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The Waterboy's Diary - By Bart Wilson

Post NFL Draft Reaction to Browns Picks

Almost two weeks have passed since the first day of the 2024 NFL Draft, and during that time, 257 rookies were chosen to embark on their professional football journey. It’s always an exciting time when it’s draft season because you get to see new players go to a team you cheer for and try to expect all the amazing things they could do. It’s like waiting for a new action figure to be released and you wait with such excitement, and once that moment hits when receiving the figure, it just becomes pure euphoria. The only issue is that there is a 50/50 chance that the new figure is amazing or a complete bust. That’s how I feel during draft season when all these fresh faces enter the NFL. It is going to be the best pick ever or the worst ever.

Speaking of fresh faces, let’s look at the picks for the Cleveland Browns.

54th Pick, DT Mike Hall, Ohio State

85th Pick, G Zach Zinter, Michigan

156th Pick, WR Jamari Thrash, Louisville

206th Pick, LB Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State

227th Pick, CB Myles Harden, South Dakota

243rd Pick, DT Jowon Briggs, Cincinnati

Right off the bat the Browns best picks are DT Mike Hall and G Zach Zinter. Two positions that needed to be filled with reliable second-string players. Even though they are rookies, their college careers have been extremely impressive. Especially, having Zinter on the team will help in case Conklin or Wills Jr. get injured again. It also helps that the Browns just picked up C Brian Allen from the LA Rams. Their third best pick would be WR Jamari Thrash. It will be interesting to see if he’ll be able to match up or do better than the two previous wide receiver picks, because Tillman and Bell have shown nothing special when stepping out onto the field. I remember they tried to hype up Tillman during training camp last year, but all that hype went away after recording over 200 yards receiving. Bell in two seasons has just recorded 381 yards and 3 touchdowns in two seasons, so bar is very low for Thrash to impact this Browns offense.

What are your thoughts on the Browns draft picks? Will they make a positive or negative impact for future seasons?

The NFL Draft is Upon the Cleveland Browns.

It is time once again for all football fans to gather around the TV and watch potential future stars get selected in the NFL Draft. These three days of selections can either help a team pave the way to a future championship or set them up to fall flat on their face. For the Cleveland Browns, this year it might be the latter half. As they continue to pay off the debt to get Deshaun Watson, they only have five picks for this year’s draft. Will these five draft picks make any impact?

Well, last year the Browns picked Cedric Tillman in the third round. He is currently a backup to Amari Cooper. For someone the Browns had high hopes for, Tillman fell flat with just 21 receptions for 224 yards and 0 touchdowns. David Bell, picked in 2022, has also not lived up to expectations. Given that, the team needed to seek out Jerry Jeudy. Along with Tillman and Bell, LDT Siaka Ika (third round pick), LDE Isaiah McGuire (fourth round pick), and RCB Cameron Mitchell (fifth round pick) are all third stringers. RG Luke Wypler (sixth round pick) is second string behind Wyatt Teller. The only players that had somewhat of an impact were RT Dawand Jones (fourth round pick), and QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (fifth round pick). Jones did a great job filling in for Jack Conklin and Thompson-Robinson made do with what he had when filling in for Watson.

So, last year’s picks really didn’t pan out so well for the Browns. This makes it extremely difficult to think that this year’s draft will be any better. The picks the team has are 54, 85, 156, 206, and 243. If they can find a decent player given those picks, I would be surprised. Chad Reuter, from the NFL Network, believes the Browns need to be adding to O-Line, Linebacker, Defensive Line, Wide Receiver, and Tight End positions. I would agree with that assessment because the team just lost LB Sione TakiTaki, LB Anthony Walker, and TE Harrison Bryant. The biggest concern is the offensive line because of all the injuries sustained during the season. They lost Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. for the season while Joel Bitonio and Jones had minor injuries.

If I were making the pick at 54, I would try to go with the best available offensive linemen on the board. Knowing the Browns though, they might go in a different direction. As for tight ends, they have David Njoku, but his back up is Jordan Akins. No offense to Akins, but I thought Bryant was a better back up than him, and that’s why the Browns need to seek out another high-quality tight end. If they can’t do that, then expect a lot of playing time from Njoku - but remember he does get injured a lot.

