WAHOO! Upcoming 2015 Cleveland Indians Season Brings Excitement and Optimism to the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario

 Michael Brantley #23 of the Cleveland Indians heads for home plate to celebrate with teammates after hitting a home run to win the game in the 12th inning against the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on August 3, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians won 4-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Michael Brantley #23 of the Cleveland Indians heads for home plate to celebrate with teammates after hitting a home run to win the game in the 12th inning against the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on August 3, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians won 4-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

By: Giovanni Castelli

CLEVELAND – March 28, 2015 – “There’s a red moon rising; On the Cuyahoga River; Rolling into Cleveland to the lake… Burn on, big river, burn on; Burn on, big river, burn on” Burn On, Randy Newman.
Ahhhh yes, the famous opening song from the Hollywood classic Major League the 1989 cult classic that chronicled the Cleveland Indians and their history of badness over the course of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Roger Dorn, Pedro Cerrano, Willie Mays-Hayes and Rick “Wild-Thing” Vaughn led the Tribe, to at the time, the closest they would ever get to baseball glory in a fictional film.

But the 90’s changed that for this franchise as they moved into their new digs and changed their uniforms to go along with it. This change of scenery fueled reenergized the franchise and it enjoyed decades of winning baseball, sold-out crowds not to mention multiple division titles and A.L. Pennants along the way.

Life as an Indians fan was good. But then a change of ownership ensued and things changed. They spent less on talent and the team began to sputter. From 2008-2013 the team struggled to keep interest of the fans as crowd’s dwindled to as low as 8,726 on April 3, 2011 against the Chicago White Sox. To think a team that once boasted a streak of 455 consecutive sellouts from June 12, 1995 to April 4, 2001 couldn’t even draw 10,000 for a game is mind boggling.

But the times are changing again. This isn’t the same old Indians of the past half decade. These guys are positioned and structured to make 2015 one for the ages so settle in and let’s take a look at why Indians fans should be so optimistic. The boys of summer will be back in less than two weeks and spring is in the air (in the calendar sense).

Finally! Say goodbye to football, winter boots, coats and grey skies and hello to baseball, sneakers, shorts and sunshine once again Cleveland!

The 2015 outlook for your Cleveland Indians delivers hope and promise for this young, talented core of players. With the team returning the majority of 2014’s squad which finished 85-77 and 3rd in the A.L. Central along with reigning C.Y. Young winner Corey Kluber the Tribe is positioned to field their most talented group since the 2007 team that lost in the ALCS to Boston.

Not to mention the fact that the Indians have one of, if not the best leaders in baseball in manager Terry “Tito” Francona. Francona, a proven winner and leader, is exactly what a young team such as this needs to lead and direct them down the path to greatness. In order to achieve this you need an experienced leader, and Francona brings a proven track record and system. The manager of a baseball team is the most important leader in pro sports, and the Indians have one of the top guys.

Speaking of top guys, the Tribe returns the young core of talent to their line-up. Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Yan Gomes and Lonnie Chisenhall along with veterans Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher who hope to bounce back from injury plagued 2014 seasons lead this team into a promising 2015 season. On top of this, they traded for 1B Brandon Moss from the Oakland Athletics to add power to the middle of the line-up something that the team severely lacked during the 2014 campaign. If Swisher and Bourn bounce back and the young guys step up and meet the challenge the Indians are poised for a breakout year, one that may land them playing deep into October.

Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and OF Michael Brantley grace the current cover of Sports Illustrated. SI picked the Tribe to win the World Series in 2015.

Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and OF Michael Brantley grace the current cover of Sports Illustrated. SI picked the Tribe to win the World Series in 2015. (Sports Illustrated)

Sports Illustrated recently picked your Cleveland Indians to win the A.L. Central and a major contender for their first World Series win since 1948. ESPN’s baseball expert Buster Olney picked them as well. The Indians are the hot team being tossed around most baseball circles as the team to take the next step and make a run due to their young talent and stout leadership on and off the field.

