Tuesday Morning Quarterback (Redskins related)

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Tuesday Morning Quarterback (Redskins related)

Postby 1niksder » Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:49 pm

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Perennially, Tuesday Morning Quarterback stares in disbelief as teams punt when trailing late. But there's a worse sequence of events -- when an NFL coach punts with the game still in reach, then goes for it with only minutes remaining and all hope lost. Sunday, Washington trailed Atlanta 24-10 with 10 minutes remaining, and the Redskins faced fourth-and-2 at midfield. Joe Gibbs sent in the punting unit. You need two scores and there are 10 minutes left! More than two-thirds of fourth-and-2 plays succeed! You're at midfield! Boom goes the punt. Then, still trailing 24-10 with four minutes remaining, Redskins deep in their territory, Washington faced fourth-and-4. At this point it made no difference whether the Redskins punted, went for it or started square dancing. And then -- at the point it no longer mattered -- Gibbs went for the first down.


Isolated instance? In Atlanta-New Orleans on "Monday Night Football" back on Sept. 25, the Falcons trailed by 20 points early in the fourth quarter and faced fourth-and-7: Jim Mora ordered a punt. After the clock had ticked down to six minutes and Atlanta still trailed by 20, but now faced fourth-and-12, then Mora decided to go for it. When there was still hope, however slim, of staging a comeback, Mora punted. When all hope was extinguished, Mora went for it. Oakland versus Seattle on "Monday Night Football" on Nov. 6, Oakland trailed by 13 points in the third quarter and punted on fourth-and-1 from midfield; then with nine minutes remaining, still down by 13 and facing fourth-and-5, then the Raiders went for it. Trailing the Giants 16-3 with seven minutes remaining Oct. 8, Gibbs ordered the Redskins to punt; at the two-minute warning, with all hope lost, then he went for it. Onside kicks follow a similar pattern. In the USC-Notre Dame game, the Irish scored to pull within 31-17 with 10 minutes to go, and still held some hope; Charlie Weis had his charges kick away. When it was 37-24 with three minutes remaining, then Weis ordered an onside kick.


Here are the possible reasons that NFL and big-college coaches punt on fourth-and-short when there's still time for a comeback, then go for it on fourth-and-long when there's no hope whatsoever:

• "But that's what we always do!"


• "That's what Jimmy Conzelman and Ray Flaherty did!" (Note: Coaches of the 1930s.)


• "I want the players to be the ones who get blamed for losing the game."


Over and over again it is impressed upon TMQ that for all the billions of dollars invested in the NFL and big-college NCAA football, for all the dozens of assistant coaches per team and thousands of hours spent dissecting game film, it is amazing how little coaches seem to think about what they are doing. Punting on fourth-and-short when trailing late makes no sense, unless you aren't thinking about what you are doing. Or unless your true concern is blame-shifting. If the coach goes for it and the attempt fails, the next day the sports-yak world blames the coach; if the coach sends in the punt unit and the defense doesn't get the ball back, sports radio blames the defense. This attitude is aided by the fact that sportscasters, in my experience, never point out how ridiculous it is to punt on fourth-and-short when trailing late -- probably because most sportscasters never really think about the game, either. Trailing Philadelphia 27-3 at the end of the third quarter on Nov. 12, the Redskins faced fourth-and-5 at midfield. "That will force Washington to punt," announcer Dick Stockton intoned. No team is "forced" to punt. But NFL coaches like it when sportscasters assume this, as it shifts the criticism off the coaches. And boom went the punt.

.......

Cheerleader of the Week: Reader Caesar Montevecchio of Erie, Pa., nominates Tiffany of the Redskins, a graduate of Georgetown University, one of the hardest colleges in the United States from which to receive a thick letter (signaling admission). Montevecchio reports, "Tiffany was the captain of the Georgetown cheerleading squad, and I was a male member of that team. She is really bright and really friendly." According to Tiffany's team bio, "I've enjoyed defying the stereotypes that exist about cheerleaders." Also according to her bio, at Georgetown, Tiffany was enrolled in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, a prestigious school-within-a-school for aspiring diplomats. Maybe Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should travel with Tiffany as her personal pep squad -- Rice could use one. Here are diplomatic cheers:

Image

......

