While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at email@example.com.
“After seeing Romeo Crennel fail to convert the Browns years ago into a good 3-4 defense, I was skeptical of this year’s switch to a 3-4. Former general manager Tom Heckert spent two years trying to stock a 4-3 scheme. Well, I’m buying this conversion because of three key moves. Banner spent $2 million a year to bring in Ray Horton as the defensive coordinator. I can’t tell you how much he’s grown as a coach. He coordinated the Arizona Cardinals’ defense for two years, bringing in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ blitzing scheme. He is building a scheme that should be good at stopping the run, in part because of two key additions — Desmond Bryant at defensive end and Paul Kruger at linebacker.” [Clayton/ESPN]
“The “if they stay healthy” caveat is one that I’ve seen saved for the 2013-14 Cleveland Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving has had random little injury issues while Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum have been wearing suits more often than team uniforms. But I think it’s worth noting that the Wizards have their own health issues as well. Nene has battled foot injuries over the past few seasons. Bradley Beal is dealing with a stress injury in his leg, something you really don’t want to see in a young player. Martell Webster has had back surgery and John Wall missed a bunch of games last year due to a stress injury in his knee.” [Kaczmarek/Fear the Sword]
“DON’T BE SURPRISED. Things fall apart. It’s physics, really. People on the outside see only the final collapse: the drunken photo, the fight outside a bar, the angry tweet. They never see the slow decay, because that happens in private. This erosion is now the most prominent thing in Johnny Manziel’s life, because it digs into every part of him, erasing and molding, shaping who he will become. Will he grow to understand and manage it? Or will he crumble, becoming a trivia answer or a cautionary tale? This season will bring the answer. He’s 20. He doesn’t even fully exist yet, a work in progress. Two opposing forces compete for influence in that journey: on one side, the values handed down by his parents and the man he’d like to become; on the other, there’s everything that’s happened to him in the past year.” [Thompson/ESPN]
“But the development has been uneven almost across the board. This is why there is a school of NBA executives — perhaps 20 percent of the people I’ve discussed this with over the last 10 months — who insisted, even before the Harden trade, that they’d have kept Harden over Ibaka. And that was the choice Oklahoma City made, even if Ibaka’s lower market value — both as a free agent signing and as a trade piece — helped drive that choice. (This is different than asking whether the Thunder should have waited through last season to trade Harden, but we’ve beaten that one to death.)
Harden is a rarer talent, these folks say, and the Thunder would have been more dangerous with three perimeter stars and a rotating cast of Carl Landry or Brandon Bass–type big men around the usual minimum-level cheapies.” [Lowe/Grantland]