Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Thoughts from the Weekend

1. The Buckeyes... god damn... just.... god damn

2. Hey James Laurinaitis, maybe you should've gone into the draft last year, no? Think you're still a top 10 pick? Don't get me wrong, he's a good/great player, but the Buckeyes need him to step it up in games against the likes of USC.

3. It was almost like Tressel was trying to use the same plays that beat the Hurricanes in 2002. Hey, Todd Boeckman draws! Awesome. Sure, maybe using Boeckman in option would catch USC off guard... but it's Todd Boeckman running, USC is full of freak athletes, they may be fooled, but they'll still stop it.

4. Terrelle Pryor should be allowed to share the backfield with a running back. He should also be allowed to throw the ball. If he's in there with an empty backfield, opposing defenses will just expect him to run... which is what the Buckeyes did. Some creativity please.

5. The best part of the USC game was the fact that Maurice Wells didn't get the bulk of the carries. I could not have handled that.

6. Now they're 13th... awesome. That's about where I expected them to fall, but damn...

7. Some emailer to the Jim Rome Show made the case that Tressel is now Lloyd Carr. Won a championship early... started losing big games... beat their rival early on... I don't care for the comparison, but it does kinda worry me...

8. I don't trust Todd Boeckman at all. Pryor should at least be getting half the snaps and I'll be honest, I wouldn't mind the Pryor era starting this Saturday. Might as well let the kid start.

9. Troy isn't an easy team, I'm a tad worried that the Bucks might over look them. I could their post USC reactions go either way. They could get embarassed, come out focused and just lay the wood to people... or they could be completely devastated and roll over.

10. Obviously they missed Beanie Wells, that much was certain. But 35-3 is 35-3. One player won't make that much of a difference. USC has more talent and they're better coached. I won't lie, I'm not surprised that OSU lost, but I'm a bit surprised that they got blown out (again).

11. The Browns... dear god.

12. Early on Sunday I asked a friend when he thought the Browns might fire Romeo (he's not a Browns fan). He said maybe after the season, but he thought it was early to speculate. I then mentioned that I meant which week the Browns would can him. He answered that he'd be surprised if Romeo got canned so close after a 10 win season and that NFL coaches rarely get fired mid-season.

13. After Sunday nights game, my friend looked at me and said, "you know, maybe they will let him go mid-season."

14. Do the Browns ever miss in the endzone? Meaning, they don't throw the ball to the endzone, they always throw to a guy a few yards out and have him run in. Like the INT to end the first half... I'm OK with them taking a shot there, but you have to throw the ball into the endzone. Anderson threw to a guy 3 yards out... and got picked. Even if he completes that pass, they don't score any points.

15. Anderson's first pick was terrible as well, but it was also the fault of the coaches. The pick came on the offense's first play with the wind. They switch directions at the quarter break, have no experience going the other direction and decide to throw the deep ball right off the bat. Awesome. No getting used to the conditions? Maybe it would've been prudent to get used to the wind before throwing the ball 30 yards.

16. Too many penalties. Everyone was at fault. Dumb holdings, dumb false starts, really dumb offsides... hell, they even fucked up their fake onside kick by not having enough men on one side of the field. How the hell does that even happen?

17. Braylon Edwards has to step up. The Browns aren't going to beat good teams without Edwards playing well. They just aren't. Yes, he was hit early on his last drop and ya the conditions weren't great (even Hines Ward dropped a few) but Braylon MUST play better if the Browns want any shot at the playoffs.

18. The coaching... On the Browns last drive of the first half, they got a first down right before the two-minute warning and tried to get another play off before the clock stopped... Well, they rushed up there and got that play off... for negative 3 yards. Well played. I'd much rather have 2nd and 13 than 1st and 10.

19. More coaching... why the FG late in the fourth? It's 4th and 7 on the 20, if you go for it and miss, you'll need to stop the Steelers, get the ball back and score a TD. But they kicked a field goal... and still needed to stop the Steelers, get the ball back and score a TD. Brilliant. Oh, and if the Browns had simply missed on 4th, they would've had the Steelers on the 20... rather than the 30 (where they started after the terrible kickoff).

