Archive for the ‘Browns’ Category

browns helmet

The Cleveland Browns have terminated the contract of LB….http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/news/article-5/Browns-release-two-players/37d777d8-d2b6-43ec-8ede-64ff8cc32d22

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2016 NFL Mock Draft

Posted: April 28, 2016 in Browns, Football
Tags: , ,

nfl-draftjpg-378f5ebfae38ab00This mock draft was done by myself and Sean Rhodes, from Phil Steele Publications. With the No. 8 Pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select….

  1. Los Angeles Rams (trade via Tennessee): Jared Goff (QB) – California
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (trade via Cleveland): Carson Wentz (QB) – North Dakota St
  3. San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner (DL) – Oregon
  4. Dallas Cowboys: Joey Bosa (DL) – Ohio State
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey (DB) – Florida St
  6. Baltimore Ravens: Myles Jack (LB) – UCLA
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Laremy Tunsil (OL) – Mississippi
  8. Cleveland Browns (trade via Philadelphia through Miami): Vernon Hargreaves (DB) – Florida
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ronnie Stanley (OL) – Notre Dame
  10. New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliott (RB) – Ohio State
  11. Chicago Bears: Jack Conklin (OL) – Michigan St
  12. New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins (DL) – Lousiville
  13. Miami Dolphins (trade via Philadelphia): Eli Apple (DB) – Ohio State
  14. Oakland Raiders: A’Shawn Robinson (DL) – Alabama
  15. Tennessee Titans (trade via Los Angeles): Taylor Decker (OL) – Ohio State
  16. Detroit Lions: Reggie Ragland (LB) – Alabama
  17. Atlanta Falcons: Leonard Floyd (LB) – Georgia
  18. Indianapolis Colts: Darron Lee (LB) – Ohio State
  19. Buffalo Bills: Shaq Lawson (DL) – Clemson
  20. New York Jets: Paxton Lynch (QB) – Memphis
  21. Washington Redskins: Ryan Kelly (OL) – Alabama
  22. Houston Texans: Corey Coleman (WR) – Baylor
  23. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell (WR) – Mississippi
  24. Cincinnati Bengals: Keanu Neal (DB) – Florida
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mackensie Alexander (CB) – Clemson
  26. Seattle Seahawks: Jarran Reed (DL) – Alabama
  27. Green Bay Packers: Andrew Billings (DL) – Baylor
  28. Kansas City Chiefs: Will Fuller (WR) – Notre Dame
  29. Arizona Cardinals: Karl Joseph (DB) – West Virginia
  30. Carolina Panthers: Robert Nkemdiche (DL) – Mississippi
  31. Denver Broncos: Chris Jones (DL) – Mississippi St

 

Note: The New England Patriots forfeited their 1st round pick due to penalties handed down from “Deflategate.”

nfl-draftjpg-378f5ebfae38ab00

Now that the Cleveland Browns have added RG3 to their roster, the smart thing to do is to keep both Josh McCown and Austin Davis as well. With three quarterbacks on the roster, there is no need to waste the No. 2 overall pick on any of the quarterbacks that will be available in this years draft.

I’m not saying that RG3 is going to be the franchise quarterback of the future for the Browns, maybe he will, maybe he won’t, but the better selection for this team all along has been to take the best player available.

This Browns team is lacking talent all over their roster. Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, or Myles Jack would help this team much more then Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.

There have been 12 quarterbacks taken in the top five of the draft the last 10 years. Just one of those 12 quarterbacks has a record above .500 in the playoffs. Who is that, you ask? That would be Mark Sanchez, who is best known for this particular play and not for being remotely close to a franchise quarterback.

 

Also, the lone playoff appearances for Sanchez were in his first two seasons (’09-’10) as he hasn’t been back since. That’s right. 12 quarterbacks. One with a winning record in the playoffs.

Here’s another reason why the Browns would be foolish to take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick. Of the last 10 Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, just two were taken in the top five. Those two happen to share the same last name and it doesn’t take a genius to tell that there aren’t any Manning brothers available this year. Four of the ten were not even taken in the first round!

