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One thing is certain.


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I don't know if it's been said, so forgive me, as I'm five minutes away from heading to the airport. But, THAT is the offense that will at least partially allow us some success. We HAVE to throw the ball down the field to have any chance at all.

The offense is still far to inflexible. Marty doesn't allow what almost all other teams do, in that most teams base route calls upon reading the defense. As Tim Green said, and I was astounded to see him point it out, we simply call routes and go with it regardless of defense. That's going to be frustrating.

However, it was nice to see some mild imagination in the offense today. Starting with the first completion to Johnson. A misdirection the other way. Watch that play close and you'll see Johnson whiff on his block and actually fall down on purpose. He stands up and is wide open. That's play design for the first time this year.

That other pass to Johnson in overtime was the same. That zone was flooded. He had Davis open by 10 yards underneath as well. Again, Raye didn't show much of it, but there was some imagination today. And it paid off.

Defensively we still don't blitz enough to suit the talent we do have, but we may be starting to figure that out. Offensively, Gardner ran superior routes. Very crisp and made them look like double moves just because he was gaining space. Those were very professional routes he ran. That last pass was exquisite. He drifted into the defender then spikes it inside and creates 4 yards of space just from being smart.

This team can ONLY succeed on offense if we are threatening the safeties on every play. We don't have to go deep every play, but we have to send bodies deep into the secondary on every play. If we do not, we will play like we did for 5 weeks and three quarters.

This team is built to be a play-action deep-passing offense. It took Marty a long time to let the people do those things they are capable of doing, but, perhaps this is Marty's turnaround game. Well, not game, but quarter. It won't mean anything if it doesn't carry over though so, let us pray.

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If I could name one day in the week that means so much to this team this year, it is not Sunday.


Monday we will see the temperament of the coaching staff

You can guess how the players feel for now.

If we go back to "bonehead" basics, we are still doomed this year. If as of Monday or Tuesday, we continue to grow the offense to a much wider spectrum as you and others continue to point out, we will have a younger aggressive defense in 2002 and a capable offense, even without the current coaching staff. Jimmy Raye has got to open those bloomers up smile.gif

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Not only is that simple ND, but, simple adjustments go along way. Again, this may have been said, but, the defense did different things for the first time all year too.

Just ask Steussie.

"Tackle Todd Steussie said the Redskins presented some unexpected defensive looks, including walking a defensive lineman to different areas on the line of scrimmage, that forced Carolina to make some adjustments.

"It wasn't anything we hadn't seen before with other teams, it's just we hadn't seen it with them," Steussie said. "It required small adjustments. They did some new stuff."

This is what it takes to win. CHANGES. ADJUSTMENTS. We don't have a team that can line up and do what it does. That's what Marty wants, but that's not what we have. We have a team that has to be athletic and change the dynamic of the game.

Marty has taken a five-game beating for being inflexible. He was the same for three quarters yesterday. But, today, he gets a one game pat on the back for doing what a coach needs to do to organize a victory.


Doom is in the box.

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Was it just my imagination, or did I see more motion from our O? It wasn't Norv like with 10 shifts before a snap, but atleast we were moving guys around to see how the D reacted.

As aweful as our O has looked, I was reminded by that aweful announcer that Banks came to our team really late in preseason. Before him was George who missed much of preseaon with elbow problems. Is it possible that many of the reads are simply beyond a QB who hasn't had much time to really learn an O?

Ideally, a QB has months to pick up an O. When he reads a blitz, he will automatically know where his hot reads are depending on where the blitz is coming from. It's not a question of just smarts, but also practice in the system. I don't think it's a coincidence that Banks QB rating against the blitz was below 40 going into the game. It's one thing to know where you are supposed to throw the ball if the strong side LB is blitzing. It's another to know that and be able to recognize the blitz and execute the throw in the two seconds before he hits you. It's like learning to follow a dance routine. You can learn the steps, that's a mental excercise. However, that's a far cry from being able to put it all together seemlessly. That's a question of practice.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Banks is going to make the probowl. I'm just saying he could still be a perfectly adequate QB. We don't know yet. All of the dropped passes don't help either when we are looking at his stats.

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well, we don't have a team that can line up and cand dominate on both sides of the line of scrimmage, I will agree with that. But even Baltimore is having problems establishing that presence this season.

You are correct, that the key is to remain open and flexible to the strengths and weaknesses of each opponent.

To a larger degree, however, the breakout of the offense represents more than flexibility, I think it represents a coaching staff that at halftime, down 7-0 to a mediocre opponent, that finally screamed UNCLE.

Whatever, the defense we are facing the team is best off establishing Davis on the ground, using Carter out of the backfield as a receiver and then going down the field with two receivers that are 6'2 and 6'3.

That is NOT going to change.

The defense gave up 16 points to the Giants (Sehorn int for TD is on the offense in my book), 9 to the Cowboys and 14 to the Panthers.

They have been holding up their end of the bargain for the most part for the past 3 weeks.

It is nice to see the offense and special teams give them SOME encouragement out there. smile.gif

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Ah. Nice to hear someone else noting the difference between weeks 1-3 and weeks 4-6. I've been beating that drum a bit me self. smile.gif

To me, once Bruce went out against the Jints, the defense began to find an identity, and has, while hardly being dominant, managed to keep us in 3 straight games. And we've been "competive" in each. Yes, I suppose that's d@mning with faint praise, but compared to where we were in games 1-3, it's night and day.

Hopefully, Marty & Raye have seen the light of day, and it's the offense's turn to find an identity.

Oh yeah ... and I'll say it again: the PLAYERS stepped up and made it happen in the 4th quarter yesterday, as well. If LaVar goes for the KO hit instead of keeping his eyes on the ball ... the comeback never happens. If Rod drops another ball or two, deep or otherwise, the comeback probably never happens. It all has to work together.

For at least until 4:00 this coming Sunday, I'm going to let myself believe (dream?) that what we saw yesterday was a sign of things to come.


"Ball 'til I fall." - L. Arrington, 10/21/01

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