Moving on to wide receiver, the team’s starters right now are Cooper, Jeudy, and Elijah Moore. I already talked about how Bell and Tillman have been disappointing, so what is the answer? Well, out of the five picks they have, there will be wide receivers to consider. To say who might be available and if they would be helpful is hard to know. You might as well ask a Magic 8 Ball what receivers will still be on the board since all the top tier wide receivers will be gone by the time the Browns make a pick. The same goes for linebackers and defensive linemen.

Now, the good news. Most of the defense stayed intact from last season. So, those positions will be competed for by last year’s rookies and veteran players that aren’t starters.

I don’t have high hopes for the Brown in this year’s draft, but hey you never know until it gets to the regular season. Given Watson’s susceptibility to frequent injury, maybe Matt Ryan will come out of retirement to be the new starter who gets us to the playoffs. If so, this draft talk won’t mean much. A man can dream.

 

The Waterboy's Return

Hello! It has been a while since my last post and have done a lot of thinking on how I want to proceed with The Waterboy’s Diary. I want to turn this into an outlet where people can have conversations on hot topics in sports. These can be ideas I come up with or they can be recommendations from followers like you. Right now, some topics I would like to talk about are the current state of NFL Free Agency, the NBA logo, adding a shot clock in high school basketball, double tap rule in volleyball, EA Sports NCAA Football, NFL Combine, fans sacrificing health for the love of the game, and new stadiums being built soon. If you want me to add another topic to the list that you want to know my thoughts on, please do so by commenting on the Facebook post. Next week, I will talk about how things are looking with the current players who have moved on to new teams in the NFL. Until next week, make sure you stay hydrated!

Pride of Detroit

The Detroit Lions have been the talk of the town for the 2023 NFL season. They started things off by beating the reigning Super Bowl champs on the road. Since then, the Lions have lost only one game in overtime to the Seahawks. Now that we are heading into week 5 of the season, what are the chances the Lions can win the NFC North?

 

The last time the Lions won a division title was in 1993 when they were in the NFC Central, which consisted of the Bears, Buccaneers, Packers, and Vikings. That year the Lions went 10-6 and lost in the Wild Card game against the Packers 28-24. Their quarterback was Rodney Pete, their top wide receiver was Brett Perriman, but the main offensive attraction was Barry Sanders. Inside linebacker Chris Spielman controlled the Lions defense.

 

Now, the Lions have an opportunity to get back to the top and win their division. Quarterback Jared Goff has been hitting on all cylinders even though he has thrown one pick in three consecutive games. Goff has completed almost 70% of his passes, and that is 4% more than last season. It also helps that he has Amon Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta, Josh Reynolds, and Kalif Raymond to throw to. All of them are averaging over 10 yards per reception. For the running game, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs have both been electric in the back field.

 

The defense has also held their own after ranking 4th in the NFL in yards allowed per game with 280. Some breakout players for the defense are Brian Branch and Jerry Jacobs. Jacobs leads the team in solo tackles, 23, and has 2 interceptions in the season. Rookie Branch has 21 solo tackles and 1 interception that came during the Chiefs game. Also, Aidan Hutchison is not having a sophomore slump this year having recorded 3.5 sacks and 2 tackles for loss. This Lions defense has shown dominance throughout 4 games, and it can only grow stronger. It would help if C.J. Gardner Johnson was back, but you can’t speed up injury recovery.

 

The Lions are in a good position to take this division and find themselves in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. There next four games are all winnable with Carolina, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and Las Vegas. The only game that could be a test is the Ravens game, but they have been dealing with injuries from OBJ to their third string running back. If you’re a Lions fan, then you should be elated right now because this could be the year the Lions could make history once again for a franchise that has struggled for many years. So, get the blue ski masks out and order those Little Caesar’s Pizzas and root for the Pride of Detroit.

