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Bracie Smathers

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  1. Their had been rumors circulationg of this recently. Marla Ridenour wrote a story that presaged this only about a week or so ago. She made a great case to keep Ray Farmer and kick Lombardi out or upstairs when it appearded we would lose Farmer to Miami. When Ray turned down the Dolphin job the rumors of Lombardi's exit started. Phasing out Banner is unexpected. I don't think anyone had great confidence in Lombardi's abilty as a pro personnel guy. He is extremly smart and knows how to game the system of building himself up but last year's draft was . The Browns had a good GM in Tom Heckertt if you look at the talent he was able to get but Mike Holmgren's ego became an issue and I think Holmgren is the reason why the 2012 draft sucked so badly. The move-up for T-Rich and the drafting of Weeden looked like Holmgren's heavy hand to me. Grossi already has a piece out on this latest move. Oh and anyone on the outside who thinks that Browns fans are shedding tears over Mike Lombardi or Joe Banner are out of their F'ng minds. Go to the link for the story: http://Their had been rumors circulationg of this recently. Browns shocker: Banner and Lombardi are out in shakeup by owner Jimmy HaslamFeb 11, 2014 -- 10:15am
  2. Its been painted as an EITHER/OR decision but we have the cap room to sign both and I think we should. Its not just that both are young and Pro Bowl players in their prime. That is reason enough but their is another reason. The Ravens only hold 4 draft picks in the 2014 draft but they expect to get up to THREE or FOUR compensentory draft selections due to losing free agents. One of them anticipated to be a 3rd round pick for losing Kruger. If we lose Mack and then go out and sign other team's free agents then we won't get any compensentory draft picks in the future but if we spend our free agent dollars to re-sign both Ward and Mack to long term deals then in the future we won't have tons of cap space to continually go out signing free agents meanwhile losing our top young Pro Bowl talent. I think we should look long-term on how we deal with free agents so we pattern ourselves off the Ravens where if we lose guys to free agency we wind up losing guys like a Paul Kruger type of guy who isn't a Pro Bowler but teams would over-pay to sign him thus we'd wind up getting a compensentory draft selection. Our front office should be smart enough to start thinking long-term on everything including how to make free agency work in our favor like it works for the Ravens and other teams who leave via free agency to big contracts but they get compensentory picks to make up for the loss. We are at the point where we will start losing players because we actually have talented young players but if we lose them and sign other free agents to make up for the losses then we'll never move forward on the talent scale. Our front office has to be smarter than only looking at the immediate cost where they lump together salaries from different positions. That is a checkers mentality when other teams are using a chess mentality.
  3. We know that we might lose C Alex Mack. Here is the market price that Mack might demand from an article written by a Jaguar beat writer who speculates whether or not the Jags should/could sign Alex Mack. http://members.jacksonville.com/sports/football/jaguars/2014-02-08/story/jaguars-insider-jags-need-center-may-have-pay-get-one I think we should make every effort to re-sign him. I don't buy the reason given by the front office, that they lump salaries together from positions and don't want to go over a certain number for a position. Mack is in his prime. The free agents we signed last year were all under 30 years old and none of them were Pro Bowlers who hadn't missed a game. Add Mack fits the new slide-zone blocking scheme that Shanahan wants to install. PFF did an in-depth breakdown on whether the Browns should sign either SS T.J. Ward or C Alex Mack. They paint it as an EITHER/OR argument but we have the cap to sign both of them and they are both young and in their prime. Go to the link: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/02/05/free-agent-duel-t-j-ward-vs-alex-mack/ Free Agent Duel: Ward vs. MackPFF Analysis Team | February 5, 2014 ============================== If we end up losing Mack I've scoured the potential free agent centers and the only name I've found is this guy and I confess that I don't know anything about him other than he's started the last 32 games in a row for New Orleans and he's only 28 years old.http://www.neworleanssaints.com/team/roster/brian-de-la-puente/a118b970-c5c2-48d7-a38e-78f623ea0125/ The Saints are overa barrell due to having to sign TE Jimmy Graham so they may not have enough cap left over to re-sign some ot their other guys. I don't know a thing about Brian de la Puente but if/when we lose Mack then he's a name to file away if he is available in free agency.
