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    Dwayne Haskins will play in front of the country in prime time on Saturday night. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Play well on Saturday, Dwayne Haskins, and you too could be soon schmoozing with ESPN's Marty Smith.

    Former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow is getting that treatment this week, the subject of an interview with ESPN's charming everyman reporter ahead of Saturday's game between No. 12 LSU and No. 7 Auburn. Big game, ESPN brings out the big guns.

    The Buckeyes play a big game this weekend, too. In case you didn't hear. No. 4 Ohio State plays No. 15 TCU on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That's the same stadium where Burrow already caught some national attention, looking steady in an LSU win over Miami in prime time. Haskins gets that spotlight this week.

    This isn't about comparing Haskins and Burrow, because only one of those two is already having his name thrown around in the too early Heisman Trophy conversation and NFL Draft talk.

    Haskins isn't out for personal accolades against TCU, and he obviously doesn't care about what TV interviews might be coming his way.

    "I really haven't thought about that," he said this week. "The biggest thing for me is to go win the game and that's all I want to do."

    Good answer. But the Dwayne Train is already rolling with gaudy numbers against lesser competition in wins over Oregon State and Rutgers. A good performance against TCU, and there will be no slowing down the hype.

    Some numbers:

    * Haskins is No. 4 in the country in passer rating (218.06).

    * He's No. 3 in completion percentage (79.2).

    * He's No. 12 in yards per attempt (10.3).

    * He's tied for second in passing touchdowns (9).

    * He's No. 33 in passing yards (546) despite playing the equivalent of about one full game.

    That sound you hear is people yelling, "He played Oregon State and Rutgers!" True. Also true that former OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett put up similar numbers against bad opponents, though if you've been watching the games you know what Haskins has done looks vastly different from anything Barrett did as a passer.

    But that's why we're talking about this game against TCU as a proving ground for Haskins that, if handled well, would help validate the fervor around him.

    "There's definitely a little more energy, more juice getting ready for this game because it's a big time game," Haskins said. "We have a lot of key games in order to go do what we want to do for a national championship this year. This is only one of them."

    With the caveat that it also hasn't played any good competition yet, TCU ranks No. 6 in the country in total defense while giving up fewer than 10 points per game. The wide windows Haskins has been throwing through should be tighter, the time he's had to work in the pocket should be shorter.

    Haskins called the TCU 4-2-5 defense "exotic."

    Whether Haskins is worthy of having the third-best Heisman odds right now, and if the one-and-done NFL talk that's picking up steam around him is justified will play out for the whole country to see against a talented, well-coached defense.

    Haskins, in the back of his mind, likely knows that. He exudes too much confidence to not be aware on some level of what another big game on Saturday would mean for his stock. The future has never been far from his mind.

    "For me I've always been an ambitious person," he said. "So I always put my dreams on paper, write them down and I achieve them. So the goal is to take one day at a time, and eventually the dream is to be in the NFL. Right now I'm at Ohio State."

    Haskins was then asked what dreams he has written down right now.

    "Right now it's to win TCU," he said.

    Another good answer.

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    Mayfield is thrilled that one of his idols, Brees, is so complimentary of his game.

    BEREA, Ohio -- Baker Mayfield has always looked up to future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, so he was honored to discover that the Saints quarterback, whom the Browns will face this weekend, has had high praise for him.

    "I haven't heard that, but that's great to hear,'' Mayfield told on Wednesday. "It means I need to keep going, keep working, keep pushing.''

    Mayfield answered that before Brees paid him the ultimate compliment later in the afternoon on a conference call with the Browns media, saying, "I think he can be a lot better than me,'' adding that he's more athletic and has a stronger arm.

    But Brees has been effusive in his praise of the No. 1 pick in recent months, and that's meant a lot to Mayfield.

    "He's a guy I've always loved watching and respected,'' said Mayfield. "For starters, where he's from, he grew up right across town from where I'm from (near Austin, Texas), so he went to the rival high school but I've always respect his path. He didn't go to the biggest school (Purdue), he didn't have many people interested in him, but he believed in himself and he knows what he's good at and he works on his craft."

    Being of similar size -- Mayfield is 6 5/8 and Brees is 6 1/4 -- has sparked a mutual admiration between the two, even if from afar.

    "Watching his success over the years, just consistency I think is what separates him from the rest,'' said Mayfield. "It's what makes him truly great, and he's going to be a Hall of Famer because of that. I've always loved watching him play.''

    Mayfield has always emulated another Hall of Fame in Brett Favre, but more recently has begun to pattern his game after Brees as well.

    "There's different pieces from players past and present that I try and take away,'' he said. "He's great at dissecting a defense. He gets back there in the pocket, he's comfortable, he knows exactly where to go with the ball. Those are the things I admire about his game and would love model mine after that.''

    Mayfield doesn't mind that folks compare him to Brees because their size.

    "It comes with the territory,'' he said. "And some of the stuff, his decisiveness, getting the ball out quick, and leading his team, those are things I try and do myself.''

    He's also been compared to Seahawks Russell Wilson, and doesn't mind that other.

    "I wouldn't say I'm more like one than the other,'' Mayfield said. "I have my own game, but there are different things I do that can be compared to both of them. Those are guys that I obviously have a profound respect for just based on their size and being relatable to that.''

