August 26, 2014

Video: What will the Cavs offense look like with Kyrie, Love and LeBron?

Cavs Offense Video

As if the addition of head coach David Blatt wasn’t enough, the 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers will (by all accounts) feature substantial upgrades and small forward and power forward as well. So how will all of this work? Coach Nick from BBALLBREAKDOWN takes a look at the Cavs’ summer league (coached by Blatt) in addition to some of the rookie NBA head coach’s former teams as to how he can best utilize three of the league’s top 30 players.

LeBron at the four? Kevin Love as a shifty, pick-and-pop five? Wide open corner threes? Do enjoy.

A look at Kyle Shanahan’s Zone Run Game, Part II: Cleveland Browns Film Room

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(If you missed Part I, make sure to check it out here.)

The idea that the NFL has become a passing league does not phase new Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. While many other teams turn to more pass-oriented offenses, Shanahan prefers his offense has a similar run-to-pass ratio to teams before the thirty-four year-old was even born. Only in one season since 1982 has the number of rush attempts exceeded the amount of passes thrown in the NFL. Prior to that year, the average number of passes had never once exceeded the amount of rushing attempts.

However, in 2012, Shanahan’s most successful season as an offensive coordinator, the Washington Redskins passed the ball on just 45.99% of their offensive snaps, placing them as the second least frequent passing team in the league, according to Sporting Charts. So, the question must be posed: Why run the ball so often when passing oriented offenses like that of the Broncos are smashing single-season records? For Shanahan, this answer to this question comes down to deceiving the defense.

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A look at Kyle Shanahan’s Zone Run Game, Part I: Cleveland Browns Film Room

Pettine Shanahan 140726

Another year in Cleveland, another coaching change for the Browns. And yet, like clockwork, training camp rolls around and fans become cautiously optimistic about their team. It is no different this year.

“THIS Year. This is it, man! Last year, everyone thought that would be the year, but c’mon, now: You know THIS is the one. This Pettine dude is the real deal. I mean, look at what he’s already done this offseason with the draft and free agency. He has that feel about him that you just don’t get with everyone else. A true leader.”

Whether you have had preemptively positive thoughts about about Bill Belichick, Butch Davis, in the past few weeks with Pettine, or at any point in the past couple decades in the seemingly unending search for a head coach, the idea that the Browns finally made the correct hire has certainly crossed your mind. This optimism evolves after every coaching search and before any meaningful games are ever played for a few reasons.

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Cleveland Browns Film Room: A look at Pierre Desir

Over the next couple weeks on WFNY, I will be breaking down the film on all seven draft picks of the Cleveland Browns. As fans, we often rely on mainstream draft analysts to give us certain traits and characteristics that we use to form our opinions. Rather than simply tell you positives and negatives, the goal of this series is to better inform you by showing evidence, in GIF form, of the skills each prospect possess and areas they each must improve upon.  Past film rooms: Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel, Joel Bitonio, Christian Kirksey, Terrance West.

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Each NFL Draft class brings in a melting pot of former college athletes from all kinds of backgrounds. Some grow up in the classic middle-class, two parents house-hold with the picket fence that the media glorifies. Others struggle their whole lives to not just make it to the NFL, but the survive. Despite the struggle many prospects go through, rarely is this fight to make “The League” more obstacle-laden than the journey of rookie cornerback Pierre Desir.

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Cleveland Browns Film Room: A look at Terrance West

Terrance West

Over the next couple weeks on WFNY, I will be breaking down the film on all seven draft picks of the Cleveland Browns. As fans, we often rely on mainstream draft analysts to give us certain traits and characteristics that we use to form our opinions. Rather than simply tell you positives and negatives, the goal of this series is to better inform you by showing evidence, in GIF form, of the skills each prospect possess and areas they each must improve upon.  Past film rooms: Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel, Joel Bitonio, Christian Kirksey

Following a season that featured Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya, and Edwin Baker taking the bulk of snaps at running back, the Cleveland Browns eyed the upcoming NFL Draft and free agency as opportunities to upgrade their backfield. Within the span of two months, the Browns completely re-hauled the position, signing former Houston Texans running back Ben Tate to a two-year contract and drafting former Towson University workhorse Terrance West.

