Blog Entry

Monday musings

Posted on: September 22, 2008 12:05 pm

It's time for another situational coaching seminar.

Two coaches blew it big time Sunday.

The first was Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak. With his team trailing 24-12 with 5:12 left in the third quarter, the Texans faced a fourth-and-4 from the Tennessee 10. Instead of kicking the field goal, which was the right play, he opted to go for it and the Texans were stopped.

The play there was to cut it to 24-15. That's because later he had a fourth down inside the Tennessee 10 and went for it. Why? He was down 12. If he was down nine, he kicks a field goal to make it a 6-point game.

Chasing points in the third quarter is stupid.

The second coach who gets scrutinized here is Colts coach Tony Dungy. His end-of-the-game play calling may have cost his team a game.

Here's the situation: Colts have it first and goal at the Jacksonville 2 with 1:18 left. The Jaguars had three timeout. So what do the Colts do? They throw two incomplete passes to stop the clock before scoring. The Jaguars didn't have to use a timeout.

When they got the ball back with 1:07 left, they had all three timeouts. They needed them. When Josh Scobee nailed a 51-yard field goal to win the game with four seconds left, all the timeouts were burned. If the Colts had forced the Jaguars to use just one of those timeouts, who knows?

I know the idea is to score. But why not run it at least once?

Quick hits

---While we're at it, let's take on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Down 15-6, the Steelers had a fourth-and-10 at the Eagles' 22 with 37 seconds left following a sack of Byron Leftwich. They should have kicked a field goal there and then tried an onsides kick. But they went for it and were stopped. You need two scores. Kick the field goal.

---And I love Ken Whisenhunt as a coach, but he should not have punted on fourth-and-4 from his own 48 with just over two minutes left against Washington. The Cardinals never saw the ball again. Even stopping the Redskins, they still needed a stop and a touchdown. Knowing Ken, he'd probably agree now.

---If you’re looking for a star in the making take a look at Tennessee Titans corner Cortland Finnegan. His 99-yard interception return for a touchdown iced the Titans' victory over the Houston Texans. He now has four interceptions in three games. He also did a heck of a job on Andre Johnson Sunday. Finnegan is short at 5-9, but he is a feisty, willing tackler who is on his way to his first Pro Bowl.  He also did jumped into the stands after his touchdown. Why? He was always a fan of Brett Favre and the Packers.

---One thing that stands out about Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is his passes tend to stay in the air a long time. Schaub has a good arm, but he floats passes too many times. He had three picked off by the Titans, ending with a passer rating of 27.8. Don't be shocked if the fans start clamoring for Sage Rosenfels. Schaub looked a little jumpy at times in the pocket against the Titans.

---When I wrote this summer that Derek Anderson was a one-year wonder, many ripped me. Am I right? It's time for the Browns to go to Brady Quinn. Anderson can't get it done. They're lucky they put a roster bonus in his contract last spring. They will never pay that next spring now.

---I remember the look of excitement on the face of Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden this summer when he talked about wide receiver Antonio Bryant. Out of football for 2007, Bryant is showing why. He had 10 catches for 138 yards Sunday against the Bears. Bryant had off-field and attitude issues at his previous NFL stops, but he's supposedly matured and put that all behind him. If he can continue when Joey Galloway gets back, Gruden will actually have two speed players to choose from.  Maybe we'll see Brian Griese throw 67 passes again sometime.

---Ronnie Brown scored four rushing touchdowns off a direct snap against the Patriots and more and more teams are using the Wildcat formation. But I don't like it. I'd rather see the quarterback behind center. Let's hope this doesn't catch on. It's too gimmicky. It worked Sunday, but let's not get too carried away.

---Atlanta defensive end John Abraham has six sacks this season, two more coming Sunday against the Chiefs. Part of the reason Abraham is having so much success is because of the way new coach Mike Smith is using him. Abraham is rotating out more than he has in the past. He wasn't happy with it at first, but Smith explained to him that he wanted him fresh when teams had to throw. What defensive end wouldn't want that? Abraham is eating it up with the league-high six sacks.

