KKE Part 2: Trolls and Team Needs Edition

Scheiner-and-Morey

Kanick’s vote for most over-hyped went to Sloan Conference hanger-outer, Alec Scheiner.  (Pictured with over-hyped NBA GM Daryl Morey.)
Read on for Kolonich’s pick.

In case you missed it, KOLONICH and KANICKI have things to say.  Here’s the first part of the exchange.

4.  Regarding the 2013 Browns, is Trolling the Same as Saying “I Told You So?”

KANICKI:  I think so, yes.

I mean, I’m now Mr. Downtick on the WFNY comment board and I know it’s because not only don’t people want to think about how this season went down, they don’t want to hear about how smart you were flagging the problems during free agency and draft; and they DAMN SURE don’t want proof of your prescient wisdom provided through convenient hyperlinks.

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Yes, that’s pending UFA Alex Mack grading out PFF’s 3rd best center.
Not to be outdone…

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… pending UFA TJ Ward grades as #2 among strong safeties.
If you think this was unpredictable, you must be new around here.

So I try to keep quiet but the occasional “I’m down with Joe Banner” post or “Alex Mack isn’t that good” comment will bring me out.  It’s truly like the Stooges’ Niagara Falls bit.  “Banner is saving cap space and accumulating draft picks is wise shepherding of resources.”  Slowly I turned… step-by-step… Leon McFadden..

KOLONICH:  I was called either negative or naive for saying it then, but the Browns’ front office missed on the 2013 draft. If an NFL team is only as good as their last 3-5 drafts, then the 2016 Browns are going to suffer.

The whole “smartest guys in the room (for not drafting players)” resulted in the following:

  1. Barkevious Mingo – A uniquely talented player who needs a unique defensive scheme to make an impact. Unfortunately for Mingo, Ray Horton’s “exotic” defense often lines Mingo up as a conventional pass rusher.
  2. Leon McFadden – I can imagine McFadden entering 2014 as the team’s fourth corner – if only by default.
  3. Armonty Bryant – A good find in the seventh round.

And then there’s that whole “Paul Kruger is just a guy, Desmond Bryant has a serious heart problem, Davone Bess is pointless and Gary Barnidge could be the team’s best free agent signing” thing.

Meanwhile, the 2013 team heads into 2014 with the exact same holes and probably a couple more after failing to re-sign Alex Mack and T.J. Ward.

But I’m not the type of person to say “I told you so.”

And since we’re so close to 2014….

5.  Who Has Already Won the 2014 Most Unnecessarily Hyped by the Media Award?

KOLONICH:  By the time the PD unveils Browns Hype: Space Mountain 2014 edition, Josh Gordon will have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.  This can only mean that Gordon also wins the Backlash for Not Reaching Our Unreasonable Expectations award.  Just wait for those Comments of the Day when Gordon doesn’t finish with 3,000 receiving yards next December.

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Kolonich’s Mettenberger analysis overlooks the Mo Isom bonus factor (click). Besides, says here that Aaron Murray is the more likely (and preferable) injured SEC QB.

The easy answer to this question is whoever the Browns take with the higher of their two first round draft picks.  Naturally if the pick is a quarterback, that player (Zack Mettenberger) is the easy winner.

However, what I suspect will happen is that both the homegrown homer portions of the Browns’ fan base, along with the revisionist wing will celebrate the return of Brian Hoyer as a conquering hero. After all, winning two and a half games and “saving” the season for the first time (and doing it before Josh Gordon went nuclear) will turn Hoyer into an offseason icon of sorts.

In the grand scheme of futile Browns’ expansion era quarterback duels, Hoyer-Campbell has the makings of….at least something kind of tangible? And since Mettenberger (always remember Mike Lombardi’s affinity for the SEC) was born to be on the Browns’ injured reserve list, the front runner to be the 20th starting QB since 1999 gets the nod here.

