LeBron could win MVP and Coach of the Year!

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One theory of management is “the level of competence.” That theory says that an organization will promote people based on their ability to do their current job. But at some point they become no longer “promotable” because they are no longer doing an outstanding job. They are in a job one level above their level of competence. Those people should be demoted back to a job that they do well but they almost never are.

I see the Cav’s coach Brown as just such a case. From all reports Brown was a more than competent as associate head coach of the Indiana Pacers and as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. But he is in my opinion not even close to being competent as head coach.

Science tells us that nature abhors a vacuum. Because Brown is incompetent as head coach there is a power vacuum that out of necessity LeBron James has been forced to fill. As good as James is, it is very difficult to get an overview of the game from the court. He is so focused on doing his job that he is not able to see that the offensive flow of the team is sporadic at best and nonexistent at times.

The lack of competence of Brown has been highlighted by his inability to deal with the changes in the roster from the trades and returning players from injury. In a recent interview he admitted he was struggling to re-integrate Williams into the offense. He seems to have no clue how to integrate Jamison into the offense and what is worse, has not even tried to do it. Brown puts guys on the floor and lets James figure out how to use them.

Mike, here are a few things you might try to see in the tapes of recent games.

  1. The offense runs very smoothly when it goes through LeBron and a big man. It doesn’t seem to matter if that is Shaq or Jamison because both are more than capable of scoring or dishing the ball to an open player. That will also save James’ energy and make him more effective later in the game.
  2. The Brown O seems to be 4 guys watching LeBron take on the 5 opponents. Both he and Brown need to trust the other guys on the team. This is not the 04-05 team with guys like Drew Gooden, Jeff McInnis, Ira Newble and Robert Traylor around James. We have a team that has veteran starting quality scorers. Both James and Brown need to trust them particularly in the last few minutes of a game. In the 3 game losing streak the Cavs O in the last few minutes was 1 on 5 LeBron against the world.
  3. It was nice to see Jamison starting. He has to start with Varejao being the 1st off the bench at PF. Hickson is a great kid but he has to be the 3rd option at that position. It will reduce his minutes but that is the way it needs to be to have this team be competitive against the top teams in the league.

There should be no doubt that this team is the most prepared to compete for a championship that the Cavs have ever had. Mike, get your head out of your hind quarters and start coaching. If you can’t figure out how to get all these stars into the O, find someone that can and let them do it. LeBron has enough on his plate.

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

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

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 is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morningS at 11 EST. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA,Cavilers,LeBron,James,Brown,Jamison,game plan,Shaquille O’Neal
  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 18th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn this weekend?

What did we learn this weekend?

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College football:

TCU is REALLY good.

#4 TCU played #16 Utah and blew them out 55-28. Everybody expected the TCU O to be outstanding but their speed on D is as good as any team in the country. They have everything they need to beat Texas and probably Florida as well. Alabama is the one team above them that could give them real trouble. The power running game of Bama combined with the very big O line might be able to win the game.

TCU goes to Wyoming (5-5) then gets winless New Mexico at home. Neither will provide much competition.

#1 Florida and #2 Alabama set the date.

The stage is set for the top 2 teams in the BcS to play for the right to go to the big game. The winner of the SEC Championship game on Dec. 5th will get the bid. The loser will likely be named an at large BcS bowl game team. Both come in a little banged up from nice wins last week.

Florida won a tough game at South Carolina 24-14. They will take on Florida State after an easier game this weekend against Florida International.

Bama beat Mississippi St. last week 31-3. It has a date at Auburn on 11/27. Auburn has lost 4 games but only 1 at home.

BcS’s worst nightmare

If either SEC team loses their rivalry game then win the SEC Championship it would open the door for TCU who hangs like an unwelcome buzzard over a wounded animal.

Texas looks good for a ticket to the BcS big game.

The Horns beat a badly over matched Baylor team 47-14. They have to play Kansas at home before traveling to Texas A&M next weekend. Kansas was 5-0 after winning their Big12 opener against Iowa St. but then have lost 5 games in a row. They still can be dangerous for any team that over looks them.

TAM is 4-1 at home and can also be dangerous in the season ending rivalry game.

Ohio State wins a ticket to the Rose Bowl.

The Bucks are playing as well as they have any time in the last 2 years. QB Pryor seems to be more comfortable in the offense that is more aligned to his abilities that it was earlier in the year. The D seems to have found its pass rush which was missing in action at Purdue.

Around the NFL:

Indy is the lone AFC Undefeated

The Colts came back after a major gaff by Belichick to win by a single point over New England. Indy is not a perfect team. Given the injuries on D, they will be at risk of upset by a passing team with some running game like Cincy, the Pats or San Diego. But they now have the inside track to home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs which is critical to their success. They are not a team that is built to play in the cold winds of the North East in January.

The Bengals take 1 giant step toward the playoffs.

By sweeping the Steelers and Ravens the Bengals need only another win over 1-8 Browns to be perfect in the AFC North. They will make the playoffs and should have a home game in round 1.

The Bills fire coach Jauron.

Dick Jauron is one of the great D Coordinators in the history of the league. He just has not been able to equal that success at the head coach level. The Bills are going after the usual suspects including Shanahan and Holmgren.

The Cleveland Tans formerly known as the Browns are REALLY BAD!!!!

Will the person that stole Mangenous’ crystal ball please return it—no questions asked. Several sources are predicting that if Mangini loses to the lowly Lions this week, he is history. That would be a good think. Owner Lerner wants to bring in a “football guy” to oversee the operation and has leaked Holmgren as his top pick for that spot. He had better hurry if that is the guy he wants.

What the Browns should do about a coach.

