Week 5: Knocking Over Titans
Greetings, Shaolin Redskins fans! Today I write from among the bells and drums, the fireworks and cymbals of our village celebration. This week was an incredible, well-deserved victory, and we welcome the ascension of a young new leader!
HEART LIKE A LION
Sun Tzu said:
"Appraise war in terms of the five fundamental factors. . . . The
fourth of these factors is command. . . . By command I mean the
general's qualities of wisdom, sincerity, humanity, courage, and
This day I wish to address the fourth of the "qualities of command" mentioned by Master Sun Tzu--courage. "Courage" is not a word that has been thrown around in recent years anywhere near the Redskins, and yet this week we have two clear examples of it.
The first is the performance of rookie quarterback Patrick Ramsey, who stood tall in his first professional outing. He was unflinching in the face of blitzing opponents. Even while being smashed repeatedly to the ground, he coolly managed four straight touchdown drives. He had the poise of a veteran--a thing inborn.
The second example of courage was the return to the game of running back Stephen Davis, who feared he was done for the season when he went down in the first quarter. But by the half, he was already testing his knee, and he returned in the third quarter to run for *more* punishing yards than he had before he was hurt. "Seeing how my teammates were playing, I wanted to be a part of that," Davis said.
They both inspired their teammates to new heights--and their courage was cited by many. May it be a new watchword for the entire squad!
WHEN A FUMBLE IS JUST A SET-UP
Sun Tzu said:
"All warfare is based on deception."
The Ball Coach finally got a chance to use a serious trick play--for the first time this season, according to the man himself. In this case, QB Patrick Ramsey--brilliant in his debut--zipped a lateral to Kevin Lockett behind the line of scrimmage. Lockett, however, missed the catch, which caused the Tennessee defense to hold up as they switched to chase the fumble. Lockett simply picked up the ball and-- following the plan--heaved it across the field to Stephen Davis in the front right corner of the end zone.
Spurrier denies that the play was designed that way--fumble and all--but it is a testimony to his fabled trickery that he was asked the question several times. But even more importantly, the fact that he rolled it out at all is a great sign that his offense is starting to grow together into a unit that will perform up to his standards of chicanery.
Sun Tzu said:
"It is because of disposition that a victorious general is able to
make his people fight with the effect of pent-up waters which,
suddenly released, plunge into a bottomless abyss."
Here, Sun Tzu discusses the need to have the right people at the right place at the right time. When this occurs, the army will be invincible.
The Ball Coach understands this principle innately. The team is finally getting to the point where the right players are in the right place at the right time--and he will now be able to bring the Fun 'n Gun to bear in the way he would like. Up until now, he has been trying to get the "gun" into working order before he could even use it. From here on, we will see him able to focus not so much on his own team, but on the enemy and his plans for them--and it will be up to the team to execute his plays as second nature. And I believe they will.
This article was released on 2002-10-08.
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