  4. Chud sighting. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/08/colts-hire-rob-chudzinski-as-special-assistant-to-the-head-coach/ Colts hire Rob Chudzinski as special assistant to the head coachPosted by Michael David Smith on February 8, 2014, 11:54 AM EST
  5. Just heard a shocker that pertains to the Bills on Cleveland Browns Daily podcast a few minutes ago. They post the podcast usually in a day or two and this bomb was dropped in the last segment when co-host Vic Carucci said that last year's Cleveland front office had a 4th round grade on QB E.J. Manuel. Vic pointed out that grade was from last year's GM Tom Heckertt. This came up when Vic was saying that he thinks that grades on Johnny Manziel could be all over the board and mentioned the grade that the Browns front office (Heckertt) had on E.J. Manuel last year. I don't know if this had been leaked out before but I hadn't heard it and thought it was a significant bit of bit of information that Bills fans would want to hear. Here is a link to yesterday's show. Today's podcast probably won't be posted till tomorrow. When its posted they post each show in segments and the above tidbit is in the fianl segment near the end of the show. http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/media-center/audio/Cleveland-Browns-Daily---71/f500ca50-aa2e-44e1-a5e8-d73805e42f11#/media-center/audio/Cleveland_Browns_Daily_25_Part_1/3cd4cc1e-0ec9-4abc-bb95-011058d057e1
  6. Waldman just posted a thorough analysis of Manziel with an interesting comparison to Muhammad Ali. Detailed article with videos to provide examples before Matt gives his analsis so go to the link for the full-read and vdieo accompanyment. Some teasers of the body of the article. http://mattwaldmanrsp.com/2014/02/02/boiler-room-qb-johnny-manziel-and-why-i-think-of-ali/
  7. From Schefter today. http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10391225/kirk-cousins-open-being-traded-washington-redskins What might the cost be? Possibly very-reasonable. =================== Sigmund Bloom‏@SigmundBloom16 mins @forpetessake42 @MattWaldman that being said, if cousins cost is 6th/7th... worth it to bring him in just to coach first round QB
  8. Do you know why it was 'reported' that the Kule Shanahan interview did not go over well? It had nothing to do with his coaching ability or any clashes with RG III. The reason is becausae Kyle asked Jimmy Haslam why he fired Chud after one season and that caused an uncomfortable pregnant pause in the interview proccess. I love it becausae Kyle should have asked that question and JIMMY HASLAM should have been prepaired to handle that one but he wasn't. Pettine is the guy who wanted Kyle. He would go thru the proper channles of getting full buy-in from President Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi and assistant GM Ray Farmer before kicking it upstairs to Jimmy before any interview would take place. The owner and the GM ect obviously would approve anyone in the interview proccess. Pettine is they guy who wanted him and that is why the organization eventually gave in and hired him. You can say that some or even all of the Washington problems on offense were due to Kyle Shanahan but I know that the reason why the interview went off-the-tracks is because that question embarassed the owner but he must have gotten over it or else Kyle wouldn't have gotten hired. I think Kyle is an ok hire overall but he was the best candidate left and quite frankly if you look at the OCs who have been hired this offseason, he's as good as any of them so its not a bad hire.
  9. Go ahead Mac. Tell us your theory on positional coaches being hired before Shanahan. First. Do you think that Pettine didn't have any idea that he was going to hire Kyle? Yes, or no? Second, if he had an idea that Shanahan would be his OC do you really think he would hire positional coaches behind his back and not tell him or if Kyle did not approve? Oh and we did hire a TE coach before we conducted any interviews so obviously Kyle did not have any say of that hire. So what is your theory?