In recent years, the Indians and their management have been often criticized for their failure to spend money on their own talent and free agents to make the team better and compete with the larger market franchises year after year. But the ownership and management stuck with their way of building the team and now they are positioned to make their move this upcoming season.

So the time has come Cleveland. Be optimistic. Embrace the Sports Illustrated cover and preseason accolades and embrace this team. Get out this season early and often as it looks if all goes well this could be one hell of a ride.

Wahoo baseball is back, April 10, 2015 from the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. See you there.

See You In The Muni-Lot? Browns Fans Must Decide Today To Renew Their Season Tickets

As Season Ticket renewals are due, Browns fans must decide should they stay or should they go.

As Season Ticket renewals are due, Browns fans must decide should they stay or should they go.

By: Giovanni Castelli

CLEVELAND – March 13, 2015 – Well the day has arrived. Julius Caeser warned us to beware of the Ides of March, Jason Voorhees made us fear Friday the 13th and now the Browns have got in on the unlucky number 13 by making it the deadline for fans to renew their season tickets.

Really? Friday the 13th is the designated day to renew our tickets? Only fitting with this franchise.

The Browns have done everything they could over the past few months to effectively kill any positive outlook fans had coming off a 7-9 season, a season in which they didn’t have double-digit losses for the first time since going 10-6 in 2007. So you would think, naturally, fans outlook going into the 2015 season would be positive and rosy right?

Well, not so much.

Since ending the season with five straight losses the Browns have done everything in their power to alienate fans. Text-gate, the suspension of Josh Gordon…. AGAIN, Manziel checks into rehab, the signing of QB’s Josh McCown and Thaddeus Lewis, the debacle known as the Brian Hoyer situation, the false reporting of Jordan Cameron re-signing and let’s not forget the fact that season ticket prices increased by as much as 33%.

Wow…. What a dumpster fire.

Couple all that with the fact that you ask season ticket holders to renew on the unluckiest of days, Friday the 13th, it seems that this is a bad Hoyer… errrrr… Horror Story.

The Browns are doing themselves no favors of late. That along with the poor timing of them asking fans to shell out their hard earned money for a sub-par product on the field has the fan base up in arms and honestly why shouldn’t they be. This is the latest egg on the face the team has slung all over their fans, again.

Year in and year out the fans stick by this team’s side, blindly supporting each move they make and each player they bring in, but this year feels different. It feels worse than before. It feels as if the future they have preached will never come. Sure logic says that sooner or later the Browns will be good. Well obviously, in the Browns case, that definitely seems to be later and not sooner and fans are finally at wits end it seems.

How long can you ask a dedicated fan base to keep dumping their money into a situation that has yet to improve? Plus, isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result?

Well Browns fans all feel like they are at the brink of insanity with the constant missteps and dysfunction spewing out of the walls of their beloved team’s Berea headquarters. To continue to ask the fans to trust the leaders of this franchise time and time again and continue to disappoint them over and over is similar to an abusive relationship. It’s like when one partner cheats over and over and says “I’m sorry it won’t happen again, trust me,” and the minute you forgive and trust again they disappoint you all over again and leave you hurt and sad. This is the Browns each year with their season ticket renewals. They apologize, tell you how they are going to fix the team, ask us too blindly to trust them and fork over our hard earned money for our renewals. Only to be left hurt, angry and disappointed at the end of each year.

It’s a vicious cycle that has yet to be broken. One that the Browns seem in no hurry to break anytime soon.

So what’s a fan to do? Not renew? Explore other options?

The problem is this fan-base is passionate, they love their team. The attachment is not just football, its tradition. The Browns are a part of our families. We gather to watch games on Sunday’s in the fall, we tailgate in the Muni-Lot in the wee hours of the morning and we go to the stadium and scream and yell our heads off in hopes it makes a difference in the game’s outcome. Not renewing our season tickets feels like you’re turning your back on a family member, shunning them to the side. It’s difficult, tugs at your heart and most fans can’t do it. Season tickets have been passed down from generation to generation. Families who have had their tickets for 40-50 years can’t just walk away as they hope and pray that maybe this year is next year.

