While We’re Waiting… Byron Scott and the hot seat

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“I do realize the collective product is increasingly terrible and I know the Cavaliers are the worst defensive unit in the NBA at the moment. I also listened to a pregame press conference spent discussing aspects of a spider zone that eventually helped Brooklyn shoot 70-percent in the first half last night too.

So there is no way I blame any Cavs fan who is actually still paying attention at this point and believes that the coach should be fired for the product they are being forced to watch. I actually left the Q with six minutes remaining myself because the pain I felt in my eyes was so fierce I feared the possibility of future blindness.

In saying as much, though, the Cavaliers are still best served by allowing themselves to find out what Scott’s capable of doing when equipped with a reputable NBA roster and an organizational goal of winning basketball games. He has not coached in that environment since arriving in Cleveland.” [Bowers/Stepien Rules]


“The rust is still being knocked off – Meyer called a scrimmage last Saturday “awful” – but several go-to guys have emerged. “I think Philly Brown has had a great spring,” Meyer said. “Devin is still a little up and down, but he’s doing pretty good. We have two good tight ends. Vannett and Heuerman are doing a really good job.

“We’re a lot better than we were last year at this time. I couldn’t tell you, first of all, probably who they were a year ago, because we were not very good.” Smith continued his big-play ability in 2012, catching game-winning touchdowns against Cal and Michigan State. That promise began with a play that will be remembered for a lifetime, a dramatic final-minute 40-yard catch in the end zone against Wisconsin in an otherwise forgettable 2011 season.

“You’re not going to find a more talented guy than Devin Smith,” said wide receivers coach Zach Smith. “He’s got to take his game to the next level, and I’ve got to take his game to the next level. That’s what we’re expecting out of him. You can see the growth, but he’s not where we expect him.” It’s no secret that Meyer is a master motivator, and Devin Smith confessed that the coach’s harsh words last spring spurred growth and production from him and his wide receiver mates.” [Rowland/Eleven Warriors]


“While the “Byron Scott can do no wrong crowd” loves to dismiss the collapses against the Miami Heat and New York Knicks away by saying that the Cavaliers had no business having that lead in the first place, that’s no excuse. The NBA plays all 82 games in a season for a reason. On any given night, any team in the NBA can beat any other team. Games between two teams that are comically mismatched don’t just get skipped over, their outcomes assumed. They get played. And they get played because upsets can and do happen. The Miami Heat have lost to the Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic this season. It’s totally possible for them to lose a game to the Cleveland Cavaliers, especially if the Cavaliers were carrying a 27 point lead.

That’s why these collapses cannot be just brushed away under the rug. There are lessons to be learned from these games and, unfortunately for the pro-Byron Scott contingent, that lesson is that Coach Scott sometimes mismanages the game clock and time-outs. The Cavaliers walked away from the Miami Heat loss with a timeout left. When Shane Battier and LeBron James were raining threes down in the Q, Scott failed to make any attempts to disrupt their momentum with a timeout. Examples of this are plentiful throughout most of these Cavaliers collapses. Say what you will about the inevitability of the loss, Scott walked away from those games without exhausting every possible strategy he had available.” [Benedetti/Fear the Sword]


“Aggressive is the new buzzword in Berea. No longer do the Browns hammer on incessantly about “the process” or how they “battled.” Horton’s defenders, clad in burnt orange and seal brown, will be coming for the other team’s quarterback. Horton’s mentor is Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Horton broke into the league as a defensive back with the Cincinnati Bengals where LeBeau was on the coaching staff. Then, during Horton’s coaching career, LeBeau hired him once in Cincinnati and once in Pittsburgh. As a result, Horton likes to blitz because he likes to create pressure by his defenders playing fast and aggressive.” [Delco/The OBR]


“Smith recently put himself under the microscope of a more experienced and respected evaluator when he agreed to participate in “Gruden’s QB Camp,” the show in which former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden goes one-on-one with draft prospects. It’s a fascinating series, because you get to see Gruden ask a lot of the same types of questions you might see if you were in a team interview — especially when the player is asked to go to the whiteboard and detail the schemes and structures he used to get him to this point (You can view a programming schedule here).

“I want to see how much substance is behind these statistics,” Gruden said in the show’s opener. “I want to find out how they pull this off. How they practice it, and how many concepts they have in their offense. I want to find out how he reads patterns, and some of the exact responsibilities he does have.” Gruden got his answer pretty quickly.” [Farrar/Shutdown Corner]

  • humboldt

    The Gruden series is great, but it also feeds the hype machine about players. That said, if Geno Smith is on the board at #6 I hope we strongly consider drafting him. He is quietly impressive in a variety of ways

  • mgbode

    Gruden’s series are great because he has completely embraced the perception that he just loves all QBs and cannot get enough of them. His last few years in TB, he’d have so many QBs looking for “the next Gannon” that it was ridiculous. Now, he just showers love on every QB he interviews.

    I’m not sure on Geno. He’s basically a younger version of Weeden. Same offense, similar stats. And, he had Tavon Austin (Weeden had Blackmon).