Another position that constantly gets mentioned for the Browns by misinformed fans and media at No. 2 is wide receiver. That would be another mistake. I didn’t agree with former Browns General Manager Ray Farmer on many things, but one thing he was highly accurate about was the wide receiver position. This may be the most overrated position in terms of the type of talent that equates to helping a team win games. The best receiver in the NFL over the last ten years has been Calvin Johnson. In eight of those years, he just so happened to have a quarterback that was taken with the first pick of the draft in 2009. Can you guess how many playoff wins Johnson has? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same number that you have. ZERO! Just to be more clear about wide receivers taken early, in the last ten years, there have been five taken in the top five, and combined they are 0-6 in the playoffs!

With news that Robert Griffin III (RGIII) was in Cleveland over the weekend, there should be a real possibility that the Browns brass would make an offer to the former No. 2 overall pick from the 2012 draft. The Browns failed in an attempt to trade up in that draft to take the Heisman Trophy winner and now have a chance to get him on their roster.

Make no mistake, RGIII can spin it. Often mistaken for a runner first, passer second, anyone who watched him play while at Baylor, knows he is a quarterback that just so happens to be able to tuck and run when the situation calls for it. Sure, he can run the zone read offense as he did when he was named the NFL rookie of the year in 2012, but that was due to the Redskins trying to take advantage of a skill set that most NFL defenses weren’t used to defending. That also is a recipe for disaster as quarterbacks shouldn’t be taking hits from defenders on nearly every play.

After winning the Heisman Trophy at Baylor of all places, scouts were salivating at RGIII’s skill set. There was some consideration (however brief) as to who would be the overall No. 1 pick, which would eventually (and rightfully so) go to Andrew Luck.

RGIII set a rookie record with a 102.4 quarterback rating, had a phenomenal 20-5 touchdown to interception ratio, and led the Redskins to their first playoff appearance since 2007. After spraining his knee late in the season, RGIII missed one game (against the Browns) before returning for the finale, but then suffered a torn ACL to the same weakened knee in an opening round playoff loss.

Things have gone downhill ever since.

In 2013, despite not playing a single down in the pre-season as he was still rehabbing, RGIII returned for the opener. He ended up throwing for more yards while completing over 60% of his passes on the season, but the Redskins struggled and he clearly wasn’t able to take advantage of his agility as he was less then a year removed from major knee surgery. He was deactivated for the final three games of the season with the reason being to avoid further injury.

RGIII was 100% entering the 2014 season, but suffered a dislocated left ankle in the second game of the season. After missing six games, he returned but was ineffective in three losses and was benched in favor of former Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, who was named the starter over an ineffective Kirk Cousins as Griffin rehabbed his ankle. RGIII returned after McCoy was injured for the final two games of the season, throwing for a season high 336 yards in the finale.

RGIII was in line to be the starter last year, but suffered a concussion in the second preseason game and was inactive the entire year.

A change of scenery is just what RGIII needs. We in Cleveland know about dysfunctional organizations and the Redskins are right up there with the Browns in terms of dysfunction. The Redskins are a team that is having discussions about building a moat around their stadium. I always thought moats were to keep people out, but hey, that’s the Redskins for you. Its not a crazy thought to think that Washington just didn’t know how to handle his personality. Again, the Redskins are far from a stable franchise, having won 10 or more games just once in the last 10 years (2012).

The quarterback position is a fragile one in the NFL. A guy can have all of the physical skills in the world, but it doesn’t matter one iota. Sure RGIII is a bit of a loner, but could it be because he was raised in a military family? I know first hand about that experience. It’s hard to become close with people when you are forced to move every two to three years. That said, he comes from a strong family, with high values, which is the total opposite of what the Browns have had in their locker room the last two seasons.

The Browns have hired EXTREMELY smart people to run their franchise, and I’d be willing to bet that they would do everything in their power to make sure a quarterback with franchise changing skills is comfortable. Also, it’s not as if the Browns would have to offer RGIII a huge contract. They could sign him to an incentive laden deal, where both parties win if he pans out.

By signing RGIII, the Browns then can turn their attention to drafting a player at No. 2 overall that can help them win games right away, as opposed to any of the quarterbacks that all pose major question marks as the whether or not they can even play in this league.

otto graham

After Peyton Manning announced his retirement, among the most frequent questions asked was where he ranked among the all-time greatest quarterbacks. Was he better then Joe Montana? How about Brett Favre? Is he ahead or behind of John Elway, Johnny Unitas, and Terry Bradshaw? Even current players like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees often come up in these types of discussions. I’m not here to say none of the aforementioned quarterbacks weren’t or aren’t all-timers, but one player that consistently gets left out of this discussion is perhaps the GREATEST quarterback of all-time.