  10. Well, I never said that.Whether Pettine is signing off on these guys or not I consider hiring offensive assistants without your offensive coordinator having a say to be a bad plan. So you think we had no clue who we would hire Shanahan before hiring positional coaches? You think we hired positional coaches without having Shanahan's approval? You are not a cynic Mac. Seriously you have mental issues dude. Get help.
  11. I don't think the board has been set yet but Shanahan doesn't seem a great fit for Johnny Manziel. Some good info on Shanny's offense from a Washington beat writer who was interviewed in this podcast. He seems to think QB Brian Hoyer is a 'great fit' for Shanahan. He thinks they will work well together. Doesn't think a clashing personality like a Johnny Football would be a good fit for Kyle. Stated he clashed with RG III when RG III last year and with Donovan McNabb. Um if you recal last year RG III's team mates didn't help to pick him up off the turf when he got sacked. The owner seemed to publically back RG III over the Shanahan so they were ostricized by the owner who favored his star QB. We've all seen the huge ego of McNabb and it seems RG III's ego got out of control last year when the owner puffed him up but his own team mates didn't seem to inclined to help out the guy. So a guy like Johnny Football may not be the best fit. Shanny likes to 'throw the ball' so it could mean big things for WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron. Kyle really wants to establish his own NFL identity and this could be thee-job for him to make a name for himself. Good listen, check it out. http://cleveland.cbslocal.com/2014/01/30/cbs-washintons-david-elfin-says-manziel-not-good-fit-for-kyle-shanahans-style/ CBS Washinton’s David Elfin Says Manziel Not Good Fit For Kyle Shanahan’s StyleWith Baskin & Phelps - Weekdays - 10am-2pmJanuary 30, 2014 11:08 AM
  12. Body of the tag line linked above: The only opening left now is the WR coach I think unless we already have someone in the bag like we had with Shanahan. Oh what a coincidence on the timing eh? Who woulda thunk it that a big Hollywood movie that has the backdrop of the Cleveland Browns organization would have a PERFECTLY TIMED BIG NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT the day right before the biggest news calendar day on the NFL schedule where throngs of media-types are starved for any type of real NFL news? I wonder how much money it would have cost to buy all of those news outlets? No other NFL news other than the Cleveland Browns making a big coaching hire on the eve of SB Sunday. Wow, what a coincidental pefectly serendipidous timing, lol. I mean its not like they strung out that news story and had already hired nearly all of the positional coaches knowing who the OC would be to get more team pub and to obviously help out the box office for the movie 'Draft Day'? Nahhh, just a completely random coincidence.
  13. BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!! http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2014/02/cleveland_browns_finalizing_de.html Cleveland Browns finalizing deal for Kyle Shanahan to be new offensive coordinator
  14. Just reported by Mary Kay Cabot: http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2014/02/kyle_shanahan_still_very_much.html Kyle Shanahan still very much in mix to be Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator, team could name its man soon ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If they hire any of the three OC candidates who have already been interviewed then those candidates would have kept in touch with Pettine and would all have signed off on the positional coaching hires outside of the TE coach who was hired before any OC interviews took place. TE coach holds least sway on any offensive staff and is typically a 'starter' type of positional job on the coaching ladder. The OC could be named soon but I don't think the Browns would want to steal any thunder from the Super Bowl. Err if you like conspiracies then try this on for size. Go full-conspiracy and spin the OC search as a marketing gimmic to get more play for the Cleveland Browns on the highest NFL traffic event for the movie that will be released and I'm sure their will be a SB commercial for 'Draft Day' which could be the conspiracy reason why they've strung this thing along to this point because it seems like they've already had a good idea who the OC would be if they have hired positional coaches prior to naming the OC. And if they make an announcement today or tomorrow all of those media-types are in a feeding frenzy and all of those actors are on radio-row in NYC at their beck-and-call to grant them interviews. If I were a conspiracy guy, that is where I'd place my betting chips. You couldn't buy that sort of publicity that they could get if they timed that announcement for today or tomorrow with throngs of media soaking it up and giving a mention to the movie.
