August 17, 2014

While We’re Waiting…Vick and Andy Reid as Browns, Playoff Scenarios

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 four games left to play, the Browns are notmathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet!!!

Let me say right off the bat that I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE BROWNS WILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. However, since it is still technically possible, let’s break it down real quick.

First of all, the Browns would need to run the table and finish 8-8, which is a nearly impossible feat. So eight wins is the magic number that we need to keep in mind here.

In the AFC there are five teams that have the inside track on the postseason: Patriots (9-3), Ravens (9-3), Texans (11-1), Broncos (10-3) and Colts (8-4). That leaves one spot left for the Browns.” [Flack/Bleacher Report]

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Moving Forward in Berea: Mike Holmgren, legacies and dirty water

In a lot of ways, I’m happy that Mike Holmgren’s services are no longer needed in Cleveland. Given the team’s record over the last three years, I welcome the opportunity to have someone else lead this team. Still, I’m a bit taken aback by some of the outbursts on Twitter and on local talk radio that look to cast Mike Holmgren as public enemy number one. [Read more...]

“Cleveland ’95: A Football Life” will be mandatory viewing for me

I’ve read countless tweets from Browns fans saying they won’t watch this documentary about the 1995 Cleveland Browns. Tony Grossi wrote about it and likened it to reliving a family member’s funeral. While those scenes depicting the stadium being torn apart might cause me to shed a few tears, after seeing the sneak preview, I think I’ll have to watch it because there is so much more there for someone like me born in 1979. I wasn’t anywhere near maturity as a football fan by that point in my life.

I know all the names of the guys in and around the Browns, but to say that I have vivid memories of Bill Belichick as Browns’ head coach would be a lie. It makes this story almost mandatory viewing for NFL fans when you consider that names like Bill Belichick, Mike Lombardi, Nick Saban, Kirk Ferentz, Scott Pioli, Eric Mangini and Ozzie Newsome were all at least partially built during this time period. Yes, it hits hardest for Browns fans who lost their team and in many ways still don’t have it back. Even still, part of being a Browns fan is understanding and wanting to explore the rest of the ecosystem that they exist in in the wider NFL view.1 [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. One of the most difficult adjustments for Browns fans since the team has been back has probably been missing out on five years of game evolution in terms of on and off-field culture. In many ways, I think Browns fans are still fighting many of the changes that happened while we were… ahem… “away.” []

What Would it Cost for Matt Flynn if He is Franchised?

One of the options for the Browns this off-season should they choose to address quarterback in free agency is Matt Flynn.  Flynn has only started two NFL games as Aaron Rodgers’ backup, but his most recent start was a record-setting performance that set the world abuzz.  That can tend to happen when you throw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a football game.  For reference, this weekend in his playoff game against the same Detroit defense, Drew Brees put up 466 yards and 3 touchdowns.  That says a lot about the defense that Matt Flynn went up against.  Anyway, that’s a different discussion.  Let’s assume that the Browns do want Matt Flynn and they have to deal with the Packers who franchise him in order to trade him.  What might the price tag be?

First of all, the price tag for franchising a QB is, um, really high.  Going into this past season, Jason La Canfora had estimated that the cost of franchising a QB would be $16 million.  So assume that to franchise Matt Flynn will be somewhere in the same ballpark.  The acquiring team will be on the hook for that, but in all likelihood it will lead to a new long-term contract that will be pricey.  But what we are really looking for is what the potential acquisition cost could be for the Browns.  There are three obvious examples, Matt Schaub, Matt Cassell and Kevin Kolb. [Read more...]

NFL Draft Rumors: If You Fear Mark Sanchez, You May Be In Luck

mark-sanchez-6With the NFL draft less than a week away, we will likely be inundated with rumor and speculation as to who will go where and at what pick.  What GMs are talking trade.  And what wide receiver the Lions will take with the first pick overall.

Okay, that last one may be more wishful thinking than anything, but even here at WFNY have we been discussing as much “talk” as we can.  We can’t put much credence into pre-draft rumors as these are mostly a mirage.  This morning, Mike Greenberg had a great point that there is nothing to gain by telling the truth at this stage; coaches and GMs have everything to gain by telling a lie. 

But with all of this said, Browns fans that fear the team selecting USC’s Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall selection may want to choose to believe a recent piece by Peter King over at Sports Illustrated. [Read more...]

NFL Free Agency: Browns are Bringing in the Jets

david-bowensWith the NFL free agency season still underway, we are finally starting to see a few more names added to the roster for the Cleveland Browns. Sure, they are not exactly the Albert Haynesworths or Terrell Owens’, but any fan that anticipated big name free agents this year was bound to be disappointed. But with the recent wave of signings, these players all have something in common: their former team.

In what has been an interesting off-season from the standpoint of coaching changes as well as players themselves, we have seen quite a number of players follow their former play-callers and general managers to their new team whether through trade or free agency. Scott Pioli took the gig in Kansas City and wasted no time in acquiring Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel. Baltimore’s Rex Ryan is the new head coach of the New York Jets, and will get to call plays for former Ravens Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that Eric Mangini and George Kokinis have added a handful of players with whom our head coach is very familiar.

