July 30, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Fantastic Friday reads

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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Mike Wise interviewing agent David Falk- “Let me ask you a question,” Falk said, maybe 28 times over 30 minutes, often answering for you. “Who’s bigger, Kyrie Irving or John Wall? John Wall. Who’s a better athlete? John Wall. Who’s faster? Who’s stronger? John Wall.

“Now, who’s a better player? Kyrie Irving,” he said of Cleveland’s all-star point guard who was rookie of the year in 2012. “John Wall will never be good as Kyrie Irving was in his first week in the NBA.

“You want to know the reason why just nine teams have won an NBA title in 40 years? Because if both of them came out today, 99 percent of all general managers would still take John Wall instead of Kyrie Irving. They’d take the athlete over the ballplayer. And they’d be wrong.” [Wise/Washington Post]

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“The Browns made it a point to run the ball effectively last season and even though new offensive coordinator Norv Turner will bring what could be a more passing-oriented offense, the need to run the ball will be there in order to open up the passing attack. After averaging just 3.6 yards per carry with main back Trent Richardson last season, Cleveland needs to bulk up the offensive line. Offensive guard Chance Warmack would be a big-time addition to the weaker right side and would give the young tackle Mitchell Schwartz some help.

Most say taking an offensive guard in the first round is risky, but when you have a guy that’s ranked in most analysts’ top 5 in player rankings entering the draft, you take that risk. Warmack put his muscle and speed on display during the BCS National Championship Game against the No. 1 ranked rushing defense and shined. The Crimson Tide had two rushers surpass the 100-yard mark and averaged 5.9 yards per carry, and the top-rated prospect had plenty to do with it.

However, if one game doesn’t provide the evidence of talent, than an entire season should. Warmack helped pave the way for two 1,000-yard plus rushers who averaged 6.3 and 6.5 yards per carry, respectively.” [Patrick/Dawg Pound Daily]

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“Strings attached: During some of the team’s early bullpen sessions, there have been two parallel yellow strings lined above the frot of the row of home plates. The idea, which Francona said was a suggestion of new pitching coach Mickey Callaway, is to help the pitchers focus on pounding the lower part of the strike zone.

“The guys are trying to build their arm strength,” Francona said. “Hopefully, along with that, we start seeing, as we get moving, command without effort. That would be really exciting. That’s why sometimes you see the strings out there. I think guys when they’re throwing sides, Mickey’s idea is if the strings are there, it shows you what ball down actually is.

“Sometimes guys get comfortable just throwing it across the plate and it ends up being a little bit up and very hittable. So it’s just a reminder. If guys want it, it’s there for them. If they don’t want it, we don’t use it.” [Bastian/MLB]

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Good piece. Similar to what Andrew said yesterday- “Since January 14, he’s made 46% of his shots from the field in 13 games. That’s brought his shooting percentage for the season all of the way up to just under 40% (it is 39.6% to be exact). Consider for a moment that Bradley Beal, who was the best shooter in the draft, is making only 39.3% of his field goals for Washington this season.

The reason for Dion’s improved shooting is that he seems to be learning to finish at the rim. According to hoopdata.com, Waiters had an eFG% of just 42.1% on shots at the rim in November. In February, that number is 71.9%. That’s quite a difference. He’s also taking far fewer three-pointers (5.3 per game in November, 3.6 per game in December, 2.7 per game in January, and just 1.6 per game in February). There is a reason that people aren’t questioning his shot selection quite as much anymore.” [Mayer/Rebuilding Since 1964]

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“Change in Coaching Mindset. This seems simple, but the last two years really drove the point home that coaches need to adjust their system to their players. Forcing Brandon Weeden to play as a West Coast quarterback simply doesn’t work. For years, the rookie quarterbacks struggled in the NFL because coaches forced their offensive system upon the player.

Now, with more dynamic quarterbacks entering the league, coaches are finding they need to adapt to their skill set and first-year quarterbacks are thriving. Mike Shanahan did it with Robert Griffin III. Pete Carroll did it with Russell Wilson. Rob Chudzinski did it with Cam Newton. Shurmur did not do it with Weeden. Now, Chudzinski has an opportunity to bring what appears to be the right way to coach in the NFL to Cleveland.” [Delco/The Orange and Brown Report]

  • http://twitter.com/RS64mikemayer Michael Mayer

    Thanks, as always, for linking to us. WFNY rocks.

  • mgbode

    It’s a well written piece too. My only quibble would be that you use Waiters recent stats while Beal’s overall stats. Beal also improved greatly in 2013 (basically once Wall got healthy).

  • mgbode

    I am so confused on the DPD article.

    ’12 Browns – 566 pass attempts / 396 rush attempts.
    ’12 Chargers – 528 pass attempts / 411 rush attempts
    ’12 Panthers – 490 pass attempts/ 462 rush attempts

    Ok, very simplistic, but how is Norv or Chud’s offense more pass-oriented than the Shurmur WCO?

  • Harv 21

    I think Delco would agree with this: Shurmur was not a good coach, but you can’t fairly criticize him for not adjusting his offense to Weeden. Holmgren announced they would run a version of the WCO, Heckert/Holmgren chose Weeden, and
    Holmgren told us that Weeden’s skills were compatible with the system.

    Do not believe Shurmur had the juice to tell his bosses that the rookie first round QB needed an immediate change of systems to fit his skills. Holmgren is a WCO true believer, a blueblood who sketched out that offense on cocktail napkins with Bill Walsh. Nah, this is not something Shurmur should take the fall for.

  • mgbode

    in support: Shurmur is now willing to be OC for Chip Kelly, so he apparently is willing to run an offense other than the WCO (unless Shurmur+Vick have sold chip on the WCO merits).

  • Harv 21

    right. And seeing as Chipper was hired to be Genius Cutting Edge of the NFL Universe, really doubt Shurmur or Vick have the bona fides to convince him that the field is 100 yards long.

  • MrCleaveland

    Taking the baller instead of the athlete.

    Adapting your system to the players instead of adapting the players to your system.

    What a concept x 2.

    So simple, yet so unusual.

    (These ARE great reads!)

  • http://twitter.com/RS64mikemayer Michael Mayer

    Really fair point.

  • Natedawg86

    Shurmur did think outside the box. He always seemed to do the opposite of what everyone else was thinking…3-1 – pass to fullback in the flats, 4-1 throw it deep or out of bounds

  • Toddyus

    I’d be interested to see this comparison on the production side of those attempts. That may be the difference. I mean, my infant son makes a lot of attempts at pooping, but very few of those attempts produce s***…

  • humboldt

    To be fair, the innovator of the 4th-down deep throw out-of-bounds was Brady Quinn. I don’t want Shurmur to get undue credit here

  • woofersus

    Maybe just compare the teams’ first halves, when the Browns were still utilizing a game plan of some sort. I bet only around 90 of those 396 rush attempts took place when the Browns were behind….

    Seriously though, I think he confused “vertical, downfield passing offense” with “pass happy spread offense” as if we’d gotten Chip Kelly. Almost all NFL coaches talk about balance between the pass and the run, with different ways of going about using the two to make each other effective. I feel like the writer didn’t do much research. Even saying the browns made it a point to run the ball effectively really is just based on the fact that they drafted a running back first. Shurmur was never looking to run a ground-and-pound type of offense.