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Does Preseason Mean Anything?


Even Madder

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Lots of people have consoled themselves after that debacle last night by saying, "Preseason doesn't matter. Plenty of teams have losing records in preseason and go on to the playoffs."

That's true. It's also misleading. Oftentimes you'll see the starters winning (or at least tied) when they give way to the backups, and then the backups might blow the lead. That's no indication of the future success of the team.

The Bucs lost 40-10 to the Skins in preseason last year, but that was a one-time stinker: they finished the preseason 3-1. The Bucs starters generally looked good in preseason and gave way quickly to backups -- although that wasn't the case in the Skins game:

LaVar Arrington and Champ Bailey each intercepted a Brad Johnson pass on the Bucs' first two possessions, the latter setting up Matthews' TD pass to Gardner. Donte Curry intercepted Shaun King and ran 20 yards for Washington's last TD with 2:31 remaining in the game.

The Bucs (2-1) also lost four fumbles, including the one Scott scooped up after Delbert Cowsette sacked Rob Johnson with the Bucs threatening to score early in the third quarter.

So it is clearly not the end of the world. I see two outcomes here: either the Skins were unprepared and unmotivated for this game and blew it, or they really stink. If it's the former, they'll come out fighting in the first quarter of the next game. If not, we're in for a long year. I can't remember a single example of a team that looked that awful throughout preseason (I'm not talking about the score of the game, I'm talking about starters playing well) and suddenly turning it around in the regular season. Can you?

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It depends. The record quite often means little, and different coaches put different levels of emphasis on the W/L in the preseason anyway. But the progress of the starters in playing cohesively and avoiding injury are critical. Last preseason, our starting unit quite often did poorly, but our scrubs would beat up their scrubs causing the "Spurrier runs up the score" baloney!

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Pre-Season is rather simple. You work on very specific things each game that allow you to "peak" by the first regular season game.

Last night was very simple in gameplan. Chances are Coach Spurrier wanted to see how the QBs made their audibles. How well they read the defense and how quickly they made their decisions. Not necessarily if the pass was completed or dropped. Those are things that come with practice. What he gets to see is the level at which the QBs are seeing things. He knows exactly what he wants and now he gets to see for the first time, how the team reacts to someone else other then each other.

The coaches at this time are singling out players who can do the basic things. Sustain or get off blocks. Footwork during contact and other natural things their team has to be able to do by instinct in order to be successful.

Are the coaches angry that they loss. Nowhere near as much as the fans are. The coaches are looking for specific things. Nothing spectacular, but solid in performance. When you coach this early in the season, success is not the entire play, success is the process in which the play develops. Did everyone move in the right direction, did everyone at least get to the right man and did everyone cover the proper area.

Coaches got to see first hand so far this year what they need to work on. They saw some success and saw some disappointing things happen on the field. But they got to see the guys in a live fire situation and they got to see how it was handled.

The game means nothing in terms of where we are at. This is the first time the guys got to see something that wasn't scripted or at least see something that they have before and now they are learning what their reads are and what their actions should be.

We'll be a little bit better next week but probably expose a few new weaknesses or overcompensations that tend to happen from one game to the next. In the end though, the game probably happened the way the coaching staff figured it would over the first few quarters because of the time it takes to get the new players on the same page.

We're fine and it will be good to watch the rest of the preseason to watch the progression of everybody.

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It might as well be like a typical high school scrimmage. Ten plays of offense, then play defense for ten plays. All while the coaches watch the starters then substitute. As long as you don't look incompetent, it's successful whether you "win" or not as players get simulated game experience and get to work with their teammates live.

It's gotten to the point where it's harder for me to watch anymore. I can watch the 'Skins (know your enemy;) ) and the Eagles, but just barely. I was able to watch a few series of the Patriots and the Giants, but since they are meaningless in the standings, the games don't hold my interest anymore. I guess I've OD'd on football over the years and the preseason just doesn't have the punch now!

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Dudes, the Redskins went 0-4 in the preseason in 1982 and went on to win the Super Bowl, and 1-3 in 1991 and again, went on to win the Super Bowl.

It's more like what bubba9497 said, the preseason isn't about the won/loss records, it's about finding out who is gonna be there on the team come regular season time.

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Utah, that's solid stuff and makes sense. But I can't resist this ... be sure to PM me after you watch the tape. When you see the look on SS's face about halfway through, you're gonna have to at least reconsider the one part about the coach not being as angry as the fans. :)

Ball Coach was not a happy man last night.

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SOS wasn't happy, stupid mistakes like dropped passes, missed tackles, blown assignments, stupid penalties, turnovers, 20 yard punts..... even in preseason can drive a any coach nuts. But there is still 3 weeks to correct the problems.

I bet the Ol' Ball Coach won't be saying Dad'gum when the team watches game film tomorrow!:cuss: :hammer: :laythehur :whippin: :censored: :censored: :censored: :censored:

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Great insight Utah, but it's hard for me to believe that a crushing defeat is meaningless.

The fact remains, if you lose, the other team is better than you. Weren't the Panthers doing the same things as us under the same circumstances as us?

But I'll take your word for it, Utah. I just think most people overreact to preseason because we have ingrained in our minds "win=good, loss=bad".

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Utah is absolutely on the ball...good writing.

And Om, SS is very competitive, and it probably really killed him to see his team struggle, but it's not as important as his ego made it seem.

And tomgiantsfan, you're right too. The last preseason game will have some emphasis...look for the skins to come out sharper each game.

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I think Wilborn made some good points about preseason. A lot of times there are certain plays you would never run in the regular season in the same situations, just for the fact that preseason is all about working on things, practicing certain situations, etc.....so W/L don't matter.

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Although Utah's defense of coaches is usually pretty predictable :) ... he's right on here.

http://www.extremeskins.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30832

"Head coach Steve Spurrier said coaches will look at game tape of Carolina on Wednesday and put together a basic game plan."

"We’re going to focus on improving our team, trying to learn our assignments, going full speed, those kind of things,” Spurrier said."

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I'm in Ireland at the moment so I didn't get a chance to watch the game .. but I think the futility of our team in the preseason of 2001 showed alot of our flaws and shortcomings which would be exposed in the first five games of the regular season. You cannot completely write off pre-season games. The final score is not all that important, but the way the starters and main backups played together is. From what I've heard, the team's performance was atrocious and I think it is a cause for concern .. but hopefully it will also be a wakeup call to some of these guys who thought we were better than we are at the moment and it will get them motivated to improve as a team.

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If teams can run up the middle then it certainly will be a long season, if we pack the middle then we can force them to either sweep or throw which will play in to our strength. Make them do what we want!! Are we the only ones who know this please tell me that the coaches do as well.

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Not sure if this is a good thing or not ... but I was AT the preseason game against the Phins in '72. I was 11. First Skins game I ever went to.

Fulton Walker returned a KO for a touchdown against us. Forshadowing, much? So did Nelms, I think. Don't remember much beyond that from the game itself, more a sense of the FEEL of a pro game. Even an "exhibition" one.

We ended up winning, 17-14 if memory serves. Last loss the Phins had until preseason of the following season.

The bastiges.

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