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  • Published: Oct 7th, 2013
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Browns/Bills Live Game Notes

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NOTE:  Tune in Monday Oct. 7 at 6 PM Eastern for a recap of the week 5 games by Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York paper and yours truly.  Hear it live on or the archives on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

 

Little’s return did not give Hoyer any favors.  1st at their 8.

Gordon drops the ball WIDE open.  Perfect pass despite having Williams in his face.  Lauvao wiffed on Williams.  That would have been a TD.

Bad start 3 and out on their 10.

=

Great field position for the Bills after a great return of 26

PI on Haden against Johnson. 1st and Goal at the 1.  Both guys were holding the other.

TD by Jackson.

BF 7 CL 0 13:16 left 1st

Second stupid return by Little.  WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

Little fumbled the ball but the Bills did not challenge

Nice out by Bess.  Perfect throw.

Great pass to Bess in the middle of the field.

Hoyer is down after a run for a 1st.  If he is out there goes the season.

Weeden in and back to form.  pass 10 yards over the head of the receiver

A short run and another Weeden airmail to nobody and the Browns kick

=

On the 1st down pass not any pressure by the D.

Nice pass by Manuel over the middle.  Got tipped by the intended WR and caught by the TE Chandler

Nice 5 yard run by Choice.

Skrine on Johnson prevents the catch

Manuel reads the blitz and is complete to Johnson for the 1st

Rubin with the sack loss of 9

Two missed tackles on Graham by Haden and Skrine.

Mingo with a huge hit on Graham forcing him to drop the 3rd down pass.

52 yard FG GOOD

BF 10 CL 0

With Weeden at QB 10 points are as good as 100.

Little benched on KO returns Rainey takes the TB

The O line is still rotten.  Weeden does complete a throw to Gordon

Lauvao pulls and runs right by LB Alanzo that tackled McGahee for a 5 yard loss.

The O line breaks down and Weeden is sacked.  Both Thomas and Greco went to the DT on a T E game and Williams gets the sack with no one on him.

=

Skrine with great coverage on Woods breaks up the pass.  Good pressure on Manuel.

Great blocking gives Jackson 10 yards.  Gipson missed the tackle.

Choice for 6 yards Haden on the tackle.  The O line is getting blocks on the second level.

Mingo chases down Manuel and forces the hurried throw

GREAT return by Benjamin 58 yards on the return

Cousins gives up a hit on Weeden because he was holding it too long.

Williams helmet to helmet on a pass to Bess.  1st down 12.5 Weeden is confused.

On that play Weeden hung Bess out to dry by throwing late and high.

Weeden is sacked.  Loss of 4 because he was confused by the play and coverage.

Weeden ran into the sack with his total lack of vision.

Sweep by Rainey is not blocked at all and he gets just 1 yard

3 yard pass to Cameron on 4th and 13.

30 yard FGA GOOD

BF 10 CL 3

=

Robertson gets Spiller for no gain.

Hughes with a good play to get Spiller for 2 yards

Manuel on a crossing pattern to Woods for the 1st.  Zone did not break down fast enough to prevent the completion.

Mingo gets Jackson for no gain.  Nice play by the rookie

Kruger knocks down the pass and forces the punt.  He dropped into the zone for the block.

Ogbonnaya drops the ball and is hurt on a 3 yard pass.

The O line can’t get any push on a run by McGahee for 2 yards.  He is not dancing he is looking for a hole.

Nice throw by Weeden and the O line picked up the blitz. 1st

Weeden late on the throw to the sideline and Roby almost picks it.

Weeden on time with a slant to Little for the 1st

Good throw by Weeden to Gordon to the 23.  Ball took a LONG time getting there

Good run by McGahee for 11.  Blocks by Mack and Greco.

TO Cleveland Weeden can’t get the guys lined up correctly.

McGahee with good vision gets to the 6.