    Despite their Austin roots, Mayfield hasn't gotten a chance to meet Brees yet and is looking forward to do doing so Sunday at the Superdome.

    "Oh yeah, I'll get a chance to talk to him,'' he said. "Now, it's my job as well. We both have the same goal to win on Sunday. We'll obviously be very tuned in to our gameplan and what we're doing, but any chance you get to learn from somebody like that is great.''

    Browns free safety Damarious Randall, who picked off Brees in his lone appearance against him last year as a Packer, a 26-17 Saints' victory, agrees with Brees that Mayfield has an edge over him in a few areas.  

    "I think he's a little more athletic than Drew Brees, and I think his arm is a little stronger than Drew Brees, so that's why I really don't want to say Drew Brees is Baker's limit,'' Randall said, even before Brees said the same thing about their skill sets on the conference call hours later.

    Randall, who played with Rodgers in Green Bay, believes the future is bright with Mayfield.

    "I can see the progress each and every day from when he first got here,'' Randall said. "He's starting to learn the playbook and learning the defenses and just kind of learning the way around the league and you can tell that he's one of those 'coach me' type of guys.''

    Randall has marveled at Mayfield's arm talent.

    "I've seen him make some crazy throws since he's been here,'' he said. "Some throws that would make you rewatch the film and be like 'whoa. I'm surprised he even attempted that, let alone completed it,' but that just shows the talent level he has and obviously people know he's the future here and I'm just kind of looking forward to it.''

    He acknowledged that Brees is "one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game and a future Hall of Famer. But I believe Baker's going to be a great, great quarterback in this league, too.''

    Coach Hue Jackson acknowledged that the Browns have the bar set Brees-high for Mayfield.

    "Obviously, being compared to Drew Brees, anybody would be excited about that, but this guy is one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League, and we hope that is what Baker is going to be in the future,'' he said. "That's the goal."

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    Mary Kay Cabot and Dan Labbe talk all things Browns in our podcast.

    BEREA, Ohio -- The Browns are off to New Orleans to play the Saints on Sunday. Mary Kay Cabot and Dan Labbe talked about that in this week's Orange and Brown Talk podcast, but first did a little housekeeping.

    We give a shoutout to our new sponsor, Sibling Revelry Brewery.

    Then we talked about Baker Mayfield and whether other quarterback situations around the league should dictate what the Browns do with their quarterbacks.

    We also talked about why Josh Gordon starting is something worth monitoring and asking about.

    Then we got into the Saints game on Sunday.

    Want our podcasts delivered directly to your phone? We have an Apple podcasts channel exclusively for this podcast. Subscribe to it here. You can also subscribe on Google Play and listen Spotify. Search Orange and Brown Talk podcast or click here.

    You can also use our podcast's RSS feed in your podcast player of choice.

    You can download the podcast here.

    Get the best Browns news and perspective in your inbox at lunch time every weekday. Sign up for our Browns newsletter.

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    Mary Kay Cabot and Dan Labbe talk about all things Browns. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- The calls for Baker Mayfield are growing, but Hue Jackson and the Browns aren't budging. Mary Kay Cabot and I talked about that in the video above.

    We also talked about Myles Garrett living up to the high expectations that hsi teammates and coaches have for him. Then we talked about Damarious Randall popping up on the injury report.

    Get the best Browns news and perspective in your inbox at lunch time every weekday. Sign up for our Browns newsletter.

    Go inside the Browns every week with's Orange and Brown Podcast, featuring Mary Kay Cabot and Dan Labbe. Listen and subscribe here.

    Want more Browns? Subscribe to our Browns YouTube channel for interviews, analysis and more.

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    Kendricks pled guilty to insider trading charges last week.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Seattle Seahawks are signing former Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks to a one-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Kendricks was released by the Browns last month when it came to light he was facing charges for insider trading.

    Kendricks pled guilty last week.

    According to Schefter, Kendricks is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 24.

    The Browns signed Kendricks in June. There were high expectations for what he would bring to the team's linebacking group. 

    Get the best Browns news and perspective in your inbox at lunch time every weekday. Sign up for our Browns newsletter.

    Go inside the Browns every week with's Orange and Brown Podcast, featuring Mary Kay Cabot and Dan Labbe. Listen and subscribe here.

    Want more Browns? Subscribe to our Browns YouTube channel for interviews, analysis and more.

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    Cleveland has reached its limit of 20 players for camp, including former Notre Dame standout Bonzi Colson. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cavaliers' training camp roster appears to be set with the start of practice looming Sept. 25.

    Cleveland has reached its limit of 20 players for camp, including former Notre Dame standout Bonzi Colson. Former University of Dayton star and Canton Charge alum Scoochie Smith and Isaac Hamilton, another Charge player from last year, also signed camp deals.

    Smith and Hamilton each received "exhibit 10 contracts," which means they get a $50,000 bonus if they're waived by the Cavs and signed to the Charge. Real GM first reported their signings.

    Smith, 23, is a 6-2 guard who averaged 14.3 points and 8.1 boards for Canton last season, and contributed 8.3 points and 3.0 assists for the Cavs' Summer League team.

    Hamilton, 24, is 6-4 and averaged 7.4 points for the Charge last year.

    Colson, a 22-year-old post player, missed most of his senior season at Notre Dame with multiple foot injuries. He was supposed to play for the Cavs at the Las Vegas Summer League but couldn't because he was rehabbing his foot.

