Tagged with "Cleveland Browns"
Monday Moaning 9-23-13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NCAA Notre Dame Cleveland Browns Rosie Jones Michigan State Finnegan The Beeze Alabama Minnesota Vikings

     WOW!

That's all you can say...This past week the Cleveland Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Colts...Cleveland fans were pissed, and rightfully so...HERE was my view the day after...Most Browns fans saw it as the organization throwing in the towel on the season...That tied with the fact that 3rd string QB Brian Hoyer was going to start this week's game...Then our pal Radatz posted THIS history of the Browns on Sunday...For those who are unaware of the highs and lows of the franchise, it's a great piece...

So after all this, what happened Sunday? The Browns rolled into Minnesota, and found their way to a 31-27 victory...The team seemed to have an energy they lacked the first two weeks...A key piece of that spark on offense was the return of Josh Gordon from a two game suspension...Hoyer added another spark...While the Vikings did get three picks, Hoyer seemed to scan the field better then Weeden...And the most noticeable thing he did was get the ball out of his hand quickly...Quick decision making and quick release...Something Weeden hasn't shown...

That said, I'm not planning on seeing the Browns in the postseason...Part of this win falls on the Vikings Defense that has shown a knack to crumble in the fourth quarter...That and their offense has looked one-dimensional...Hoyer is probably not the long term answer, but he could be a nice stop-gap for the time being...Sunday's game may have helped Browns fans' mood...It may have helped people's view of the front office, but I suspect that will be short lived after next week, when in my opinion they'll lose to the Bengals...

-This week College Football was full of a lot of shit games...A week full of many of the big boys beating on smaller programs...People were raving in this neck of the woods about (4) Ohio State destroying FAMU 76-0...Well no offense to FAMU, but Ohio State should have destroyed them...(1) Alabama beat Colorado State 31-6...But don't let the score fool you...'Bama struggled...They didn't pull away until the fourth quarter...Heading into the 4th they were only up 17-6 and the Rams had shut them out in the 3rd quarter...

For the second week in a row, (15) Michigan nearly lost to a team they should have blown out...It wasn't until just under 5 minutes left in the game, that the Wolverines took a 24-21 lead...Did these guys shoot their load against Notre Dame, or are they simply playing down to their competition?

Speaking of (22) Notre Dame, they defeated rival Michigan State 17-13 in a sloppy, sloppy game...both teams didn't look that good...You could call it a defensive battle, and both D's did play well, but both teams racked up too many penalties...And Irish QB Tommy Rees showed too many flashes of his old self...Looking right at his primary target...Not scanning the field...Luckily, MSU's aggressive corners were too busy getting too physical with receivers, drawing penalties, instead of reading Rees' eyes...Sooner or later, Rees is going to lose a game all on his own...He's just not that good...For 3 years I've been dying to see Andrew Hendrix get a real shot as the starter...I don't think Coach Kelly has that in his plans unless Rees gets hurt, or full-out shits the bed, which he has done before...The road doesn't get any easier as (14) Oklahoma comes to South Bend this week...

-If you were looking for a shootout this weekend, your game was Friday night as Boise State and Fresno State got it on...I missed the first half...Friday evening I decided I needed to get away from this house for a bit...This new puppy shit added to the mix has been kicking my ass...For some reason, I'm the one this dog wakes up in the middle of the night...And I'm the one he wakes up at 5:30 AM everyday...Between the kids, and my role as Mr. Mom, along with work, mixing in the puppy, I was feeling frazzled...So, I went to a local bar and watched the Indians game and talked movies with some strangers...And I got a solid buzz on...

When I came home, (slice of cheese cake in hand to help stay out of the dog house) I popped on this game...I always enjoy watching both these teams...Sadly, I passed out in my chair...Luckily Finnegan the puppy started jumping on me and scratching my leg to wake me up at 3:30ish AM...The game was being replayed...So I took him to dump, then he ran around the house like a maniac, and threw stuffed dog a hump be fore he laid back down...And I enjoyed watching Boise State coming back to take the lead with 7 minutes left, followed by Fresno State scoring the game tying TD and game winning extra point with 2 minutes left...41-40 Fresno State...

I ended up staying up until 8:30AM...Then I went to bed for a 3 hours before getting back to the grind...