Browns blow another TO because the personnel didn’t get in quickly enough

McGahee gets the first with Grey at FB

Cameron gets pulled down by Searcy 1st goal at the 1

McGahee blown up by DT Williams

He is nailed for a yard loss by Alonso

McGahee with good vision sees a crack and gets the ball in for the TD off right tackle

BF 10 CL 10  3:52 left 2nd Q

=

The Bills run at Mingo but not much there.

D Bryant and Kruger get to Manuel and the 3rd down pass is INC

Benjamin with a 79 yard TD return.  Great vision and speed.

CL 17 BF 10 2:20 left

=

Manuel zone read off Mingo but the run nets only a couple.

Personal Foul on RB Jackson takes the ball back to the 16.

Browns tackling on the runs by Jackson not crisp

Jackson gets tackled for loss by Taylor and Jackson

Browns almost block the punt.

CL 17 BF 10 HALF TIME

 

Rubin stuffs Spiller for just a yard

Woods gets away from Haden and gets to the 46  Good throw by Manuel under pressure

Spiller takes it 54 yards for the TD.  Ward came inside and Spiller went outside with the TD

CL 17 BF 17

Lauvao gets pushed down by the D line and McGahee gets a 3 yard loss.

Olay block by LG Greco lets Williams run right by him for the sack.

Browns 3 and out with a loss of 10 yards on the possession.

=

BF 46 YL 11:47

Manuel to Woods with soft coverage by Skrine 1ST down

Bills O line getting a push against the Browns

Skrine with a great pass breakup on Woods

Choice runs vs. a blitz by the Browns for the 1st at the 29

The Bills OGs are getting to the second level against the Browns.

Skrine with a great tackle on Manuel on 2nd and 7

Manuel runs and is hurt on his right knee.  1st down by the run

Ward called for PI 1st goal on the 1

TD by Jackson Browns lose contain again.

BF 24 CL 17

Nice throw by Weeden but it was late.  Little was wide open early then DB caught up at the ball got there.  Protection was good.

Fade is inc.  Weeden has never been able to make that throw.  Greco with a 15 yard penalty to the 37 Face mask.

Another late but accurate throw by Weeden to Gordon but he double caught it in the endzone for the score.  Good read by Weeden.

CL 24 BF 24 5:35  3rd Q

=

Hughes and Kitchens get the tackle on Spiller for 1

Bad throw by Tuel INC

TE Chandler drops a perfect pass by Tuel.  3 and out by BF when Tuel could not stand up against the blitz.

Weeden misses a wide open Little did not see him

Thomas with a false start.  May have been a late snap by Mack.

Weeden has no pocket feel and gets the ball stripped by Hughes.  Thomas recovers after he let Hughes get to the QB.

Three and out for Browns.

=

Ward nails Spiller for no gain.

Flee flicker to Woods is almost picked but Woods knocks it out of Gipson’s hands

Armonty Bryant gets the sack on 3rd and long.  Mingo got an assist by forcing Tuel off his spot.

Bad punt and 69 yard return by Benjamin puts the Browns at the Bill’s 31

Des Bryant DE is taken the Cleveland Clinic

Gordon drops a bubble screen pass 2nd and 6

Great run by McGahee with good block by Greco to the BF 12

END of the 3rd quarter

 

Another great run by McGahee Lauvao with the block to spring him to the 2

Weeden on a QB sneak for the 1st at the 1

Run to the left side nailed at the 2

McGahee nailed at the 6

Fade to Cameron bad throw by Weeden.  Fron the 1 why not a QB sneak for the TD?

FG from the 6 just inside the left upright.

CL 27 BF 24 12:31 left

=

Robertson and Jackson get RB Jackson for no gain at the 19

Tuel completes a bad pass to 11 but Haden and Jackson keep it from getting to the 1st

The ball hit the ground but the Browns don’t challenge.

11:15 left Browns on their 33

Greco stuffed but McGahee gets 4

Weeden to Cameron for 13 Barnage blocked the blitz but could have been called for a hold.

