Originally written January 31, 2013 on Waiting For Next Year:
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. Kanicki dismantles Newsome’s support for Modell- “Ozzie: I was proud to be a member of the NFL Players Association. Art recognized the need for the players to form a membership, and negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement in league history when he was the first and only NFL president. (His fellow owners voted him to this prestigious position.) Kanicki: Thanks for bringing this up. How did all of Art’s ‘bargaining’ work out for the players from the 50s, 60s, 70s? That pension ever get funded? Did players get any royalties from NFL Films? You played against Mike Webster, ever check his story? Were Modell and your NFLPA out front on the head injury thing? Not sure this is a path you want to travel, Oz.” [Kanicki] —- “One niggling thought I can’t escape: as interesting/cool as Bauer’s willingness to throw a variety of pitches and tinker on the mound, might a more streamlined approach help him in the short-term? Throwing strikes remains a challenge for the young righty, both in the minor leagues and majors alike. It isn’t as if his stuff is marginal and he needs the smoke and mirrors to survive. Grab ball, huck over plate, profit. Seems simple enough to me, Trevor. Would junking some of the more finesse offerings allow Bauer to command the strike zone a little better? Only Bauer knows for sure. A quick stroll down Speculation Lane might perhaps suggest that, during his time as a Diamondback, subtle nudges along this line caused some of the “friction” between Bauer and the decidedly old-school management team in Arizona. One thing I know for sure: it is my sincere hope that Trevor Bauer makes the Tribe out of Spring Training, as Geekin’ Out with his guy is my 2013 goal.” [Fairservice/Getting Blanked] —- “The biggest thing the Browns can do to make this transition a success is to just stick to the plan. Much has been made about how Horton’s defense will “mirror” Pittsburgh’s defense (a notion that Horton shot down at his press conference by saying, “I’m not sure what Pittsburgh is. I know what we will be”) but the best way to mirror Pittsburgh is to adopt their philosophy: identify the type of players that fit your system and draft those players, no matter who the coach is. The Steelers have been successful because Dick LeBeau is a good defensive coordinator, but also because they never deviate from their system. You see the same thing with Baltimore, which has had a solid defense despite going through numerous defensive coordinators because general manager Ozzie Newsome has been the one constant and has always stuck to the plan. If Horton is successful, there’s a real chance that he will be gone in a year or two to be a head coach somewhere. So, really, the success and growth of the team fall on owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO Joe Banner and coach Rob Chudzinski; they must decide what they want the Browns to be on both sides of the ball and stick to their convictions when it comes to drafting or signing free agents. (And grooming someone on the current staff to eventually replace Horton wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.) That way, it doesn’t matter if they lose a coach along the way; it is the philosophy that is just as important as the coach.” [Moore/Red Right 88] —- Grumble grumble- “The Browns claim eight football titles: Four from the old All-American Football Conference, and four pre-Super Bowl NFL titles. But the last one of those was in 1964. Since then, the Browns have nothing but a bottomless well of playoff agony. The Drive. The Fumble. Red Right 88. Minnesota and Buffalo are both 0-4 in Super Bowls, and that is its own kind of pain. But those teams were conference champions. They got to stand on the big stage, even if the lights were too bright. The Browns get one step from the top, then fall all the way back down the stairs. The last five seasons for the Browns: 4-12, 5-11, 5-11, 4-12, 5-11. At least they’re consistent. In a season where rookie QBs lit up the league, the Browns’ rookie QB, Brandon Weeden, did not. Plus, he turns 30 next year. There are a few positives. Trent Richardson looks like a top-shelf running back. OT Joe Thomas is one of the best in the league. A couple of potential studs are out there on defense. They’re better than Jacksonville. And historically, they’re still better than Detroit. But sometimes the pain of losing is worse than the pain of never getting there. Then again, if you want to talk about never getting there: The Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings have all won titles in the past 30 years. That lonely Browns championship from 1964 is the last one for any Cleveland team in a major sport. Which is another way of saying, when it comes to sports suffering, the winner is always Cleveland. Chances of a Super Bowl soon: Let’s just not talk about it, OK?” [Tomlinson/Sports on Earth] —- “So, I work at the law firm that was founded in part by the two Cleveland attorneys, Josh Cohen and Ellen Kramer, who brought the case against Modell, and was able to dig up the casefile, the most interesting part of which for now being Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Modell et. al’s Motion for Summary Judgment. This document, as well as any, sets forth the pattern by which Modell lied to the people of Cleveland, and, like most summary judgment papers, cites a number of authenticated documentary exhibits, along with pages of sworn deposition testimony. This includes pages from Bill Belichick’s personal notebook, and testimony from the likes of Belichick, Modell and Al Lerner themselves.” [Pattakos/Cleveland Frowns]
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