  15. What makes you think the front office is doing individual positional coaching hires and shoving them down Pettine's throat? Come on dude. Pettine basically hired the entie Bills defensive coaching staff. Do you honestly think he did not make those hires but it was the EVIL STUPID LAZY PATHETIC Mike Lombardi and the TROLL WEASLE POS Joe Banner that pushed Pettine back into a chair and maniacally laughed with blood pouring out of their mouths as they ate babies straight from the crib saying, 'You low-life human dare try to hire coaches that you want? Bwaaa haaa haaa. Let the power of the dark side tell you who to hire. Bwaaa haa haa." Come on Plazma. Seriously. The coaching staff has Pettine written all over it and he has connections with everyone except the TE coach, I think. These are his guys and he's already interviewed two candidates and Loggains is scheduled to interview so that is three guys who have already interviewed for the job so its highly likely that one of those three guys not only gets the job but that Pettine had run each of the positional coaches by each of those three guys. If Pettine hires someone other than the three guys, the Oakland QB coach, Shanahan, or Loggain who is already on-staff as the QB coach so obviously Pettine had interviewed him already and he is scheduled for a second interview as the OC. But if he hires someone other than those three then you can go hog wild with conspiracies. Till then their is no evidence of the front office making calls on positional coaches. That makes no sense and is not realistic.
  16. We just made another crucial hire on offense. After the OC the positional coach generally considered the most important is the O-Line coach. QB coach is much more important for teams developing a young QB and we added one yesterday. We have the TE coach and the RB coach and now the O-Line coach. Only positional coach left if WR and it seems we HAVE NOT crossed Kyle Shanahan off the list for OC so if we got Shanny as OC then that offensive coaching staff is not bad. Go to the link for the story. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2014/02/report_cleveland_browns_to_hir.html Report: Cleveland Browns to hire Andy Moeller as their offensive line coach ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Brian Hoyer doesn't seem fazed about not having an OC right now. http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2014/01/brian_hoyer_cleveland_browns_s.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
  17. Its early but from what we've heard we know the following: 1. Houston will very-likely take a QB with the top pick either Bridgewater or Manziel and likely Bridgewater. 2. St. Louis wants to trade and would be sitting on Jadeveon Clowney and Atlanta has stated they are open to trading-up and they have needs for a pass rusher and Clowney is the best to come out in sometime. Makes sense for Atlanta to trade-up and get their pass rusher in Clowney and for St. Louis to move-down and pick up an extra 2nd this year and a 2015 1st round pick where they would have the 6th pick and would have a shot at either of the top-two OTs or WR Watkins. 3. Jacksonville has stated they ARE going to take a QB. Their coaching staff woked with QB Dereck Carr at the Senior Bowl for a week and reports are they love him. I think they actually will wind up taking Dereck Carr here. ============== That would leave us at 4 if we truly want Manziel but even before bringing up the Combine and the inerview proccess their is another issue, our free agents, specifically Pro Bowl OC Alex Mack. It seems our front office looks at POSITIONAL DOLLAR VALUE when divinng-up cap space. We signed OT Joe Thomas to a big long-term contract so he takes up a large amount of cap space. Mack is looking to make a big pay-day and he will get offers that will make him the highest paid center in the league. Thomas is already the highest paid left tackle in the league. Even though we have the cap space to easily re-sign Mack the problem is he'd want a long-term contract at the highest price for an NFL center. That would not be good long-term for the team. OK, why not just franchise him? Big problem with that idea. It seems the NFL does not discriminate between positions on the O-line with the franchise tag so if we tagged Mack he'd get the average of the top 5 linemen at ALL positions so that means he would get $7.2 million for ONE YEAR! No way in hell we'd give a center $7.2 million for ONE YEAR. NO CENTER makes that much and no center is even close to that amount. So our choices are to either give Mack a long-term contract making him the highest paid NFL center or franchise him and vastly overpay him for one year. Bottom line. We are probably goiing to lose Alex Mack to free agency this year. What does that mean for our #4 pick in the 2014 NFL draft? Means we very-possibly could be targeting the top OT in this draft. It makes sense on a number of fronts. 