Hughes gets Weeden because he held it forever.  He is still staring down the WR.

3-15 Ball behind Bess and nearly got picked.  Weeden was late again.

=

Punt rolls to the BF 7

Pass by Tuel gets his first down

Haden was step for step with Woods and knocks the ball away at the Browns 45

Nice return by Benjamin of 12 yards get the ball out to the 43.  The Browns just missed the block.

 

Holding on Mack 1st and 20 6:50 left

Lawson gets Rainey for a loss of 5 on the screen pass

Late play call but Weeden gets it off to Rainey for 7

3-18 Great pass Weeden to Gordon for 18.5 and the 1st

Little drags McKelvin for 5 more yards and a 15 yard gain.

Lauvao misses everyone on a pull block but McGahee gets 2

Weeden can’t make up his mind where to go with the ball and has to throw it away to avoid the sack.

Any time Weeden feels pressure he tends to panic.

44 y FGA GOOD drive took 4:41 off the clock

CL30 BF 24 2:19 left

Tuel pass caught but Hogan was out of bounds.

Screen pass good to the 32.

Short pass to Hogan.

Tuel’s pass is jumped by Ward and pick 44 yards for the TD.

The Browns were playing zone and Tuel stared down his receiver.

CL 37 BF 24 1:44 left

=

Taylor chases the receiver 12 yards for the tackle

A Bryant forces a throw away by Tuel

 

FINAL Cleveland 37 Buffalo 24

 

Offense:  QB Brandon Weeden did well considering he was coming off injury and the short week.  The most important statistic was 0 picks.  It is too bad that QB Brian Hoyer was hurt.  The biggest impact of the injury is that the team will not see enough of his play to tell if he could be a long term solution.  In my opinion he was not the long term answer.  The team will draft a QB in the early rounds.  Will Hoyer start next year until the rookie is ready?  Quite possibly and the hope will be that Hoyer or Weeden can keep the team competitive until the new guy is ready.

Yes, Weeden is still staring down the receivers and panicking under pressure.  But IF he continues to play like he did against the Bills Weeden will be OK.  For the Browns to have any chance to win Weeden cannot give the ball away.

 

The running game began to show some spark.  RB Willis McGahee runs hard and he looks more comfortable in the offense than he did last week.  RB Bobby Rainey has potential and I liked undrafted rookie Fozzy Whittaker as well.  He is raw as sushi but has speed and toughness.

 

It was great to see WR Greg Little catch the ball with his hands.  He has way too much physical ability to allow his career to be ruined by bad hands.  Even WR Davone Bess drops the occasional ball as we saw this week.  WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron did OK in this game but neither had their usual spectacular catch we have seen with Hoyer at QB.  Hoyer has more touch than Weeden will ever get.

 

The O line got RG Shawn Lauvao back but he is at best a quality reserve.  He was pushed around a lot by the Bills D line.  LG John Greco is not much better.  He was fooled over and over on the T E game and allowed pressure and sacks on the QB.  He seems to be a better run blocker than pass protector.  Neither guard anchors well against a bull rush.  Both also struggle to read the blitz or games by the D line.  RT Mitchell Schwartz has some nice blocks but is not a starting quality OT.  Next the serious OG issue, he looks better than he is.

 

Defense:  Other than the 54 yard TD run by RB C.J. Spiller, the Browns did a great job of keeping the Bills offense under control.   On that play SS T. J. Ward blitzed and FS Tashaun Gipson did not go to the middle of the field like he should.  The Browns D held the Bills to 5 third down conversions in 17 attempts.  When E. J. Manuel went out with an injury, the Bills were no longer a threat to score.  Undrafted rookie QB Jeff Tuel is not an NFL quality QB.  He completed only 8 of 20 throws for 80 yards.  The Browns D looked good but this was not much of a test.

