We're Doing This The Wrong Way, It's Too Late, Just Deal With It
We committed to a rookie head coach to cut his teeth on our team.
This head coach is playing all the low percentages:
- Trying to win a Super Bowl on defense, only been done 3 times out of 46 tries.
- Trying to win games via ball control on the ground in a league that's been optimized to win in the air passing.
- Trying to manage a team as three individual units with three different Assistant HC's with different styles who wind up pushing the team apart moreso than bringing it together.
- Trying to be a friendly "players coach" rather than a disciplinarian.
- Going crazy building a shut-down defense while virtually ignoring the offense.
If you look at it big-picture, this "Shut Down D" and "Ground & Pound" strategy has never worked. In '09 we came close, the D dominated, but still we only managed a mediocre 9-7 record, didn't set the league on fire with our running game. In '10 our defense showed a lot of weakness, gave up a lot of 4th quarter leads, and saw our offense get us 4 improbable comeback wins in the air, not on the ground. Once in the playoffs, we played smart and made enough big plays to get us halfway to glory, but again only one game really worked on the "Shut Down D" and "Ground & Pound" strategy. The rest came from last minute heriocs, some timely interceptions, and some air ball. Just like the two regular seasons that preceded it, the two postseasons were high on improv, low on the original concept.
It seems that the price we pay for sustaining a great defense is that we wind up with a paltry offense. Sound familiar? Look at the Baltimore Ravens, look at the Tampa Bay Bucs, look at the Chicago Bears. All won Super Bowls when all the pieces aligned finally, but for the better part of a decade each suffered with pathetic offenses starved of talent to fuel stellar defenses. Boring games, fans with nothing to cheer for but the defense, all-pro defenders pissed at the offense, quarterbacks that looked clueless, constant three-and-outs, nail-biters 24/7.
I'm not calling for anyone's head, but facts are facts. Until Ryan and Tannenbaum decide we're a different type of team and are willing to sacrifice defensive depth for offensive strength this is what we're going to have to deal with. "Playing Jet Football" is a low-percentage play and it's what we've chosen to do.