July 25, 2014

I want to be The Earthquake

Divisional Playoffs - New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks

I want a new stadium. A modern, open-air, architectural beauty of a venue placed right in the heart of the city. One that looks like it is straight from Flight of the Navigator. It has curves and construction and impressively bright lights with jaw-dropping views of the downtown skyline. One that holds in all of the sound, creating a true home field advantage. One that celebrates the fans just as much as it does the history of the team and the players who currently occupy its inhabitants up to 10 times per calendar year.

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Giants Advance Past San Francisco 20-17 in OT

The New York Giants ended San Francisco’s amazing run with new head coach Jim Harbaugh in overtime Sunday setting up a Super Bowl rematch of sorts with the New England Patriots.

Today began with the possibility of 2 Harbaughs coaching in the biggest game of the year, and instead will feature neither of them after New England’s win over Baltimore. Instead, we have Eli Manning going for his second Super Bowl ring (which would be one more than his brother) in Peyton’s home stadium. Safe to say that the local Indianapolis fans will be pulling for the younger Manning to do for a second time what Peyton has had trouble accomplishing- namely beating the Patriots in the post-season.

Browns fans meanwhile will continue to watch with little rooting interest after Brad Seely’s special teams crew made two crucial mistakes in the return game likely costing the 49ers the game.

Additionally, Browns players will be enjoying the game from home, or the local establishment of their choice. Like center Alex Mack-

Might as well go ahead and make your plans for next post-season too Alex.

While We’re Waiting…Kiper Says Browns Draft RGIII, And Previewing Today’s Title Games

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

With the 4th Pick, Mel Kiper says Browns take Robert Griffin III: “If a team moves ahead of the Browns for Griffin, they also could be in play for Blackmon, or even the guy I have at No. 5, Trent Richardson. However, the questions on Colt McCoy’s ceiling as a starting NFL quarterback are getting louder, and if the Browns don’t go after a solution such asMatt Flynn, a quarterback certainly could be in play here. Griffin made big strides this past season, particularly with his deep accuracy. He is a big-time athlete at the quarterback position but has developed a very good pocket presence and the ability to read the game, and his big arm comes with a nice touch on intermediate throws. He is a leader and has intangibles that should really impress evaluators during the draft process.” [Mel Kiper / ESPN] [Read more...]

Finding A Team In Another NFL Postseason Without The Browns

The most popular sport in America begins its postseason this afternoon, and for the 12th time since their reincarnation 13 years ago, the Cleveland Browns are nowhere to be found. The Browns are once again spending “Week 18″ at home on the couch, their fans already worked up about draft picks and the starting quarterback position next season. At least we know our coach is coming back, which has been about a 50/50 occurrence this time of the year since the Browns returned (a good time to mention Romeo Crennel is expected to get the job in Kansas City).

It’s often the case that Cleveland fans are forced to take in a sport’s postseason without one of their beloved teams involved – especially in the NFL. But this season is made all the more difficult and bitter by the fact that all three of the Browns’ division rivals are still playing for a Super Bowl, beginning today with the Cincinnati Bengals. It begs the question, what are you watching for and who are you rooting for?

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Browns Outlast the Jaguars 14-10 In Nail-biter

The Cleveland Browns offense passed the eye test today.  That is something that we haven’t been able to say about this team this year.  The team was going up against a depleted Jaguars defense that got even more banged up during the game, so save the punch and pie for now.  They didn’t blow the roof off the stadium with scoring either.  Still, they moved the ball.  They spread it around to guys like Josh Cribbs, Jordan Norwood, Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi.  The offensive line protected Colt McCoy pretty well and opened enough holes for 4th string runner Chris Ogbonnaya to go for 115 yards and a TD.  It is exactly what the Browns needed at this time of the year with the schedule coming up.

A lot of people were angry that the Browns won today because of the impact on the NFL draft.  I understand that line of thinking, but it isn’t very useful from a pragmatic standpoint while running a professional football team.  You make your plays in the draft by accumulating picks, not by losing intentionally.  Every time you put your team out on the field you have to try to win.  Anyone who expects the Browns to field a team week-in and week-out without attempting to win has no respect for the players as competitors and professional athletes.  While it might seem like sound strategy, a team can’t tank on purpose without also impossibly hurting their culture long-term and possibly irreparably.  Back to the Browns win though. [Read more...]

NFL Playoffs: Torture for Cleveland Fans

Seriously? Ravens vs Steelers and Jets vs Patriots? Could you just gouge out my eyes instead?

