QUOTE: “Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.” -- Arthur Schopenhauer
Browns and Raiders
The Sunday before the trading deadline, I reported that the Browns were interested in trading defensive end/linebacker Kamerion Wimbley. One of the teams I’d heard was interested in his services was the Raiders. They never lost their interest and decided to trade a third-round pick to the Browns for Wimbley, who played outside linebacker but will play defensive end with the Raiders opposite Richard Seymour.
Wimbley started for the Browns for four years and was most productive in his rookie season, registering 11 sacks. But once teams learned to get the right matchup on him – that is, do not allow running backs or tight ends to handle him in pass protection -- his numbers went down. Isolated on a running back or weaker tight end, Wimbley can be effective, but when he’s on a bigger tackle, he struggles to get off the block and win the one-on-one matchup. Wimbley is a good player, not a great player, which is the reason the Browns were interested in moving him during the season. The Raiders get a veteran lineman for their defense but pay a steep price, considering they’ll need to sign Wimbley in two years when his contract expires.
The Raiders are not going to be active in free agency this year and needed to add a player to their front seven. So parting with an early extra pick makes sense for them, considering their awful drafting ability. Better to trade for a player they know than draft a player they hope they get to know. The Browns were never in love with Wimbley, and the extra third-round pick will help them maneuver in the draft as they attempt to move up into the first round to secure their quarterback of the future.
Now, if the Lions are really interested in moving down, they’ll have a very interested trade partner in Cleveland. The Browns had to make the move because their ultimate goal is to find a quarterback, and they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure they secure one this year. What makes me laugh is that had Mike Holmgren been in Cleveland last year, he clearly would have picked Mark Sanchez and not given him to the Jets. One thing is clear: The new Browns are all about securing a quarterback, not securing ex-Jets players.
The Lions had talented Saints defensive tackle Tony Hargrove in for a visit. With the addition of Corey Williams from the Browns, the Lions are looking to continue upgrading their defensive line. If they’re able to secure Hargrove (remember, the Saints have the right to match), does this mean they’ll move down in the draft to select an offensive tackle? Possibly, but the Lions must gain blue-chip-type players in both lines, so they must make sure that whatever they do, they don’t move away from one of those players.
The last thing they want to do is to move down and not secure Russell Okung or one of the great defensive tackles. Don’t forget, moving down only works if the team still gets the player, or players, it wants. Teams cannot move down and only have one player in mind; to move down, teams must be happy to select at least one of three potential players. If the Lions sign Hargrove, adding him to Corey Williams along with last year’s fourth round pick Sammie Hill and possibly Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, it would make their defensive front the strength of the team.
Giants and Jets
I love the idea of having an all-Jersey opening weekend. The solution from the league office about which team would officially open the new stadium seems much better than a flip of the coin. The NFL said the Giants will open on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 12, and the Jets will host a Monday night game the next day.
Both teams now have the spotlight, and America can see the new stadium in the daylight and under the lights. Makes sense to me, even if Jets owner Woody Johnson is issuing scolding press releases.
Why do I do it?
I went to the 76ers game Monday night and kept asking myself why. We all know I have an incurable addiction when it comes to the 76ers, but watching them play is torture.
They are nothing I like in a team — no toughness, no competitiveness, no heart. Just indifference and selfishness. As Larry Brown once said, “They play the game as strangers.”
If the 76ers owners wonder why no one comes to the games, they should realize that the kind of game the team plays can be seen at any playground in America. Fans of Philadelphia basketball want to see a team game, not a game where they score 84 points on just 14 assists. Pathetic, but I’m sure I’ll be back.
Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi
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