1. We need a RT. Mitchell Schwartz struggled last year but word came out he was nursing a foot injury that he suffered in the first game and it hampered him all of last year but he did struggle last year. Getting a blue-chip OT to plug in at RT would instantly upgrade that position. 2. If we got a blue-chip RT would could move Mitchell Schwartz inside to OG. Schwartz is more athletic and mobile than either Grecco or Lavaua. Lavaua was the weakest link in the O-Line last year so if Mitch moved inside he'd be an upgrade and if/when we lose Mack we'd need a veteran to play inbetween a new OC and a rookie RT. 3. Our new HC Mike Pettine said he wants both lines to be tough and strong. Our D-Line is, tough, strong, and has depth. If/when we lose Mack it will make the O-line even weaker and we know Schwartz struggled last year so getting a blue-chip OT would instantly upgrade the strength and toughness of the O-Line, something the new HC states is a priority. 4. Think long-term. Joe Thomas is in his prime and he's the top OLT in the league and he's got a long-term contract but when that contract ends he will be older and probably overpriced. Taking a blue-chip OT today means that player only gets a rookie contract so for four years we get a bargain. In four years Thomas' contract ends. If we had a stud OT to plug into Joe's spot we'd have great leverage in any future contract negotiations.. Contracts are a big piece of the picture that people don't get. We may very-likely lose Alex Mack this year due to cap issues that many fans won't understand so I'm sure the team does look long-term with contracts so adding a blue-chip OT in this draft would set us up well down the road. Add all of the above up and then look at the two OTs who would be available to the Browns. Roberts and Mathews. Roberts might be the best right-now. He's bigger and stronger and tougher and he's simply better as a run blocker but Mathews might be the best long-term player. Then look at the rest of the teams and who might want to trade-up to the #4 spot and for what player? If we like a QB then forget about any trade-down. We just take the QB but if we are not sold on any of the QBs or if we feel one of the OTs is simply too-good then we might just take an OT at #4 but if we see an opportunity to trade-down and pick up a #2 pick this year AND still get either one of the OTs or WR Sammy Watkins or if we feel one of those QBs will fall and we can land them later or any combination of the above where we are not picky and could go in any direction AND STILL PICK UP AN EXTRA high pick then I can see a trade-down happen. I just don't know if they really want one of those QBs or if they want one of thiose OTs or Watkins. I would not want to trade-down simply to get extra picks. No, no way. Only trade-down if they have a plan. Maybe the plan is to just get extra high picks for next year to get one of those QBs. That could be the plan. I dunno but I can see us drafting an OT with our top pick and not too many mocks have even considered that or what you suggest. Trade down is a distinct possiblity IMHO.
  18. That is the key, if their is even a QB in this class who is thought to be a legitimate franchise QB. Bridgewater's frame is slight. Johnny Football is small and his frame is not impressive and even if the reports are that he can 'make all of the throws' I am skeptical of his arm strength not to mention lots of other questions about him. Every report says Blake Bortles long-ball accuracy is suspect. Carr doesn't seem like he'll be taken high in the first round and might even slip to the second. Check out the tweets today from Houston beat writer John McClain. He says its early and questions ranknig QB at this point in time. He said RG III was not ranked as high until he went through the interview proccess at the Combine. ----------------------------------------------------- John McClain‏@McClain_on_NFL2h It's interesting how many think they have the QBs already ranked when there's so much more to go in the scouting process. ---------------------------------------------------- John McClain‏@McClain_on_NFL2 hrs I remember few thinking RG3 would be a high No. 1 pick until he blew away everyone with a magnificent pro day and his stock soared. --------------------------------------------------- Film is out there so what they did in college and film study won't change and the measureables will be confirmed at the Combine. The only thing that could change is if someone aces the interview proccess ALA RG III or if they do not perform well in the interview proccess one of those guys could slide ALA Geno Smith. Honestly we just do not know at this time but we know that none of these guys is seen as a can't-miss prospect like Luck or is viewed as an RG III. Right now none of them are overly impressive so I don't think anyone will move-up for a QB. The only shot of that is if one of them pulls off an RG III type of Pro Day and wows everyone in which case Houston will take em with the first pick and won't trade.
