw a crowd of DBs.  The throws into coverage become double and triple teams when DBs read the QB’s eyes.  He was obviously bothered by the pressure.  That was a knock on him coming out in the draft.  He stopped looking down the field and if his first option was not open he went to the check down or threw it away.


Weeden was not reading the defense well.  The Colts faked a lot of blitzes but came infrequently.  On the first drive they faked but rushed 3 and got a hit on Weeden.  It looked like he was afraid to throw deep.  At the start of the 2nd quarter he was 5 for 5 but all were very short throws.  I was wondering who gave Pat Shurmur the mike to Weeden’s head set and let the former coach call plays.  Weeden has always had trouble against the zone D.  Tonight was no different.  He will really struggle playing against the Steeler’s zone blitz schemes.


Weeden’s accuracy had been outstanding in the first two preseason games.  It was not tonight.  It is impossible to win when you miss wide open receivers.  The inability to make yardage on first and second down led the team back to third and long again way too often.  One drive was stopped by the failure to make 1 yard on two attempts.  That is due to the inability of the line to drive the D line back.


The receivers did not help Weeden or the other QBs at all.  While there were some nice catches too often the receivers were dropping the ball.  Little’s fumble stopped what looked like a nice drive mid way through the 2nd quarter when the score was just 10-0.  That error was compounded by a personal foul on Schwartz.


Oniel Cousins got the first chance to play RG but he is not a starting quality OL.  The pressure up the middle by the Colts was a result of C Mack trying to help Cousins in pass protection.  Cousins is better blocking the run than the pass.  He shows he has the feet to pull and is fairly accurate getting his block on the edge.  Cousins is alert to players rushing the passer but does not anchor well enough to blunt the attack.


The coaching staff did not trust the replacement RGs and ran to the left most of the game.  The rest of the O line did not play well either.  There were a lot of penalties and neither starting tackle played well.  The Colts got pressure with a 3 man rush.  That cannot happen.  Schwartz struggled all game long against the pass rushers of the Colts.  A lot of pressure was coming off the right side of the line.  Thomas had a holding penalty.


Both TRich and Cook ran very hard.  But again they were hit too often at or behind the line.  Jackson looked like he had cement cleats on running for 8 yards on 5 carries.  Cook is not likely to make the team but there is no quality depth behind TRich.  Hardesty is too fragile and Jackson is too old.


Coaching staff showed a few new wrinkles like the 231 formation with 2 RBs 3 TEs and 1 wide out.  The run formation allowed Gordon to get open and get an 18 yard pass.  But there was way too many check downs.  The O looked a lot like last year’s disaster.


It looked like the team in general and Weeden in particular got nervous once the game started to go downhill.  The Colts jumped out to a 17-0 lead and the game was over.   The Browns never made a charge to threaten the Colts.  That is unacceptable.  To be a factor in the AFC North, the team must have the guts to fight back from a deficit.  The Colts did a good job taking field position away from the Browns.  But that too is no excuse.


1st team defense:

The D made some good plays but there were too many missed tackles.  Ward missed a chance to prevent a touchdown by missing the receiver.  The lack of experience at the CB and FS positions have haunted the team for years.  Injuries have added to the need for those positions to get experienced depth.  The team gave up a ton of long plays last year because it did not have a true center fielder to stop them.


FS Gipson had a great interception on the 3 yard line after the Little fumble.  But he is more of a strong safety than a free safety and is just beginning to understand coverages and techniques.


Kruger had an outstanding game.  He was getting pressure however against a bad offensive line.  He did get pressure on Luck with regularity.  Groves played well but was up against a replacement LT once Castonzo went down.  The D line in general played well.  NT Taylor and DE’s Winn and Rubin absorbed blockers but the backers did not take advantage of it.  Way too many plays made serious yardage when the Browns backers lost outside contain.  We also did not see the good pass coverage of the inside backers we had seen in previous games.


The DBs struggled to cover Wayne who regularly ran open through the defensive backfield.  He is a shifty older player.  However it is hard to understand how the pass coverage made WR Heyward-Bey look like an all pro.  He is a bust from the Raiders but looked like a super star tonight.


Injuries have taken a toll on the D backfield.  It looked way too inconsistent to even think this team could contend in the AFC North this year.  The team needs much better corner play opposite Haden and have to find a FS that is able to play center field.  Unless they do the D will give up a ton of passing yardage.


Special teams did OK for the most part.  P Lanning was inconsistent.  K Shayne Graham was solid.  The question with him is can he make long field goals in the winds of December when they really count?


The bottom line:

The failure to move the ball on offense had more to do with bad execution than the Colts D.  The Colts are not a great D.  If the Browns struggle to move the ball on them, how will they fare against the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals each of whom have a much better D.



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/.

He also edits .  

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


  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 9th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns Rams LIVE Thoughts

Browns Rams LIVE Thoughts

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The logo of the Browns Backers Worldwide.

