July 23, 2014

Cavaliers trade Jarrett Jack, Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev for cap space

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The Cleveland Cavaliers found the third team that they needed to move Jarrett Jack’s contract.

Marc Stein reports on Wednesday morning that the Cavaliers have traded Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets. The Boston Celtics will get Marcus Thornton from the Nets, plus Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev from the Cavaliers.

There you go. The Cavaliers now have approximately $24 million worth of cap space. A LeBron James max contract would be $20 million and change.

Update: The Cavaliers also send a protected first round pick to Boston-

And get draft rights to 3 European players-

Does this mean LeBron to Cleveland is a done deal? Of course not. Will LeBron James see that this has happened before his meeting with Pat Riley and the Heat? Absolutely.

[Related: Miami Heat didn't think they'd have to sell this hard]

Better supporting cast, AB in tremendous shape and LEGEN-DARY …While We’re Waiting

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Matt Moore wrote a piece over at CBS Sports breaking down what the Cavaliers might look like if they were able to sign LeBron James. What he did (that I liked) was compare the possible LBJ Cavs of next year with last year’s Heat team and the Cavs team that LeBron walked away from. There are a lot of similarities between them if you look at it.

“Is this team better than the Heat team last year? It’s complex. There’s more raw talent, given that last year’s Heat team was running on Shane Battier’s fumes, Ray Allen’s emergency supply, Wade looked half-dead, and the Heat couldn’t find a single capable big. But the experience issue matters here. The Heat knew how to win. With Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger effectively in Rashard Lewis’ role, and with whatever moves Riley still has up his sleeves, the Heat may not have as much raw talent, but may be better at winning than this Cavs team. But when you look at this prism, combined with the allure of returning home, you see why James could find the Cavaliers very interesting.”

Now, I’ve said before that if the Cavs didn’t make another move *cough Kevin Love* then I think the better chance for him to win a title NEXT YEAR is with Miami rather than the Cavs. James could LOVE what the Cavs are doing, the direction they are going and still decide to sign a one year or two year deal with an opt out with the Heat. Let the Cavaliers play and get a year better while he goes for another title shot in South Beach.

However, I also think that the best thing that could happen to this young group of first rounders would be to spend a year with LeBron. LeBron could put them through the paces and teach them how to train, how to practice and how to win. It may be a season in which they aren’t real title contenders, but it would be the last for a while.

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From summer league practice, Fred McLeod lets us know the shape of Anthony Bennett. It isn’t completely round, which is good for the Cavs and their fans-

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Speaking of twitter, check out this preview of the USA Today front page-

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I really have no idea how anyone could possibly guess what percentage of the Browns’ offense will be pass vs run. First year head coach, plus a receiving corps that without Josh Gordon is suspect AT BEST, plus a complete revamping of the RB staff apparently equals 60% passing. Ok.

7. Browns – 2014 Projection: 60% pass (2013: 70%)
Cleveland called pass 70 percent of the time last season, which made them the league’s pass-heaviest offense. They won’t be anywhere close to that figure in 2014. New coach Mike Pettine has a defensive background, which leaves Kyle Shanahan to call plays for the offense. Shanahan has spent the last six seasons coordinating NFL offenses, spending time in both Houston and Washington. He’s taken both pass-heavy (2009, 2010) and run-heavy (2012, 2013) approaches. It won’t be long until Johnny Manziel is under center in Cleveland, which means we can make comparisons to how Shanahan called plays with Robert Griffin III – also a skilled runner – in Washington. Shanahan called a run-heavy game each of the last two seasons, but the team’s pass/run rates were nine percentage points apart because the team went from leading 40 percent of the time in 2012 to a league-worst 11 percent in 2013. Especially with Josh Gordon suspended long-term, the Browns will look to lean on the run, but probable late-game deficits will mean a balanced pass/run rate by seasons end. “

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For you uni-nerds out there, there is a video here about the Oregon equipment managers. I’m not a big fan of the Ducks’ thousand or so combinations, but that if one amazing outfit.

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More uniform news. Team USA basketball uniforms leaked?

Anyone interested in a Kyrie?