KANICKI:  The nominees are:

  • Paul Kruger
  • Norv Turner
  • Ray Horton
  • Braxton Miller

But I’m going off the board with ALEC SCHEINER. Because when you can hire a CEO who speaks at the country’s most over-hyped sports conference and is pals with the country’s most over-hyped blogger after having honcho’d the building of the most over-hyped stadium for the most over-hyped owner of the most over-hyped pro sports franchise… you have to do it. #analytics1[anything_slides]

More to come in the days ahead.  Add your voice in the Comments below.
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  1. Linked is a fairly breathless analytics/Scheiner ball-washing where it was revealed by Scheiner that [former Mozilla employee] “Ken Kovash has been wearing Browns gear to work every day so he fits in with the coaches and scouts that are his co-workers.” [back]
  • Peter Markos

    Fresno State
    to be continued

  • GRRustlers

    Sorry I was going to respond but I got sucked back into that Mo Isom vortex and well you know…

    I agree with you on most things football related but I would have to draw the line on Alec Scheiner. I say this for one reason and one reason only. The Cleveland Browns are the most poorly marketed football team in the NFL playing in what might be one of the worst 5 stadiums in the league.

    This is his only job. Improve the stadium and improve the image of the Browns. We can argue about the methods used to pay for things and what the overall vision would be and god forbid the outcry that will come with the uniform changes in the near future but that is his job. The Cowboys may be a joke on the field but as far as stadium and marketing go they have managed to pull off “America’s Team” when a franchise with an on the field record as the Browns would have a much better claim to such title (granted it’s been a while). Alec has nothing to do with winning. That’s on Haslam and Banner and Lombardi and if they miss on the QB this offseason we are screwed for the next 3 years. If they hit on the guy we get to talk about playoffs this time next year.

    The nominees for overrated pretty much begin and end with Ray Horton. His inability to find a way to use Mingo is just bizarre. Mingo makes one play a game that takes your breath away and this guy can’t find a way to get him in space and use his athletic ability.

    • alec scheiner was hyped under the brands of ‘analytics nouveau analytics young turk new breed go-getter sloan forwardd thinking young analytics.’

      my position then and now is the same: who the fuck cares that the browns have an IT guy from mozilla if it don’t improved the team on the field? ie, what good are scheiner’s credentials if he’s not applying them to player selection in the draft room? what good is data if you’re not going to spend up to the cap?

      i mean: i didn’t know the old browns’ CEO or COO or whatever c-level title scheiner has.. and i didnt care because he was the guy organizing the Play60 outreach programs and website redesign.

      the browns need zero marketing help. they want to market the team better? WIN.

      you know the browns unis will look like the lions next year, right?

      • GRRustlers

        I think here is where we may be on different pages. I was never under any impression he had anything to do with ANYTHING on the field. If he was and that’s how he was introduced than hell yeah F him and throw him in the same pile with everyone else. I just viewed him as a stadium guy and well the stadium sucks.

        And as far as marketing and winning go…well they don’t matter. The Cowboys are proof of that…unless 8-8 is the end goal and if it is then we have a real problem. (Even though a large part of the fan base would sign up for that right now)

        I have no clue what angle they are going with the unis but the backlash is coming whatever they do…speaking of that…did they just abandon the elf? I mean they showcase him one Sunday and then just gone…never to be seen again.

  • bupalos

    Still think you’re pretty stone cold bonkies in your analysis of the draft and offseason. First, value is value, and there really is a limit to how many rookies and second years you can effectively absorb on a squad without hurting everyone. The youngest team in the league needs 4th round rookies running around in the secondary? They failed to play McFadden (who doesn’t look bad) for exactly that reason. This goes in double spades for a team running Brandon Weeden at QB. So turning Sharknado Thomas or whatever large corner or safety equivalent was available at 102 last year into probably 80 or so this year was a VERY good move and the diametrical opposite of “not trying” or whatever.

    Does Mingo need a diversified role? Sure. But he is a rookie, and he’ll need some seasoning before that’s a realistic possibility. I hated the pick, but it looks pretty good to me now.

    You can talk about holes all you want. There is one hole on this team that could have made more than a 1 game difference in either direction, and we all know what it is, and acting like not getting a more dominant player than Kruger had anything to do with the way the season went down is silly.