So, since I mentioned the little mutt...I may a swell share this video I took this past week...And Older couple down the street have the same type of dog...The kids loved seeing it when they would walk him...This dog is what started the push for us to get one...He's a year old now, and has some size on our 6 week old Finnegan...And Finnegan missing playing with his sisters, and dad, was looking to get rough with another dog...This is just tiny bit of what was an hour of Finnegan acting tough...

The other dog, Jasper was actually afraid at first, but he finally realized he could easily knock Finn on his butt...And up until this interaction, we had only heard two tiny barks from Finn...The kids got quite a kick out of it...

That's it for now...

Have a week...

The Beeze.

Now Will You Listen to Me?
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns Fans Cleveland Indians Dolts Colts Trent Richardson


 


For the last few years I have been a very vocal critic of the Cleveland Browns...Especially when that fat walrus Mike Holmgren was here...Besides that I have also been a very vocal critic of the Cleveland sports fan, especially Browns fans...In April I signed my fandom over to the Seattle Seahawks in a two year deal...Hey, players leave, coaches leave...As we saw here in the Cleve, teams leave too...So why the hell should we all be so damn loyal....

Guess who is smiling today...Yep, this fucking guy! When news broke yesterday evening that the Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Colts, I was slightly shocked...Then I laughed...This is the guy that was a no doubt about it top 4 pick...The Browns moved up to take him 3rd overall...Two years ago...Dude was going into his second year, and some how he doesn't fit into these ass-hats future plans...He now joins second year, young stud QB Andrew Luck in the Colts backfield...Clearly the Colts know how to rebuild on the fly!

The Browns front office and coaching staff can say what they want, but it's bullshit...They have given up on this season after two weeks...QB Brandon Weeden is hurt...He can't go this week...SO what do they do...They aren't starting #2 QB Jason Campbell...They're going to start the local guy, 3rd stringer, Brian Hoyer...Not sure how that makes sense, other than saying, we are tanking this fucking season...No offense Hoyer!

I have repeatedly scream at Browns fans for wasting their money on this franchise...You wouldn't keep going to the same restaurant if the food was awful...You wouldn't keep going to the same mechanic if your car kept coming out more fucked up...You just don't keep dumping your money into a bad product...It's common sense...And most people agree, except when it comes to their shitty sports teams...It's time to listen to me Cleveland...Don't put anymore money in this criminal fuck, owners pocket...

Many media members, local and national, keep telling Cleveland fans to "Have faith," and that "This trade will be good for both teams down the road." NO...No it won't...It just fucking won't...This isn't a bitching Clevelander feeling bad about our station in life...This is me...And this is a fact, this trade won't be good for the Browns...It is fact, backed up by years of proof....Since 1999 this franchise has been run by idiot owners, stupid GM's, and bad coaches....They all come in with a new plan...Start over, making it their own, and fired before any positive results appear...Why would this group of dolts with no proven, positive track record be any different? It won't be!

So the Browns go in the shitter...Draft one of the elite QB's that will come out next year...Then what? His career will be done in 4-5 years, because the building blocks of Alex Mack and Joe Thomas will be on the decline of their careers before these dolts sure up the rest of the offensive line...So star QB will have 3 season ending injuries by week 8 in each of his first 3 seasons...He'll be busted up, and gun-shy...The team will give up on him, trade their best talent for draft picks and rebuild again....It's a horrible cycle of suck....

If the NFL cared at all about the fans of Cleveland, they would just disband the Browns...End it...ESPN Classic can still show "The Drive" and "The Fumble"...Fucking glory days! NFL Network can break out the old NFL films stuff, showing people how the pre-Super Bowl era Browns were one the greatest teams in the history of sports...But this shit that Cleveland has tolerated since 1999 needs to just go away...Go the fuck away!

Cleveland, I'm not lying to you...I was born and raised here...lived here my whole life....Your life will be better if you do what I did, and turn your back on the Cleveland Browns...Make them earn your money, respect, and love...Just don't give it away like a slut...Oh, and by the way, the Indians will finish this season with a winning record, and are in a tight battle for a playoff spot, and you're missing it, because all you care about is a shitty football team that has done nothing but take a big steaming dump on your chest!

Fuck the Browns!

The Beeze.

