August 16, 2014

Jerry Jones almost drafted Johnny Manziel

Manziel Haslam 140726

Johnny Cleveland was this close to being Johnny Dallas. We know that the Dallas Cowboys selected guard Zach Martin with their first-round pick, but team owner Jerry Jones says that that almost wasn’t the case. Jones went into detail on how tough of a choice it was during Sunday’s edition of NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live, saying that Johnny Manziel was very close to being a Cowboy.

“I want you to know that almost as I was handing in the card, it was that close to putting that Manziel card in. It was that close,” Jones told NFL Media’s Rich Eisen and Michael Irvin from Cowboys camp in Oxnard, California. “I looked over to my son, Stephen, our chief executive officer, and I said ‘I took the right pick.’ … He was the top player by three players on our board at the time that we were sitting there looking at him.”

The Cowboys have Tony Romo in place and may have made the better move in finding him some protection, but there’s no denying that Jones’ penchant for flash matches that of the player who ultimately went No. 22 overall to Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns. Since arriving to Cleveland, Manziel has been a mixed bag of hard work and off-field headlines. He’s firmly entrenched as the No. 2 quarterback in Browns camp, but occasionally shows flashes of the player he was at Texas A&M.

Listening to Jones, it appears that he’s anticipating much more in the way of growth and that Browns fans will have a special player to cheer for over the course of the next several years.

“Manziel is special,” added Jones. “I know him personally. I know that he is going to be a success in the National Football League. And it was a hard decision. And it is one that I will probably for the rest of my career think about.”

(Photo: Scott Sargent/WFNY)

Dez Bryant says Brandon Weeden “was doing some great things out in Cleveland.”


Dez Bryant is a great receiver and it’s in his best interest to pump up anyone who has the potential of throwing him a football in the NFL, but this is ridiculous. Maybe he meant on the golf courses of Cleveland? Brandon Weeden joined the Cowboys this off-season and Dez Bryant spoke with the Dallas Morning News about the former Browns QB.

“He’s been doing an outstanding job since he got here,” Bryant told the Dallas Morning News. “In my honest opinion, I feel like he was doing some great things out in Cleveland.”

Now, obviously it’s easy to understand why Dez Bryant would talk so glowingly about Brandon Weeden, as I said in the open. And we’ve seen it a hundred times in Cleveland with the likes of Charlie Frye and Colt McCoy in addition to Brandon Weeden. I remember watching the national publications come to training camp to excitedly tell the story of Colt McCoy as he headed into his second year in the league having been named starter of the Cleveland Browns.

Still, it’s tough to stomach anyone praising Brandon Weeden and his history in the NFL. The fact is that Brandon Weeden’s reign in Cleveland has me questioning the very value of judging quarterbacks in practice conditions during training camp. Weeden passed every eye test imaginable last year during camp. He looked far and away like the best quarterback on the Browns roster, including Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell. It just so happens that you don’t get to play quarterback in live NFL games at three fourths speed with only seven defenders running vanilla defenses against you.

So, we’ll see if there’s anything to Brandon Weeden’s NFL career with a change of scenery, but I’m not buying the OTA observations of Dez Bryant. I’ve been fooled by that look before.

Brandon Weeden, Dallas Cowboy

Well, that didn’t take long.

Brandon Weeden ThumbGood ole’ Brandon Weeden, everyone’s favorite whipping boy here in Cleveland during his two year stint as Quarterback, has officially found a new home. The Dallas Cowboys have announced they have given the former Browns first round pick a two-year deal. Terms have not yet been disclosed.

The 30-year old Weeden will join a club that is already set at QB with Tony Romo as the starter and veteran Kyle Orton, who started week 16 for the injured Romo and played well, as the top two. This essentially means that Weeden will be joining the Cowboys as a third string insurance policy. Keep in mind that most clubs these days are keeping two QBs so there is no guarantee that Brandon even breaks camp with the Cowboys.

I guess what they say is true. Once a Cowboy….always a Cowboy.

