Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1, 2007

What a shame that Darrent Williams was murdered last night. A young man with such a promising future was shot and killed while celebrating new years. Shame on ESPN for not even making it their headline story. They would rather spoon feed us some crap about Bob Knight, Nick Saban to Bama or the coach firings. R.I.P. Darrent, prayers out to your family and friends.

Dennis Green fired.
- I don't think Denny Green is a bad coach. I think my head coach test is a test that asks the question " If coach X is fired, will he take a coordinator job in the near future, or will his next job be a head coaching job?".

For example, if Norv Turner is fired as a head coach, he basically gets demoted to be offensive coordinator somewhere. There is a coaching carousel of offensive and defensive coordinators that will basically play musical chairs if fired. Those guys are coordinators at heart for me.

Now if a guy like Bill Parcells were to leave Dallas, I wouldn't expect him to say be defensive coordinator anywhere afterwards. Guys like Mike Holmegren, Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs are head coaches.

I'm not saying that Denny Green is in the class of a Bill Parcells, but I view him as head coaching material. I like him but things just didn't work out in Arizona. I try and figure out why things didn't work out, and it comes down to offensive line play.

I believe Arizona had the BIGGEST offensive line by weight, in the NFL, but too often people translate size into ability. The Cardinals offensive line might out weight the Broncos by 300 pounds ( 6o pounds on average) but they aren't nearly as good.

Those smaller offensive lines can often struggle in pass blocking, which is why you see Denver use a lot of roll outs, waggles, and moving the pocket to create the illusion of more time. Teams like Denver, New England, and Indianapolis might not have these big mauler offensive lines, which makes them run more misdirection, pulls, traps, zone blocking, angles blocks, in the run game. In the passing game these smaller lines require moving the pocket ( roll outs), screens, draws, and quarterbacks who aren't necessarily mobile, but get rid of the ball in 3 seconds or less. Tom Brady has made a living of a short, efficient passing game that requires quick decision making.

I tried to breakdown some of the Cards games and I noticed that that big offensive line didn't pull as much as other lines. They tried to just block down with those big offensive linemen. The Cards had trouble in their pass protection as well. Whoever tries to clean up that mess will have to start out in the trenches with their offensive line. They might not need to bring in new lineman, but they will have to either cater the style of play to fit their skills, or they will have to get everybody on the same page.

Jim Mora was fired.
- I believe Jim Mora was probably the worst head coach in all of pro football. I also believe he was the worst possible person to coach that team in Atlanta.

As physically gifted as Michael Vick is, he would be very difficult to coach. After passing for 200 or so yards one game, he talked about how he was as good a passer as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. He calls out his teammates ( receivers), and calls out his coaches in losses. Not only does Vick point the finger elsewhere, but he admitted that he didn't start watching film until months into the season. I view Vick as not a smart guy, lazy, and arrogant. I have been calling Vick fools gold ever since the beginning when people were calling him the future best ever.

In the " coaching test", I do NOT think Jim Moron Jr. is going to land a head coaching job in the NFL, or that he deserves to be a head coach in the NFL. If his daddy weren't a famous NFL coach, I don't think anybody would have ever heard of him. He doesn't strike me as intelligent at all, and he has resorted to being Mike Vicks #1 cheerleader. Mike Vick is the kind of guy that needs discipline, not a head coach that laughs and plays cheerleader for him.

I really praise Greg Knapp for being in such a tough situation. He knew that owner Arthur Blank put marketing machine Mike Vick above the coaching staff, so he tried to cater an offense that would show off his strengths. Instead of trying to turn Vick into Peyton Manning, the Falcons offense more resembled a college football team with all of that misdirection and option keeper plays. The whole offense was based on the option and the option keeper. Pretty much all of their plays branched off of that stretch run right.

Before Greg Knapp, after every series Mike Vick used to just sit on the bench with his head in between his legs. He wouldn't talk to his receivers, he wouldn't look at Ariel shots of the defense, and he wouldn't even watch the game. Vick is the kind of guy that would rather just show up and wing it. He is the kind of guy that would rather look good and lose, than look OK and win.

Once Greg Knapp came to town, I've noticed that Vick is assigned a seat next to Knapp after every series. Knapp holds up a clip board and tries to go over what happened out there to prepare for the next series. It almost reminds me of how your mom used to sit you down at the kitchen table to do your homework after school.

I honestly think Knapp did a good job of trying to use Vicks potential on the bootleg, to help the running game. In essence Knapp tried to isolate the defense into favorable match ups for Vick and Dunn. He tried to turn Atlanta into a running machine where Vick wouldn't be exposed as the poor passer that he is. Not only does he lack accuracy, but he has horrible pocket awareness. People confuse his great ability to scramble with his poor pocket awareness. Vick is a short quarterback that has trouble seeing over the line, and he takes his eyes off of his receivers down field and LOOKS at the pass rushers chasing him.

I'd like to go over my thoughts on teams and coaches in the off season, and go over some football 101 type stuff. I'd also like to go over some regular season awards.

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