“But in Cleveland, Irving has an opportunity to be everything sports fans are seeking in the long-term. They’re seeking someone upon whom they can rely, someone to save the city from its recent run of sports mediocrity. These days, “wait until next year” no longer means challenging for a championship, or even a playoff spot, in Cleveland. It’s more like dreaming of maybe a .500 record.
The Cavs are probably Cleveland’s best sports hope, with their many assets, bevy of draft picks and promising young talent. And Irving is their Dark Knight in shining armor.” [Amico/FSO]
“Brandon Weeden’s last appearance at Cleveland Browns Stadium was just as dubious as his first. In the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Weeden’s day began underneath a 100-yard American flag. It ended with a QB rating of 5.1. Seven games later, Weeden struggled mightily. He finished 21-for-35 for 244 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown — a 69-yarder to Travis Benjamin when the game was clearly in Redskins control.
What made things even more unbearable was the play of Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. The rookie made his first NFL start and overcame an early interception to finish 26-for-37 passing for 329 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Thanks to the Browns, Cousins is the new Matt Flynn/Kevin Kolb/Scott Mitchell.” [Delco/The OBR]
“The Browns ended up fulfilling two of my needs in a major way. When you look at how quickly Josh Gordon has grown, he is becoming more than I could have asked for out of a rookie receiver. At right tackle, Mitchell Schwartz has been as stable as they come as far as I’m concerned. We didn’t get a stud linebacker, but Craig Robertson has filled in admirably as a nickel linebacker, and James-Michael Johnson has started a lot of games. Beyond those wishes I had at this time last season, Cleveland has also improved at quarterback, running back, defensive end, and defensive tackle. Right now, Cleveland only has one more win than they did a year ago, but they are on their way to being a serious playoff contender next year.” [Pokorny/Dawgs by Nature]
“Without question, Braxton made huge strides in his sophomore season, his first under the tutelage of competent coaches. The numbers pretty much speak for themselves. Urban’s thoughts, delivered the Monday after his quarterback led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season, spoke volumes about year two of the Braxton Miller Experience but more importantly, put in the crosshairs exactly what needs to happen in the first eight months of Miller’s development in year three for Ohio State to have a shot at the national title. ” [Lauderback/Eleven Warriors]
In case you missed it this weekend, a Dion Waiters roundtable discussion. [WFNY]