July 28, 2014

While We’re Waiting…Rating the Browns offense, Breaking ‘Bama, and The American Pharaoh

Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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“I’ve never really been in a situation where I’ve been doubted like this – and it lights a fire, motivates me to get into this building before anybody, study at night more than anybody because I want to prove everybody wrong,” Weeden told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “I want to prove to everybody that I can be the guy to lead this franchise to the places we want to go.

“If I’m worried about making mistakes, I’m making it harder on myself. So I just want to go out, have fun, just let it rip, and try to make the plays to help this team win. I have confidence in my ability and in everybody on this football team. So when I do it, hopefully, everybody will come back and say, ‘I can’t believe we doubted him.”’

Browns fans have doubts about Weeden’s ability to ditch the methodical minor league pitcher still ticking within.

“I hope Brandon proves me wrong,” said long-time Browns fan Breanna Makowski, 33. “If he can give us a reason to be hopeful, that would be great. Brian Hoyer came in and gave us reason to hope. It’s hard to be hopeful when you get crushed every time as a Browns fan.

“Brandon’s been too slow to get rid of the ball. Hopefully, he learned from watching Brian.”
[Corbett/USA Today]

Deadspin took a look at NFL Outsider’s advanced metric DYAR and put it in picture form, rating each offense in the NFL.

“Instinctively, you know every team has strengths and weaknesses. You see it in the box scores and the advanced metrics, but when the teams line up, a shitty running back doesn’t look impossibly different from Adrian Peterson. So, here’s a visual aid. Every NFL offense, visualized by how each of the main offensive positions are playing.

Each circle in these charts represents how productive that position has been for a given team. We added up every qualifying player’s DYAR at a given position—so you’re not just looking at single players, but whole units. (LeSean McCoy is the single best running back, for example, but the Denver backs are a better unit.) Bigger circles mean more production. Red circles mean below replacement level play. So, a big red circle means that that position really sucks.

If you’re unfamiliar, DYAR stands for Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement. It’s a Football Outsiders metric that compiles the total value a player generates over the course of a year, instead of the slightly better known DVOA. Broadly, we’re using DYAR because we wanted to show how much production each team has gotten from each of its positions, not how well each player has played in whatever snaps he was on the field for. (DVOA is a rate stat, like the NBA’s PER, meaning a highly productive five plays would set you ahead of league leaders. We aren’t so interested in that here.)

The “defense-adjusted” in DYAR means that these numbers reflect the quality of opponents each offense played. The thing to note is that because we’re only four weeks into the season, the opponent adjustment isn’t really kicking in yet. It increases 10 percent every week, and is at full confidence by week 10. It’s at 40 percent this week, which isn’t the strongest, but is better than no adjustment.” [Fischer-Baum/Deadspin]
Cleveland.com has unleashed a series entitled “Breaking Bama”, taking a look at how Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes can take down the vaunted Alabama dynasty.
“Over the next three days, Cleveland.com will examine just how aware Alabama might be of Meyer and the Buckeyes in the area where many great college football teams are built: On the recruiting trail. As Ohio State ventures into the South and the Crimson Tide expands its national reach into the Midwest, the teams are going head-to-head more often for the best high school players in the country. That’s particularly true this year with three players at Glenville High School.”“Both are relentless recruiters,” Savage said. “One thing they share that separates them from other coaches is that they don’t feel burdened by recruiting, they feel energized by it.”That’s why, when it comes to putting an end to the Alabama dynasty, not just this year but in the world that begins next season with the new four-team playoff, Ohio State is as dangerous as any team to what Saban has built. Meyer was there to see him build it, and he carried to Columbus his own SEC blueprint as a two-time national champion from the nation’s best conference.“I think it would help him to some extent,” [Phil] Savage said. “Certainly he’s taking an SEC-like plan to what he’s doing at Ohio State. You build up the offensive and defensive lines and recruit some five-star athletes at the skill positions and coach them up.” [Lesmerises/Cleveland.com]

“Even though Joe Haden is just two years older, Detroit Lions rookie Darius Slay has long looked to the Cleveland Browns cornerback as a role model.

Slay followed Haden’s college career closely and kept tabs on the former Florida star after he was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the No. 7 pick in the 2010 NFL draft.

Both players excelled in the SEC and have similar builds, with Haden listed an inch shorter than Slay. The Lions defensive back admits he’s modeled his play, preparation and even his fashion sense after Haden.

Slay will take it one step further after the Lions battle the Browns on Sunday.

“Oh man, he hit me up on Twitter the other day and we’re going to be exchanging jerseys after the game,” Haden said during a conference call with Detroit media. “It’s an honor and I’m happy I was somebody he looked up to.” [Rogers/MLive.com]

The latest Sports Illustrated featured an outstanding seven page article profiling former USMNT head coach, Bob Bradley, on his incredibly unique and challenging journey to try and lead Egypt’s national team to their first World Cup in over two decades. In a country being ripped apart by political unrest, the American Bradley is being looked at as the man to bring the country together.

http://m.si.com/3458099/american-pharaoh-ex-u-s-coach-bradley-has-egypt-on-brink-of-wcup/