---The Jaguars won in dramatic fashion when Josh Scobee nailed a 51-yard field goal with four seconds left to beat the Colts. That hid the obvious lack of trust in quarterback David Garrard from the team's last drive. Leading 17-14, the Jaguars had a third-and-goal from the 5 with 2:43 left in the game. Instead of trying to get the game-clinching touchdown, they ran the ball for a yard. That's playing it way too safe. That's playing not to lose rather than to win.

---Was Ben Roethlisberger hurt or did he just check out after taking a beating? You have to wonder.





Category: NFL

Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: September 24, 2008 9:53 pm

Monday musings

Hey Pete do us a favor and take a hike...your Monday musings are as funny as your cheesy smile..

Since: Sep 6, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2008 6:23 pm

Monday musings

I have a few things to say about your posts

1. - I am a huge Browns fan, so I know a lot about the QB situation in Cleveland; Derek Anderson is the starting QB right now, but his job is in jeopardy, he knows it, and he even admitted it to the media. Coach Romeo Crennel said, " We are 0-3, something needs to change. There will be open competitions at every position to see if there will be a new starter." When asked if that included the QB spot, he replied, " I said every position." Also, Crennel said that backup QB Brady Quinn will get more reps with the first team in practice this week, indicating that he will probably be playing sometime soon. The goal is to have Anderson do well enough to get Cleveland a win vs. Cincinnati. If he does, he job is safe until after Cleveland's bye (week 5) but if he does poorly, he will be replaced in the cincy game or after the bye week. Also, Anderson can't be blamed entirely for his struggles as his top reciever, Braylon Edwards, has more drops (10 I think) than catches (8) this year. Also, the next 2 recievers on the depth chart, Donte' Stallworth and Joe Juravicious, are hurt and have been out all of this season (Juravicious all of the preseason and training camp too). Juravicious is out until at least week 6, as he was placed on the PUP list (physically unable to preform). Stallworth could be back any week, but he strained his quad in pregame worm-ups in week 1 vs. Dallas, and has been out since. Also, the Browns have another reciever, who was expected to have a large role this year considering Juravicious was out for a long time, was Kevin Kasper. He, however, has been cut due to any injury. Kellen Winslow has been the only productive reciever this year (only reciever with TD catch this year: other player with one is Jerome Harrison). So teams are doubling him and can afford it, so Anderson bascially has no one to throw to. Also, we have a few big injuries to our o-line, including Eric Steinbach, our Pro-Bowl LG. So Anderson doesnt have mych protection either. Also, Pro-Bowler Joe Thomas is not having a great year. He hasnt given up any sacks yet, but he hasnt done his job: keeping the pressure away from Anderson's blind-side. So, we'll all see how this plays out over the next week or two.

2. I know it is early, but I am giving my defensive player of the year vote to Cortland Finnegan of the Titans. He already has 4 interceptions this year, 2 of which TDs. I think 15 interceptions for him is possible, as well as for Chargers CB Antonio Cromartie.

Thanks for this post, and I will be involved in you blog, because its very interesting.

Since: Apr 3, 2007
Posted on: September 23, 2008 5:06 pm

Monday musings

You went through your whole rant....then just backed up my arguement.  It's about the intangibles.  The Texans couldn't move the ball, it's was worth the gamble to me.  Yeah, they might get the ball back several times, but what were they doing with it all game that would make you think they'd be moving it later?

The Colts scored a TD to take the lead.  To blame Dungy for the loss because he didn't attempt to trim time of the clock is stupid.  What happens if they don't get a TD at all?  Then we are blasting Dungy for his decision to run instead of pass.  In my opinion - Stop somebody on defense.  It's not like the Jags have some prolific 2007 Patriots style passing game.  Yet they still went down the field against the prevent (us from winning) defense the Colts decided to play.  On a side note...when will D-Coordinators delete all prevent (us from winning) defenses from their playbooks?  Thank you Bears!!!

The Tomlin thing is the same as the Texans.  They couldn't move the ball to save their life, and the Eagles were not playing prevent (us from winning).  You are 20 some yards from a TD.  Try to get the TD when you actually have an opportunity (which they didn't have all game).  I don't blame Tomlin for the call...even though he was yelling at the coordinator after the play which leads me to assume he was pissed and didn't make the call (but he's the head coach and needs to overrule if he wanted the FG).  If you want to get on Tomlin...fine...but I'm not convinced kicking a field goal in that situation was the right thing to do.  Safe thing to do:  yes...but right thing?  I don't know about all that. 