Brandon Weeden visiting Dallas today

Weeden working out wearing his signature series watch

In my experience, Dallas Cowboys fans have some consternation with regard to Tony Romo. In Romo, they’ve got a guy with some clear ability and talent, but he never seems to put them over the top. Romo is nearing his mid-30′s now as an NFL player and makes a ton of money and it’s reasonable to assume that the Cowboys might need to start thinking about the future. It’s hard to believe that thought process begins today when former Browns first round draft pick Brandon Weeden is reportedly visiting Big D.

I’m really trying to be kind to Brandon Weeeden, or at least leave him alone. He tried to be a good quarterback here in Cleveland and much like most players who’ve worn the orange and brown, the organization wasn’t exactly conducive to elevating players. Just consider that Weeden was (over)drafted by Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert, before they gave way to Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi – the latter of whom everyone knew didn’t like Weeden – before finally being released by Ray Farmer. Names like Pat Shurmur, Norv Turner, Greg Little, Mohamed Massaquoi, and Davone Bess litter the box scores that make up Brandon Weeden’s time in Cleveland as well.

Sure, there’s no defending Weeden’s record in Cleveland in the end,  but it seems cruel and unusual to keep harping on it. So, I’ll stop. For now.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find it funny that someday a Dallas Cowboys fan might be grimacing through some heart-wrenching turnover-laden Tony Romo performance in the near future and look down the bench at Brandon Weeden to provide some relief.

[Related: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has “invitation” to visit Browns]

Browns next interview candidate: Dallas assistant Rich Bisaccia

bisacciaNext man up: Dallas Cowboys assistant Rich Bisaccia will be the eighth candidate to interview for the Cleveland Browns head coaching vacancy.

FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported the news on Thursday evening. The interview is scheduled for Saturday. Bisaccia, the special teams coordinator, previously interviewed this month for the Washington Redskins vacancy. Washington later Jay Gruden.

The 53-year-old Bisaccia is most well known for spending nine years as mostly the special teams coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2002-2010. He added the title of associate head coach in 2007, while he served as running backs coach for a two-year stint. He then was with the San Diego Chargers for two seasons.

In January 2013, Bisaccia joined the coaching staff of Auburn’s Gus Malzahn — a once-desired candidate for the Browns as well. But that position lasted just a few weeks before they allowed him to jump back to the pros with the Cowboys job.

This is a very seasoned assistant and could be a worthwhile addition to a future Browns coaching staff, even if he doesn’t get the head coaching gig. As Glazer pointed out, it’s meaningful for the Cleveland front office to continue to interview candidates and get their name out, even if they’re still waiting and waiting on Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

Wednesday’s candidate du jour was Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. He was the seventh rumored interviewee. The only other two still available individuals: recently fired Tennessee head coach Mike Munchak and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Also of note, the Browns now have officially lost three former assistants: defensive line coach Joe Cullen, outside linebackers coach Brian Baker and tight ends coach Jon Embree. Eventually, they’ll need a whole slew of warm bodies to round out the new coach’s staff.

[Related: Despite concerns with Browns front office, I’m feeling patient during coach search]

Photo: Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News

Rob Ryan: “I’ll be out of work for like five minutes”

I inherited a team that was 31st in the league in defense and made them better. I (expletive) made them a hell of a lot better. I’ll be out of work for like five minutes.

– Long-time defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, Tuesday. Two years after being relieved of his duties as the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns, the Dallas Cowboys have cut ties with the fiery, long-haired Rob Ryan. Ryan took over the Cowboys defense which was ranked 31st in the league and improved it by roughly four points per game. Led primarily by pass-rushing specialist DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys defense was fairly stingy early in 2012, but tapered off once injuries caught up to them. In the last two months of the season, the Cowboys signed eight defensive players to the active roster.

[Related: WFNY Roundtable: The Chip Kelly debacle and the ongoing search for a Browns head coach]

(Source: ESPNDallas)

Schefter: Browns hire Cowboys Alec Scheiner as President

The Cleveland Browns might be waiting until the end of the year to make decisions on existing personnel (Mike Holmgren and Dimitri Patterson excluded,) but they are adding to the corporate hierarchy. Adam Schefter reports on Twitter that the Browns have lured away one of Jerry Jones’ “right hand” men.