And so we renew, blindly. We buy in and believe. Blind faith. Hope and pray. We try to forget what happened in the past and go into each year optimistically and in hopes the time for us is now. Sure leading up to renewal day we all say things we really don’t mean such as the famed “I’m not renewing,” but in the end we can’t just walk away from the team we love and adore. It’s ingrained in our soul.

So as the deadline comes quit putting off the inevitable. Just get it over with already because you know you’re going to do it. Hit that renew because maybe, just maybe this time around will be different.

See you all in the Muni-Lot bright and early come September.

The famed Muni-Lot in downtown Cleveland rated as one of the top tailgating destinations by Sports Illustrated.

The famed Muni-Lot in downtown Cleveland rated as one of the top tailgating destinations by Sports Illustrated.

Cleveland Indians Preview: Maybe This Year?

Kipnis, Swisher and the rest of the Tribe look to make 2015 a year to remember for Cleveland  Indians fans.

Kipnis, Swisher and the rest of the Tribe look to make 2015 a year to remember for Cleveland Indians fans.

By: Michael Eadeh

CLEVELAND – March 12, 2015 – “Maybe next year” has been a common theme among Clevelanders for quite some time now. But could this finally be the year? The Cleveland Indians are led by the best manager in baseball, Terry Francona, and have held steady during his tenure thus far. The Indians went 92-70 in his first season and 85-77 in his second, all despite injuries to core players Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, and Jason Kipnis, and the regression of former star pitcher Justin Masterson.

However, in Buckeye fashion, when one player went down another one emerged. This has caused many to believe that the Indians can win the AL Central and possibly make a run in the playoffs. ESPN’s David Schoenfield, Grantland’s Jonah Keri, and CBS Sports’ Matt Snyder all have the Indians in the top five of their 2015 MLB preseason previews. It may be a shock to some Clevelanders that their team is being nationally recognized, but when you really dissect the roster and the division, it makes perfect sense.

The Indians’ starting rotation is the epitome of ambivalence. One day you’ll feel it’s stellar, but another day you’ll feel it needs time to develop. If you’re on the stellar side, you’d say they have a surplus of emerging players like Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Trevor Bauer, and T.J. House. Combine their potential with AL Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber and it will leave you dumbfounded. Not just because they could arguably have the potential to be the best starting rotation in baseball, but because of the fact that they are all in their mid-twenties. One thing’s for certain when it comes to the Indians’ current rotation; the sky is the limit.

The Indians’ bullpen isn’t too shabby either. Anchored by unfazed closer Cody Allen and a surplus of quality relievers, the Indians may have the best bullpen in baseball as well. ESPN’s Buster Olney tends to agree, as he ranks the Indians as the 10th best bullpen in the majors. As long as the group stays consistent with the last year’s performance on the field, their future looks encouraging.

Lastly, the Indians’ lineup raises the most questions–both good and bad. Can Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana, and Yan Gomes continue to build on their stellar seasons thus far? Can new acquired power hitter Brandon Moss recover from off-season hip surgery and emerge as the power bat we have desperately coveted for years? Can Jason Kipnis bounce back from a underwhelming injury-plagued year? And most importantly, can Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn live up to their contracts and rebound into form? If all of these issues are correctly resolved, the Indians’ lineup will be a force to be reckoned with.

By combining all of the above factors with a somewhat declining yet still competitive division, the Indians really could surprise a lot of people. The Kansas City Royals, defending AL Champs, are not primed to replicate their shocking season after losing star pitcher James Shields to free agency. The Detroit Tigers always seem to make offseason splashes, but have also lost a top-tier pitcher, Max Scherzer, to free agency. Justin Verlander has regressed, injuries have depleted them, and they still have an underwhelming and concerning bullpen. The Chicago White Sox may have had the best offseason in the division, as they revamped their team with a surplus of key additions in Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson, Zach Duke, Melky Cabrera, and Adam LaRoche. The Minnesota Twins still have a long way to go as they are still young and trying to identify and develop their core players.