 

Struggle in the Jungle

I guess we’re staying in Ohio again this week with the slow start to the Cincinnati Bengals season. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the Bengals when you look at their first two games. It all started when they were completely shutout by the Browns in week 1, but maybe that was because of the weather. The very next week they lost to the Ravens at home by 3 points. This week they played a familiar face in the Rams for Monday Night Football. It wasn’t a pretty game, but the Bengals survived with a 19-16 first win of the season.

 

Joe Burrow’s performance after three weeks has been underwhelming to say the least. It did look like he was able to make some big plays in the second half of the Rams game, but it didn’t seem like he’s completely 100% with that calf injury. Burrow’s QB rating after 3 games is 66.2 which is a result of having only 67 completions out of 122 pass attempts. Not the best numbers from a quarterback who just signed the largest contract in NFL history.

 

The wide receiver play between Chase, Higgins and Boyd has also fallen flat a bit. Things did seem to heat up with Chase making some big catches against the Rams. Higgins has struggled so far and left the game Monday with cramps. I think that worried fans a bit. If you lose Higgins, then you no longer have one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL. Boyd really hasn’t done much in 3 games to really wow anyone either. Another offensive player struggling is Joe Mixon who’s averaging 4 yards per carry and has rushed for 180 yards off 40 carries. Not the best numbers from a top tier back.

 

As for the defense, they have been able to keep the team in games, except the Browns game, until the very last play. It really seems like this is an offensive issue that starts with Burrow being able to back to his old playing style. What I saw on Monday was a guy uncomfortable in the pocket who had very little mobility to make plays happen. If that can get fixed the Bengals should get back on track and be contenders for another playoff run. That’s if Burrows can get healthy.

Is the Browns Season Over?

Is the Browns season over when we are only two games into the season? Monday night was not the kind of game Browns fans wanted to see. Running back Nick Chubb was taken off the field by cart due to a gruesome knee injury. Chubb will most likely be gone for the rest of the season and this could be extremely consequential to the Browns season. Then there’s Deshaun Watson. He threw a pick six, fumbled on a play that caused another pick six, committed two personal fouls, and appeared to push a ref. This is certainly concerning given how much the Browns gave away to get him.

 

Chubb over his 6-year career has recorded 6,511 rushing yards on 1,238 carries and found the endzone 48 times. To say that he wasn’t the team’s work horse is an understatement. He also had the third highest average rushing yards per carry with 5.3 yards in the Super Bowl era. By losing Chubb the Browns don’t have anyone to really fall back on.

 

To fill the void in the running back position will be second year player Jerome Ford who beat out Demetric Felton to make the active roster. Ford has just carried the ball 39 times for 154 yards from last season to now. He’ll have to step up and fill a big pair of shoes to help with the Browns run game. Speaking of young players, the Browns also traded for Pierre Strong Jr. who played for the Patriots last season. Strong Jr. has only carried the ball 12 times for 101 yards. Inexperience in the backfield will hinder the Browns running game.

 

On top of that, Deshaun Watson has struggled in the first two games. He’s thrown two picks, has been sacked 9 times, fumbled once, and has a 55.1% completion percentage. Then you have Dawand Jones taking over for Jack Conklin in the right tackle position due to suffering a season ending injury last week. To add more full to the fire, wide receiver Amari Cooper has only caught the ball 10 times for 127 yards. While Elijah Moore, Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Njoku, David Bell, and rookie Cedric Tillman have been non-existent.

 

By losing Chubb on Monday the Browns offense will be put through the ringer for the rest of the season. A lot of younger players will need to step up but that is a lot to ask when the team relied so much on Chubb to do everything. This may be a throw away season like last season and the season before that. I just don’t see this team winning many games off the heels of the offense. If anything, the Browns will only win because the defense was able to make big plays. Other than that, it could be a complete wash of a season for the Browns.

 

 

Cincinnati Reds

Dear Diary,

 

It’s been 5 days since our 12-game winning streak was busted. Since then, we’ve lost 4 straight games in a row. I mean it was bound to happen at some point, but we did manage to tie for the second-best winning streak in franchise history. The only other times that happened were in 1939 and 1957.