Cue the ESPN “30 for 30” theme. What if I told you there was a quarterback that played ten years professionally, went to ten Championship games, winning seven of them, was a first team All-Pro selection eight times, and was a three-time league MVP? And if I asked you to name that quarterback, most wouldn’t believe those stats to be real. Most would probably think that those accolades were built in “Dynasty mode” in the Madden football video game series. Well you would be wrong.

There actually was a quarterback who did ALL of those things! No it wasn’t Montana, Unitas, Elway, Bart Starr, or Joe Namath. As a matter of fact, the quarterbacks that are always mentioned as the all-time greats don’t even come close to having all of those accolades.

Want more? This quarterback, who again, is frequently left out of the discussion for the greatest quarterback ever, led the league in passing yards five of his ten years, led the league in quarterback rating five times, had the most touchdown passes in a season three times, led the league in completion percentage four times, and his 9.0 yards per attempt ranks No. 1 all-time in NFL history! Oh yeah, I already mentioned he took his team to TEN straight championship games, winning seven of them, right?

The quarterback I’m referring to is none other than Otto Graham. Unfortunately, because the NFL wants its fans to believe that football didn’t exist before the advent of the Super Bowl, his name hardly gets a mention. And most media members who draw up these lists, fail to take the time to do some actual research, leaving Graham as an afterthought.

Of course, when the next all-timer retires, the lists will come out again naming the best of all-time, and again, these lists will remain a joke as long as one name doesn’t appear on them. Otto Graham.

  1. With all the news that made the rounds this week, the best was undoubtedly the fact that Cleveland Browns team president Alec Scheiner will be stepping down on March 31st. Scheiner was supposedly in charge of the business decisions and oversaw the recent renovations to the stadium, but for some reason he needed to be included in how to conduct film study, which was baffling to say the least. Scheiner was also one of the many behind the scene voices demanding that the undersized frat boy got on the field, regardless or not if he was ready.

 

  1. Speaking of the spoiled, undersized frat boy, he was in Vegas this weekend taking in the UFC fights and who was with him, none other than the Browns other often troubled player, wide-receiver Josh Gordon.

 

  1. Gordon, currently suspended by the NFL due to drugs, is trying to regain the Browns trust. While he hasn’t had any mishaps during his current time away, hanging with the troubled quarterback should be the last thing on his priority list. Gordon, unlike the frat boy, doesn’t come from oil money and needs NFL paychecks to live the life of luxury he so desires.

josh-gordon-porsche-panamera

 

  1. Is anyone else growing tired of the cryptic messages Lebron James continues to tweet out?

 

  1. I mean, just say what you mean already or just stay silent. All this does is bring unwanted and unneeded attention to an underachieving team that consistently plays to the level of their opposition while finishing 2-5 against the Warriors, Spurs, and Raptors.

 

  1. Speaking of the Cavaliers and Lebron, maybe being the underdog is just what they need. Then again, they were the underdog against the Spurs in 2007 and against the Warriors last year after Kyrie went down and we all know how those series turned out, with both winning the deciding game at the Q. Ouch.

spurs warriors

 

  1. Spring training has begun which means baseball season is right around the corner. Opening day is less than a month away as the Indians will take on the Boston Red Sox. The pitching matchup will be fantastic with former Cy Young winners facing off in Cleveland’s Korey “KluBot” Kluber taking on David Price. Sure the Tribe didn’t sign a major name to help with its lack of power in the lineup, but I, for one, am looking forward to the development of shortstop Francisco Lindor, who just missed out on being named the American League rookie of the year last season. Lindor is a future star that the city will no doubt get behind.

 

  1. It will take some longer than others when it comes to watching soccer, but it is growing significantly both in terms of involvement and television ratings. And why wouldn’t it be? With all the rule changes, player antics, as well as 2.5-3.5 hours of game time from the “Big 3” sports, soccer games last a mere 2 hours and provide plenty of excitement. Plus there is a major league team just two hours away from us. Pipo Higuain, who plays for the nearby Columbus Crew, had the early contender for goal of the year on the season’s opening day!

 

  1. Sure there was a big time UFC pay-per-view this weekend, but let’s not forget about the great knockouts that boxing provides. Here’s what this weekend brought us in the squared circle of the “sweet science.”