So, maybe this year huh? There are a lot of ifs and buts, but we can definitely view this Indians team from the glass half full perspective. Buckle your seats Cleveland, this could be our year.

Michael Eadeh is a Cleveland Sports Huddle contributor and you can catch his work also at:

http://michaeleadeh.sportsblog.com

Browns Signing Of QB Josh McCown Raises More Questions And Provides Little Answers To QB Quandry

With the signing of Josh McCown the Browns raised more questions about the quarterback position and less answers.

With the signing of Josh McCown the Browns raised more questions about the quarterback position and less answers.

By: Giovanni Castelli

CLEVELAND – March 2, 2015 – With the first domino to fall in NFL free agency of 2015 the Cleveland Browns sign Quarterback Josh McCown. Wh-wh-what?! Josh “friggin” McCown? Are they serious?

Ray Farmer and the Browns decided to go strong and hard after McCown outbidding the Buffalo Bills for the right to his services. The question is though, was this move made to make McCown the starter or is there a bigger plan in place.

It’s awfully difficult to sell a 35-year old journeyman quarterback, coming off a 1-10 season in game he started, to a fan base that has been starving for a Quarterback for years. Couple that with the fact that they turned their back on the hometown kid, Brian Hoyer, who won more games as a Browns starter than any other who held the title in years. The Browns quarterback situation has gone from “muddy at best”, to a full-blown disaster. The current quarter backs on the roster are McCown, Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw.

Really? This is what they plan on going into the season with? This is what you’re selling the fans? Can’t be.

So after the immediate reaction of f-bomb’s and disgust to the McCown signing I began to think what else could be in the works for the Browns and their quarterback quandary.

The signing of McCown is a 3-year deal for approximately $5million per year. Definitely you could say starter money, but I believe McCown is signed as a back-up plan or as the back-up/mentor. Sure, you hear the arguments that how could McCown be a mentor when he hasn’t done anything in this league. The answer to that is plenty of mentors/coaches around football haven’t had great careers as players, but have excelled in the coaching ranks. McCown has worked with members of the coaching staff before, new Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in Oakland, so he’s familiar with the type of offense they will run. He also is willing to play the mentor role to a younger quarterback something Brian Hoyer was unwilling to do.

So with that being said who would McCown be mentoring and backing up?

The first choice would be Johnny Manziel.

Manziel is coming into 2015 as the biggest question mark on the roster. Nobody knows what Manziel will bring to the table coming out of rehab. The other thing is people are really questioning if Manziel can play in the NFL as he looked awful in his brief stint as the team’s starter late in the 2014 season. If Manziel comes back strong and is able to be a viable starter McCown would back-up and mentor Manziel. In the event that Manziel comes out and flames-out again McCown would then become the fall back option and start games in 2015 for the Browns.

The second option is the Browns make a run at one of the top two quarterbacks in the 2015 draft Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Winston is probably out of reach as it looks more and more that Tampa Bay will select him number one overall. Mariota is the name that is constantly floated around and associated with the Browns. It’s no secret Browns GM ray Farmer is infatuated with Mariota. Rumors swirled during the 2014 draft process that if Mariota came out that the Browns would make a run and try to land him. Mariota stayed in school, led Oregon to the National Championship game and is now slated to go possibly in the top two of the draft.

In order for the Browns to trade up and land Mariota it would take probably both of their first round picks (12 and 19), along with another number one pick next year and some mid-round picks as well. That’s a lot to mortgage for a team with many holes to fill on both sides of the ball. But if that’s their guy, they have to make a run and hitch their wagon to the player they believe can resurrect the quarterback position that has kept this team from succeeding since its return in 1999. If Mariota doesn’t end up being the choice they could decide to draft one of the second tier quarterbacks in the third round such as Hundley from UCLA or Petty from Baylor. In the event that would happen, McCown or Manziel would be the starter and the young quarterback would have a red-shirt year to learn the ropes of the NFL way.