    Point guard Isaiah Taylor is coming to camp on a non-guaranteed deal. The Cavs have 14 players on guaranteed contracts. They are: F Kevin Love; G Collin Sexton; F Rodney Hood; F/C Larry Nance Jr.; G/F Cedi Osman; G George Hill; G Jordan Clarkson; G JR Smith; C Tristan Thompson; G Kyle Korver; F Channing Frye; F Sam Dekker; C Ante Zizic; G David Nwaba.

    Billy Preston and John Holland are on two-way contracts, which means they'll spend up to half the season with the Cavs and the rest with the Charge.

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    Jason Kipnis is once again adjusting to playing center field, while rookie right-hander Shane Bieber, who has won 10 of his first 17 big league starts, could wind up in the postseason rotation.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio --- Jason Kipnis and Shane Bieber, like every other player with the Indians, are in the countdown phase of the season.

    The magic number to clinch the AL Central is two following the Royals win over the Twins on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium. There are 16 games left in the regular season. An invitation to play the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in the AL Division Series is just over the horizon.

    "It's exciting to be a part of this team right now," said Bieber, after he threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings Tuesday night at Tropicana Field in a 2-0 win over the Rays.

    Still, the daily work of baseball goes on.

    Kipnis is re-acquainting himself with center field. He made the late-season move from second base for the straight year. This move was prompted by the trade for third baseman Josh Donaldson that sent Jose Ramirez from third to second.

    His lone start in center came Tuesday night against the Rays and not one ball was hit his way. The same thing happened last year.

    "Yeah, it was very nice of our pitching staff and our opponent to give me a day to get my legs under me," said Kipnis with a laugh. "I needed it because it's a long run out there."

    But the tests are coming. Kipnis and the Indians know that.

    "It's definitely a change," said Kipnis. "A lot of adrenaline, (I'm using) someone else's glove, just kind of winging it at best."

    When Kipnis made the move last year, teammate Austin Jackson gave him his backup glove. He's still using it.

    The one good thing is that Kipnis has two healthy legs under him. When the Indians asked about moving to center late last year, he was still on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

    "The legs are ready," said Kipnis. "We've been taking fly balls off the bat in BP and getting good breaks and stuff."

    While Kipnis tries to get used to a new position, Bieber could find himself in the postseason rotation depending on Trevor Bauer's health. Bauer suffered a stress fracture in his right leg on Aug. 11 and has been on the disabled list since.

    Bauer threw a bullpen session on Wednesday. Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations, said everything went well. Bauer is expected to throw again on Friday or Saturday.

    Bieber, meanwhile, improved to 10-3 with a 4.32 ERA with his win over the Rays. He struck out a career-high 11 batters in just the 17th start of his career. He is the first Indians' rookie to reach 10 wins since Mitch Talbot in 2010.

    Manager Terry Francona called Bieber, "a quick study. He's going to be good."

    The 2018 season started for Bieber at Class AA Akron. Then he was promoted to Class AAA Columbus. Bieber was 6-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 13 starts in the minors before arriving in Cleveland.

    "He's got 16 wins this year as a professional," said Francona. "You're going to see his ERA get lower as he matures. And his batting average against lefties (.308), he'll figure that out."

    Francona pointed out after Tuesday's win that Bieber pitched inside to some of Tampa Bay's lefties to stop them from sitting on his off-speed pitches.

    Bieber said he's cut down his throwing between starts because he's pitching in September for the first time in his career.

    "It's really nice and go out there and really put 110 percent effort into every pitch," said Bieber. "The work in-between starts, obviously you're working hard, but it's that point of the season where the body starts to break down a little bit. So being able to cut back and be smart about it (has been good)."

    If Bieber doesn't make the postseason rotation, he could take a spot in the bullpen. Last year, when the Indians went with a three-man rotation in the ALDS, they had three starters in the pen - Mike Clevinger, Josh Tomlin and Danny Salazar.

    Francona said earlier in the week that he would prefer to go with four starters in the postseason, but that could hinge on Bauer's health.

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    Check here for the live second-round leaderboard for the LPGA Tour's Evian Championship 2018 on Friday, Sept. 14.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Carlota Ciganda, Maria Torres, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee, Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Jin Young Ko, Anna Nordqvist, Moriya Jutanugarn and Sung Hyun Park are among those in the field for Evian Championship 2018 this week in France. Round 2 is Friday, Sept. 14.

    Site: Evian-les-Bains, France.
    Course: Evian Resort GC. Yardage: 6,523. Par: 71.
    Purse: $3,850,000. Winner's share: $577,500.
    Television: Thursday-Friday, 5-8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 6-11:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 4:30-10 a.m. (Golf Channel).
    Defending champion: Anna Nordqvist.
    Race to CME Globe leader: Ariya Jutanugarn.
    Previous tournament: Marina Alex won the Cambia Portland Classic.
    Notes: This is the fifth and final major on the LPGA Tour schedule. .... The Evian was cut short to 54 holes last year because of weather delays. ... It was the second time it was a 54-hole event since the LPGA Tour gave it major championship status in 2013. ... The tournament began in 1994 as a Ladies European Tour event. ... Inbee Park won the Evian in 2012, the year before it became a major. She has won the other majors on the LPGA Tour schedule. ... Four women have won the four majors this year. If a different player wins Evian, it would be the fourth consecutive year of no multiple major champions in a season. ... The Rolex Annika Major Award will be decided after the Evian, going to the major champion with the best record in the five majors. U.S. Women's Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn has a large lead over Women's PGA champion Sung Hyun Park. If any of the four major champions this year win the Evian, she wins the award. ... The LPGA Tour is off next week before starting its seven-week swing through Asia, which includes the International Crown.
    Next tournament: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Sept. 27-30.

