1. The Browns have officially named Norv Turner as their new offensive coordinator. While people will probably gloss right over this, I happen to think bringing Turner to Cleveland is a coup. The Browns have put it out there that one of the reasons new head coach Rob Chudzinski got the job is because of his ability to put together a strong staff. In other words, bringing old friend Norv with him was a major feather in Chud’s cap.
Nobody questions Turner’s OC credentials. He was the man behind two of the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl offenses in the 1990’s, and in between head coaching stints in Washington, Oakland (I seriously have zero recollection of this, but it happened), and San Diego led offenses in Miami and San Francisco. Chud worked with him in San Diego and they share the same love of the vertical passing game. Their scheme is perfect for Brandon Weeden’s strengths. If Weeden can’t succeed under Chud and Norv, then the Browns will be looking for another QB….again.
2. After a day of thinking more about it, I don’t ever believe that the Browns were ever seriously in the running for Chip Kelly. I think Kelly wanted to do his due diligence and try to look for the right spot for him with the right personnel and the right amount of power. He will be getting that in Philly. He wouldn’t have gotten that here in Cleveland with Joe Banner on the scene.
Anyone else worried about Banner already? While nobody says it on the record, it seems as though his reputation of being tough to work with is doing him no favors here. I know it is very early, but thus far, I would say I am far from impressed and a bit concerned. Then again it is very very early.
3. Now onto the GM search. The longer this has dragged on, the more I get the feeling that Michael Lombardi is going to be the guy. Whoever does get the job will be GM in name only (if that). Banner will be making those final calls along with input from Chudzinski. The PD’s Mary Kay Cabot seems to think Lombardi will end up being the guy, while others, like 92.3’s Keith Britton – who was first to have the Chudzinski info – says it could be Ray Farmer, the Chiefs director of player personnel. I’m more interested in seeing who is right.
The local Browns beat reporters (MKC and Tony Grossi in particular) have had a really tough offseason in terms of predictions and information. They have been beaten to the punch repeatedly. But in all seriousness, at this point, I’m not sure it matters who gets the GM job, because Banner will be having the last word.
4. Anyone else miss Mike Holmgren? Me neither.
5. Those who follow me on Twitter know of my “NBA Free” stance. But I still know what it going on with the Cavaliers and where teams are in the standings. If you are a big Twitter person like me, you can’t help but know what’g going on with so many people I follow being diehard Cavs fans.
Here is a question for all of you – tell me how Byron Scott is keeping his job?
I know the Cavs roster is littered with garbage – by design might I add #TankStrong – but there are too many times that I see the Wine and Gold getting completely destroyed by their opponents and the people I know who are dialed into the NBA tell me the Cavs are literally one of the worst defensive teams they’ve seen in years. Are there any real signs of progress here?
Imagine if this were the Browns. Everyone would be up in arms and calling for the coaches head. But because Dan Gilbert has everyone in this town borderline hypnotized to drink his “patience” kool aid, Byron is getting a free pass, as has his entire team.
Now I have always said that if you are going to be a losing team in the NBA you might as well go all the way to the bottom to get yourself a high draft pick. There is no glory in fighting for the 8th spot. But you would like to see some sort of improvement or hope for the future with your team. Right now, the Cavs seem to be banking on Kyrie Irving’s ascension to top tier status, Dion Waiters turning into a star, Tristan Thompson being a solid 12 and 10 guy, drafting a stud in the top three in the 2013 draft and having him hit, and the possible return of you know who in 2014.
Meanwhile, Dan Gilbert is counting up his casino money.
I realize I am talking out of both sides of my mouth here, but this is from an outside perspective. I realize the rebuild isn’t going to be made over night, but this city deserves more.
6. Last Cavs thought. This LeBron returning story is much ado about nothing. Its a season and a half away at a minimum and nothing is going to change that fact. That said, people want to know how Gilbert could swallow his pride and bring back the guy who left him at the alter with no phone call notice. Its easy, he is LeBron freaking James, the best player in the world, and a gigantic money maker! Gilbert is a business man first and foremost. You check your feelings at the door.
As Marcellus Wallace said in Pulp Fiction: “F*** Pride…. Pride only hurts.”
The real question is would LeBron want to toy with Gilbert one more time and then give him another rejection just for spite reasons, or would he want to come back to Cleveland late in his career and help right the biggest wrong of his life?
7. Who is in for Tribe Fest this weekend?
8. I see that Chris Antonetti said today that the Indians are going to soon be making a decision on which direction they will go with the DH slot. According to his comments, the door on bringing back Travis Hafner still has not been closed.
Chris, buddy. Seriously. I beg you. Don’t do it. Don’t. Don’t clog up a 40-man roster spot on a guy who you know cannot stay healthy, cannot play the field, and cannot hit left-handed pitching. You have finally moved away from Grady Sizemore. Let go of the past. It was a lot longer ago than you think.
9. I may be in the minority, but while its a great honor that Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Mike Aviles have been asked to play for their respective countries in the World Baseball Classic this spring, I wish they were not involved. CP and Vinnie are the two most important parts of the Tribe’s pen and they will be pitching in key situations in February, away from the eyes of their own coaching staff who can control things. Team USA’s manager is notorious bullpen overworker Joe Torre. Now I know I am overreacting here, but the last thing the Indians need is an injury to either of these two.
As for Asdrubal, we all know he has worn down after the All star break these past two seasons. Adding more games in the front of his season while he hasn’t gotten himself into game shape isn’t going to help any.
10. Manti Te’o was in on it. No chance he wasn’t. There are just way too many inconsistencies in his story. His girlfriend of three years gets into a bad car accident, has leukemia, chemo, and he never visits her? She dies and he doesn’t go to the funeral of the love of his life? I could go on and on. The Deadspin report is incredible work.