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Finally, a little bit of a game update. You may remember me talking before about Marvel Legendary, which is a co-operative game in which you and your group plays as Marvel heroes against a mastermind villain and various other henchmen. It is a great game that even my wife enjoys.

Upper Deck is the company that produces the game, and they recently released a second version of the game in which the tables are turned and you play as the villains against the heroes. This is more than just an expansion, it is a complete base game with a few tweaks of the original game. The best part is that the components are compatible. You can substitute cards and characters back and forth from the two games.

I haven’t played the new version, but it sounds good. Is it worth buying a whole new game? Not with my family budget. In fact, we don’t own the first one, though we have played several times.

This is what I actually wanted to hit on today. If you enjoy these games that I have been recommending, or even just want to try them, I highly suggest getting into or starting a gaming group. We get together with a friend or two on Tuesday nights. It is very casual, and includes dinner. We usually play a game including my daughter before her time for bath/bedtime. Then the adults play a game or two. One of the great things about this set-up is that we are able to share games. This really helps with the cost of some of these, which can run anywhere from $20-$80 dollars.

Something to think about. Gaming groups are all over. Check out your local game/comic book store. I bet they can help you find a group. Or drop me a line. Maybe we can hook up for a WFNY game night some time.

Wiggins will join Anthony Bennett on Cavalier summer league squad

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The Cavaliers on Tuesday announced the roster for their summer league team that begins play on Friday, July 11th in Las Vegas.

Here is the roster-

F Anthony Bennett

G Will Cherry

F/C Jack Cooley

G Matthew Dellavedova

F Shane Edwards

G/F Carrick Felix

G Steven Gray

G Joe Harris

G Scotty Hopson

G/F Sergey Karasev

C Alex Kirk

F Andrew Wiggins

 

Cavaliers Preliminary Round Game Schedule

Friday, July 11 Milwaukee vs. Cleveland* 5:00 p.m. PST (8:00 local/EST) COX Pavilion NBA TV

Sunday, July 13 San Antonio vs. Cleveland* 1:00 p.m. PST (4:00 local/EST) COX Pavilion NBA TV

Monday, July 14 Philadelphia vs. Cleveland* 5:00 p.m. PST (8:00 local/EST) COX Pavilion NBA TV

*all three game will air live on NBA TV

 

**the summer league tournament schedule is as follows: first round – July 16, second round – July 17, consolation round – July 18,

quarterfinals – July 19, semifinals – July 20, finals – July 21

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the free agency free-for-all

The following is a guest post by Adam Redling. Adam is a writer and editor born and raised in Cleveland. He has written about the Cavs and Browns for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and Tencentbeers.com, and believes that Johnny Manziel is innocent until proven guilty.

LeBron

The Cavaliers have become adept at turning in-season failures into offseason optimism over the last four years thanks to Dan Gilbert’s virtual monopoly on top-five picks.

So it’s not surprising that the selection of Andrew Wiggins June 26 stirred up all the familiar front-office talk about fresh starts and brighter futures that comes standard after the draft.

“[We’re] really, really excited about what we were able to do with the first pick,” GM David Griffin said on draft night.

“This is a night where the Cavaliers got appreciably better — the kind of night that you really look forward to in our business when you can go home and know things are going to get a lot brighter from here.”

The optimism is understandable. When you get the No. 1 pick in one of the most loaded drafts ever, who also happens to have the size and athleticism of a NBA 2K14 video game creation, there should be hope. [Read more...]

Is it LeBron James or agent Rich Paul that is interested in a Cavalier reunion?

Rich Paul Tristan

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Monday that the real driving force behind LeBron James returning to Cleveland is more agent Rich Paul than LeBron James. According to Woj, Paul has confided in several that bringing LeBron back to Cleveland is something of a “mission” for him.

In order to clear the cap space that they need to sign LeBron James –while retaining Anderson Varejao– the Cavs reportedly have a deal in place for Jarrett Jack to go to the Brooklyn Nets, but need a third team to make the trade work.