The final scenario would be the Browns go out and sign another veteran to come in and compete for the job with McCown, Manziel and Shaw. Though this seems like the most unlikely option at this point you can’t ever rule any option out when discussing the Cleveland Browns.

In the end one thing is for certain, the Browns will have another quarterback competition during training camp this year. The next couple months are sure to be very interesting with free agency kicking off in a little less than two weeks and the draft at the end of April. Interesting is something Browns fans and the media know oh so well.

Buckle up Browns fans, this may be a wild ride between now and the opener.

NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Collage picture of top prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Collage picture of top prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft.

By: Michael Eadeh

CLEVELAND – March 2, 2015 – Silly season, as expert columnists like to call it, has officially begun. With the NFL combine recently concluding, many prospects will now have to wait until the week of April 29th to have their dreams come true. This year’s NFL Draft, held in Chicago for the first time since 1964, is Christmas morning for many football fans. But what makes the NFL Draft so exciting? You’re reading one now– Mock Drafts. Here’s my version 1.0.

Round One

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- QB Jameis Winston, Florida State

Assuming he stays out of trouble within these next nine weeks, Jameis Winston is the pick. Jameis the football player is without a doubt worthy of the number one overall pick. The only question is, can the Bucs trust his character? ESPN’s Todd McShay ranks him his second best quarterback he has scouted in the past 10 years only being behind Andrew Luck. Winston only helped himself at the combine with not only his workouts showcasing his God given talents but also his interviews wowing NFL personnel with his knowledge for the game. Given that, the Bucs ought to trust him and hand him the keys to the franchise.

2. Tennessee Titans- DE/DT Leonard Williams, USC

Titans have holes everywhere and with Ken Whisenhunt professing his love for QB Zach Mettenberger it’s safe to say they won’t take a gamble on QB Marcus Mariota. Leonard Williams, who resembles his game after J.J. Watt, would immensely help the Titans 27th ranked defense.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars- OLB, Dante Fowler, Florida

With their 3rd straight year in the top 5 of the draft, the Jaguars possess a lack of “elite” players. They need to upgrade their offensive line to help protect last year’s first round pick Black Bortles but Dante Fowler is an elite player whom the Jags can’t pass up on. He’ll bolster their already decent pass rush and give their defense an identity that they’ve been lacking.

4. Oakland Raiders- WR Kevin White, West Virginia

With QB Derek Carr molding into a fine QB, he needs a go-to guy. Oakland’s wideouts gave Carr zero help last season. Kevin White comes in with size, speed, and swagger. With White wowing everyone at the combine, it’s fair to say he could be the first WR taken in this year’s draft.

5. Washington Redskins- OLB, Vic Beasley, Clemson

With Brian Orakpo set to leave in free agency, the Redskins need to find his replacement. Beasley who absolutely crushed the combine by showcasing his strength (35 bench reps), measurables (6’4 248lbs), and his speed (4.53 40yd dash). With that speed to power combination, the Redskins ought to be licking their chops.

6. New York Jets- WR, Amari Cooper, Alabama

Many have QB Marcus Mariota penciled in here. But I really don’t think new head coach Todd Bowles is a fan of drafting QB’s high. Geno Smith is still young and developing, and surrounding him with a one of the best wideouts in the nation would be essential for his development.

7. Chicago Bears- QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Boom. With the NFL Draft being held in Chicago, this simply bodes well. Many in Chicago already cannot stand Jay Cutler leading their team. Even new head coach John Fox wouldn’t commit to him as his starter. The Bears need a fresh new start at QB, and with an offense anchored by Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte, this might be an ideal environment for Mariota.

8. Atlanta Falcons- OLB, Randy Gregory, Nebraska

With the defense lacking an identity and newly defensive minded head coach Dan Quinn leading the way, it’s fair to assume he’d like to bolster his front 7. Gregory plays with swagger and bit of an agitator that can get under opponent’s skin, which is exactly the type of player the Falcons desire.

9. New York Giants- DE, Shane Ray, Missouri

Jason Pierre-Paul may leave in free agency and with Shane Ray on board it’ll be foolish for the Giants to let him pass by. Ray led the SEC in sacks with 14.5. With incredible instincts, tackling, and speed, Ray will revive the Giants defense.