The logo of the Browns Backers Worldwide. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Browns Rams LIVE Thoughts

This is a VERY thin crowd tonight.
Nice play on 3rd and 2 to Bess
Good 37 yard pass to Gordon
Runs are going nowhere.
Good pass protection vs blitz
Draw play gets the 1st.  Great call.
The pressure up the gut allowed the blocked pass.  It was not Weeden’s fault.
What Cameron misses Little catches.  Bad play by the TE.  Weeden is not showing much touch.  The pass to Little via Cameron was way too hot.
Again run gets nothing
Two incompletes force a FG.  Clev 3 St coming up.
Penalty on Groves (head butt) gives the Rams good field position.
Bradford had all day to throw.  That is not a good sign
On 2nd down Sheard had some pressure.
Blitz fails to get pressure.  1ST down
Jackson attacks the run which is a good sign
Browns blitz and the screen catches them for 17 yards
RB Pead fumbles on a taylor hit and Skrene picks it up.
Jackson shows good vision on the run.
Gordon breaks a tackle for a nice gain.
Barnidge with a good catch.
Greco with a good block down field on the screen.
Cameron with a nice pattern and catch
Jackson great effort on the run right.  Broke a tackle
O line gets no push on run up the gut on the 2nd down run to the 2 and a half
Pass to Lewis TD Cleve 10-0
KO +8
Jackson made the tackle 5 yards down the field again
Skrine with a nice play
Robertson does a great job of getting coverage on 3rd 5
90 yard punt return by Benjamin Clev 17-0
KO +8
Winn rocks the runner for a gain of 3
Blitz doesn’t get there and the pass goes for 59 yards.  Ward did not keep deep against Givens.
Run up the gut by Richardson gets 12
Up the gut again for 5
Givens gets the TD.  The Rams #1s move right down the field against the 2nd team D of the Browns
CL 17-7
PN Butler -5
Gilkey good push on the run
Butler pulls back too quick but didn’t get called
Campbell looks sharp on a read and a quick pass to
Jackson looks good running and catching.
Marecic can’t block at all.
Butler pulls early again and gets away with it.
Campbell scrambles for the 1st down.
Norwood with a nice pattern and catch.
Jackson catches and makes a tackler miss to get 4 yards
Campbell missed Ogbonnaya on 3rd and 3
41 FG Graham CL 20-7
KO +12 Graham
Groves gets the sack.
Middle of the D gives up a 12 yard run.
Blitz doesn’t get home but the WR missed the catch.
After the 2 min warning the Browns didn’t get the snap call and blow the 3rd down play with a sack.
The team was not organized and missed a chance to keep the Rams off the field in the 2 min.
Rams get the ball on their 40 after a poor punt
Blitz By 2nd team is not getting to the QB.
Mingo gets to the QB even after a trip attempt
Fort and Wade stop a QB run by Davis.
54 yard FG GOOD CL 20-10
On a 1st down run Mingo stood his ground and turned the run inside.
The 2nd team Zone is not working.  The players are not breaking down in their zones to cover in time.
Sanford does a great job getting a sack.
Mingo puts pressure on Davis and forced him to throw it away.
P Davis gets held as he rushed
JMJ made a tackle that Fort missed on 3rd and 26.
Hoyer in at QB missed a WIDE open TE Davis
Then Hoyer almost threw a pick but the receiver rounded off the route and did not get open.
Three and out again.
Stacy runs for 6 up the gut
A second run gets the 1st
T Wade makes a good play and Quick missed the pass
Kitchin levels Stacy on a reception
T Wade called for interference.
Bademosi provides great coverage on a deep pass
Davis misses a wide open 81
55 y FG Cl 20-13
The Browns are able this year to throw screen passes unlike with the Shurmur regime
Jackson is running hard from the handoff or with the reception.
Cooper gets on the ground to get the ball.  Good catch.
Roosevelt makes a great catch but Hoyer threw it out of bounds.
On 3rd and 4 the Browns total blitz fails.  WR Wide open get the ball to the 30
Cole does a great job staying home against a reverse.
Staples makes the 4th down play tackle of QB Davis to turn the ball over to the Browns.
Paul Davis deflected the ball and Staples picked it off.
Maysonet has very good vision and speed.  Can he take a big hit?  He also tries to take the ball outside too much.  He has to stay with the hole called unless he sees a bigger opening.
Critical 3rd and 3 Hoyer finds a wide open Robinson and hits him for the closing TD.
CL 27-13 3:01 LEFT 4TH QUARTER
ST allows a return to the 30
38 misses Radway and the Rams score 58 yards CL27-19 after the unsuccessful 2 point attempt
Edwards catches the on-side kick at the 50
Maysonet has surprising strength running inside.  He breaks tackles well.
Browns 3 and out again with a punt going into the endzone netting just 21 yards.
15 double covered gets by the deepest and drops the ball inside the 5
Holding on Kearney gives the Rams life
The Hail Mary almost scores.  The receiver Blake had the ball in the endzone but Justin Cole pulled the ball way to end the game.
My Conclusions:
              The first string O played better than I expected.  The Rams are good on D and the Browns moved the ball through the air well.  The running game suffered without Richardson or Hardesty.  While the loss of the later is no big deal, the loss of TRich is a major issue.
              The #1 O line is not getting much of a push up the middle.  The lack of timing with the 3rd and 4th backs didn’t help.  But the issue runs deeper than that.  Last year the Browns could not convert 3rd and short opportunities.  RB Lewis looked good and will only get better with more work.  Jackson is running hard but there are not many holes to run through.  The total O depends on the play action pass.  Without an effective running game the D will not react to the play action.
