August 26, 2014

The Diff: Coveted Chip Kelly brings Moneyball style to NFL

The Diff is your weekly WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, I wrote about some Browns storylines heading into Week 1. Now, I’m writing about the NFL’s latest fad and one of my favorite topics ever: Chip Kelly.

The Diff

Jan. 5-6, 2013: A crazy weekend in Browns news. The next Monday, the WFNY crew congregated for a roundtable to reflect on what exactly just happened. In the end, University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly had indeed bolted for the NFL, but chose the Philadelphia Eagles instead of Cleveland or elsewhere. I was pretty decimated; not only because I was on Twitter alert for 16 hours a day for naught, but because the much-coveted Chip Kelly had gone elsewhere. My favorite football coach wouldn’t be coaching my favorite team. [Read more...]

NFL News: Chip Kelly is staying at Oregon

The news that was expected for the last few hours appears to be here. Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that Chip Kelly will indeed return to Oregon.

Schefter doesn’t even mention the Browns in his tweet. So the Browns can now officially move on to the rest of the board of candidates.

[Related: Browns mishandling media during coaching search]

Reports: Browns rebooting head coach search without Chip Kelly

What a difference two days and a lunch running into dinner makes.

The Browns’ contingency has left Arizona where they interviewed Chip Kelly on Friday among many others this week. According to various reports, including ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, they are heading back to Cleveland to regroup and continue the coaching search with Kelly’s name crossed off the list.

This too, from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, seems to hammer it home.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who originally reported that the Browns and Kelly were close to an agreement, says that super-booster Phil Knight is pulling Kelly back to Oregon.

So, where do the Browns go from here? Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone, who the Browns interviewed as well, are now off the board in addition to Kelly. That leaves former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton as the two candidates the Browns have interviewed that are still in play.

It’s certainly possible that the Browns open the search back up again with several other viable candidates still out there.

[Related: NFL Rumor: Chip Kelly could stay at Oregon]

NFL Rumor: Chip Kelly could stay at Oregon

After a back-and-forth 48 hours where he was heading to Cleveland and then to Philadelphia, Chip Kelly could be staying at the University of Oregon, according to at least two reports on Twitter on Sunday morning.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane got the rumor mill heated up with his tweet, speculating there’s as much of a chance Kelly stays at Oregon as his reported leap to the NFL. And The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot followed up with a report from Michael Lomardi, also a candidate for the Browns executive opening, that Kelly might lean toward staying in school.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport followed up to McLane’s tweet in saying that this could be unlikely, considering the NCAA sanctions the Oregon program is likely to face in the near future.

With Doug Marrone locked into a deal with the Buffalo Bills, it’s likely to be a continued scramble on Twitter for all possible breaking news related to Chip Kelly. We’ll keep you updated with all of the latest reports we see. Stay tuned to WFNY.

[Related: NFL News: Doug Marrone agrees to join Bills]

NFL Rumor: ‘Be ready for something to happen tonight’ with Browns, Chip Kelly

It’s been a whirlwind of Chip Kelly news over the last 48 hours for Cleveland fans. But late Friday night, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen had the definitive Kelly update in breaking down his travel plans:

Oregon coach Chip Kelly and the Cleveland Browns wrapped up seven hours of meetings Friday that were characterized as “very positive,” though Kelly informed the Browns that he would proceed to interview with the Buffalo Bills and the Philadelphia Eagles, according to team and league sources.

Kelly interviewed for five hours with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner before they took a break and had a two-hour dinner. The sides agreed to talk again Saturday night after Kelly’s interview with the Bills on Friday night and the Eagles on Saturday. The Bills announced late Friday that they had interviewed Kelly.

With that news in hand and following yesterday’s hot reports of the Browns being “close” to a deal with Kelly, the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot added this news:

So stay tuned folks, as it’s possible that there might not be another round of interviews for Kelly if the Browns can lock him in to a deal sometime this evening during their second Arizona meeting.

