We always feel a little guilty piling on with MKC stories. It reminds us of the unkind comments about Terri Garr’s weight gain and then to find out she has MS and the steroid treatments can cause that.
But on the other hand, it isn’t like that at all since lazy reporting isn’t a congenital physical ailment. So, having shown due sensitivity, we dig in.
Background: Pat Shurmur hiring, reporting malfeasance
For the record, I never had a major problem with MKC until she was promoted from her role of writer-about-the-Browns to knowledgable-football-person and asked to offer opinions. She simply fell off the cart, with me, at the time of the Pat Shurmur hiring.
In her Shurmur reporting, she generated a lot of content about improved front-office-coaching-staff cadence and a fair amount of credit-assigning for Sam Bradford mentoring. But what struck me was the zero critical analytical review of Shurmur’s credentials and on-field performance. Having been a Rams’ bettor most of 2010, I watched a lot of that team. They were a cover machine for sure. But even as a casual observer, I was struck by the dumb offense. I truly watched and thought: it’s 3rd/9, why did you call a three yard out route? But fine, I watched a lot of Rams.. maybe an expectation of that level of info gathering is unreasonable. Maybe a review of cackling Rams blogs was to be discounted in favor of ‘league sources.’ Maybe pro-football-reference.com is a blocked site and so she was unable to find that the Rams under OC Shurmur were just bad in the predictive stats of total points (26th) and ‘net yards per pass attempt’ (30th). But the final game at Seattle with a playoff bid on the line where the Rams could manage only two field goals… 184 total yards… outgunned by Charlie Whitehurst… 2-14 on 3rd downs… THIS GAME received no notice from MKC (or anyone else in Cleveland media that I remember). And it happened ELEVEN DAYS before the hiring. How do you miss this? It’s either ‘in the bag for Berea’ or asleep and neither are good recommendations.
But here we are today and the fact is: as the Browns beat writer for the pre-eminent newspaper in town, MKC is in a position to lead dialogue for Browns talk and is accorded such privilege from national media even though her reporting is typically the repeating of Berea talking points and the re-tweeting of Adam Schefter.
Which brings us to today’s giggle: the running of MKC articles by national outlets.
Genesis of non-news creation
Amid the rubble of local blog links, user ‘Comments of the Day,’ and the fourth (fourth!) post on fan-submitted Browns uniform designs (cool it) (although there is one we sort-of like) on cleveland.com/browns, we find a Mary Kay Cabot analysis: Breaking Down the Cleveland Browns as off-season decisions loom.
- Weeden wasn’t good in his rookie year,
- Curious listing of Brian Hoyer and Chase Daniel as potential QB targets (!) (likely via Caplan),
- Marecic hard-pressed to get job back (!!),
- WR analysis: “No one in this young corps cracked the top 50 in receptions or had more than five TD catches.” (MKC’s analysis cares not for consideration of Shurmur’s offense or Weeden’s discomfort with it or the forward improvement trajectory from the two first year starting WRs.) And “The Browns need two more starting-caliber wideouts.” (!!!),
- New d-line personnel for Horton’s new defense,
- New OLB for Horton’s new defense (wait isn’t that the same as the new d-line? See? 3-4 defenses are confusing.),
- Need help for Haden and Ward.
Other than needing ‘TWO starting-caliber WRs’ there’s nothing here that I didn’t already know.
But there is this:
“The Browns aren’t expected to pursue New England backup Ryan Mallett, …”
Not expected by whom? By you, MKC? On what are your non-expectations based? I’ve heard random sports talkers on Cleveland radio not expecting this. That the Browns weren’t expected to hire Rob Chudzinski would have been equally factual and non-insightful a couple weeks ago, no? I guess this is a true statement. But they mean nothing.
Actually it means less than nothing when it spurs national viral repeating of this non-story.
Let’s note here that the original Mallett rumor springs from a Greg Bedard tweet which also appears to be conjured from nothing. As a rule, I’ll always take a Bedard tweet over MKC’s expectation. But in the end, these are two talking heads guessing with seemingly no more information than you or I.
But if you think it stops there… au contraire, mon frere.
No real agenda or biting closing statement on this. Just wanted to record for the archives an example of the sorry state of sports reporting both locally and nationally.
With respect to Ryan Mallett:
Here’s his 2011Sugar Bowl against OSU.
You’ll see good mobility, short pass touch, long pass accuracy, plenty of arm strength, movement through progressions, mostly good decisions, equal parts under-center/shotgun, and about ten drops by my count.
From where I sit, the fear and loathing of Ryan Mallett is more than a tad over done.
Random great post link.
Over at The Cleveland Fan, @Gotribe31 has a piece on Otto Graham with an interview of Graham’s son. Topics go from inventing the draw play to encounters with racism to Modell to breaking curfew with Sonny Jurgensen. Must read.