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The piece that is getting a lot of buzz by Maurice Clarett- “Instead the sky fell on him. Clarett was suspended from the team for receiving what were deemed “improper benefits.” He also falsely alleged that $10,000 worth of goods had been stolen from him. (He later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of failure to aid a law enforcement official.) Clarett tried to enter the NFL Draft. But by NFL rules, a player had to be at least three years out of high school to become eligible. He sued. His case eventually went to the Supreme Court. He lost.
The next two years were lost in a fog of drug and alcohol use. “I would ride around in my car carrying life sentences, with pounds of weed and bricks of cocaine,” he says. In 2005 he worked out at the NFL’s Draft Combine and performed woefully. He was nevertheless drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round that year. In Denver’s training camp, he says, he was partying hard at nights and clashing with his coaches during the day. He was cut before the end of camp.” [Burke/Deadspin]
10 prospects that could have an impact on Tribe’s 2013 season- “T.J. House, LHP. Like Haley, House, 23, made vast improvements in 2012. House was the clichéd “I’m in the best shape of my life” candidate in Spring Training, but he actually came through on it, posting a 3.56 ERA in 149.1 innings between Carolina and Akron. The left-handed starter is not the most overpowering, but he finally got his walks under control (3.0 BB/9) and got back to inducing groundballs after allowing more fly balls than grounders in 2011.
House was also added to the 40-man roster after the season and sent to the Arizona Fall League, a clear sign that the organization is happy with his progression. I could see him starting the year in Akron, but after spending most of the year there, a promotion to Columbus could be warranted. With few left-handed starters available for Cleveland (and none currently in the starting rotation), the path to the majors is clear for House provided he continues pitching as well as he did in 2012.” [Piascik/Indians Prospect Insider]
Excellent work breaking down defenses against RGIII- “Poor eye discipline. That’s the No.1 reason defenses get beat at any level of football. If you don’t read your keys, or “keep your eyes on your work,” then expect to give up explosive gains vs. play action. That’s what I’m seeing on the tape right now when watching LBs and DBs vs. Robert Griffin III. But is it scheme based? Or are NFL defenses so focused on the rookie QB and his abilities that they are ignoring basic run-pass keys?” [Bowen/National Football Post]
Taking a look at some mid-level free agents that the Cavs could target next year- “Jarryd Bayless: Another combo guard who’s only 24. He has a player option for $3.5 mil. With his reputation growing, I’m betting he opts out to take the “mediocre player who’s going to cash in because he’s lucky enough to play on a really good team” benefit. He’s had some nice moments for Memphis, but has fallen off as late. His ceiling is probably a quality bench guy at this point. 13.78 PER and a very streaky shooter. If he’s smart, he’ll pick up his play and get himself a decent contract. He’s another player that advanced stats hate, as he stalls the offense, and opposing guards are lighting him up.” [Smith/Cavs the Blog]
Tracking trends in the NFL- “The Cleveland Browns? Absolutely! The Browns have allowed teams to take 39 trips into their red zone and allowed just 29 scores, the best rate in football. Unfortunately for the Browns, when the opposition does score, it’s usually a touchdown. The lowest rate of touchdowns allowed on red-zone possessions in the league belongs to the Baltimore Ravens, who have only allowed touchdowns on 40 percent of the opposition’s trips inside the Baltimore 20.” [Barnwell/Grantland]