Sweet Play of the Week No. 1: Redskins leading 14-10 in yet another desultory effort by the Falcons, Atlanta had the ball on the Nanticokes' 22, and Mora the Younger radioed in some dumb play -- probably a 14-step drop that required Michael Vick to sprint backward to midfield. Vick defied his coach and in the huddle drew up a post pattern to Michael Jenkins: touchdown. Afterward Vick said, "Sometimes you have to overcome coaching." Bravo! Mora isn't stuck with a coach-killer quarterback, Vick is stuck with a quarterback-killer coach. Here is a suggestion to put Atlanta into the playoffs: Switch off the helmet radio and let Vick call his own plays. Have Mora spend all his time talking to his dad on a cell phone on the sideline. Vick is a gifted player, Mora is a knuckleheaded coach. Let the gifted player take charge and see what happens. Falcons note: The player Jerious Norwood turned inside-out on his game-icing, 69-yard touchdown run was Carlos Rogers, a very highly paid No. 1 draft choice.

.......

Huh? What? When the Falcons-at-Redskins collision ended, Fox could have switched to the red-hot conclusion of Lions-at-Patriots, a Fox-rights game. Instead the network switched to the final minute of Arizona-at-St. Louis, a woofer pairing and a game where the Cards led 34-13 anyway.

.......
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Postby joebagadonuts » Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:22 am

Wow. Besides the 'Sweet Play of the Week' taking an unnecessary shot at Rogers (who had come from the opposite side of the field and was at a position disadvantage to tackle Norwood anyway), he's actually applauding a player for defying the coach. Yeah, that's good for team chemistry.

I love it when these guys write like they know everything, and yet my wife -- hell, my DOG -- is more qualified to coach a team than they are. They make themselves look like complete morons.
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Postby Mursilis » Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:35 am

joebagadonuts wrote:Wow. Besides the 'Sweet Play of the Week' taking an unnecessary shot at Rogers (who had come from the opposite side of the field and was at a position disadvantage to tackle Norwood anyway), he's actually applauding a player for defying the coach. Yeah, that's good for team chemistry.


<shrug> The writer's not totally wrong though. There's a fair bit of bad coaching in this league. Look at the Cardinals - all that talent, and they're still 3-9? Last year they had both a top 10 offense (No. 8 ) and a top 10 defense (No. 8 again), and they still found a way to finish 6-10! Dennis Green is an awful coach. And frankly, there's some merit in TMQ's comments about Gibbs (and other coaches) who trot out the punt unit when your team is behind late in the game. How many times has that happened this year? Is anyone playing to win, or just not to lose by too much?
Last edited by Mursilis on Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby joebagadonuts » Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:56 pm

Mursilis wrote:
joebagadonuts wrote:Wow. Besides the 'Sweet Play of the Week' taking an unnecessary shot at Rogers (who had come from the opposite side of the field and was at a position disadvantage to tackle Norwood anyway), he's actually applauding a player for defying the coach. Yeah, that's good for team chemistry.


<shrug> The writer's not totally wrong though. There's a fair bit of bad coaching in this league. Look at the Cardinals - all that talent, and they're still 3-9? Last year they had both a top 10 offense (No. 8) and a top 10 defense (No. 8 again), and they still found a way to finish 6-10! Dennis Green is an awful coach. And frankly, there's some merit in TMQ's comments about Gibbs (and other coaches) who trot out the punt unit when your team is behind late in the game. How many times has that happened this year? Is anyone playing to win, or just not to lose by too much?


No doubt there's bad coaching in the NFL. And Joe Gibbs has made made his fair share of wrong decisions. But I don't think I trust some overweight, middle-aged guy slouching in his chair, watching just as much football as I do, to tell me what good coaching is.

I admit that I'm going by past articles TMQ has written as well, so that may taint my view of this particular piece. The whole 'Stop Me Before I Blitz Again' is silly. It takes specific examples of failed blitzes, and ignores all examples of successful blitzes. He does love the cheerleaders, though, so I have to give him credit for that.
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Postby Mursilis » Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:09 pm

joebagadonuts wrote: I admit that I'm going by past articles TMQ has written as well, so that may taint my view of this particular piece. The whole 'Stop Me Before I Blitz Again' is silly. It takes specific examples of failed blitzes, and ignores all examples of successful blitzes. He does love the cheerleaders, though, so I have to give him credit for that.