The additions of Tate and West to the Browns backfield give new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan multiple productive backs who fit well with his new zone-blocking scheme. This type of run game greatly differs from the Rob Chudzinski and Pat Shurmur power run offenses in which premier athletes and big-bodied runners succeed. The power run game necessitates a back who can make a fast read, is able to run through a pre-determined hole in the line, and can make defenders miss by virtue of their elite size power or elusiveness. Rather than read the defense as the play happens, backs are taught to hit the hole quickly and reach the second level of the defense where they will be able to use their athleticism or size to pick up large gains. [Read more...]

Cleveland Browns Film Room: A look at Christian Kirksey

Over the next couple weeks on WFNY, I will be breaking down the film on all seven draft picks of the Cleveland Browns. As fans, we often rely on mainstream draft analysts to give us certain traits and characteristics that we use to form our opinions. Rather than simply tell you positives and negatives, the goal of this series is to better inform you by showing evidence, in GIF form, of the skills each prospect possess and areas they each must improve upon.  Past film rooms: Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel, Joel Bitonio

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Having watched film of all six members of the Cleveland Browns’ 2014 NFL Draft class, a clear theme is apparent. Each draftee possesses a very particular set of skills that perfectly fit into what Mike Pettine desires to do with his defense or how Kyle Shannahan plans to run his offense. The selection of Christian Kirksey continues to push this message as he provides the Browns with his elite coverage abilities, of which the Browns desperately needed last season, and fits the mold of an incredibly versatile linebacker.

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Cleveland Browns Film Room: A look at Joel Bitonio

Over the next couple weeks on WFNY, I will be breaking down the film on all seven draft picks of the Cleveland Browns. As fans, we often rely on mainstream draft analysts to give us certain traits and characteristics that we use to form our opinions. Rather than simply tell you positives and negatives, the goal of this series is to better inform you by showing evidence, in GIF form, of the skills each prospect possess and areas they each must improve upon.  Past film rooms: Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel

Joel Bitonio

Although Cleveland fans have been taught year after year to always anticipate the worst, no one ever sees the drop in the emotional roller coaster coming. Following the first day of the 2014 NFL Draft, fans and analysts alike gave the Browns an immense amount of credit in acquiring their top cornerback, top quarterback, and a future first round pick. Within 12 hours of selecting Johnny Manziel, 1,500 more season tickets sold. And then, out of nowhere, Outside The Lines killed the buzz. Josh Gordon: Suspended.

As information on the suspension was leaked (we somehow still do not have a ruling), Cleveland fans started panicking, questioning the front office, calling for Gordon’s release, but worst of all, coming to the realization that Greg Little topped the wide receiver depth chart!

“Should the Browns have selected Sammy Watkins at 4? Did Ray Farmer intend to select Mike Evans at 8, only to have the Buccaneers take him with the seventh pick? Marquise Lee is a lock in the second round, right? Santonio Holmes is a free agent… For the love of Joe Jurevicius, please draft someone who can catch the ball!”

Yet, despite the mounting pressure and unexpected suspension, Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine refused to budge, sticking to their pre-draft philosophies and selecting offensive lineman Joel Bitonio from the University of Nevada. Disregarding the fact that the Browns desperately needed a competent lineman to play at guard or hopefully, right tackle, this pick will be long-remembered as the pick they should have used on name-one-of-the-seven-second-round-receivers.

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Cleveland Browns Film Room: A look at Johnny Manziel

Over the next couple weeks on WFNY, I will be breaking down the film on all seven draft picks of the Cleveland Browns. As fans, we often rely on mainstream draft analysts to give us certain traits and characteristics that we use to form our opinions. Rather than simply tell you positives and negatives, the goal of this series is to better inform you by showing evidence, in GIF form, of the skills each prospect possess and areas they each must improve upon.