So who, exactly is Alec Scheiner? Sports Business Daily has some clues.

But Scheiner has made his mark in other ways in sports. As the general counsel for the Dallas Cowboys, Scheiner has his fingerprints on almost every key off-field decision, most notably the planning, financing and construction of the team’s new stadium.

Now with the stadium done, Scheiner is looking to broaden his role. “I have tried to transition my role a bit with the help of the Joneses and not pigeonhole myself into being just an attorney,” he said.

Apparently Scheiner has found an opportunity to be more than “just an attorney” as President of the Cleveland Browns. I am not sure exactly where that fits on the organizational chart below owner Jimmy Haslam and with relation to CEO Joe Banner, but I’m sure we’ll find out shortly.

“I am looking forward to this challenge with the Browns, which I view as a tremendous opportunity to start at the ground level with a new and exciting leadership group,” said Scheiner. “Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner have a great vision of what they want the Cleveland Browns to become and I am grateful to be able to be a part of it. The Browns are an iconic franchise with an outstanding fan base and tradition. Together, we hope to do incredible things for the organization and Northeast Ohio.”

Now, about that Jimmy-Dome…

[Related:Grossi: Josh McDaniels and Mike Lombardi likely to become Joe Banner’s puppets]

Report: Weeden says receivers ran unpracticed routes against Dallas

The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot uncorked a bit of a small controversy in her latest Browns notebook today. The story began as looking to see why so many passing attempts seemed far-off on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Take it away, Brandon Weeden.

“There’s a couple of routes we ran on Sunday for the first time all week and that’s not fair to me, it’s not fair to the receivers, it’s not fair to any of us, because when you’re getting thrown in the fire and the bullets are flying . . .” Weeden said.

Weeden went on and on and on about that topic, and about how he thought his elbow was trailing low on many of his throws against the Cowboys. Here was Pat Shurmur’s response to Weeden’s practice comment, per Cabot:

“I disagree with some of that because I do think that we make an effort of the ones we’re going to call we practice,” Shurmur said. “A lot of the plays that we practice, we’ve been running all year and you run them in training camp. It’s nearly impossible with the amount of time and then the length of the season to practice every single thing multiple times. You see it going on behind me (after practice) right now. They spend extra time working on the individual routes. That’s what you’ve got to do.”

Cabot also has a quote from receiver Mohammed Massaquoi in the article, along with lots more from Weeden (did I mention he rambled about this point?) It’s a bit of a convoluted story, but in the big picture, when dealing with the future of Shurmur on the Browns, it certainly doesn’t help his case when his rookie quarterback disagrees with him vehemently about not practicing routes. Sure, this is a pretty tame topic and Shumur’s response was neutral as usual, but this is just an interesting side-storyline as the Browns return to action tomorrow against the Steelers back at home.

[Related: Steelers vs. Browns Reader Survey]

Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 10, Under Pressure

Like we did last year before it became fashionable, we’ll take a seat each week in our very own WFNY Browns film room and break down a little tape from the game, with a specific focus.  Do enjoy.

The Browns did something really positive in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys, and I wanted to focus on that this week. The defense was able to sack Romo seven times. That’s a nice number.

We’ve been saying for weeks that the young defensive lineman have been holding their own while Rubin and Taylor have been out. I was very excited to see what kind of rotation the Browns would use, as Winn and Hughes would be more than capable of giving plays off to Rubin and Taylor. [Read more...]

Cowboys loss was more frustrating than most Browns losses

Browns penalties must be hysterical to Ed Hochuli’s crew

I have a tough time explaining why my frustration levels fluctuate so much throughout a Browns season. Some weeks as the Browns lose, it barely registers on the imaginary frustrate-o-meter in my house. I kind of shrug my shoulders, write about the Browns game on Sunday and just move along with my week. Then other weeks I’m dropping the ugliest of linguistic bombs on the WFNY email thread because I’m so beside myself trying to deal with my favorite football team wetting the bed. This week, it felt like they wet the bed after I just removed the water proof mattress liner. This was a two-win football team heading into the game against Dallas. What exactly is it that I expected that would give me this level of frustration? On the WFNY podcast this week, I said flat-out that the Browns could win, but that we were probably talking about a 30% chance of taking it home. Based on those expectations, shouldn’t I have almost been pleasantly surprised that the Browns had leads and forced a superior team into an overtime at home? Logic might dictate that, but this game still frustrated me beyond belief.