 

Special Teams:  PR Travis Benjamin was electric with two great returns including the 79 yard TD run.  We have not seen anything like that in a long time.  Spencer Lanning did a great job punting and Billy Cundiff was 3 for 3 including his 44 yard field goal and did well in kickoffs.

 

Coaching:  The second half of the game was better for Weeden because of the adjustments made by the staff at half time.  They put back the long balls with which Weeden was much more comfortable.  In previous seasons we have seen coaching staffs that were either unable or unwilling to make half time adjustments.  It was great to see the staff realize that the playbook had to change when Hoyer went down.

 

The Bottom line:  Perhaps the biggest question now is what kind of QB should the Browns bring in be the 3rd guy?  Here is an out of the box suggestion:  Sign former Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson.  He is on the Raiders developmental squad but going into the 2012 college season was expected to be a first round pick.  I scouted him and felt that he was much better than any of the top QBs.  He suffered from the change of coaches just prior to the 2012 season and a very poor line and receiver corps.  He has an above average arm and almost single handedly kept the team in contention.

 

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: Sep 24th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for week 3

News, Notes & Rumors for week 3

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News:

There is trouble in 49er land.  The passing game has gone south because the O line can’t protect Colin Kaepernick and the receivers can’t catch, the running game has disappeared and the D can’t get off the field.  Now LB Aldon Smith’s locker has been cleaned out and the team reports he has been given a leave of absence indefinitely while he goes to a rehab facility.

 

The Giants and Redskins are equally miserable.  Both are 0-3 but for different reasons.  The Giants can’t run the ball and QB Eli Manning throws as many to the other team as he does to his own.    The Redskins are waiting for Robert Griffin III to get back to where he was last year.  He is getting better every week but needs his receivers to catch the ball.  The Redskin defense stinks.  Neither team is getting into the post season but the Skins have hope.  The Giants do not.

 

The Browns traded RB Trent Richardson who was the third pick overall in 2012 to the Colts for a 2014 1st round pick.  For my thoughts on the  trade check out my editorial The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered” right here on FryingpanSports.com.

 

Notes:

Bengals 34 Packers 30 – Bengals founder Paul Brown once said “I would rather be lucky than good.  Goot teams lose.”  While the Cincy D played great, the offense did its best to give the game away.  In the 2nd quarter alone QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals gave the ball away four straight times inside their 40 yard line.  The Pack took a 30-14 lead in the 3rd quarter but Dalton led them back to the win with some help from Packers’ turnovers.  While the Bengals are 2-1 they are not that good.  The Pack was driving for the clinching TD when rookie RB Johnathan Franklin fumbled and DB Terence Newman returned it 58 yards for the winning TD.  QB Aaron Rodgers drove the Pack down to the Bengal 20 but the 4th down pass was deflected.  The Pack at 1-2 needs to watch out for the Bears 3-0.  But the Pack O will be OK in the long run as long as they can protect Rodgers.  Their D is a serious issue.

 

Bears 40 Steelers 23 – In the second half the Steeler offense started to gel but they were too far behind to finish the comeback.  The Bears D scored two TDs off of pressure on Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger.  The O line is a disaster and there is no running game.  The D still plays hard but do not get the turnovers they did in previous years.  The Bears are doing OK on O but depend too much on scores from the D.  QB Jay Cutler is spreading the ball around more than last year and is having a good season.  But he has O line issues too that have not yet cost the team.

 

Colts 27 49ers 7 – Kaepernick had a bad game but so did the O line and the defense.  Kaepernick does not have his TE.  The opponents are doubling WR Anquan Boldin and the other WRs were not getting open.  The running game with Frank Gore looks old and slow.  With no running game the play action was ineffective.  The WRs are not getting off press coverage.  In game 1 vs. the Packers, they used the bunch formation and used a lot of motion.  They did not in the last two losses.  I wonder why?