    (Fact box from Associated Press.)

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    Bill Landis and Doug Lesmerises are split on whether Ohio State, as a 13-point favorite, will cover against the Horned Frogs. Watch video

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After victories by 46 and 49 points in the first two weeks of the season, the Ohio State Buckeyes face a worthy opponent on Saturday night.

    But how worthy?

    The Buckeyes, No. 4 in the AP poll, are 13-point favorites over the TCU Horned Frogs, ranked No. 15 by the AP.

    TCU opened the season with a 55-7 win over Southern, an FCS school, and a 42-12 win over SMU.

    This game should be more competitive than any of the four games these two teams have played so far this season. But can the Buckeyes still win by touchdowns.

    Bill Landis and I are split on that. Watch the video to see why. Here are our picks for Ohio State vs. Texas Christian University in AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Saturday night.

    * Doug Lesmerises: Ohio State 42, TCU 21

    Take Ohio State -13 (5 confidence points)

    * Bill Landis: Ohio State 31, TCU 21 

    Take TCU +13 (3 confident points)

    Ohio State game picks record

    Doug: 2-0, 2-0 against the spread

    Bill: 2-0, 1-1 against the spread 

    Also, check out all the picks for this weekend from our betting expert Aaron Marshall, who went 6-0 last weekend.

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    Coming off a few days of brisk nor'east winds that provoked small craft advisories on Lake Erie, the fishing on both the big lake and the lakes and reservoirs of Northeast Ohio has been slow.

    CLEVELAND, OHIO - Coming off a few days of brisk nor'east winds that provoked small craft advisories on Lake Erie, the fishing on both the big lake and the lakes and reservoirs of Northeast Ohio has been slow. Lake Erie temperatures dropped to about 70 degrees heading into the weekend, but air temperatures in the mid-80s in the forecast will have the fish confused for a while. 


    Very few walleye and yellow perch have been caught over the past few days as Lake Erie settles a bit. The winds have finally backed off, allowing boaters to scout for schools of fish, but dingy water conditions are also a problem. 

    Some walleye have been caught while trolling with side planers, diving planers and spoons or crankbaits, but limit catches have been difficult to find right now. The yellow perch fishing around the Western Basin has slowed considerably. 

    Look for the walleye and perch fishing to improve as Lake Erie clears up. As cooler nighttime temperatures arrive in the coming weeks, look for the drift-and-cast fishing for walleye to sparkle in the shallow-water areas.


    Casting techniques have begun to produce walleye in the shallower reef areas and along near-shore drop-offs. Weight-forward spinners are catching walleye, as well as little spinner rigs, or mayfly rigs, tipped with half of a nightcrawler.

    Trolling anglers are heading to the waters off Huron and Vermilion, and scoring with spoons. Smaller walleye from the Class of 2017 are being caught while fishing for yellow perch, but the perch fishing has generally been mediocre. 

    The largemouth bass fishing around East Harbor and West Harbor has been good. Catfish are being caught from shore or boat all around Sandusky Bay, and surprising catches of largemouth bass were caught there, too, during last weekend's FLW College Bass Tournament. 


    The inland lake fishing has been slow all around Northeast Ohio. Algal blooms are showing up on some waters, such as Mogadore Reservoir, and the only consistent fishing has been for bluegills and other panfish. 

    There has been an ant hatch on most of the lakes, with bluegills aggressively feeding on the black ants as they float on the surface of the water. One of the few lakes boasting clear water right now is Nimisila Lake in the Portage Lakes system, and good angling for panfish. 

    The inland lakes are in transition this week, starting to cool down a bit. Unfortunately, hot weather will make a comeback later in the week with air temperatures in the mid-80s. 

    The walleye fishing has slowed at Mosquito and Pymatuning reservoirs. 


    The Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and the Cleveland Metroparks will kick off the fall steelhead trout fishing season in the Lake Erie tributaries of Northeast Ohio with the annual Steelhead Expo at the Rocky River Nature Center in the Rocky River Reservation in North Olmsted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. The Expo features angling experts and seminars, vendors and other related information on steelhead trout and area fishing. There is no charge for the event, but the OCBS, a non-profit sportmen's group which is very active in the local fishing and conservation communities, is offering a raffle to raise funds for its programs.

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    Doug Lesmerises is joined by John Kosko of Pro Football Focus and former Case Western Reserve quarterback Dan Whalen to break down week one for the Browns new quarterback.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Never before had Tyrod Taylor started an NFL game and completed fewer than half his passes.

    So that 15 for 40 performance in the rain against Pittsburgh on Sunday, that wasn't him.

    "I put that on the whole unit," offensive coordinator Todd Haley said Thursday. "That's kind of the point that I'm making that we need to speed this process of trust because to be a good or big-time passing offense, you better have trust in everyone."

    So look for trust in week two. And look for what happens when there's no rain. In a dome against New Orleans, the Browns should get a much better idea of their 29-year-old veteran quarterback. 

