Winners of the Draft

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


The 2016 NFL Draft is finally over and the Cleveland Browns came out on top. No I am not kidding. The Browns traded out of the second slot in the first round, accumulated draft picks and then snagged former PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year Scooby Wright III with the 250th pick in the seventh round. Yes, they won but they were not the only winners.

The Browns need a lot of help on the field and while there seems to finally be some direction in the front office, only time will tell if they got the help they needed. The front office did send all of the right signals by moving out of the number two slot in the first and ending up with 14 picks overall.

Their first round pick, Corey Coleman, may be the best wide receiver in the draft while third round pick Carl Nassib was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and has a lot of room to grow. Throw in former USC quarterback Cody Kessler, Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins and the aforementioned Wright and that is a heck of a draft.

The Browns were not the only winners. Many feel that the Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos all had outstanding drafts.

The Jags walk away with arguably two top 10 picks with cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Myles Jack. Jack fell into the second round due to health concerns but even with those concerns, he’s still one of the better athletes in the draft.

The Rams traded up to get Cal quarterback Jared Goff with the first overall pick but then took South Carolina wideout Pharoh Cooper in the fourth round and signed all time PAC-12 receptions leader Nelson Spruce as a free agent. Talk about surrounding your new QB with weapons.

Eddie YarbroughDenver traded up to get their QB of the future in Paxton Lynch. Add in former Utah running back Devontae Booker along with free agents wide receiver Bralon Addison of Oregon and defensive end Eddie Yarbrough of Wyoming. The defending Super Bowl champs proved to be shrewd and calculated.

We won’t really know what teams did well and what teams didn’t do well for a few years. At first glance the Browns, Jags, Rams and Broncos seem to be headed in the right direction. He chose well, filled needs and didn’t over stretch. Now let’s see if it pans out.

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Fashion Bucks

By Brad Hubbard  | @bradhubbard

The sports media is always in search of unique stories which is why it is not all that surprising that there is a behind the scenes article on the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks logo redesign and a lot of attention on the NFL’s Cleveland Browns uniform unveiling. While a teams ‘look’ is important it doesn’t translate into better results.

Milwaukee Buck New Logo

Phrases associated with the Bucks new logo are ‘tougher looking’ and ‘greater force’. Perhaps people forget that we are talking about a Deer but hey if it works it works.

The ESPN article dives into the unique process of how a New York design firm created the Bucks new logo. From the incorporation of the ‘M’ in the Deer’s chest to the inclusion of more antlers.

While the Bucks logo is being met with some intrigue, the same can not be said for the Browns new uniforms.

The Browns have, arguably, the boringest logo and uniforms in all of sports. The updated version by Nike didn’t move them out of this category.

Browns New Uniforms

Creativity, debate and a lot of thought went into the Browns redesign and maybe it will withstand the test of time but when compared to the Bucks redesign, it just falls short. Perhaps the material Nike will use will provide some sort of edge for the Browns players but that’s unlikely.

It’s doubtful that the players for the Bucks or the Browns will be affected by the new looks. Talent, preparation and coaching will make a bigger difference than what the colors of the uniforms are. However, these redesigns could help psychologically (maybe) and it certainly generates interest which translates into revenue for the respective teams. Either way, neither team has anything on the University of Oregon.

 

 

 

 

 

The Sunday: Late Edition

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The Sunday of Masters weekend brings one thing, waiting. Waiting to see if Augusta National is going to rear its ugly head and claim another victim in its rich history.

 

The Master

Spieth

Jordan Spieth is only 21 years old and now he is a Master champion. He is the second youngest to ever win the event behind only Tiger Woods. He was ice cold all four days. Grabbing the lead on Thursday and never looking back.

 

A Long Game

Box Score

When the Boston Red Sox meet the New York Yankees it is a notoriously long game.  Friday night went to a whole new level when they played 19 innings. The game was so long that Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira aged during the game. When it started he was 34 years and old and by the time it ended he had turned 35. It wasn’t all fun and games though, Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli went 0 for 8.

