OBR Daily Blog: 3/28/2010

Will blog for beer. Or beer pellets. We'll blog for just about anything we can get, frankly. Here's another day's worth of it.

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Posted on Twitter at: 11:46:00 AM
(Subscriber) MMDA: The Right Tackle "Solution": Joe Thomas is great, but what about the other bookend tackle? With... http://bit.ly/cxvHFO

Posted on Twitter at: 11:37:00 AM
Browns Could Get Defensive: Could this be the year the Browns finally made a defensive impact with their top pick? http://bit.ly/9wOaLf

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 12:16:00 AM

Closing Out a Quiet News Weekend

With the sporting world's eyes on March Madness, NFL teams like the Browns quietly got their work done over the weekend. Players were worked out, phone conversations were held, and so forth. Here are some leftover items from the weekend:

-- There's some buzz that CB Joe Haden could fall out of the top ten, particularly if Eric Berry is still around when the Browns make their pick. Hopefully, that's not due to his Combine 40 time, which would be ridiculous in my opinion. Still, the buzz makes stories that Haden has worked out for the Titans and Bengals make a lot more sense. The Browns seem to be the upper limit for how high Haden can go. The Titans and Bengals pick at 16 and 21, respectively.

-- Most confusing workout of the week was the Eagles, with the 24th pick, working out Eric Berry, who won't fall past seven, and has odds against him getting that far. Clearly, the Eagles are either delusional or contemplating some sort of deal that would have them picking near where the Browns are picking. For what it's worth, the Raiders follow the Browns in the draft order and are talking to the Eagles about McNabb. But Berry is unlikely to make it to that spot. It's intriguing, but confusing.

-- Sam Bradford's Pro Day is Monday. Get ready for a lot of coverage, and for Bradford to sell the Rams on picking him #1.

-- Call me an idiot because, well, I probably am one, but I suspect the Browns will regret passing up Matt Jones and letting the Bengals grab him. If Jones grows up at all, he can be a heck of a wide receiver. If he doesn't, well, at least he fits in with the Bengals.

-- The NFL is fighting the same sort of battle with television that filmmakers have been fighting over the years. I think they're kidding themselves.

Rather than adding gizmos and gadgets, like they're planning, I think they could go a long way by making live attendance less expensive. There's nothing like watching the game at the Stadium, in my experience, but I always found myself a lot poorer at the end of the day. Measured in beer value, I could get a couple of 12 packs for what it takes to get myself and three buddies a round of beer.

While the NFL blames this problem on nifty HD televisions, truth is they started chasing people away from buying tickets years ago by constantly cranking up the price of going the stadium.

I don't expect the league, though, to focus on that as the core of their problem. It's always human nature to blame someone else, and the rich, powerful NFL has never been all that introspective. So… more gizmos to justify their current prices it will be.

-- As I sort of expected, my blog-to-forums interface blew up pretty good today. So, I spent the evening refining it. Which means all-new and even more spectacular explosions tomorrow. Woohoo!!

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 11:22:00 PM

Another CB, Another Private Workout

Despite all the talk about quarterbacks, the Browns continue to display a strong focus on the defensive backfield as they decide how to spend their time prior to the draft.

Just about every day, we hear about another private workout the team has conducted.

Today, we learn the team had a private workout with CB Brandon Ghee of Wake Forest. The 5'11.5", 189 corner is rated eighth in the country by Scout.com's Chris Steuber. Our team at the Senior Bowl practices were especially impressed by Ghee and his pass recognition skills.

Off-hand, I can remember the Browns already being involved five workouts and/or visits for the Top 10 corners, and I'm sure that we'll learn of more.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 10:54:00 PM

Roethlisberger Avoids Workouts, Media, Dignity

According to Mad Tweeter Adam Schefter of ESPN, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not be reporting to the Steeler off-season conditioning program.

By missing the annual lifting of weights and training, Roethlisberger will ostensibly reduce distractions for his teammates, but will also likely miss the team's acclaimed Mullet Care and Shaping Clinic, always held the week after Easter.

Whether Roethlisberger joins the team prior to the annual Pittsburgh Home, Garden, and Front Lawn Rusted Appliance Festival in mid-April remains uncertain. 

Posted by: John Taylor
on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 6:53:00 PM

Yet another draft-eligible DB set to visit

One area of great concern for the Browns that has yet to be addressed in any meaningful way this offseason is in the secondary.

If the growing list of confirmed visits is any indication, that unit will be targeted and addressed heavily during the upcoming draft.

According to the National Football Post, former South Florida cornerback Jerome Murphy will visit and/or workout out for the Browns, one of seven teams the athletic defensive back will meet with in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Murphy told NFP that the Baltimore Rats and Washington Redskins had shown the most interest, saying that "you get a good certain vibe with" the two clubs.

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 3:00:00 PM

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire

These are links from the OBR Newswire for March 28th from 00:14 to 14:48:

  • Viking Update: Fans start to feel effects of labor unrest - The Vikings aren't alone. Without the benefit of young free agents in the primes of their careers, one of the offseason showcase events that has kept the NFL in the news during its offseason has been taken away from the fans
  • News-Herald - Browns exploring viable receiver options - Since free agency and the trading season opened on March 5, the Browns have repaired the offense by adding two quarterbacks, a running back, a tight end and an offensive tackle.
  • Plain Dealer - Tony Grossi Q-and-A Column - My rankings are unscientific observations by an amateur football watcher who sees every game and has access to players, coaches and other NFL personnel. I am fine with calling Wimbley the team's second-best player on defense. I don't expect the Browns to select a project player at No. 7.
  • Plain Dealer - Terry Pluto Column with Yinzer-Friendly Headline - I was pleased Mike Holmgren came out and just said the team didn't plan to take a quarterback with the No. 7 pick. He added that there "are areas of need where we need help -- secondary and offensive line." I'd add a veteran receiver to that list, and a pass-rushing linebacker.