10. St. Louis Rams- OT, Brandon Scherff, Iowa

The Rams need to protect oft-injured QB Sam Bradford and with OT Jake Long often injured as well, it’ll make sense to take Scherff here. Scherff has experience at all postions on the offensive line. His versatility,and toughness will immensely upgrade the Rams offensive line.

11. Minnesota Vikings- WR, Devante Parker, Louisville

The Vikings have many holes but with a glaring need at wideout, look for the Vikings to pair Teddy Bridgewater with his former buddy/teammate, Devante Parker.

12. Cleveland Browns- DT, Danny Shelton, Washington

With Ahtyba Rubin most likely leaving in free agency, and Phil Taylor being often injured, look for the Browns to target Shelton here. The Browns ranked dead last at 32nd against the run last year and Shelton is a 6’2, 340lb run-stuffing mammoth. He’d be an ideal fit for the Browns in the physical AFC North.

13. New Orleans Saints- CB, Trae Waynes, Michigan St.

The Saints ranked 25th against the pass last season and need an upgrade at cornerback. With the draft’s best CB sitting there, it’ll be too tempting to pass him up.

14. Miami Dolphins- DT, Eddie Goldman, FSU

With Jared Odrick most likely leaving in free agency, the Dolphins need to get younger in the trenches. Goldman provides them with power, quickness, and well needed versatility.

15. San Francisco 49ers- DE, Arik Armstead, Oregon

Justin Smith is turning 36 in September which makes the defensive line a need here. With defensive-minded head coach Jim Tomsula now leading the team, look for the 49ers to bolster their defense with a freakish player like Armstead.

16. Houstan Texans- DT, Malcolm Brown, Texas

Texans need a QB but with none worthy here, they should choose to juice up their defense even more. Brown gives them an amazing combination of power, speed, and versatility. He also possesses outstanding football character, the type that Bill O’Brien highly covets.

17. San Diego Chargers- OT, La’el Collins, LSU

With Phillip Rivers getting sacked 37 times last season, it’s imperative for the Chargers to upgrade their offensive line. Collins is well versatile as he has experience at guard and tackle.

18. Kansas City Chiefs- WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State

The Chiefs are in a dire need of a go-to wide receiver. Strong possesses a strong 6’3 215lb build, and tremendous ball skills that would give Alex Smith a great weapon to work with.

19. Cleveland Browns- OLB, Bud Dupree, Kentucky

With GM Ray Farmer consistently saying he doesn’t believe in drafting wide receivers high and the draft possessing a deep WR class, look for the Browns to continue bolstering their front 7 with Dupree. With Sheard possibly leaving in free agency, Mingo underachieving, and Kruger just being a solid pass rusher, the Browns desperately need a bona-fide pass rusher to solidify their emerging defense. Dupree possesses outstanding personal and football character, a trait coach Mike Pettine desperately covets. With his 6’4 270lb build and 4.53 forty yard dash, he’d be a terror off the edge in Mike Pettine’s 3-4 system.

20. Philadelphia Eagles- CB, Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest

The Eagles could go various ways here but upgrading the cornerbacks is imperative for them. With Johnson, the Eagles get a natural, instinctive, ball hawking corner that would immensely improve their secondary.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- OLB, Eli Harold, Virgina

The Bengals need to upgrade their pass rush, and while Harold is still somewhat raw, he has gifted physical tools to develop into a really good pass rusher in the NFL.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers- S, Landon Collins, Alabama

This would be an dream scenario for the Steelers. With Troy Polamalu in the decline, the Steelers need an heir apparent to replace him. Collins has prototypical safety size, speed, and power that can anchor the Steelers defense for years to come.

23. Detroit Lions- OT, Ereck Flowers, Miami (Fla)

Although the Lions have many holes to address, Matthew Stafford was sacked 45 times last year which makes the offensive line a desperate need. Flowers gives them versatility at tackle and excels in pass protection, which is exactly what the Lions covet.

