THINKING OUT LOUD

BROWNS

Kudos to Mike Pettine for setting a date on when he’ll announce who his starting quarterback will be. The first year head coach said he’ll make that decision sometime before the third preseason game versus the Rams on August 23rd at home. This is smart for a number of reasons:

1) He beats the media to the punch of asking him every day of training camp when he’ll announce his starter.

2) It gives both Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel a time table so they can show off talents and their command of Kyle Shanahan’s offense and they’ll know how long they have to impress the coaches.

3) By making the decision at that point, it allows the starting QB to lead the team in third preseason game, or the so called “dress rehearsal” game for the regular season.

Besides the quarterback battle in training camp, I have two other positions I’ll be watching closely to see who emerges:

Wide Receiver – With Josh Gordon facing a potential season long suspension, this is by far the weakest position on the team. The Browns do not have a wide receiver that scares any team in the NFL. All the receivers on the squad not named Gordon, combined for a total of 1 touchdown catch last season. So I’ll be paying close attention to who will emerge from a group of has-beens, no-names, injury recovering vets and rookies.

Linebacker – Paul Kruger is overpaid and under produced last year. Can Barkevious Mingo become a starter? Is Karlos Dansby an upgrade over D’Qwell Jackson? Does Craig Robertson step his game up? A lot of question marks at this position.

CAVS

I expect Kevin Love to be on the Cavaliers opening day roster for the 2014-15 season. It’s looking more and more like G.M. David Griffin will have to include Andrew Wiggins in the deal to acquire Love, but if that’s what Minnesota wants to get it done and if LeBron James wants it to be done, then if you’re Griff you include the first overall pick of the 2014 draft.

Sources have told me that a package of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 first round draft pick, along with other bodies and contracts throw in should be enough to get the trade for Love done. Minnesota may be asking for more, and are probably leaking other alleged teams trade offers to try and scare the Cavs into upping their offer, but I’ve been told that David Griffin should hold firm on the last two number #1 overall picks and a first rounder next year and for Love and it will eventually happen.

It’s going to be great experience for Cavalier guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to participate this summer in Team USA Basketball’s training camp July 28-31st. Irving is on the roster of players who have a chance to make Team USA, while Waiters was chosen to be part of the 2014 USA Basketball Select squad that will play against Team USA. These practices and games of going against America’s best are only going to make both players better individually and overall, and that benefits David Blatt and the Cavaliers. Just stay healthy!

INDIANS

I picked them to be slightly above .500 before the season started and to just miss out on the playoffs and unfortunately that’s what it looks like right now for Tribe. While the hitting is starting to improve, there is still too much uncertainty with the starting pitching and the defense remains a big question mark and that has led Terry Francona’s bunch to be nothing more than a .500 team to this point. We’ll see if G.M. Chris Antonetti makes a big move to give this team a shot in the arm before the July 31st trading deadline, but I’m not holding my breath on that.

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