Q-o-t-D 9/19/13 Tags: NFL Cleveland Browns Trent Richardson Colts

 

So big news in Cleveland, the Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Colts for their 2014 first round pick...

So, I think it's clear that it will be a good move for the Colts...But will it be good for the Browns?

 

 

Monday Moaning 9-9-13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NCAA College Football NFL Cleveland Browns Cleveland Fans Notre Dame Michigan Texas BYU USC Lane Kiffin Rocky Colavito Kids The Beeze

 

Now if you saw this at the Browns game, then you actually would have had a decent reason for all that wasted time and money...To steal from Ben Folds, Sunday the Browns opened their season at home against the Dolphins in "The Battle of who could care less." Although the Jets and Bucs seemed to have one of those going on too...

 

Living in Cleveland and being a sports fan sucks...You won't get the normal Cleveland whining from me though..."We're cursed"..."I'll never see a championship"..."Just one before I die"..."Art Modell and LeBron did this to us"..."Why did we trade ROCKY_COLAVITO?"...Fuck that...Grow up! 

 

The Browns suck because of years of bad management...The Expansion Browns were a rush job and everytime a new coach and/or GM come in, let alone owner, the process is started over again, because they all want to do it their way...Sundays in Cleveland were happier days when the Browns were gone...Clevelanders spent a lot less money on Sundays...Fans loyalty shifted solely to their fantasy players...Now you always have that one dope who;s gotta draft Browns...You go right ahead and draft Weeden and his 3 picks! Nothing like a second year QB who is a project, and he's about to turn 30...Just one of many problems that the Browns put on display Sunday...I will say the defense wasn't half bad...They shutdown the Dolphins ground game...Although that could be because the Dolphins don't have a ground game...

 

The Browns lost Sunday, and they looked bad doing it...I know Clevelanders hate this local boy for his negative views,  but since I gave up on being a loyal Cleveland sports fan, I've been a lot happier...Sunday I watched the whole Browns game...It was the first time I've watched a Browns game from start to finish in 2 years...I just wanted to see the direction this new coaching staff/GM/owner were going in...I wanted to see if there may be any progress...Looks like the same old shit...Maybe I'll see ya in another 2 years....Go Seahawks!

 

Sadly, Saturday evening sucked for us Notre Dame fans...The (#14) Irish fell to (#17) Michigan 41-30...So much for the Irish Defense being the unit to rely on...Not that the offense was stellar...One Irish TD came on a Stephon Tuitt interception in the end zone...

 

One point that needs to be made to coach Kelly and his offensive staff...Golson isn't there...Tommy Rees is your guy, but he can't throw on the run...So taking those fucking plays out of the game plan....Or play Hendrix who has a better arm, and can run, and can run and throw at the same time...Rees threw a INT late in the first half that was very costly...He was rolling left and attempted a throw he can't make...This is the shit that gets Rees in trouble...Coach, you want to stop screaming at the kid...Stop trying to get him to do shit he can't do...

 

I didn't expect the Irish to win this one...After week one, it seemed clear to me that Michigan was a better team...Then Kelly said stupid ass shit about how he didn't think Notre Dame vs. Michigan was that big of a rivalry...WTF! Where the fuck have you been...I've been to 4 ND/Michigan games...Shit is intense...By halftime I'm looking for a Michigan fan to skull fuck!  When he said that shit, I just knew it...Brady Hoke was gonna have his guys geared up...And look out Buckeyes...Hoke has got that program turned around...That Big-10 title isn't locked up yet...

 

There were other fans feeling low Saturday...(#15) Texas got fucking steam rolled by BYU, giving up 550 yards on the ground...The QB ran for 259...Hey Texas, the read option is here to stay...Time to get in some film study and tackling drills!

 

(#25) USC Trojans showed they don't deserve their ranking, losing at home to Washington State, 10-7...USC only scoring 7 points...Wow that is beautiful! The world's most overrated douchebag coach, Lane Kiffin looked clueless...As usual...He tried both his QB's because he just can't figure out which one sucks less...How many more chances is this dick-bag going to get...He fails and leaves programs in a mess, yet he keeps coming back...I hope USC keeps him for awhile so he can run that program into the ground for a long time...

