Red Right 88

Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

From the editor’s notebook …

pettine nfl combineThe NFL certainly did the Cleveland Browns no favors when it came to laying out the 2014 schedule.

The Browns open the season in Pittsburgh, where they haven’t won in more than a decade, followed by home games against New Orleans and Baltimore. The team will also finish the year by playing four of their final six games on the road.

Welcome to the NFL, head coach Mike Pettine!

“Browns at Steelers in Week 1, in your first game as an NFL head coach? It doesn’t get any better than that. I love this division,” Pettine said in a team statement.

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5 Questions: Cleveland Cavaliers season-ending edition

cavs lose lakersThe Cleveland Cavaliers came into the 2013-14 NBA season with high hopes.

The team had spent the previous three years building a young roster of high draft picks that included Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson. To that group they added veterans Jarrett Jack and Anthony Bynum, along with Anthony Bennett – the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

After three seasons, and 166 losses, the Cavs were ready to replace the draft lottery with a return to the NBA playoffs.

Unfortunately, those dreams went unrealized, as the Cavs finished the year with a record of 33-49, five games out of the final playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.

While the 33 wins was the most for a non-LeBron James team since the 1997-98 season, and a nine-win improvement over last season, the year was still a disappointing one. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an interesting one.

From ugly losses to unexpected wins, to accusations of “buddy ball” and rumors of locker room punches, to Irving being named MVP of the All-Star Game and the firing of general manager Chris Grant, this Cavs season is one fans will talk about for quite some time (even if it may not be for the reasons we like).

To help sort through what we all just witnessed over the past 82 games, and figure out some of the important issues facing the team this off-season, we’ve brought together an august panel of some of the best Cavs basketball minds on the Internet for an installment of 5 Questions in 5 Minutes.

Today’s participants are:

Ben Cox, a writer for Waiting for Next Year, Fear the Sword and CavsZine, and possibly the only librarian who can pull off muttonchops. He can be found on Twitter @WFNYBen.

Brendan Bowers, the founding editor of Stepien Rules and a contributing writer for SLAMonline. He is on Twitter @BowersCLE.

Demetri Inembolidis, a former contributing writer for The Cleveland Fan and I Go Hard Now. He is currently a contributor to Goodspeed & Poe and can be found on Twitter @demeatloaf.

Michael Mayer, the founder and editor of Rebuilding Since 1964 and a contributing writer for Real Cavs Fans. Follow him on Twitter @RS64mikemayer.

Wade Foley covers the Cavs for More Than a Fan: Cleveland and scouts and writes for NetScouts Basketball. He can be found on Twitter @FoleyLoaded_NBA.

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Browns make Bobby Garrett Stanford’s first No. 1

bobby garrett cleveland brownsThe Cleveland Browns hold two first-round draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft.

While many expect the Browns to use one of those picks on a quarterback, history shows that drafting a quarterback – especially one in the first round – has been an exercise in futility for the Browns.

Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have drafted six quarterbacks in the first round and none of them have worked out.

In Part One of our series on those six quarterbacks, we looked at Harry Agganis, the team’s first-round selection in 1952.

Today we focus on Bobby Garrett, the first Stanford quarterback taken No. 1 overall in the draft.

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Browns lost Harry Agganis to Red Sox in 1952

The Runner 1951 AGGANIS, HARRYThe Cleveland Browns hold two first-round draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft.

While many expect the Browns to use one of those picks on a quarterback, history shows that drafting a quarterback – especially one in the first round – has been an exercise in futility for the Browns.

Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have drafted six quarterbacks in the first round and none of them have worked out.

Today, in the second part of our series on those ill-fated six quarterbacks, we take a look at Harry Agganis, a first-round selection in 1952.

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The Browns, quarterbacks and the draft – a cautionary tale

tim couch draftedThe NFL Draft will open on May 8 in New York City with the Cleveland Browns holding two selections in the first round and 10 draft picks over all.

Over the course of the three-day draft, Browns general manager Ray Farmer will face a puzzle that has continually befuddled his predecessors ever since the Browns entered the National Football League in 1950.

