July 24, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Some non-Harbaugh links on a Monday morning

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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Really interesting piece on injuries in the NFL- “The worst injury I’ve ever had on the field — for my wife and kids, at least, and my mom and dad — was an injury I got against the 49ers,” says Matt Hasselbeck. “Patrick Willis hit me as I was diving for the goal line. He hit me, and twenty minutes later I’m in an ambulance on my way to Stanford Medical. I’d broken a rib on the left and I’d broken a rib on the right. The rib on the right was right next to my aorta, and it was really dangerous for my health. I couldn’t breathe. It was like there was a weight on top of me. It’s a scary thing, because it feels like you’re drowning. I couldn’t breathe at all, and I got up off the field because it was a two-minute situation — I didn’t want the team to have to take a time-out. I tried to run off the field, and when the trainers met me they saw I was, like, purple in the face. And they immediately put me on the ground. Sometimes they’ll put you on the ground to evaluate you and sometimes to give the backup quarterback a chance to get loose. They put me on the ground because I was purple.” [Junod/Esquire]

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Reliving Skinner’s decision to hold Lofton- “Here’s what Francona said: “To be really honest about this, being a third-base coach in Boston is probably the most unfair job in the world, because you’re making a split-second decision, and you’re the only one in the ballpark who can’t see the whole field. Because you get that blind spot down the left-field line, and the ball caroms off the wall like it did in that instance. I think what you have to hope for is you have to make that split-second decision and what we used to tell our runners was keep your head up, like on a swivel, so you can be your own coach. Because that happens more often than people realize… If the runner keeps his head up, then he can score on his own and you don’t run into that problem, because the third-base coach is in a real bind there.”

Maybe, when you think of it in that light, this was one of those moments in which the notion of home-field advantage is rather real. Maybe the Indians, as a whole, should have been better prepared for such a scenario. Maybe we ought to consider the possibility that Lofton could have/should have acted on his own and ran right through the stop sign (it’s not the boldest suggestion in the world, given that Lofton played 63 regular-season games at Fenway in his career and was, therefore, well-versed in its quirks… to say nothing of Manny’s quirks). And maybe we shouldn’t forget that Blake grounded into the ensuing double play on the first freaking pitch (not that Indians fans ever had much trouble picking on Blake over the years).” [Castrovince/MLB.com]

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A classic from the Uni Watch archive on the Brownie the Elf- “The story begins long before the Cleveland Browns adopted the little creature as their logo — long before the team even existed, in fact. “Brownies” date back to folklore, where they were elf-like creatures who helped out with household chores as long as you left them little goodies to eat (further background is available here, here, and here, and the cover illustration from a children’s tale entitled “Brownie and the Cook” can be seen here). Palmer Cox was one of the first artists to illustrate Brownie on a consistent basis in his cartoons. Here’s an example from an 1896 comic he produced for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Cox is also credited with being one of the first to realize the Brownies’ immense commercial appeal. He began drawing and using the elves in advertising work that he produced for different companies, including Kodak, Luden’s, and Brownie soda. All of which brings us, finally, to the Cleveland Browns.” [Grzegorek/UniWatch]

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“At this point, the team’s front office structure as it comes to football comes down to Lombardi and CEO Joe Banner making personnel decisions along with coach Rob Chudzinski. Chudzinski’s wishes will be heard, of course, and the team will certainly try to build a roster to fit his system, but he’s never been a head coach and never been involved in personnel. Which means the personnel side will be driven by a business-guy-turned-football-guy and a Player Personnel guy who has not worked in Player Personnel since he volunteered in Denver five years ago, a guy who has had two front office job interviews the past five years, one with the Browns.” [McManamon/FSO]

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Finally, Jeremy Pargo really wants to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest. [LetPargoDunk.com]

  • MrCleaveland

    Nice mix of topics this morning.

    1. I think the effect of Skinner holding Lofton at third has been much exaggerated. It had very little to do with us losing that series.

    2. Love the Halfback Brownie.

    3. Not much has been said here about the actual Lombardi introductory press conference, but the local press acquitted itself well for a change. There were a lot of very pointed questions. No softball tossing that I heard.

    4. Off topics: When I’m King of Sports, basketball coaches at every level will be allowed one and only one time-out during the last two minutes of each period. The end of the Ohio State-Michigan State game was another drawn-out sleep-inducing series of time-outs and commercials that just suck the tension out of the end of a close game. Too much helicoptering by coaches; let the kids play and let the kids decide who wins.

    5. Belichick and Brady are starting to exhibit diminishing skills. Time to cut ‘em loose?

  • Harv 21

    That Esquire piece on injuries to NFL players should be required reading for every serious NFL fan. If we want to scream at the gladiator action like crazed citizens in a Roman coliseum, let’s at least be aware of what all of these guys are enduring to play the game. I would never put myself through that.

    And if Ed Reed does in fact locker next to the fringe players so that he can monitor their health and protect them from themselves, my high esteem for him has increased even more.