 

(#12) Florida fell to Miami 21-16, turning the ball over 5 times...(#16) Oklahoma, like USC, grossly overrated, squeaked past West Virginia 16-7 in an ugly game...(#7) Texas A&M gave up 28 points and 240 rushing yards in their victory over Sam Houston State...Boy oh boy the rest of the SEC are going eat them up....

 

For the second game in a row, South Carolina star defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney didn't do much to live up to the Heisman hype that has been swirling around him...His (#6) Gamecocks fell to (#11) Georgia 41-30 in what was a must win for the Bulldogs after falling to Clemson last week...

 

In Beeze news, we're getting a puppy...The talk has gone on for awhile...I fought it for a few years...But the wife, and Molls broke me...We picked out a little fella when friend shad a litter recently...We've named him Finnegan...Finn for short...

 

 

 His got a little cleft lip, but it gives him some character...He's been healthy, and goes to the Vet this week for another check...And if the Vet gives the okay, we'll get him by the weekend...He's been the most active of the three puppies, and the first to eat solid food...He's little but tough...We went to see him Saturday...

 

 

Molls loves the him...Or as she put it..."Him my puppy, Finnegan loves me!"

 

Mrs. Beeze is all excited to buy stuff for the puppy...I swear to God she's more excited then the kids...That is until the first time he shits in her shoes...

 

That's it for now...

 

Have a week...

 

The Beeze.

HAL B.’s FANTASTIC FRIDAY SPORTS SPECTACULAR
Category: FEATURED
Tags: football NFL Aaron Hernandez New England Patriots baseball basketball hockey chicago blackhawks cleveland browns mark sanchez mike lombardi

Happy final Friday in June!  Summer is here in New England and hockey and basketball have finally finished their seasons.  Baseball is in full swing, and in the NFL, there is no such thing as an offseason anymore.  The grass courts of Wimbledon are being trod to dust under the sneakers of the world’s greatest players.  

 

 

OK, time to get to the sports on the last day of school for the Bent children (June 28th is very late indeed!) . It is also the day after the lovely Mrs. B started her first class (summer course) at Nursing School which is great news for me personally as I get to cross off “knocking boots with a college girl” from my mid-life crisis checklist.

 

WHAT THE PUCK?:

I was hoping to write on Thursday about a thrilling game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night in Chicago, but the Boston Bruins dropped the ball (puck) late in the third period, allowing two goal in 17 seconds with under 2:00 minutes to play. I hate hearing that the Bruins “choked” or “blew it” against Chicago. To do so is such a disservice to an amazingly talented Blackhawks team.  

 

 

To be fair, I did not see much of the Blackhawks until the Western Conference Finals where they dismantled the defending champion Los Angeles Kings. This Chicago team has a strong defense, a very good goaltender, and amazing speed, versatility, and playmaking from their forwards.  They seemed a bit run-down in games one and two, but still gutted-out a split with the Bruins.

 

In game three, the Bruins dominated an out-of-sorts Chicago squad after their coach, Joel Quenneville, got over-creative and with Marian Hossa out, shuffled his lines until ALL of the players were uncomfortable and underperformed.  At this point, Boston fans were plotting out the Duck Boat path for the championship parade. Of course, once Quenneville got the lines in order for game four, the Blackhawks were clicking on all cylinders and just would not be denied.

 

One of the negatives of the Boston sports market is that the media/fanbase seems to point fingers and look for home team deficiencies rather than acknowledge that, just maybe, the other teams are good and played well.  So much anger was directed out that the Bruins “blew it”, that “they choked”, that “they shoulda won.”  Gentle Readers, the Boston Bruins--even having hung on in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals--would have been annihilated on the road in Game Seven. This Blackhawks team was too talented, too driven, too motivated, and was not going to be denied.

 

Sure, there is always a chance the puck bounces your way, but the Blackhawks were the better team, and the better team won.  There is no shame in that, no reason to point fingers, no need to disparage the Bruins. They put up a hell of a fight and I’m proud that the local team went out and put forth such an inspired effort (Patrice Bergeron: broken ribs, punctured lung, torn cartilage?  Wow. Just WOW!) and got to that point.

 

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BIG ROUND BALLS:

The NBA news cycle was driven by seemingly two stories: LeBron James & Doc Rivers.