24. Arizona Cardinals- OLB, Shaq Thomspn, Washington

The Cardinals can go a number of ways here but I see them enhancing their pass rush since their in a division that has Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Thompson has natural playmaking instincts, and is an excellent space player that covers sideline to sideline.

25. Carolina Panthers- OT, Andrus Peat, Stanford

When a mobile QB like Cam Newton is sacked 42 times in a season, then you know something is wrong. The Panthers desperately need offensive line help. Peat gives the Panthers long term stability at the position and would greatly upgrade their pass protection.

26. Baltimore Ravens- CB, Jalen Collins, LSU

The Ravens desperately need to improve their 23rd ranked secondary. With Collins, the Ravens get an excellent cover corner who also is tenacious when it comes to run support which is needed in the physical AFC North.

27. Dallas Cowboys- RB, Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

With the DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant contract situation being muddy at best, I’m assuming one of the players will elect to leave in free agency. Assuming Dez Bryant resigns, look for the Cowboys to target Gordon here. Gordon who runs similarly to Murray, gives the Cowboys a younger workhorse to work with.

28. Denver Broncos- C, Cameron Erving, Florida State

The Broncos have holes at tight end, and defensive tackle but none bigger then the hole at center. With Will Montgomery set to leave in free agency, the Broncos need a find a replacement, especially in Peyton Manning’s most likely final season. Erving is the draft’s best center and would anchor the Broncos line for years to come.

29. Indianapolis Colts- RB, Todd Gurley, Georgia

The Colts are a mess at running back and desperately need a one that can anchor the team. Boom Herron proved to be situational back, and Trent Richardson proved to be a bust. Gurley, who has top-ten talent gives them a dangerous playmaker that will aid the Andrew Luck led offense.

30. Green Bay Packers- TE, Maxx Williams, Minnesota

Aaron Rodgers needs more weapons especially if Randal Cobb leaves in free agency. Williams, the draft’s best tight end gives the Packers a dangerous weapon to work with.

31. Seattle Seahawks- WR, Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri

The Seahawks desperately need a go-to receiver to pair with Russell Wilson. Green-Beckham has the upside to be an elite receiver assuming he stays out of a trouble. Surrounding him with a culture like the Seahawks would be an ideal pairing.

32. New England Patriots- OT, Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M

The Super Bowl Champions have plenty of options to work with here but strengthening their offensive line would be ideal. Ogbuehi has experience at both tackle and guard. His versatility, and demeanor would be an excellent asset for the Patriots.

Michael Eadeh is a Cleveland Sports Huddle contributor and you can catch his work also at:

http://michaeleadeh.sportsblog.com

As The Clock Ticks Closer To the Trade Deadline; Cavs Search For Smart Deal To Strengthen Team

With the trade deadline approaching at 3pm today, LeBron and the Cavs look to get stronger and strengthen their Championship aspirations.

With the trade deadline approaching at 3pm today, LeBron and the Cavs look to get stronger and strengthen their Championship aspirations.

By: Giovanni Castelli

CLEVELAND – Feb. 19, 2015 – With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching at 3pm today, the Cavs are on the clock to make some moves to strengthen the team as they make their surge for the playoffs later this year. The first half of the season saw the team go through its share of growing pains, but stabilized through January and February to become a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference. With the team acquiring JR Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov and Coach David Blatt solidifying his rotation the Cavs have looked scary as of late to the rest of the league.

The rumors have swirled of a Ray Allen arrival at some point late in the season in time for the playoff push and that’s great, but the Cavs are in need of another big man and a back-up point guard. The point guard they could survive without but a big man for down the stretch is looking like a necessity.  The game versus the Bulls before the all-star break solidified that thought as they were without Love, and Mozgov struggled with fouls. Without another rim protector to add to these two guys the Cavs will have a tough time come playoff time.

It will be interesting to see what GM David Griffin can muster together as the clock winds down. The Cavs do have assets such as Brandon Haywood’s contract to dangle and mentions of Matthew Dellavedova in trade talks, it’s safe to say the Cavs are exploring every option leading up to the 3pm deadline.