 

 

 

 

  1. Speaking of boxing, on this day, March 6th in 1976, future Hall of Famer Wilfred Benitez became the youngest World Champion in history at just 17 years old when he defeated Antonio Cervantes for the WBA Super Lightweight championship of the World.
  1. Also on this day in boxing history, Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker became the WBC Welterweight Champion of the World after defeating James Buddy McGirt in 1993.

 

  1. Speaking of Pernell Whitaker, he will be one of many retired boxers that will be in attendance during the Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend June 9th thru the 12th. If you have never been, I recommend taking the easy drive to Canastota, NY. You can find all the information you need here: http://www.ibhof.com/index.html

 

  1. Living in northeast Ohio, I try to take advantage of every clear and warm day. I came across this waterfall right by my house in South Lorain just last week. Never knew one was so close.

waterfall

browns helmet

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Many clueless Cleveland media members as well as fans think the Browns should take a quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The problem is there isn’t a franchise quarterback available in this years draft and by taking a quarterback at this spot, the Browns will again be reaching, just like they did when they took the undersized frat boy in 2014, Brandon Weeden in 2012, Brady Quinn in 2007, and Tim Couch in 1999. No matter how many years certain media members have covered this team, some just aren’t smart enough to realize this. Just like Tony Grossi from ESPN Cleveland. Here he is spitting his pitiful rhetoric.

http://espn.go.com/espnradio/playPopup?id=14870258

Here’s one from Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto.  Another clueless observation, but at least he is smart enough to agree with me about Joey Bosa.

http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/index.ssf/2016/02/cleveland_browns_should_pass_o_1.html

The Browns decision makers are Harvard educated, but let me tell you this. It doesn’t take a Harvard education to know that there are so many holes on the roster, the smart thing to do would be to trade down and accumulate talent. I know that’s not what Browns fans want to hear, but take your emotion out of the thought process, and you will realize that’s the best route to take.

I know that Josh McCown is not the long term solution for the Browns, but did you know that in the games he started & finished, the Browns averaged 25.8 ppg, which would’ve ranked No. 8 in the NFL? That goes to show what a veteran quarterback that understands the game can bring. Oh yeah, the games that the undersized frat boy started & finished, the Browns averaged 16.2 ppg, which would’ve ranked No. 31 in the league. If the Browns do select a quarterback in the draft (hopefully later on), the offense can still be well above average under McCown, who will also double as a phenomenal mentor to the future starter.

The main issue with the Browns is their defense, and that is the side of the ball that they should focus on in the draft. They finished No. 29 in the league, allowing 27.0 ppg. Oakland had their highest offensive yard output of the season against them. Both the Cardinals and Broncos had their 3rd most yards gained on the season, while the Titans & Chargers had their 4th best offensive yard output against them. In all, seven of the Browns 16 opponents had top 5 offensive yardage performances against the Browns.

Let me say, I’m a HUGE Ohio State Buckeye fan. That said, I also keep it real. If not a quarterback, the other player that mostly comes up at No. 2 for the Browns is Joey Bosa. This would be another reach of a pick. Bosa is a 265 pound defensive end. That’s great for a team that runs a 4-3 defense. The Browns, however, run a 3-4 that utilizes defensive ends that are closer to 300 pounds. Bosa would have to play outside linebacker, a position he never played in college and it would make no sense to use the No. 2 overall pick on a player that the Browns would have to move to a new position. A pick that high needs to contribute right away and Bosa would be learning a new position that he might never even excel at. If the Browns ran a 4-3 defense, I would like them to take him in a heartbeat, but he just doesn’t fit into their scheme.

Let me tell you why bad NFL teams/organizations struggle. They reach for players based on need in the draft, instead of choosing the best player available. Good to great teams that are only a piece or two away can get away with reaching, but bad teams that need help at multiple positions/units would be better served at improving their overall roster. Time and time again, however, teams like the Browns draft based on need, often times reaching for a player that isn’t as good as many still on the board, and time and time again, the results are poor & regimes are turned over once every two to three years. It’s mindboggling that NFL General Managers haven’t figured out this simple concept.

So who should the Browns draft if they keep the No. 2 pick? I’d go with either cornerback Jalen Ramsey from Florida State or inside linebacker Myles Jack from UCLA. The Browns missed badly on Justin Gilbert two years ago, and still need a consistent player opposite Joe Haden, and Ramsey maybe the best overall player in the draft. All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack was available for the Browns in 2014, but they chose instead to trade down and ended up with one of their worst top 10 picks in franchise history. Jack definitely has All-Pro level talent and also plays a position the Browns desperately need a playmaker at.