 

Free Johnny

Johnny Manziel was released from rehab over the weekend. He has a long way to go before claiming the starting quarterback job with the Cleveland Browns and living up to the first round draft pick status but at least now he is clean and sober.

 

What to Watch Thurs. 11/27- Fri. 11/30

All times are PST

Thursday November 27th

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions – 9:30am CBS: Cutler vs Stafford. Let’s see who implodes first.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys – 1:30pm FOX: This may be one of the better match-ups on Thanksgiving in a long, long time.

TCU at Texas – 4:30pm FS1: TCU needs this win in and an impressive one at that if they want any chance of making the Playoff.

Seattle Seahawks at SF 49ers – 5:30pm NBC: This is a pivotal game for both teams playoff chances.

Friday November 28th

NY Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers – 10am NBC: Two teams that hate each other. Goes along with some of the feelings come Black Friday.

Arkansas at Missouri – 11:30am CBS: This game just got a whole lot better with the Razorbacks latest form.

Arizona State at Arizona – 12:30pm FOX: This could be the best game of the weekend.

Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks – 1pm NHLN: Two teams loaded with talent and probably Stanley Cup contenders.

Virginia at Virginia Tech – 5pm ESPN: Winning team goes bowling.

LA Clippers at Houston Rockets – 5pm NBA-TV: This game is just loaded with stars.

Memphis Grizzlies at Portland TrailBlazers – 7pm NBA League Pass: The top team in the Southwest vs the top team in the West. What?

Saturday November 29th

Georgia Tech at Georgia – 9am SEC Network: Georgia Tech runs the football and Georgia has had trouble with that this season.

NE Revs vs NY Red Bulls – Noon NBCSN: If it’s anything like game 1 we are in for a treat.

Mississippi State at Ole Miss – 12:30pm CBS: A ton on the line for both teams. Ole Miss will probably be without QB Bo Wallace which could make or break this game.

Minnesota at Wisconsin – 12:30pm Big Ten Network: Minnesota is a tough football team and Wisconsin is too. Oh yeah, they play for an axe.

Auburn at Alabama – 4:45pm ESPN: It’s the Iron Bowl. Did you see what happened last year?

Oregon at Oregon State – 5pm ABC: The Civil War tends to be one sided in Oregon’s favor but every now and then State jumps up to bite’em.

Washington at Washington State – 7:30pm FS1: The Apple Cup is always one the best in state rivalry games in the country.

Sunday November 30th

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills – 10am CBS: When was the last time that this was a must watch game? Well it is now.

102nd Grey Cup – 3pm ESPN2: Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs the Calgary Stampeders. Calgary has been one of the best teams in the league year in year out. They don’t get to the Grey Cup often and when they do they don’t always walk away with the Cup. In other news, Hamilton got faded in last years Cup so you know they want this one.

NE Patriots at Green Bay Packers – 1:30pm CBS: This game should rock.

Denver Broncos at KC Chiefs – 5:30pm NBC: KC is going to be ultra motivated since they lost a Pro Bowl player in Eric Berry for the season and are coming off a loss in Oakland.

Seattle Sounders at LA Galaxy – 6pm ESPN: This is just going to be an amazing match. Does Landon Donovan continue to another MLS Cup or will Clint Dempsey get the Sounders to their first ever Cup.

 

 

What To Watch Fri. 8/8 – Sun. 8/10

All times are PST.

Friday August 8th

PGA Championship – 10am TNT: It’s the last major tournament of the year and Tiger is playing.

Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays – 4pm MLB.TV: It is a possible playoff preview.

San Jose Earthquakes at LA Galaxy – 8pm NBC Sports: The first game of the Landon Donovan farewell tour.

Saturday August 9th

PGA Championship – 11am CBS:

Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions – 4:30pm NFL Network: Johnny Football Pro debut anyone?

Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas – 6pm MLS Live: Two teams separated by 3 points in the standings battle for vital points.

DC United at Real Salt Lake – 7pm MLS Live: One of top teams in the East meets one of the top teams in the West.

Sunday August 10th

PGA Championship – 11am CBS:

Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays – 10am MLB.TV: It’s a nice Sunday pitching matchup as David Price heads to the mound for Detroit and Mark Buehrle for Toronto.

