Tough start for the Cavs
The Cavs got off to a fast start in the first quarter, but eventually the Celtics heated up and took control of the game. The shots were falling for them, particularly the three-pointers, and the Cavs got a little cold.
It’s the first game, and they had to start without Delonte West and face a tough team while the Cavs had two new starters. You can’t expect them to be in mid-season form, and they weren’t. No cause for worry – as Shaq said they’ll be fine.
The refs didn’t help out as well. The traveling rules apparently don’t apply to Ray Allen and one ref called a ridiculous palming call on LeBron with two minutes left when the Cavs were down four points and staging a comeback. But refs don’t affect games in the NBA – right?
Hilarious article from a depressed Browns fans
Geoff LaTulippe (that’s not him above) writes an article about being a Browns fan that most of us can relate to. It’s heartbreaking and hilarious and pathetic all at the same time. At least he gets in some great shots about our division rivals . . . .
Pittsburgh: America’s crotch. Literally one of the worst cities on the planet. Full of toothless mountain people. Looks from above as if someone decided, “You know what I’m going to do? Cut out a huge chunk of one of the worst sections of Eastern Europe and drop it in the middle of Pennsylvanian Appalachia.” At the end of the day, the Cleveland Browns suck, but at least we’re not from Pittsburgh.
Baltimore: A city of hypocrites and degenerates. Cried (rightfully) for nearly a decade and a half, not just about losing the Colts, but about how they lost them … and then accepted another team stolen under eerily similar pretenses and jackassedly supported it with nary a peep. Hang your head in shame, Baltimore.
Cincinnati: It’s Cincinnati. I don’t have the heart to say more than that. I can’t even hate the place. It’s … Cincinnati.
Up against those three, Cleveland is like a bright, shining Metropolis of the Future. All we ever did was set our river on fire. Remember, we had Jim Brown. And then there’s the whole existence of Skyline Chili. I’m telling you, Cleveland … things could be worse.
Cliff Lee vs. C.C. Sabathia in the World Series
It’s hard to imagine a bigger nightmare scenario for Mark Shapiro and the Cleveland Indians. The collapse of the Indians as a contender led Shapiro to trade back-to-back Cy Young Award winners, and now they will be facing each other in game one of the World Series.
Mark Shapiro has done some very good things as the GM of the Indians. He got Cliff Lee in an incredible trade years ago when he traded Bartolo Colon in a salary dump and got back Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips (Shapiro and Eric Wedge managed to let Phillips go for nothing).
However, seeing these two pitchers facing each other in the World Series represents an epic fail for Shapiro and the Indians organization. Having Charlie Manuel managing the Phillies for a chance at his second-straight World Series makes it even worse.
Posted in: Cleveland Indians
Tags: Bartolo Colon, Brandon Phillips, C.C. Sabathia, C.C. Sabathia postseason, C.C. Sabathia trade, Cliff Lee, Cliff Lee image, Cliff Lee photo, Cliff Lee pic, Cliff Lee trade, Cliff Lee vs C.C. Sabathia, Eric Wedge, Grady Sizemore, Lee vs Sabathia, Mark Shapiro
Brodney Pool had a terrible game against the Packers
Brodney Pool has been having a decent season, but he was terrible today against the Green Bay Packers. He missed two open-field tackles that led to huge plays for the Packers.
Is it too early to start thinking about the 2010 NFL draft? Safety Taylor Mays from USC would be the kind of safety that could be a difference-maker on defense.
Browns abandon the Wildcat
The Cleveland Browns had another pitiful performance today against the Green Bay Packers. The offense was terrible, as Derek Anderson had another forgettable day. It doesn’t really matter who plays quarterback. The offense stinks.
Who’s at fault? Take your pick. Quinn and Anderson both stink. The offensive line has been bad, and we’re playing mostly with rookie receivers. Brain Daboll certainly hasn’t figured out how to use the players he has. It’s hard to blame him, but the play-calling has been terrible as well, particularly in the red zone.
All of this begs the question – why aren’t the Browns using the Wildcat more? Josh Cribbs is their best player. Let him run the damn ball!
Instead, the Browns tried one running play with Cribbs and kept trotting out Anderson all day. What a mess.
Posted in: Cleveland Browns
Tags: Brain Daboll, Brain Daboll play calling, Derek Anderson, Josh Cribbs, Josh Cribbs image, Josh Cribbs photo, Josh Cribbs pic, Josh Cribbs single wing, Josh Cribbs wildcat, Quinn and Anderson both stink, Wildcat
Jim Tressel sticks by Terrelle Pryor
Not surprisingly, Jim Tressel has indicated he is not planning on benching Terrelle Pryor or giving backup Joe Bauserman any playing time. As I mentioned the other day, Tressel has to consider benching Pryor at some point given the way he’s playing, but that none of us should hold our breath.