“The biggest obstacle remains unloading the contract of Jarrett Jack. The Cavaliers have found a landing spot for Jack and his $6.2 million annual salary in the Brooklyn Nets, but only if the Cavs can find a third team to take on Brooklyn’s Marcus Thornton, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Cleveland is offering Thornton and future draft considerations as incentive to absorb his $8.7 million expiring contract, sources said. The Cavaliers need to unload more contracts and have made 2013 first-round pick Sergey Karasev, among others, available in deals, sources said.”

One reason for Paul to push LeBron’s return to Cleveland is monetary. Cavs forward Tristan Thompson is also a Paul client, and it would seem that James’ return would likely have to coincide with a Thompson extension. Thompson has been a decent player, but realistically isn’t worth what a rookie contract extension will pay him.

Wojnarowski also writes that if the Cavaliers clear the cap space needed, but James signs elsewhere Cleveland will set their sights on free agents Channing Frye and Trevor Ariza.

[Related: David Blatt named Euroleague Coach of the Year]

 

Cavaliers’ David Blatt garners Euroleague Coach of the Year award

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The Cleveland Cavaliers went outside the box with their latest coaching hire, reaching overseas for David Blatt.

Blatt has never been an NBA head coach or even assistant, but the move was met with much approval around the league. The prevailing thought was that Cleveland had gotten Europe’s best coach.

It seems Europe agrees.

On Monday, Blatt was named the Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year by his peers. It is Blatt’s first time winning the award.

“After leading Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv to a pair of dramatic victories at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Milan and bringing the title back to Israel for the first time in eight seasons, David Blatt has been voted by his peers in the competition as the 2013-14 Euroleague Basketball Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year. By almost any measure, Maccabi Electra entered the Final Four as an underdog. It was the only team in Milan without a player on the All-Euroleague First Team, the only qualifier that had lacked home-court advantage in the playoffs, and the Final Four team with the lowest average performance index rating. Nonetheless, Maccabi prevailed, in large part because Blatt built a true team despite incorporating many new players, losing key contributors to injury and having to reinvent the team’s playing style. Instead of letting obstacles become excuses, Blatt made sure that Maccabi was ready for every challenge until he and his players were celebrating the club’s sixth continental trophy, together with countless fans around the world.”

The Cavaliers also hired assistant head coach Tyronn Lue away from Doc Rivers’ staff to help Blatt make an easier transition to the NBA.

[Related: On LeBron's potential return to the Cavaliers]

Miles signs multi-year deal with Pacers per report

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The IndyStar is reporting that the Pacers have come to an agreement with Cavaliers’ free agent C.J. Miles.

Miles met with the Pacers the first day of free agency, and apparently didn’t leave without a deal getting done. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the deal is worth $18 million over four years.

Two other Cavalier free agents– Spencer Hawes and Luol Deng– are also visiting with other teams and seem unlikely to return to Cleveland at this point. Hawes has been drawing interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, as well as the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, L.A. Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.

[Related: Cavs preparing max offer for Hayward?]

The courtship of Kyrie and what makes you cry …While We’re Waiting

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If you haven’t already, read Terry Pluto’s story on the midnight courtship of Kyrie Irving. There isn’t anything earth shattering in it, but it gives insight into who was there and why. I was a little surprised to learn that not only was Gilbert there, but Jeff Cohen and Nate Forbes as well. Assistant coach Lue has apparently already made an impression on Irving, which is good. Kyrie seems to think that Lue can help him become a better point guard. As Cleveland fans, we all hope that is the case, and if so kudos to Griffin and Gilbert for breaking the bank and making Lue the highest paid assistant coach in the league.

Pluto doesn’t say exactly who he spoke to in order to get the information on this piece, but it is clear a good part of it had to come from the people at the table. That means the Cavs brass. Which means the Cavaliers didn’t want this meeting to become some kind of legend. They wanted to control the message, and you can hardly blame them after all that has been written and said about the franchise over the past few years.

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Oof. We don’t celebrate injuries. the only reason I bring it up here is because it has bearing on the Browns. Cleveland owns Buffalo’s first round pick. Alonso is a big part of that defense, which is retooling after losing Mike Pettine. This injury is a blow to the Bills.