    According to Pro Football Focus, there were 149 uncatchable passes thrown by all 32 NFL teams last week. That's an average of 4.6 per team.

    By the PFF numbers, Taylor threw a league-high 14 uncatchable passes. But Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger threw 10. So what was happening in FirstEnergy Stadium made life difficult on both quarterbacks.

    To break that down, we have two guests on Takes By The Lake this week. 

    First is John Kosko of Pro Football Focus, who took us inside the numbers on Taylor, Desmond Harrison, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and the rest of the key Browns.

    Then we were joined by previous TBTL guest Dan Whalen, the former All-American quarterback from Case Western Reserve who told us what he thought of Taylor's game, what it's like to throw in the rain and how he would balance Tayler and Baker Mayfield if he were in charge of the Browns.

    Subscribe to Takes By The Lake:

    There's an Apple podcast channel for Takes By The Lake.

    You can subscribe on Google Play.

    If you have an Android device, find a way to subscribe.


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    As the Cleveland Cavaliers move away from LeBron James, is there reason to pay attention? Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Since LeBron James left via free agency for Los Angeles quickly followed by Kevin Love's contract extension, it's been a pretty quiet summer for the Cavaliers.

    The fallout from the departure of James doesn't match the anger and angst of when he left in 2010.

    Many fans sensed he would leave after the 2017-18 season...and they are grateful he returned and delivered the 2016 NBA title.

    James also earned more respect with his epic performance in the Eastern Conference playoffs, carrying the Cavs on his wide, strong shoulders to the NBA Finals. In the postseason, he averaged 34 points, 9.1 rebounds and 9.0 assists. We probably will never see a player like that in a Cavalier uniform again.

    The good news for the Cavs is how fans ask me, "How do you think they'll do this season?"

    They know the days of the Cavs owning the Eastern Conference are over. Most would be thrilled if the team found a way to return to the playoffs without James.

    But there is a freshness to their questions.

    Can the Cavs be an interesting team? Can rookie Collin Sexton become a big time point guard? Can Love stay healthy and become a big-time scorer for the Cavs?

    The departure of James creates a Grand Canyon of a hole in the roster. His shadow will long hang over the franchise.

    But there could be some sunshine as all the other significant players are back.

    Here's a guess at the starting lineup:

    GUARDS: Rodney Hood and George Hill.

    FORWARDS: Cedi Osman and Love.

    CENTER: Larry Nance Jr.

    SUBSTITUTES: Ante Zizic, Jordan Clarkson, Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, Tristin Thompson, Channing Frye, David Nwaba, Sam Dekker, Billy Preston and Sexton.

    I'm surprised the Cavs haven't traded the 37-year-old Korver. The Lakers should have tried to team up Korver with James instead of some of the non-shooters they added to the roster.

    Moving Smith and Thompson also would help the Cavs long-term plan, but the contracts of both players are very lucrative and unattractive to other teams.


    In the last few months, I've had a few casual conversations with former Cavs General Manager David Griffin.

    He believes we haven't seen the best of Coach Tyronn Lue.

    That falls into the same category as Lue saying several times last season that this wasn't the type of team he wanted to coach.

    It was not a knock of James.

    Rather it was the reality of having James on the roster meant he became the sun, and everything had to revolve around him for things to work out well. It's how he has led his teams to eight consecutive NBA Finals.

    That meant adding lots of veteran players. It meant playing a lot of isolation basketball. It meant having several stationary shooters on the court.

    Griffin mentioned to me that we'll see the "real" Lue, an excellent teacher. More than once, Griffin described Lue as "a savant" when it came to coaching.

    We'll find out now.

    "Now, having a young team, now I have to teach and have more practices," Lue told the media at the Las Vegas summer league. "There will be more attention to can mold these guys into who you want them to be."

    That's part of the reason I'd like to see Smith and Thompson traded. Their frame of reference will be the old Cavs. At times, they seemed bored with the regular season.

    That stuff has to change.


    I'm curious to see Ante Zizic receiving meaningful minutes at center -- and if Lue can show he's able to coach a true low-post, back-to-the-basket center.

    I'm anxious to see Sexton lead a hyper-speed offense, something Lue also has talked about when saying he wanted to play with more pace.

    I'm hopeful the Cavs sign Nance to a long-term deal.

    I wonder if Hood will thrive with his second chance with the Cavs, or will he shrink under the pressure of pending free agency. He had major problems dealing with the heat that came with playing for a contending Cavs team last season.

    I want to see Love embrace his role as team leader and regain his form as a versatile scorer.

    I'm going to enjoy watching Osman hustle. Another player like that is Nwaba, a 6-foot-4 free agent recently signed by the Cavs.

    I believe Koby Altman will make more moves during the season, and the general manager has made some bold and intriguing trades in the past.

    I'm a hardcore basketball guy so it's easier for me than some people to turn the page and see what the next chapter of the Cavs will be after James. But I really do think it will be interesting.

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    Ashland is off to an 0-2 start to its football season.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Baldwin Wallace will host defending D-III champions Mount Union at 2 p.m. Saturday.

    This is only Mount Union's second game of the season. It had last week off. Baldwin Wallace is 2-0 for the first time since 2012. And it has outscored opponents 96-24. The Yellow Jackets are sixth in the nation with 56 first downs.