 

There are a lot of positives that can be taken away from the winning streak. Rookie Elly De La Cruz really broke out of his shell. He currently has a batting average of .315 and three home runs this season. Also, getting Joey Votto back in the lineup has been a game changer. Votto has only been back for six games and has already hit 3 home runs and has a batting average of .278. Other players stepping up their game are Jonathan India recording 79 hits, Spencer Steer with 12 home runs, and Jake Fraley who’s tied for 21st in the league with 47 RBI’s. Fraley has also hit 11 home runs this season for the Reds.

 

Even though the streak may be over there are a lot of good things that have come out of it. It will be interesting to see where we place for the first half of the season. If we can string together a couple more wins, we could potentially get past the Brewers in the NL Central to get that first place slot. That means I need to be on my A-game when hydrating these guys as the weather gets even warmer.

The Nuggets Extinguish the Heat in NBA Finals

Dear Diary,

 

We finally did it! The Denver Nuggets are NBA Champions and I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in the Titanic saying, “I’m king of the world!” This post season has been one wild ride with only losing a total of 4 games across each series and then sweeping a LeBron lead Lakers team to punch our ticket to the Finals. Once we took them down, I had a feeling the Heat didn’t stand a chance against us.

 

The player of the hour of course is Nikola Jokic, a guy who’s been with the team through thick and thin and who is finally a champion. He’s also the NBA Finals MVP, but he should have been the NBA’s MVP of the year instead of Joel Embiid. Jokic is the first player to lead all players in points, rebounds, and assists in a single postseason, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. On top of that, Jokic and Jamal Murray were the first pair of teammates in NBA history to average 25 points, 5 rebounds, and five assists in a single postseason, according to ESPN. Based off these postseason numbers, it is insane that he wasn’t picked to be the league’s MVP this season. Maybe next year they’ll make the right decision.

 

I know that Jokic is the focus for the team’s success, but you do have to give props to the Nuggets front office to piece together a championship team. Denver joined the league in 1976 and couldn’t find success with players like Dikembe Mutombo, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and Chauncey Billups. It took the addition of Jokic with Murray, Aaron Gordon, and Michael Porter Jr. to get the pay off in the end. This is a team that could potentially see more championships in its future. For right now, I want to party until next season starts. I just need to make sure I’m well hydrated.

Kyrie Irving

Dear Diary,

 

I’ve been hearing the news around the facility that Kyrie Irving wants to team up with LeBron James again. Now, I don’t know if this will happen, but I’m just surprised that Irving wants to play with James again. I know that they supposedly made amends after Irving talked about his issues with James when playing for the Cavaliers.

 

Irving will be a free agent this offseason and that could make it possibility for him to head over to the Lakers. If this does happen, that means you would have James, Irving, and Davis on one team. That would create quite a stir in the Western Conference. There’s no doubt that if this does happen LeBron would come back to play another season, but it seems like he is set to come back to the Lakers anyways with one more year on his contract.

 

To add more fuel to the fire Irving is also asking James to join the Mavericks. This offseason is piping up to be a spicy one, but it will all depend on if the Lakers will be able to sign Irving. The CBA might not allow it based on the new guidelines regarding luxury contracts. I know the team will do everything in their power to try and make this a possibility and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone took a pay cut. I’ll just have to wait and see while rehydrating during these long hot summer days.

NBA Finals

Dear Diary,

 

The team finally pulled out a victory last night and now move on to play the Nuggets for a chance to win another championship for the 305. Boston was a worthy opponent, but to think that they would come back being down 3-0 was wishful thinking. I had to increase my liquid intake from the amount of sweat I accumulated during their comeback.

 

Now that the series is over, I feel like I can breathe for a little bit, but it won’t be for long. Once it hits June 1st, we’re off to the races again with the Denver Nuggets who swept their Western Conference Finals opponent. They have been foaming at the mouth to get the series started especially with how Nikola Jokic has been playing in the post season. Jokic is averaging 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists per game this post season. Then add in Jamal Murray who’s averaging 27 points per game along with the rest of their starting lineup who are also averaging double digit points.