    Simple formulas:
    Current Cleveland Browns + above average QB play = likely division win and playoffs
    Current Cleveland Browns + far below average QB play = 5-11 again and a host of theories about why and how the front office sucks, we need bigger corners, there are too many defensive linemen, and we all told you so.

    • i just dont get the defense of that mingo pick. dont get it all. mingo is sheard but less so. rams offered us alec ogletree (playmaker + linebacker body + kam-chancellor-type safety body + plus fills need) + the second rounder

      but then again, this is the fan base who was rip shit that they didn’t offer enough first round picks for robert griffin.

      maybe it all turns out fine. but the pass banner et al get after this draft –not to mention the not-playing-due-to-heart-condition-and-plays-taylor/rubins-position-anyway-so-wtf desmond bryant.. and kruger.

      cripes you cant even say they knew skrine and cameron were gonna be good because barnidge and mcfadden.

      i’m just saying someone should break their balls a little. instead i would say takes like yours bup are the majority and it kinda makes me sad.

      • Dave Kolonich

        I was very much against the Mingo pick when it happened – at least at the spot it happened. Mingo could have been had later in the first round. But I think by now it’s clear that the FO wasn’t exactly prepared to run a draft last April.

        Anyway – Mingo can still be a dominant player in stretches, but he needs a versatile defensive scheme (dare I say an “attacking” scheme) to play in. He is not going to win playing as a conventional outside pass rusher taking on NFL left tackles – which is exactly what Horton has had him do for the past couple months.

        • bupalos

          I agree heartily that Mingo needs some creative use. But theoretically he’s exactly the piece we need when they teach him some coverage.

          • theoretically braylon edwards winding down his hall of fame career.

          • bupalos

            Alright. You’re on record. Mingo’s a bust.

          • that’s remarkably and deliberately not what i said.

            my comment above points up the fallacy of projecting theoretical outcomes on players gifted with great talent and chosen high in the draft. it is incorrect to imply that because a player is a great athlete and taken early in the draft that he will be “exactly the piece we need.”

            shame on you for going sports radio talk show host on me.

          • bupalos

            You throw out Braylon’s name in this context and the context of criticizing Banner for a draft you clearly think falls somewhere between bad and horrible and a punt, I’m not sure what conclusions are to be drawn. Maybe none.

            The whole problem here is that while you are the one flailing for evidence of Banner’s rank incompetence or deliberate lack of “trying,” there is no one pushing things as hard the other way on the other side. No one is calling him a genius. Some of us just are looking at the big picture and think your idea of barely covering all the bases on a team living in Weedenville is worse than his idea of building strengths in chunks, saving some powder for when it matters, and not doing the Cowboy’s thing. And for all the small tickytack on how horrible it is to have Mingo and Kruger instead of Ogletree and Grimes, the biggest move they’ve made (TR) was evidence of clear-sightedness and a near coup in my book.

      • bupalos

        I see what I see. This is a good team without a QB. Good like win-it-all good, like a better core than a bunch of teams headed to the playoffs right now, though it’s hard not to be concerned about this 4th Q. collapse thing. And we’re actually set to drop in the piece that makes this thing go AND lock down the core AND add a little more veteran presence.

        Their worst mistake so far turns out to be Bess who can arguably be said to have lost us 1 or 2 games on his own. And that was by all accounts a solid signing, the guy just went sour. Kruger’s good, not beating the world but pretty good. And Mingo is showing as much top end as Ogletree though I’d marginally agree I’d rather have him and a 2nd.

        • if we’re seeking common ground, i will agree that bess is the worst mistake followed by the mistakes of

          bess
          kruger
          bryant
          mingo
          non signing mack
          non signing ward

          from a personnel perspective the question becomes what did they do right?

          garrett gilkey? armonty bryant? (no t-rich is not a personnel move yet because for all we know they’ll draft another r-rich or bradon weeden.)

          for a guy who shat upon tom heckert* he sure hasn’t brought anything to the table.

          *“Everybody talked about a long-term plan, but when’s the last time the team traded for a future draft pick? [**cough** jujones **cough**] When’s the last time the team said, ‘We may not have position ‘X’ with the best player this year because there’s nobody in the marketplace who’s that good, and we don’t want to waste all the future cap money just so we win six games instead of five?”