 

The D could not get off the field on 3rd down and Smith did not have a sack.  The 49ers are no longer as physical as they were last year on both the O and D lines.  Part of that is the poor season Gore is having.  But Kaepernick is not running effectively either.  Defenses have solved the read option to some degree.  When the up the gut running does not work, the read option will fail as well. The Colts played well but the win came from the poor play of the 49ers.  QB Andrew Luck is outstanding. The 49ers will get better and so will the Colts.

 

Panthers 38 Giants 0 – Manning was punished by the Panthers D line with 7 sacks and a bunch of hits.  The O line is struggling badly and the running game has disappeared.  They are -9 in turnover ratio.  The team is in disarray.  I doubt Coughlin can get it turned around any time soon.  The Panthers are OK but not outstanding.  QB Cam Newton has had an up and down season so far but the Giants D made him look great.  He led the team to their first win.

 

Browns 31 Vikings 27 – The Vikes were so bad the city has traded them to London.  The team will play the winless Steelers there next week and that will be a LONG flight.  Check out my Live game notes right here on https://fryingpansports.com/.

 

 

Rumors:

There are rumbles that the Giants management is not at all happy with Coach Coughlin.  HC Tom Coughlin is in serious trouble.  It looks to me like the team has tuned out the coaching staff.  The pass rush is missing in inaction and the O line is a mess.  There is no running game and Manning is getting pounded.  The front office is in part to blame for the issues.  They have allowed key players to walk away in free agency.  If someone becomes the fall guy it could be the coach and the GM.  That is something to watch.

 

Mike Florio of NBC Sports reports that the NFL is quietly pushing the NFLPA for the 18 game regular season.  Most stadium leases require at least 10 games.  The league would not cut the preseason to 2 games without the agreement of the union to go to 18 regular season games.

 

Could the Vikings be tanking to get a QB in the 2014 draft?  There is little doubt that the one thing holding the team back is the poor play of QB Christian Ponder.  The team needs to fix the situation quickly because the key players on the defense are near the end of their careers.

 

The Steelers are in deep trouble and there is no help in sight.  The O has struggled because of injuries but also because the team has drafted poorly.  QB Roethlisberger has been beaten often and has no running game to fall back on.  He also misses Mike Wallace’s speed to stretch the D vertically.  The D has struggled badly as well.  It has gotten old and fragile.  It no longer forces turnovers.  The team is in freefall and there is no quick fix to their issues.  Again the front office has to take a lot of the blame for the team’s fall.

 

The Browns are reportedly taking offers for WR Josh Gordon.  That is not because they don’t want him on the team.  The team is worried about another off the field issue that could cause the league to suspend him for a year.  While that is a risk with a player in the drug program, the team needs to spend more time helping him stay clean.

 

 

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: Sep 11th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors Week 1

News, Notes & Rumors Week 1

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News:

The running game in week 1 was WAY down in part because lots of NFL teams have major O line issues.  The Seahawks struggled to score 12 points against the Panthers.  The Browns could not run or pass in a loss to the Dolphins.  The Steelers lose their C Maurkice Pouncey and score only 1 TD.  There was only one RB that got 100+ yards (Shane Vereen of the Pats). and he has a broken bone in his wrist.

 

Colin Kaepernick QB of the 49ers was outstanding against the Packers.  He was 27-39 412 yards with 3 TDs and no picks.  His new best friend is former Raven WR Anquan Boldin who caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a TD.  Despite only running for a total of 90 yards the Niners beat the Pack.   Jim Harbaugh is going to owe brother John a REALLY nice Christmas gift for the trade of Boldin.

 

While the Bills D played well, the Pats are clearly hurt by the loss of targets for Tom Brady.  Of course the two fumbles by RB Stevan Ridley did not help the O.  The same can be said for the Ravens losing Boldin and the Steelers losing Mike Wallace.

 

The Pats have put Vereen on the IR with designation to return list.  That means the earliest he will be back is week 8.

