April 23, 2014

WFNY Stats & Info: Greg Little’s early-season struggles

Through two disappointing games, your Cleveland Browns have been among the most pass-happy teams in a pass-happy 2013 NFL.

Overall, the Browns have attempted 90 passes — 86 Brandon Weeden, four Jason Campbell — which ranks seventh-most in football. One of the biggest benefactors of those targets has been third-year receiver Greg Little, ye’ of the yet another recent traffic violation.

Little himself ranks tied for 10th in the NFL with 22 targets, per FFToday.com. Andre Johnson, A.J. Green, Julio Jones and surprising names like Julian Edelman and Brian Hartline dominate the top of the list.

Yet despite those 22 targets, Little has caught just 8 passes. That’s a 36.4% rate, placing him in some historical rankings. Here are the 10 worst rates among NFL wide receivers (min. 100 targets) over the last five full seasons:

10. Vincent Jackson, 2012, Tampa Bay, 49.0% (72/147)
9. Justin Blackmon, 2012, Jacksonville, 48.5% (64/132)
8. Donnie Avery, 2012, Indianapolis, 48.4% (60/124)
7. Santonio Holmes, 2008, Pittsburgh, 48.2% (55/114)
6. Jerome Simpson, 2011, Cincinnati, 47.6% (50/105)
5. Brandon Lloyd, 2011, Denver, 46.7% (70/150)
4. Larry Fitzgerald, 2012, Arizona, 45.5% (71/156)
3. Denarius Moore, 2012, Oakland, 44.7% (51/114)
2. Torrey Smith, 2012, Baltimore, 44.5% (49/110)
1. Braylon Edwards, 2008, Cleveland, 39.9% (55/138)

Little’s catch percentage is even worse than Braylon Edwards territory. Obviously, the Browns’ awful 53.3% completion percentage anyway is a factor (thus, 58.8% to non-Greg Little targets). The average completion percentage in the NFL this season is 62.2%.

Only receivers with sub-50% rates thus far in 2013 (min. 15 targets): New England’s Kenbrell Thompkins 28.6% (6/21), Little, Pittsburgh’s Jerricho Cotchery 43.8% (7/16) and Jacksonville’s Cecil Shorts 44.0% (11/25).

There’s some hope for regression here in that hardly any receivers ever have catch rates sub-40% for a full season. But we’ll see if Weeden, Campbell or maybe even Brian Hoyer can make life any easier for Little starting in Week 3.

[Related: Cleveland Browns Game Two: Winners and Losers]

Scott Raab talks about Brandon Weeden, Mark Sanchez, Josh Cribbs and the Indians – WFNY Podcast – 2013-08-26

WFNY Podcast LogoAgain this week, I thought I’d skip the bullet points and just send you the email I sent to Scott the night before the podcast. Wherever we end up is based on this email and the conversation that ensues. We ended up talking about concussions in football, Tribe attendance and any number of other topics including some from my Sunday night email below.

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I’d love to spend some time talking about a packed pre-season game in a dome with cheerleaders and their fans wearing irrelevant jerseys. Because they’ve been so good for so long, save one bad year, even their dead jerseys aren’t embarrassing. Dwight Freeney is gone but they still wear his jersey. Jeff Saturday is retired, but he was well represented. Peyton Manning, of course. Edgerrin James. Meanwhile I saw a Tim Couch jersey on the way in. Took a photo for evidence as if anyone would question it. As for the game itself…

Brandon Weeden stares down receivers. He’s going to get Jordan Cameron murdered this season. I’d love to know your thoughts from TV. I feel like I missed a lot from being live.

Josh Cribbs cut by the Raiders. Is this the end for Mr. Cribbs? Now that he’s not on the Browns anymore it makes it easier to be sympathetic toward him. Just a perfect example of how brutal the NFL is when it spits out 30 year olds, even if they have made a nice amount of money first. [Read more...]

NFL Rumors: Braylon Edwards could be cut in favor of Mohamed Massaquoi

Times are tough in the Big Apple as a pair of former Cleveland Browns wide receivers could be vying for one spot on the New York Jets’ 53-man roster. The New York Daily News reports that veteran, and former first-round pick Braylon Edwards could be on the outside looking in after New York opted to pick up the well-traveled former second-round pick of Eric Mangini, Mohamed Massaquoi.

Edwards hasn’t practiced in the past four days, has played later in preseason games than expected, and has a leg injury, according to Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan also added that the newly signed Massaquoi reminds him of former New York receiver, and NC State record holder, Jerricho Cotchery. This, naturally, serves as large praise for a player who managed just 118 receptions over the course of four seasons in Cleveland and was recently released by the receiving-deficient Jacksonville Jaguars just two months after signing a multi-year contract.

