Hard Knocks Spin-Offs

The Browns training camp has provided HBO with some fantastic story lines. Here are some potential Hard Knocks shows that are “rumored” to be in the works.

Bro’in with Brogan– Brogan Roback travels the country in an old conversion van, periodically sleeping in various Wal-Mart parking lots, and going to Planet Fitness to shower. As he goes from town to town, he picks up other athletes and interviews them in his van while vaping. (He goes on to name the vehicle the Vape Van). Episode one includes a trip to Boston where he interviews Gronk and they share in-depth philosophies on life and whatnot*. This is also part nature show, where Brogan just eats a bunch of different flowers during his travels.

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The Wylie Old Historian– Offensive Line Coach, Bob Wylie, talks American history. The first episode is a more in-depth look into why stretching is unnecessary, as proven by soldiers during both World Wars. He also explains how vegetables are stupid because POW’s weren’t fed organic veggies and they were some of the toughest SOB’s around.

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Trade (de)Bate– Carl Nassib and Mychal Kendricks have a friendly debate show on the best practices for saving money and investing in the stock market. Kendricks is forced to do some episodes via Skype for obvious reasons. Special guest Bernie Kosar weighs in with his own investment tips.

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Here is a list of shows that were scrapped early in production:

Dawg Cussin’– Gregg Williams just sits in the Dawg Pound and heckles the players with obscenities. He is particularly fond of belittling Todd Haley and Hue Jackson. The pilot episode received a bounty of laughs, but unfortunately HBO is suspending it for a season.

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Hue’s Jacked Son– Hue Jackson adopts Josh Gordon and gives him awkward code names while Josh works out. Josh periodically disappears for episodes at a time for mysterious health retreats, but always comes back in great shape, ready to go. To prove he doesn’t play favorites, Hue makes sure not to start his new son for the season opener.

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*Sneak Peek at Bro’in with Brogan Pilot Dialogue

Brogan: Sup Bro

Gronk: Bruh

Brogan: Bruuhhhh

Gronk: Sup

Brogan: So like, how’s it goin’

Gronk: Hahaha. yeah man, you?

Brogan: Brooooooo

Gronk: Hahahaha.

Brogan: Dandilion? (Offers Gronk a flower to eat)

Gronk: More like a Pansy. Hahahahaha

Brogan: Totally

To be continued…

 

Can Browns Steal Opener

The Cleveland Browns open the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday. A lot of Browns fans have high hopes for this year, some even predicting a division crown. While I don’t believe that Cleveland is a better team than Pittsburgh, I do believe that Hue and the boys can catch the Steelers sleeping in the opener.

Ben Roethlisberger (rightfully) doesn’t respect the Browns and why should he? Big Ben has the same number of career losses to the Browns (2) as he has sexual assault cases against him. This year seems different though. The Browns defense has looked formidable and has stayed oddly healthy throughout the preseason. If Roesthlisberger comes out lackadaisical he could take some big hits early and often. Plus, with Jabrill Peppers starting every play 30 yards from the line of scrimmage, Antonio Brown shouldn’t have too many receptions longer than 25 or so yards. Le’Veon Bell came out slow after skipping training camp last year and I would assume we can expect to see that again this season. If Bell can’t get going and Roethlisberger gets a little too cocky, this young Browns defense should be able to hold its own.

The real question is, can the offense put up enough points to help out the defense or at least sustain drives to keep Williams’ unit off the field. The first team offense put together some nice drives throughout the first 3 preseason games. It didn’t always result in points but I chalk that up to Todd Haley wanting to try some new things. If Hyde and Chubb can produce like they did in game 2 and 3 that should take some pressure off of Tyrod and allow him to make a few plays. I’m not expecting him to light it up but just putting together a nice drive here or there and not turning the ball over might be enough to get a win.

My opinion is that week one is the best possible time to face the Steelers this season and I think the Browns will take advantage of the opportunity. I predict that the defense catches Big Ben off guard and the offense does just enough, Browns 20-16.

Lazy Stereotypical Big Ten Preview

This is my 1st Annual Big Ten review strictly using stereotypes from an Ohio State fan’s point of view. Ohio State has more or less ruled the conference since Jim Tressel took over in 2002, winning 8 of the 16 league titles in that span. Along the way, I have created some (mostly unfair) biases and stereotypes towards the other B10 institutions. Here are some of the baseless claims I have made over the years.

Not Even Part of the Big Ten:

Maryland- I’m pretty sure Maryland is actually decent, but their uniforms are the only thing I think of when I see their name on the schedule which doesn’t bode well for them.