But who?

Rumors are swirling that the Nets have Brook Lopez available, but that seems like a pipe-dream for the Cavs to pull off without giving up more than they’d like. Kevin Garnett could be an option. Why not. He’s a savvy veteran that could come in and provide defense and a good 20+ minutes a game if needed. He’s tenacious inside and would revel in the chance to make a run at another championship. A bully to say the least. Another option would be David West from Indiana. That would be another that would be tricky to get done especially with the fact that they are a division rival and again the price would be steep.  Enus Kanter wants out of Utah and he would be a great addition to the frontline, but the Jazz will want a lot for him. Kanter is the ideal fit of the bunch at 6’11” and only 22 years old he could be a main cog on this team for years to come.

Just a few options the Cavs can entertain, but they will have to get creative to acquire any of them. It looks like more and more that they may just stand pat or make a less than notable trade for a sub-par big or point-guard. Honestly, that may be all that’s really needed to get the job done as long as they stay healthy.

The Cavs are clicking on all cylinders coming out of the all-star break. And heading into Washington tomorrow night to face the Wizards it will be interesting to see if there are any new faces joining the squad on the sidelines. Either way this team is a real threat in the Eastern Conference and looks like they are only getting better down the stretch. LeBron and Company are looking healthy and hungry to make a run and lead this team to the Championship.

The rest of the league must take notice, these Cavs are strengthening and at 3pm today they may get even stronger.

Cleveland Browns Set to Unveil New Logo: A Few Concepts We Came Up With

Cleveland Browns current logo. The team announced a new logo will be unveiled February 24, 2015.

Cleveland Browns current logo. The team announced a new logo will be unveiled February 24, 2015.

By: Giovanni Castelli

CLEVELAND – Feb. 19, 2015 – For the first time in decades the Cleveland Browns are getting a makeover for the upcoming 2015 season as they are set to unveil a new logo February 24, 2015.

Finally, a breath of fresh air for the down-trodden franchise that has grown old and stale with its consistent pattern of losing through the years. So as fans and media begin to speculate what the new logo may look like we came up with a few ideas as well.

How about keeping the theme of the Dawg Pound, but also consider the quality of product that has been put on the field since 1999. With that being said they incorporate Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo as the new logo. Yes, the patriarch of the toilets in Comedy Central’s animated hit ‘South Park’ is now the symbol of the quality of football Browns fans have witnessed over the years. The Browns can even scrap Brownie and Chomps and exclusively feature Mr. Hanky on a full-time basis as the mascot and face of the team.

Or how about we scratch the name Browns and rename them the Cleveland 5-11’s. Here we can embrace the team’s recent history of losing, poor decision making and constant disappointment. We can focus the name on what the franchise embodies… consistent losing. The ‘5-ll’s’ name embraces the futility and consistent double-digit loss seasons fans have endured year after year. A name which truly personifies the pitfalls and failures of the atrocious franchise since its rebirth.

Are we laughing yet? Ok, ok I’ll stop!

In all seriousness though, the Browns are in dire need for a fresh look. Sure, people say a new logo and uniforms don’t produce more wins. But wait, maybe it does. It worked for Tampa Bay, it worked for Seattle and it worked for Arizona. All three teams were among the worst in the league at the time they changed and revamped their logos and uniforms. All have won or appeared in a Super Bowl since the beginning of the 2000’s. So it goes to the saying, “You need to look good, to play good.”

More than likely the new logo will incorporate the ‘Dawg Pound’ theme. This means it will probably be featuring some kind of dog and new lettering for the name as well. Brownie the Elf has been banished back to the vaults and will no longer be a part of the identity of the team. The standard helmet logo will no longer be the symbol of the franchise either. The team promises something fresh and new, but also respective of the tradition and history as well.

Let’s hope the rebranding of the logo is the first step to the resurrection a franchise that has been dormant for too long.

Maybe this is the first step in awakening the Dawgs again.