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Some of the money flying around the NBA seems a bit high to me. Gortat 5 years $60 million? Shaun Livingston 3 years $16 million? Jodie Meeks 3 years and $20 million? Glad the Cavs weren’t laying out that kind of money for those three.

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Thinking out loud: Perhaps David Griffin was really serious when he said Andrew Wiggins best chance to be a star was at the two guard. A good percentage of the players that the Cavs have been rumored to have interest in since free agency began are small forwards. The Cavs aren’t interested in signing Chandler Parsons or Gordon Hayward to back up Wiggins, nor do I see Wiggins coming off the bench for long if at all.

Which means Dion Waiters is looking at being the sixth man right? That or traded if I’m reading the cards right.

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A friend lost a pet recently. It made me think of this. You can hate Bill Simmons all you want, but he nailed what it is like to lose a four-legged member of the family.

Which reminds me. I’m secure in my manhood, and so I have no shame in admitting that there are two movies that make me well up and cry like a little girl. Marley and Me is the first. Damn that movie. Sucks me in everytime. It isn’t just a dog movie, it is a life movie. But those last 20 minutes rip me up.

The second is Toy Story 3. Wait, what? Yes. You read that correctly. I’m telling you, have a kid or two get to be about five or ten and then watch that movie. Good grief. Buckets. Bring a towel.

How about you? What movies get you?

NBA Free Agency Rumors: Cavs pondering big offer to Hayward

hayward

The free agent period started with a bang for the Cavaliers, at least when it comes to locking up one of their own.

The next target of new general manager David Griffin? According to ESPN’s Mark Stein, it could be Utah swing man Gordon Hayward.

Hayward is a restricted free agent whose scoring average has gone up in each of his four seasons. Last season Hayward averaged 16.2 points per game and 4.3 rebounds. His three point shooting took a nose-dive however, to 30%. He is a good defender and getting better each season in the league. The Jazz were thought to be willing to match whatever offer is given to him.

Other rumblings involving the Cavaliers-

[Related: The crazy NBA off-season and what it could mean for the NBA]

 

Indians hitters make history with back-to-back one hit games

Cabrera

It wasn’t Kluber’s fault.

Corey Kluber entered the game with a streak of 10 straight scoreless innings. He was superb again, allowing just one run on six hits in six and two-thirds innings. He walked one and struck out five.

Kluber ran into a jam in the fourth. With one out, Adrian Gonzalez beat the infield shift with a grounder down the third base line. Chisenhall made a nice play to get to the ball keeping Gonzalez to a single. After a Matt Kemp double, Kluber struck out Andre Ethier and induced a harmless fly ball to Bourn in center. He escaped a man on second and third with one out situation.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh inning, Andre Ethier hit a ball to deep left center that Michael Brantley was able to get to at the wall, but couldn’t come up with the catch. He had to flip the ball to Michael Bourn after falling down hitting the wall. Ethier was able to get all the way around to third on the play. Cabrera looked Ethier back to third and threw out Juan Uribe on a grounder up the middle. Kluber then froze Ellis on a 3-2 breaking ball right on the outside edge of the plate. After an intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez, Clint Robinson pinch-hit for Haren and singled up the middle (for his first ML hit). It snapped Kluber’s string of scoreless innings at 16. It came on a 3-2 count to boot. Kluber was a strike away from pitching around a lead-off triple and keeping the game scoreless. Instead, the Dodgers scraped out a run and took an insurmountable 1-0 lead.

One hit. [Read more...]

As expected, Cavs reportedly ready to offer max deal to Kyrie Irving

kyrie edit

Let’s make this as simple as possible.

Kyrie Irving has been playing on his rookie deal since being taken No. 1 overall back in 2011. At the time, he signed a four-year $23.2 million dollar deal. Irving is entering the last year of that deal.

The Cavaliers are going to offer Irving an early extension of five years and in the neighborhood of $90 million. On Monday, Chris Broussard tweeted that the Cavs were flying to New Jersey in order to meet with Irving on the first day that they can offer the deal, July 1.

There had been speculation that the Cavs may not offer Irving the max, and of course even more that Irving will not be willing to accept the Cavaliers’ offer.