20. And those timeouts... you know it's really bad when both Madden and Al Michaels are openly mocking your coach. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before, so well done Cleveland!

21. Joining everyone and their mother on the injured list is Robaire Smith, who's out with a torn Achilles. After trading away all those draft picks, the Browns aren't exactly a deep fooball team. Their starting units are fine, but I have no faith in the backups.

22. Shaun Rogers is an absolute beast. The man is a monster. He's making his presence felt out there, I can't say the same for Kamerion Wimbley. I was (and still am) hoping for a big season from the 3rd year pro. I figured the additions of Rogers and Williams would really open things up for him. Like Edwards, if the Browns want to beat good teams, Wimbley is going to have to make is presence felt.

23. Willie McGinist is done. Stick a fork in him, take him out back, do whatever... he shouldn't be playing. I know there's injuries and I know he's a smart player, but he almost commited a terrible offsides penalty (well, he did, but the Steelers called a TO just before it happened) and he got stood up on the lone touchdown of the game. He's just too old and slow.

24. Delonte West. I love this signing. Two years guaranteed and a team option for the third. Oh, and it's only worth $13 million. That is god damned awesome. Having West come off the bench (I guess he could start, but that'd be a small backcourt) will give Coach Mike some flexibilty to sub for whatever guard is having an off night (or is in foul trouble, etc).

25. Say what you will about Ferry, but he hasn't made many mistakes since his first month on the job. His trades have solid (never taking on long term salary), he drafts fairly well (Hickson looks like an absolute steal at this point) and he doesn't overpay for his own role players (which can cripple salary caps and flexibility). The Cavs are going to have a lot of money of their own for the mystical 2010 offseason.

26. At this point my money is on Wally Szczerbiak starting at the 2, with West, Boobie Gibson and Sasha Pavlovic coming off the bench. I think that having Wally around for a full training camp will really help him develope some chemistry with LeBron (and allow Wally to be a better shooter). With both Gibson and Szczerbiak around (plus the addition of Mo Williams) should allow the Cavs to stretch the floor quite a bit.

27. I'm so excited for this movie. I actually like the new poster a lot more.

28. Oh, logic...

29. Of course Eric Wedge will return, why not? You don't just toss away a guy who's gotten you to the playoffs once in the past six years.

30. The official soundtrack of the Europe trip:

The Kooks - Always Where I Need To Be


Anonymous said...


love the sports blog, hate the socialist politics.

But, if you want to go there, the bottom line is Barrack believes terrorists and convicted killers, and those on welfare should have more rights than US soldiers and newborn/unborn babies, and hard working business owners.

Ben said...

i'm sure he does nameless one, i'm sure he does

Erik said...

Can James Laurinaitis succeed in the NFL? He has the size, but what about the quickness? Heart and toughness are definitely part of the equation, but if a guy doesn't possess elite NFL-caliber athletic skills and dimensions, he's not going to succeed in the pros. Athletes are just too much like machines now.

I think the days when a Chris Spielman can come into the league and out-heart everyone into a 10-year career are over.

If the Browns are picking top 10 next year, as much as we all bleed scarlet and gray around here, I wouldn't view a Laurinaitis selection as tbe be-all, end-all. Especially if the Browns continue to run this wack 3-4 set.

Ben said...

I would not want the Browns picking him in the top 10. He hasn't played well against top teams. His number has to be called constantly during these games (LSU, USC) and it's not. He doesn't exactly disappear, but it's not like he's making his presence felt either.

and if the Browns pick in the top 10, I may have to go on a rampage.

I would've fired Romeo two seasons ago. I understand why they kept him for a 3rd year and I understand why they have him around this season... but they've turned a Week 3 game into a 'must win'. Lord help us if they enter the bye-week 0-4, there could very well be a riot.

graham said...