But I guess if you kick the field goal and lose...everything is all wonderful and you barely lost to a top 5 team in the NFL.  But you go for it and are the worst coach ever who didn't even try to compete.  That is about as rediculous a thing as I can think of...but it's so obviously true.  You just told me that Tomlin should have played to attempt a Hail Mary instead of trying to pick up a 4th and 10.  Yikes.  But that's your opinion.  I must have missed Pete's column and your blog about how stupid of a decision it was for Shanahan to go for 2 last week.  I mean come on!  What was he thinking?  The fact that they converted is irrelevant.  The decision was idiotic by your logic.  Send me the link to your blog so I can read what you had to say about that!  And don't say it was because of how the D was playing or how the Chargers were moving the ball at will....cuz that's the same reason Kubiak and Tomlin went for it.  Neither team could move the ball and they had an opportunity staring them in the face.

Everyone is riding Tomlin about this when they should be ragging him for the horrible lack of max protect blocking schemes.  Everytime (like 4 times?) they had a 2nd back in the backfield, the blitzes were picked up.  The Cowboys ran 2-3 receivers out in patterns and leaked a safety valve out late almost every play leaving 7 guys in to block.  The Steelers were running 4 to 5 man patterns all game leaving nobody to help.

Again, it's the little things that make you have to break from "tradition" like these coaches did.  And it's media pundits who think they know better and rip coaches for everything they do that turns coaches into pussies.  They punt on 4th and 1, they kick field goals when down by 28.  What's the point?  Other than to keep people off your back.  It's truly pathetic to watch.  I'm not saying not to punt...but it's not in the rules that you HAVE to.  I think it's funny as hell when teams punt from the opponents 35 yard line on 4th and 2 (at any time of the game)...get a touchback...and a net punt of 15 yards.  I just don't understand why a coach would WANT to give the ball back to the other team in certain situations.  Kind of like kicking a field goal on 4th and Goal from inside the 5.  Just go for it...the other team has to go 95+ yards if you fail, which is a gamble I would be willing to take.  But I guess that's why I work a 9-5.  But I do take calculated risks at work too...which leads to success more than failure.  Gotta hang it out there sometimes, even if it means taking the heat, it doesn't make me regret my decisions.

Pete SHOULD know more than me since this is his job.  But sometimes I think he just looks at box scores and watches zero film.  All you Monday Morning QBs think you are so smart.  It leads to entertaining reading for me!

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: September 23, 2008 2:28 pm

Monday musings


Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but yours has more holes than a spaghetti strainer. I'm afraid Pete has you on every situation.

Take the Colts situation. "Think before you type"? Perhaps you should take your own advice. Whether they run or pass, they are trying to do the same thing, score a TD. In both cases, they could score on the first play or it might take them 2-3 plays. Pete's point, and the right one, is that you're on the 2 yard line and it's 1st down, it's easily close enough to warrant a run. If you don't score on 1st down, you still have enough time to try a couple of more times, AND you run out some clock. If you throw, and you miss on 1st, you run off very little time. I'm guessing Dungy decided to do what he did because of their near failure to score in the same situation the previous week in Minnesota where they ran 3 times and still didn't get in (despite the officials giving Addai the TD). True, the Colts might have scored on 1st down running the ball, but it's still the safer, higher percentage, smarter move.

The Texans situation. Is it conceivable that they could make it on 4th and 4, but not all 4th down conversions are created equally as you suggest. The Cowboys may have converted 12 of 14 4th downs but how many of them were from 4 yds or greater? I'm guessing very few, and in fact, wouldn't be surprised if both misses were from 4 yds or more. 4 yards is too far for a running play so the defense knows you're going to pass and knows you're likely going to do a screen or some other short pass. You're still likely to make it 35-40% of the time, but when you need 2 scores with 5 minutes left in the 3rd, the ONLY call is is to kick the field goal. You're going to get the ball back, several times.