 

The Browns wideouts have shown their speed.  Unfortunately for the team it was in cars on the streets of Cleveland and not on the field.  Both Greg Little and Josh Gordon have been fined for speeding.

 

 

Notes:

 

Bronco QB Payton Manning looks much better to me than he did at any time last year.  Even in the middle of the 2012 season the ball speed was down from his days in Indy.  As much as the 7 TDs were outstanding, his ability to hit very small openings between defenders this year is much better than any time last year.

 

There were two rookie QBs starting and Terrelle Pryor as a new starter for the Raiders.  Bills rookie starter EJ Manuel nearly beat the Pats with a passer rating of 105.  Geno Smith of the Jets had a rating of 80.6 but at least there were no butt-fumbles.  Pryor threw for 217 yards and ran for another 112 scoring a total of 3 TDs with 2 picks.  While none of the three got starter reps from the beginning of training camp, each did pretty well.  They will only get better with more experience.

 

Robert Griffin III did not look 100% to me.  I was not as concerned about his inaccuracy in the first quarter as I was about his mechanics.  Some of that was rust from not playing at all in the preseason.  But I wonder how healthy he is.  There were no QB runs and he looked a little clumsy getting out of the way of the rush.  That is something to watch.

 

Check out my analysis of the Eagles Offense posted yesterday.  I think you will find it interesting.

 

 

Rumors:

There are a couple of teams that are hoping that the Raiders, Jets and Bills fall in love with their new QBs.  The teams that want QBs from the 2014 draft don’t need those three teams joining in the bidding war to get the best candidates.

 

We saw more fights and jawing this week than in any week in recent memory.  The players are generally in a nasty mood and are taking it out on fellow union members.  If the NFL does not get control of this issue there is going to be trouble.

 

Don’t look for Jets’ QB Mark Sanchez to start any time soon.  His injury is worse than the team will admit and management wanted Smith to start day one anyway.  Management is not convinced Smith is the QB of the future but have seen more than enough of Sanchez.  The Jet fans agree.

 

The leash on Browns QB Brandon Weeden got a lot shorter this week due to his 3 picks and many misfires.  The management did not draft him and is not happy with his lack of development.  They will likely allow him to start the next 2 games at the Ravens and at the Vikings.  By the third game WR Josh Gordon will be back from suspension.  But unless he shows significant improvement he could be out week 4.  Backup Jason Campbell would likely replace him.

 

Local media is expressing doubts about the Browns personnel decisions.  The basic issue is that with injuries to the CB and RG spots the team failed to bring in any experienced help.  Instead they brought in undrafted rookies.  There are a couple of OGs available in free agency including Brandon Moore (Jets) and Deuce Lutui (Titans).  After week one a team can bring in a veteran player without having to guarantee his total salary.

 

Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin was fuming on the sidelines after seeing his team turn the ball over six times.

 

OSU is in trouble again but this time it is Oklahoma State University.  While the full scandal found originally by Sports Illustrated is not yet uncovered, it looks really bad.  The charges include payments to players, work done for them by tutors and even recruits getting a “happy ending” from their official hosts.

 

The zebras of the NFL did not have a good week.   While we never hear about penalties by the league against officials, there will be some this week.  Way too many of the officials seem to think the fans come to the game to see them.  Get a clue guys.  You are supposed to be the rule enforcers.  I have no issue with a judgment call being missed.  There is no excuse for not knowing the rules.

 

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

 

You can listen to the podcasts at https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and hear NNR Live with Samantha Bunten of NBC News and me Mondays at 6PM Eastern time on

 

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 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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nfl

News

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)

Notes:

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.

Rumors:

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 12th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors after Week 1 of the preseason

News, Notes & Rumors after Week 1 of the preseason

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Brett Favre in Confessions Of An NFL QB Drama ...

