November 22, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
22°F

Rick Noland commentary: Tap-ins, gimmes & layups

It was too rainy to fish Monday, so let’s Rick-o-chet around the world of sports and maybe we’ll land a big one:

I’m not Joe Golf — or Rick Golf — but I thoroughly enjoyed the final round of the PGA Championship. The fading daylight, good scoring and jam-packed leader board — not to mention a virtual foursome coming up 18 — made for riveting television. …

Red-hot Rory McIlroy, fan favorite Phil Mickelson and gritty Rickie Fowler are all guys I can root for. …

Better still, Tiger Woods was nowhere to be found. …

I’m not sure how Johnny Manziel inched closer to taking the Browns’ starting quarterback job away from Brian Hoyer after the preseason opener against Detroit. …

Truth be told, both players were pretty darn average. Hoyer couldn’t convert on third down and missed a number of passes high, but at least it looked like the Browns were running an NFL offense when he was in the game. Manziel had some nice zip on his passes, but they were fairly short routes in what looked like a high school offense. …

Johnny Football made some plays with his legs, sure, but he’s got to learn how to use those legs to buy time in the passing game. Running at the first sign of a pass rush — or before the first sign of a pass rush, for that matter — is going to get him hurt. …

When — not if — Josh Gordon gets suspended, what wide receiver on Cleveland’s roster is going to consistently get open? …

If LeBron James can take nine Anderson Varejaos and be fine with being the 10th guy, I’ll take seven Michael Brantleys and not worry about who the Indians’ final position player will be. …

Of course, the Tribe could also use two or three Corey Klubers on the mound. …

As for the rumors the NBA could void the Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade because Cleveland has an agreement that Kevin Love will re-sign as a free agent, don’t sweat it. General manager David Griffin and the Cavs front office have said absolutely nothing regarding the looming Aug. 23 deal. …

Speaking of Griffin, what an unbelievable offseason he’s had. Landing James makes everything else easier, I know, but I love the addition of Mike Miller, and having James Jones around as insurance isn’t a bad thing, either. …

If Griffin can add Shawn Marion and/or Ray Allen, he gets my vote for Executive of the Year already. …

Marion would be a phenomenal fit for the Cavs because he and James are so interchangeable at the forward spots. Not only that, Marion is a smart player, solid shooter, outstanding finisher and great defender. …

The “Welcome Home LeBron Celebration” on Friday at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium was late getting started and experienced some sound system problems early on, but overall it was a very enjoyable evening, though I could have done without hot embers from a fireworks display landing right next to me as I walked across Exchange Street. …

I can be skeptical and cynical, I know, but assuming Love comes aboard, it’s going to be hard not to pick the Cavs to win the 2015 NBA title. …

I’ll be back with more information on this later, but in two or three months I’ll have a 256-page book out entitled “Over Time.” It’s a compilation of my favorite Gazette stories since 1983, so set aside $19.95 and help a starving reporter out. …

Till next time!

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.