    But the Yellow Jackets will play a Purple Raiders team that has won 130 straight regular season road games, dating back to a 21-18 loss at Baldwin Wallace on Sept. 28, 1991.

    This is the 57th meeting between the teams. Mount Union leads the series 34-21-1. The series began with a Mount Union victory in 1896.

    The Raiders have won 23 straight against the Yellow Jackets, dating back to a 23-10 Baldwin Wallace victory in Alliance in 1994.

    No. 19 Case Western Reserve will host Grove City later Saturday evening. Case Western was off last week.

    Grove City turned the ball over six times last weekend in a loss to Bethany. The Wolverines average 286.5 yards of offense, and the defense has allowed 360 yards average in two games.

    In Division II, Notre Dame (2-0) will host West Virginia State. For the second straight week, freshman running back Jaleel McLaughlin was named the Mountain East Conference offensive player of the week.

    McLaughlin rushed for 176 yards, which included a 73-yard TD run. Last week, McLaughlin set the school record with 302 yards rushing.

    Division II

    • Lake Erie (0-2) at Urbana (1-1), 7 p.m., Live broadcast
    • Ashland (0-2) at Wayne State (1-1), 6 p.m., Live stats 
    • West Virginia State (1-1) at Notre Dame (2-0), Noon, Live video

    Division III

    • Mount Union (1-0) at Baldwin Wallace (2-0), 2 p.m., Live video 
    • Hiram (1-1) at DePauw (0-1), 1 p.m.,  Live stats
    • Wittenberg (1-0) at Oberlin (1-1), 2:30 p.m., Live stats
    • Case Western (1-0) at Grove City (1-1), 7 p.m., Live stats
    • Otterbein (1-1) at John Carroll (1-0), 1:30 p.m., Live video

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    Interesting games around the Mid-American Conference as Toledo hosts the No. 21 Miami Hurricanes and Kent State is at No. 11 Penn State. Eastern Michigan at Buffalo is key MAC opener. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - This is arguably the biggest weekend of Mid-American Conference football action to date with the defending MAC Champion Toledo Rockets (1-0) hosting No. 21 Miami (1-1) noon Saturday (ESPN2) and a huge cross-division conference game with Eastern Michigan (2-0) on the road at Buffalo (2-0).

    That game will feature two of the top quarterbacks in the MAC - senior Tyler Weigers (EMU) and junior Tyree Jackson (UB) - with the winner holding an important tie-breaker for a division title at the end of the season.

    EMU is coming off an upset victory over Purdue, while Buffalo is coming off an upset over Temple.

    Also, Kent State (1-1) gets to show if its new offense can measure up against a Top 25 foe at No. 11 Penn State (2-0), noon Saturday (FS1).

    And a bit off the radar, the Akron Zips (1-0) get the chance at a road upset against Northwestern, 7:30 p.m. (BTN) while Ohio University's upset chances vs. Virginia increased when the game was moved to a neutral site (Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville), 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2), where local fans can attend the game for free.

    For Toledo, this will be the second time in five years the Rockets have hosted a Top 25 team. In 2014 No. 24 Missouri played the Rockets in the Glass Bowl. Missouri won, 49-24. The last time a Top 25 team played in a MAC stadium was 2015, when Western Michigan hosted No. 5 Michigan State. WMU lost that game, 37-24.

    The Rockets are coming off a bye week following a 66-3 victory over VMI. UT did not feature 5-11, 220-pound tailback and Cleveland native Shakif Seymour (Parma Holy Name) in that game. But look for him to get a healthy dose of action against the Hurricanes.

    Finally, don't overlook the Zips on the road against the Wildcats. Akron was anxious to play Nebraska in the season opener before that game was postponed due to weather. This is another Big Ten opportunity coach Terry Bowden will have his team ready for.


    • Kent State at No.11 Penn State, noon FS1
    • No. 21 Miami at  Toledo, noon ESPN2
    • Ball State at Indiana, noon BTN
    • Central Michigan at Northern Illinois, 3:30 p.m.
    • Miami at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. BTN
    • Eastern Kentucky at Bowling Green, 4 p.m. ESPN3
    • *Ohio University vs. Virginia, 4:30 p.m. ESPN2
    • Eastern Michigan at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
    • Delaware State at Western Michigan, 7 p.m.
    • Akron at Northwestern, 7:30 p.m. BTN
    • * Game moved to Nashville, Tenn. due to hurricane.

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    Ohio State Buckeyes vs.TCU Horned Frogs winner gets jump on College Football Playoff

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The No.4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes play the No. 15 ranked Texas Christian University Horned Frogs tomorrow evening in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams are 2-0 and facing their first real test of the season.

    OSU's prolific offense, led by quarterback Dwayne Haskins, will have to contend with the always stingy team defense of TCU. TCU's defense, which has yet to allow a TD in the red zone, will try to stop an OSU offense that has scored 10 TDs in 12 red zone trips.

    The Buckeyes' defensive line, arguably the best in college football, will try to slow down quarterback Shawn Robinson and the TCU offense, which is averaging over 40 points per game.

    The Buckeyes are around 12-point favorites, which seems generous considering how good TCU is and that the game is being played in Texas, less than 20 miles from TCU's campus.

