July 30, 2014

While We’re Waiting … Trent Richardson’s Impact, Joe Haden’s Return, Buckeyes Face Hoosiers

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 nice feature on the impact of a certain new tailback for the Browns: “Lost in the drama surrounding the Cleveland Browns’ 0-5 start and head coach Pat Shurmur’s daily struggle with the local media is the fact that running back Trent Richardson is having himself a great start to the season. This comes after undergoing arthroscopic surgery during training camp, putting everyone on edge as to whether he would be worthy of the No. 3 overall pick.

So far, he certainly has been. Through five games, Richardson has rushed for 303 yards, good enough for 16th in the league. He has also scored four touchdowns, which ties him for second in the NFL among running backs. Richardson’s real value, though, comes from his presence in the passing game, where he has 20 catches for 169 yards (and another touchdown tacked on). His 20 catches ranks him third among running backs, while his 169 yards puts him fourth.” [Steve DiMatteo/Dawgs By Nature]

Lots and lots of storylines just surrounding Joe Haden’s return this week: “One might scoff at the notion that the four-game drug suspension served by Browns cornerback Joe Haden has a silver lining. After all, it might have cost the Browns two victories. Granted, it’s a sliver of a silver lining. But at least Haden is well-rested. ‘I feel better because I got a chance to rest my legs,’ he said. ‘My wind is better than when I left.’ Haden will need all the wind he can suck up on Sunday. He’ll be going man-to-man against Bengals stud wide receiver A.J. Green. Green lumps Haden in with Darrelle Revis and Johnathan Joseph as his toughest foe. That feeling of respect is mutual. The 5-11 Haden understands that he can blanket Green and still be outleaped for a reception.” [Marty Gitlin/CBSSports.com]

Could the Buckeyes proceed to an undefeated season? Their second half journey begins tonight in Bloomington: “When Kevin Wilson left a cushy job as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma to become the head coach at moribund Indiana, many thought it was a step down the professional ladder. It’s a debatable topic when the landscape in Bloomington is surveyed. Now in its 122th season, Indiana has won 42.5 percent of its games and a grand total of two conference championships – none since 1967. The Hoosiers have a football practice facility named after a famous musician – John Mellencamp – and a subpar stadium that holds 53,000 people. And that’s after an extensive renovation.” [Kyle Rowland/Eleven Warriors]

Cody Allen was a star in an abysmal Indians season. I’m certain we’ll see more of him in 2013: “It did not take Cody Allen long to make a positive impression with the Cleveland Indians. In fact, it has not taken Allen long to make a strong impression on any of his professional baseball stops. In a little over a year, the right hander has gone from 23rd round draft pick to a potential key cog in the Tribe bullpen. He is the guy who could make closer Chris Perez expendable in an offseason trade. In April, Allen was unheard of and not on anyone’s radar to be in the majors any time soon. Now, he is a core player as the Indians look toward the future with new Manager Terry Francona.” [Craig Gifford/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]

Looking at the upcoming outfield free agency market: “Obviously the three biggest names on this list are Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, and B.J. Upton. Right off the bat you can expect that they are going to get a huge payday and the Indians will have almost no chance of signing them. The rest of the outfielders all leave something to be desired – Nick Swisher is decent, but I believe somewhat overrated. He wants a monster contract, although he may be unlikely to get it at the age of 32. Curtis Granderson is fantastic, but I highly doubt the Yankees are going to let him get away (despite his struggles in the postseason). Melky Cabrera is an intriguing option, and may come cheap this offseason because of his positive PED test. He’s the type of person that may bring too much negative attention and drama to the clubhouse, almost more trouble than he’s worth.” [Stephanie Liscio/It's Pronounced 'Lajaway']

And, finally, a nice Cavaliers preview from Sporting News beginning with Irving to Waiters: “The Cavaliers were 21-45 last year, hardly cause for excitement, but the fact that No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving parlayed his obvious talent into an outstanding season that yielded a Rookie of the Year award allowed Cavs fans a sigh of relief. There was some concern about how good Irving would be, having played just a handful of games as a freshman at Duke, but he quickly assuaged those worries by averaging 18.5 points on 46.9-percent shooting and making 39.9 percent of his 3-pointers.

Now the Cavs have given Irving a guy they hope can be a perfect backcourt match in 6-4 rookie Dion Waiters. At Syracuse, Waiters had been a sixth man and was considered a fringe lottery pick. But after some stellar workouts, teams began reconsidering his collegiate career—and the Cavs bit on him at No. 4 overall.” [Sean Deveny/Sporting News]