[Related: NFL Rumor: Bruce Arians wanted Browns coaching job “badly”]

While We’re Waiting… Chip Kelly Mania

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

Fans are split, but the hype might eventually be for real: “Joe Banner isn’t seen the savior. Jimmy Haslam’s ownership is welcomed, but there is cautious optimism with the Tennessee billionaire. Browns fans have been burned numerous times before. They are done trusting the fire. After days of speculation, the Browns are finally interviewed Oregon coach Chip Kelly. If you spend 30 seconds on Twitter, you’ll find as many fans and media members who are for Kelly and just as many who are against the potential hire.” [Don Delco/Orange & Brown Report] [Read more...]

Browns Could Do Worse Than to Draft the Next Matthews

Oregon’s Casey Matthews is the son of Cleveland Browns legend Clay Matthews II. You saw him last night all over the field playing his line-backer position tracking down Auburn runners. The 6’2″ senior led his team in tackles and was a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award. He may not have the sack numbers (3) that the Browns are looking for, but keep in mind that Clay Matthews III was not a highly touted sack machine at USC either. He’s done ok for himself.

Would the Browns be trying to cash in on previous family success by taking Matthews? Of course! But here’s the thing- in this age of busts and mis-used draft picks, Casey Matthews seems like as much of a sure thing as you can get. Think about it.

Here’s the family pedigree- [Read more...]

5 Favorite Sports Stories: The Rose Bowl

With all the negative sports stories coming from Cleveland this year, I thought I’d run down my five favorite Cleveland sports stories of 2010. They may not be the ‘top stories’ from the year, but they are the ones that resonate with me the most. Each day this week you can read my take and chime in with your own memory of the events. Today we come with #2:

The Buckeyes win the Rose Bowl.

Growing up watching the Bucks with my dad, there were 2 goals to every season. The first was to beat Michigan, and the second was to play in the Rose Bowl. National titles really weren’t a concern. “If you win the Big Ten and win the Rose Bowl, you will probably be voted the champ” my dad would say. [Read more...]

This Week In Sports: Furthering Our ADHD

Quite a week, yes? There were some Izzo-to-the-Cavs rumors. Stephen Strasburg made his first start, and now Carlos Santana has finally been called up. The MLB Draft occured. The NBA Finals are on, with a random role player from one of the two teams stepping up to help win every game. College football is looking to change significantly on the horizon. USC got hit extremely hard with sanctions by the NCAA. Somewhere in the footnotes of the week, you’ll see that Oregon’s starting quarterback was kicked off the team. Lord Stanley’s Cup was just awarded to the delegates from Chicago. Oh, and the World Cup kicked off this morning.

With all those things being listed, I’m gonna go all Buddy The Elf on you guys. What’s your favorite sports story of the week?

Buckeyes dominant on both sides in Rose Bowl win

Photo Credit: Chris Williams/Icon SMI

Roses, Son

The Buckeyes took to the field in Pasadena yesterday afternoon against an Oregon team that was predicted by many to win the game handily.

In its first offensive possession OSU came out and did something that nobody expected them to do: throw the ball, and more surprisingly throw the ball very well. The passing game was controlled and calculated, keeping the aggressive UO defense caught on its heels many times.

The offense most assuredly benefited from much improved execution by QB Terrelle Pryor, who finished the game as MVP with 338 total yards of offense. Mental errors were largely avoided by Pryor in this one, and aside from forcing one downfield interception (after overlooking a wide open Brandon Saine in the flat) Pryor avoided big mental blunders, even while taking 4 sacks.