Irving would become a restricted free agent should he decide to play out his existing deal, meaning the Cavs would have the ability to match any deal offered to Kyrie after the 2014-2015 season.

For a more detailed look at the ramifications of Kyrie’s deal, check out Joe’s piece at WFNY back in late January.

[Related: It's not that difficult for the Cavs to have space for a max contract]

Browns and Hoyer talking contract extension per report

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Monday morning that the Cleveland Browns are working to sign quarterback Brian Hoyer to a contract extension.

Hoyer signed a two-year, $1.97 million dollar contract last spring. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2014 season.

Hoyer, coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL, is in a QB battle with Johnny Manziel to be the starter. If Hoyer wins the job and has anything resembling a decent year, it would cost the Browns a lot more than $2 million dollars to keep him.

The need to sign Hoyer to an extension has been talked about in Cleveland internet circles for a while, but the first we saw of it came from Kanicki. Read his piece from before the draft here.

[Related: Jordan Cameron driving a hard bargain]

VIDEO: LeBron James harassed by Heat fan about free agency, with an interesting guest

Watch the video below, and make sure you watch until the 28 second mark.

Obviously we understand the connection. The two are very tight.

Still.

It is interesting.

 

Zak Gilbert resigns as Browns director of communications

Browns helmetOn Thursday, the Browns released a statement that Zak Gilbert was resigning as director of communications. Zak took over the role last year, coming to Cleveland after the Oakland Raiders let him go.

Zak’s statement-

“After a lot of thought and discussion, I’ve come to the difficult decision to resign my position as head of the Browns’ communications department. I want to thank everyone in the organization, most particularly Jimmy and Dee Haslam. I’d also like to extend my appreciation to Alec Scheiner, Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer, and thank members of the local media for the relationships we enjoyed. Working for one of the great franchises in pro football, the team with the league’s most loyal fans, was a genuine privilege. I wish the Browns and all of my teammates inside the building nothing but success.”

Gilbert’s statement doesn’t really include a reason why he is leaving, just that it was a difficult decision.

On a personal note, I wish Zak the best. He was always very fair and upfront with us here at WFNY. He is a professional and will be missed. The communications team includes Dan Murphy, who has been with the team for several years, Rob McBurnett and D.J. Philippe who were brought in last season after Zak took over.

[Related: Browns extend Bryan Wiedmeier, finalize personnel staff]

NBA Draft Trade Rumors: Sixers up the ante to try and get first pick

Wiggins 22

The Philadelphia 76ers want to draft Andrew Wiggins.

Previously, the report was that the Sixers were offering Cleveland the number 3 pick in the draft and forward Thaddeus Young in exchange for the first overall pick.

On Thursday, Chad Ford and CSNPhilly.com reported that Philadelphia has increased the offer to the Cavaliers, though it is not reported exactly what the new offer is.

The Sixers also own the tenth pick in the draft, and it isn’t a stretch to assume that is the addition to the offer.

So would the third and tenth picks plus Young be enough to entice you to make that trade if you are Griffin?

I would still have to pass, and it appears the Cavaliers have as well. Of course, it is still several hours until the draft begins…

[Related: David Blatt arrives in Cleveland as the next man up]

Tribe prospect Francisco Lindor pulled from game after taking a ball to the face

Lindor AkronTribe uber-prospect Francisco Lindor had to leave the Akron RubberDucks game on Wednesday afternoon
after a bad hop from a sharply hit ball hit him in the face.

Lindor laid face-down on the infield for several minutes while trainers attended to him.

The ball seemed to hit the lip of the grass and shot upward as Lindor was moving towards second base to field it. He was wearing sunglasses, and may have been cut by them when the ball ricocheted into his face above his outstretched glove. (From my vantage point, it was hard to tell.)

Trainers held a towel over Lindor’s face. he was clearly bleeding from somewhere.

Lindor received “precautionary x-rays” and will be re-examined by the Akron medical staff later.

On Tuesday, Lindor received word that he was again invited to take place in the All-Star Futures Game for the third straight year.