Was it the refereeing? I’m sure that had something to do with it. I think the referees got the call right on T.J. Ward’s hit, even though I don’t love the rule. Other than that though, Ed Hochuli’s crew was abysmal. There was a brutal uncalled false start, a pretty questionable pass interference on Buster Skrine when he legitimately located the ball and was working his way back to it just like the receiver. Skrine maybe had earned opposite of the benefit of the doubt by this point in the game after numerous other legitimate penalties, but I still think they got it wrong. On one of the kickoff return holding penalties the ref who threw the flag was laughing while telling Ed Hochuli about it. Might have meant nothing, but as the Browns were trying to not blow a 13-0 halftime lead it rubbed me the wrong way. Then of course is the fumble-ruled-incomplete-pass that would have been a pretty compelling review despite the animated cheering of Dan Dierdorf that it was incomplete. [Read more...]

2-8 Records: The Cleveland way

It wasn’t quite The Drive, but the Dallas Cowboys managed to go the entire length of the pristine turf at Cowboys Stadium in roughly one minute and five seconds. Sure, they had some help, but the end result was one that every Clevelander saw coming a mile away: a Dan Bailey field goal, capping off a 17-point fourth quarter and sending their game versus the Cleveland Browns in to overtime where they would go on to pull off the come-from-behind victory. Not long thereafter, Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young was on the receiving end of an alley-oop dunk with 28.9 seconds remaining in his team’s contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers, capping off a 13-6 run that would seal the win for the hometown hosts.

Solid defensive efforts across the board, surprising for the team in Wine and Gold, but the end results were the same: a lack of execution down the stretch, a few unfortunate bounces of the ball, and two Cleveland teams each amassing another loss, taking their respective records to 2-8.

The Browns finished with 12 penalties1, 10 on defense and two on special teams, several of which came in the final minute of the contest, allowing the Cowboys to come back and take the reigns heading into the overtime period. A Browns defense that tortured the Dallas offense for 47 minutes, sacking quarterback Tony Romo seven times and allowing less than 70 yards rush, got sloppy (in the eyes of the officials, anyway) and faded when it mattered most. The Cleveland way.

[Read more...]



  1. Thus becoming the first team since the 1985 Houston Oilers to yield 10 first downs via penalty in a single game (via Tom Reed) []

Animated: T.J. Ward Hit on Kevin Ogletree

T.J. Ward was flagged for 15 costly yards when he hit Kevin Ogletree (and Buster Skrine) on a pass attempt. Here’s another look at it in case you missed it. We’ll have a complete discussion on the rules and whether or not this was a legitimate flag tomorrow morning.

Related: Browns blow 13-0 halftime lead; lose 23-20 in overtime

Phil Taylor tweets frustration with referees in Browns-Cowboys game

It didn’t take long: The first notable Cleveland Brown has already come out on Twitter with his complaint about the referees from today’s 23-20 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

Defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who was able to play with Ahytba Rubin for the first time all season in the game, obviously isn’t happy with some of the ref’s calls. Notably, the secondary had several mistakes that led to Dallas first downs and the refs missed a blatant false start late in the fourth quarter.

[Related: Browns blow 13-0 halftime lead; lose 23-20 in overtime]

Box Score: Cowboys 23, Browns 20

Oh boy. This game was a doozy, as somehow the Cowboys needed an extra period to fend off the mistake-laden Browns. Nearly a dozen first down penalties by the Cleveland defense had the Cowboys on top late, but a crazy back-and-forth ending eventually resulted in the three-point win.

I’m sure we’ll have plenty of analysis on this nutty game over the next few hours and days. In fact, Rick already has his recap up from the game: Browns blow 13-0 halftime lead; lose 23-20 in overtime.