1. LeBron James is an amazing player. In no way should there be meaningful comparisons to Michael Jordan until there is some historical perspective, but considering it is 2013 and snap-judgements rule (yes, I am as guilty as the next person if not more so) there has to be a debate so Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith earn their exorbitant salaries.  I am finally old enough (I’ll be 40 next year) to apply the “back in my day” arguments, so in this case it is hard to argue Michael Jordan. He beat Magic Johnson, he beat Larry Bird, he beat Isiah Thomas, he beat Karl Malone and John Stockton, he beat Hakeem Olajuwon, he beat EVERYONE.

Sorry to say, LeBron, but you beat NOBODY until you teamed up with the best players in the league instead of challenging them and beating them.  How easy would Michael Jordan have had it to hold out and force the Bulls to trade him to the PrimeTime Lakers or Big Three Celtics teams of the 1980s.  Of course he would have won more rings with Magic, Kareem and Worthy or Larry, McHale and Parish, that’s a no-brainer.  Unlike LeBron James in Cleveland, Jordan stuck it out in Chicago and lifted his teammates to victory, rather than let his superstar teammates support him as is the case in Miami.  

That, more than anything, separates the two most amazing NBA players of my lifetime (and yes, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are right there as well).

 

2. I have no anger towards Doc Rivers. I think he is an excellent coach who has one world championship and nearly two in his time in Boston.  If he wants to capitalize on his earning power and status as one of the best head coaches in the game (San Antonio has the BEST, hands-down...game six not playing Tim Duncan at the end of the game notwithstanding) then more power to him. In the NBA, it does not take long to go from coach of the year to unemployed, as Rivers learned during his tenure in Orlando.

Rebuilding in Boston is not going to help him improve his standing--it will only detract from his skills as a leader of a good team who maximizes talent and game plans well.  His window of opportunity is small and he has to act now if he wants another chance in the near future to win. The Los Angeles Clippers may or may not be the best option for Rivers, but if the team is able to resign point guard Chris Paul and trade for center Dwight Howard, he will certainly have the talent around him to compete for an NBA Championship.

Doc will be missed in Boston, but he was within his rights to look for greener pastures, and bravo to Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge for making the move work for Doc and get something for Rivers.

 

* * *

 

FAST BALLS:

A Rose By Any Other Name:

One great note out of the Aaron Hernandez saga is that for me, personally, it is in practically in my backyard. The Bristol County D.A.’s office is heading up the investigation, arrest, and prosecution and their offices are in my city of residence.  My two children were in a tennis clinic last year that is put on each summer for free by the Bristol County D.A.’s office.

 

Who is the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office for the Community Affairs Division Neighborhood Liaison who registered them and chased down loose tennis balls?  Why, none other than former Boston Red Sox 1994 draft pick Brian Rose.  Red Sox fans will remember him as the local (Dartmouth, MA) product who looked like a future star after winning 17 games in AAA in 1997.  Instead, he was a washout in Boston and got dumped to Colorado for Mike Lansing and Rolando Arrojo.  So when I see the Bristol County D.A. staff in the footage of Aaron Hernandez’s house, the assistant D.A. and D.A. in court, it still somehow brings up thoughts of the all encompassing Boston Red Sox.

 

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A-Rod & the Cash:

As a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, dishing compliments to anyone New York Yankees related is often done through gritted teeth.  Many a dentist trip was required by listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver marvel at Derek Jeter’s ability to go from 1st base to 3rd base on a single (Seriously? Any player under the Prince Fielder/David Ortiz body type does that on a regular basis. There is no need to make up stupid reasons to complement a player.), or have them laud accolades on Scott Brosius, Tino Martinez, Jim Leyritz like they were Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Babe Ruth.  However, one New York Yankee I have an inordinate amount of respect and admiration for is the person most responsible for their success: General Manager Brian Cashman.

Cashman was back in the news this week, bashing injured steroids abuser and ultimate fraud superstar third baseman Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez for taking to social media platform Twitter to tweet his status as able to play in rehab games, contradicting a statement made by Cashman the day before.  Rather than hide behind the marketing department, Cashman made his feelings about the matter clear by telling ESPN New York:
"You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, [we will]," Cashman told ESPN New York. "Alex should just shut the f--- up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now."

