April 24, 2014

Browns to reportedly interview Ken Whisenhunt on Saturday

whisenhuntSan Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will reportedly interview with the Cleveland Browns on Saturday, according to perhaps somewhat of a surprise report on Thursday.

Whisenhunt, 51, interviewed twice for the Browns head coaching position last year as well. Previously, CEO Joe Banner announced that the team would not be interviewing repeat candidates during this year’s process.

It had appeared that Whisenhunt, former six-year head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, was the presumed favorite for the Detroit Lions opening. His surging team remains in the playoffs, however, opening the door for additional interviews, and New England’s Josh McDaniels pulled out of the running for the Cleveland gig.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter has the report this morning, as Whisenhunt’s busy week lines up before the Chargers play at Denver on Sunday in the NFL Divisional Round:

Last year, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that the Whisenhunt-Browns talks broke down over the composition of his possible coaching staff. Reportedly, the team’s front office wanted to have input on his staff, a typical process for a rookie head coach, not a veteran. The Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot later rebuked that claim via a contrasting source. But that process sounds very familiar to many other denials over the past 12 months.

The Browns recently interviewed Green Bay quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo. They reportedly remain high on Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Now with McDaniels’ absence, there really aren’t a whole lot of familiar names in the current process. That changes with Whisenhunt getting the surprise third try this weekend.

[Related: The Cleveland Browns are playing a high stakes version of ‘This or That’]

Photo: Sean M. Haffey/The San Diego Union-Tribune

Animated: NFL has obvious issues with officiating consistency

The NFL needs to get far more consistent making its own personal foul calls. When the Browns lost to the Ravens, I defended the technicality of the rules on a personal foul called on Browns receiver Josh Gordon on Ed Reed. On a technicality, Gordon was moving a bit back toward the Browns’ goal line making it seem like an illegal hit according to a strict reading of the rules.

Now this week, the Ravens converted an improbable 4th and 30 with a dump off to Ray Rice that succeeded due to a bad spot and also a very questionable blindside block by Anquan Boldin on Eric Weddle that left Weddle injured. Yet this play by Boldin went uncalled even as he was pretty much running directly toward the Ravens goal line cracking a completely unsuspecting Weddle. [Read more...]

Sports TV for an hour and no Browns highlights

Your lone necessary highlight from yesterday

We all know yesterday’s game was kind of boring as far as NFL football games go. Maybe it was the weather, but regardless, there was basically a lone highlight in the game as the Browns punted nine straight times during the 7-6 victory over the Chargers. Even still, I was riding my exercise bike this morning on a pretty nasty, wet day outside, and flipping around between ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, and NFL Network, I didn’t see Trent Richardson’s 26-yard scamper even once. Maybe they showed it somewhere and I just missed it in my flipping, but I was also looking at those ubiquitous scrolling timelines that tell you what highlights are on the way, and I never saw it there either.

This isn’t a complaint about ESPN or NFL Network, specifically. I could lobby a lot of complaints about them in general,1 but I am not critical of them here. The Browns game was decidedly boring yesterday even if I’m elated that the team came out with the victory. I expect Browns fans and media to talk about how much tougher the Browns were mentally than the Norv Turner / Phillip Rivers-led team from San Diego. While Brandon Weeden was content to throw the ball away and just not turn the ball over, Rivers was screeching like a banshee and tossing could-be arm punts into the air.2 I don’t expect the national coverage to care much about it. Those are “deep cuts” in the wider NFL world. That doesn’t mean there isn’t demand for it in Cleveland. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. I might start by saying that the NFL Network needs to start over completely with NFL AM, their morning show. It is abysmal. []
  2. Whoever came up with the term “arm punts” deserves many many awards. []

Chargers vs. Browns – Reader Survey

It’s that time of week again. Last week we had over 250 people weigh in and we’ve had about that pretty much every week. I think it only gets more and more interesting to see how Browns fans react to maybe the most inconsistent team we’ve seen since 1999. I know that’s saying a lot, but it seems to me the sense of disappointment over this team right now reflects an optimism that they actually could be better. I don’t think that sense of potential has always been there with the various Browns rosters over the years.

Chargers P.R. to Fans, “What’s with you people?”

The Chargers were embarrassed by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos with an historic comeback after the Chargers led 24-0 at half and went on to lose 35-24. Well, apparently the embarrassment turned to anger and restlessness, which is hardly unexpected of any fanbase after a collapse like that. Chargers P.R. director Bill Johnston took to the team’s website with a post entitled “Take a Chill Pill.” (Posting in its entirety just in case they decide to take it down.)

What’s with you people?

Yes, Monday night’s loss was bad. Horrible. Embarrassing.

Ok…enough already. No mas. I get it.

Now get over it. It was a loss. One loss.

Listening to some of you out there, you’d think Monday night was “win or go home” and the Chargers are now packing their bags.

“The Chargers are finished. Done,” said one scribe.

Another wrote, “Bye, bye Chargers. Put a fork in them.”

Sometimes I think Twitter was invented to give people a chance to puff out their chests and talk big, saying things they never would say to someone’s face.

And talk radio … don’t get me started. The old adage your mom used to preach – “If you don’t have anything good say, don’t say anything” – seems to have evolved to “if you don’t have anything good to say, call sports talk radio.”