That blitz stuff is interesting, but in at least one column he didn't just resort to ancedotal evidence (never a compelling argument), but did in fact cite some studies which looked at blitzing systematically. Roughly stating, the studies confirmed that blitzing usually backfired more than it worked against good teams, but usually worked more than it backfired against bad teams (then again, most plays of whatever type usually work against bad teams).

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Postby DEHog » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:26 pm

Had it been 24-10 I might question the call it was 24-14. We needed TD and a FG.
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Re: Tuesday Morning Quarterback (Redskins related)

Postby cleg » Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:54 pm

1niksder wrote:Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Perennially, Tuesday Morning Quarterback stares in disbelief as teams punt when trailing late. But there's a worse sequence of events -- when an NFL coach punts with the game still in reach, then goes for it with only minutes remaining and all hope lost. Sunday, Washington trailed Atlanta 24-10 with 10 minutes remaining, and the Redskins faced fourth-and-2 at midfield. Joe Gibbs sent in the punting unit. You need two scores and there are 10 minutes left! More than two-thirds of fourth-and-2 plays succeed! You're at midfield! Boom goes the punt. Then, still trailing 24-10 with four minutes remaining, Redskins deep in their territory, Washington faced fourth-and-4. At this point it made no difference whether the Redskins punted, went for it or started square dancing. And then -- at the point it no longer mattered -- Gibbs went for the first down.


Isolated instance? In Atlanta-New Orleans on "Monday Night Football" back on Sept. 25, the Falcons trailed by 20 points early in the fourth quarter and faced fourth-and-7: Jim Mora ordered a punt. After the clock had ticked down to six minutes and Atlanta still trailed by 20, but now faced fourth-and-12, then Mora decided to go for it. When there was still hope, however slim, of staging a comeback, Mora punted. When all hope was extinguished, Mora went for it. Oakland versus Seattle on "Monday Night Football" on Nov. 6, Oakland trailed by 13 points in the third quarter and punted on fourth-and-1 from midfield; then with nine minutes remaining, still down by 13 and facing fourth-and-5, then the Raiders went for it. Trailing the Giants 16-3 with seven minutes remaining Oct. 8, Gibbs ordered the Redskins to punt; at the two-minute warning, with all hope lost, then he went for it. Onside kicks follow a similar pattern. In the USC-Notre Dame game, the Irish scored to pull within 31-17 with 10 minutes to go, and still held some hope; Charlie Weis had his charges kick away. When it was 37-24 with three minutes remaining, then Weis ordered an onside kick.


Here are the possible reasons that NFL and big-college coaches punt on fourth-and-short when there's still time for a comeback, then go for it on fourth-and-long when there's no hope whatsoever:

• "But that's what we always do!"


• "That's what Jimmy Conzelman and Ray Flaherty did!" (Note: Coaches of the 1930s.)


• "I want the players to be the ones who get blamed for losing the game."


Over and over again it is impressed upon TMQ that for all the billions of dollars invested in the NFL and big-college NCAA football, for all the dozens of assistant coaches per team and thousands of hours spent dissecting game film, it is amazing how little coaches seem to think about what they are doing. Punting on fourth-and-short when trailing late makes no sense, unless you aren't thinking about what you are doing. Or unless your true concern is blame-shifting. If the coach goes for it and the attempt fails, the next day the sports-yak world blames the coach; if the coach sends in the punt unit and the defense doesn't get the ball back, sports radio blames the defense. This attitude is aided by the fact that sportscasters, in my experience, never point out how ridiculous it is to punt on fourth-and-short when trailing late -- probably because most sportscasters never really think about the game, either. Trailing Philadelphia 27-3 at the end of the third quarter on Nov. 12, the Redskins faced fourth-and-5 at midfield. "That will force Washington to punt," announcer Dick Stockton intoned. No team is "forced" to punt. But NFL coaches like it when sportscasters assume this, as it shifts the criticism off the coaches. And boom went the punt.

.......

Cheerleader of the Week: Reader Caesar Montevecchio of Erie, Pa., nominates Tiffany of the Redskins, a graduate of Georgetown University, one of the hardest colleges in the United States from which to receive a thick letter (signaling admission). Montevecchio reports, "Tiffany was the captain of the Georgetown cheerleading squad, and I was a male member of that team. She is really bright and really friendly." According to Tiffany's team bio, "I've enjoyed defying the stereotypes that exist about cheerleaders." Also according to her bio, at Georgetown, Tiffany was enrolled in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, a prestigious school-within-a-school for aspiring diplomats. Maybe Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should travel with Tiffany as her personal pep squad -- Rice could use one. Here are diplomatic cheers:

Image

......

