The best CB tandem, coaching flowcharts and like father like daughter …While We’re Waiting

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Another week gone by and it is my turn in the rotation for www. Let’s kick things off with some Browns optimism.

I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of NFL.com’s Adam Schein before. But if the Browns’ defense comes close to what he thinks it will be, I’ll be pretty happy. There is no doubt that the Browns upgraded at cornerback in the offseason, and as much as I respect D’Qwell Jackson as a person, I think Karlos Dansby will be a bit of an upgrade in the middle. I’m not sure that Pettine will turn Paul Kruger into the sack specialist that Schein thinks he will be, but I’d love to be wrong.

This line was interesting to me- “And it should surprise nobody that Pettine plucked Justin Gilbert, the elite corner in the 2014 draft class, with his first selection as Browns coach. I think Cleveland could have the best cornerback combo in the NFL this year. Seriously.”

The best CB combo in the NFL this year? Sign me up for that one. I’m in. Take it. A definite defensive identity? Take that as well. I love me some great defense. The video in that piece is just kind of a silly Q&A with Joe Haden, but has an interesting factoid or two.

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The amount of truth in this statement by ESPN’s Chad Ford may be an overlooked part of why Mike Brown was fired after just one year-

“Just because Griffin wants to take Embiid No. 1 doesn’t mean he’ll get his wish. Two years ago, Gilbert and head coach Byron Scott overruled Grant on draft night and selected Dion Waiters over Grant’s choice, Harrison Barnes. Last year, it was Mike Brown who helped push Bennett to the top of the Cavs’ draft board.”

Here’s the deal, we know that Mike Brown watched a lot of Bennett while he was out west and Bennett played for UNLV. We were told by Chris Grant last year that Mike Brown had seen him play a lot and really liked what he could do. If Bennett was more Brown’s pick than anyone else, AND he failed to coach him to an acceptable level of play for a first rounder, let alone the top pick overall….

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My tweet of the night comes from one of my favorite musicians David Crowder. He was answering some questions from fans when he got this Harry Potter related question and gave his response. If you aren’t familiar with the series, well just move on to the next item.

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I’m a father who has only a daughter. As such, I can relate to this story even if I’m not a major league ball player. Kudos to Marla Ridenour for this one. And honestly, I can’t believe it took this long for someone to think of this.

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We’ve heard about coaching trees before, but a coaching flowchart? Only four steps to go from Naismith to Popovich? Well, makes sense why his team is fundamentally sound I guess.

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alhambraI will end with another mini-game review. The latest added to the collection is a game called Alhambra. It is a game that we’ve had our eye on as a family for a while now, but just never pulled the trigger. I’m glad we did.

In Alhambra, you are adding buildings and gardens to your palace/complex/Alhambra. (Hence the name.) You collect different currencies in order to pay for these buildings, as each builder wants to be paid in their native currency. Once the group has the hang of the different types of things you can do on your turn, it moves pretty quick.

It has an element of luck to it, but it is also very strategic and somewhat puzzle-y. The game is for 2-8 players, and is one of the rare games that actually works well with two players. A lot of games designed for more than two are kind of awful to play with just a pair, but this one works. It works well with 3 or 4 as well. Haven’t played or watched with more than that many yet.

It is designed for ages 8 and up. I think that is a good age limit. Obviously the more a child can handle some abstract thinking , the better off they will likely be.

If you have a family and like some of the more family friendly games I’ve suggested before, I think you’ll like Alhambra as well.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    Not only is that Chad Ford link eight days old, but it’s not even true.

    For reference, I’d recommend reading what Windhorst said about the Cavs drafting Waiters. http://espn.go.com/nba/draft2012/story/_/id/8111377/2012-nba-draft-cleveland-cavaliers-scenes

    Remember, he wrote this that night while embedded with the team. He had first-hand access to the process. No mention whatsoever of Grant preferring Barnes and being overruled. Grant is glowing about Waiters. He was actively involved in making the pick.

    “When it was Kidd-Gilchrist whose name was called by Charlotte, Waiters was aligned to be a Cav. Barnes was under consideration, yes, but Waiters was the consensus pick. This wasn’t known outside the room, which was the point, and certainly not very expected at the Cavs’ draft party in downtown Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena. The fans there, unfamiliar with Waiters because of the limited discussion about him before the draft, booed when the pick was announced.

    There was no false pretense; the executives and coaches were genuinely elated. They’d gotten a player they felt better about the more time they put into making the decision.