Tressel did what he had to do. If he still has any hope of Pryor emerging as a good quarterback for Ohio State, he needs to publicly support the kid when he’s down.
That said, there’s no doubt in my mind that Tressel in running various scenarios in his head. Pryor seems to be getting worse, and at some point Tressel’s hand will be forced if Pryor doesn’t improve. Naturally, Tressel will do all in his control to prevent that scenario, but he’s certainly thought it through.
Posted in: OSU Football
Tags: Jim Tressel, Jim Tressel photo, Jim Tressel pic, Jim Tressel Terrelle Pryor, Joe Bauserman, Terrelle Pryor, Terrelle Pryor bench, Terrelle Pryor maturity, Terrelle Pryor mistakes, Terrelle Pryor overrated, Terrelle Pryor pocket presence, Terrelle Pryor temperament
Is it time for Ohio State to bench Terrelle Pryor?
When he arrived at Ohio State as the biggest recruiting prize in the country, Buckeye fans were hopeful that Terrelle Pryor would be the second coming of Vince Young. Instead, Pryor looks more like the next Juice Williams.
Terrelle Pryor’s performance in yesterday’s loss to Purdue was a disaster. It wasn’t simply a bad game from a young quarterback. Pryor has been getting progressively worse throughout the season. Rather, it was a performance that raised the question of whether Terrelle Pryor can ever be a good college quarterback, let alone the NFL quarterback he dreams of becoming.
Pryor had two fumbles and two interceptions. But his stats don’t tell the story here. When you watch Pryor play, you wonder why anyone ever thought this kid could be a good college quarterback. Pryor looked like a track star thrown into the game who had never played the position before. He lacks practically all the tools one would need to play quarterback, apart from his size and speed.
* Arm strength – Pryor can throw the ball, but he hardly has a gun. Most of his long throws look like heaves rather than smooth throws.
* Accuracy – Pryor rarely makes accurate throws. Even short throws seem to be a challenge.
* Mechanics – Pryor’s footwork and throwing mechanics are a mess. He’s not a natural at all with the ball in his hands. Sure, coaching can help, but the coaches aren’t developing a natural passing talent.
* Pocket presence – The Buckeyes have a weak offensive line this season, so that makes it more difficult to develop a young quarterback. But Pryor consistently panics in the pocket. He doesn’t seem to have any sense of how much time he really has to make a throw. Not surprisingly, he often relies in his incredible athleticism to buy some time for a possible pass or run, but he often seems to make the wrong choice.
* Decision-making – He rarely seems to do the right thing. How many times have we seen him run out of bounds under pressure and take a loss of five or more yards when he easily could have just tossed the ball out of bounds? He seems to throw when he should run, and run when he has an open receiver. On blitzes, he rarely gets the ball to the hot receiver.
* Leadership and temperament – Pryor often acts like an immature kid who can’t control his emotions. He’s only nineteen years old, so we need to cut him some slack here, but compare him to freshmen like Tate Forcier at Michigan and the surfer dude playing quarterback at USC. They seem to thrive under pressure, while Pryor seems to come unglued under pressure.
Jim Tressel made a good point early in the season when some were questioning Pryor’s play – Vince Young didn’t become Vince Young until his senior season. The message was clear – young players need to develop, and it’s unrealistic to expect them to come in a perform consistently this early in a college career. Tressel prides himself on his ability to develop young players and young men. He knows players and teams will face adversity, and he wants to help them face it and overcome it.
For this reason, we shouldn’t be surprised that Tressel didn’t pull Pryor against Purdue. He should have been pulled, but Tressel doesn’t have a great option sitting on the bench, and he probably wanted to see how Pryor would react in that situation.
As an Ohio State fan, it’s hard to imagine watching Pryor play quarterback for two more seasons. The Buckeyes are loaded on defense, and they have a solid offense as well, even with a mediocre offensive line. All they need right now to compete is a quarterback who can hit open receivers and avoid turnovers. They don’t need a Vince Young or even a Troy Smith. Put Craig Krenzel on this team and the Buckeyes are competing for a national championship. Instead, we have the Terrelle Pryor train wreck, and an excellent defense is being wasted.
Pryor chose Ohio State because he wanted a program that could help him develop as a future NFL quarterback. That seems like a pipe dream now. The kid needs to focus on just being a competent college quarterback.