The next big “season” in the NFL off-season is the free agent signing period. While the Browns, like every other team will no doubt add players to their roster, there is no need to spend major money and earn the good graces of many unknowledgeable media members. Teams that end up making huge news during this period, don’t end up making news at the end of the season, unless it’s that they are firing their head coach and/or general manager.

Ok, back to quarterbacks. There’s one in this years draft that intrigues me. His name? Kevin Hogan from Stanford. He’s big and surprisingly mobile for his size and extremely smart. Stanford runs a pro-style offense and Hogan could be ready after a year on the bench. He could last until the third round and if he does, I wouldn’t be mad at the Browns for taking him.

1. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals for the second time in team history and I’ve got one piece of advice for everyone out there. Enjoy it! No matter the outcome. Enjoy it! Sure I want to see them bring a championship to my city, but in the process of doing so, I’m going to soak in the entire atmosphere that being in the Finals bring. Most of you aren’t going to pay the steep price for playoff tickets (myself included) so do what I’m going to do. Buy a $5 ticket and go watch one of the road games at the Q with 20,000 other fans. While you won’t actually ‘be’ at the game, it’ll create a memory that you won’t forget. And it’s much more affordable!

2. Speaking of the Cavaliers, you know it’s a good thing when President Lincoln is also #AllinCle

3. I shared a video about Cavalier’s center Timofey Mozgov in an earlier blog and now here is a video about JR Smith. Grab a cigar and some cognac.

 

4. The MLB All-Star game is six weeks away and there are two Cleveland Indian position players that are worthy of All-Star consideration.

Second Baseman Jason Kipnis is coming off one of the greatest months in not just team history, but also MLB history and his .340 batting average is second best in the entire American League. He is in the top 10 in the AL in the following categories: Hits (2nd), runs (4th), doubles (3rd), triples (2nd), total bases (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (9th) and OPS (6th). When it comes to the All-Star voting, however, Kipnis ranks a distant 4th, over 1.5 million votes behind the leader, Jose Altuve, of the Houston Astros.

Left fielder Michael Brantley, who finished third in last years MVP voting, is hitting .302, fifth best among AL outfielders. He is in the top 10 among outfielders in the following categories: Hits (5th), doubles (1st), RBI (4th), walks (4th), on base % (4th), slugging % (7th), and OPS (5th). Brantley is currently 7th in the All-Star voting  among outfielders, over 1 million votes behind 3rd place Alex Gordon of the Royals.

Do what I did and vote for these two as they both deserve to be on the team.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2015/ballot.jsp?tcid=ASG15_mlb_leftrailpromo

5. Speaking of the Tribe, remember when I said that reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber would be just fine? Over his last four starts, Kluber is 3-0 with 50 strikeouts and  miniscule 1.41 ERA. He’s looking every bit like the Cy Young winner that we saw last season.

6. I recently heard there is a remake of one of my all time favorite movies, ‘Point Break.’  No, I’m not joking. Patrick Swayze has to be turning in his grave over this one. Why redo a movie that was already a classic and featured an ex Ohio State quarterback turned FBI agent chasing a group of bank robbing surfers? Like the Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis says in this scene, “That would be a waste of time.”

 

7. The latest addition to my guilty pleasure.

breds

8. I’m still a beginning smoker but I’m really enjoying it. The latest thing I smoked was St. Louis style ribs. The difference between these and baby backs are the St Louis style has more fat, which provides more flavor. I used apple wood to smoke and they turned out pretty good. I went 5 hours at 250 degrees, which was just a little too long, so I’m going to shorten them up next time.

ribs

9. Okay, back to sports. The College football season is less than 100 days away and the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season according to the Vegas odds is Ohio State Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliot. He’s even got his own hype video. Check it out.