    “I was very excited his name was still on the board at No. 4,” Scott said. “I think we got a steal.”

    Instantly the outside reaction was that the Cavs had taken a risk, choosing a player who wasn’t even a starter over more well-known and higher-rated players. The Cavs had done a similar thing last year with the No. 4 pick, taking Thompson when other players with more buzz were available.

    The reaction in the Cavs’ draft room couldn’t have been more different. They had just taken the player they had rated highest who was still available. That included team owner Dan Gilbert, who fully supported the decision.”

  • BenRM

    I haven’t played Alhambra but I have heard good things from friends. The mini-review makes me want to give it a shot though.

  • Harv 21

    “I just couldn’t get him out of my mind,” Grant said.

    That is the quote I remember Grant making about Dion to the PD as well. Doubt Grant would invent such a sentiment just to demonstrate how the ranks were closed. These kind of stories make me distrust the national writers with supposedly great inside sources.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    otoh, mike brown is then ony five degrees separated from naismith so yeah,, nah.

    did a quick look for the john wooden tree — whiffed — but did find this which is pretty awesome. all hail woody.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I think a lot of this is Grant trying to separate himself from his failures in Cleveland. There’s been some talk that Grant has been going around talking crap about the Cavs organization and trying to clear his name. That’s what I believe this is. There’s just no credible reason to believe that this info is just now coming to light and is 100% true.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Andrew Schnitkey

    I think a lot of this is Grant trying to separate himself from his failures in Cleveland. There’s been some talk that Grant has been going around talking crap about the Cavs organization and trying to clear his name. That’s what I believe this is. There’s just no credible reason to believe that this info is just now coming to light and is 100% true.

  • Harv 21

    makes sense. So that’s one of the problems with “insider” sports journalism based solely on anonymous sources, where readers are apt to believe anything, and other media repeat anything, often with careless interpretative embellishments. An agent promoting his player to a reporter with one cellie while incessantly calling GMs with the other is a “source close to the team.” A fired FO guy is an “team insider with knowledge.” Because in sports journalism it’s so much better to be quick and to get hits than be ultimately accurate, hard to know what to believe.

  • crobarred

    TableTop is a cool web show. I picked up a few games like Ticket To Ride, Unspeakable Words and Setllers of Catan based off of their game play.

  • saggy

    I am serious here:

    I have had 2 ideas for a while and they should come true.

    1. a website that rates weatherpeople.

    2. a website that rates reporters and their associated rumors. Like during the decision – excuse me – “The Decision,” when so many people had it on great info that LeBron was going to “X.”

    Reporters – excuse me again – “reporters,” should be rated. we should legitimately be keeping track of their legitimacy.

    Why should guys be able to throw crap against the wall and still be seen as a credible source. I know most of us have our trusted or go-to journalists, but wouldn’t it be neat if there were advanced metrics available to rate these guys? Maybe Stephen A. really isn’t that bad? Maybe Chris Burke really does have deep sources. Maybe Tony Rizzo – well, excuse me one last time…

  • saggy

    I like how Lou Holtz is listed as the William and Mary Head Coach – the way that posterity will, of course, remember him.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    definitely a tenuous link to bill obrien here..

    but still.. point seems to be that all the HC’s in the B1G last year are borne of Woddy.

  • Harv 21

    i like it. When NFL draft analysts pontificate maybe a graphic below, with percentages of reported rumor accuracy in previous draft, plus aggregate accuracy of past years. Maybe color code the graphic, with red being accurate and blue icicles being way off. Of course, ESPN has no incentive to out their own. So maybe an independent site devoted to each analyst/writer, best scoops, most egregious errors and overall rating. Well, get on it, Saggy!

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    i tried to go back and do something like this on drafts and there are several probs, not the least of which is tedium. but among the other probs is that:
    1. it’s unfair to kill someone on a simple “percentage of first round picks made correctly’* when draft day trades wreck all;
    2. some savants simply have double-digit mock drafts –cough GROSSI cough– and so can box the field.

    i think the best a site can do is call them out when they’re spectacularly-willfully-cynically wrong like, say, PFT/Florio with his “All Signs Point to Manziel Starting Week One” idiocy.

    it’d be an easier and shorter list to call out the good ones.

    *–the innate unfairness conundrum did not stop me from killing kiper for getting zero 1st picks right in 2013. ive rationalized this because he’s the poster boy of non-insider insider and deserving of scorn that fits neatly inside 140 characters.