  19. Russ Lande begins by stating that 'opinions are split' on Johnny Manziel and the comments made on Manziel show that their not a consensus opinion of him. John McClain is on-top of the QB chatter. He feels the Texans will take a QB with the top pick and he thinks that 3 of the QBs will be gone in the first 4 picks. He also seems to think the Rams won't trade-down but will take OT Jake Mathews and I think that makes a lot of sense. The one point that McClain makes is that teams have not set their boards yet. He mentions how RG III shot up draft boards when he blew everyone away at the Combine during the interview proccess. Really ineresting set of tweets from McClain this morning. --------------------------------------------------- John McClain‏@McClain_on_NFL1 hr Gil Brandt on Manziel: "He's like Tarkenton. Only better." Uh, Gil, Fran Tarkenton is in the Hall of Fame. "I know. And I mean what I say." --------------------------------------------------- Alex Riley‏@alexriley19951 hr @McClain_on_NFL @RapSheet He's WAY off on his analysis. --------------------------------------------------- John McClain‏@McClain_on_NFL47m It's interesting how many think they have the QBs already ranked when there's so much more to go in the scouting process. --------------------------------------------------- John McClain‏@McClain_on_NFL47 mins I remember few thinking RG3 would be a high No. 1 pick until he blew away everyone with a magnificent pro day and his stock soared. -------------------------------------------------- John McClain‏@McClain_on_NFL46 mins I think the top 3 QBs will be gone by the 4th pick. And Rams take OT Jake Matthews.
  20. This is a Browns thread and quite frankly a new 2014 Browns thread should be opened. Since it is a Browns thread and their is relevant current news happening how about the historical posts go into a separate thread because new information is comming out now. - Doesn't seem like the Kyle Shanahan interview went over well. Wouldn't expect him to join the staff anytime soon. http://www.ohio.com/sports/browns/browns-hire-ex-titans-offensive-coordinator-dowell-loggains-1.463013?localLinksEnabled=false The Browns did hire former Tennessee OC Dowell Loggains and it seems he will be the new QB coach. -------------------------------------------- Ian Rapoport‏@RapSheet15 hrs Sounds like it’ll be QB coach for Dowell Loggains, rather than offensive coordinator, as his hiring gets finalized. So, OC search continues ------------------------------------------- From the same article by Nate Ulrick above. The name that Vic Carucci teased in yesterday's Cleveland Browns Daily broadcast is porobably Wilbert Montgomery. He used to play for the Eagles and at one-time he held the all-time single game Browns oppenent rushing record. I remember that game and how Will tore us up. Add, I think we have the entire defensive coaching staff filled out and we have the quality control coach and the special teams coach and the TE coach and the QB coach. If we get Cavanaugh then I like what he's done in Chicago and he has been an OC on two other occasions so he has experience running an NFL offense. I like the hire of Loggains as QB coach, that fills a critical piece of the offensive staff. If we get Cavanaugh then the last major offensive positional coach would be finding an offensive line coach. I dont know if our O-Line coach is still available or if he signed with someone else but outside of the OC and QB coach the O-Line coach is considered an integral part of any offensive staff. Gil has long-tanding ties with Vic Carucci and Vic said he pretty much knew the Browns would be getting one of the Ravens positional coaches.
