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“So this all begs the question…what exactly are the Indians trying to do? GM Chris Antonetti has come out to say that Myers is likely the last significant free agent in the budget this offseason, so other than the usual slew of minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training we’re not likely to see any additions to the 40-man via free agency. Early in this offseason, I advocated trading Choo, Chris Perez and Asdrubal Cabrera in an attempt to jump-start the inevitable rebuilding process, and listening to offers on Vinnie F. Pestano and Justin Masterson as well. The club did of course deal Choo for Trevor Bauer and others, but rather than continue to demolish/rebuild via trade, Antonetti used a significant chunk of change to bring in a FA replacement for Choo and a badly needed arm. So are the Indians done significantly altering the roster for one offseason? If so, it feels a little like the club has reached the dreaded “in between” talent level; not quite good enough to make the playoffs, not bad enough to just let the kids play and trade for prospects.” [Al/The DiaTribe]
Buckeye secondary recruit– “When a defense allows just 90 total yards and 71 through the air, if you’re a part of that secondary, chances are you’re happy about the end result. That would be a correct assessment of defensive back Eli Apple after his East team won, 15-8, over the West on Saturday. A defensive back, Apple was good in every facet of defense – man coverage, zone and stopping the run. His only hiccup came via a missed tackle. But that wasn’t going to stand in the way of him reveling in victory.
“I’m just glad we won,” Apple said. “I think I did solid. It was definitely a huge difference from my high school games. The biggest difference for me was the linemen coming after me. I’ve never seen linemen so fast in my life. It was great. The receivers were fast like I expected them to be.” [Rowland/Eleven Warriors]
“The league-wide average shooting percentage for power forwards is 47.1%. For the season, Thompson is shooting 47.7%, a marked improvement over his rookie year percentage of 43.9%. If you look only at the last 10 games, the picture looks even rosier; Thompson is shooting 51% over that period. The league average true shooting percentage for power forwards is 52.6%. Thompson is at 51% for the season, which is an improvement from last season when he was at 46.9%. In the last 9 games without Varejao, Thompson has a true shooting percentage of 55.6. Improvement across the board, with games interspersed that show real potential, should lead to a lot of optimism.
But it isn’t just the numbers that show the improvement. Thompson is much more adept this year at putting himself in position to get off his baby hook. My eyes tell me he is traveling much less than he did last year, and despite about 8 more minutes played per game, his turnover rate is essentially unchanged. The league average is 1 turnover a game, and Tristan continues to be around 1.5, so more improvement in this area will be helpful. Tristan’s usage rate has actually gone down this season. One theory for that is that he is no longer a ball stopper trying to force things. It still happens, but he has shown much more willingness to pass the ball out or keep it moving when he doesn’t have good position. He has even shown flashes of being able to get some pretty assists. He isn’t Marc Gasol, but he already has surpassed the number of assists he had as a rookie in 300 less minutes. I think this indicates he has a better understanding of his role in the offense, where his teammates are, and the game slowing down for him a bit. [Zavac/Fear the Sword]
“That’s why we began to fall in love with Chip Kelly. We put aside any reasonable analysis and became excited by the sheer possibility of what he could do. We imagined that he would revamp the roster and implement his system and it would be unstoppable. And he would do it all overnight.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works in the NFL. Building a champion takes time. While it is possible to go from being out of the playoffs one season to the Super Bowl the next, there are no overnight successes. Anything that appears as such is a mirage, and is actually the result of years of stability and planning (combined with luck, of course).
As Browns fans, we’re tired of being told to be patient. We’ve heard that too many times before. Unfortunately, we don’t have any other choice. Chip Kelly would have been an exciting hire. But there’s no real reason to believe that he could have built a contender here any faster than Wisenhunt or Smith or somebody else could.” [Rebuilding Since ’64]
“The best thing to come out of the weekend may be the crash course that Haslam received on what the NFL is truly about. Hiring a coach and running a franchise isn’t the same as opening a truck stop in the sticks of America; it takes more than a Southern drawl and a fat wallet. (If that wasn’t true, then Jerry Jones would have to build an extension on Cowboys Stadium for all his Super Bowl trophies).
Hopefully Haslam learned the most important lesson of the weekend: Next time you are going to schedule an interview with a coaching candidate, it may be a good idea to make it over breakfast.” [Red Right 88]