Believing Since 1999 has been out of commission for the past few days after all of Cleveland has taken the proper amount of time to digest and recover from what’s happened. Perhaps most disturbing about recent events is that Joe Banner refuses to wear an orange tie to anything. Rumor now has it that he doesn’t own one. It seems that Jimmy Haslam has worn the same suit/tie combo to all of these press conferences, but it beats Banner’s approach. See Below.
Judging from Twitter’s reaction, nobody in Cleveland likes the Lombardi hire, for obvious reasons. With that said, fans need to change their prayers from “God, don’t let us hire him” to “God, please empower Michael Lombardi to be the best in the NFL at whatever his job actually is”. He handled the criticism the best way possible, and said he’s ready for a fresh start. How the Browns organization is a good fit to take a flyer on a fresh start for someone who’s been out of the league for five years is beyond me, but we’re in it now. Thank God he wore an orange tie to the presser, that would have been the last straw.
The other recent hire for the Browns is defensive coordinator Ray Horton. The Browns redeemed themselves a little bit here, and Horton seems to be able to bring a great attitude and philosophy to a unit that is still young and malleable. A great article on Horton’s connection to new offensive coordinator Norv Turner and more from Mary Kay Cabot is here. Included are some very impressive numbers from Horton’s time in Arizona that should get everyone excited about the future for the Browns’ D.
Best quote from him addressing the defensive scheme, keeping in mind that he ran a 3-4 in Arizona and during his time in Pittsburgh: “I’m a coach of men, whether it’s 3-4, 4-3, 5-5, I don’t care. I’m going to coach men.” Boom. Almost relinquishes any fear of the Browns’ current personnel being completely unsuitable for the 3-4.
With the major positions in the coaching staff complete, both coordinator hires are very impressive and the passion and creativity of Rob Chudzinski at the helm should bode well for the future. Let’s just hope they and the scouts can impart the knowledge necessary to make sure Banner and Lombardi get them the players they need.
Final note on Horton: He has the coolest hair in coaching.
Here are a couple more nuggets on the Indians and Cavaliers, and of course, the Believing Since 1999 soundtrack of the day:
– Soundtrack check: “She Doesn’t Mind” by Sean Paul. Don’t even try to rationalize a skip on Pandora over that song.
– Buster Olney rates the ’95 Indians outfield (Manny Ramirez, Kenny Lofton, and Albert Belle) as the second best of all time behind the ’61 Yanks (Maris, Mantle, Berra). It’s a fun read if you’re an ESPN Insider.
– The Tribe have agreed to terms with utility man Ryan Raburn. His numbers from last year are hideous. Other rumors included Ryan Theriot in the utility role picture, but Raburn signed a minor-league deal and Theriot would have certainly cost more. Understandable move from Antonetti and Co.
– The Cavs got active in the trade market today, acquiring Wayne Ellington, Marreese Speights, and Josh Selby from the Grizzlies in exchange for Jon Leuer and cap flexibility. The biggest catch, however, is a first-round pick that could become available as soon as 2015. Jeremy Pargo was also waived today. Speights will likely be the biggest contributor, as he brings a necessary big body to the front-court. Geez, Marreese, don’t look too excited about leaving a playoff team for one that definitely isn’t…
– Hate to see this about Anderson Varejao. Here’s to a speedy and full recovery.
To wrap things up today, the Wine and Gold are finally back at the friendly confines of Quicken Loans Arena tonight against the Boston Celtics. Boston have been unusually average this season (20-20) but you can never discount a lineup including Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers had some very poignant comments for his team following their embarrassing loss to the Detroit Pistons, and said today in Cleveland that he’s not taking anything back. If the veteran presence in the Boston locker room is true to form, those comments will fuel an energized Celtics squad tonight.
Just like every game day for the Cavs, it’s exciting to see what tonight will bring for the young squad. They won’t have Speights and company available tonight, but as long as Kyrie Irving will be on the floor, it’s worth the time.
As always, chat on Twitter during the game tonight @BelieveInCLE, and Go Cavs.