And the worst one of all may have been the Tomlin decision to go for it with 37 seconds left. Easy 22 yd field goal. That extends the game and gives you a chance to win. You miss on 4th and 10, which is highly likely, and the game's over. EXTEND THE GAME!!! Sure the chances of them winning in either case were low, but the chances of them successfully kicking the field goal and recovering the onsides kick are about the same and the success rate on just the onsides kick as the field goal is basically a gimme. With 30 seconds left and your team has the ball on the 50 yard line, at least you can take a couple of shots and try to get lucky. Otherwise, you're taking your LONE SHOT to get lucky while you're still down by 12 and even if you get the TD you still need another score and likely only have 10 seconds or less to do it.

Of course making the right decision in the heat of the moment is easier said than done. When the clock is running, the pressure's on the crowd is screaming and you have to make split second decisions, sometimes you go with your gut, or frankly you just don't have time to think it through properly. Plus, coaches have an emotional investment in their team and BELIEVE they can convert a 4th down because they've seen them do it before or they think they have a fool proof play, etc. There are also the intangibles that we aren't always privvy to, as in perhaps a DB has been playing off your receiver and you think you can catch one underneath while he's napping, etc. That all said, on the surface, from the information we know, Pete is right on the money and yes, "knows more than you."

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2008 2:22 pm

Monday musings

When I wrote this summer that Derek Anderson was a one-year wonder, many ripped me. Am I right? It's time for the Browns to go to Brady Quinn. Anderson can't get it done. They're lucky they put a roster bonus in his contract last spring. They will never pay that next spring now.

If the receivers could catch anything it would have probably helped Derek Anderson. I watched the first game of the season and the receivers dropped everything thrown right in their hands. I am not a Browns fan or even an Anderson fan. I just think his receivers are partially to blame for his bad play.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2008 2:17 pm

Monday musings

i didnt rip you on the derek anderson thing, but i did rip on you with the shockey trade being good and the jason taylor trade being bad....any way to derek anderson, who knows if he is a one year wonder or not, i think maybe it is the injury, who knows, and as for matt schaub, i also think it is the injury, he looks like a deer caught in headlights.

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: September 23, 2008 11:09 am

Monday musings

Why hasn't the league suspended Nick Kaczur? The NFL does not test for oxycodone but does prohibit the misuse of prescription drugs. Kaczur had been arrested in April 2008 for illegal possession of the prescription painkiller oxycodone. It seems like a double standard and really makes mockery of the NFL's drug policy.

Since: Apr 3, 2007
Posted on: September 23, 2008 10:34 am

Monday musings

When your D is playing like doo-doo, and your O isn't moving the ball for squat, and you team needs a serious shot in the arm...I don't blame Kubiak for chasing the points...they would have lost either way in my opinion.

Wisenhunt's punt was just stupid...I can see TMQ now.  "And as the punt team trotted onto the field...I wrote 'game over' in my notebook.  And the Cactus Wrens never saw the ball again."

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2008 12:44 am

Monday musings

Blazers.....They will be awesome this year and there stock will only get better for the future. If u don't HAVE THEM AND LIVE IN PORTLAND. tickets that is....... then ouch poor you. There will be the screaming painful loud  sound with crazy FUN!

Now that I got that out of the way....farve is going to be slow and old and unable to run. Blitz him and u will see him fall like tonight against the CHARGERS.

No hard feelings New York....u messed up with chad and now you solve your problem with a person that didn't know he even wanted to play til he kicks back on the couch and holds a beer and says what now. Anyways marketing get's the high five and Green Bay should take the money they made off the jersey's and help people rebuild the damage ike did in Texas.

Sorry for your luck but why live in places that have the highest flood and weather damage in the States.

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: September 22, 2008 8:26 pm

Monday musings

I agree.


Pete doesn't like the Dolphins very much and jumps on them -- even when they pull off the upset of the century. Of course we don't see any mention about benching Pennington for Henne one day after Pennington completes 17-of-20 passes, including 11 completions in a row. It shows you what he really knows. And, if a spread offense is what it took to baffle Bill Belichick's "genius" mind, then what's the problem with using it? Obviously, the Fins won't be using it all the time. The big problem with Pete is he's too busy riding the Jaguars' jock every chance he gets, which ultimately hurts his knowledge about what's going on with the other 31 teams in the league...

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