              The O line did pretty well protecting the QBs.  The Rams D line is very good but the #1 and #2 O lines both held their own in the passing game.  That was good to see.
              I am also concerned about the inability to convert inside the 20.  The O will have to be more effective inside the 20.  It was good to see Weeden throw the 2 yard TD pass to take the lead to Lewis.  Last year the team had major issues scoring TDs inside the 20.
              The Browns 2nd and 3rd teams are not as good as those of the Rams or a lot of other teams as well.  There is talent there but it will take time to allow those units to develop.  The coaching staff is focusing on getting the first team ready for the opener.  At this point in the season that is the most important thing.
              The bottom line on the O is that there were no turnovers and the Browns got 2.  Weeden looked very good and Hoyer looked OK.  Weeden dealt better with pressure around him and does not stare down the receiver as often as he did last year.  If an NFL QB stares down his receiver he ends up throwing picks more often than completions.  Hoyer is not seeing the field consistently and that is a problem.  While he may have the best grasp of the system, he does not have the arm to ever be a starter.
              It is important that the Offense scored 20 points.  That is more than they averaged last season.  But the team won only because the special teams scored.  Otherwise the game would have gone to overtime tied at 20 all.
              The big question of this season was if the Browns new 3-4 could get pressure on the passer and still do better stopping the run.  The answer after game 1 of the preseason is NO on both counts.  Even in the all out blitz the Browns were not getting to the QB.  There were some plays by the front 7 but often they were due as much to errors by the O line than outstanding scheme or D play.
              I was concerned about Sheard making the transition to LB from DE.  We had heard that he was doing very well but I was not impressed so far.  Jackson sometimes attacks the run but too often still makes tackles 4 or 5 yards down field.  Robertson made some big plays.  He showed he can be the coverage ILB.
              Without the hammer Jackson who is now in Atlanta, the Rams still got big yards up the gut against the Browns 3-4.  Had the score not been so lopsided, the Rams running game would have done a lot more damage.  I was encouraged with the play of Mingo.  He was running around and making plays.
              The D will get better as it internalizes the new scheme.  But against a questionable line with an extra injury the front 7 was not getting pressure on the QB without a blitz.  That is not a good sign.
              The issues with the defensive pass coverage will be exacerbated if the blitz is not getting to the QB.  The loss of the 2nd and 3rd CBs hurt but it was the safety play was particularly horrendous.   The safeties were beaten early and often.  That was an issue last year and based on the Rams game it has not gotten much better.  The Rams are weak at WR.  Even so, they were often running open through the Browns backfield.  Ward is much better at the line than in deep coverage.  The team’s failure to get a quality vet FS is hard to understand.
Bottom line on Defense:
              This team has a lot of work to do.  When they blitz they have to get to the QB.  The team is not good enough in the backfield to cover up for a poor rush.  There were some good plays but not enough.
Special Teams:
              I have been very hard on ST Coach Tabor.  I blamed him for not cutting a long snapper that lost his stroke and a punter that was damaged goods.  But despite losing the long time kicker Dawson, the special teams did very well.  The 4th quarter punt into the endzone from the 41 was pathetic but other than that they were solid.  Great PR by Benjamin for the TD and a solid blocking job for him.  The FG kicking was OK.  The issues of not cutting bad ST players may have been Shurmur not Tabor.
              I am not ready to endorse Tabor yet but am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Overall:  The Browns won.  That alone is different.  They beat a team that is solid and may challenge for a playoff spot this season.  The win was good.  But as always there are many things this team needs to work on to contend in the AFC North.  For more on the Browns/Rams game check out our weekly podcast on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
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/.
He also edits .  
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.
  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 25th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on My interview with former Browns QB Kelly Holcomb

My interview with former Browns QB Kelly Holcomb

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KHolcomb One of my favorite Browns and favorite people Kelly Holcomb joined me to talk about the pistol offense now being used in the NFL, the risks of a running QB and Middle Tennessee football for whom he does color on the radio broadcast.

 NNR072413 Kelly Holcomb

You can listen to the podcasts at https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football 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/.

He also edits .

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