Cleveland Sports Insiders

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2015 Mock Drafts: An Exercise in Antique Vase-Smashing

George Santayana is the only Spanish-American philosopher who has made any advancement into the American consciousness. ‘Any,’ of course, is the operative word in that sentence, given that he’s known for precisely one (1) sentence(s). “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” blithely repeat political analysts. Given that shows involving Charles Krauthammer and others like him are frequently as entertaining as they are incisive, said analysts frequently forget that they had uttered that same phrase only several seconds previous. “Those who do not remember what they said only several seconds previous are doomed to repeat it,” George Santayana never said.

Mock draftists have taken to heart Santayana’s words. With the memory of the 2014 NFL draft vividly implanted in the hearts and minds of America and now formally part of The Past, draft personages wish to ensure that we not only remember the past, but also apply its lessons to the future. Primary among these lessons: “The Draft happened.” Secondary: “The Draft will happen again.” 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


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The Sunday Drive with winning, losing, dysfunction and Brantley

Michael Brantley (photo: AP)

Michael Brantley (photo: AP)

The Sunday Drive is a bit late today, as all things tend to be in this crazy week leading up to the holidays. It’s also going to be a bit short, as time is running out on the day, and I don’t want to start making this thing a Sunday or Monday Drive.

Here are some really quick thoughts about Cleveland sports, and we’ll get back to a full edition next weekend.

Let’s get driving:

What does being a Browns’ fan entail these days? It’s entirely a Catch-22. The top priority is getting an all-important high draft pick in next year’s draft. Of course, you can’t follow a football team and not root for them to win, right? In a perfect world, the only thing a football fan should be worrying about heading into the final week of the season is either how long to play the starters because the team has already clinched, or how important it is to win to actually clinch.

That’s rarely the case for the Cleveland Browns. Instead, the only thing that matters from year-to-year is how many games the Browns can lose, and because of that, how high up the draft board they can move up.

Talk about dysfunctional.
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The Sunday Drive with a Santana shift, MLB Money and a Waiters surge

The Sunday Drive is generally a co-op piece between the writers here at C.S.I. On occasion, one of us will write the entire piece, or the majority of the piece, but the fun of it for us is that we try and connect them between all the writers. This is clearly still a work in progress, but I promise you that it will continue to be better, and hopefully turn into something that you’ll keep coming back to on Sunday morning, while your eating your Sunday brunch and drinking your morning coffee. We aren’t trying to become something we’re not…

…we’re fans, the guys next door, the guys sitting at the corner of the bar talking sports, just like you…

…let’s get driving.

The offseason has been an interesting one, even if the Cleveland Indians haven’t really done a whole lot to excite the North Coast. It’s a tough sell to a group of fans that were spoiled heading into the 2013 season with not one, but two multi-year, multi-million dollar deals. The Indians managed to re-image and re-invigorate their baseball team in one offseason, by bringing in the right manager, and supplementing him with the right mix of players.

They were aggressive with their approach, and they were aggressive with their money.Perhaps they were equally aggressive prior to 2007 in theory, although there weren’t any MAJOR additions to the 2006 club that disappointed a bit after a phenomenal 2005 campaign.

The Indians traded for Josh Barfield that year, and signed the real Roberto Hernandez as a potential set-up guy at the tail of his career. They signed Joe Borowski to be their closer, and David Dellucci to play in the outfield. They signed Keith Foulke as a potential closer option, and Trot Nixon to play some outfield and to DH a bit. At the trade deadline, they traded for Kenny Lofton

They weren’t splashy moves, but they weren’t cheap ones either. They all obviously didn’t work out, but the Indians were clearly trying to regain their footing after 2006.

It worked. Maybe not because of all those moves, but the approach was certainly there.
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The Sunday Drive with playoff implications, fights and rumors

Cameron runs over Bengals (photo: AP)

Cameron runs over Bengals (photo: AP)

I’ve never gotten used to November weather here in North Carolina since I moved here from the North Coast nearly fifteen years ago. There’s always a constant battle of Summer, Fall and sometimes Winter that always leaves me a bit off balance.

I mean seriously, it snowed here this past Thursday night, then climbed up to 70 on Saturday.

It’s November.

There should be no mixing of shorts and jeans, t-shirts and coats, ice scrapers and air conditioning.

It’s nearly as off-putting as Cleveland sports, to be honest. You have the Browns at 4-5, who either have two potential quarterbacks for 2014, or none, depending on who you talk to. Of course, there’s 2013, and a legit chance at winning the division, or getting into the playoffs.

Or not.

There’s the Cavaliers, who are either beating the tar outta each other in players-meetings, or not. They had the #1 pick in the NBA, and he’s been playing like a D-League player. Dion is awesome with the ball, but bad without it. Kyrie is better without the ball, than with it. The Cavaliers will be an exciting playoff contender this year.

Or not.

Then there’s the Indians. They rebuild their team in a season and motor into the playoffs with a ten-game win streak, only to lose the one-game playoff that was instituted for the first time ever last season. They seem ready to make a few moves to take them over the top, but may not have the money to do it. They are ready to make the next move to become better.

Or not.

North Carolina weather and Cleveland Sports…hot and cold.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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