• Author:
  • Published: Jan 5th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Where the Browns SHOULD go from here–QB

Where the Browns SHOULD go from here–QB

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Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I analysed the Wildcard playoff games including my picks against the spread. The podcasts are on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

First the team needs to set the priorities. In my opinion they should be the following:

1. Quarterback – The one thing that was painfully obvious was the team as 3 backup quarterbacks and no starter quality guy on the roster. While part of that is inexperience, a larger issue is terrible mechanics. The Browns need a new QB coach because all three QB’s showed no progress in fixing their techniques. In fact the starter most of the season Brian Hoyer’s mechanics deteriorated during the season.

I would not be opposed to resigning Hoyer as long as there was someone on the staff that could help him with his mechanics. I doubt that will happen because he thinks he is a starter. He is not a starter given the mechanics issues and lack of arm strength.

My preferred solution would be a trade for Zach Mettenberger if the Titans select a QB with their 2nd overall pick. Mett has a huge arm, was playing in a pro style O at LSU and played well on a very bad Titan team. His mechanics are better than any of the current Browns and he has the size and arm talent to be a QB of the future.

If Mett is not available, the Browns need to bring in a young veteran not named Kirk Cousins. If you are replaced by Colt McCoy, you are not a QB of the future for anyone.

There are a number of used QB prospects that are young but have some experience. In addition the Browns need to draft a QB in the first 3 rounds. I am not convinced that Johnny Manziel is a bust, but at the least he is all talk and no action. He needs to work hard and that does not seem to be part of his DNA. He like the other QB prospects on the roster needs better coaching.

Bottom line: This is a QB league. If you have a good one you get to the playoffs. If not, you get fired. It is just that simple. Had the Browns listened to me or my show, we would have used the 2nd round pick in 2012 on Russell Wilson and not be in this fix.

So that is step 1 of the plan. I will be detailing the other steps needed in future articles.

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: Nov 13th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Playoffs? Playoffs?

Playoffs? Playoffs?

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Note: On NNR today Tony Williams Giants and Knicks beat reporter for Metro New York and I discussed the NFL and NBA in detail. The podcast is on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

With the Browns win over the Bengals Thursday there has been a lot of talk of the Browns being a contender for the playoffs. We got Tony’s answer on the podcast. But for me the answer is “Maybe.”

The reason I am not sure is the loss to the Jaguars. If the Browns had taken care of business they would have a game and a half lead on the rest of the AFC North which at least this season is the best division in the NFL. The history of the Browns since they have come back is they play up to their opponents or down depending on if the team they are facing is better or worse. Playoff teams win those games.

Playoff teams are able to run the ball. The Browns did well against the Bengals D, but in the previous 3 games averaged under 3 yards per carry. That is not what Playoff teams do.

The third area that distinguishes playoff teams from pretenders is their ability to stop the run. At times this season the Browns D has stopped the run. But more often they have struggled to do so. This season they are giving up an average of 134 yards per game which is 28th in the league.

A win over the Texans would be another good step toward the playoffs. But there are still criticial games ahead. The Browns need to keep winning and not over look anyone. Even a winless Jags team beat the Browns.

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: Aug 13th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns Offense is not ready for prime time.

Browns Offense is not ready for prime time.

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BrownPrac

Quarterbacks:

Brian Hoyer is still having problems with his plant leg. High throws over the middle usually come from the inability to plant properly. That should improve with time. Hoyer found the open receivers when they were there but that was infrequent. His timing was OK. He got the throw off on time on most of his throws. The one time he was late was the long throw to Austin to start the 2nd quarter. He showed good accuracy but does not have the arm strength you would like. The failure to get the TD when he had 1st and goal from the 8 was not acceptable particularly with the 1st string against the 2nd team of the Lions. To win in the AFC North you need 7 not 3. He also did not covert a single 3rd down.