          • bupalos

            But see there, Bess was a no-brainer signing. The entire league and anyone with a brain thought that was a good (if minor move.) The guy just went sour and lost us games, probably because we (eden) made him run 5 yard crossing patterns into 3 linebackers one too many times.

            Kruger’s an OK signing. He definitely improved his run stop game and it’s crazy to complain about that unit. Bryant was pretty clearly a good signing, although injury or illess is what it is. You need to hold your fire on Mingo, that ship hasn’t come in yet. And you can’t really complain about “non-signing” players that are still on this team.

            Meanwhile, they’ve cap-managed, traded, and deferred us into an incredibly good position for a team this fundamentally solid. They also picked up Hoyer who looks like an asset. I just don’t see the ire. You’re still steamed that they didn’t go all in with Weeden or some random bad rookie. It’s a position that made little sense to me then and even less now that we’ve seen what we’ve seen and are where we are– a competitive team that got screwed or bounced out of some games, that wasn’t going anywhere in any event, now set to lay down the law in this division.

          • BANNER HAS CAP MANAGED US TO .. etc???

            he inherited the second most cap space in the league.
            he did nothing. except bid against himself for kruger. and sign a redundancy to rubin/taylor/hughes with a heart condition. and didnt pay for grimes BECAUSE HE”S SO SMART HE WOULDNT GO FOR A TWO YEAR DEAL.

            joe banner, super genius.

          • bupalos

            >>>sign a redundancy to rubin/taylor/hughes>>>

            >>>bid against himself for kruger>>>

            You realize you’re complaining about the #3 run defense/#5 rushing the passer in the NFL there, right?

            Grimes 2 year? That means it coincides with Haden’s FA, so yeah, counting adding a QB next year that is a cap issue. And now we ARE after 5’10” corners?

            Also what you call “redundancy” and the rest of the league calls depth gives you a lot more flexibility in cap management going forward and more leverage.

          • what i’m pointing out to people who seem perculiarly enthralled with joe banner’s team building acumen is that, for all the fuss about improving the defense, they rank 21st in points allowed this year where they were 19th last year. if you prefer a more ‘sophisticated’ metric, PFR’s Defensive Simple Rating System

            http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/

          • bupalos

            The approach was quite obviously to build in chunks, and it started with the front 7. That unit is probably a coverage specialist away from tops in the NFL, and that guy may be on the team in the form of you know who.

            The point decline of the defense is solely in big plays given up by the secondary in the 4th Q and LB coverage. I expected that unit to be worse than it has been overall, players are clearly improving back there. And if they were holding up in the 4th the same as the first 3 I’m guessing we might be a top 10 unit in points too.

            I think the disconnect is that you are looking at a different way of building, block by block instead of all at once, as evidence of incompetence. It isn’t. It’s a different approach and I think a smarter approach for a team that has no QB.

          • if we have to have a short CB, it would be best to have the 3rd ranked CB in the NFL. (grimes, see attached PFF ranking of top CBs.)

        • oh by the way, re: “good team without a QB”

          given that that applies to what 50%? 70% of teams we should agree that finding a QB is kinda the quest for the holy grail. given the uncertainty of finding a QB — and that’s a safe assumption because it’s not like they were all idiots who didnt want to find a good QB before banner — given that uncertainty: then yes, you patch the holes you know you can while the quest proceeds in the background.

          not a binary thing. you can improve other positions while at the same time trying to find your qb.

          • bupalos

            70% of the teams in the NFL do not have worse QB play than us. Or 50%. Maybe 9% do, tops. And you’re wrong. You blow your cap room and suddenly your only option at QB is be bad and get lucky, only half of which equation do we ever seem to cover.

            Due to saving some powder, the Browns can probably drop Cutler in if they want (I’ve cooled on that) or possibly make a cap-unfriendly trade (Acto says we’re getting Romo, I’m heating up on that) and pretty well guarantee themselves relevance next year–this is in addition to drafting a future hope via THE BEST TRADE MADE IN THE LAST DECADE, courtesy of this horrible clueless FO.