 

10. Speaking of college football, we recently wrapped up the 2015 Phil Steele College Football Preview magazine, AKA the college football bible. That also means we’ve released our pre-season All-American teams. Notre Dame led the way with three 1st team All-Americans. To see the entire four team list click the link below.

http://philsteele.com/All_Conference/2015/2015%20Preseason/All-American.html

11. Floyd Mayweather is expected to return to the ring in September and many are wondering who his next opponent or vitctim will be. There has been plenty of talk about England’s Amir Khan getting the next shot at the pound for pound king but after his lackluster performance last week against Chris Algieri, he’ll likely be removed from the discussion. Why not give Miguel Cotto, who fights this weekend on HBO, a rematch? He gave Mayweather a good fight when the two shared the ring in 2012. Here’s his greatest hits for those that aren’t aware of what he brings to the table.

 

12. I haven’t written since the NFL draft took place and heading into the draft I was worried about the incompetence that the Cleveland Browns were likely going to show. Well I was relieved during the first round as I turned to my cousin and brother-in-law, who were with me at the Cleveland Convention Center for the draft party, and told them that this draft proves the team is trying to win games and not sell jersey’s like last season. I think the Browns hit a home run with this draft and will start seeing immediate dividends on the field.

13. Speaking of the Browns, the odds in Vegas have the Browns over/under at 6 1/2 wins. The Browns will win more than six games this season. Those that know me know first hand that I am not a homer in any way, shape, or form so for me to come out and write this is a change in the way that I’ve thought about my hometown team for some time. They won seven games last season, have improved every position group on the roster, and competed with every team in their division last year. Yes, I know the schedule is tougher, but splitting with our division isn’t out of the question and the Browns should be able to beat teams qb’d by the Geno Smith (Jets) and Marcus Mariota/Zach Mettenberger (Titans) while also getting past the 49ers at home in December. That’s seven wins right there.

1. In last week’s column I wrote that the Cavaliers would bring the city Cleveland its first championship in 50 years. I should of prefaced that by adding, ‘barring injury.’ Now that Kevin Love is done for what appears to be the remainder of the season, the Cavs will more than likely get beaten by the Chicago Bulls in the next round (Yes, the Bulls will get by the Bucks). Fans and media alike have ‘loved’ to pile on Love this season unnecessarily, as those that truly understand the game of basketball were aware of his importance and what his role was with this team.  In his absence, the Cavaliers won’t be able to space the floor as they had been doing, and the open lanes that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had been accustomed to will be gone. Tristan Thompson was valuable in his role coming off the bench, but his flaws will become much more glaring now that he will be forced to play more minutes. To use a phrase that my former colleague Kenny Roda coined long ago, OIC (only in Cleveland).

2. It’s truly a shame that Kevin Love was taken out by a dude that cannot even grow facial hair, instead opting for the peach fuzz look. In hockey there’s a term for mediocre players that are just put on the ice to get physical with the opposition. They’re called a goon. That’s exactly what Kelly Olynyk is. There’s a difference between setting a hard screen with a push like what Kendrick Perkins did to Jae Crowder and putting a guy in an arm bar and pulling his shoulder out of its socket. Truly a bush league play.

Cavaliers Celtics Basketball

3. For those that are worried about reigning American League Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber, don’t be. Kluber AKA Klubot will be just fine. Here is a look at his numbers from last April compared to this April.

2014: 2 W, 3 L, 37 IP, 35 K, 10 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.14 ERA, 1.51 WHIP

2015: 0 W, 3 L, 34 IP, 36 K, 7 BB, 2 HR allowed, 4.24 ERA, 1.26 WHIP

Nearly an identical start from last season, look for Kluber to start dominating hitters in the near future and hopefully the Tribe will start giving him some run support.

4. One player who could help the Indians with their hitting woes is their top prospect, Francisco Lindor. Current starting shortstop Jose Ramirez is hitting a paltry .186 and the Indians as a team are hitting just .234 which is third worst in the American League. Lindor recently went on a 10-16 stretch and appears to have come out of his own early season slump. He’s hit safely in 10 of his last 14 games. The time is right for Lindor to get promoted to the ‘Big Show.’

5. The NFL draft is here which means it’s the time of year that the Cleveland Browns usually waste their picks on garbage players. There’s a report that the Browns are attempting to move up in the draft to take Oregon quarterback Marcus Marriota. That would be a mistake. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was a great college quarterback, but his talents favor that game, not of the NFL variety. Marriota ran an up-tempo, no huddle, spread option offense taking snaps from the shotgun in college. In the NFL he will be huddling every play, taking snaps from under center, and won’t be able to leave the pocket as frequently as he did at Oregon. He was also injury prone, and while he was never hurt in a major way, that’s sure to change when he’s hit game in and game out by NFL players. This guy has bust written all over him.