    Crowquill, by Plain Dealer artist Ted Crow, appears three times a week in The Plain Dealer and on

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    Auburn has a chance to put a stamp on the early season with two Top 10 wins if the Tigers, who opened the season with a win over Washington, can now get past LSU. Watch video

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Big game in the SEC this weekend as No. 12 LSU is at No. 7 Auburn (3:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS). Auburn already has a quality victory over No. 10 Washington on the road to start the season.

    If Auburn can get this one, no matter where they stand in the AP Poll, the Tigers would arguably be at the top of the projected playoff poll with two Top 10 wins in the first three games of the season.

    With three AP Top 25 games still remaining after this weekend (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State), all on the road, the Tigers can't afford to lose one at home.

    No. 4 Ohio State is at No. 15 TCU in a game the Buckeyes have to be careful with. Considering the Big Ten is a top-heavy league, non-conference style points can be critical going forward, and a loss devastating to playoff hopes.

    Another Top 25 head-to-head matchup of note has No. 17 Boise State at No. 24 Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m. ESPN). The Cowboys always seem to have trouble vs. programs outside of the power conferences, so this will be one to watch for several reasons. First, some might argue Boise is over-ranked after its 56-20 win over Troy and 62-7 win over UConn.

    Second, AP voters have historically struggled to rank teams outside of the power five conferences inside the Top 10. A Boise win on the road would likely force the voters' hands.

    Last season Central Florida (American Conference) was the only undefeated (12-0) team in the country at the end of the regular season, but was only 12th in the AP Poll. After the bowl games, UCF was ranked ninth.

    Finally, the big curiosity game has No. 22 USC at Texas (8 p.m. Fox). In the not too distant past, this would have been must-see TV, yet both traditional powerhouse football programs have now clearly seen better days.

    Also, a pair of MAC teams are on the Top 25 docket with Kent State at No. 11 Penn State (Noon, FS1), and Toledo hosting No. 11 Miami (Noon ESPN2).     


    • No. 5 Oklahoma at Iowa State Noon, ABC
    • Kent State at No. 11 Penn State, Noon, FS1
    • No. 21 Miami at Toledo, Noon, ESPN2
    • No. 18 UCF at North Carolina, Noon, ESPNU
    • East Carolina at No. 13 Virginia Tech, 12:20 p.m., ACC Network
    • UC Davis at No. 9 Stanford, 2 p.m., Pac-12 Network
    • Vanderbilt at No. 8 Notre Dame,  2:30 p.m., NBC
    • Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
    • BYU at No. 6 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m., ABC
    • No. 12 LSU at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30 p.m., CBS
    • No. 14 West Virginia at N.C. State, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
    • No. 17 Boise State at No. 24 Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
    • No. 19 Michigan vs. SMU, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
    • San Jose State at No. 20 Oregon, 5 p.m., PAC12
    • No. 1 Alabama at Ole Miss , 7 p.m., ESPN
    • Middle Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia, 7:15 p.m., ESPN2
    • Louisiana at No. 16 Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network
    • 4 Ohio State vs. 15 TCU (Arlington), 8 p.m., ABC
    • No. 22 USC at Texas, 8 p.m. Fox
    • No. 10 Washington at Utah, 10 p.m., ESPN
    • No. 23 Arizona State at San Diego State, 10:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

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    The Cleveland Indians welcome the Detroit Tigers to Progressive Field for a three-game weekend series starting Friday.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Here is the preview and pitching matchups for the Indians' series against the Tigers.

    Where/when: Progressive Field, Friday through Sunday.

    TV/radio: SportsTime Ohio will carry Friday and Sunday's games. Fox will televise Saturday's contest. All three games can be heard on the radio on WTAM and WMMS.

    Pitching matchups and starting times: LHP Matt Boyd (9-12, 4.11) vs. RHP Josh Tomlin (1-5, 6.63) Friday at 7:10 p.m.; RHP Michael Fulmer (3-11, 4.56) vs. RHP Mike Clevinger (11-8, 3.16) Saturday at 3:10 p.m. and LHP Francisco Liriano (4-10, 4.58) vs. RHP Shane Bieber (10-3, 4.32).

    Series: The Indians lead the Tigers, 12-4, this season. The Tigers lead, 1122-1096, overall.

    Hot pitchers: Andrew Miller has pitched two flawless inning since returning Sept. 10 from the disabled list for the Tribe. Miller faced seven batters and struck out four while surrendering one base hit and threw his fastball between 90.8 mph and 94.6 mph according to Statcast. Buck Farmer, Louis Coleman, Daniel Stumpf, Victor Alcantara and Alex Wilson combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief Tuesday night with only one hit allowed. In Detroit's last seven games, the Tigers bullpen has posted a 0.76 ERA with a .150 opponents batting average and 18 strikeouts.

    Hot hitters: Yan Gomes is hitting .276 with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 30 RBI in 65 games since June 1. In that time, Gomes has a .766 OPS for the Tribe. JaCoby Jones is hitting .242 and slugging .515 with an OPS of .821 in 13 games against the Indians this season. He has three doubles and two homers to go along with four RBI as well as a pair of stolen bases.

    Team updates: The Indians return to Progressive Field to begin their final homestand of the regular season. Their magic number to clinch the American League Central Division is 3. Cleveland has won 10 straight and 11 of its last 12 home games against Detroit. The Tigers have lost four straight and have been outscored 93-63 in games against Cleveland this season.

