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Scott talks with The 700 Level about this week’s game– “The Browns offensive line gave up three sacks — including two strips — in the first quarter of their preseason encounter with the Eagles. They are starting a rookie right tackle who draws a tough assignment in Jason Babin. Any way this won’t be a bloodbath?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about this. If Richardson does indeed play, the entire landscape is changed as I’d fully expect the running game to merely pick apart that wide-nine with belly- and draw-calls. That said, if Richardson does not suit up and the Browns fall behind and are forced to throw the ball more, it could get ugly really fast.” [Kulp/700 Level]
“Indians manager Manny Acta didn’t have much to say about the latest comments from his vocal reliever.
“That’s his opinion and I don’t have anything to add to it,” Acta told The Plain Dealer. “We all have different DNA and we all have to live with each other and deal with each other the best way we can. What really concerns is when he comes into the game in the ninth inning to save the game and gets it. The rest of the stuff we handle internally.”
Really, what is Acta going to say? He knows as well as anyone that what Perez says is true.” [Red Right 88]
Play-making QBs vs Game managers– “The disdain for NFL game managers has grown in proportion to the cliché “This is a quarterback’s league’’ and the rise of 4,000-yard passing seasons. It all adds up to an orthodoxy that thoroughly discounts the possibility of another Trent Dilfer or, more aptly, Brad Johnson winning a Super Bowl.
Since Tampa Bay won 10 years ago with an incendiary defense and the relatively tepid Johnson under center, big arms have ruled the game — Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, twice apiece, plus the elder Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. [Knapp/Sports on Earth]
“The Browns, much like the Orioles in the AL East (before 2012 at least), have also struggled by virtue of their competition. It’s tough to compete in a division where the three other teams made the playoffs, as the AFC North managed to pull off last season, let alone one with two perennial powerhouses in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. That ensures a difficult divisional slate annually, and the Browns will supplement that schedule with awful ordering. Cleveland starts the season with games against the Eagles, Bills, Ravens, and Giants, and two games versus the Bengals, a stretch that could also include the absence of star cornerback Joe Haden by virtue of a PED suspension.
Last year, their hope was to ride a relatively rare easy stretch at the beginning of their campaign to some momentum, but they followed a 3-3 start with just one win over their final ten games. This year, by the time they get to the easier stretch, the Browns might be auditioning for Banner, Haslam, and the right to ride yet another rebuild.” [Barnwell/Grantland]
“If Ohio State wins its half of the Big Ten, the Leaders Division would then be forced to send its second-place team to the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis. That’s league policy and has always been known: If you’re banned from a bowl, a conference isn’t going to let you play for the automatic bowl bid that the conference has.
What was unclear is the fact that the Buckeyes can still play for some hardware.
“If a team plays eight games and all eight games count and at the end of the year they’re atop the division, then they are division champions,” Big Ten assistant commissioner for communications Scott Chipman said in a phone call today.” [Lesmerises/Cleveland.com]