Manziel draft

From the moment that Johnny Manziel walked on stage at the 2014 NFL draft and delivered the fans his signature “money sign”, the entire national outlook on the Cleveland Browns’ brand changed. Within 12 hours of drafting Manziel, the Browns sold 1,500 season tickets and a picture of Lebron James wearing Manziel’s Cleveland Browns jersey circulated social media. Manziel’s Browns jersey immediately became the best-selling NFL rookie jersey. He has since appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, partied with Drake, gained 100,000 Twitter followers within 36 hours of being drafted, attended a UFC fight, and partied with Drake some more. Within the past week, the media  produced more play-by-play accounts of Manziel’s trip to Las Vegas for Memorial Day than accounts of what he actually achieves on the football field. [Read more...]

Cavalier Film Room: A window into the Anthony Bennett skill set

When we were last in the film room, we took a look at the Cavaliers over-helping on three-point shots and the resulting consequences. As always, if you have any ideas for film room topics, contact me at kirk@waitingfornextyear.com. This week, we’re going to look no further than Anthony Bennett’s performance against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night and how it showed a preview of what Bennett can become as a player. You can find my NBA Draft film room on Bennett here.

WFNY Cavaliers Film Room

By now, you’ve seen the stat line: 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 6-of-9 shooting in 30 minutes to lead the Cavaliers’ to their third straight win at the time, a 109-99 victory over the Kings at home. It was much more than Bennett’s first career double-double, however. In this game, we saw a decent chunk of the skills and potential that made the now-terminated Chris Grant choose him with the first overall pick. We’re seeing a slimmer, more confident Bennett, and we’re going to take a look at a few of those instances. [Read more...]

Cavalier NBA Draft Film Room: Anthony Bennett

bennettFor the last two months, I’ve been discussing possible candidates for the Cavaliers with their pick in the 2013 draft. With the top pick secured, I narrowed the list, and there was one option left uncovered as of yet here at WFNY in the film room, UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett. While the longest of shots behind Noel, Porter, McLemore, Len, and Oladipo in all likelihood, Bennett flashes a unique style of play that does have a market in the NBA.

The Cavaliers have a power forward in Tristan Thompson, but should that stop the wine and gold from drafting one of the highest ceiling players at the top of the draft board?

Let’s hear about what other have to say regarding the Runnin’ Rebel product out of Canada. [Read more...]

Cavalier NBA Draft Film Room: Victor Oladipo

victor-oladipo-draftWe continue our May and June trip around the top of the NBA draft board and navigate exactly who the Cavaliers should take with the top selection at the end of the month.

The recent rumor winds indicate that today’s topic of discussion, Indiana guard/forward Victor Oladipo, could very well be in play with the No. 1 pick for the Cavs. Oladipo, like top pick favorite Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, brings a game-changing brand of defense to the table with a more complete offensive game.

Let’s take a look at what others around the internet are saying about Oladipo. [Read more...]

Cavalier NBA Draft Film Room: Ben McLemore

mclemoredraftAs we continue to look through the Cleveland Cavaliers’ options with the #1 selection in the NBA Draft later this month, it’s time to look at Kansas guard Ben McLemore.

McLemore’s flying under the radar a bit right now with all the talk focusing primarily on Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter, or a trade for the Cavaliers at No. 1. However, there is certainly a case to be made for McLemore going No. 1. He’s a phenomenal shooter and scorer, but his position (shooting guard) and his poor scoring performances in four out of his last five games have cooled some of the hype around the redshirt freshman.

Let’s take a look at what those around the league are saying.
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Cavalier NBA Draft Film Room: Otto Porter

porterIn this week’s installment of the film room, we give you the other half of the two most likely candidates for the Cavaliers’ selection at number one in the 2013 draft. Of course, when I gave you the Nerlens Noel film room nearly two weeks ago, I didn’t think it was very likely he’d be a Cavalier. Now, it’s probably the most likely scenario. But, I will say that Otto Porter Jr. makes it a very interesting debate in my mind, and the Georgetown forward may just be my pick if I were Chris Grant. Let’s take a look at what others are saying about Porter first. [Read more...]