What should Tressel do? Would sitting Pryor help? Tressel needs to consider this if Pryor continues to turn over the football. He owes it to the other players on the team.
In the meantime, short of benching Pryor, Tressel needs to rethink what he’s trying to do on offense (the issue of Tressel calling the plays will be addressed another time). We can see he’s already tried to incorporate the option more into the offense, but we’re seeing that Pryor’s instincts aren’t much better there. Perhaps with practice he’ll get better, as the option at least plays to his running ability. Tressel should toss aside a good chunk of the playbook and go to a much simpler offense. Focus on running the football, the option, and other Wildcat-type plays, and have Pryor make much simpler throws that play off the running game. Dig up old tape from Oklahoma and Nebraska from the 1970′s, or even most of the Woody Hayes years. Keep it simple until the kid shows he can handle more.
Buckeye fans often get frustrated with Tressel’s conservative play-calling, but opening up the offense is not the solution here. He has to pull things back and start over. And, if Pryor can’t cut it in a simpler offense, then Tressel will have to make a change.
Posted in: OSU Football
Tags: bench Terrelle Pryor, Jim Tressel, Juice Williams, Tate Forcier, Terrelle Pryor, Terrelle Pryor accuracy, Terrelle Pryor arm strength, Terrelle Pryor bench, Terrelle Pryor decision-making, Terrelle Pryor decisions, Terrelle Pryor Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor Juice Williams, Terrelle Pryor leadership, Terrelle Pryor maturity, Terrelle Pryor mechanics, Terrelle Pryor pocket presence, Terrelle Pryor temperament, Terrelle Pryor train wreck, Terrelle Pryor Vince Young, Vince Young
Will LeBron James finally develop a post-up game this season?
Here’s some great news from Terry Pluto’s column this morning:
LeBron James continues to work on his low-post moves near the basket. He has not used them often in the preseason games, but James has made it a focal point of extra time on the court after the regular practice sessions. James has said he will have something new for this season — and going into the low post a few times a game will put even more pressure on opposing defenses.
It’s about time. With his size and athleticism, LeBron James should be unstoppable around the basket, particularly when guarded in the low post by other small forwards. Of course, LeBron is extremely dangerous when driving to the basket from the opt of the key, but he also gets lazy and often tosses up the random jumper without letting the team run the offense. Hopefully a low-post game will give him another lethal weapon while also adding some much-needed discipline to his game.
Photo by Bill Moore
Josh Cribbs rumors heat up
I was listening to Greg Brinda tonight on WKNR and was rather surprised to hear him discussing rumors of a possible trade of Josh Cribbs to the Dolphins for Ted Ginn, Jr. Now, I’m a huge fan of Ginn, but Cribbs is the best player on the Browns, and Ginn has been a disappointment so far.
Why is this even being discussed? Well, everyone is aware of Josh’s contract situation, and the Browns have shown a willingness to make deals, so nobody should be surprised that teams are calling to inquire about Cribbs. The Browns of course will listen when anyone calls, but I’d be surprised if they’re seriously considering any of this.
Naturally, that would change if a team starts talking about high draft picks. At that point you always have to listen. Would you trade Cribbs to Miami for Ted Ginn and a second round pick? You’d have to think about it. Can you imagine Cribbs becoming a part of Miami’s Wildcat package? I can’t blame them for thinking about this.
I’d rather see the Browns put all this aside and sign Cribbs to an extension. Then, start working Cribbs into our own Wildcat offense. They tried it in week one and then gave up, but I’m hoping they’ve been saving some of this for Pittsburgh. Cribbs was a quarterback in college, so he could be lethal in the single wing offense.
Posted in: Cleveland Browns, OSU Football
Tags: Greg Brinda, Josh Cribbs, Josh Cribbs for Ted Ginn, Josh Cribbs Miami, Josh Cribbs rumors, Josh Cribbs single wing, Josh Cribbs trade, Josh Cribbs wildcat, Ted Ginn, WKNR
More whining about the Browns
None of us should be happy with the slow start by the Browns, but it’s boring as hell listening to the constant whining about the “negativity” surrounding the Browns and Eric Mangini. Chris Rose from the “Best Damn Sports Show” was just on Rizzo, and all he could focus on was the stream of negative stories, as if the James Davis situation is some sort of high crime that could bring down the Mangini regime. Good grief. Somehow, the fact that we don’t see George Kokinis is a “problem.” Who cares if we see the GM? He’s obviously busy doing his job, like dumping Braylon Edwards and ridding the team of a malcontent who was never going to re-sign with the team.
These guys love the “soap opera” angle on the Browns – how about focusing on football instead? That’s probably too much to ask.