Rutgers– It’s bad enough that they joined the league so recently. What makes it worse is that they stink at every sport and probably would go under .500 in the MAC.

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The Scarlet Knights got bested by this guy last season.

Hot Garbage:

Indiana- The only positive thing that comes to mind when I think about Indiana football is Tevon Coleman rushing for over 300 yards against Rutgers. Indiana still lost that game.

Illinois- Illinois was average for awhile, even upsetting the Buckeyes a time or two but the first thing to pop my head was that they had a QB named Juice who was very good but I never heard of him doing anything after college.

Purdue- For some reason I always start to think that Purdue is decent but that is because I always remember back to when they had Drew Brees…almost 20 years ago.

Northwestern- Much like Purdue, I think much higher of the Wildcats than they deserve. It might be because I played with them in NCAA football a lot when they had Tyrell Sutton.

Minnesota- Due to my respect for P.J. Fleck and his affinity for rowing boats, I have a feeling they will change my perception of the program this season but every memory I have is of them not being very good.

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Eh:

Iowa– Iowa blasted Ohio State last season and probably deserve more than an eh, but Kirk Ferentz and the boys are just so inconsistent from one season to the next. They look awesome one year, then are barely average the next.

Nebraska– The Cornhuskers have been average for a long time. When I was little, they were a national powerhouse but that was a long time ago. I do believe Scott Frost is going to make them relevant again though.

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Have Some Sort of Shot at a Conference Title:

Michigan- Michigan has been “turning it around” almost as long as the Cleveland Browns, but I truly believe that Harbaugh will keep them sort of relevant.

Michigan State- If I wasn’t an Ohio State fan, Michigan State would be my favorite Big 10 team in all sports (except gymnastics). They are so well coached and somehow always surprise people. The Spartans and Buckeyes have had quite the battles over the past few seasons.

Penn State- Another team who is well coached. I am interested to see how they do without Saquon Barkley, but from all reports their quarterback is supposed to be the real deal.

Wisconsin- I’m a throwback kind of guy so I truly appreciate Wisconsin’s 1960’s style of play. It is effective for the most part. They also have perhaps the toughest road atmosphere in the Big Ten.

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Teams that Will Win the Conference:

Ohio State- Who knows how the first few games will play out for the Buckeyes with Urban Meyer suspended, but when he comes back, look out. I wouldn’t be surprised the Ohio State drops 50 on every Big Ten team on their schedule this year.

 

Standings Predictions:

East- Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, Michigan, Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers

West- Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois

 

 

State of the Tribe

The Cleveland Indians have the biggest division lead in all of baseball, have 2 MVP candidates, and four starters ranging from really good to Cy Young caliber. Yet with all of this many media members and fans are all doom and gloom about the team’s postseason chances. The baseball playoffs typically are a crapshoot with the best regular season team’s rarely getting to the World Series. Last year, the Indians were cruising and expected by many to win the whole thing but got bounced in the first round. The year before that the Red Sox were the AL favorites and the Indians swept them in the opening series.

Flawed regular season teams can find ways to put together a couple series wins. If the Indians don’t win the World Series this year it won’t be because Jason Kipnis is batting .220. Every team has one or two weak links in their lineups. The Mighty Boston Red Sox have been starting a CF with a worse batting average than Kip and a platoon of catchers both hitting in the very low .200’s. The Indians saving grace is that Yan Gomes is one of the best hitting catchers in the game. He fills one hole that just about every other team has.

The one concern that I share with the naysayers is the whole bullpen situation. I trust in Terry Francona’s ability to manage the pitchers effectively in the postseason as he has for years, but the Tribe just doesn’t have a lot to work with this year. How many times can Andrew Miller and Brad Hand pitch in a 7 game series? I do like the fact that it sounds like Francona will make closing Hand’s job. It might be a little rough at first, but that is the best method of finishing in my opinion.

Hard Knocks Time Machine

 

Hard Knocks winding down has me thinking about what former Browns players and personnel would have been great to have on HBO so I compiled a list of my top 5 along with some that just missed the cut. I’m sure I have some glaring omissions but these are the ones that came to mind.

5. Dwayne Bowe– Can you imagine how electric Bowe would have been on Hard Knocks? Just shot after shot of him leisurely peddling his exercise bike for hours at a time, every so often cutting away to Ray Farmer hyping up how he is going to be worth every penny and lecturing the media about how its stupid to draft wide receivers.

