Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Coaching or Talent or Time

topic for discussion today:

now that we've seen that this team *can* play at a high level do you think that this answers the questions about andy reid and drafting/team talent level?

i think that andy is a good evaluator of talent, and the inital analysis (i know i haven't done any other teams, but still intend to at some point) shows that premise isn't too far off-base. people have been blaming the team's poor performance on poor coaching and/or lack of talent and/or poor qb play and/or this morning i heard team cheapness (of all things). given the overall success level this team has had under andy reid, not all of those things can be true.

so which ones are the real reasons why this team has been underachieving?

to me, the single biggest reason the birds competed against the patriots was that the coaches did a better job of gameplanning than in previous games. jj did some creative things we haven't seen before (not the least of which was using a 3-4 look with more zone blitzing rather than overload blitzing). andy found a specific flaw in the patriots defense and attacked it repeatedly. player after player in the post game interviews praised the gameplan, specifically, which i haven't noticed in the past. sometimes, there is veiled grumbling about not running the ball enough after wins, while there was none on sunday even though they lost.



Anonymous Phil said...

There also wasn't much stink raised about the wasted timeouts. Course that may be because everyone's been focused on the QB "controversy" and haven't gotten around to anything else yet. Frankly, I think it's more about expectations. Reid was a genious early on cause he beat expectations, while now he's having a hard time meeting his raised expectations (5's the same way).

I don't think the issue has always been the same though. 2 years ago this team was obliterated by injuries (corners, 5, ends, RBs). More recently it has been more gameplanning (D more than O) issues and what I'm going to call lack of team character.

Specifically, these guys haven't gone out and knocked teams around like they used to. I think this might be a function of 5's personality (discussed here before), Dawk's declining skills, all that money wasted in the Freak and Howard, and 36 being quieter than a church mouse. I've heard a fair amount of talk about "dog", but seen very little of it on the field.

I think Sunday's game was entirely a function of all 53 players collectively stepping up and being motivated by being such a huge underdog. The O line did a great job (great push on the AJ sneak for instance) and the corners were all over the WRs (where has this been?). In my opinion, this more than coaching or talent or whatever was the reason they played so well.

3:39 PM EST  

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