Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 11/14/14

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“Free safety Eric Hagg, a seventh-round pick from a year ago, looks like the most improved player on the team. He’s running with the first team, and he isn’t close to losing that job by the way he’s playing. Hagg is constantly around the ball. What helped him the most is the Browns didn’t place him on injured reserve after he had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in August. That allowed him to contribute late in the season, which paved the way to an impressive off-season.

If the season started today, I believe the Browns would go with rookie seventh-round pick Brad Smelley at fullback over Owen Marecic, a fourth-round pick from a year ago whose rookie season was marred by multiple concussions. That would give the Browns an all-Alabama backfield with Smelley and Trent Richardson.” [Hensley/AFC North Blog]

—-

“I think to play at that level, to be at that level, an athlete has to go to a pretty dark place. It isn’t just athletes. I think it’s a place great writers go, great performers, great composers, great scientists, great doctors, great lawyers and so on. I’ve never been there myself, but I imagine it to be a place where nothing else matters, where no one else matters, where there is one overpowering goal and that goal drives every action, ever move, every inspiration. I think it’s a place Michael Jordan loved going — a place he desperately misses going now that he spends his days tearing tags off the back of underwear and building the worst team in NBA history. I think Tiger Woods loves going to that place. Kobe Bryant. Joe Montana. Tom Brady. Mark Messier. I know Roger Clemens loved going there. LeBron? Obviously, I’m making this all up as I go along but … no, I don’t think so.” [Posnanski/Joe Blogs]

—-

“In order to make a trade you need leverage. You can’t exactly put it out there that your main goal is to broker a deal. Teams like the Charlotte Bobcats need to think that you’re comfortable picking at four. In this Draft particularly, there are plenty of reasons to feel comfortable picking at four. Harrison Barnes is one of those reasons. Bradley Beal is another, and even the fact that MKG could possibly fall to four is a third. There’s four, five, and six more reasons to be okay with picking fourth in this Draft as well if you had to, and if you’re reading this post you already know what/who they could be.

There aren’t too many Draft scenarios for the Cavaliers that I’d be specifically upset with. This Draft is unique in that there are a lot of talented players with high upsides that all possess different skill-sets. Andre Drummond’s game is not similar at all to Bradley Beal’s. Harrison Barnes is not similar to Perry Jones III. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t play like Thomas Robinson. I could keep going, but you get the point. There are any number of reasons a GM could fall in love with any number of players.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules]

—-

“Maybe the Indians are just waiting for these guys to fully develop into established, bona-fide stars, but it would seem that Santana, Cabrera, and Kipnis are well on their way to being among the elite players at their positions at their respective positions. Unfortunately, without the reminder of how well these players are playing and without them getting the marketing push that they should, fans continue to focus on what the team is not (LF) instead of what the team looks to be and could be going forward. Certainly, the Brewers didn’t have an ad campaign prior to the season that would come close to calling Lucroy a “Rising Star”, but (injury or not) they promoted one of their own in an effort to familiarize their fanbase with a player that was out to a hot start.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

—-

Finally, read about the Kent State run in the NCAA baseball tournament. [Jackson/FSO]

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