4. Kellen Winslow, Jr.– HBO would’ve had an absolute field day after his infamous motorcycle crash. The 6th overall pick limping into Phil Savage’s office to explain he flipped over his handlebars doing sweet tricks like he was some kind of Starboy. Then days later, it turns out he was just going 35mph in a parking lot when he hit the curb. I can’t imagine he ever did anything worse than that.

3. Mike Holmgren– Nothing in particular stands out that makes me say, “Mike Holmgren seems like a fun dude”, but I would’ve loved to see his reaction coming from a team who regularly made playoff runs to an organization who gives you the runs. It also would’ve been neat to see what he tried to do to turn around the Browns during his tenure.

2. Joe Thomas– The Browns’ Ironman. Not only was Joe a great player, but the guy is absolutely hilarious. I think he would have stole the show, especially in his final few seasons when he really started to open up (not give a crap). His podcast with Andrew Hawkins is good and he is great on social media. Teaming him up with Bob Wylie would’ve been appointment television.

1. Johnny Manziel– This selection doesn’t need much explaining. Johnny went from a fun-loving little rascal to problematic team cancer real quick. Perhaps if Johnny had Hard Knocks cameras following him around he would’ve actually pretended to care and would have talked more to Jim Brown and less to Jim Bean.

Honorable Mentions:

Romeo Crennel’s pool parties. Romeo had to be a “shirt on in the pool” kind of guy, right?

William Green being stabbed by his fiancee, then saying he accidentally fell down the stairs and landed on a knife.

Braylon Edwards punching LeBron’s friend and promptly being traded.

Joe Haden just because he was Mr. Cleveland and would’ve been a great ambassador for the city on national television.

Cleveland Browns Expectations

The NFL regular season starts in less than two weeks so its about time for official predictions. Here is an interview I had with a very passionate Cleveland sports fan who can only be described as overly optimistic. He is the guy who, in the past, has said things like “Johnny Football is going to tear up the league”, “Romeo Crennel is going to make us the new New England Patriots”, “Dwayne Bowe was a stud in K.C. I can’t believe we got him for so cheap”. Without further ado, here is the interview. (I am the bold print).


How do you think the Cleveland Browns will do this season?

Overly Optimistic Browns Fan: I will be completely shocked if the Browns don’t win double digit games this season.

I agree they should be improved but they’ve only won 1 game the last 2 years. Why are you so confident?

O.O.B.F: We have the greatest defense ever assembled. Myles Garrett is an absolute freak. We just shut out the Super Bowl Champions last preseason game!

They do look good but durability is always a concern with some of our top players. Also, the Eagles were playing primarily backups against the Browns first teamers. What do you think about the offense?

O.O.B.F: Jarvis Landry said teams will be lucky to hold us to under 40 points and I think he is absolutely right. We will be drop 50 on most teams.

They only “dropped” 5 on the Eagles last game.

O.O.B.F: Bro, it’s the preseason

OK. What is your take on the Quarterback situation? 

O.O.B.F: It doesn’t even matter. Tyrod and Baker are both absolute studs and with all the weapons around them all they have to do is fling it down field and Gordon and Landry will go get it.

So no concerns about Gordon or Callaway’s documented issues?

O.O.B.F: Did you even watch the Browns in 2012. Flash Gordon is a monster. The guy was great 6 years ago, of course he will be great now. And Callaway already said the gun parts and drugs weren’t even his and he was cleared of the charges for sexual assault and credit card theft. Find a new slant.

Alright. Thats about all the time we have, can I get an official prediction for the 2018 season.

O.O.B.F: If I’m being completely unbiased I would have to say 11-5. I mean, even people in Vegas are betting on us to win the North. Plus, have you seen Hard Knocks?

 

 

Browns Dress Rehearsal

The reigning Preseason Champion Cleveland Browns defeated the reigning World Champion Philadelphia Eagles last night by a score of 5-0. As a diehard Browns fan and aspiring big time journalist I stuck around for the entire first half of the contest. I can make all my statements and generalizations based on just 2 quarters of football. That’s what we in the biz call efficiency.

Here are a few things that really stuck out to me after attending (half of) last night’s game.

1. The Defense Looks Good

This one probably seems obvious after seeing the final score, but the first team defense looked very good all half. After giving up a few big runs on the opening drive, the defense really stiffened up. Perhaps the biggest knock on this unit was their lack of turnovers. They did a lot towards changing that perception last night. One thing that stuck out to me more than the turnovers was the excellent open field tackling. There were only a couple instances where a guy whiffed and even then they recovered nicely

2. Myles Garrett. Wow!

I recently attended a Browns training camp with my nephew and the first thing we noticed was how much different Garrett is from his fellow defensive linemen. He just moves different and seems so much more powerful with less effort. That was on display again last night where he was able to pressure Nick Foles relentlessly. The safety obviously comes to mind, but the play that stands out to me the most was when Garrett was able to hurry Foles while being held by the O-lineman. The blatant hold was called and I was just amazed that he got to the QB so effortlessly while a 300lb man was trying to put him in an armbar.