Brett Favre in Confessions Of An NFL QB Drama Queen (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

News, Notes & Rumors after Week 1 of the preseason

News
The injury bug seems to be alive and well despite a reduced uniformed practice schedule this season.  The injury de jure seems to be the dreaded torn ACL.  There were no ACL injuries on the first week of games.  All of them occurred during practice.
The NFL is still trying to get the 18 game season into the minds of the fans.  While preseason games are not popular, there will be a lot of player pressure against the move.  The NFL is even reducing the ticket cost of preseason games.  One thing that has not been talked about is the effect that 2 preseason games will have on the ability of undrafted players to make a team.  With the much more restricted practice schedule, the only real opportunity an undrafted player has is in preseason games.  Two less games will give the new guys only one game to show they belong.  The first preseason game will be used to prepare the starters for the season.
Browns color guy Bernie Kosar has been widely crushed for his opinions about the play of Rams players.  First, there is no Constitutional Guarantee for freedom from being insulted.  Second, if a color guy cannot express his opinion, why have one?   Rams Coach Jeff Fisher needs to get a lot thinker skin.  Jeff, shut up and pick better players.
 
Notes
Starting QBs that could be replaced–Josh Freeman TB looked very shaky against the Ravens.  He did not have his starting OGs and was not productive.  He is in the last year of his rookie deal and will be gone unless he shows he is a franchise QB.
Mark Sanchez NJ should not have been an early 1st round pick.  He has not developed and is now in a QB duel.  He will be remembered forever in NFL circles for the Butt Fumble.  His best chance of keeping the job might be the ankle injury to Geno Smith but that is reported to be minor.
Blaine Gabbert JK has not developed and some of that is on the coaches.  The Jags just need to find someone that can move the ball.  Gabbert has regressed in his time there and needs to find his game to keep the job.
Christan Ponder MN is not developing.  The best thing he has going for him is that the backup is Matt Cassel and he has already proven he is not a quality starter.
Payton Manning DV—Just kidding although the Broncos did run 3 plays out of the pistol while he was in.  Don’t expect Payton to run the ball any time soon.
 
Many teams need backup QBs – The backup is much more critical this season than ever before.  Due to a rule change if a player suffers a possible head hit he must be taken into the locker room to get tested for a concussion.  That could mean a starting QB could be out as much as a quarter and a half even if he is not injured just for the test.
The Pack had Graham Harrell at QB2 last year.  If Aaron Rodgers gets hurt the season is over unless the team finds a better 2.  Harrell turns the ball over way too much.  The Pack is close to SB quality unless he has to play QB for any extended time.  Good news for Harrell is that the expected challenger is Vince Young who couldn’t make the Bills roster last year.
According to Kosar, the Rams could use a better backup than Kellen Clemens.  I agree with Kosar.
The 49ers traded for Colt McCoy.  In his first game for the team he did what he does best—get hurt.  Colt will likely be out for the year and the team needs a QB2 as well.  So far neither Scott Tolzien nor B.J. Daniels look like they can play at this level.
The Falcons are searching for a backup.  Dominique Davis is the current backup but he has yet to prove he can handle the job.  He has never thrown a pass in a game and is backed up by two rookie QBs.
Players that caught my eye—RG2 Lane Taylor GB The undrafted RFA did very well on the run and the pass.  He is someone to watch given the issues and age of the OL.
FS2 Tyrann Mathieu AZ had a standout game and should unseat Rashad Johnson very soon.  Mathieu just makes plays.  That is exactly what the Cards need at FS IF he can stay away from trouble.
FB2 Zack Line MN not only can block but is a receiver as well.  I talked about him on my show before the draft and in his first game looked like a player.
J.D. Woods PT really showed his ability to catch.  He had to try to catch balls thrown by John Parker Wilson.  Woods’ first catch was well over his head.  The second one was thrown out of bounds but he caught it and got both feet down.
Sloppy games of the Week—Bucs/Ravens game had more flags than the UN does.  Both teams looked shaky on O and shot themselves in the foot on a regular basis with penalties and turnovers.
Steelers/Giants was a turnover fest that included muffed punts, RBs running into the QB in their own endzone and missed passes, fumbles, and blocked punts.  The final was 18-13 with most of the points coming off mistakes.
 
