April 23, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Ray Horton, Buckeyes in East Lansing, And Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves

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.

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Leading off, the Browns have hired former Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who they interviewed for their head coaching vacancy, for the same position. ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley had his reaction to the news, “Cleveland gets a coordinator who knows how to make quarterbacks feel uncomfortable. In 2012, Horton’s second year as the Arizona defensive coordinator, the Cardinals held quarterbacks to a 54.3 percent completion rate (third-best in the NFL) and picked off 22 passes (second-best in the league) while allowing 20 touchdowns. Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson combined for three touchdowns, 11 picks and a 23.4 QBR score against Arizona.” [ESPN AFC North Blog]

The Buckeyes are in East Lansing for a Saturday night Top-20 matchup with the Spartans. Kyle at Eleven Warriors has a preview as the Buckeyes look to keep pace with the other 1-loss teams in the conference, “It’s the same old Michigan State. Solid guards, plenty of scoring threats and imposing low-post players. Keith Appling, Branden Dawson, Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix are all names familiar to college basketball fans. These two schools have become the class of the Big Ten over the past decade, and last season highlighted that fact. Ohio State and Michigan State got together three times and each game matched the hype, including the Big Ten tournament championship game, which had the feel of a Final Four. The Buckeyes and Spartans also had the look of a rodeo. In three games, 101 fouls were called.” [Eleven Warriors]

Also, from Kyle at Eleven Warriors, today’s Buckeye-Spartan showcase will feature two point guards that drive their teams in Aaron Craft and Michigan State’s Keith Appling, “Tenacity and leadership might be the most appropriate words in describing what Craft brings to Ohio State. His on-court presence delivers a calming effect for the Buckeyes and his leadership in key moments has proven to be invaluable. Statistics can put a value on Craft’s worth, but a large segment cannot be quantified. A few hours up the road, Appling has developed into Tom Izzo’s most trusted player. It was a void left by Draymond Green that needed filled quickly. Appling has done that and more, keeping Michigan State near the top of the Big Ten by averaging almost 14 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.” [Eleven Warriors]

On Thursday night, I tweeted out that of the five-man panel on TNT (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, Shaquille O’Neal, and Ernie Johnson), just one (Webber) had Kyrie Irving as an All-Star reserve. Here, we see what Kelly Dwyer has to say on the matter with his choices for Eastern Conference All-Star reserves, “A very good case could be made for Irving to start ahead of Rondo or even Wade, but considering the games he’s missed due to injury and his pitiful defense a reserve role doesn’t seem all that damning. There are some that would argue that Irving should have made the team last season, and considering his offensive production, it’s hard to dismiss him being the first rookie guard to have made the All-Star team since Michael Jordan. He’ll just have to handle being a deserved first-time All-Star at the age of 20.” [Ball Don't Lie]

Finally, Grant Brisbee at SB Nation talks about instant replay in baseball and how he sees it with a fifth full member of the umpiring crew, “He would be a full-fledged member of the union, with the only difference between him and the other umpires being that he never steps on a field. Wendy Thurm took a look last year at having a central hub review everything, which is what the NHL does, but an extra 15 umpiring jobs could help any potential replay objections from the union. More important would be the replay official getting to be a part of the regular crew. It’s not like I’m hyper-sensitive to the plight of umpire rights, but having the replay reviews come from a traveling member of the crew could allay the sense of constant, Orwellian supervision that a central hub might evoke.” [SB Nation]