Some of those folks are probably the same ones who called for former Head Coach Bobby Ross’ job when his first Chargers team started the 1992 season 0-4.  I still remember the self-proclaimed experts saying Bobby was “in over his head”. The Chargers went on to win 11 of the next 12 games that year, along with a 17-0 victory in the first round of the playoffs.

A few of the more recent Chargers teams have been declared dead by quacks, only to awaken in good health.  The 3-3 Chargers of 2004 won nine of their final 10 games.  The ’06 Chargers won their final 10.  The ’07 Chargers started 1-3 before winning 10 of their last 12.  The ’08 Chargers won their final four in a row and the ’09 team won its last 11 games.

Time to take a chill pill.  No one knows what will happen this season, yet alone the next game. That’s the beauty of the National Football League.  I don’t know, you don’t know, no one knows what’s going to happen.

If you want these players and coaches to succeed, then support them.  Don’t tear them down.  What you want and what we all want, including your team, is to know people believe in them.

Look at it this way.  We want our loved ones to succeed, and we’ll do whatever it takes to help them.  But when they make mistakes, like we all do, we would never criticize or belittle them publicly.

Your team is 3-3, tied at the top of the division, and has 10 games to play.  If the Chargers are your team, get behind them and stay behind them.  We’re all at our best when we know others believe in us.

I am guessing this will go over like a lead balloon for some fans. For others it will be a mixed bag. I agree with some of it, but it probably isn’t a message that should be delivered by someone on the team payroll.

Bill Johnston has been in the business 24 years and with the Chargers since 1979.

[Related: New Browns CEO Joe Banner: “We Need the Best People”]

Eric Mangini on Brady Quinn’s Progress

88972243MS001_SAN_DIEGO_CHAThere is a growing debate on whether this past weekend’s game against the San Diego Chargers was a turning point of sorts for quarterback Brady Quinn.  One side saw a quarterback that looked like he actually knew what he was doing on the field; the other side saw a quarterback who had one solid drive and then padded his stats in the fourth quarter.  It would come as little surprise that head coach Eric Mangini locates himself somewhere in the middle of the pack, liking Quinn’s progress, but undoubtedly feels that the quarterback still has a ton of maturation ahead of him.

Quinn undoubtedly had a better statitsical game than most of his other nine starts, but Mangini was quick to say that it was not a one-man show. [Read more...]

Cavs v. Bucks/Browns v. Chargers Open Thread

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The Cleveland Basketball Cavaliers are taking on the Milwaukee Bucks today, starting at 3:00 (FSOhio, WTAM 1100). As touched on in this morning’s WWW, LeBron will be facing off with rookie sensation Brandon ‘I score lots of points and stole Chris Bosh’s haircut’ Jennings.

Starting slightly later, the Cleveland Football Browns take on the San Diego Chargers today (4:05 PM, CBS, WTAM 1100? Check WMMS, as they’ll have coverage for sure. Stereo simulcast? YES PLS!) in a revolution that will, in fact, be televised.  Check out our ‘BWWI’ post from Friday for some pointers (and lots of comments about people’s fantasy teams).

So join us in watching the games, leave some comments, and mostly let’s just enjoy each other’s company.

The Browns Will Win If…

This is liable to get messy. The Chargers are going to straight-up murder our donkeys.

brownschargers

The Browns’ offense reverted back to the soulless dead fish we’ve come to know and hate for the first 9 games of the season. The explosion against Detroit was not seen at all on Sunday, despite the Bengals being willing to let the Browns hang around on the scoreboard. The Browns’ reward? A meeting with the white-hot Chargers, who have won six in a row and flat-out dismantled the Chiefs last Sunday. The Browns are facing a shortage of warm bodies on defense, combined with the aforementioned crap-fest on offense. Sounds awesome! Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

[Read more...]

Browns Granted 24-Hour Extension

At the strike of 4PM EST, the Cleveland Browns were to find out their fate regarding the broadcast of their upcoming game against the San Diego Chargers.  It looks like the thousands of remaining tickets did not sell, but the NFL has apparently given the team a 24-hour extension.

As of the extension, their are still a “few thousand” tickets still unsold.  Given that there was not a collective purchase of the seats prior to today as there were for the Monday night game against the Ravens, it appears that there will not be anyone coming to save the day for the 4PM kickoff this Sunday.

Earlier this year, extensions were granted for other NFL teams due to claims of poor economic conditions.  Given that a zero percent unemployment rate would not force fans to buy tickets for a 1-10 football team, the current extension seems superfluous.

The team has announced that several thousand tickets still remain for the December 27th game against Oakland as well as the January 3rd game against Jacksonville.

NFL Draft: Beanie Wells Disputes Injury Rumors

Beanie WellsIn what could possibly be the quickest way to ever mention a potential injury, Peter King buried a sentence on former Ohio State running back Chris “Beanie” Wells in his latest MMQB that claimed teams are “scared off” by a potential foot injury.  Given Wells’ injury history and the fact that many consider this to be his biggest risk, a forefoot injury would not be something to boost the draft stock of the Akron, Ohio native.

Thankfully for Wells’ wallet, it appears that these rumors are completely unfounded and that old No. 28 is ready to go. 

“Beanie was examined by [orthopedic surgeon] Dr. James Andrews in January and was given a clean bill of health,” said agent Adam Heller. “There are no issues with the toe and he’s 100 percent. He rushed for 1,200 yards and has since posted the best broad jump at the combine and a 4.38 in the 40 at his pro day.”

[Read more...]