 

The 8th seeded Heat will have to be extremely physical in their defensive schemes by doubling up Jokic. On the offensive side of the ball Butler will need to collapse to the boards to draw a foul hopefully from Jokic. If the Heat can get Jokic into foul trouble they may have a chance, but if they repeat what they did during the Celtics series I don’t see a championship in Miami’s future. Plus, Tyler Herro will be out until Game 3 of the NBA Finals due to an injury.

 

Do we have a chance to win another championship? Sure, but if I was going to bet on this series, I would say Denver has the upper hand. Don’t tell anyone I said that at the facility, but the Heat do not have enough fire power to compete. I could see us pull out maybe one win, but other than that the Nuggets may have this one in the bag. I might need to find some of Michael Jordans “Secret Stuff” that helped the Looney Tunes beat the Monstars.

LeBron James

Dear Diary,

The season has come to an end after last night’s last-ditch effort to keep the series alive against the Nuggets. LeBron put his all into this game finishing with 40 points, 9 assists, and 10 rebounds to get the series to a game 5. Now that the season is over, will LeBron finally call it quits.

James has been in the league for 20 seasons starting back in 2003 when he was selected number one overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He spent seven seasons with the Cavaliers and during that time the team would make it to several Eastern Conference Finals and one NBA Finals appearance. After his time in Cleveland, James moved on to the Miami Heat, making it to the finals four years in a row and would win two championships. Then it was back to Cleveland in 2014 and two years later James would hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy beating the Golden State Warriors after being down 3-1 in the series. James spent a couple more seasons with the Cavaliers and then went to the Los Angeles Lakers. Once again James would find success and win another championship in 2020.

From 2003 to now James has also been a four-time Finals MVP, thirteen-time All-NBA 1st Team, five-time All-Defensive 1st Team, All Rookie 1st Team, three-time All-Star MVP, four-time MVP, and Rookie of the Year. On top of that James became the all-time leading scorer in NBA history accumulating 38,652 points and fourth for assists with 10,420. The impact he has had in the NBA has been legendary.

Whatever James decides to do is within the best interest of his health and well-being. Not a lot of players can stay in the league for 20 seasons and be able to perform the way he does day in and day out. All I know is that he has cemented himself onto the Mount Rushmore of NBA legends. It was an honor and privilege to be his waterboy through the good times and bad times. I want to wish him well with whatever decision he makes for the future.

Za'Darius Smith

Dear Diary,

 

The 2023 NFL schedule for the team was released last week on Thursday and the very next day we beefed up our defense. Vikings defensive end Za’ Darius Smith was traded to the Browns to compliment starter Myles Garrett on the other side of the line. It comes to me as a surprise because Smith signed a three-year contract with the Vikings for $42 million last spring.

 

Now, this will put Smith into the starting lineup instead of the newly gained Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. I still think he will get playing time because of his caliber of play, but with Smith now on the roster his on field time will be limited. Smith is coming off a somewhat strong season where he recorded 32 solo tackles, 10 sacks, and 12 assists. The only concern the team should think about is the injury Smith sustained, a chronic knee injury last season that affected his play.

 

The team also got two picks out of this trade for a sixth and seventh round for the 2025 draft. In return, the Vikings received a couple of fourth and fifth round picks for the 2024-25 draft. I think this is going to be the problem for the Browns for several years to come when filling out roster spots. The Deshaun Watson deal has hindered the team’s ability to restructure its lineup.

 

I think for the foreseeable future the team will have to either trade or release players to make these roster moves until they can finally use the draft again. I know I’m going off topic, but this relates to everything the team has done so far since the 2022 season ended. Will this strategy work for the next couple of years? I guess we will have to wait and see. I am going to need to be extra hydrated when training camp rolls around. It will be a long preseason for the team.

Bronny James Signs with USC

Dear Diary,

 

Cleveland royalty is heading to our humble abode of the University of Southern California. That’s right, Bronny James is going to be a Trojan after playing high school ball at Sierra Canyon School. It’s hard to come up with a sentence to explain the pure joy I’m feeling right now, but I need to get my head straight.

 

The No. 19 prospect in the ESPN 100 class of 2023 and McDonald’s All American will have a lot to prove when joining the Trojans. The positive for James is that his mentor has been a big help (i.e., LeBron James). He is one of the top five-point guards in the country. James also won’t have to worry about money heading into college after racking up the highest NIL deal making $5.9 million, according to On3. Some sponsors attached to James are Beats by Dre and Nike.

