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What we aren't seeing.


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Behind the scenes this week at Redskin Park there was lots of film study. Lewis and the defense got to break down every play. And judging from the way Lewis had come out in the press, he was apparently able to say, on a play by play basis, "See, if you had done your proper assignment, this play would have been stopped."

The similarities between Lewis and Marty are evident in that they both believe so strongly in their styles that they are going to try to impose it on the players. Lewis didn't bring any former players in here which tells us that despite great success in Baltimore, his will may not have made many players among friends.

But, unlike Marty, the players respect Lewis and they are being measured against a Super Bowl defense and Marty didn't have that going for him. Lewis is making a steady captain. As long as he can continue to point to film and demonstrate to his players that the mistakes they made within his system was what caused the breakdowns, he'll have their attention. When it's the system itself that is broken, like Marty's offense and early defense, the players will doubt. But, as long as Lewis can plug in a Ravens tape and show how it should be run against the same play, the players will listen.

This will lead to some solid performances. How quickly is the question? It could be right now. It could be in Week 17. But, Lewis has to have on tape the evidence that it's not his system that is broken, but, it's the players not playing within it that isn't working. From player comments and Lewis' comments, I take it that we have that situation now. While I would still encourage Lewis to adjust within his scheme to do more successful things, I think we haven't heard his players questioning his scheme yet, which happened to Marty. That's when Marty was lost.

Lewis can keep the pedal down and retain their attention, if not win many friends. It'll be interesting to watch play out.

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I agree with you, Art. Lewis' scheme will work, it's just a matter of when. However, schemes are not "one size fits all." Every scheme can stand a little tweaking here and there. And on a team with talent like Bailey and Arrington, I would think that a good defensive coach should make adjustments that favor those types of talents.

We'll begin seeing this week how much of a two-way street Lewis' coaching is and can be.

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if Lewis has to retro fit this defense and it takes 6-10 weeks to turn them into the kind of unit he wants to see and asks for patience, that's fine :)

What troubles me is that if he has the defense where he wants it in Game 10 or 11 and then he leaves after Game 16 to be a HC or coach somewhere else, then where do we go?

On our FOURTH DC in four years?

Lewis didn't bring ANYBODY with him, not one position coach. So there is no chance we are going to maintain continuity if he leaves.

On the other hand we know Spurrier has a 5 year contract and will be here, so if it takes a while for him to fit his offense and upgrade the personnel as well, so be it. We know that it will get done over time.

The way things are set up now with the contracts, I am just somewhat leery of changing the way we do EVERYTHING just to have to perhaps change it back next offseason :(

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I believe our LB coach came from Dallas, because he wanted to

be with and/or back with Spurrier. I think he is being groomed to

be DC when Lewis leaves. We even had asked for permission

to talk to him about DC and Jerrah killed the deal. What changed

to let him come here...I don't know.

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Yea 44, George Edwards. I'll try to find the links sometime, but if I recall his name was being tossed around some for a D.C. spot before the Redskins hired him on. Certainly has does some good work in the past with the LB's in the past I'd say. I've always felt that there may be motive behind the madness there in hiring him too.

I think that this really does get to the root of the problem of some of the recent threads here. We "hear" reports from camp. Read "excerpts" from published articles and then try to connect that with what we see on t.v. . Doesn't always work. Both head coaches have work to do. Lewis is not the only one who appears to be somewhat inflexible. Appears, because as stated on another thread, it's hard, if not impossible, to see the subtleties of his defense and if he has or hasn't in fact made adjustments simply by watching a game. Who knows how much he has tweaked his defense sense the first camp? Marvin knows what he called, what the responsibilities of the players on that given play, and if they did their job well or not. Things, like missed tackles, or getting blown up by a blocker stand out. But even a blown coverage can be a bit deceiving if we aren't sure what exactly was supposed to happen. ( except maybe keeping the receiver out of the endzone).

S.S. is no less rigid. His play calling and and style of offense are built on flexiblilty, but the system itself is not. and niether is the coach. Players will learn his system and will execute it properly, or sit next to the Gatorade coolers for the game.

You see this, you will do that. ect... However, same thing goes for him as for Marvin.... see above.

As stated before, both have layed the responsibility of the Philly fiasco squarely upon the shoulders of the players. Players must respond, and right now, there isn't alot of doubt for me that both are quite capable of motivating their players. :cheers:

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I posted a few days ago that George Edwards was the (rumored) prime candidate for DC at U of Florida when Zook took over. JJ supposedly blocked his departure with a big raise, but then word was out that Edwards did not sign the new contract with Dallas. So, surprise, he showed up here, and I immediately speculated that he may be grooming to replace ML when he goes; expecting ML to leave soon. Just speculation however.

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A couple thoughts-- Unless we have a playoff season and the defense becomes outstanding, Marvin will not be getting HC offers. He has already been shot down in several attempts at securing a HC job. Owners/GMs will not be calling him unless he proves he can do his magic with the Skins.