Scoring Summary

1st QuarterCLE – DAL
4:01 Cleveland BrownsCLE TD Brandon Weeden passed to Benjamin Watson down the middle for 10 yard gain (Phil Dawson made PAT) 7 – 0
2nd QuarterCLE – DAL
12:09 Cleveland BrownsCLE FG Phil Dawson kicked a 51-yard field goal 10 – 0
5:07 Cleveland BrownsCLE FG Phil Dawson kicked a 37-yard field goal 13 – 0
3rd QuarterCLE – DAL
4:16 Dallas CowboysDAL FG Dan Bailey kicked a 44-yard field goal 13 – 3
4th QuarterCLE – DAL
13:54 Dallas CowboysDAL TD Felix Jones rushed to the right for 2 yard gain (Dan Bailey made PAT) 13 – 10
6:46 Dallas CowboysDAL TD Tony Romo passed to Dez Bryant to the left for 28 yard gain (Dan Bailey made PAT) 13 – 17
1:07 Cleveland BrownsCLE TD Brandon Weeden passed to Benjamin Watson down the middle for 17 yard gain (Phil Dawson made PAT) 20 – 17
0:02 Dallas CowboysDAL FG Dan Bailey kicked a 32-yard field goal 20 – 20
6:07 Dallas CowboysDAL FG Dan Bailey kicked a 38-yard field goal 20 – 23


Cleveland Browns Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int Rating
Brandon Weeden 20 35 210 57.1 6.0 2 18 2 0 93.8
Dallas Cowboys Comp Att Yds Pct Y/A Sack YdsL TD Int Rating
Tony Romo 35 50 313 70.0 6.3 7 56 1 0 93.2


Cleveland Browns Rush Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Trent Richardson 28 95 3.4 9 0 0
Montario Hardesty 4 23 5.8 12 0 0
Chris Ogbonnaya 1 1 1.0 1 0 0
Dallas Cowboys Rush Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Felix Jones 14 43 3.1 12 1 0
Tony Romo 2 10 5.0 5 0 1
Lance Dunbar 5 10 2.0 7 0 0


Cleveland Browns Rec Tgt Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Greg Little 3 4 53 17.7 22 0 0
Josh Gordon 5 7 53 10.6 23 0 0
Trent Richardson 6 8 49 8.2 27 0 0
Benjamin Watson 4 8 47 11.8 17 2 0
Josh Cooper 1 2 6 6.0 6 0 0
Alex Smith 1 1 2 2.0 2 0 0
Joshua Cribbs 0 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
Jordan Cameron 0 2 0 0.0 0 0 0
Mohamed Massaquoi 0 2 0 0.0 0 0 0
Dallas Cowboys Rec Tgt Yds Avg Lng TD FumL
Dez Bryant 12 15 145 12.1 30 1 0
Miles Austin 6 12 58 9.7 13 0 0
Jason Witten 7 8 51 7.3 10 0 0
Dwayne Harris 3 3 20 6.7 8 0 0
Felix Jones 2 3 12 6.0 7 0 0
Kevin Ogletree 1 3 10 10.0 10 0 0
Cole Beasley 1 1 8 8.0 8 0 0
Lance Dunbar 2 3 6 3.0 6 0 0
Lawrence Vickers 1 1 3 3.0 3 0 0


Cleveland Browns XPM XPA FGM FGA Lng Pct Pts
Phil Dawson 2 2 2 2 51 100.0 8
Dallas Cowboys XPM XPA FGM FGA Lng Pct Pts
Dan Bailey 2 2 3 3 44 100.0 11


Cleveland Browns Punt Avg Blk In20 TB
Reggie Hodges 5 31.0 0 2 1
Dallas Cowboys Punt Avg Blk In20 TB
Brian Moorman 7 43.1 0 3 0

Browns blow 13-0 halftime lead; lose 23-20 in overtime

The Cleveland Browns dominated the first half of the game today in Dallas. The Cowboys were held under 70 yards of total offense and manhandled at the line of scrimmage. Cleveland’s defensive line, recharged with a healthy Rubin and Taylor for the first time all season recorded several sacks and bottled up Felix Jones and the running game.