  21. Stop in often and educate us on our team. You seem to really know your stuff. Oh and please try to make more posts mentioning the 1999 draft. Shows an incredible understanding of how players take in the last millenium somehow seemlessly fit into the 2014 draft. I thought your post was excellent, err I mean considering it came from someone concieved in a Jerry Springer audience who lives in trailor parks existing on a diet of corn dogs. Awesome football post.
  22. Well, no. I mean you got us there. Oakland only has the 1st most cap space in the league. Oakland got into cap trouble due to Al making wild-eyed moves. Then you had to cut or let some good players walk. See DE Desmond Bryant who Cleveland snagged from your roster last year when you were in cap hell. Oakland finally is out of cap hell? Good, it hurts a team to keep talent if they are pressed up against the cap. They have to keep letting talent walk. Browns haven't had to take drastic measures like Oakland and the six young Pro Bowlers were all drafted by the Browns so they don't just have cap space to try and target high priced free agents. They have cap space to keep home grown talent and draft picks to acquire more talent and develop it. Oakland is at least two or three years behind Cleveland right now.
  23. Russ Lande breaks him down. http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/67254668/nfl-%20prospect-profile-quarterback-Johnny-Manziel January 30, 2014 Prospect Profile: Johnny Manziel By Russ LandeLeading up to the Super Bowl, Sports on Earth will be offering up an introduction to five players who we are confident will be selected within the top 10 picks of the 2014 NFL draft, what NFL teams know about them and what they want to find out. We started on Monday with a look at University of Buffalo defensive end/outside linebacker Khalil Mack, then on Tuesday we focused the spotlight on Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. On Wednesday, we took aim at UCLA defensive end/outside linebacker Anthony Barr, and today we take on the "elephant in the room," Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. When you watch a football game on television, it is usually easy to get an impression as to whether a quarterback has the tools to play in the NFL. With Manziel, however, it takes a lot more time studying film and breaking him down to determine what his NFL future holds. I have spoken with numerous respected NFL scouts about him, and it's an understatement to say that opinions are split. A few have told me they feel he is the best quarterback in the draft, which is high praise indeed. But on the other hand, others have actually said they would not draft him. Needless to say, opinions split that drastically on a player are rare. The first thing that grabbed my attention is that Manziel definitely has what scouts call a "plus arm," which means he can make every NFL throw with ease. While he often looks like he is playing schoolyard football, he has consistently shown quickness in getting rid of the ball and can make throws to lead receivers that few other passers can. Both in the pocket and on the move, Manziel's ability to throw accurately 16-plus yards downfield is outstanding, and you can see from watching film that he has spent a lot of time working with his receivers, as their timing on back-shoulder throws is remarkable. Although some of his moves to escape sacks will get him killed in the NFL, he does possess a rare ability to avoid pressure and sacks to buy himself a second chance that can extend plays longer than any quarterback I have ever evaluated. Having to throw as many passes as he did, it's also impressive that Manziel throws few, if any, passes that defenders can get their hands on. Of the top five quarterbacks I have evaluated so far (Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Bridgewater, Zach Mettenberger and Manziel), he has the lowest error/interception rate of any of them. Not only does Manziel have the passing skills to succeed in the NFL, but his ability to lead his team and carry them on his back to comebacks consistently has been incredible. After evaluating film, I was shocked by how good Manziel is as a passer, but that's often not what people associate with him when his name comes up. Despite the media reports, nearly everything I have been able to dig up on Manziel's character has been positive. (Having worked for two NFL teams, I completely understand that scouts lie to media all the time to deceive and hide intentions, but I have tremendous confidence in my sources on this subject.) No one I spoke to will deny that Manziel can act like a spoiled kid who is still maturing as a young man, but none expressed great concern about his true character, with the consensus being that football is very important to Manziel and that he consistently does more than is asked to make sure he is successful. Manziel is viewed within the program as a rare competitor who will do anything to succeed, and this shows