While We’re Waiting… Buckeyes Tumble, Browns’ Offense Good Enough and More Sizemore

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“How in the name of Woody could this team come out flat? Home game. Senior Day. Penn State. Two previous weeks of slow starts to learn from. Unreal. The Travis Howard show started early as he committed a PI on the first play from scrimmage. He bit hard on a double move, pushed his man out of bounds then gave the “what’d I do” gesture to the official. Excellent play. Three plays later, on 3rd and 4, he was beat to the spot on a slant for a 12 yard chain-mover. Two plays later, Stephfon Green foreshadowed the rest of the game as ran though a huge hole up the gut and easily outran the back seven for six. Five plays, 80 yards, two and half minutes, 7-0 Lions.

The offense then took the field trying to stop the early bleeding we’ve come to love so much. Braxton did what he could improvising on 3rd and 15 as he scrambled to his right and found Posey for 39 yards. That play went for naught however as Brewster shanked the snap on 3rd and 6 to set up 4th and 13 from the PSU 35. Instead of attempting a 52 yard FG, Fickell opted to punt which the usually stellar Buchanan blasted into the endzone for a touchback. So, in forgoing a shot at scoring points, Fickell’s bunch netted 15 yards. Freakin Sweet.” [Chris/Eleven Warriors]

“Just less than three weeks ago on October 31st the Indians chose to decline outfielder Grady Sizemore’s $9 million club option and the chances of him returning were remote. While he and the Indians would still keep in contact in the offseason, the general feeling was that it was a long shot for him to return to the Indians. Many thought that there would be more than enough potential suitors to give him a one year deal close to the $9 million option the Indians declined.

All that changed late Friday night as reports swirled like a tornado that discussions between the Indians and Sizemore’s agent Joe Urbon had reached the very serious stage. So much so that an official announcement could come anytime in the next 48 hours that he is coming back to the Indians. Talk about a complete reversal of direction for both Sizemore and the Indians.” [Tony/Indians Prospect Insider] Tony again, talking Tribe 40-man roster moves.

“It stands to reason that more dramatic changes would have a more dramatic impact on of competitive balance. Two come to mind: Unlimited maximum salaries. Henry Abbott has been beating this drum for months, so I’ll cede the floor to him. But his point is gloriously simple: If LeBron earned what LeBron is worth, he couldn’t be on the same team as Dwyane Wade. Neither side has been especially interested in this concept.

Forcing top teams to forfeit first-round draft picks. The union pitched this idea very early in the talks as a way to achieve more balance, and it got basically zero traction. The idea would have worked like this: The top three or four teams would lose their first-round picks, generally found very late in the first round, and give them to the worst three or four teams who already have the top picks.

Most low first-rounders produce very little; the average 26th pick has had the career arc of Charlie Ward. But a first-round pick is a precious chance for that magic combination of luck, intuition and skill to land your team a second-tier star (Parker or Rondo) or at least a solid starter. It’s unlikely, but it’s possible, and history suggests getting four first-round picks (two high, two low) over two years is the fastest way for any team — even big-market clubs — to get good. But you can see the problems, right? It’s an idea that would punish good teams, not just rich ones. The Thunder are going to need solid contributors around their core players, especially if one such core guy leaves, and it seems wrong to rob them of their best chance to find a good (and cheap) one.” [Lowe/The Point Forward]

Browns TE Ben Watson answers questions about the offense and Shurmur- “When asked whether these red-zone issues stemmed from a design flaw or a lack of execution, Watson offered the following. “I don’t have an answer for that,” Watson said. “We practice red zone a lot. We have some good red-zone plays, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about execution when we get there. We need to start finding a special urgency when we get there, because the defenses get tougher and it gets tougher to run the ball. It’s a challenge.” As for the play-calling, Shurmur, serving the dual role of rookie head coach and embattled offensive play- caller, opened up his bag of tricks in an attempt to spark a dormant offense last Sunday against the Rams. The results were mixed, as the Browns enjoyed a few sparks of success, but again failed to reach the end zone.” [DK/Fox Sports]

Finally, Josh Cribbs chimes in on the Browns’ win. [WFNY Tumblr]