Meanwhile, the Browns ran the ball effectively and Weeden found Ben Watson for a touchdown. The Browns went into the locker room up 13-0.

That’s when the wheels came off.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo picked on Cleveland’s Buster Skrine, who kept drawing illegal contact flags. The Browns defense committed 10 penalties (or at least they were called for) that resulted in Dallas first downs. Dallas abandoned the running game and concentrated on passing. They took a 17-13 lead on the Browns with just under 7 minutes left. [Read more...]

Game 10: Browns-Cowboys Open Thread

Can the Browns knock off the inconsistent Cowboys in Jerry World, even without Joe Haden?

The odds obviously seem thin, but Pat Shurmur’s squad should be well-rested after last week’s bye. The Cowboys, on the other hand, come off a much-needed, emotional victory over the Philadelphia Eagles that kept their early playoff hopes alive.

Stay tuned here at WFNY for commentary and analysis throughout afternoon. Share your comments in this open thread.

Here’s all the latest WFNY coverage from the week on this old-school matchup: [Read more...]

NFL Report: Joe Haden out for Cowboys game

After not practicing all week, Browns star cornerback Joe Haden was likely a doubtful player in today’s game at Dallas. This morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has the latest report on his status due to his lingering oblique injury:

Expect possible big games now for Miles Austin and Dez Bryant as Tony Romo’s main passing targets this game. All-Pro tight end Jason Witten also could make some more big plays over the middle. After entering the day as 7.5-point underdogs, this only hurts the Browns chances as the 2-7 road team today.

Update at 11:45 a.m. – The official Cleveland Browns Twitter account just sent out all of the inactives for today’s game:

Nothing too surprising in this update. Obviously, Haden’s loss is the biggest as the Browns are 0-4 without him this year and have allowed 10 of their 17 opposing passing TDs in those four games.

[Related: NFL Report: Haden sits out practice again, status for Sunday uncertain]

While We’re Waiting… Browns battle Cowboys in Dallas

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

Strategies for the Browns to implement moving forward, beginning with today’s game: “Run the Ball More on 3rd Down: When I did my midseason review for the Browns’ offense, I talked about the disparity with the playcalling on third down compared to the rest of the division. Cleveland runs the ball on 3rd-and-1 only 50 percent of the time, when that figure should be closer to 75 percent. They rarely run on 3rd-and-2. Cleveland needs to establish the ground game in these type of situations, and I’m praying that is a strategy the coaching staff worked on during the bye week.” [Chris Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature]

Odd facts about the Cowboys and Browns, brought to you by a Dallas blog: “The last time these two teams met was in 2008 in Cleveland. The Cowboys are only starting 4 players from that last encounter (Romo, Witten, Ratliff, and Ware), while the Browns are starting two (Joe Thomas and D’Qwell Jackson).” [Steven Mullenax/The Landry Hat]

Looking at some other keys to victory for Cleveland today: “Get to the flat footed Romo early. Each Browns’ defensive lineman must step up to another level this week. Find a way to get to Romo and force him to make the consistent bad decisions he has been making all year long. Romo leads the entire league with 13 interceptions. The Browns’ secondary should be licking their chops as one of Romo’s duck passes are sure to float their way. A turnover through the air will increase Cleveland’s chances of pulling off the upset.” [Ryan Ruiz/Rant Sports]

Starting to dream about the draft and waxing sentimental about the future already in Cavalier land: “Still though, I feel this team’s parts are greater than the whole. Prior to this season, Kyrie and Tristan played around 500 minutes together; Andy and Kyrie, only 23 games. Varejao and Tristan shared the court for 47 minutes last year, and Dion Waiters is a rookie. Other than the Kyrie to Varejao pick-and-roll, the team barely looks like they run an offense, making it amazing that heading into last night’s game, Cleveland’s starters owned the best plus/minus in the league. I can not wait for two years from now, when this group forms a well-oiled machine.” [Kevin Hetrick/Cavs: The Blog]