Bravo, Mr. Cashman.  A-Rod has been over-coddled and it is obvious that the Yankees have had enough of his bologna. Since the Yankees are stuck with him (where are all those Yankees fans who blasted us Red Sox fans when the Sox “lost out” on A-Rod? Hello? Anyone there? Is this microphone on? Yankees fans? Hello?), A-Rod needs to realize he needs to put his ego aside and play ball with the Yankees as no one else in MLB wants anything to do with him. Heck, the Yankees want nothing to do with him, but have no choice but to deal with him. However, any dealings with him are on the Yankees terms, and A-Rod needs to realize that and get in line with the team’s wishes ASAP.

 

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Domonic is Hitting like a Demon:

One player who has been under the radar all season is Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown.  Perhaps it has to do with the Phillies flying under the radar as their veteran stars age and the team tumbles down the standings, or maybe it is that Brown is not a big self-promoter and focuses on improving himself and keeping his job.

Brown has long been discussed as a top prospect in Philadelphia and the Phillies have resisted all overtures for the slugging young outfielder. What’s amazing is that he is leading the league in home runs after three years of fits and mis-starts where he never seemed to get any consistent playing time over the past three seasons.  How bad was he jerked around by the Phillies? They played decrepit and putrid corpse of Raul Ibanez and the horrific-even-in-his-prime Juan Pierre ahead of him the past few years. Why? Well, maybe the manager is an idiot.

Seriously, Brown did not do much in his limited opportunities.  The history of major league baseball is littered with players who were “can’t miss prospects” who never made it the show, or fell flat on his face when given multiple opportunities.  There is even a term for the player who destroys AAA pitching and fails in the major leagues, a 4-A (Quad-A) or AAAA hitter. Even this season, Brown had a lousy first month of the season but stuck because the Phillies had no one else to take his at-bats.

One final point with Brown is that he is overcoming a broken hamate bone in his wrist from spring training 2011.  This is a serious injury for a hitter and although it usually heals in a few months, the loss of power can take over a year to return.  Brown, with both the injury and the frustrating loss of power, is finally at the point where he feels he is the same hitter he was prior to the injury, and the results show in the box score. Whatever the reason, its great to see the turnaround by a young (25 years old) left-handed power hitter.

 

* * *

 

NFL NOTES:

 

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish:
Some quick points about former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez:

As I stated before he was arrested, if he murdered Odin Lloyd, life in prison is not enough, but will have to be because this is Massachusetts.

As I also stated before he was arrested, if he covered up information, destroyed evidence, or hindered the police investigation in any way he should get the punishment commensurate to the conviction with no special athlete/celebrity exceptions made.

Based on the evidence presented in the bail hearing and naming of charges, Hernandez has to be one of the stupidest, most arrogant individuals on the face of the planet to commit such a heinous crime and believe he was not going to be caught. Forensic evidence, video surveillance, rebuilding/retrieving information from physically damaged equipment is so prevalent, that thinking he could not be caught is inconceivable to me.

The two worst things about this:

1. He has a young daughter who has this idiot’s stigma attached to her for life;

2. There is a man, Odin Lloyd, who was murdered.

At this point, I feel as if Hernandez is just another former player. As a fan of the New England Patriots, I applaud the team for releasing him and dealing with the salary cap situation rather than suspending him. It is a sign of organizational integrity. Hernandez has likely spent his his last days on this planet as a free man, based upon the news about the evidence.

The Patriots--already transitioning their offense following years of stagnant game plans built around 5-yard slant patterns--now have the entire training camp to further rework the offense without the Hernandez distraction hanging over the team.  It was a smart move, and more importantly, it was the right move for the team and entire organization.

 

Browns No Longer Blue?:

It sounds ludicrous to those of us in of the Northeast corner of the country, but there is football news taking place outside of North Attleborough, MA that does not involve New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and the homicide of semi-pro player Odin Lloyd. I know I need a break from the non-stop coverage and some REAL NFL news:

 

The Cleveland Browns appear to be on the right track with General Manager Mike Lombardi in charge of the front office. Cleveland, going back to their expansion days with Butch Davis have lacked strong, experienced leadership in the front office. Browns CEO Joe Banner made what I consider to be the best move available by hiring Lombardi away from the NFL’s cable television station and website to take over the seemingly eternally struggling franchise.