[Related: Browns vs Colts: What I’m Watching]

WFNY Podcast – 2012-08-30 – The Return

The WFNY Podcast makes a triumphant return. The opening is absolutely ridiculous now, as you’ll hear. The highlight clips have LeBron and Braylon Edwards! This is the last time you’ll hear it, but we thought it would be funny to play it one last time.

As for the rest, we’re Browns heavy. Topics include:

  • Rick hates Colt McCoy talk
  • 4th pre-season game pointlessness
  • Discontinuing “The Browns Will Win If…” on WFNY
  • How to critique the Browns
  • Pat Shurmur’s 2012 job tryout

Enjoy!

Braylon Edwards is still available

As Mike Holmgren came out front to talk about the Browns last week, he was asked frequently about the Browns and how they feel about their wide receivers. Out of one side of his mouth, Holmgren proclaimed his love for Mohamed Massaquoi and stated his expectations of the receiver are high. Out of the other side of his mouth, he indicated (without using any specific names) that the Browns made bids for receivers like Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, but were drastically outbid in free agency.

If they ever had Braylon Edwards somewhere deep on their list of backup plans for the position, there’s no need to remove him from that list yet.

The Jets have apparently closed the door on Braylon Edwards coming back.

The New York Post reported that they Jets have ruled it out, opting to go with a group of younger wideouts.

Edwards caught just 15 passes for 181 yards in nine games with San Francisco last year, as he was slowed by knee and shoulder injuries. The 49ers released him before the end of the regular season, and some thought the Jets were a logical landing spot.

You might think that the Browns would be a logical landing spot too considering the problems they’ve had at receiver in the past. Of course Browns fans, who have clamored for every receiver under the sun including Lee Evans, have been talking about Edwards a bit here and there. Still, there is no actual indication that the Browns have any interest bringing him back.

I am not sure whether that says more about Edwards or Travis Benjamin and Josh Cooper.

[Related: Mike Holmgren changes Browns public relations course]

Bengals Interested in Braylon Edwards

The Bengals lost Jerome Simpson this off-season and now it seems like they might have found a target to replace him to go opposite A.J. Green.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday’s edition of NFL Live that the Bengals have expressed interest in free agent receiver Braylon Edwards…

The 29-year-old Edwards’ market never developed during the heart of free agency because he was rehabbing knee and shoulder injuries at the time. Edwards recently revealed that he’s currently in Miami “getting healthy working out.”

Braylon Edwards might have disappointed to this point of his career as a number one target or certainly as a former #3 pick overall, but he still has value. At 29 and with the market not developing for Edwards’ services, he is probably poised to perform exactly according to expectations. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did become a pretty good value for whichever team ends up signing him this time.

[Related: The Best Browns Since 1999 – Wide Receivers]

Trying to Make Sense of the Best Browns Since 1999 Poll

I’ll admit that I had an ulterior motive when I set about putting together the list of the best Browns since 1999. It was spawned from a conversation with a friend where we decided to figure out if the best Browns since 1999 could field a team that would be favored year-in and year-out over the typical competition in the AFC North. We both decided that if this magical team, across time and space, could be formed that they probably would be favored, but not by nearly as much as they should. Additionally, I don’t believe they would go undefeated by any stretch.

Anyway, here are some facts from the data on the players Browns fans chose as the best.  Not heavy on conclusions today, but I thought maybe we could work on them together.  I’ll just start spitting out things that I noticed from looking at the data points. It is kind of a mess right now, but here it is anyway.

In the end we picked a total of 55 players for our depth chart. [Read more...]

The Best Browns Since 1999 – Wide Receivers

Kevin Johnson won this one, but it was close with Braylon Edwards.  We all know that Edwards is a polarizing figure among Browns fans.  He never lived up to the spot he was drafted by most accounts.  His drops have become a favorite punchline.  Still, there’s no doubting Edwards ability and some of the numbers he put up in Cleveland.  Also, I’ve always stated how impressive it was for him to come back from his rookie year ACL injury as fast as he did.  The numbers don’t lie though. [Read more...]

When They Miss the Playoffs, the Browns Really Miss the Playoffs

We all know that the Browns and their 4-12 record missed the playoffs, but it had me thinking.  Are there even any influential players left in the playoffs that are former Browns?  Obviously guys playing special teams for San Francisco are important like Blake Costanzo are important, but I’m excluding guys like that.  I mean like real, bona fide starters and difference-makers.  I think the list says an awful lot about how the Browns have drafted since 1999.

