Cleveland Sports Insiders

Ernie Camacho's favorite blog…


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Manziel’s Best-In-The-League Arm Strength

College Football statistics concern themselves with the realm of the past; they tell the story of what was with very little ability to project what will happen. Were one to use CFB statistics to forecast the future, one would conclude that Case Keenum was the most toolsy QB in history and that Ron Dayne would go on to run rampant over a National Football League unprepared for his Achillean might. College Football stats are the Herodotus of scouting: they chronicle what has happened, aren’t much concerned with what will, and they have a very tenuous relationship with a certain mistress named Truth.

If CFB stats are Herodotus, then game film and scouting might be called College Football’s Thucydides. The tale of the tape confronts us with past performances, and while it is incumbent upon the reader to determine what this means for the future, one can glean a much more complete narrative – how good or poor a QB’s footwork is, how accurate their throws are, whether they’re playing behind an offensive line that weighs a total of 750 pounds. The tape provided us with a conflicting narrative for Johnny Manziel – a QB with abysmal footwork but core strength that resulted in rather good arm strength. If his leg drive were better/existant at A&M, his arm strength might have received a much higher projection.

During his pro day, he demonstrated much-improved footwork. But the resulting improvement arm strength was something no one could have predicted:

Manziel, it seems, has thrown a football from Berea, OH all the way to Cameroon, Africa. Directly east of Nigeria, Cameroon seems like a very strange target for Johnny Manziel to throw to. As of yet, reports are unclear whether Manziel intended to throw the ball to Cameroon, or whether he was aiming for Nigeria and overshot.

While the accuracy issues pose a question, it remains clear that Johnny Manziel now has the single strongest arm in the league – a terrifying prospect both by virtue of his now boundless potential, but also because of the grave, grave health threat now posed to his receivers. If Manziel feels compelled to throw between defenders, the zip he could put on the ball would pose a certain prospect of death or dismemberment to any receivers targeted.

Even before Manziel’s Mach-24 performance, his NFL prospects were divisive, and the question arose whether he was more concerned about his branding than his performance. This literal salvo to the African market is sure to only increase that polarization in the upcoming months.


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Deluded Ralph Wonders What Happened to Johnny Puritan

It boggles comprehension how far from favor quillmanship has fallen. Once upon a Freer America, skill with the quill was the mark of a refined gentleman, and ‘beautiful prose’ once entailed aesthetics in the writing. Nowadays, in today’s frivolous insta-Frappucappucino, I-Want-It-All (and I want it now!), Heisenberg’s Uncertain Principles world, any meandering dullard can push out a thousand words with a BIC. Gone are the days when a fountain pen’s artisan keystrokes festooned a blog. I – I alone! – fight the terrible and necessary fight against eroding morals, striking each key not with ball-point hedonism but with the measured care of the fountain pen.

Yet my struggle is one not only of means but of ends; namely, I find myself deeply concerned with the lapsus virtus of a certain Johannes Futenball and the printing press of sin known as this same man’s Instant Gram chronicle. Namely: Continue reading


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Mock Drafts

Jeff Ellis, our resident Draft Expert will be creating the mock draft portion of our website, and you may also see some of us foray into it as well. Every time we update the Mock, we’ll throw up a quick post to let you know. You can find them by clicking the Mock Draft drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Right now, we currently have posted Jeff’s current NFL Mock. We will update as Jeff updates!

You can find his first Mock Draft here:

http://clevelandsportsinsiders.com/nfl-mock-draft/


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The Ellis Quarterback Metric

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McCarron excited to be at the top of the Ellis QB Metric (RONALD MARTINEZ/GETTY IMAGES)

Over the past two years I have talked about and worked on a formula taking the stats of college quarterbacks and trying to make a metric to judge which players would be the best pro quarterbacks. The thought started a year ago when I watched the Browns Brandon Weeden struggle as a rookie while Russell Wilson excelled in Seattle.

While I knew the answer and I had a bunch of numbers circulating in my head, the question was whether or not I could find which indictors are the most important, and how could I weight them to find a formula that would accurately show that measure.

I started by entering the data of every quarterback drafted in the top three rounds over the last decade. I then added every starting quarterback in the league, and over the last two years, I entered every prospect with a draft grade over fifth round or greater. I tried at least five or six models before settling on the one I have now. While it’s not perfect, it does seem to indicate a few things. Continue reading


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The Sunday Drive with Carlos Santana, Wahoo, the Browns waiting game and quarterbacks

Santana Slam (by Jason Miller US Presswire)

Santana Slam (by Jason Miller US Presswire)

So I had this crazy idea to write about several things that DIDN’T pertain to the Browns, the Cavs or the Indians this week. The void that is now known as the “Browns’ head coaching search” has left me in such a mood, that I felt like moving as far away from sports as possible.

In a few paragraphs, you’ll note that I wrote about…the Indians, the Browns and the Cavs.

What changed?

I have no freaking clue.

My weekend has been a bust, and it’s been busy, and it’s cost me more money than I can begin to tell you, but it also left me with tons of time to think about sports, which is what I do when I’m stressed.

I sat back and started thinking about the 80’s in particular, and while my focus was far away from Cleveland sports, it rarely is ever as far as I’d like to think it is.

I was pondering the 80’s, and the players that really stood out to me. I met a rookie in 1979 at Municipal Stadium who sat and talked to me for a long, long time. He played for the A’s, and he talked to me for a long, long time. By the time I was done talking to him, he had grabbed a baseball and literally grabbed every A’s player that walked by to sign it. He signed it last.

It was Rickey Henderson, and while people remember the enigma of Rickey, I always remember that August day where he literally came up TO ME and asked me how I was doing.

After that, I followed Henderson, and then Vince Coleman after him. Tim Raines also was fun to watch, as was Willie Wilson. I loved watching these guys just decimate pitchers on the basepaths, and their teams were always such a factor because of it. Continue reading


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500 words or less…on the Browns and their upside

Could Bridgewater or Manziel be wearing a Browns jersey in 2014?

Could Bridgewater or Manziel be wearing a Browns jersey in 2014?

The Cleveland Browns have some upside.

According to overthecap.com, the Browns will have the most money under the cap than any other football team in the NFL. As of now, Jimmy Haslam, Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi will have nearly $25 million to spend this offseason on free agency. There’s also a significant chance that the $25 million could go with the release of several players, including Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell.

The Browns also have ten draft picks in the 2014 NFL draft, including two firsts, a second, two thirds, two fourths, and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

In other words, the Browns have a lot of money to spend, combined with seven picks in the first four rounds. A smart front office can do a lot of damage with that kind of room, and that kind of money.

The Browns also have Josh Gordon. While talk of Gordon being the best receiver in the NFL is slightly premature, a case could be made that he is, and that’s saying something. Continue reading