Personally, I don’t get Holmgren as the GM/VP Operations. Mike was stripped of his GM duties in Seattle after a less than stellar series of drafts. I would fire Mangini now and have him take OC Daboll with him. They should name DC Ryan as interim head coach and grab Jauron as the DC. Then QB coach Smith would become OC and former QB now consultant Kosar should work with the QBs.

That would give the team time to find a permanent coach if Ryan doesn’t work out. I do believe that the locker room would get a lot better with Ryan as the HC. The D has played hard for him even with the miserable work of the O.

Al Davis FINALLY benches QB Russell.

The Raiders announced that Gradkowski will start over Russell. It’s about time!!!

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 is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,nfl draft dog,college football,ncaa football,BCS,BCS Rankings,TCU,Utah,Wyoming,New Mexico,Florida,Alabama,Auburn,South Carolina,Florida State,Texas. Texas A&M,Kansas,Iowa St,Ohio State,Rose Bowl,BcS Bowl,Colts,Patroits,Bengals,Chargers,Steelers,Bills,Holmgren,Shanahan,Browns,Kosar,Mangini,Russell,Davis,Raiders
  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 9th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Things don't look good to avoid an uncapped year in the NFL.

Things don't look good to avoid an uncapped year in the NFL.

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In the vote for the existing NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) only two teams voted against the deal that granted the players 60% of total revenues. Those two were the Bengals and the Bills. These two were maligned by a couple of other owners for being short sighted. Now all 32 teams agreed to opt out of the agreement. The 30 that voted for the deal realized that they can not survive with 40 percent of the gross revenues.

The combination of a sever recession brought on by politicians using the economy for social engineering and the reduction of revenues retained by the team have made the owners resolute in their positions. The NFL Players Association is just as resolute.

The new Executive Director DeMaurice Smith sounded very moderate the day that he won the job over a couple of former players. That was then. Today on ESPN Radio Mike and Mike show, the Commissioner of the NFL, Roger S.”The Hammer” Goodell, talked about some of the issues that the league is facing. He talked about the absolute necessity of the Commissioner having the right to discipline both players and teams that violate the code of conduct. He also said that there was no interest in softening the game blackout rules.

Smith had been listening to the Commissioner and called to rebut what was said. He said that the issue of discipline for the players has to involve an independent arbiter and that will become an issue in negotiations with the owners. He also indicated that the decision about such issues as blackouts should be done jointly between the owners and players. If the players are truly a partner in the game, they should have input to such critical decisions.

There have been 2 formal and a couple of informal negotiating sessions since the owners decision. There have been no proposals from either side and no sign of progress. If there is no new agreement to take effect the first day of the 2010 season, 2010 will be an uncapped year with very different rules than 2009.

The players will benefit from the uncapped year only if their contract has expired and they have 6 years of NFL season credit. NFL season credit is very complex and such things as injury, practice squad and played games are handled differently to determine a credit year. In 2009, a player became unrestricted after 4 seasons credit.

The rules also change for the use of the Transition and Franchise tags. Prior to the 09 season, once you used a tag, it could not be reused for the duration of the contract that was signed. If you give a player a tag then sign him to a 6 year contract, you can not use the tag on any other player for the length of the contract unless the player is no longer on the roster. In an uncapped 2010 all teams get both tags for use again regardless of a prior use. That will likely prevent two of the most attractive free agents of each team from moving.

There are a bunch of “little” issues that separate the sides. Forget those. There are only 3 issues that will determine if a deal gets done or not. Here they are listed in reverse order of their importance.

The percentage of revenue that is allocated to the players. Right now, 60% is too high for the owners but too low for the players. The NFL has floated the concept of adding 2 regular season games and eliminating 2 preseason games for which the players receive a tiny stipend. That would result in more total money going to the players even under a smaller percentage of total revenue. There are several issues with this solution that have to be worked out but that is the only way this issue can be resolved.

The reinstatement of a hard salary cap. This is critical. Look at the disparity of team payrolls in baseball. Given the economics of the game, there is no way that half of the teams in MLB will ever make the playoffs. Of course a team can sneak up on the playoffs like the Marlins have but the next year they will be forced to sell off their team’s best players. This would change the basic nature of the NFL game. Without out a hard cap, there would be no profit sharing with the exception of the national TV contracts. Right now the NFL shares a larger percentage of their revenue than in any other sport. In my estimation, the elimination of the cap and revenue sharing would cause no less than 8 teams to fold.

The lack of guaranteed contracts. This is the white wale of the negotiations. MLB and the NBA have guaranteed contracts. That has led to the inmates (players) running the institution (the leagues). The campaign for Exec. Director by the two players focused on this issue. Smith had not brought this issue up during the campaign but has since. In my opinion this is a deal breaker.

Neither of the other leagues are contact sports. The number of player that are injured and able to return but at a reduced capacity is very high in the NFL compared to the other sports. The single thing that makes the NFL the best league is the lack of guaranteed deals. How long do you think Manny Ramirez would last in New England? Not as long as it takes most people to say his name. Players with huge attitudes perform or are gone.

What will happen?

2010-an uncapped year. There will be no deal before the start of the 2010 season. It will be an uncapped year.

2011 season will see a work stoppage. These three issues cause a logger head that prevents a deal. The players walk out of negotiations and the league hires replacement players to play the season. Does anyone have the phone number of Tim “I’m on the” Couch?

If you wonder what its like to coach in the semi-pro leagues, just watch Bill Belichick deal with a team of street free agents. Now that would make the HBO show “Hard Knocks” worth watching. The UFL will flourish and gain market share. The NFL will muddle through the season. Then when the draft is scheduled, the players will come back and the two sides will find a way to resolve the issues.

But the damage will have been done. The league will never match the high water mark of 2008-2009 again.

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 is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits ..

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