3. Offense Is OK

Obviously 5 points isn’t going to set the World on fire but the first team offense was able to move the ball well on multiple occasions. There was the drive to the 1 yard line, Baker’s possession marched down the field for a field goal and they had a few other possessions where they were able to get a first down or two before punting. If the defense is half as good as Cleveland fans claim then that is about all the Browns will need. Play a game of field position and sprinkle in a few nice drives and we could witness some low scoring Browns victories this season. After the past few seasons, I feel comfortable saying that the Dawg Pound won’t be clamoring for style points if they can just win some games.

Browns 1st Round Picks by Games Started

The Cleveland Browns have had an impressive 26 first round picks since their return in 1999. What they have done with those 26 picks however, has been far from impressive. I initially wanted to write this piece as a way to rip on all the busts and flubs over the years but I feel that dead horse has been beaten enough. Instead I decided to create a list of 1st rounders based solely on games they started for the Browns. We all know that not all of the disappointments have been due to poor play or skills. Just like all normal NFL teams, Cleveland has had its fair share of injuries, motorcycle accidents, fights with LeBron’s entourage, drug issues, and players literally being stabbed in the back by their fiancees.

With that being said, I was still disappointed to see that only 3 players have ever started more than 80 games for the Orange & Brown. That is the equivalent of 5 seasons. Not exactly setting the bar too high. Those 3, along with their games started, were:

Joe Thomas- 167

Alex Mack- 101

Joe Haden- 81

Since 1999, more men have become the President of the United States than 1st round picks have started 5 seasons worth of games for the Browns.


If you go beyond that, there are only 4 other players who started at least 48 games for the Browns. That’s 3 seasons worth for you scoring at home. Those 4 are:

Kamerion Wimbley- 62

Tim Couch- 59

Gerard Warren- 59

Braylon Edwards- 58

What a sad state of affairs when Kamerion Wimbley was arguably the fourth most valuable 1st round draft pick the Browns have made in the last 20 years.


On the flip side, Cleveland GM’s have selected 8 players who started fewer than 2 seasons worth of games (32). Thats even after excluding players drafted after 2015. Those 8 were:

Justin Gilbert- 3

Johnny Manziel- 8

Brady Quinn- 12

Barkevious Mingo- 16

Cam Erving- 17

Trent Richardson- 17

Brandon Weeden- 20

William Green- 30

*I feel I could technically include Corey Coleman (18 starts) who was drafted in 2016, but is no longer with the team.

More 1st rounders played fewer than 2 seasons worth of games than guys who played more than 3 years (worth of games). That is absolutely bonkers. Most of these guys started more games in college than with the team who drafted them. Heck, I’ve eaten more Chicken McNuggets since starting this article than most of these guys have games started. Let’s just hope that Dorsey and the Boys have it all figured out now.

Hard Knocks Review Review (Week 2)

Well, well, well another week of Hard Knocks is in the books. As a subscriber to basic cable I am not privy to actually watching HBO so I am creating my review based solely off of what other writers said happened. As someone who is completely ignorant to copyright and plagiarism laws, I will be extra careful to conceal the identities and takes of those I am using.

From what I can gather, week 2 was a snoozefest compared to the action packed season opener. A 6 second clip on twitter was all it took for me to realize how big of a bum Corey Coleman is. Him complaining about being behind Landry, Gordon and Callaway on the depth chart is laughable at best. I’d give Antonio Callaway my credit card information before I gave Corey Coleman a starting gig on this squad.

Speaking of Callaway, the Browns posted a quote from John Dorsey on their website in regard to the WR being caught with weed and gun parts. Dorsey said, “This isn’t college football. This is the National Football League”. Without looking it up, I’d venture to guess that Dorsey attended The U in the 80’s because most people don’t associate guns and multiple drug offenses with “college stuff”… After extensive research (wikipedia) I’ve determined that he went to Connecticut. Basically the same thing.

The final earth shattering headlines were that David Njoku’s gloves created the next Laurel/Yanni debate and 4th string TE Devon Cajuste whistles with his dad. Deep stuff.

Tune in next Wednesday/Thursday-ish to find out what happened on Monday.

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