Cavalier Film Room: Smash Mouth Kyrie Irving

WFNY Cavaliers Film RoomWhen we last got together, I was pretty hard on Tyler Zeller for his poor defensive rebounding. This week, given the performance and news last night, it’s a must to further break down All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving’s second 40-point performance of the season.

Kyrie scored 40 while taking just 24 shots as he willed the young Cavaliers to victory over the veteran Celtics, a playoff team if the dust settled today, 95-90. Kyrie dotted the shot chart with a mix of shots at the rim as well as mid-range jumpers and just one three pointer while leaving Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley in his wake. [Read more...]

Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 11, What a catch

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 created 8 turnovers in a win over the Steelers. There are 100 things we could look at, but today I want to focus on just one play. Trent Richardson’s touchdown run was very nice, but we’ve looked at his runs a lot in the film room. Josh Gordon’s effort to get a first down was awesome, but it was all effort and not much to break down.

There was a pass to Ben Watson on a third and eight that went for twenty yards and a big first down in Pittsburgh territory. The drive ended in a field goal, which wouldn’t have happened without Watson’s catch. Let’s take a look. [Read more...]

Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 9, the Fullback Pass

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.

Today we are going to look at just one play. It was the single most infuriating play that happened in Sunday’s game (at least to me) and that includes the fourth down call.

Here is the situation. It’s the second quarter, and the Browns are down 14-0. The drive started at the 20 after a touchback, and has moved to Baltimore’s 16 yard line where it is now third and nine. On first down Richardson ran for a yard, and on second down Weeden threw behind Richardson in the flat and he was unable to make the catch.

This is where the Browns had their “communication issues” and ended up calling a time out rather than get a delay of game penalty. It was the second burned time out on the drive. [Read more...]

Cavaliers Film Room: The Princeton Offense

Thanks to Mike Brown Auerbach, and the Lakers’ early season struggles, the Princeton offense has become a popular topic amongst analysts and talking heads. It’s this offense that many are saying is preventing Steve Nash, the Lakers’ offense, and the list of celebrities trying to find a seat on the LA bandwagon from reaching their full potential.

Closer to home, we see a version of this Princeton “Option” offense night in and night out with the Wine and Gold.

“What exactly is the Princeton offense you may ask?

“Is it an offense which features five guys with their collars popped? Not quite.

“An offense consisting of five guys who prefer a glass of red wine over a cold beer? Most likely not.

“An offense run primarily through the high post, that attacks mismatches through constant movement, pick and rolls, and back door cuts?” Bingo! [Read more...]

Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 7, Richardson’s Runs

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.

All week I’ve been hearing discussion about Trent Richardson. There’s been talk about his injury. Talk about his lack of production on Sunday. Talk about sitting him for a few weeks. Even talk about him having a running style that doesn’t work in the NFL.

All this based off of 8 runs on Sunday? Let’s take a look first at the runs before we run Richardson out of town shall we? [Read more...]

Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 6, Rookie Defenders

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.

Back from work training. Apologies abound for my absence. Thanks to Craig for filling in. Let’s get to the tape.

So I was curious about the defense this week. Due to injuries, we started two rookie defensive tackles (Hughes and Winn) and a rookie LB getting his first ever regular season action (Johnson). Specifically, I wanted to see how they did against the run. If you look at the stat sheet, the Bengals only gained 76  yards on 20 carries. That’s an average of 3.8 yards per carry. Consider this though, 20 yards of that total came on 1 rush. Which means that the defense held Cincinnati to under 3 yards a carry over 19 attempts. [Read more...]

Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 1, Richardson’s Debut Part 2

This is the second part of our film study on Trent Richardson’s debut. If you missed part 1 earlier go back and read it first. No, really. Do it.

(Like I wasn’t going to use the sweet graphic again.)

Ok, so we’ve been through three running plays already that gained a total of 4 yards. Let’s take a look at Richardson’s best run, and a fan favorite. [Read more...]