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Author Topic: Theory about the playcalling  (Read 537 times)
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« on: Nov 25, 2009 at 06:42 »

Like a lot of people, I'm puzzled by some of our playcalling. In particular, I don't understand why we've ignored the running game in several situations. I don't, though, assume that our coaches are stupid. On the contrary, I assume they have access to information that we don't (a self-evident assumption, sure, but one that bears recognizing) and that this informs their attitudes about what this team can and can't do.

Here's my basic theory: the coaches think our offensive line is not very good and they've gameplanned around it. I know they've looked good at times, but I think that, from the coaching staff's point of view, these instances have been the result of the gameplan covering up their shortcomings. There are several elements and implications of this problem.

In particular, the coaches know that the O-Line can't handle a loaded front -- witness the ineptitude in short-yardage blocking or the handling of any big, tricky blitz.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that we lack any quality depth at blocking the edges -- we have no true fullback on the roster, Spaeth can't block, etc. -- and this means we can't go big very successfully either. We do have David Johnson, and he's got a future for this role, but he's a rookie.

To conceal these deficiencies, we feature down-the-field passing as our bread-and-butter. It's our base play-call, in other words. This is by design - it happens to take advantage of our QBs skill set and the collective abilities of our receivers (i.e., we have Holmes and Wallace to open the field with speed, and Ward/Miller/Moore to revel in the underneath space the speedsters open up).

The down-the-field passing is intended to push the safeties back, and keep them there. This helps the O-Line open running lanes for Mendy; it helps to discourage big blitzes, and so forth.

Bottom line, I think, is that the coaches do not believe that we can just line up and run the ball, but that it has to be set up, and that we'll only be successful running in spots. There is extremely little confidence on the part of the coaching staff that we can score TDs in the red zone with the run - the space we use to spread the defense is constricted, our O-Line is shit, and the gaps will be filled.

Added to all the above is the fact that we have no depth at RB. Parker's career looks over to me -- I see no pop, no speed, though he does play a smarter game and I believe has the desire and drive. And the coaches appear unwilling to use Moore for more than a handful of carries per game.

All the above is what I think the coaches think -- I'd like to see Mendenhall featured more, too, but I don't think our coaching staff is stupid and I think the gameplan has been what it's been for a reason. Maybe not a good reason, and maybe other solutions would work better. In any case, we should be a 9-1 team and the fact that we're 6-4 is an absolute atrocity.
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jonzr
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 25, 2009 at 08:15 »

I'm glad you made a new topic for this post, I read it yesterday, wanted to respond and was about to search for it.  Lot's of good points that I hadn't considered.  Of course, we'll never know if you're right or wrong, but it's logical and makes sense.

However, it requires me to do three things that I'm not prepared to do.

1)  Overlook the OL improvements.  They've been vastly better in short yardage plays and the number of sacks is down considerably over last season.  The running game works when they use it.
2)  Give credit to Bruce Arians.  I still say the offense performs well despite his input, not b/c of it.  Why is it so much more productive in the no huddle?  Why isn't the offense more productive in the second half, after the opposing teams have made adjustments?  Why does he abandon the running game when it is working and they need to get time off the clock to protect a lead.  It seems he'd rather bang his head against a wall than walk around it.
3)  Damn, I got so worked up over Arians that #3 has slipped my mind.  Hmmm, will have to get back to that later.


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« Reply #2 on: Nov 25, 2009 at 17:31 »

The shoe throwing thing is fucking hilarious.
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