One of the best names on the list that my Twitter followers helped me come up with is New York Giants guard Shaun O’Hara.  He debuted with the Browns in 2000 after being undrafted out of Rutgers.  He ended up in New York via free agency and even at 34 years of age he would have been a welcome addition to the Cleveland Browns roster.  Another Shaun… Rogers that is is active down in New Orleans for the Saints.  The Browns are fine with big dudes on the defensive line and they willingly waved goodbye to “Big Baby” because of the financial situation involved.  Other than those two, maybe Vickers?  Lawrence Vickers is playing in Houston and has probably been massively overrated by Browns fans.  Still, to think they couldn’t still use him on this roster is most certainly false.  So that’s three players. Anyone else? [Read more...]

Browns Fumble Their Way to a Loss to 49ers 20-10

Imagine that?  The Browns were 9.5 point underdogs and they lost by 10 points to the San Francisco 49ers.  The Browns were their own worst enemy all game long fumbling the ball and generally not having any kind of tempo on offense.  So the Browns fall to 3-4 and will need to lick their wounds quickly before heading to Houston to face the 5-3 Texans.

Injuries were again a big part of the story for the Browns.  Peyton Hillis didn’t play as pretty much everyone expected by the end of last week.  That would have been bad enough, except Montario Hardesty went down with a calf injury after just two carries.  The Browns were forced to overload Chris Ogbonnaya for the rest of the game as he was the only active runner left on the active roster for the Browns.  How far we’ve come since we thought the Browns were coming into this season with Peyton Hillis, Brandon Jackson and the oft-injured prospect, Montario Hardesty. [Read more...]

Week 8: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are 3-3. How is that possible? After a game against Seattle that set offensive football (and I do mean offensive! [rim shot]) back 40 years, the Browns will find their task much tougher this week as they travel to the left coast to play the red hot 49ers. Maybe Jim Harbaugh will cause Pat Shurmur to finally snap and go Jim Schwartz stark raving mad afterward.

browns49ers

The Browns’ offense has become a liability. The Browns’ special teams have become a liability. Awesome, because the 49ers are second-best in the league on defense in terms of points-allowed per game, and have one of the best ST coordinators (Brad Seely, remember him?) in the game. The 49ers’ offense actually is worse than the Browns’ in terms of yards per game, but they are strong running the ball (131.5 yards per game, which is 6th in the NFL). The Browns’ defense is coming off of a great performance in shutting down the Seahawks dreadful attack. It will not be so easy this week.

Oh, and that guy Braylon Edwards… remember him? He’s on this 49ers team. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

While We’re Waiting…Symon On Cleveland Sports, Terrell Owens, The Problem With Urban Meyer

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

Feature on Michael Symon and his Cleveland fandom: “Symon isn’t just a fan; many of the Browns players are regulars at his restaurants. He says he was never concerned about the lockout because he had inside info. Nevertheless, he’s ecstatic that no games will be missed. He’s ready for Colt McCoy and company to hit the field again. Speaking of the young quarterback, Symon is drinking the Kool-Aid. ‘I’m in. I’m pot committed,’ he says. ‘I don’t know if it’s cause I’m a Browns fan, but McCoy has that spark and swagger. I think we’re gonna go good places with him.’” [Adam Watson/ThePostGame]

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Detroit, Grady Sizemore Injury, Braylon Edwards’ Cake

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.

Any time a story makes me think about the famous Cleveland tourism videos, it’s clearly #WINNING: “Thanks to last week’s trade with the Clippers for Baron Davis and more importantly an unprotected draft pick, the Cavaliers finally seem to have some direction in what had been a season in purgatory. …

If you want to feel better about the Cavs in the meantime, train your tired eyes north, past Lake Erie and to the Palace at Auburn Hills. There plays a team in worse straits, arguably far worse, than Cleveland. The once proud Pistons, a club that hosted a Larry O’Brien trophy not long ago, are now dealing with an alleged player revolt by a roster of over-the-hill veterans.” [Doug/Cleveland Sports Torture]

[Read more...]

A few thoughts on Sunday’s Jets – Steelers game…

The first of those being the fact that if Pittsburgh loses, Braylon wins.  This might be a tough spot for some Browns fans to root from - assuming you’re looking for a rooting interest in Sunday’s AFC title game - but not for me. 

I don’t want Pittsburgh to go to the Superbowl.  I don’t want to hear what a great guy Big Ben has matured into becoming for the next month leading into that game down in Dallas because of the fact he helped his team string together enough wins to get after his suspension, and I don’t want to hear or see the bursting from the seams joy from Stiller Nation.

I don’t really care about Braylon either.  I’m not a fan of his, but in truth he has rendered himself irrelevant to me.  I could care less.  He’s not the best receiver on his team, and I really can’t see a scenario in which the Jets advance because of Braylon Edwards.  I suppose I hope he gets shut out by Pittsburgh’s secondary, drops six balls, catches none, and the Jets advance despite of him. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Revisiting Braylon, Howard Leaving Orlando and More on Shurmur

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.

