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December 2, 2012

SPORTVIEW: Browns can build off win over Steelers for strong future

OPINION — IT’S A great time to be a Cleveland Browns fan. The Browns defeated their long-time rival Pittsburgh, but more importantly the team shows potential of future greatness.

Admittedly, the Browns recorded the win against the third-string quarterback of the Steelers, but as at least one Browns’ fan said: The Browns have been starting third-string quarterbacks for years.

The jury is still out on Browns starter Brandon Weeden, but he shows potential. And he may be the perfect guy to lead the very young Browns team — youngest overall roster in the NFL — into the future.

However, the offense needs to catch up with the defense. When healthy, that Browns defense is about as good as any in the league. With a couple of better defensive backs, the team could really make some noise the next few years.

The Steelers helped the Browns with turnovers, but the defense had a lot to do with that. They were pounding Pittsburgh backs. Still, I don’t ever remember seeing a game where four different running backs lost fumbles like the Steelers did. Coach Mike Tomlin didn’t know who to put in the game.

And when Joe Haden is in the lineup, the defensive back can shut down the best receiver of pretty much every team in the NFL.

Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch was asked to do more than he was capable of doing because of the ineptness of the running backs. And now he must go up against the Baltimore Ravens with a line that is greatly hampered by injuries.

Tackle Mike Adams, a Farrell native, probably will be out for about four weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered against the Browns.

Let’s face it, the Steelers are old as far as football years go. That’s why so many veterans have been sidelined at times by injuries. A body can only withstand the NFL beatings for so long.

And there are more beatings to come today against the Ravens. With Batch behind a patched up offensive line, the Steelers have no hope. They are bad on the road to start with (1-4) and it won’t get better at Poe’s Place as the Ravens roll, 30-9.

Meanwhile, Cleveland travels to Oakland. While the Browns have shown they can play well at home, they need to do better on the road. And Oakland should be just the place to show if they are truly making progress.

I see the Browns winning on the West Coast, 24-13.

Last week, my predictions took a worse beating than Steelers running backs as I fumbled my way to 5-7 for a season mark of 96-64. Following are the rest of this week’s picks (betting line in parentheses just for fun):

Detroit (-41⁄2) over Indy

Denver (-61⁄2) over Tampa

Chicago (-4) over Seattle

Green Bay (-9) over Minnesota

St. Louis (plus 71⁄2) over San Fran

New England (-71⁄2) over Miami

Houston (-41⁄2) over Tennessee

Arizona (plus 41⁄2) over NY Jets

Kansas City (plus 1) over Carolina

Dallas (-10) over Philly

Buffalo (-6) over Jacksonville

San Diego (plus 1) over Cincy

Giants (even) over Washington


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  • On to baseball GC coach Bell retired — sort of!

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    Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
    “My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'

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    Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
    Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.

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    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

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    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

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    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

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