Johnny Manziel does not make reads and that limits his pocket effectiveness. When his pre-snap choice is available he is effective. When that player is covered, he tends to run rather than make a 2nd or 3rd read. He doesn’t anticipate the receiver coming open. As a result he is often late on passes. That is a big problem he will have to overcome before he can be a quality NFL QB.

Coach Pettin felt like he had to add Rex Grossman to teach both Hoyer and Manziel the offense. That is a bad sign for the development of the team. The Browns should have added Rex June 2 (after it would no longer affect compensatory pick calculation) if they felt that the QB duo was having trouble picking up the system. While Rex will help the QB teaching, he does not provide any help with the wide receiver situation.

Offensive Line:

New LG Joel Bitonio played very well. RG John Greco did OK. The only issue with the 1st team was RT Mitchell Schwartz as usual. He was responsible for penalties and leakage against the pass rush. The second unit was a sieve. G Paul McQuistan looks like a solid player but everyone else is expendable. The O line depth is an issue.

Receivers:

If Josh Gordon is suspended, the Browns will have a bunch of 3rd or 4th wideouts but no 1 or 2. Miles Austin did not show anything and has a history of injury. Andrew Hawkins is a slot guy that is not a threat outside. Nate Burleson, the pizza delivery disaster, did not play. Charles Johnson caught 3 passes but did not show the speed or elusiveness I had hoped to see. He is recovering from an ACL so he might get better. Taylor Gabriel showed some promise but had a critical drop. Marlon Moore has return skills and the size and speed to become a player. TE/FB MarQueis Gray looked good but also had a bad drop. The rest of the group are just guys and have not shown they deserve to be on the 53. The Browns will not see how good the QB duo can be without out a decent receiver corps. They do not have one now.

Running backs:

Import Ben Tate has a great deal of talent but has never been able to stay healthy for a full season even as a backup in Houston. Now he is “the guy” but needs to hold onto the ball better. He should be showing better because he has experience in this system. I was a big Terrance West fan going into the draft. He has shown an NFL jump step and good vision. West uses his blockers like a pro. He is a fantasy sleeper that can be had in the late rounds of most drafts. Nobody else has impressed me at all.

The bottom line:

When the kicker is the team’s MVP the O needs work. At this point the Browns look like a 4 or 5 win team on offense. The D should be better in 2014 but the way the O looks the defense will spend a lot of time on the field. That is not a good sign.

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 29th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on AFL Star Abner Haynes is a great roll model.

AFL Star Abner Haynes is a great roll model.

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AHaynes

I have had the great pleasure and honor of having Abner Haynes on News, Notes & Rumors many times over the 5 years that the show has been on. Abner brings a combination of honesty and great sense of history to NNR. But there are a number of things that most fans that did not have the pleasure of watching him play don’t know. Being older than rock myself, I fondly remember watching Abner play.

He signed with the Dallas Texans of the AFL in 1960 having been drafted by the AFL, NFL and CFL. As a black man from a small school, he faced racism and the doubt he could play at the professional level. But from day 1 he proved he was up to the challenge. In 1960 he gained over 800 yards rushing and caught 55 passes for 576 yards. Most important he scored 12 touchdowns as a rookie. He was not only the rookie of the year but also won the player of the year in the AFL after the 1960 season.

But he proved his metal when the AFL scheduled their All Star game in New Orleans. Abner led the revolt of the minority players that prevented the league from going to a city that flaunted racism with misplaced pride. He and his fellow players forced the league to move the game to a more racially friendly location.

Abner is not only a former football star, he is a pillar in the community. He heads up the Heroes of Football organization (@footballsheroes on Twitter) that is dedicated to bringing justice to the former players and focus to the youth interested in the game. He has spent much of his time working with kids to give them a love of learning as well as football that will help them for their entire lives.

I consider myself very fortunate to have Abner as a friend. He is currently fighting a very serious disease with courage and a sense of humor that have been hallmarks of his life. He deserves our prayers for a complete recovery.

I am proud to call Abner Haynes my friend. The world and the US are a much better places having had men like Abner among their citizens.

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 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.

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