How was a Cleveland fan supposed to watch these games? First you have the Steelers, sworn enemy of every good Clevelander. Cheap shot artists, thugs and criminals. Oh, and consistent winner. Don’t forget that. You know, kind of the opposite of us. And then there are the Ravens. Do I even have to go there? No matter what your opinion of Ray Lewis is, had he been wearing orange and brown he would have statues in this city. Ozzie Newsome as well. For his career on the field and in the front office. Instead, he is making smart picks for Baltimore. Sigh.

Then you have Braylon and the Jets. No way you can root for him. And the arrogance of that team makes me ill anyway. The Patriots? As much as I hated Belichik when he started winning in New England, that has nothing on my disgust of the New England/Boston fan-base. [Read more...]

NFL Wild Card Sunday, Browns Coaching News Open Thread

The NFL season is over for the Cleveland Browns, but fans can still enjoy wild card Sunday’s slate of games. The Baltimore Ravens face Kansas City at 1 p.m. in the AFC, and in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles host the Green Bay Packers at 4:30 p.m.

With yesterday’s results, it is already guaranteed that the New York Jets or New England will be in the AFC Championship game. A victory by Baltimore today would set up a pair of epic rivalries facing off in the Divisional Round next week.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (h/t @MaryKayCabot on Twitter) reported earlier that St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is emerging as the favorite for the Browns head coaching position. Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinwheg is another leading candidate according to rumors, while Atlanta Falcons OC Mike Mularkey interviewed yesterday. Stay tuned for any developing news.

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Braylon Edwards Drops Easy Touchdown Pass Again. Jets Still Win.

braylon Edwards dropIn case you missed it yesterday during the first afternoon NFL playoff game of 2010, Braylon Edwards reminded folks of his Northeast Ohio habits against the Cincinnati Bengals. This epic play came towards the end of the first quarter with the Jets actually trailing 7-0. Rookie Mark Sanchez delivered a beautiful ball down the left sideline, but as always, Edwards made sure it touched nothing at all except for the touchdown dirt.

Enjoy this one folks for a while, but as Craig tweeted last night, it will be interesting to see how Braylon parlays his team’s domination of the Bengals into some extra cash in the off-season. Clearly, the Jets won the game 24-14 due to their aerial attack when Sanchez only attempted 15 passes and Edwards himself had just 15 yards receiving. The big name might just be enough to have some other team forget he now has just 37 catches/556 yards in 13 games for New York.
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While We’re Waiting… Josh Cribbs’ Agent, Donte’ Stallworth and Julian Edelman

GYI0050751761.jpgWhile We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your daily viewing pleasure. Have something else you think we should see for tomorrow’s post? Send it to our fancy tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Great read in looking at the continuing debacle between Cribbs, his agents, the Browns and the Cleveland fans: “Yesterday, Cribbs agents pulled another questionable tactic out of their negotiating playbook: Sending condescending emails to bloggers who criticize their work. I received the following yesterday from Cribbs’ agent J.R. Rickert.” [Peter Pattakos/Cleveland Frowns]

Stallworth will be back in the league next season and could contend with some of the youngsters at WR for the Browns: “Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended receiver Donte’ Stallworth for the entire 2009 season after Stallworth pleaded guilty to felony DUI manslaughter last year. Stallworth will be reinstated after completion of the Super Bowl on February 7, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello recently confirmed.” [Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk]
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Breaking News: ESPN.com Reports Tom Heckert is the Browns General Manager

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Philadelphia’s Tom Heckert has been named the new General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. The general manager for the past three plus years for the Eagles, Heckert brings instant credibility to Cleveland despite the fact he likely will not be able to sign with the club until after the NFL playoffs are over for his team. As a reminder, WFNY was one of the first on the Heckert beat two weeks ago when Scott reported that he was coming to town for an interview with recently hired Mike Holmgren.

Stick around for updates throughout the day from the local publications. Schefter’s report also states that it is possible Seattle’s director of pro personnel Will Lewis could join the Browns front office as well. Keep on chugging Holmgren, it is looking like a good off-season so far.

Open Thread: What Could Have Been?

“Would we have had the opportunity to get to a Super Bowl once, maybe twice? I’d say yes, we would have. I’m saying we would have remained a good football team because it would have started with Belichick. And all of us were there together. You can’t write the story without adding Belichick to it.” – Ozzie Newsome

“It starts with the fact they’re the old Browns.” – Mike Tomlin

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