  • humboldt

    There are certainly similarities. But Smith is more mobile, more dynamic, younger, and – from all appearances – more outwardly passionate about the game than Weeden. He also sketched a nice impromptu caricature of Gruden (grace under pressure!):

    I’m happiest with Milliner, Ansah, and Jordan, but if they are all off the board I would be supportive of drafting Smith.

  • mgbode

    if they are all off the board, then there’s going to be teams beating down our door for one of the OTs 🙂

    if our FO/coaches determine that Geno is the way to go, then I’m fine with it. I think he could be a good QB, I’m just not all that sure about it.

  • I have no interest in Geno Smith. I don’t believe there is any QB in this draft class, that can step in, and lead an NFL team. All would greatly benefit from NFL coaching. I wasn’t sold on Weeden, thought he was more a product of what he had at OSU, and that he faced zone a lot. I preferred Griffin lll, or Wilson. (Browns had realistic opportunity to get either)

    Weeden’s rookie year would be looked at much differently, if not for the years of Luck, Griffin lll, and Wilson had, in leading teams to the playoffs. I think he played well enough to get the start, with the mindset that good coaching, and the change in offensive philosophy, can elevate his on field play. While being given an opportunity, he isn’t going to be given the season. His on field play will earn, and determine that. Campbell was brought here as insurance policy. He’s a QB that can step right in and play.

    My choice for the Browns has always been Dee Milliner CB (AL) Because Joe Haden is a #1 CB with limitations (he only plays the left side of the field) What would help the Browns defensively as a whole, would be to balance the secondary, close those holes, and windows of opportunities for the opposition. Having a strong CB opposite Haden, will limit teas from dictating favorable match-ups.

    I’m also hoping the aggressive defensive style of play, prefered by new DC Ray Horton, will also help. It doesn’t matter who you have rushing the QB if the ball is gone in 3 steps. Xavier Rhodes CB (FSU) would be my 2nd choice. I may have taken a different approach, had they pursued, and signed a top tier FA CB, I preferred Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB (PHI)

  • BenRM

    The Benedetti piece is really well done.

  • Steve

    Weeden’s rookie year would be looked at much differently if he wasn’t 29, no more than that. You can live with rookie mistakes and growing pains out of the 22 year old kid who isn’t going to hit his prime for 3 more years, but if you take a 29 year old, he doesn’t have time to develop, he should be ready to go. It doesn’t matter how well Luck or RG3 did, even if they never were born, the Browns still have a lot of work to do at the QB position.

  • The_Real_Shamrock


  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Then for one of the rare times I’d happily trade down.

  • It does matter what Luck, Griffin, Wilson, and the others have done, because his progress, or lack thereof, will always be measured against those in his draft class. The Browns basically chose Weeden over Griffin lll and Wilson. I’m not as concerned about his age, more so his failure to show any improvement. it was if he had mentally checked out. He lacked leadership, and never seemed to play with any sense of urgency.

    There’s one thing to reach your prime in 3 years, and another to come in, establish yourself as a leader, be productive, and have success. I think Weeden deserves an opportunity to build off his rookie year, but there has to be substantial gains, in his on field play. He won’t get the whole season to find his way. When you don’t draft the right guy, or the best guy doesn’t play. you’ll always have problems

  • Who cares what Gruden thinks? Seriously, does he ever NOT like anyone? The fence he straddles has become a permanent fixture. What QB has Gruden ever drafted, and developed that had success? What qualifies him as being a QB Guru on any level? Even as a HC, the more he put HIS stamp on Tampa Bay, the worse they became.

    In regards to Geno Smith, and Brandon Weeden, there is no comparison, other than they ran similar offenses, and had success when facing zone coverage. Texas Tech was the first opponent, to go against the norm, and press outside, and bring pressure. The end result was Smith falling out of the Heisman discussion. Other opponents followed that blueprint, and I believe they loss 4-5 games in a row. Weeden is the same, at times he looks to play as if he’s afraid of contact.

    The new regime must have been impressed by what they seen on tape from Thad Lewis, Colt McCoy was easily the 4th QB on this roster, once Jason Campbell was signed. They should have ended that nonsense last season. I think the Brown will draft a QB 3rd round or later (they do not have a 2nd round pick) or attempt to move up. I like EJ Manuel (FSU) and Tyler Bray (UT)

  • I don’t think Smith is more mobile, he DOESN’T want to run the ball, he’d force a bad pass before taking off and running with the ball. He doesn’t handle pressure well. Struggles with anticipated throws, or throwing guys open. He looks great throwing to guys in open space, so did McCoy. There is NO WAY they draft Smith if he falls to 6th, then they would hope someone would trade up, and overpay. The teams that needed QB’s most, have elected instead to go the route of veteran retreads. Dee Milliner CB (AL) has always been my choice.

  • Agreed…. and hopefully this makes them better, and gives them more options, they last 2 times they’ve traded down, didn’t improve them at all. still a 4-5 win team