While We’re Waiting… Evaluating Tom Heckert, keeping up in a small market and Browns CBs praised

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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.

Evaluating Heckert- “The Browns, who are well under the cap, were not aggressive last offseason and don’t expect much to change this year. Heckert is not a go-for-broke type GM like Phil Savage. Think patience. I know that is a word Browns fans get sick at the sight of, but Heckert’s plan is not a quick turnaround. He is aware the Browns need offensive playmakers. He said so toward the end of the 2011 season, but throwing money at the hot free agents is not his M.O. The Browns are building for long term and not looking to repeat the one-year wonder like 2007.

Last season, Young wasn’t an impact player and Jackson got hurt. Heckert took to resigning current Browns players and we’ll see if that trend continues this offseason with the likes of Peyton Hillis, Phil Dawson and D’Qwell Jackson. The only grade to give Heckert at this point is incomplete because, well, the Browns’ roster is just that. He seems to be an improvement over past Browns GMs when it comes to the draft, but the Browns roster is far from complete.” [Delco/Orange and Brown Report]

“Perhaps it could be argued that the Indians should have been the ones taking the risk on Cespedes, given their talent on hand (and I could easily make that argument) just as the 3-year deal with a player like Josh Willingham seemed to represent a plausible risk for the Indians this off-season, given their short-term needs and their long-term shortcomings. But for now the question for teams like the A’s – or more acutely (in this space) the Indians – is how small-to-mid-market teams acquire talent to compete even periodically and, more importantly given the talent that is about to congregate in Goodyear, retain that talent in the current market and structure.

To that end, and bringing this to the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, it’s worth looking again at how the Indians find impact players as the they’re starting to see some fruit borne of the draft (Kipnis, Chisenhall, Pestano and eventually Lindor…hopefully) and have mined other organizations’ talent through trades (Santana, Masterson, Cabrera, Choo, C. Perez…this could go on for a while) to create this group of similarly aged-similarly controlled players that figure to head Northeast from Arizona. For teams like the Indians, FA isn’t the way that they’re going to fill out their roster anymore as the impact players are out of reach (although, again, the argument could be made that this was the year to extend that reach) and the Indians have assembled a group of non-roster invitees (notably Garland, Wheeler, Spilborghs, and Ray) in the hopes that they hit on one or a couple of those players the way that they did last year with Hannahan and Duncan.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

Updates from Arizona. Get used to them here in www- “One little news item: the talks between pitcher Jon Garland and the Indians are still ongoing. Cleveland is still working through some details and it now seems unlikely that Gardland will take a physical on Monday, as initially thought. The Indians reached an agreement with Garland last week on a Minor League contract that includes a spring invite. The team is not anticipating having an update on his status until later this week. So, stay tuned.

Right now, there are 61 players in camp, including 21 non-roster players. Camp is so crowded that the Indians actually had to pair up four players to share two lockers. For those thinking the Indians cornered the market on non-roster invitees this winter, though, know that the Twins have 26 NRIs this spring, including 20 who were signed to Minor League contracts over the winter.” [Bastian/MLBastian]

“J.J. could be great if he ever finally gets it,” were words often spoken inside the locker room. The Cavs finally gave up on him in July, when Hickson was traded to Sacramento for Casspi (and a conditional first-round draft pick). Casspi was solid during his first two seasons in Sacramento, but has struggled mightily in Cleveland. He has appeared unsure of himself and been shaky on the court. Not long ago, he admitted he’s thinking too much instead of just playing — and it shows.

Too often, Casspi wears the confused look of a man who has been standing in the rain for hours, only to learn he’s at the wrong bus stop. But again, as much as Casspi has struggled with the Cavs, Hickson has been every bit as bad with the Kings. And maybe even worse.” [Amico/FSO]

Some good news about 2 of the Browns’ cornerbacks. Patterson and Haden graded out as top 10 efficient corners in tackling. [Monson/Pro Football Focus] (Hat tip Dawgs by Nature)

  • Lyon25

    I’m fine with Casspi not being able to knock his outside shots down more consistently.  That should come in time.  What bothers me is the repeated misses at the rim & telegraphed passes that result in Fast Breaks for the other team.

    At least he has started to rebound more recently, so he’s not a complete waste out there.

  • Harv 21

    I’d still rather watch Casspi struggle than spend yet another season watching a coach plead with JJ to work.  Glad he’s another team’s endless project now. Oh wait, forgot that if he hadn’t come out early from college he’d just be a grad student now.

  • Max

    I forget where I read it last week, but someone pointed out that the 2010 Draft class is losing it’s luster…Ward has trouble staying healthy, Lauvao is meh, Hardesty is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, Colt shows flashes, then gets annihilated by (weak O-line play/lack of weapons/lack of ability/insert choice here)

    So, essentially what I’m sayin’ is imagine me as the guy sitting in a corner, obsessively rubbing a rabbit’s foot saying “oh please! oh please!” because I’m not totally convinced they really DO know what they’re doing. I sure hope they do, but I’m losing my conviction.

  • Harv 21

    on another note, I’m sorry I missed the Jeremy Lin comments yesterday only out of curiousity as to what induces the editors shut down an entire comment section. Maybe I don’t want to know.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    “Heckert’s plan is not a quick turnaround,” was this ever said out loud because honestly I don’t remember hearing it?  It makes sense especially the way the Browns are doing it but still, it’s painful.

    The Cavaliers replaced one clueless player in Hickson with another in Casspi but it’s clear this team needs another bonafide young scorer, at any position.  Otherwise Irving will end up being just like LeBron being stuck on a team where he’s expected to CARRY it.

  • BuckeyeDawg

     You are correct.  You don’t want to know.  The proper decision was made.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ WFNYRick

    Saying that Ward has trouble staying healthy seems a bit unfair. He has played two seasons, started all 16 games his rookie year, and 8 games this year before an injury shut him down for the season.

    Lauvao was a third round pick that started every game this season, and likely will start next season as well.

    At the time I thought Hardesty was a huge risk, and it doesn’t look like it is going to pan out. Not good.

    As far as Colt goes, perhaps we should keep in mind that no QB outside of the first round in 2010 has done anything at all. Would you rather have had Colt (3rd round) or Claussen (2nd round)?

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ WFNYRick

     That was my doing Harv. For whatever reason, we had a high search engine placement on that piece. People were coming from everywhere and being, well ignorant trolls. Not a good scene.

  • Kildawg

    Ankle injuries are nothing to scoff at and I know from personal experience. Ward will be a big-time player for us, the defensive play-making safety that apparently is a requirement in the AFC North (BAL has Reed, pittspuke has PolamaWHO (prick that does h&s commercials)). Colt needs WRs to catch the ball, Lauvao is young still and can be at least a solid backup, and Hardesty is possibly a wash (apparently most RBs are fragile but Hillis seems pretty durable).