    Disabled list: Indians - RHP Trevor Bauer (right fibula), OF Leonys Martin (illness), CF Tyler Naquin (right hip), OF Lonnie Chisenhall (left calf), RHP Nick Goody (right elbow), RHP Danny Salazar (right shoulder) and RHP Cody Anderson (right elbow) are on the disabled list.

    Tigers -- 2B Niko Goodrum (quad), LHP Blaine Hardy (elbow) are out. SS Jose Iglesias (abdomen), RHP Artie Lewicki (elbow), 1B John Hicks (hip), 1B Miguel Cabrera (biceps) are on the disabled list.

    Next: The Indians are off on Monday before opening a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox starting Tuesday night.

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    Not only does The Foundry's "Rowing for Fitness" class take place on the center's rowing tank, it also calls upon the whole body -- stem to stern.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- I don't know much about rowing for sport, and I certainly don't do much rowing for sheer fun.

    I do, however, know all about "Rowing for Fitness," thanks to the good people at The Foundry Rowing & Sailing Center. After taking their flagship group exercise class with a friend earlier this week, I'm now well-versed in reasons why everyone ought to be working out there.

    Trust me, then, when I say that "Rowing for Fitness" ( is something special. Not only does it take place on the rowing tank, the Foundry's main attraction. It also calls upon the whole body, stem to stern. In truth, they could have called the class "Rowing for Strength," "Rowing for Heart Health," or "Rowing for Lung Capacity."

    The rowing tank, for those who don't know, is remarkable, a true and under-appreciated gem. It's essentially a giant treadmill, only instead of a spinning belt, it's got two long channels of water, oars and sliding seats on all sides, and huge motors capable of thrusting the water at speeds ranging from babbling brook to whitewater rafting.

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    On the tank, you see, form matters.

    Unless your goal is to sustain an injury, your only choice is to master the choreography, the orderly pas de trois between hands, knees, and oar. The trick was to avoid over-thinking things, to look straight ahead and let the rest sort itself out naturally.

    The intensity level escalated quickly. Soon after some light stretching and a quick refresher on form, rowing coordinator Nathan Shoemaker had us off to the races, alternating between grueling 30-second sprints and 30-second cool-downs.

    Then the real work started. The meat of the workout was three, five-minute segments, during which our stroke rate was to rise by two every minute.

    For the sake of balance and complication, too, Shoemaker also challenged us to alternate between rowing on starboard and port sides. That meant flipping the choreography, leading with my left arm instead of my right.

    For a few minutes, we even sculled. That is, we sat between the tanks and rowed on both sides, with an oar in each hand. Talk about needing proper form. Scull incorrectly and you may break a finger.

    Rowing may be the one perfect exercise.

    The tank is just the beginning, too. Soon, in addition to "Rowing for Fitness" and a variety of programs for young rowers, The Foundry also will offer public memberships to a large on-site gym full of weightlifting, cardio, and (of course) rowing equipment.

    And there you have it, folks: the topic for my next column on rowing. Look for that one later this fall.

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    The Indians and Tigers begin a three-game series at Progressive Field on Friday. What till the weather be like?

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The only showers to be expected at Progressive Field this weekend should feature champagne.

    As the Indians close in on clinching their third consecutive American League Central title against Detroit -- the Magic Number stands at 2 -- they should be able to celebrate without delay. 

    Friday, Sept. 14, first pitch at 7:10 p.m.

    The National Weather Service Cleveland indicates a less than 10 percent chance of rain from game time through the rest of the evening, with temperatures starting around 75 and dipping to 72.

    Saturday, Sept. 15, first pitch at 3:10 p.m.

    Much like Friday, the NWS Cleveland indicates a very small chance of rain Saturday, but it should be a bit warmer. With plenty of sun for the afternoon start, the temperatures will be around 80 at game time and is expected to hover there through 6 p.m.

    Sunday, Sept. 16, first pitch at 1:10 p.m.

    Once again on Sunday, it should be very sunny with less than a 5 percent chance of rain, according the NWS. Temperatures stay around 80 degrees from noon-6 p.m.

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    Here is Dan Labbe's game prediction for Sunday's Browns-Saints game. Watch video

    BEREA, Ohio -- The Browns are already off to their best start since 2004 following a tie against the Steelers. Could it get better with a win on the road against the Saints?

    If it does, my pick will be wrong.

    I would love to be bold here and pick the upset, but there's just too much on the other side that gives me pause. It starts, of course, with Drew Brees and his ability to read a defense presnap and his quick release.

    Will Myles Garrett and Co. be able to get to him in time? One of Garrett's sacks last week took 1.97 seconds, so it's possible, but the Saints are going to do everything in their power to make sure it doesn't happen.

    My other concern is Alvin Kamara. We saw what James Conner did to the Browns a week ago, rushing for 135 yards and catching five passes for 57 yards. This Browns defense has been vulnerable to running backs and tight ends working in space underneath and that's what Kamara does really well. He could be in for a big game.

    Related: How the Saints used Alvin Kamara against the Bucs

    The Browns offense will awaken this week. Tyrod Taylor and his teammates in the passing attack will benefit from the fast track indoors at the Superdome. The problem is that this will be another Big 12 game for the Saints -- maybe not to the level of last week's 48-40 loss, but still a shootout. It's hard to bet against them in that case.

    Saints 35, Browns 24.

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