in his willingness to play through pain and confront teammates when needed as leaders must do. One thing that shocked me when speaking to scouts is that prior to practice and games, Manziel actually goes through the process of making tough throws from awkward positions when he cannot set his feet and this shows up in his ability to make great throws despite terrible positioning. Not that his raw footwork is good when he has a clean pocket or time and space to reset feet, but it clearly pays dividends when outside the pocket. Apart from positive character reports, scouts definitely expressed some real concerns that he must address in order to be as successful in the NFL as he was in college. High on that list is Manziel's tendency to overstride when trying to put extra zip on the ball, which leads to passes sailing on him. When he goes through progressions in the pocket and tries to make short (5 to 15 yard) throws quickly, his accuracy is inconsistent and too often his passes dip in front of the receiver. One issue that I found very concerning on film and addressed with NFL people is Manziel's tendency to vacate the pocket out the back, which rarely works in the NFL and can lead to major errors. He will need to become much more consistent stepping up in the pocket to avoid deep pressure if he hopes to become a successful NFL passer. The last thing scouts raised as an issue is that Manziel is not especially large for a quarterback and needs to learn to get down or out of bounds when running with the ball. Otherwise, he will expose himself to too many violent hits, which will cause his body to break down if he does not learn to better protect himself. (Russell Wilson is a great example of a player who gains yards scrambling with the ball, but is so smart that he rarely takes a hard hit.) Despite all of the analysis and my thorough charting out of Manziel, the debate about his likelihood for success in the NFL will likely continue until he proves himself or fails. Whatever team drafts him better have a smart offensive coordinator whose ego is not so big that he will force Manziel to fit his system. He will need to be willing to tailor an offense around Manziel's very unique skill set in order for them both to be successful. * * * Russ Lande writes about college scouting and the NFL draft for Sports on Earth. He is GM jr. scouting and college scouting director for the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and the Big 10 Network. He is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns and former scouting administrator for the St. Louis Rams. You can follow him @RUSSLANDE.
  24. because he couldn't make three horrible quarterbacks useful?Your management is the problem. Can't evaluate a guy for getting #### production from #### players. and yet here you are, Cleveland looking at picking over ####ty coaches to fill your OC position. we are in a bad spot right now, but the needle is not pointing down like it is Oakland. Hopeless until the top of the house is cleaned out. Probably looking at an Ireland 2013 like spending spree this year though as they stare desperation in the face. Then next years guys are screwed.I think the Cleveland needle is looking a lot like the Oakland needle. And the Jacksonville needle. And most of the other dysfunctional organization needles. Take off the slightly rose colored-glasses. Please. Jacksonville and Oakland have six young Pro Bowlers? Jacksonville and Oakland have extra 3rd and 4th round selections? Jacksonville and Oakland have two first round picks? Jacksonville and Oakland have the 2nd most cap room in the league?
  25. Right now on Cleveland Browns Daily, co-host Vic Carucci just said that he has heard a coach from Baltimore would be hired to the offensive staff. Vic seemed to hint it would not be an OC hire but a positional coach. He also said he hadn't heard any buzz from the Kyle Shanahan interview from yesterday and both Vic and his co-host Nathan Zegura said they feel Deliffipo is not yet ready to be an NFL OC. They just asked about Matt Cavanaugh but Vic said he hadn't heard anything other than his name was media speculation because Cavanaugh and Pettine worked on the Baltimore staff but he hadn't heard anything but Vic did add he liked him and the speculation made sense but right now, he's heard nothing. Link to the live show in-progress: http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/media-center/audio/Cleveland_Browns_Daily_LIVE/2a0cc2c2-5d29-4b02-ac5b-b8b07fc17475 ------------------------------------------- Over at one of the other stations the hosts had somemone on and they said that the Browns held no leverage in trying to find an OC and their guest said that the Browns hold all of the leverage over any OC hire right now beause they are the only team looking for an OC. The guest said the Browns should take their time and he speculated that the OC hire won't be rushed and that Pettine should take his time.
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