 

Lombardi made an immediate impact in the draft, not reaching for a quarterback, but instead wisely staying put to draft impact OLB Barkevious Mingo, an impact pass rusher much like when former Patriots coach/executive Bill Parcells grabbed Willie McGinest to build his eventual Super Bowl defense around. The team was patient in the draft--not reaching for need--and then trading later round picks for future draft picks and moving up a round. If this sounds like the New England Patriots, remember Lombardi cut his teeth on Bill Belichick’s staff with the original Cleveland Browns franchise.

 

Another under the radar move was the draft day trade for Miami’s Davone Bess.  Bess is a quarterback’s best friend as a slot receiver with good quickness (though not high-end speed) and soft hands. Hmmm, an underappreciated Dolphins slot receiver obtained for a draft pick?  Sounds like another Belichickian move with hints of the 2007 trade for Wes Welker. This gives the Browns two quality, young outside receivers in Josh Gordon and Greg Little, with a veteran slot receiver.  If free agent acquisition David Nelson--formerly of the Buffalo Bills--is healthy, the Browns have a solid group of wide receivers.

 

The Browns now have made strides on offense under Lombardi at wide receiver, have second year back Trent Richardson looking to build off his rookie season and back-ups Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson,, and an offensive line built around all-world left tackle, Joe Thomas, who is probably the best player in the NFL that most fans wouldn’t know.  

 

Adding Mingo to the defense on one side to rush the quarterback can only help the unit, and former Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger who was added in free agency should give the Browns a solid quarterback hunting crew, but the best pick-up could be defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Brought in by new coach Rob “Chud” Chudzinski, Horton is bringing the 3-4 base defense to Cleveland and a mind-set of attacking the offense and dictating the game, rather than reacting to the offense. That mindset was evident by the other big free agent signing, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant, who--his world’s worst mug-shot notwithstanding--was a judicious signing for below market value. Add in the return of young potential stars nose tackle Phil Taylor and cornerback Joe Haden, and the defense could be a pleasant surprise in 2013.

 

The big question in Cleveland is the quarterback position, as last year’s front office drafted quarterback Brandon Weeden in the first round in a move roundly criticized on the NFL Network by none other than current Browns General Manager Mike Lombardi. While not drafting a quarterback this year, the Browns did trade back-up quarterback Colt McCoy away.  Weeden’s biggest problem was that he was a 28 year old rookie, so there is no time to wait for him to grown into the role.  

 

With Pat Shurmur’s west coast offense out the window and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner running the offense (just a side note: Norv is a terrible head coach, but a fantastic offensive coordinator--some coaches are not meant to Captain the ship, but can be the best First Mate in the fleet, and that is Turner) there has to be nowhere to go but up.  Nothing-but-a-backup free agent signee Jason Campbell was signed, but the interesting pick-up was former New England Patriots clipboard holder Brian Hoyer. Lombardi once said on NFL Network that the Browns should have traded for Hoyer and put him in ahead of prior starter Colt McCoy.

 

With extra picks in 2014, the Browns could be planning to grab their quarterback from next year’s draft, and even if they do, either Weeden, Campbell or Hoyer could potentially surprise and bump Cleveland up into the Wild Card mix. With an improving defense, a strong running game, and two dynamic young wide receivers, a game manager at quarterback who protects the ball could be all Cleveland needs right now. Either way, after 11 wins over the past two years, this year’s squad looks ready to aim quite a bit higher in 2013.

 

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ButtFumble and Fumbling His Butt

No week is complete without a New York Jets player or coach causing some kind of news.  This week embattled Quarterback Mark “Dirty” Sanchez went out of his way to make sure that the pressure of competing for his job this summer was not going to let him down.  Oh no, instead video footage emerged at TerezOwens.com with the Sanchise getting down and dirty with his butt-naked and dancing with the ladies at a house party.  

Nice to see the Jets offensive leader is taking advantage of the offseason to work being offensive, since there is no offense between the harsh-marks except offending the sensibilities of fans of proper execution of plays and scoring touchdowns.

 

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OK, that’s all I have for today.  Thanks as always for reading! Have a superb summer weekend (unless you are in the southern hemisphere and are in the dead of winter, in which case you’re probably cursing me and flipping the bird to the computer screen).

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