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“Waiters looked like the world’s biggest maroon in the Cavs’ wine uniforms last July — hitting the summer circuit in lousy shape and appearing unmotivated. Then came training camp and preseason, and Waiters amassed all the buzz of an everyday rookie. That would’ve been fine if he was supposed to be an everyday rookie. But he’s supposed to be the man who makes life easier for point guard Kyrie Irving.
On Tuesday, he was that guy. And gosh, the Cavs sure needed it. Who knows? Maybe Waiters can be that No. 2 option all year. It’s hard to tell after just one game. But there’s a point in there, and it’s this: Maybe we all shouldn’t be so darn quick to judge.” [Amico/FSO]
“Understanding the weather conditions, this is exactly the sort of game that the Browns need Richardson for. Despite a lingering and at times even debilitating rib cartilage injury, he bounced back in a big way. Averaging 5.1 yards per carry is great any week, but dropping 122 yards and a touchdown on one of the best rushing defenses in the league is fantastic. Even during this fine outing, there were still occasional grumblings regarding the “dancing” in the backfield before hitting the hole, from myself included. You have to take the bad with the good, and this week the good far outweighed the bad. These moves are part of the player Richardson is. They probably have a lot to do with why he’s often so hard for the first guy to bring down. I do expect him to improve on the hesitation, as with any young, talented rookie.” [Stinchcomb/Dawgs by Nature]
“In March, Meyer referred to the offense as a “clown show.” The offensive line was not transitioning to the spread well, the quarterback was still playing like a freshman and no wide receivers were becoming a legitimate deep threat.
My, how times change. Seven months later, Ohio State’s offensive line has turned into one of the best in the Big Ten and the Buckeyes’ top line in several years; Miller has eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark, run for 12 touchdowns and thrown for an additional dozen; a year after 14 receptions led the team, that number has been achieved by three different receivers who have 11 touchdowns between them.” [Rowland/Eleven Warriors]
“Once again, an opponent has measured themselves by a loss to the Browns. The Chargers seemed flabbergasted they lost to (gasp) Cleveland. San Diego PR guy Bill Johnston, a good guy, posted on the team web site that alarmist folks need to “take a chill pill.” Fullback Le’Ron McLain told the San Diego Union Tribune: “… we should have come here today and got this victory … Man, it’s plain and simple, you’ve got to win games you’re supposed to. Throw away the record. Matchup for matchup, we were the better team. Not today though.” Wrote longtime columnist Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union Tribune: “The Chargers’ bedeviled head coach (Norv Turner) now operates the worst professional football team in the United States — oh, right, and England.” Nice to see another team going through that kind of thing, isn’t it?” [McManamon/FSO]
“Near the end of each year, the Rookie Meter ranks the teams getting the most impact from first-year players, but we took an early look in PFW’s “Gametime Decision” this week, and this week’s Rookie Meter will do the same. Here are the five teams getting the most out of their rookie class through eight weeks, and we’ll give it another go at the end of the season:
1. Browns — The Browns’ offense is run through a trifecta of rookies, QB Brandon Weeden, RB Trent Richardson and WR Josh Gordon. DT Billy Winn has made an impact on defense and Mitchell Schwartz is starting at right tackle.” [Fishbain/Yahoo]