Taking another look at the Edwards and Sanchez trades- “Okay,” we all thought. Its a win-win for both franchises. The Jets got their quarterback; a good-looking, charismatic kid from USC, perfect for the big city. The Browns needed picks and depth everywhere, and to be able to snag two players who would most likely play right away (Elam and Coleman) as well as an additional second-round pick? Seemed like a good move. Second round picks are like gold in the NFL these days because of the expected instant impact and relatively inexpensive contracts.” [TD/Still WFNY]

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Nowhere to go but up! AMIRITE?- “I’m looking at the Synergy data on the Cavs’ defense, and dear lord it is horrifying. The Cavs are giving up an average of .95 points per possession, which is dead last in the league. They are giving up .97 points per possession in isolation situations, which is dead last in the league. They are giving up .94 points per possession to the ball-handler in pick-and-roll situations, which is dead last in the league. Essentially, if you have the ball, a live dribble, and the intention to score, the Cavaliers have no idea how to stop you.” [Krolik/Cavs The Blog] [Read more...]

Derek Anderson Still Doesn’t Think It’s Funny on Twitter

Derek Anderson’s rant is forever captured in the Internet consciousness.  If you forgot what Derek Anderson’s meltdown was all about, well here it is… again…

Apparently, DA is ready to move on and doesn’t think anything is as funny as what he was laughing about on the sidelines on Monday Night Football.  And of course, seemingly the thinner the skin you have, the more likely it is that you are willing to engage people on Twitter.  This time, his protagonist was Jerod Morris from Midwest Sports Fans. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Jets Arrive, Browns Book, Manny Ramirez Rumors

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something else for WWW? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Previewing yet another monster game: “In three weeks, the Cleveland Browns went from being among the dregs of the NFL (again), to an up-and-coming team that is getting noticed on a national level. Convincing wins over the defending Super Bowl champions, New Orleans, and the team with the best record, New England, will do that.

As a result, Browns have a big game Sunday. When was the last time that sentence could be used? Try, Dec. 23, 2007, as the Browns traveled to Cincinnati. That day, a win would have sealed a Browns’ playoff berth. Instead, four Derek Anderson interceptions later, the Browns lost 19-14.” [Don Delco/The OBR] [Read more...]

Pre-Game Intel – Jets vs. Browns

When and Where: Sunday November 14th, 2010 – 1:00 PM – Cleveland Browns Stadium – Cleveland, OH

Overview: I have no interest in the themes of this game.  Yes, I will always root against Braylon Edwards for the rest of time, but it doesn’t matter that he is in Cleveland this week.  I root against Braylon every week.  There is really no extra emphasis this week.  The fact is that Braylon is a talent.  The fact is that Braylon could and should be a greater talent.  The fact is that the cost / benefit of having Braylon on this roster no longer made sense to Mangini or the rest of us.  So now that I have spent too many words telling you about something I really don’t care about… [Read more...]

The Browns Will Win If…

What a difference three weeks can make. Before the Saints game, I was dreading these three games (Saints, Patriots, and Jets), thinking they would all end horribly badly for the Browns. And now, here we sit on the Friday before the Jets game with a legitimate chance to go 3-0 through this tough, tough portion of the schedule. Oh, and #17 is comin’ back, baby! Getcha Michigan hatred ready!

brownsjets

The Jets’ defense is solid; they’re 6th in the league in yards-allowed per game, and 3rd in the league in points-allowed per game. Their bread and butter on offense is the ground game, as they’re currently fourth in the league at 148.0 rushing yards per game. The Browns counter that with the 15th ranked rushing defense, surrendering 105.9 yards per game on the ground; however, they’ve allowed just 126 TOTAL rushing yards in the past two games. Rob Ryan! Rex Ryan! Eric Mangini and his former team! Braylon and the fans that love to hate him! Let’s get it on!! Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

WFNY Time Machine – My January 2009 Letter to Braylon Edwards

In January 2009, I wrote a letter to Braylon Edwards.  We had just finished Romeo Crennel’s disappointing tenure with the team.  Eric Mangini was hired and Braylon and the Browns really had a chance to start over.  Except Braylon never really started over.  He came back even worse.  He fought Mangini and the new team discipline every step of the way.  He got in trouble off the field, which finally ended his tenure as a Cleveland Brown, but it didn’t have to be that way.  If only he would have read my letter maybe I would have posted a nice picture rather than an animated one of him dropping the ball for the Jets.

Braylon,

Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast.  First, you started dropping passes.  Then we started booing you and making fun of you.  Then we even started mocking your commercial endeavors like 5 hour energy.  Then you yelled at us for hating you because you were from Michigan and claimed to have carried the Browns to a ten win season.  And then we kept going making you the punchline of all our jokes until you basically became the only one to blame from this season other than Romeo Crennel. [Read more...]