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While We’re Waiting… Brian Waters Wants Out, Michael Brantley’s Power, and Defending LeBron James

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

Coaches not being nice make professional athletes sad pandas: “Chiefs Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters asked the organization Thursday to release or trade him this offseason, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. [...] Waters, according to the source, was offended and shocked by what he perceived to be the arrogance of Todd Haley and Scott Pioli.” [Jason Whitlock/Kansas City Star]

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Scratch Pioli Off The List

Chiefs GM Scott PioliFrom the moment the Browns hired Eric Mangini to be the new head coach without first hiring a GM, we knew it virtually meant that still getting Scott Pioli to come to Cleveland was a long shot at best. But still, none the less, some of us held out hope that Pioli would swallow his pride and still come to Cleveland and be the savior of the franchise.

Well, that dream is over. Scott Pioli has been hired as the next GM of the Kansas City Chiefs. Needless to say, Chiefs fans are rejoicing and reveling in the praise others are heaping on this move. Meanwhile, Browns fans continue to sit in stunned silence as we try to comprehend what exactly is going on in Berea with our beloved Browns.

Remember, Pioli was initially considered to be the hands-on favorite to land the Browns job. In fact, some thought the hiring process would be mere formality and that within a week of firing Phil Savage, the Browns would have Pioli in place to guide the future of the Browns organization. So how did we get where we are today?   [Read more...]

Randy Lerner Expands His GM List

I find it a bit odd that our fearless owner could not sleep a wink until he had a head coach in place, but appears willing to wait until after the Super Bowl to fill the role of general manager.  Such may be the case if Baltimore wins this weekend, and that could be a “best case” scenario.  Assuming your “best case” involves another guy from the Ravens.

Baltimore’s George Kokinis was in fact interviewed this past Sunday after the Ravens disposed of the Tennessee Titans in the conference semi-finals.  However, if the Ravens manage to get past the Steelers this coming week, Lerner will be forced to wait until after big game to see if Kokinis is in fact still interested in the Browns GM role. 

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Hey, You! Want to be our General Manager?

Phil SavageBecause I don’t really know if anyone else does.

Since Hurricane Lerner tore through the Cleveland Browns front office, the one thing that we all agreed on at this here site was that we wanted a General Manager and a head coach that had strong communication and believe in the same system.  Typically, to get that done, you hire the general manager first and have him choose who he wants to steer the ship.  But with Eric Mangini receiving an “exceeds expectations” on his interview for the HC gig, the Browns are finding themselves running out of options for said GM slot.

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Report: Eric Mangini Hired by Browns By Week’s End

Eric ManginiI find it a little odd that this report is coming out of Boston, but WEEI (their 850 AM) has the following:

WEEI’s Michael Holley is reporting that Eric Mangini will be named the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns by the end of the week. Mangini would replace Romeo Crennel, who like Mangini was a former Patriots defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick. [...] Holley also reports that Pats G.M. Scott Pioli will not follow Mangini to Cleveland, likely heading to Kansas City or staying put in Foxboro.

Reportedly, Holley has personal ties to Mangini.  Alas, those that took the 1/3 odds on Scott Pioli coming to Cleveland appear to have quite the sunk cost.  Also, those that said you’ll be selling your tickets come a Mangini hire – especially prior to hiring a GM first – please feel free to contact me at any time.  If you need a refresher on Eric, we got you covered.

Browns FO/Coaching: Who Ya Got?

Over the holidays, it has sometimes felt like my wife and I have been in the car more than we’ve been home. As an unintended consequence of that, my writing for WFNY has effectively fallen off the face of the earth over the last 10-14 days.

Coincidentally, the one major Cleveland sports story in that time period has been the house-cleaning in Berea and the prospects of a new regime both in the front office and on the sidelines. I am bummed that I have not weighed in more thoroughly here, but that stops now!

I wanted to make this a quasi-open thread to gauge where our readership is at relative to the names out there for both positions… both the rumors, and perhaps the ones we don’t hear about. More than just the rumors, though:

As a fan, WHO DO YOU WANT? [Read more...]

Gambling Odds: The Future of the Cleveland Browns

Derek Anderson Fumble

You have to love a day in age where you can gamble on a team even when the actual players will not see the field for at least seven months. 

While eight other, more fortunate and successful teams take the field this weekend, Browns fans have the following issues at their disposal:

- The future of Derek Anderson, and…

- The future of the Front office

Thanks to Bodoglife.com, we have the following items featuring our beloved football team:

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While We’re Waiting…

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing.  Have something you think we should see?  Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

“LeBron James had 38 points on his 24th birthday, but collectively it was probably the Cavs’ weakest performance of the season.  That’s more of a testament to how well they were playing than an insult. It is no moral sin to lose at AmericanAirlines Arena. After all, the Lakers lost on the same floor last week and the Cavs have won in South Florida once in the last six seasons.” [Brian Windhorst]

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Kansas City Chiefs Also Eyeing Pioli

ESPN has been all over the merry-go-round of NFL head coaches and general managers over the past 48 hours.  Not long after the Browns were given the “nah, I’m good” by Bill Cowher, Lerner Inc. turned in the direction of Scott Pioli.  Fans of the Browns have mixed feelings about another New England guy, but he’s obviously not a secret by any means – especially with the Kansas City Chiefs looking his way as well.

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