            Madly filling perceived potholes on a team going nowhere without a QB is, to me, the least rational approach to this problem.

          • i thought the bar was set at ‘good QBs’ not ‘better than brandon weeden QBs.’

            good QBs: brady, flacco, roethlis, luck, pmanning, asmith, rivers, emanning, rodgers, brees, newton, ryan, wilson, palmer, kaep. that’s 15. 15/32= 47%. or 53% percent of teams don’t have good QBs.

            perceived potholes? damn. i mean, just, damn.

          • bupalos

            Romo… cutler…. let me think here….

          • bupalos

            stafford

          • you’ve lost it man.

          • bupalos

            Why is Luck good and Stafford bad? They’ve had fairly similar starts, with maybe a slight nod to Stafford though he’s had better talent.

          • both of whom would be available because they were jettisoned specifically because they were not franchise qbs.

          • bupalos

            both of whom are as good as flacco at least. I don’t care if their teams are dumb about it.

          • GRRustlers

            Do the 2014 Browns make the playoffs with the following QBs?

            Romo – Yes
            Cutler – Yes
            Hoyer – Yes
            Any rookie QB – Probably not.

            So the bigger question is are we willing to give Derek Carr the keys to the team for a 5-8 win team in hopes we win big in the future or do we want to go for it the next 2 years.

            (Big Hoyer fan here…know that may get me crucified and for the love of god I don’t care that he is from here)

          • GRRustlers

            Keep in mind this is assuming a FO that resigns Ward and Mack and finds an OG and a RB to pair with Lewis next year.

          • fine. i agree.* i agree that the bengals have a great -maybe the best- overall roster and shit qb and so won’t go anywhere. i agree that a competent qb is important.

            so why haven’t we fucking got one in the last fucking 20 years?

            i mean that’s my point: the whole we coulda drafted xyz or signed abc. if it were easy, we’d have one.

            and none of the qb talk diminishes the fact that huge FA dollars were wasted at positions of relative strength and that the guard play is shit and your losing your all-pro center.

            which brings me back to the original point: what is up with the banner luv around here.

            *my agreement is also an indictment of the strength of the AFCN.

          • GRRustlers

            No Banner love here. I have no opinion on him at all until I see how Mack and Ward play out this spring.

          • bupalos

            This is my point. We’re a playoff team with upwards of 70% of the QB’s in the NFL. So I’m pretty glad they left us in a position to acquire someone at least of that caliber.

          • bupalos

            I desperately do not want Carr. I think he’s a dummy and if you watch that offense it’s about 50% YAC on slants and bubble screens.

          • GRRustlers

            I’ll admit to being a Carr fan.

            However I also thought Jimmy Clausen was best suited for Cleveland since it would just be a short trip to Canton in 2 decades so I know nothing about the QB spot.

            (Actually a bigger fan of taking the kid from Ball State in the mid rounds, building him up and having him learn under Hoyer)

          • bupalos

            Can’t say I’ve been any kind of Acto savant when it comes to QB’s but I will say that the way the position has evolved (as well as seeing the inverse example in Weeden) has convinced me that game smarts, work ethic, and desire have never been more important. I don’t necessarily like Carr on any of those measures.

  • Enigmatic Evil

    Love it, and I have to agree. It’s hard to hear the truth, I try my best to be critical of this team as any fan and during this “year of indifference” I’ve found it harder to hear the truth than any year before it. Holmgren is gone, Shurmur is gone. These were great things to happen to this team and I felt like that alone was going to make 2013 amazing. Reality set in of course and am I happy with what I like to call Lombanner and Chud? Well I’ll take a 33/66 split I guess… There really isn’t anything here I disagree with. Mingo has a lot of talent but he’s not complimentary to this system and we need him to become the premier playmaker of our defense.

    If anything was proven to me this season is that I like the offensive system, we just need a damn quarterback and a running game and at the very least we might not confuse Norv Turner’s new offense with Pat Shurmur’s old one.

    “Meanwhile, the 2013 team heads into 2014 with the exact same holes and probably a couple more after failing to re-sign Alex Mack and T.J. Ward.”

    That was the hardest truth to read in the entire thing. Good stuff K and K!

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