6. A lot of Browns fans want to take a wide receiver in the first round. This is another foolish option. The rules in the NFL so highly favor receivers now that an average receiver can be a good receiver while a good receiver can become a great receiver. This was proven just last year when two of the Browns undersized receivers (Andrew Hawkins & Taylor Gabriel) both had successful seasons and proved that they could make plays despite their physical appearance.  There are an abundance of receivers in the college game nowadays that enter the NFL much more ready than previously due to the spread offenses that are being run. The Browns shouldn’t take a receiver in the first or second round when they can still find value in that position later in the draft. It would be a waste of a pick to do so early. Besides, take a look at this years Super Bowl combatants. Neither the Patriots nor the Seahawks have what you would call a playmaking wide receiver. The fact is, you don’t need one to succeed in this day’s NFL. If the Browns are smart (a HUGE if there) and stay where they’re currently sloted to pick in the first round (numbers 12 and 19) they should get NT Danny Shelton, who should be there for them at twelve and if DE Shane Ray falls to them at 19, they should run to the podium and take him.

7. Speaking of Shane Ray, yeah I know he just got pulled over and the officer found weed on him. So what? Marijuana is now legal in over 30 states and will soon be legal in all 50. The majority of NFL players smoke it and it’s really not a big deal. Hell, I’m sure more than half the people reading this column are doing so while puffing on a joint right now. If Ray were a QB, that would be different. You don’t want your quarterback smoking out. But a defensive player that partakes is fine by me. There have been plenty of NFL players that were busted for weed that were among the games elite. Ray has the talent to be among the best DE’s in the league and if other GM’s are afraid to draft him, hopefully Browns GM Ray Farmer won’t be.

8. Another name being thrown out there for the Browns is running back Todd Gurley. That is an absolute joke. If the Browns would draft him, or any other RB in the first or second round, I would seriously consider jumping off the 480 bridge. The NFL is a passing league. The rules are set up for the quarterbacks and receivers to succeed. Running backs are a dime a dozen. There are no ‘featured’ backs anymore with the exception of maybe a few guys. Nearly every team has a RB by committee approach and the Browns should be no different. Why should the browns take a RB that may carry the ball 10-15 times a game in the first or second round? That makes absolutely no sense! And I didn’t even get into the fact that Gurley was hurt twice getting hit by pimple faced college kids. What’s going to happen when he gets hit by grown men? I’ll pass on that option. Besides, the Browns already have two young running backs that complement each other very well.

9. It’s fight week for one of the most anticipated boxing matches in years. Floyd Mayweather is taking on Manny Pacquiao in a fight that is five years in the making. Some people are discouraged that the fight took so long to take place but the fact of the matter is that the fight will be much more competitive and entertaining now then it would have been had they fought five years ago. Mayweather is a defensive wizard, and he’s spent the majority of his career as a ‘hit and not get hit’ defensive minded fighter. Many of his fights have been lackluster due to the fact that he has simply outboxed his foes with tremendous hand speed and perfect foot work to escape without taking any real damage. Mayweather would have taken Pacquiao to school five years ago. Now though, Mayweather isn’t as fleet a foot as he once was and has taken more and more punches in the ring over the last two years. Pacquiao still has that blazing hand speed and with his non stop aggression and constant punches coming from a variety of angles, has a chance to land some shots on Mayweather. I don’t anticipate an upset here (Mayweather is a heavy betting favorite in Vegas) but I do think these two will offer an entertaining fight that will give the fans their money’s worth ($99 on PPV).

10. My dude Casey Kulas has made it official. It’s the ‘Summer of Brisket!’

I’m up for the challenge. If you start to smell the smoke in South Lorain, just follow your nose to La Casa De Castro. I’ll probably have enough to share.

11. There are just 126 days until the college football season begins! Pre-order the Phil Steele College Football Preview aka the College football Bible here:

https://www.philsteele.com/store/

12. Shoe pick of the week. I don’t have these but word on the street is these are the shoes that Manny Pacquiao will be wearing during the Mayweather fight.

pac shoes

13. I know most of you reading this don’t like soccer but so what. This is my column and I do. The Columbus Crew are on fire as they’ve outscored their last two opponents by a 7-1 margin! That’s like 118-3 if you were watching football lol. Oh and Kei Kamara is tied for the lead with the most goals in the MLS this season!