Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Genius

I love how good results warrant the term "genius". The term is used so often in the NFL now that it's a joke. I'd like to talk about three Geniui or genuises.

Tony Dungy, the genius.
How come each time his Colts lose a playoff game they talk about how Peyton Manning is a chock artist. I've never heard anybody bash the mild mannered Dungy. People are very quick to point out Peyton not beating Florida when he was in college at Tennessee, and Peyton not beating Brady in the pros. The teams that Peyton HAS lost to in the playoffs, ( New England and Pittsburgh) have gone on to win the superbowls.

Peyton Manning is unbelievable, Tony Dungy is not. Do you think there are a lot of people who can do what Peyton Manning do? I don't. Do you think there are a lot of people that can do what Tony Dungy can do? More than a few.

Tony Dungy was labeled a defensive genius for his work in Tampa Bay. He was credited with "building" that franchise. Last time I checked, the general manager drafted the team. Tony was lucky enough to coach a defense with Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Rhonde Barber, Donnie Abraham, Simeon Rice, Chiti Ahanatou, Anthony Mcfarland, Brian Kelley, and of course Dexter Jackson.

Dungy was playing with a stacked deck of cards. He was credited with the "Tampa 2". Tony Dungy didn't invent the cover 2! There are only so many ways you can play defense... Man or zone. If zone you can choose from cover 1, cover 2, cover 3, cover 4 and mix and match who plays where and who blitzes. Dungy's cover 2 was more famous for where the underneath players played so that it would change the conventional ways to attack the cover 2. Basically, his version of the cover 2 just changed the depths of the linebackers and corners, and where they stood in their quadrants of the zone. Now I might be a little bit harsh, but don't you think having John Lynch, Rhonde Barber, and Derrick Brooks standing in those zone would help out? How about a nasty Warren Sapp rushing the passer in his prime?

Tampa's defense was no doubt good, but Dungy couldn't win the big one. When they acquired Brad Johnson, Keyshaun and some other offensive pieces, they were deemed the paper champions. Their " strong defense" lost to Philly in round 1 of the playoffs. Maryball was kicked out of Kansas City because he would have 12-4 and 14-2 teams but lose in the playoffs. Dungy would get outcoached every year but he was still there. Eventually he was booted out of town ( which a lot of people didn't like), but Jon Gruden won a championship with the team the very next year!!! Even after coach chucky won the title, people still wanted to credit Dungy.

Dungy has been in Indy for years, and his defense isn't what makes this team tick. If he still had Shaun King, or Brad Johnson coaching this team they would probably be winless. The fact of the matter is that Dungy has the hottest commodity in the NFL, Peyton Manning. Dungy's colt defenses have been soft, and terrible. Tony Dungy has been anything BUT a defensive genius in Indianapolis, and instead of calling Peyton the goat every year after they lose in the playoffs, look at Dungy who has had a previous Superbowl caliber team only to lose every year in the playoffs.

Genius #2, Marvin Lewis.
Marvin Lewis has a situation very similar to Dungy. Marvin was the coach of the 2000 Ravens and one of the best defenses of all-time. Don't you think YOU would have a good defense if you had Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware, Jaime Sharper, Rod Woodson, Chris Mccalister, Duane Starks, Mike Mccrary, Tony Siragosa?

As defensive coordinator, Marvin had one of the most talented defenses of all-time. He later moved south on the beltway to coach the Washington Redskins and their high payroll defense. His defenses were average and below and his players spoke out against his "confusing" schemes. They didn't work when he had good talent, as opposed to the BEST talent.

Marvin was given a job with the Bengals, and has had piss poor defenses every year. In fact, the Bengals are ranked the worst defense in the NFL! How is it possible for a "defensive genius", to have the worst defense in the entire NFL?

Marvin was lucky enough to get one of the other top commodities in the entire NFL, Carson Palmer. It Marvin wasn't lucky enough to have such a great offense, his team would be terrible. As it is, the bengals are .500. If you wanted to go beyond X's and O's, the bengals have one of the most misbehaved teams in pro sports. The Bengals and their off field conduct are really giving the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins a run for their money.

Genius #3 Brian Billeck.
Billeck is in the same situation as Dungy and Marvin Lewis, only in an offensive sense. Billeck was deemed a "genius" after being the offensive coordinator in Minnesota. Let's take a look at some of the toys he had to play with.

Robert Smith- a smart and speedy probowl runningback
Cris Carter - Possibly the best receiver ever ( or 2nd to Jerry Rice)
Randy Moss- Possibly the most talented receiver ever
Jake Reed- A solid receiver who was a borderline probowl player
ProBowlers on the offensive line
Brad Johnson- an efficient player

and a turf homefield. The fact that his homefield was on amplified that speed. After Billeck went to Baltimore, his team didn't look like some high flying offense. His superbowl team consisted of play good defense, and pound Jamal Lewis. It was as simple as pie, run the ball and play good defense.

After they won the title, the arrogant Billeck tried to have an enhanced formula. He tried to install a more daring passing game, and had to replace quarterbacks pretty much every year. I believe he has gone through between 5 and 7 quarterbacks. The Ravens offense has added former MVP Steve Mcnair and it still looks boring. They try and run the ball, but Jamal Lewis looks to have lost a step from his 2,000 yard season and superbowl year. Billeck has tried changing offensive coordinators and now HE calls the plays. He now has nobody to blame for failure except his "genius" self.

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