Browns optimistic heading into the 2018 season

Berea, OH – The Cleveland Browns have now have something that they have not had in the recent past — optimism.

Hope has been in the air year after year for a successful season, or even a season in which the Browns win half of their games. Unfortunately, the team has won one game out of their past 32, and those losses all came under head coach Hue Jackson.

Jackson has done a tremendous job heading into the 2018 season in finding a new staff to compliment him, and finding talent that could make the difference. The talent begins with starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is now heading into his eighth NFL season. Taylor has been the epitome of consistency and has been an excellent role model for the Browns number one draft pick Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield has a similar playing style to Taylor’s, and has admitted that Taylor has set the standard high for him. A model quarterback who has proven to be successful is something that has been absent from the Browns locker room, and this is the reason that many recent draft picks have not been able to grow and learn before they play. This is what held Deshone Kizer back, and many rookie quarterbacks before him.

Taylor has spoken about the “controversy” between the two quarterbacks in Brown’s training camp and assured the media that there is no controversy. These two players simply hold each other to the highest standard, and they are both preparing to play a starting role.

The next skilled position that the Browns have tremendously improved in, is the wide receiver position. They landed a big-time free agent in Jarvis Landry, and are hoping to return an extremely gifted receiver in Josh Gordon. Gordon has missed training camp due to personal reasons, but will likely debut in the first or second game of the season.

The Browns also have young talent in Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins, and this is a plethora of talent that the Browns may never have had at the position. Callaway has dealt with some legal issues that may hinder the beginning of his season, but he will make a huge impact if he can play.

The backfield has also improved tremendously with the addition of Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb. Chubb is a rookie from Georgia that has broken a number of records, and had an outstanding college career as a north-south runner. Hyde has nearly eclipsed 1,000 yards in the past two seasons and is still in the prime of his career. The team also has Duke Johnson who is extremely talented, but has had issues with injury.

The teams tight end David Njoku is a freak athlete that has had trouble catching the ball, but Mayfield spoke to the media and said that Njoku has improved on catching the ball. This is the only issue that he has shown, but his athleticism gives him potential that could soar through the roof.

This is just on the offensive side of the ball, as their defense has improved dramatically. The team drafted a cornerback in Denzel Ward in the first round that is a lock down player, and they brought in Damarious Randall who is gifted in the secondary. They still have Jabrill Peppers who is a second-year player that is known to dominate the secondary.

The player with the highest roof on the defense is Myles Garrett, who is a second-year player that has the potential to be one of the greatest at his position. He is a physically gifted defensive end the was sidelined last season often due to injury.

A big positive for the Browns this is their linebacker core, because they have three linebackers that can all be considered elite. Jamie Collins was injured last season, but he was the best player on a New England Patriots team that consistently dominated. Christian Kirksey has been with the Browns for four years and is continuing to improve each year. They also brought in Michael Kendricks who was the starting middle linebacker last year for the Eagles – who won the Super Bowl.

The team has also brought in an offensive guru in Todd Haley, and many other coaching pieces that are rebuilding the culture for the Cleveland Browns.

The saying that Browns fans have spewed out for years is, “there’s always next season.” This might be that season.

 

 

Cavs vs Raptors Game 3 Preview

Three down, one to go. The Cleveland Cavaliers will attempt to wrap up their series against the Toronto Raptors at 8:30 p.m. in the Q. A win tonight would send the Cavs into their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Finals against the winner of the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers series.

The Cavs are walking into this game with a home court advantage and a tremendous amount of momentum after coming out of game three with a LeBron James buzzer beater to win the game.

Toronto doesn’t have much to feel confident about. They have lost the past nine playoff games to Cleveland. They’re facing a potential sweep on the road. The Cavs held one of their leading scorers, DeMar DeRozan, to just eight points in game three.

LeBron, when asked about DeRozan’s poor performance said, “He missed a lot of easy opportunities…we’re just trying to make it a little bit more challenging that’s all.”

Looking ahead to the Eastern Conference Finals of the Cavs and the Celtics if each come out on top of their semifinal series, LeBron said he has been watching the other teams in their series. He said he has a lot of knowledge and insight on the Boston team who is missing their two star players Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving and still flourishing but doesn’t want to talk about it just yet, he still has a lot of work to do in the series against Toronto tonight.

UA Kicks Cancer Soccer Tournament

The mens’s club soccer team and Akron Against Cancer held a charity tournament where all the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. This was the second event like this as the women’s varsity soccer team held this same event last semester.


I got a chance to speak with assistant coach Josh Kay, who spoke about the event and how much money was raised. To this Josh said, “The event went great, the weather was a big factor in that. We raised nearly $500 after 10 teams had joined.”

In regards to whether this will be an occurring thing for semesters to come Josh said, “We are already planning for next semester. We had a chance to learn and look forward to improve based on the experience we gained from this event.”

To understand the club more, I asked Josh what the club team is about and how to join as a player or as part of the administration. Some of the benefits he listed included high competition levels, continuing to play soccer at a high level, and getting a chance to gain real world experience as an officer or coach.

The team labeled this event a success, and as mentioned look forward to hosting it once again next semester.

For the overall club, it is currently their offseason, but information on tryouts for anybody interested in a player or administrative role will be posted in the coming months.

If you want to contact the team about future events or for information on joining, you can email them at mensclubsoccer.ua@gmail.com. Also, you can give them a follow or contact them on their twitter, @UAMensClubSoccer.

Cavs Drop Game One

The Cleveland Cavaliers drop their opening game of the playoffs to the Indiana Pacers, 98-80. This was the first time in 21 games a LeBron James led team lost a first round game.

Post game, LeBron James said on his team being down 0-1, “I’m down 0-1 in the first round, I was down 3-1 in the Finals, I’m the last guy to ask about next game preparations.”. Ty Lue on the Pacers suffocating defense chipped in, “They came in, they were more physical, and in the playoffs usually those teams win”.

The Pacers walked into Quicken Loans Arena and looked like the better team, as they blitz the Cavs from beginning to end. This was not helped by the Cavaliers inability to make a three pointer as the team went a collected 8 of 34 on three point attempts.

LeBron James finished the game with a triple double as he went for 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. The next highest scoring Cavalier was J.R. Smith, who finished with 15 points off the bench.

In the first quarter, the pace was as quick as you’d have expected. The Pacers seemed to be the ones more locked in though as they went on a tear, finishing the quarter up 19 points.

This continued all the way to halftime, as the Pacers were up 55-38. This was spearheaded by Victor Oladipo continuing to put pressure on the Cavs defense.

The second half was much of the same for the beginning of the third quarter. The Pacers managed to increase their lead to as high as 23 points. Then the Cavs began their comeback.

This was a repeat of last season, when the Cavs came back from 26 down to defeat the Pacers in game 3 of the opening round. The Cavs got within 7 points off of a Kevin Love four point play opportunity. Then the Pacers put an end to that.

Each time the Cavaliers seemed to get close, they couldn’t get over the hurdle. The Pacers continued to make shots as the everybody not named J.R. Smith, continued to struggle from the perimeter.

Victor Oladipo showed why he was an All-Star this year. He finished the game with 32 points on 58% shooting from the field. He constantly split the Cavs trap on pick and rolls, and also showed his defensive abilities with four steals.

The Cavaliers find themselves in unfamiliar territory, and will have to win a game in Indiana to take back home court advantage. It is easy to say that it is not expected for the Cavaliers to match their season low shooting and offensive rating percentages, but these Pacers cannot be overlooked as they made that clear in game one.

Once a slogan, now turns into reality as the Cavaliers will now have to do “Whatever It Takes” in order to reach the finals once again.