This Cavaliers storyline is likely the most contentious in town these days. Take that Browns! “Trade the Wild Thing. Varejao as an All Star, I’d love it. Would I love a playoff run? Of course. Who wouldn’t? But getting into the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed does this team nothing. The Cavs need another lottery pick, and honestly, they probably need more than that. They have no bench, and aside from Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, anyone on this team should be able to be had for the right price.” [Nick Mancini/Stepien Rules]

What an odd, odd finish against the Badgers, but the Buckeyes finished it off somehow: “With no shot to play for the Big Ten championship, a BCS bowl game or any bowl game, Ohio State’s most ambitious goal was to go undefeated, even though that seemed pretty improbable before the season started. The Buckeyes are one game from finishing that task. Despite giving up a game-tying touchdown with eight seconds left in regulation to Wisconsin, Ohio State stayed focused and scored on the first possession of overtime, then held to get the 21-14 win.” [Frank Schwab/Dr. Saturday]

Tony Lastoria looks at a number of possible Indians targets in free agency, and this former Tribe guy certainly intrigues me too: “Jeremy Guthrie, SP: The Indians lost Guthrie to the Orioles over five years ago on waivers, and it is a decision that probably haunts the Indians to this day as he has turned into a solid middle-to-backed rotation starter. He has been durable and averaged close to 200 innings over the last five seasons, and his consistency with his numbers and health should be attractive to the Indians. He will probably command a two year deal for $12-16M.” [Tony Lastoria/Indians Prospect Insider]

While We’re Waiting… Cavs Bench Jokes

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

Yeah, it’s gotten so bad that we’re resorting to high school-esque jokes: “The Cavaliers bench is bad. How bad are they you ask? Well, let’s break it down, Yo Momma style:

– The Cavs bench is so bad, I’m jealous of the Charlotte Bobcats’ depth.
– The Cavs bench is so bad, Byron Scott doesn’t sub them in, the bench physically rejects them every 10 minutes.
– The Cavs bench is so bad, I’d rather stick a hanger on the stove, let it sit there for like a half hour, take it off and stab it in my tongue slow like ssssssssss than watch the second quarter of a Cavs game.” [Angelo Benedetti/Fear The Sword] [Read more...]

Lawrence Vickers and Rob Ryan: “It’s personal”

Lots of quotes came out of Dallas Cowboys practice in the last 24 hours, including two notable former Browns.

Let’s start with the fullback. Lawrence Vickers, a 2006 6th-round pick by the Browns, left as a free agent following the 2010 season. Here were his comments on facing his former team, as reported by

“It’s personal, why wouldn’t it be? It anybody tells you it ain’t never personal when they playing their old team they’re lying to you. It’s always personal. They just keep it quiet. Of course it’s personal. It’s not like, oh, I just got to get them or nothing like that. But I’m going to take it personal because I’m playing against my old teammates and my old organization, and I want to win.”

Then, of course, there’s the always-out-spoken Rob Ryan, brother of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan. Now the Cowboys defensive coordinator, Rob was in Cleveland with the same position from 2009-2010. Here were his comments as reported by when asked if his bitter toward his former employer:

“Absolutely. I spent a lot of time in those offices, too. In fact, I slept in them for seven straight weeks when I said, ‘Hey, I’m not going home until we win a game.’ I’ll never say that again. … Any time you pour everything you have into it and apparently management didn’t see it as if it was good enough, of course it’s personal.”

Ryan also added this garb about former Browns head coach Eric Mangini and what he considers to be a lack of opportunity given by the team’s management:

“Eric is a good friend of mine. He hired me to do a job. Hell, I did it and got everybody fired anyway. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t in charge of that decision. But I plan on doing something about it.”

Of course, Ryan’s players had to do some clean-up work so as not to provide too much posterboard material for the Browns — something that usually works the other way around in non-Ryan coaching establishments. Bruce Carter, a second-year linebacker who’s getting more time for Dallas in the absence of All-Pro Sean Lee, retorted with this final comment:

“We don’t want to make it too personal and get out of our game.”

[Related: WFNY Podcast – 2012-11-16 – Browns vs. Cowboys preview with TD]