Rapid Rants: Coaching Search, Kyrie and More

Another week has gone by and the Browns still don’t have a coach. But did you really expect anything different? Here’s a few things I think regarding the world of Cleveland sports.

1. The Cavs are slowly but surely improving. The Luol Deng trade was a heist for Chris Grant and co. but I think they could make one more move before the deadline. If they don’t a six to eight seed is a possibility, but in the weak East, if the Cavs make another move, they could easily vault to a three to five seed. Adding a big man, to back up Varejao and add depth could vault the Cavs to a top six seed and a possible home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

2. Another thought about the Cavs, I really think Kyrie has to step it up on defense. In the past two Cavs losses, to the Trail Blazers and Kings Irving had a point differential of -9 and -29 respectively. Even in the win against the Lakers on Tuesday, Kyrie still had a negative point differential of -3. There’s no denying that Kyrie Irving is a special player. He’s clutch and a threat to score every time he touches the basketball. But at some point, and preferably soon, Irving needs to step up his defensive game. Superstars who are only good at one end of the floor and slack off at the other, I’m looking at you Carmelo Anthony, don’t seem to win championships. But superstars who are transcendent or at least decent at their weaker end of floor, such as LeBron, Kobe or Paul Peirce, have won championships. If Kyrie can step up his defensive game, it will pay dividends for him and the Cavs on both ends of the floor and in the standings.

3. The Indians have been largely silent this offseason, making many shrewd moves, from minor league contracts to the free agent signing of David Murphy. But I still think they’re not done, and rightfully so. Coming back with much of the same team as last year, besides for the back-end of the bullpen, would be a mistake. As they stand the Indians are still missing a hitter and a starting pitcher. While Murphy does add a bat in right field, there’s still a middle of the order bat missing. Swisher really can’t be that guy, and neither can Santana or Cabrera. If the Indians could get a bat, either via signing one in free agency, such as Kendrys Morales, or trading for one, such as Chase Headley, their lineup would be set for opening day. Headley would also fill a hole at third base, as Lonnie Chisenhall has not yet performed up to his expectations. The Indians rotation could also use another arm, as Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and John Tomlin haven’t shown enough yet to warrant a starting spot. After Masahiro Tanaka signs, the remaining free agent pitchers should sign, hopefully one of which signs with the Indians, either Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana or Matt Garza.

4. I really believe the Browns are set on Adam Gase, current Broncos offensive coordinator as the next head coach. Joe Banner really likes to find his own guys, like he did with Andy Reid, and hopefully Gase will be that guy. I see very little difference between Gase and Chudzinski, both are former offensive coordinators with no head coaching experience, but at this point Chud’s already fired and the Browns need to hire the best coach available. Gase’s offense has preformed great in Denver, but that’s also a product of having the one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Considering Gase is rumored to want to stay in Denver, I really hope the Browns have a Plan B, whether it’s Dan Quinn or someone else. No matter who they hire this time around, Banner and co. need to make sure they get this one right.

5. With the fourth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Cleveland Browns will select Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M. While I’m not 100% sold of Manziel, if the Browns are on the clock and Blake Bortles and Manziel are available, I’m taking Johnny Football. The NFL is moving towards a more wide-open offensive game with quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet, and Manziel can be that guy. Additionally, Mike Lombardi supposedly really likes Manziel, and as we’ve seen previously, Lombardi usually gets the players he wants.

6. Davone Bess will be cut before the start of OTAs. Joe Banner has absolutely no tolerance for drug issues and arrests. They were thinking about trading Josh Gordon, a top 10 NFL receiver, just because of possible drug problems, and I think Bess, especially after a terrible season, is on his way out.


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