 

James will join a USC team that went 22-11 last season, finishing second in the PAC-12 and losing in the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. He will back up Senior Boogie Ellis, who averaged 17 points a game for the Trojans. It will be interesting to see how head Coach Andy Enfield will implement James into the rotation. That’s if he plays in the coming season, but all signs point to him playing. Heck, right now ESPN has him projected to go 10th overall in next year’s NBA Draft if he plays one season with Trojans.

 

This is an exciting time if you’re a college basketball fan because this will be the first time a James will play college basketball. All I know is that I will cherish every single moment and make sure he gets the coldest of waters when resting on the bench.

Cleveland Browns Draft Picks

Dear Diary, 

 

It’s been almost a week since the 2023 NFL Draft, and I feel like now is the time to reflect on the Browns picks. This will probably be a longer diary entry because I want to talk about each pick and the potential impact it could have on the team. 

 

To kick things off, the Browns selected Cedric Tillman (a wide receiver out of Tennessee) in the third round for their first pick. Now, this pick makes sense because the team is trying to build up their receiving core. The team could only hang their hats on Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and David Njoku. By adding Tillman, it will give Watson another weapon to use along with Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin who were also recently added. 

 

Next, we have Siaki Ika, defensive tackle out of Baylor. After the news about Perrion Winfrey’s legal issues, there is no surprise that the Browns picked another defensive tackle in the draft. He will probably back up the newly gained Dalvin Tomlinson but will probably see some action this season. Also, the young defensive tackle had 30 quarterback pressures over two seasons at Baylor, according to ESPN. 

 

In the fourth round, the team picked the largest offensive linemen in the draft. That would be Dawand Jones, out of Ohio State, with a height of 6’8 and weighing 374 pounds. If you want a guy to protect the quarterback, this would be the guy to do that. He might not see a lot of playing time because of Jack Conklin and James Hudson III, but he could be a starter soon. 

 

The next pick we had in the fourth round was Isaiah McGuire, defensive end out of Missouri. This was done to add more depth to the defensive line after losing Jadeveon Clowney in the offseason due to differences of opinion with the team. Will McGuire impact the team? That is a question yet to be answered. 

 

Entering the fifth round, I wasn’t sure what we would do because a lot of our positions were well covered. Well, the team picked Dorian Thompson-Robinson, quarterback out of UCLA, to add a fourth player to that position. We already have Watson, Joshua Dobbs, and Kellen Mond. I’m not sure why we need another quarterback unless they decide to part ways with Mond. Who knows, this could be a miraculous pick, but for right now it’s a head scratcher. 

 

The next pick we took was another cornerback out of Northwestern, Cameron Mitchell, who went to the same school as Greg Newsome II. This adds more depth to our cornerback room because, as many of you know, Denzel Ward and Newsome get injured a decent number of times during the season. It will fill in an empty spot after the team traded Greedy Williams. 

 

Lastly, the team picked another offensive lineman out of Ohio State, Luke Wypler, who played center for the Buckeyes. Wypler will have to compete with Nick Harris and Michael Dunn to back up Ethan Pocic. Adding more depth to this position isn’t surprising because Pocic is prone to injury, especially last season. 

 

Overall, I think the team had a lot of safe picks that filled out the necessary spots we needed to fill out on the depth chart. A couple of players that could make a difference on the team could be Tillman, Jones, and Ika. For the rest of the draft class, we’ll have to wait and see. Given all the Browns ups and downs, it will probably be another interesting season for me to watch as I keep everyone hydrated.

 

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Dear Diary,
Tonight, is a make-or-break moment for the team. It’s been six years since the Cavaliers have been to the playoffs and we’re possibly going to get knocked out after the first round. We’re losing to the New York Knicks! The Knicks! I know I’m getting heated but their best player, Jalen Brunson, is averaging 24 points in the postseason after having a subpar career with the Mavericks. On top of that, his supporting cast is RJ Barrett and John Randle. I’m not trying to knock down any of these guys, but the Cavaliers should wipe the floor with them.

