August 15, 2014

While We’re Waiting…Browns Place in AFC North, More on Sizemore, Ohio State vs. Michigan Thoughts

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 tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

‘A Sense of Where You Are’ – AFC North edition: “For the Browns’ power trust, maybe the timing couldn’t be better. Since the Browns have loaded up against NFC West and AFC South talent this season, it’s hard to get a feel for which areas of the roster need addressed in the offseason. Three weeks from now, GM Tom Heckert may realize that both cornerback and safety again need addressed in 2012 – especially if the Browns’ secondary gets ripped apart.

Finally, beleaguered rookie head coach Pat Shurmur could buy himself some precious breathing room from the Browns’ rabid fan base. Considering the record of Shurmur’s predecessors against the AFC North, stealing a win from the Ravens or Steelers could do wonders for the first-time head coach’s image.

Not to mention giving us all a better understanding of these Browns.” [Dave Kolonich/OBR]

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Week 1 and another season of laments: “Since then, however, I’ve come to realize that the Browns are still the Browns, while the Bengals seem to be the only Ohio team that’s worth a damn. Prior to the start of the season there was that all too familiar feel of optimism among Browns fans. Everyone knows the feeling I’m talking about. During the off-season, you watch as your “competent” front office works vigorously to improve the team through free agency and the draft. Even the players seem to be a little more optimistic, leading the fans to believe that this could be the year that their team finally turns the corner. It was supposed to be the Bengals that were heading for a run at the ‘Andrew Luck Sweepstakes’, and it was supposed to be the Browns that were going to rebound from a dismal 2010 season to have a respectable, at least, 2011 season.” [Derek McQuaid/Browns Gab]

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What the Sizemore deal means: “While that may not seem like a big deal on the surface (particularly among those who think that Grady is finished and that $5M is a waste of money on him…apparently because Tribe fans only like Indians’ players who have been away for longer than a decade), the fact that the Indians were not able to include a club option means that Sizemore is very likely to walk away from the corner of Carnegie and Ontario at the end of the 2012 season, particularly if he is able to stay healthy and productive in 2012. For the Indians, the lack of an option of the deal is the only real downside as they figure to be stuck in the same situation next year (needing an OF) regardless of how Grady performs in 2012. If he’s truly finished, the Indians need to replace him (probably in June) and if he dons his cape and becomes SuperSizemore again, he moves on to the BIG deal that every ballplayer has dreamed about, having already given the Indians two “hometown discount” deals in his career. If he re-establishes his value, the Indians get to enjoy that re-establishment (and maybe some playoff games) in 2012 then watch him walk away as the bloodthirsty fans are thrown more red meat for the “DOLANZ R CHEEP” refrain that they are so quick to sing.” [Paul Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

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Praising Grady: “We Tribe fans can pretend that Sizemore owed us his loyalty. We’ve spent the last eight years wearing (and buying) his jerseys and waited patiently for him to make a comeback for the last three, and if he found success somewhere else we’d have pits in our stomachs until the end of his career. That’s true. But there’s no way we could have reasonably blamed him for preferring a change of scenery and a salary bump. He didn’t and doesn’t owe us anything—which makes it that much more incredible that he came back.” [Lewie Pollis/Wahoo's On First]

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And reasons to be optimistic and pessimistic about OSU’s chances today: “Hoke knows the importance of the rivalry and the importance of being able to recruit Ohio. He’s talked of Michigan having three special rivalries — its national/non-conference rivalry with Notre Dame, its in-state rivalry with Michigan State and this, the biggest and most important of the bunch. Michigan’s players are tired of losing to Ohio State, too, and have to sense a little blood in the water at Ohio State. Coming in with a two-game win streak, playing at home for the second straight week and knowing that the Big Ten title game and possible BCS scenarios are out of their hands should help Michigan have a singular focus and a simple goal — do whatever it takes to build on the momentum and win this game.”[Zac Jackson/FSOhio]