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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Weekend musings: Wish the Cleveland Indians were home this week

By Marla Published: May 2, 2011

Comments about sports seem insignificant today after the news of the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Because I was catching up on some DVR shows last night and missed the 11 p.m. news, today's headlines on the front pages of the Plain Dealer and Beacon Journal took my breath away. Kind of like the impact newspapers used to have.  A big salute to the Navy SEALs, who gave the nation a huge lift, and the rest of the Armed Forces.


  • Too bad the Indians are on the road this week. With the draft over, I would think they would have been a big draw. ESPN even gave the Indians some love on Sunday, using Carlos Santana's walk-off grand slam and Santana's diving catch to start a triple play in their Top Ten plays for April. The catch was No. 2, the grand slam No. 1. All that was missing from the latter was the pitcher mouthing, 'Wow.''

  • An interesting nugget on the Browns draft from Sports Illustrated's Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column. When the Browns drafted USC tight end Jordan Cameron in the fourth round Saturday, they called the wrong player looking for bio information. Instead of phoning Cameron, they called Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan, who was touring the New Orleans Saints' facility after being chosen 24th overall on Thursday. According to King, the caller said, "Hi, Jordan? This is the Cleveland Browns ... '' To which Jordan replied, "Uh, yeah, this is Cameron Jordan. But the Saints already picked me.'' After an awkward pause, Jordan added, "I think you mean Jordan Cameron, you're looking for Jordan Cameron. That's not me.'' Ironically, in the Browns press room we  joked about the hundreds of opportunities we'll have to make that same mistake in the coming years.

  • Excuse me if I think the NFL's lawyers are getting a little ridiculous by putting Wes Welker's comment, ''Let's do a lockout every year," into their court documents seeking a longer stay. I'm sure some players believe there are  too many OTA days and minicamps during a normal off-season. But Welker has a job with the New England Patriots. I'm sure his sentiments are not shared by free agents and undrafted rookies. And apparently all those boos from fans that rained down on commissioner Roger Goodell during the NFL Draft fell on deaf ears in the leagues' law offices. 

  • The potential that the Browns may have found another tight end diamond in the rough in Cameron, a former basketball player at BYU, won't make up for letting Antonio Gates get away from Kent State. But maybe it will if Cameron becomes a perennial Pro Bowler.  Watching his YouTube video with friend Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers was the highlight of the draft.

  • After years of Cleveland curses, wonder if the Indians have an angel in  Bob Feller working his magic?

  • Some fans are wondering why the Browns drafted Stanford fullback-linebacker Owen Marecic, presumably to take the place of free agent fullback Lawrence Vickers. Either they feel Vickers wants too much money in his next contract or he's not a good enough receiver for the West Coast offense. Vickers caught 4 passes for 15 yards last season and has only 41 receptions for 271 yards (6.6 average) in five years. Wonder because of the brutality of the position if the Browns might be concerned about Vickers wearing down. Then it makes sense to seek a younger replacement.

  • Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. called North Carolina wide receiver Greg Little one of the draft's biggest potential bargains. Here's what Williamson wrote about Little on ESPN.com: "Little could very easily fizzle out. Or he could become a Terrell Owens-type of force at wide receiver. He is great after the catch and extremely strong and physical. Even though he didn't play in 2010 after having dealings with an agent, Little should quickly grab ahold of the Browns' top wide receiver role -- even though he still needs a lot of work on his craft. His big frame and overall skill set are perfect for QB Colt McCoy and the Browns' new dedication to a West Coast scheme.''

  • Loved the Bengals' top two picks, receiver A.J. Green of Georgia and quarterback Andy Dalton of TCU. Either they can try to entice Carson Palmer to stay with the likes of Green, or they can move on with Dalton and trade Palmer. Even with the run on quarterbacks in the first round, there are still several teams with needs.

  • I've been on the Lions' bandwagon ever since they hired Jim Schwartz (whom I wanted the Browns to hire) and the draft only added to that. Lining up Nick Fairley with Ndamukong Suh was a brilliant move. Imagine how excited ex-Brown Corey Williams is to be playing on that line now. The Lions also got one of the top five receivers in Titus Young of Boise State and running back Mikel Leshoure of Illinois to team with Jahvid Best. I may be one of the few people in America who hope the Aug. 19 preseason game with the Browns is played.

  • Most of my other favorites also went to NFC teams. Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams was picked by Green Bay, Ohio State linebacker Brian Rolle and Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews went to Philadelphia. Imagine those latter two overachievers on the Eagles' special teams.

  •  I was surprised that Rolle went in the sixth round ahead of OSU's Ross Homan (to Minnesota).

  • Biggest non-drafted surprise from Ohio State: receiver Dane Sanzenbacher. I know he's small, but the guy has unbelievable leaping ability and body control.

  • If the Browns are looking for receiving ability in a backup running back, I wonder if they'll consider Ohio State undrafted rookie Brandon Saine. I know he's injury prone, but Saine's straight-line speed could be intriguing, especially a change of pace for Peyton Hillis and perhaps Montario Hardesty.

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