[Related: Watch top prospect Lindor's 6th home run for Akron]

Browns extend Bryan Wiedmeier, finalize personnel staff

Browns helmetBryan Wiedmeier is responsible for overseeing the FirstEnergy Stadium renovation. This week the Browns thought it might be a good idea to extend his contract.

Makes sense to us.

Wiedmeier has been with the Browns since January 11, 2010. That was also the day that the team named Tom Heckert the new GM. Wiedmeier spent 29 seasons with the Dolphins before joining the Browns.

On Monday, the team announced the completion of the personnel staff.

“In addition to executive chief of staff Bill Kuharich and vice president of player personnel Morocco Brown, added earlier this month, the team on Monday named Charles Bailey, Bobby DePaul, Mike Hagen, Ron Hill and James Kirkland senior personnel associates, and Scott Aligo player personnel associate. The Browns also promoted Sam DeLuca and Harrison Ritcher to player personnel associate, and promoted Colton Chapple to BLESTO scout.”

[Related: Browns and Gordon still waiting with no appeal date set]

Browns and Gordon still waiting, with no appeal date set

josh-gordon-nfl-record-cleveland-browns

The NFL still has not officially handed down a suspension for Browns WR Josh Gordon.

The team still can’t talk about the situation.

On Monday, Pro Football Talk.com reported however that Josh Gordon still does not even have an appeal hearing set.

What is the significance of this news? Simply put, it is about timing. The Browns would like to know if they will have their star receiver and biggest offensive weapon for half a season, a third of a season or not at all. The number of games he is suspended could make a huge difference in how Cleveland prepares for the upcoming season.

If he is suspended for a year, the Browns would like him to start serving that suspension immediately, so that one calendar year can pass and Gordon would possibly be eligible to return to the team for the 2015 training camp.

Word first leaked of a possible Gordon suspension back on May 10th, during the second day of the NFL Draft. The thought was Gordon’s case would be cleared up before the league offices went on summer break. If the appeal news is true, there is no way the league makes a final decision until later in the summer.

Is this fair to the Browns? Well, there really isn’t much precedent here to say whether the league is dragging their feet or not. In Joe Haden’s case, news of his failed test came on August 8th 2012, and the NFL handed down his suspension on September 10th, after his appeal was heard.

[Related: Browns film room- Joel Bitonio]

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.

Browns provide update on stadium renovations

On Monday, the Cleveland Browns released an update on the renovation of FirstEnergy Stadium.

The artist renderings weren’t much different from what they released back when the project was announced last November. Well, except for some updates to the signage.

Here is the new image for the East scoreboard:

East scoreboard_Sponsor Decks new

And here is the old:

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Subtle difference no? Gone is the Cleveland Clinic signage, as the Browns have changed partners in that regard to University Hospitals. Not sure why Discount Drugmart lost their spot, but they have added a Bud Light sign.

Of course, that isn’t the only place the Cleveland Clinic’s name had to be scrubbed from:

SE exterior_UH Gate

The Cleveland Clinic gate is now the University Hospitals gate.

And here is the West scoreboard to complete the pictures:

West scoreboard

The team also provided some stats on the two video boards and renovation in general.

The two main 40-foot by 192-foot angled video boards:

- Will be NFL’s fourth €largest in 2014

- 6,900 sq. ft., nearly tripled in size

- Equivalent in size to 645 60-€in. HD TVs

- Comparable to avg. U.S. home (2,200 sq. ft.) with full-size basketball court (4,700 sq. ft.)

- Placed end-€to-€end, two scoreboards (384 ft.) are taller than Rhodes Tower (373 ft.)

- 192 feet across the top, 178 feet across the middle, 132 feet across the bottom

The renovation to date:

– Approximately 175 workers onsite.

– Removed more than 5.5 million pounds of materials.

– Already installed more than 2 million pounds of steel.

– Poured more than 13.3 million pounds of concrete.

The Browns are installing what they call a ‘best in class’ modern audio system. The speakers are the same design used for major concert events. They have also added loudspeaker locations, particularly those in ‘shadowed’ areas.

There is still lots of work to be done of course, but it appears they are on schedule to be done when the season kicks off. Here are some twitpics from a tour that the team gave some members of the media Monday.