Rumors
While Chip Kelly offense looked pretty common, the D did not.  Kelly has prohibited tackling to the ground at Eagle practices.  It looked like the Bird D forgot it is legal to tackle during a game.  There were more whiffs than you see at most Cleveland Indian games.  Look for the tackle rules to change at practice.
The Packers CBs got burned a lot and things will not get better until they get the starting CBs back.  Given the issues with the 2nd unit, look for the Pack to be watching the cut lists very carefully.
Before the draft I talked about WR Kenny Stills as a late round value.  The Saints took him in the 5th round.  Although there were some glitches in his first preseason outing, the Saints think a lot of him.  He could win the 3rd WR spot this year.
The Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin was very quiet in the game vs. the Browns.  Coach Jeff Fisher said the team had to get Austin more involved in the O.  While he can return kicks, getting him more involved in the passing game will be harder.  There is no question about his speed but he is very short.  The key to getting him more involved will be getting him down the sideline from the slot. That would match him against shorter DBs.  It would help if there was any other receiver that could threaten the D.  So far there have been more drops than catches by the Rams group.
Undrafted QB Matt McGloin (Raiders) has moved ahead of 4th round pick Tyler Wilson for the #3 QB spot according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  But don’t trust McGloin to make the team.  He has serious flaws as a passer.  He improved a lot at Penn State in his senior year but Wilson is a quality prospect.  A lot of NFL teams would love a shot at Wilson as a key backup.
The Seahawks are looking for a solid backup to RB Marshawn Lynch.  They may have found one in ex Texas A&M back Christine Michael.  He had 89 yards in 16 carries for a 5.6 yards per carry average.  He blocks well and can play FB or HB and even a little TE.
The sudden retirement of Cowboy OG Brandon Moore has the team scrambling for a vet.  ESPN reports that they are after former Pats’ OG Brian Waters who retired in 2012.
Don’t bet on Bills QB Kevin Kolb to be the starter.  E.J. Manuel is coming on strong and Kolb cannot stand that type of pressure.
Fantasy Football comments:
Look for SF QB Colin Kaepernick to explode this year.  In the months leading up to the 2011 draft I talked a lot about him.  He has had an entire off season as the starter unlike last year when he was getting backup reps.  He said he is faster than last year which should scare NFC Ds to death.  Don’t worry about him losing WR Michael Crabtree or about him getting hurt running the ball.  He has a lot of weapons and is a very solid guy that never seems to take a big hit.
Don’t draft any KC receivers unless you are in a PPR league.  QB Alex Smith does not have a strong arm.  The vast majority of his throws will fly less than 8 yards under the WCO of Coach Andy Reed.
KC RB Charles will also be a risk.  Reed likes to pass a lot.  He passed a league high 61% of the time last season in Philly.  While Charles may get some short TDs, he will not get enough carries to get a bunch of yards.  He will catch a bunch of passes however.
Eagle RB McCoy is going in picks 9 or 10 in most draft leagues.  Remember that at Oregon Kelly ran the ball over 60% of the time.  If he stays healthy McCoy should get a lot of carries and catch some passes as well.
That is what I think.  Tell me what you think.
You can listen to the NNR 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 .

  • Author:
  • Published: May 3rd, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on An open letter to ESPN and the NFL Channel

An open letter to ESPN and the NFL Channel

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 95 percent of your viewers could care less about the New York Jokes (Jets).  If we wanted to watch clowns run into each other we would watch the Circus Channel.

Because both of you seem to live in Jets soap opera town, about 50% of us change the channel each time you start to cover the team.  We have gone from not caring about the Jets to hating them thanks to your super coverage of every dumb move they make.

So cover the other 31 teams more and let the Jets stew in their self made stupid sauce. 

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.

 

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