I think what’s hindering them is the ability to play on the road. This season, the Cavaliers were 20-21 on the road compared to a 31-10 record at home. The team also has a lot of players who have never played in the post-season - Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, and Isaac Okoro. This is also a young team when you take out Donovan Mitchell, Robin Lopez, Danny Green, and Ricky Rubio. 

So, what are we going to do tonight? 

I think they really can’t change anything up because if you look at the stats for the past 4 games, they’re the same compared with the Knicks. The only thing the Cavaliers have going for them is that it’s at home and ESPN is predicting them to win tonight with a 57.9% chance. Now, I’m not a betting man, but I think this series could continue to a game 6 and then it’s up to the Cavaliers to get it to game 7 while on the road. That’s if I’m looking ahead. We are really going to need the Cleveland faithful to make a lot of noise tonight. I will be extra prepared tonight to fulfill everyone’s hydration needs. 

 

Tampa Bay Rays

Dear Diary,

Well, we finally lost this season. It was bound to happen at some point, right? Nothing stays perfect forever unless you play college football or basketball. The team was so close to claiming the second spot in MLB history with the most wins while being undefeated. We tied with the 1982 Braves and 1987 Brewers for second place, but still standing atop the leader board is the 1884 St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association who went 20-0, according to ESPN.

Should the team be panicking right now after our first loss? No, because that’s what happens in the MLB. There are plenty of games to play this season, but since that first loss, we have only won 2 of our last 5 games. Plus, the teams that we beat were last or second to last in their leagues. That could be a problem for us when we inch closer to playing the Yankees who are behind us in second place for the AL East.

Now, I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer since we finally lost and think all hope is gone. I want to focus on some positives that have happened so far this year. Like, Randy Arozarena currently has a .306 batting average and is tied in 3rd place in the MLB for most RBIs with 17. We also have an extremely talented Wander Franco on the team that has accumulated 13 RBIs and 4 HRs. Then we have Shane McClanahan who has been performing really well with a 1.57 ERA and 27 strikeouts. While Drew Rasmussen has recorded a 2.60 ERA and 19 strikeouts. As the season continues, if we win or lose, the start to this new season was outstanding. Right now, I just want to make sure the guys are well hydrated, so they can perform to the best of their ability.

Jeff Okudah

Dear Diary,

This week has been so exciting within the Falcons organization. We finally added some more talent to our struggling defense. Jeff Okudah is a great addition to this organization and makes our other additions well worth the money we have spent. Adding Okudah is going to help us with pass protection even though he has been injured for most of his career. He may be shaky coming into the new season, but this guy is a competitor. He did still make an impact on the Lions defense last season recording 59 solo tackles, which means he can make things happen when stuck in open space. He’ll need those type of skills if he wants the starting job because Casey Hayward currently sits atop the leader board in the right Corner Back position. By adding Okudah to the roster it will make our defense even stronger with new teammates Safety Jessie Bates III (Bengals), Defensive Linemen Calias Campbell (Ravens), Defensive Linemen David Onyemata (Saints), and Linebacker Kaden Ellis (Saints). I was getting so tired of how we played as a defense last season by giving up an average of 360 yards of offense per game. That also included how poorly we defended the passing game by letting our opponents throw for over 230 yards a game, and don’t even get me started on the running game. It made sense that our defense was ranked 27th in the league because we just couldn’t compete whenever the opposing team had the ball. That’s why so many games that our offense kept us in were spoiled by how poorly the defense would try to defend our lead. Now, is the time to turn the tables and the Falcons have a legit chance to rise within the NFC South. You look at the other competitors within the division and see the Buccaneers, Panthers, and Saints. The Falcons have a very good chance to either be first or second because all of those have either lost a key player or need one. This all depends on if the team can gel with each other and if Desmond Ridder can step up on offense and make some big plays utilizing Drake London and Kyle Pitts. I think we are heading in the right direction and I’m not going to say that this team is playoff ready, but they have the potential to be a playoff team in a couple of seasons. Falcon football might be on the rise since that devastating loss in the Super Bowl. This is a step in the right direction.

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