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Saturday, August 30, 2014

OSU at Navy - Cheat Sheet #1 08.30.14

Welcome back to another season of Buckeye Football!  You know what that means... Cheat Sheets!

As a proud member of Buckeye Nation, I'm sure you already know what strengths and weaknesses OSU brings to the game.... but do you know what to watch for from our opponent? No? Well, that's where I come in.... Each week I'll give you the Names You Need To Know and what to watch for during the game.

Week 1 - 08.30.14 - #5 OSU vs Navy  (Noon)

Uniforms: yeah, I'm starting off by mentioning their "outfits." Summer White with the midshipmens class and rank on the sleeves, designed by Under Armor. I don't think that will give them any kind of an edge in the actual game, but in case you were wondering what the insignias on the sleeves meant, now you know.

QB Keenan Reynolds #19 - with a real shot at being Navy's first Heisman Trophy Winner since 1963 (Roger Staubach), he'll make the most of the Triple Option and his legs... He had 1,300+ yards rushing with 31 TDs last season and only 8 through the air. At 5'11" and 195 he doesn't look like trouble, but if the defensive line isn't careful, he'll run all over them.

Rushing - while Reynolds is clearly the leading rusher on this roster, there are a trio of guys worth watching. junior FB Chris Swain #37, senior FB Quinton Singleton #36 and senior WR Geoffrey Whiteside #29 (lined up more like a slot back) will all hit at least 400 yards on the ground.

Receiving - last season, the air attack wasn't much of a threat. It is Navy after all and not Air Force. However, junior WR DeBrandon Sanders #21 and Whiteside are returning and hope to provide more balance in the Triple Option for Reynolds.

Triple Option - for Navy, this mean they are running the ball and it's up to QB Reynolds to decide if he's keeping it or handing it off to a full back. Clearly, he kept the ball a lot last year but that's really based on his read of the defensive end. With the improved speed and agility we are seeing in today's DEs, I expect Reynolds will be handing off a bit more this season. We'll see if the Buckeyes have their DE pinch down to cover the FBs or send him straight at Reynolds and challenge him early.


Buddy Green, defensive coordinator, uses a "bend but don't break" version of the 3-4. They seem to be concerned with giving up the big play but will let you dink and dunk your way down the field. Last season they only had 22 take aways so if the Buckeyes can keep a hold on the ball, that shouldn't be an issue.

DEs Paul Quessenberry #45 and  Will Anthony #90 are the two guys I'll be watching on the line. They should lead the team in tackles this year and will try to go after freshman QB J.T. Barrett all day long.

Alright, that's all I've got for this week.  Enjoy the game, party responsibly, and Go Buckeyes!

Respectfully Submitted,

Cleveland Kate

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Browns QB - I need a Commitment

For the most part, John Gruden gets on my nerves, but last night he said something that I cannot get out of my head.... Since 1999, the Cleveland Browns have not committed to a QB, an offensive scheme, or even coaching/front office staffers. Oy.  We all talk about continuity and the lack thereof here but it doesn't change. And that is the biggest problem I saw on the field last night in the MNF 23-24 loss to the Washington Redskins.

I'm done with the drama. I'm done with the indecisiveness. It's time for the Cleveland Browns to make a decision on who will be the 2014 Quarterback and it needs to be done now.  And frankly, I don't care who it is, they just need to make a choice already!


Ok, so Abe was talking about much more serious issues than football but it does apply to what I'm seeing on the field. Hoyer and Manziel are VERY different QBs. They may be running the same Play Book but they are on completely different chapters. This makes it even more difficult on the rest of the Offense... they have to learn two different schemes depending on which QB is behind center. And it's holding back the progress that this unit should be making. They should be all on the same page, learning to play together, gelling as a line, getting a feel for routes/progressions/passing tendencies, and even how the receivers like to get the ball. There are so many aspects to a well-run offense that we don't have time to work out because we are so busy dealing with the "QB Competition" drama.

Ultimately, the Browns have just one decision to make...one question to answer:

Will starting Johnny Manziel Week 1 in Pittsburgh be good or bad for his long-term development as a Quarterback.

Period. Paragraph. The End. It's just that simple. You don't draft a Heisman winning QB in the first round of the NFL draft if you don't think he will become the Franchise QB you've been waiting for. So that means, how do you get him ready to fulfill that destiny. Here's how the two answers to that question break down.

YES, JOHNNY SHOULD START WEEK 1: The offensive line is good enough and I believe that Kyle Shanahan is smart enough, that they can keep Johnny safe. They can work the Play Book in such a way that he will improve and develop as a QB at the right pace. I also think Johnny is learning quickly just how hard NFL defenses hit so he will be smarter and more careful than he has in the past about sliding and avoiding big tackles. We may not win more than 4 games but you have to start somewhere and growing pains are a part of the process...

NO, JOHNNY SHOULD NOT START WEEK 1: Then this is Brian Hoyer's team for the entire season and Johnny will wait and watch for a year. Because you simply cannot keep the Revolving Door spinning on this offense. They have to KNOW who their leader is and Brian Hoyer is more than capable of leading this team for an entire season. Yes, he's had issues this training camp but that can easily be connected to recovering from a harsh injury and learning yet another entirely new offensive system. Just commit to Hoyer, let the rest of the offense commit to Hoyer, give everyone a clear understanding of their place on this team and let's get on with it.

If you really believe that Manziel needs more time, you cannot continue with the Schizophrenic Offense that we've had for too many years. It's that simple. This team NEEDS a leader. They need TIME as a unit to come together. Look at any successful NFL team right now and what are they doing? Deciding who the 4th Running Back will be or who will take the 6th Wide Receiver spot on the 53 man roster. They are NOT arguing over QB or offensive scheme or any of that other stuff.

It's time for the Browns to get on with the business of football. Give this offense it's leader and let's move along. Give them the remaining two weeks of preseason practice to get as connected as they can before they face the flames of hell in Pittsburgh on September 7th.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cleveland Kate