While Pryor’s play is deservedly getting a lot of the attention (IT’S OBVIOUS THAT HE’S FINALLY VINCE YOUNG, DUMB-DUMBS!!!), a largely overlooked fact is that his performance hinges directly on the willingness of the offensive staff to go to a gameplan that throws early and throws often. In a post-game interview with ESPN (see below), Tress talks about the best look from the offense being in practices against the #1 defense in which they only passed. Having the courage to enact this gameplan on such a big stage takes cajones, though it certainly helps when the opposing defense is most suspect in the secondary. The game was won by Pryor’s arm (both throwing and stiff-arming OMG) and the trust that was placed in it. It also helped that Jake Ballard has mad hops. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Delonte’s Fight and the Future of Jon Gruden and Brady Quinn

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

Delonte West First GameDelonte’s Game: “This season for reasons both legal and personal, Delonte West has been told and chosen to keep mostly to himself.  Even for his teammates and coaches, West can sometimes be distant and in his own world. So it has often been hard to determine where he is mentally or physically during this vitally important season for the Cavaliers franchise and himself. After all, his contract is not guaranteed after this season.  Which is why two telling moments in the Cavs’ victory over the Phoenix Suns Monday night doubled as windows into West’s status. Both were positive — good signs for the team and its beloved, yet troubled, guard.” [Brian Windhorst]

[Read more...]

Cleveland Sports On Notice: 12/09/09


[Read more...]

Buckeyes’ Rose Bowl Opponent Determined Tonight

Rose Bowl logo6Tonight a good number of televisions in and around the Columbus, Ohio area will be tuned to a football game featuring two Oregon teams. That doesn’t happen very often. In fact, much of tonight’s “Civil War” will be unprecedented. Never before in the history of this rivalry has the Pac 10 championship been up for grabs. Never have Oregon and Oregon State both been in a position to win a right to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl. I guess you should never say never.

Oregon (9-2) is a 10 point favorite in this one, and is playing at home. Oregon State (8-3) has been a good road team this year however. Of their 3 losses only one has been on the road and that came in a close game at USC. Oregon State beat Cal pretty handily on the road, but the environment Thursday night will be much more intense.

So who would Ohio State rather play? I suppose that depends on who you talk to. Obviously the players and coaches for Ohio State are going to be PC and say it doesn’t matter, they are both high quality opponents, blah, blah. Rob Oller of the Dispatch wrote what most people are probably thinking about this one- [Read more...]

The Football Boots… Future of the BCS, The Rose Bowl, The O-Line and Browns 2009 Draft

The Boots is a regular feature of my e-mail Sports Report where I assign “Boot Ups” or “Boot Downs” to various things in the sports world. I started doing these features since my brothers always teased me as a little kid with the nickname “Boot” and I thought it was an appropriate way to stick it back to them with my sports writing. For possible topics for future posts, as always, look to the tips e-mail address over on the right sidebar.

BCSBoot Up: The BCS For Now – As much as you might complain about the existence of the Bowl Championship Series, I am here to refute the notion that anything will change in the near future. For many years I have been researching the intricacies behind the BCS, and there are many reasons why there will be no playoff in college football for a few more years. I am not here to argue that the BCS is the absolute perfect system at all, as that is far from the truth, but I do think that we will have to work with the established system for the next several years

[Read more...]

OSU Beats Iowa in OT: Rose Bowl Scenarios

Ohio State Iowa Rose Bowl

The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes yesterday afternoon in a “winner gets the BCS bid” game.  It is a near certainty that the BCS game will be the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.  Jim Tressel was criticized by a great number of fans and media for being too conservative with QB Terrelle Pryor and playing for overtime on the Bucks’ last possession in regulation.  It seems to be the dominant story most people are talking about this morning.  Tressel relied on his defense in OT and they came through holding the Hawkeyes scoreless.  Ohio State responded on its ensuing possession with a game winning 39 yard field goal.  It’s a little crazy  to come down hard on the coach after a game in which you win your 5th straight Big Ten championship and are headed to your 6th BCS bowl in 7 years. 

While the Buckeyes have been regulars in the BCS this decade, they have usually found themselves in Tempe or the National Championship game.  This will be their first Rose Bowl since that classic game in 1996 against Jake Plummer’s Arizona State Sun Devils.  While this week will be devoted to coverage of The Game, in thinking about the immediate implications of yesterday afternoon I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the potential Rose Bowl scenarios for OSU.

[Read more...]