As far as getting on his case about the defense (which I am guilty of to an extent), calmer heads are now prevailing. Its only week 3. It is a staple of management when training new employees to want things done your way. And its his right. I have concerns about his not yet tweaking the D to fit his players, but he may want to ingrain in them how he wants it done and have that down pat before making adjustments. Even a layman sees that Lavar is a special talent and must be utilized to his fullest. As is Champ. I just hope that Lewis doesn't toss the season away before making the adjustments! If he is going to continue to use Lavar on third downs as a DE, run him on stunts. Have him swoop around the D Tackle. And put Champ on their best WR, until Smoot gets a little better. I truly believe Smoot will form half of the best corner duo in the NFL in time, but he's not quite ready for the D. Boston's just yet. And put some pressure on the QB!!! Our corners are good enough to be "left on an island"!! Blitz the LBs and safeties. Our defense will continue to get beaten if we give the opposing QB that much time. I almost wonder if a 3-4 defense might better suit us. I have always been against that defense, mainly because I cut my teeth on George Allen's 4-3 defenses and have always felt that was the way to go. But our pass rush is EXTREMELY weak, and one of our d tackles is week to week and will be so all season. Kevin Mitchell is a very solid LB. Does everything decently to well. Imagine sending one or two of our LBs at the QB on every down!! Anyway, just my $.02 on a few things.....

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Right now, there are two things about Lewis that bother me. The first is that Lewis seems slow to adjust to the capabilities of the players he has here in DC. Case in point, sending Champ on a blitz and leaving Terrell all alone to cover Thrash.

Originally posted by Art

But, as long as Lewis can plug in a Ravens tape and show how it should be run against the same play, the players will listen.

That may be well and good, but if Terrell doesn't have the physical skills to cover Thrash, he can show all the tape he wants of the Ravens free safety in coverage and it won't make any difference.

The other thing that bothers me is Lewis' reluctance to take any responsiblity for the Monday night fiasco, instead blaming it all on the players. You didn't see Spurrier doing that.

It's the difference between the best result possible and the best possible result. Lewis' system may be dynamite, we just have to figure out how to get all his old Ravens players in here to run it.

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Bobby Beathard and Joe Gibbs learned early on that you are only going to go as far as your linemen take you.

This front office has to learn that lesson. Marvin Lewis is dealing from a position of weakness at the start of the season because he can't put on a legitimate rush from the starting four down linemen.

In Baltimore he had outside rushers that could get to the qb. And then you add linebackers and the occasional safety or corner to that mix, and like in Philly you get chaos on the other side of the ball.

Arrington may be Lewis' only hope to get enough pressure not to make Bailey and Smoot moot in the backfield. Nobody can cover receivers for 5-7 seconds, even if they are right there in tight man.

So, to some extent we have to step back and realize that this is NOT the most talented defense of all time :)

That said, it DOES have a lot of talent on it, but in the back seven not up front.

Wynn and Wilkinson are solid players and ones we can win with, but that leaves 50% of the line positions at RDT and DE to be filled in with performers we don't currently have on the roster.

And on the offensive line it is just as bad because we are counting on other people's backups (Loverne and Vickers) to bail us out as actual and potential starters.

How much better would this team be with say Andre Gurode at OC and Bob Hallen at G, instead of Moore and Loverne? :)

My guess is after taking Ramsey we COULD have moved up and taken Gurode or Fonoti but instead chose to move DOWN and wait on our sure-fire first round talent, Mr. Betts :laugh:

As I said, eventually it will dawn on people out at the Park that once you secure QB, RB, LT, OLB/LDE and CB you should begin to develop depth and fill in your lines with quality performers.

That should come BEFORE trying to tilt the barrel to get every conceivable receiver you can or every conceivable linebacker.

They will learn, the day is still early :)

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Art, you had me worried for a minute there. I was expecting at any moment that you'd chime in with a quote from Marvin, saying "What we do works !!!" :gus:

Rather than comparing Marvin to Marty, I think a more valid comparison would be to compare Marvin Lewis to Mike Nolan, which is apples to apples. It would make us fans feel a whole lot better if we could see some distinct differences between Nolan and Lewis. Please show us.

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I think Marvin Lewis is about 3'' taller than Nolan and,um, I believe he also has a Super Bowl ring as well :)

How's that? Let's not even go down the nightmare road of admitting both Lewis and Nolan had more talent to work with on their former teams. It will just make everyone want to cry :(

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I don't think so. Bellichick was the coordinator in 1990 the last time the Giants won the Super Bowl. Nolan started with them when, in 1993 or 1994 wasn't it?

Perhaps he was a position coach or 'defensive assistant' before that but I seem to remember him getting his start with another team, was it New Orleans or San Francisco?

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The call that allowed Terrell to be in that situation is a glaring example of the poor coaching by Lewis while his guys are understanding the scheme. While I can't agree with putting Terrell in that position, and it was done in a very inexperienced coordinator way, if the defense is going good, that play might just work.

Unfortunately, Lewis made that call without ever setting it up. He simply blitzed Bailey who had been in zone coverage much of the night. Ideally he'd have been in man coverage and McNabb would not want to look his way so when he blitzed it would be a surprise. But, if things are flowing well within the system, you can make that blitz call assuming it's set up by having different coverages behind it earlier in the game so that the QB thinks it's double covered or something.

My problem with that was it came out of no where and presented too good a matchup not to attack. Still, while that was on the coach, there were plays that weren't. There will always be mistakes and plays we don't suceed at during a game whether on the player or on the coach. It's the systematic breakdowns that will be worked out if Lewis is correct. So far, we have no reason to think he's not correct.

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