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 2:33:00 PM

The Sims Saga, Part 17: Da Bearsh

This this episode of The Rob Sims Saga, we get to watch speculation become a rumor and then, within 24 hours, become a discredited rumor. This is relevant to us as Sims is a Buckeye and has expressed interest in coming to Cleveland. The Browns are interested somewhat, but not at the 4th-round pick price that Seattle is suggesting.

So, we've heard lots of other rumors about where Sims might head, including this one.

Here's how it works. FIrst, a respectable columnist working for a major newspaper (e.g, Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune) publishes a story that contains something that sounds like flat-out speculation as he tries to divine the possible future of Bears DE Alex Brown:

One possibility, according to a league source, is Brown could be traded for guard Rob Sims, whom the Seahawks are trying to unload. He's a mauler who does not fit the team's new zone blocking scheme, He is the kind of blocker, however, new Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice likes.

This is pretty darn fuzzy. A "possibility" from a "league source"? I can sort of imagine this conversation.

Pompei (to Some Unidentified Person Somehow Related to Professional Football (agent, ex-exec, current exec, etc, etc)): "Gee, I wonder who would want to trade for Alex Brown, now that the Bears have made it obvious they don't want him around".

Some Unidentified Person Somehow Related to Professional Football: "Yeah, really, er, I dunno, maybe, heh, they could swap him for that guard Seattle doesn't want."

Pompei: "Hey, that might actually work. Sims might be Tice's kind of guy."

SUPSRtPF: "Sure, yeah, whatever. You done with those fries?"

Having committed this to paper for a respectable newspaper, the respectable columnist moves on to the next respectable story.

Then, suddenly, things get a little less respectable, as bloggers and other news recyclers read the Tribune's web site and start running with it, all based off Pompei's little blurb:

Bears' Brown, Seahawks' Sims could trade places – PFT
Report: Seahawks Could Ship Rob Sims to Chicago – Seattle Times
Bears could be close to trading Alex Brown to Seahawks – SI/FanNation
Sources: Bears Could Trade Brown for Sims – Gridiron Fans
Seahawks Could Trade Sims to Chicago – Fansided Blogs
Brown Could Be Traded for Sims – RotoWorld

And so on. There are dozens and dozens of these.

Just one problem, though. The Seahawks have no interest whatsoever in Alex Brown, coveting instead a mid-round draft pick like we've been reporting for weeks and weeks (see first paragraph of this blog).

One of the challenges fans have in this internet era is separating fact from fiction, particularly when there is an entire ecosystem built around diving on any piece of information from dying newspapers, even weak-looking items like this one) and diffusing it as far and wide as possible.

Which is exactly what I'm doing here, too.

I have no clue how to fix the way that info-recyclers are hurting the info-producers. I'll leave that to smarter people. But I do know every time a news story is repeated, it tends to lose something. The number of people who actually add insight to other people's stories is very small. So, I try to click back to the "real" sources to see what they were actually saying.

In this case, not all that much.

Posted on Twitter at: 1:14:00 PM
Done! RT @RS1071 @TheOBR: I need more blog. I am offering a new bag of JetPuff marshmellows and a gently used bar of Zest!

Posted by: Barry McBride
on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 12:50:00 PM

Tales from the Dork Side

Our first full day of tormenting TAP Room members with blog posts begins.

-- I asked blog readers and folks in the Cooler what they would like to see in an OBR TV Program. The key answers have been "no nudity on the part of the OBR team" and "girls from Hooters". While the ability to broadcast pants-less is a key part of my contract, I can understand both of the sentiments. If you have any thoughts on the matter, feel free to fire off your thoughts off to us.

-- This is why I don't pay a ton of attention to "breaking news" on Wikipedia. The article about the bogus McNabb trade information is referred to as "a hack". It's not. It's just the way Wikipedia works… anyone can edit it and put anything they want in there, and they rely on the kindness of strangers to keep the info correct. While I love Wikipedia – who other than high school teachers doesn't? – this serves as a reminder to "remember the source".

-- Thus far in the Scout Intersite Mock Draft, the Browns have snared DT Ndamukong Suh, WR Demaryus Thomas, and QB Tim Tebow in the first, second, and third rounds. Remainder of the third and later rounds coming today.

-- The Plain Dealer managed to out a commenter on their own website in order to publish a story. This is screwed up on so many levels I can't even get my mind around it. Then they publish another article about the ethical issues of the above. This probably won't be noticed by many people outside the news business, but, as someone who considers personal info sacrosanct, consider my mind boggled. Wow. Just… wow.

That's enough weirdness for now. Hang in there. Lots more coming, and I'll see ya on the forums.

Posted on Twitter at: 11:06:00 AM
(Subscriber) What We've Been Told: Stacking the Board: Lane Adkins relays the latest buzz from inside Berea on the... http://bit.ly/bbWK2T

Posted by: OBR Newswire
on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 12:17:00 AM

OBR Newswire updates for March 27th through March 28th

These are links from the OBR Newswire for March 27th through March 28th:

The OBR Top Stories