    Agree with Mr. C, Rick, nice choice of pieces today.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    youre not a bernie truther are you?

    because you know bernie’s last six games went like this:

    * 0 pts in 3 qtrs at raiders, benched, vinny scores 19 in 4th for miracle win;
    * 0 pts in 2 qtrs at indy, benched, vinny moves team but loses;
    * unable to hold lead at home against marino-less dolphins, benched, vinny moves team (missed FG);
    * vinny starts vs bengals, 34-0 win;
    * vinny injured in 4thq vs steelers, bernie doesnt move team, browns win on metcalf punt return;
    * bye week;
    * bernie starts vs denver after bye, ‘worst performance of year.’

    kosar cut. the problem was vinny’s still injured. but the fact was true then and now: kosar’s skills were diminished. (more on this here, s.v.p.)

  • MrCleaveland

    Funny, but I don’t remember things ever getting that bad for Bernie. But I guess they did.

    Nevertheless, while the Pats are still a very good team, they’ve lost the magic. “Genius” is apparently not a permanent personal trait but a fleeting product of chance and variable circumstances.

  • http://twitter.com/RickWFNY rick grayshock

    Thanks guys.

  • Garry_Owen

    Absolutely agree, and enjoyed your linked post.
    While I hated to see Kosar go, for sentimental reasons, I was the only person I knew (assuming one can actually know oneself) that agreed with the decision when it was made – though you make a good point that it should have been done before the season.

  • LMK

    the fact that Modell hated the Brownie elf is all the more reason to bring it back more.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    thank you! thanks for liking the post of course, but i mean: thank you for feeling the same way. i’d long thought i was on an island on this subject. funny thing though, if you go back through those 1993 game write-ups, i found a poll from that time. it turns out that that poll had the fans 50/50 on whether or not kosar shouldve been cut. that was an eye-opener… wish i’d screen capped it… damn.

  • Harv 21

    yes, his skills were diminished, and he had really taken a beating as they kept failing to replace aging o-linemen, but there are truths beyond those stats and all of our own subjective eyeball tests. Belichik was going out of his way, in the crudest flip-off way possible, to make a point. Kosar had just signed a big extension and the mid-season cut was not to change QBs; he could have just changed QBs. It was to show everyone – the locker room, fans and even Modell – that 30-something year old Belichik was in charge. The cut wasn’t a football decision, because there weren’t 3 better QBs on that roster, not close. Belichik was not going to run an offense designed for what Bernie could still do well.

    This move was about a freshly-minted Parcells clone’s assertion of power (shortly before Belichik went nuts when Bernie ignored a playcall, drew one up in the dirt with Langhorne and threw a long TD). Vinny was mediocre, with a better and less beat-up body, some wheels and half the brain. It was about out with the old Clay Matthews, in with the old Pepper Johnson, out with Webster Slaughter/Brennan, in with whomever. Kosar wasn’t cut because he couldn’t play at all. He was cut because he threatened Belichik and had locker room support.

    The fans weren’t totally stupid. They saw that, and it fueled quite a bit of the rage.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    yeah totally disagree here.
    testeverde was 1000% better than bernie. after 1993, he had two pro-bowls, a couple more playoff appearances (including the browns last playoff win), and managed to stay in league for a dozen more years. i don’t know how this can be argued.
    the problem was cutting bernie when vinny was injured and philcox was the backup. even this can kinda be defended. philcox looked good in the game he started in 92. this of course bombed; this of course took that team off the rails.
    if you know of a good way to get rid of a disruptive local icon, i’m all ears. bernie was crap on the field and (if you believe the lore–and i do) calling his own plays and thus suborning belichick’s authority. dont see how bb had a choice. and of course bb needed to establish he was in charge. he’s the damn hc after all.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    and re: taking a beating, in bernie’s career, he only started all games in a season three times. taking a beating was a pattern as trace-able to his lack of mobility as to his o-line. (my opinion.) no doubt he took a beating and no doubt he was courageous. but being a slow footed qb brings with it risks that can’t all be laid at the the feet of the line.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Big Bill was definitely out coached its a shame the Baltimore Browns I mean Ravens do everything so well these days.

  • Harv 21

    We do disagree. Vinny played great in ’98 with the Jets, but Jim, most of his career was awfulness with Tampa, mediocrity and then an incredible number of years waiting at home during summer camps and then being signed by someone as a back-up. Vinny hung around for years with a clipboard and a little emergency play. Bernie wasn’t in orthopedic shape to do that after Dallas. I never saw him play as Bernie did 1986-1989.

    To blame Kosar’s getting beat up on immobility isn’t fair. He was a pocket passer with he best QB defense-reading brain out there, not a scrambler. He didn’t get beat up slowly running from blitzers. He got beat up hanging still in the pocket and taking head shots and that fierce elbow shot that took a lot of his arm strength. By the end he had a chuck and duck reaction and it was sad.

  • C-Bus Kevin

    While we’ve been waiting for our ship to come in, the ex-Browns have made it to two Super Bowls. Tough day to be a Browns fan.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Not only that but watching Ohio’s own Eddie DeBartolo hand the NFC championship trophy to his sister was something. Having lived close to Randall Park Mall for a lengthy period of time once all I could do was siiiiiiiiiiigh.