Sweet Play of the Week No. 1: Redskins leading 14-10 in yet another desultory effort by the Falcons, Atlanta had the ball on the Nanticokes' 22, and Mora the Younger radioed in some dumb play -- probably a 14-step drop that required Michael Vick to sprint backward to midfield. Vick defied his coach and in the huddle drew up a post pattern to Michael Jenkins: touchdown. Afterward Vick said, "Sometimes you have to overcome coaching." Bravo! Mora isn't stuck with a coach-killer quarterback, Vick is stuck with a quarterback-killer coach. Here is a suggestion to put Atlanta into the playoffs: Switch off the helmet radio and let Vick call his own plays. Have Mora spend all his time talking to his dad on a cell phone on the sideline. Vick is a gifted player, Mora is a knuckleheaded coach. Let the gifted player take charge and see what happens. Falcons note: The player Jerious Norwood turned inside-out on his game-icing, 69-yard touchdown run was Carlos Rogers, a very highly paid No. 1 draft choice.

.......

Huh? What? When the Falcons-at-Redskins collision ended, Fox could have switched to the red-hot conclusion of Lions-at-Patriots, a Fox-rights game. Instead the network switched to the final minute of Arizona-at-St. Louis, a woofer pairing and a game where the Cards led 34-13 anyway.

.......


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Postby John Manfreda » Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:32 pm

Mursilis wrote:
joebagadonuts wrote:Wow. Besides the 'Sweet Play of the Week' taking an unnecessary shot at Rogers (who had come from the opposite side of the field and was at a position disadvantage to tackle Norwood anyway), he's actually applauding a player for defying the coach. Yeah, that's good for team chemistry.


<shrug> The writer's not totally wrong though. There's a fair bit of bad coaching in this league. Look at the Cardinals - all that talent, and they're still 3-9? Last year they had both a top 10 offense (No. 8 ) and a top 10 defense (No. 8 again), and they still found a way to finish 6-10! Dennis Green is an awful coach. And frankly, there's some merit in TMQ's comments about Gibbs (and other coaches) who trot out the punt unit when your team is behind late in the game. How many times has that happened this year? Is anyone playing to win, or just not to lose by too much?

in Green's defense the Cardinals have no line, and their D isn't anything to go home about ethier, they just have a good Qb and Wr's thats it.

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Re: Tuesday Morning Quarterback (Redskins related)

Postby Deadskins » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:20 am

Man this guy really hates the 'Skins. When he is trashing Gibbs decision to punt he says:
Sunday, Washington trailed Atlanta 24-10 with 10 minutes remaining, and the Redskins faced fourth-and-2 at midfield.

And then later in the same article when he is exalting Vick he says:
Redskins leading 14-10

I don't know how we lost those 4 points, he never mentioned anything about the scorekeeper. :roll:

I do happen to agree about poor clock management in Gibbs' second stint, though.
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Postby Fios » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:49 am

TMQ is on the "the name is a racist slur" side of the debate and it has (for lack of a better word) colored his coverage of the Redskins. He's not required to be unbiased, so I don't mind that so much, it just strikes me that it's a stupid basis on which to base analysis.
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Postby SkinsJock » Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:40 pm

Fios wrote:TMQ is on the "the name is a racist slur" side of the debate and it has (for lack of a better word) colored his coverage of the Redskins. He's not required to be unbiased, so I don't mind that so much, it just strikes me that it's a stupid basis on which to base analysis.


Thanks Fios! I thought that there was a little bias to it but that explains the undertone.

another one bites the dust :lowblow:
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Postby Mursilis » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:56 pm

Fios wrote:TMQ is on the "the name is a racist slur" side of the debate and it has (for lack of a better word) colored his coverage of the Redskins. He's not required to be unbiased, so I don't mind that so much, it just strikes me that it's a stupid basis on which to base analysis.


Even if he's biased (arguable), that doesn't mean his analysis is therefore flawed. For example, most Redskins fans, myself included, are clearly biased against Dallas, but if any of us are the slightest bit objective, we might have to agree that the Cowboys' odds of going to the playoffs this season are better than those of the Redskins (painful as that admission may be for all of us). Bias does not automatically prevent good analysis.

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