Browns relying on the O on Sunday: “For the first time, in a long time, there is a positive vibe surrounding the Cleveland Browns. It appears as if the team has found their QB of the future in McCoy, and have worked hard during the off-season to improve the overall talent on the team’s roster. Unlike the Bengals, don’t be surprised if the Browns rely heavily on their offense and McCoy’s arm to win this game. If the Browns new-look 4-3 defensive scheme looks above average on Sunday, it’ll be because Dalton and the rest of the Bengals offense will give the Browns an above average amount of opportunities to expose their inexperience.” [Derek McQuaid/Browns Gab]
Gauging the NBA talks as the scheduled season draws closer: “For all we’re aware, both sides could have made significant inroads over the last few meetings, but to guess that an agreement is close merely because David Stern isn’t getting all defensive on podcasts, or players aren’t sniping to any website that will quote them? That’s optimism gone mad.
Once you factor in the two biggest reasons for this extended impasse (two reasons that are no less prominent, despite the tactful tones) — the players don’t want to give back money, and the owners’ incentive to give in is dwarfed by their collective ability to hold out — and we’re just about right where we started. At least on record. If there’s hope to be found in ignorance, well, then we must be swimming in the stuff at this point.” [Kelly Dwyer/Ball Don't Lie]
Limited opportunities to see “future” Cavs in the FIBA tourney. [Kevin Hetrick/Cavs:TheBlog]
Browns a compelling national story as the season kicks off: “But does that mean they will? Young teams make mistakes and lose games that they are meant to win. Plus, the league fluctuates so much that it is hard to go by the records of opponents’ previous seasons as a barometer for the strength of a team’s schedule. You can bet that the Browns will find themselves in close games against supposedly lesser opponents – that’s just the way this league is built.
That doesn’t mean the Browns won’t be compelling or, at the very least, competitive. It’s hard to imagine them as a playoff contender, as so many things will have to go right for them, but stranger things have happened. At the very least, it’s going to be an entertaining start on what will hopefully be the road to contention.” [Steve DiMatteo/Dawg Pound Daily]
Predictions for game 2 under Luke Fickell: “Toledo likes to run a no-huddle offense and will likely use every trick that they have to keep the game up-tempo and the Buckeyes off balance; if they move the ball down the field for the first series or so, try to resist pressing the panic button for as long as possible. It’s entirely possible that this game won’t be decided until the second half, but I think that the combination of Toledo’s lack of offensive line depth will hurt them much more than Ohio State’s as a relentless OSU d-line and constant blitz packages begin to wear on their ability to conduct their offense effectively. OSU should be able to find a steady stream of points, whereas after some early success, Toledo will likely find them much more difficult to come by as the game goes on.” [Johnny/11W]
Breaking down the schedule and predicting the Browns season: “The over/under for the Browns victory total this year is 6.5, which shows why the oddsmakers in Las Vegas are the dogs bollocks. It’s easy to talk yourself into both sides of the over/under which looking at the 2011 Browns. So how will everyone’s favorite team do? We know from past experience the Browns will win a game or two that no one expects them to win (see New England and New Orleans from last year) and lose a game or two that we expect them to win (see Cincinnati and Buffalo from last year). Let’s break down the schedule into three parts.” [Red Right 88]