Sporting KC at Vancouver WhiteCaps – 5pm MLS Live: Vancouver is a tough place to play and they need points. SKC though is the probably the best team in MLS right now.

Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves – 5pm ESPN: Getaway game for two teams battling for control of the NL East.

Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders – 7:30pm ESPN2: Houston is starting to turn it on and Seattle has been struggling as of late.

Why Chip Kelly Isn’t Right For The NFL

By Dave Trausneck @trausneck

A few days after Christmas, my father and I were riding around in his car straddling the state line between North and South Carolina when he asked me if Chip Kelly was leaving Oregon.

About three heartbeats later I said, “no.”

When asked why, I told my father that I had a pretty good hunch that Kelly would stay in Eugene, because we went down a similar road last year, and I don’t think his offense would parlay into success in the National Football League.

Chip Kelly-Oregon

Much has been said over the past few days about Kelly’s “blur” offense at Oregon, and how versions of it is currently being used by the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins… and Kelly “wins” no matter where he goes.  Could Chip Kelly win in the NFL?  Yes.  Enough to mirror his success at Oregon?  No.Here’s a list of reasons why Kelly can’t win at Cleveland, Buffalo or Philadelphia like he can in Eugene.  I’ll go into more details below.

  1. Recruiting vs. the Draft
  2. Speed in college vs. speed in the NFL
  3. Coaching teenagers vs. coaching 5-8 year NFL veterans
  4. He can’t be his obscure, quirky self with members of the media in the NFL or with any of those fan bases.

The University of Oregon football program has several exclusive perks.  Most notable, it’s the school Phil Knight launched into the stratosphere.  When 16 and 17-year-old boys watch the Ducks on television, they see hundreds of jersey combinations and Nike EVERYWHERE.  It’s flash, it’s 80’s-era Showtime at the Forum, and Chip is like Magic running the break dishing to Worthy or Kareem.

Like Tampa Bay last year, I believe Kelly realized the infrastructure in Buffalo, Cleveland and Philadelphia could not sustain his type of offense… and he would be out in three years at either location.  Brandon Weeden, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Nick Foles cannot run Kelly’s offense as well as Jeremiah Masoli, Darron Thomas or Marcus Mariota.  The three former quarterbacks are better for the NFL than for college… the three latter quarterbacks are better for Chip than the NFL.

Kelly’s offense relies on speed more than anything else.  In his UPS commercials, he notes the offense includes many simple patterns, but he emphasizes speed.  The “blur” offense can work in college where talent is somewhat diluted, but not in the NFL.  Right now, the spread offense is a gimmick that keeps defenses on their toes between multiple spread formations and 50-pass attempt per game quarterbacks.

Oregon’s Win The Day motto resonates in young men better than 28-year-olds who have three homes and three cars.  His message serves as a viable life lesson for an 18-year-old who just became eligible to vote, and who will soon play on national television for the first time.  The message gets drowned out in a room of men who have had 3 coaches in their career.  Motivating young men is much simpler than changing a grown man.

If you’ve ever listened to Coach Kelly talk to a reporter, you know he’s an odd fella.  He speaks differently, acts differently… and can be best described as “obscure.”  It fits perfect in Eugene.  It’s an obscure part of America… and he gets to fly under the radar of bigger national media on the East Coast.  It’s tougher to stay up and watch the end of an Oregon game at 2am than it is to finish watching the SEC game of the week that ends at 7pm.

Each city that showed interest in Kelly has a rabid fan base that does not tolerate failure.  While success in Buffalo, Cleveland and Philadelphia has been tough to find the past few years, you need a coach who understands that and can speak to the blue-collar nature of their core fan base.  Kelly has a frosty relationship at best with boosters in Eugene.  It’s a relationship that could also put a strain on the fan base.

Chip Kelly will probably make the jump from Oregon to the NFL one day.  But the time isn’t right, and it may never be right.

As one woman in Portland put it, “If he (Kelly) wants to do the game a service, keep teaching.”