Red Right 88

Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

5 Questions in 5 Days: Browns training camp battles

browns training camp westThe Cleveland Browns will spend the next six weeks fine tuning their roster as they prepare for the start of the 2014 NFL season on Sept. 7 in Pittsburgh against the Steelers.

The bulk of the roster appears to be pretty much set, but there are still some questions the team will be looking to answer in the upcoming weeks.

Along the offensive line, the Browns will be looking to find a guard tandem from among John Greco, rookie Joel Bitonio, Garrett Gilkey and Jason Pinkston (who has missed practice so far for undisclosed medical reasons). Greco and Bitonio appear to be the front runners and they both bring a nasty streak that will play well in the AFC North. The coaches also need to determine if Mitchell Schwartz really is the answer at right tackle, because if he is not, there are not a lot of good second options.

In the backfield, Ben Tate should win the starting slot at running back, with rookie Terrance West sure to see significant time as well. Who else makes the roster among the running backs comes down to a rather unremarkable grab bag that includes the likes of Dion Lewis and Edwin Baker, among others.

The uncertainty over Josh Gordon’s availability has the starting wide receiver positions in a state of flux, although slot receiver Andrew Hawkins has to be an improvement over what Davone Bess brought to the table last season.

And we’re not even ready to talk about the quarterback position (at least not for a couple of more days).

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From the editor’s notebook …

browns open training campThe Cleveland Browns had their first full day of training camp on Saturday, and with it came the annual hoopla of hope and optimism that this year will be different.

For a team that has made going either 4-12 or 5-11 each season into an art form, the Browns don’t have as many roster questions as one would expect heading into the 2014 NFL season. With a few exceptions, we pretty much know who will be on the roster; it is just a question in a few spots of who will be the starter and who take on a backup role.

But that doesn’t mean there are not questions that need answered, of course. The Browns once again have a new coaching staff, led by head coach Mike Pettine, which also means a new offense under coordinator Kyle Shanahan and a new defense under coordinator Jim O’Neil.

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Who do ya Love? For the Cavs, it should be Andrew Wiggins

keep andrew wigginsKevin Love or Andrew Wiggins?

Who do you like? More importantly, who should the Cleveland Cavaliers like?

That’s the question that has been rattling around in our brain since the news broke that the Cavs were on the verge (any moment know) of trading with Minnesota for Love in a deal that would include Wiggins. (Unless of course they’re not; it’s been nothing if not a fluid situation.)

From the time the news first broke we’ve been firmly in the Keep Wiggins camp; he just got here and we would very much like to see what he can do with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

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16 observations on the Cleveland Browns 2014 schedule

Cleveland Browns Logo BadgeThe Cleveland Browns open training camp this week which means we are only 49 days away from the start of the 2014 NFL season.

The Browns will head into the season with a new coach, a new philosophy and (possibly) a new quarterback.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the upcoming schedule with an observation or two about each team the Browns will face this year.

Week 1 at Pittsburgh: The last time the Browns opened the season on the road against the Steelers, they were led by a first-year, defensive-minded head coach. The result? A 51-0 beating of the Steelers to open the 1989 season.
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From the editor’s notebook …

luis suarez back sideLiverpool made it official on Friday, agreeing to a £75 million pound deal with Barcelona for striker Luis Suárez.

And so ends one of the more bizarre three years for a player and a club.

It’s hard to know how much Liverpool will miss Suárez, who is as talented as anyone playing the game when he wants to be. But the fact that the club no longer trust that Suárez won’t do something stupid on the pitch makes the move a necessary one. After his latest incident at the World Cup, it seems pretty clear that club officials decided they needed to do something while they could still get top value for Suárez. And it is not hard to think they felt a bit betrayed, as well, as the club has done nothing but support Suárez from the moment he arrived from Ajax in January 2011.

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LeBron James realizes that there is no place like home

lebron comes homeTwo days ago when we wrote about how much had changed with the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past four years, the biggest unanswered question was just how much had changed for LeBron James.

We learned the answer today as James announced that he is indeed coming back to the Cavs in free agency.

“I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.”

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Four years has changed a lot for the Cleveland Cavaliers

lebron changes everythingFour years is a long time in the world of sports as players come and go; managers and coaches are hired, fired and rehired; and games are won and lost.

But sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same, especially when it comes to Cleveland sports.

Four years ago at this time, the Browns were embarking on yet another regime change. The Indians were meandering through another disappointing season.

And the Cavs were facing the biggest decision (pardon our word choice) in franchise history as they were in a fight to retain the services of free agent LeBron James.

Fast forward to now. The Tribe is stumbling through the season, currently sitting 6.5 games out of first place in the A.L. Central Division. The Browns are rebooting once again, with a new coach, a (mostly) new front office and a (probably) new quarterback.

And the Cavs once again find themselves working overtime to acquire James in free agency.

But this time it just feels different, especially for the Cavs.

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Is Josh Gordon nearing the end of the line?

Josh Gordon, Ike TaylorThe news that Josh Gordon is once again in trouble with the law caught us by surprise – even though it should not have at this point.

When we first heard the reports that Gordon was stopped for speeding and arrested on DWI charges in Raleigh, we immediately thought the worse. We expected reports of radar readings of more than 100 mph and a blood-alcohol level off the charts. Then we read that he was going 50 mph in a 35-mph zone and was just a tick above the legal limit for alcohol in the state of North Carolina.

For a few seconds all we could think was that this kid just can’t catch a break. But the reality is that this is all his doing.

And now we’re worried that he is beyond help.

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USA’s World Cup run ends too soon, but future is promising

usa loses belgiumWhen a team enters into a tournament format like the World Cup knockout stage, you always know that the next game can be the last one.

But that doesn’t mean it is any easier when the end finally comes.

Such is the case for the U.S. team, which saw its World Cup run end on Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to Belgium.

We try to come to terms with the end, and take a look at what the future may hold, in our latest post at World Soccer Talk.

(Photo courtesy of The Associated Press)

 

Kyrie Irving signs contract extension with Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers v Phoenix SunsAlmost from the moment that former NBA Commissioner David Stern made the announcement that the Cleveland Cavaliers had selected Kyrie Irving in the 2011 NBA Draft, Cleveland Cavaliers fans have been told – repeatedly- that it was only a matter of time before Irving fled Cleveland.

A sampling of those media reports includes:

July 18, 2013: “I’ve heard from someone in the know… Kyrie Irving not long for Cleveland” – @BrandonTierney

July 18, 2013: Kyrie Irving denies ridiculous rumor he wants to leave Cleveland Cavs

Nov. 2, 2013: Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving could follow LeBron James out the door

Jan. 30, 2014: Kyrie Irving privately unhappy with Cavaliers

April 4, 2014: “The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland.” – ESPN’s Brian Windhorst

April 7, 2014: Unhappy Irving could impact the NBA Draft

May 26, 2014: Contrary 2 report, reason Cavs won’t offer Kyrie max extension: because they know he wouldn’t accept & don’t want 2 look bad#goinggoinggone – @PeterVecsey1

May 27, 2014: Kyrie Irving inching closer to Lakers

So it was quite a nice twist for Cavs fans to wake up this morning to the following news:

July 1, 2014: Cavs, Irving agree to contract extension

And while we were driving to work this morning, we heard two words echoing from somewhere “deep in the Q” as they traveled across the country for the national media to hear.

We’re not completely sure, but it sure sounded like someone saying “suck it!”

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