Every weekday morning, we’ll take a look at headlines from the last 24 hours to make sure you’re up-to-date on everything Cleveland sports. With three major teams in one town, fans have a lot of information to process. Some headlines are big, but often it’s the small news that can have the greatest impact. So we’re here to help. Let’s take a look:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard by now that Buffalo Bills DC Mike Pettine is the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns. But that’s not a concern to us anymore. It’s time to get started. The Browns are way behind other organizations in being prepared.
GM Mike Lombardi hasn’t been at the Senior Bowl all week in Mobile, Ala. Assistant GM Ray Farmer, who has thankfully decided to remain with the organization, has been there in his place. Lombardi has been helping with the coaching search thus far, but it’s imperative that he turn his attention to evaluating talent.
The main thing the Browns have to do now is put together a staff. And offense is crucial. It seems Pettine has a few people in mind already:
Expect Bills LB coach Jim O’Neil to be a top candidate as Pettine’s DC. Have heard Packers RB coach Alex Van Pelt a top choice for OC — Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 23, 2014
It’s been reported that Alex Van Pelt has already chosen to stay with the Packers and take over as quarterbacks coach, a natural fit given he was a former NFL QB himself. Although it’s good for him, it’s worrisome for the Browns if that was the new coach’s first choice.
Pettine said it would be nice to have a former head coach on the staff to provide some guidance, but there aren’t a lot of names out there anymore. Mike Munchak is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ new offensive line coach. Norv Turner has left the organization too. And although it’s fine if he brings his old pal O’Neil along with him for the ride to run the defense - as Rex Ryan did with him - there’s not a lot of experience there.
So where do the Browns turn? Do they target an offensive-minded college coach? It’s doubtful San Francisco 49ers OC Greg Roman would make a lateral move. We’ll be following this closely as names continue to surface.
Kyrie Irving’s big day complete. Named All-Star starter tonight about 11 hours after he was selected to USA Basketball men’s roster
— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) January 24, 2014
That’s great news for not only Irving, but for the team as well. The Cavs could use as much positive publicity as they can get right now. Maybe it will again help to attract a free agent next year. It’s a big “maybe,” but we’re not ruling it out.
While the Indians continue to be overshadowed in the news for obvious reasons, they’ve slowly tried to retool their pitching staff.
Paul Hoynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group reported that the Tribe has recently signed New York Mets pitcher, David Aardsma. He comes in addition to another former Mets pitcher, Scott Atchison. The team is really hoping one, if not both, works out.
“Tribe manager Terry Francona managed Aardsma, 32, in 2008 in Boston when he went 4-2 with a 5.55 ERA in 47 appearances. On Wednesday, Francona said that the Indians bullpen, hurt by free agent defections, could find relief in some of the non-roster pitchers they’ve invited to camp.”
The ball club has welcomed 20 non-roster players to camp, and it’s necessary that a few of them are productive if they want to get past the “play-in game” from last season.
Did we miss anything from the last 24 hours that is important to Cleveland fans? Let us know below in the comments and/or follow on Twitter and send us a tweet.