Cavs acquire Luol Deng
This season has been quite a mess so for the Cavs, but the acquisition of Luol Deng for the failed Andrew Bynum experiment has the potential to save the season. I’m worried a little about his injury issues this season, but if he can play he’s exactly what the team needs. The three position has been a disaster, the Cavs need a second scoring option to compliment Kyrie, they need outside shooting and every team can use Deng’s defense. It seems to be a perfect fit, so the season suddenly became exciting again.
I don’t support the idea of tanking again. It’s time for the Cavs and Kyrie Irving to make a playoff run.
Will the Browns consider Jimmy Garoppolo in the draft?
Some just asked Tony Grossi and interesting question on Twitter – will the Browns consider Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the 2014 NFL Draft? Grossi thinks he can be a developmental QB picked in the middle rounds. Digging a little, I found this article that has a great background on Garopollo and some interesting peices of information:
Garoppolo’s performance against San Diego State led to this proclamation from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who watched tape of the EIU-San Diego State game before his team faced the Aztecs early in the season: “Eastern has really one of the best quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even know who he was until I watched him. He’s a great player.”
His production is unrivaled at EIU, which has a storied QB history. The school’s single-season TD record had been 34, held by former EIU star Tony Romo. Garoppolo has 116 career TD passes, 31 more than Romo’s previous school record. In addition, Garoppolo passed New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton to become the school’s career leader in completions this season.
That’s quite an endoresement from Urban Meyer, even if Meyer is probably a better evaluator of college quarterbacks than NFL quarterbacks. Still, EIU also produced Tony Romo, so there is certainly precedent for picking a quarterback from this school.
Mike Lombardi seems like the kind of guy who likes to find hidden gems in the draft. With Garopollo standing at 6′ 3″ and 222 pounds, he certainly has the stature to be considered. Let’s see how he does at the combine and how that affects his draft stock.
Josh Gordon continues to dominate
On a day when the Browns found even more interesting ways to lose a football game, Josh Gordon erased any doubt that the Browns have one of the best receivers in the NFL. Gordon can do anything on the field, and he gives the team a lethal weapon can can carry this offense for years.
In another season marred by quarterback injuries, it’s easy to get depressed about a loss like this one versus the Jaguars. But as one fan pointed out on Twitter, the Browns lost being led by a quarterback that isn’t a part of the future. Brandon Weeden had his moments out there, but his meltdown before the half was comical. I had hoped he had the tools to develop as a good starting quarterback but reality set in a while ago.
Watching Gordon gives me hope that this offense can be pretty good once the new regime adds some more weapons and a quarterback. We should come away with an excellent receiver and a running back in the early rounds of the next draft, and I’m hoping Brian Hoyer can start next year so we don’t have to push a rookie to start before he’s ready.
After having recent “meaningful” games turn into nightmares, it’s obviously disappointing that we’re now stuck thinking about next year . . . again. But the Browns have some young talent led by Gordon, and now we’ll see if the new regime can add the necessary pieces to finally make them a contender.
Big Ben and the Steelers come to town
The Browns have been riding a roller coaster this season with all the changes at quarterback and the inconsistent play by the team. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this is the new norm in the NFL. Few teams are consistently good, and then there are several that are consistently terrible. With everyone else, the quality of play varies dramatically from week to week. With teams like the Browns we’ve seen mini streak where everything seemed to go well and others where everything goes wrong.
The bottom line is that you can never read too much into one or even several games. After two starts it looked like Jason Campbell might save the season for the Browns, and expectations were high heading into yesterday’s Bengals game. Unfortunately, Campbell’s miserable performance was coupled with a special teams’ meltdown, completely wasting the opportunities provided by Joe Haden and the defense and the lame performance by Andy Dalton. Everything went wrong yesterday.
Now the Steelers are coming into town. The Browns are two-point favorites, which means this is essentially a pick em’ game since the home team usually gets the benefit of three points. The Steelers were left for dead at the beginning of the season, but Big Ben is still one of the best in the NFL, and if he gets some protection he’s still very dangerous. Many of us were looking forward to a Browns beat-down of the old and declining Steelers, but all of a sudden the matchup of Jason Campbell vs a resurgent Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t look so great.
This game seems impossible to predict. Which Browns team will show up? Which Steelers team will show up? You can’t read too much into yesterday’s games as I pointed out above, so this one might not be your best bet if you’re looking to pick games against the spread this week. You can do all the research you want on this game and find a good site for your picks by checking out this site which does independent ranking based on customers and reviews. But you might be better off passing on this one in favor of another game.
Indians top pick Clint Frazier has good first season in minors
I met Clint Frazier at the 2013 Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards where he was honored for baseball of course. He was in great company as you can see in the photo above. He’s in the top left in the photo, and you’ll recognize basketball prodigy Andrew Wiggins in the photo as well.
I also had the opportunity to interview Frazier as you can see in the video below. Frazier comes across as a great kid who is also very confident in his abilities and his career prospects. He seems like the kind of guy that can be an anchor in your clubhouse.
Of course that’s great news for the Indians, who made Frazier their top pick in the 2013 baseball draft. The selection got great reviews around baseball circles, and things have worked out well so far. Frazier batted .297 with a .362 on-base percentage and 21 extra-base hits. Baseball America then named him the top prospect in the Arizona Summer League. So far so good!
Check out the video and you’ll probably be hearing much more from him in years to come.