While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Naturally, like most things related to Cleveland sports, the path will not be an easy one. Being in the lottery is by no means a guarantee for a rebound. It is near consensus opinion that a Durant-type player is not for the having in the 2011 NBA Draft, one where the Cavaliers have four selections. Also in Oklahoma City’s corner, Durant was added to the team the summer before the team would win 20 games, allowing them to add Westbrook the very next season and essentially expediting the turnaround. And having a future Hall of Famer fall into your lap is only half of the battle; the Thunder had to hit on subsequent selections as well as trades.” [Scott/Still WFNY]
Speculating on the next Hard Knocks team- “The Cleveland Browns may be an interesting story. Former Browns coach Eric Mangini said he would never do it, but the new regime of president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert and rookie coach Pat Shurmur may be more forthcoming. But the Browns don’t have a lot of star power and HBO already did the “struggling Ohio football team” story two years ago in Cincinnati. So there’s probably not much interest in Cleveland.” [Walker/AFC North Blog]
“Let’s look at the five most important Cleveland Browns for 2011, as of today. This isn’t intended to be a list of the best players or the guys facing make-or-break situations, but the most important players before any trades, signings, cuts or surprise depth-chart changes are made.
With the uncertainty surrounding the NFL’s labor issues, players must be under contract for 2011 to be eligible for this list. Whenever a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, some players might be restricted free agents and are likely to return and others could achieve unrestricted status depending on the terms of the new agreement. That means players including (but not limited to) Lawrence Vickers, Matt Roth and Eric Wright are not eligible for this list.” [Jackson/FSO]
“Most experts say the longer the lockout is extended, the more teams like the Browns with a new coach and a new system is harmed with little or no OTAs and minicamps. However, Shurmur disagrees. “I don’t (see a disadvantage),” he said. “What I see is 32 teams playing on a level playing field. Every year is new. Even established teams must re-create themselves each season.” Shurmur has said before he thinks the ability for his staff to teach the players will be a big help when the players return.” [Greetham/The OBR]
“We are, after all, closing in on that Sparky Anderson-prescribed 40-game mark that will supposedly dictate whether this team is for real, and here the Indians are, still comfortably atop the standings in a weak AL Central. It has been pointed out elsewhere, but it bears repeating that the Tribe can go .500 the rest of the way and still finish with a respectable (and perhaps division winnable) 87 victories.
None of us saw this strong of a start coming (though, of course, some will try to claim they did). But I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at some points in the not-too-distant past that were particularly impactful in paving the way to what has already been an entertaining 2011 season.” [Castroturf]
Great stuff from Jordan, check out the piece to see how he got here- “So what does it all mean? Well, the Indians are peppering the strike zone early and often, drawing swings, inducing contact and minimizing the self-created damage. With one of the league’s top-rated defenses playing behind them, the pitchers are enticing hitters to swing and trusting the plays will be made. That’s a big reason for the Indians’ strong start.” [Major League Bastian]