How can the team find a quarterback to lead them to their first championship since 1964?

Anyone who has watched the Browns since they returned to the league in 1999 knows that quarterback has been the one position on the team that has been a continual nightmare. But the problem goes back even further than that.

Since the mid-1970s, when we first started spending our Sunday afternoons with those guys in the orange helmets, the Browns have had exactly two good quarterbacks – Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar. You can throw in Vinnie Testaverde in 1994 and Derek Anderson in 2007, if you’d like, but they were both one-year wonders and neither was drafted by the Browns.

And therein resides the problem.

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Indians quickly learning that it is no longer 2013

tribe lost in chicagoThe Cleveland Indians won 92 games and captured the second Wild Card slot in the American League in 2013 thanks in large part to two incredible, but ultimately unsustainable stats: their record against Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox (a combined 30-8) to go along with 11 walk-off wins.

Through the first two weekends of this season, it has become evident that it is no longer 2013.

The Tribe had a disappointing weekend in Chicago, dropping three-of-four to the White Sox. Add that to last weekend’s series against the Twins, when the Indians lost two-of-three, and things have taken a turn for the worse early in the season.

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It’s on the Browns now to make the Alex Mack deal work out

alex mack resignsWell that didn’t take very long.

This morning, Pro Bowl center Alex Mack signed an offer sheet with the Jacksonville Jaguars. By this afternoon, the Browns matched the deal, meaning Mack will be in Cleveland for at least two more years.

The deal guarantees Mack $18 million over the first two years of the deal ($10 million this fall, $8 million in 2015, with $8 million per year in the final three years of the contract), and includes an option for Mack to walk away after two years if he is not happy.

“I’m excited for both Alex and the Browns,” Farmer said in a team statement. “We have talked about keeping our own players and this is a positive for us. Alex is a quality person and player that truly brings to life what playing like a Brown means.”

So the Browns now have two years to make sure that does not happen. But before we get to that, we wanted to go over a few items we’ve seen talked about in the past few days concerning Mack, his position and free agency in general.

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Are the Browns going to lose their Alex Mack gamble?

alex mack offer sheetEver since early in the 2013 NFL season when the news came out that Alex Mack was not going to negotiate a new contract with the Cleveland Browns until after the season, we’ve been on the side of not worrying about anything until their is something to worry about.

Well, we may now have something to worry about.

The news came out today that Jacksonville will sign Mack to an offer sheet on Friday, one that will be for five years and is reportedly “designed to make it as difficult as possible for the Browns to match” the offer.

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Former Browns quarterbacks prove to be a resilient bunch

will browns winWith the NFL now just a month away, the talk is heating up about who the Cleveland Browns will select – especially in the first round.

Many expect the Browns to select from the group of top-ranked quarterbacks that includes (in no particular order), Blake BortlesDerek CarrTeddy BridgewaterJimmy GarropoloTom SavageKeith Wenning and Johnny Manziel.

If the Browns get it right, they shouldn’t have to worry about drafting another quarterback for at least a decade. (Imagine a world where we don’t have to talk about Browns quarterbacks every year.)

And if they get it wrong? Well, the secondary market for Browns quarterbacks in the NFL has turned into an especially fruitful one.

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From the editor’s notebook …

tribe carrasco twinsIt was a rough start to the home portion of the 2014 schedule for the Cleveland Indians.

In dropping two-of-three to the Minnesota Twins who are not … very good … the Tribe was done in by its starting pitching and lack of clutch hitting.

Danny Salazar had the best start of the weekend, even through the struggled through 5.2 innings of work in Friday’s home opener. While he gave up seven hits, Salazar managed to find a way to hold the Twins to just two runs and give the offense time to rally.

Carlos Carrasco had his own issues on Saturday, but unlike Salazar, Carrasco doesn’t have the makeup to work himself out of problems. Carrasco followed Salazar’s lead by working just 5.2 innings and giving up seven hits, but he couldn’t keep the Twins off the scoreboard in giving up five runs (four earned).

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