Laurinaitis doesn't strike me as anything special at the LB position. He's a pretty good tackler and cover man, but he doesn't seem to disrupt a whole lotup front. Browns absolutely shouldn't take him if they're drafting in the top 10.

Ben - as far as Romeo goes, I'm not sure he's the right guy, but I think about 75% of the Browns problems is the roster - built by Savage. Our LBs and secondary is a disaster, and the fact that he made the Browns coaches have to work around that secondary is criminal.

And what about the lack of depth? Injuries happen all the time in the NFL, and to build a team with this kind of depth, whether its at RB, WR, DL, LB, or DB, is not fair to RAC and the rest of the coaches.

RAC hasn't made the best decisions to be sure (though I think the media/fans went way overboard about the FG against Dallas - it was completely irrelevant), but the players are by far the biggest issue IMO. Given the talent we've brought in over the years, I'm not sure we know what kind of coach RAC really is.

I predict the Browns are at 2-2 heading into the bye week. Not that that's going out on a limb.

Ben said...

yes, i will say that the lack of depth has been the most under-reported problem. this is what happens when none of your second day picks work out, when you trade away picks for brady, rogers and williams- you don't survive injuries (though I will say that the Browns have been hit particularly hard by the injury bug).

for some reason i'm more upset about the linebackers than i am the secondary. i at least see the talent in the secondary, the potential. the linebackers... davis... mcginist... ugh. none of backers could really be considered an 'impact' player.

graham said...

Agree about the LBs. Maybe I just notice the secondary first because those are the guys that out there on an island. But you're right, our linebackers are every bit as bad, if not worse. Not really one "good" one in the whole bunch, just average at best.

I guess the D should be commended for how they played vs. the Steelers, but you knew when they had to make a key stop it wasn't happening.

Perhaps part of it is the Browns coaching staff and I'm just not seeing it through the filth. I just look at the Steelers though, who have success no matter who is coaching, and see an organization who consistently brings in quality NFL talent. Sure Cowher was good, and Tomlin appears to be on his way to a great coaching career, but there is something more basic - they're ability to stockpile talent.

LargeBill said...

Who is worse at in game strategy: Wedge or Crennel?

Who has made more crappy signings: Shapiro or Savage?

I follow both teams have no idea if management (on & off field) have a clue. It drives me nuts that my 12 year old kid has a better understanding of clock/time out management than the coach of the Browns!

The Other Ben said...

Hey Ben. Hope the Euro trip went well (dont see how it couldnt, you were in FUCKING EUROPE). Anyways, I have a lot of confidence in the cavs this season. I know it takes time to gel, but they have enough talent and solid enough defense to compete with anyone. I said it before and Ill say it again, Hickson is going to contribute significantly this season. Maybe not right away, but if our bigs dont provide enough offense with Lebron and Williams running the backcourt, hes going to get playing time.

I am not talking about the browns until we win a game. Ditto for the Indians except CLIFTON PHIFER LEE is having one of the best seasons for a pitcher. Not of this decade, not just for the AL, but EVER. His WHIP is only a shade over 1.0 and his K/BB is ridiculously good for a guy who is anything but a power pitcher to the tune of 6:1 K/BB. He is leading the entire league in ERA which in this day and age is impressive. Oh yeah, only 11 home runs in 216 innings for a finesse pitcher.

Regarding Lil' Animal, people dont realize he will be playing WIL rather than MLB when he goes pro. JL has always succeeded in pass coverage and has the speed to be a rush threat. Look at middle linebackers across the league - Mike Peterson, Nick Barnett, Gary Brackett, Ray Lewis, and Bart Scott to name a few. They play a much more downhill game than JL and have much more natural strength/agility to shed blocking lineman. Not saying he cant go through a strength and conditioning program, but it just seems he is the TYPE of player who fits a Greg Ellis/AJ Hawk/Demarcus Ware/Lance Briggs mold.

Ben said...

of course it went well, we were in FUCKING EUROPE.

you're right, Lee has been absolutely ridonkulous.

Anonymous said...

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