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Thursday night flavor of Offense...Vanilla or Rocky Road?


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I normally don't start any threads on the forum. But I was just discussing the style of offense we should play on Thursday night against the Ravens. Basically not to steal his quote without his permission...

You play hard for sure, but you only use your base offense in this type of game. No way you put on film any new concepts, formations or personnel groupings. At least IMO.

Now I respect MatinC's opinion on this forum greatly. And I would at most times agree about the style of offense he suggests us playing in preseason. In fact I believe that the common thought is along these lines more so then what I have in my own head about tomorrow. But at this point today I have to even disagree with myself and say this is the wrong approach to take tomorrow. To me it's very important at this stage of the team that this idea be thought out and discussed at length before the game.

Now I'm not sure if every one knows what I mean by Vanilla or RockyRoad when discribing offenses. For those not understanding the terms we aren't talking about ice cream but rather the philosophy about playing offense like MartinC put very well

"No...new concepts, formations or personnel groupings"

That is vanilla and what we Redskins have done in almost all of the years past preseason

It's not lost on me that in Spurrier's tenure we did open the offense up more like I'm suggesting now and it backfired

This isn't 2003 and this is a much more competant coaching staff and players so lets get that out of the way now.

So what do I mean by RockyRoad? I mean an aggressive attacking style of offense, not holding much back and going for it

So now we know what I mean I ask that you put that in the back of your mind for the moment and consider a couple of things if you had control over this game. None of us do, so no wrong answers...

Question 1: What would you decide to do? Vanilla or RockyRoad?

Question 2: What do you think the consequences are if we did that? Can you defend your reasoning?

I'll post my answer first

I would open the offense up so give me a bowl of that RockyRoad tomorrow night.

Here's why:

Reason 1: We are playing into the Ravens hands being conservative. If you missed the Ravens last game against the Chiefs I watched it to see how the teams looked.

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2011081954/2011/PRE2/chiefs@ravens/analyze#analyze:analyze/analyze-channels:cat-post-playbyplay

In that game Matt Cassell only played 5 series into the second quarter. To me that's important because I believe that when the first stringers are out then the game doesn't matter as much. In those 5 offensive possessions against the Ravens defense the Kansas City Chiefs were able to muster up a total of

4 first downs

3 points off a muffed punt recovery in a drive that went 3 yards

2 three and outs

26 yards rushing

1 sack surrendered (I saw a lot of pressures in that game, in fact the Ravens had like 8 sacks in the game)

73 yards passing

Now does anyone think that we have the explosive offense that Kansas City does?

I don't

So why if the Chiefs weren't able to muster any offense against the Ravens defense playing vanilla does anyone else?

What exactly is to gain with this style of play?

Reason 2: I'm not suggesting throwing everything at them now but when exactly are these new guys supposed to get expirence under pressure situations unless we put them in pressure situations before it actually counts?

I say screw it.

This is dress rehersal.

Throw the formations out there. See what works and what doesn't.

Now is the time to work out bugs in the testing phase. Not later.

Think about teams like San Deigo who took it easy in preseason...they learned you don't just turn it on or off like you want or think you can.

If this was an expirenced offense and defense then I would feel differently about this but we are what we are...a team full of new starters every where.

We need this time in this limited offseason more then ever if we are going to compete this season.

What's with this "hiding idea" anyway?

Is someone expecting us to unvail a new type of offense?

Do we have a "wildcat" up our sleeves or something?

This is the NFL, we can be creative and hold back some stuff at the same time.

Reason 3: I believe this today as I type this...this is the first time in a long while where the feeling is optimistic.

We are on a run now after beating the Steelers and Colts.

Yes it's preseason but you can't deny the good feeling all of us have right now.

If we have it, the players have the same feeling.

I think we should open the offense up tomorrow because if nothing else, we don't want to go out there put up a total stinker this late in the preseason and then spend the next couple of weeks worrying and melting down about the team.

If we go out there and do put on a terrible show the heats going to be relentless.

We need to keep the good feelings going.

We need that as a young team.

You want to become a winner then go out there and do it, become a winner.

People say you have to learn how to win, it starts tomorrow night.

Now this is Extremeskins and I know I'm going to get blasted by some of you for this post and my thoughts. But I hope not. I'd like to know how many of you support the Vanilla (conservative) approach to Thursday nights game versus the RockyRoad (Go for it aggressive play) style of play. No poll just want to hear from you. Thanks

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Question 1: What would you decide to do? Vanilla or RockyRoad?

Question 2: What do you think the consequences are if we did that? Can you defend your reasoning?

-Neapolitan

I don't think you need to game plan in detail i.e. scheme to attack certain players or exploit and create mismatches.(Rocky Road)

One of the purposes of preseason football is to evaluate talent without the benefit of schematic advantage.(Vanilla)

But, you don't have to limit your offense and only run base plays like 44 blast, 31 belly, 44 blast-pass etc.(Gibbs)

WCO offense have been scripting preseason games for awhile and its one of the reason why WCO teams typically look good in preseason.

They might put in their best base plays in the script that work against against certain coverage.

For example X shallow cross or Sprint right option are base WCO plays that everyone knows even the opposing teams defense know those plays.

But, those plays don't give away anything about future gameplans, especially considering that gameplans change drastically from week to week.

Some teams like the Patriots don't even have "playbook" in the sense that most think.

The Patriots have weekly "phamphlets"

I think the staff should continue doing what they're doing in preseason.

It seems like they're following typical WCO offense pre-season guidlines w/ a sprinkle of gameplanning.

-Good thread

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I'll take vanilla with chocolate swirls. I'd like them to utterly destroy the Ravens using everything they have personally after last season's preseason gatorade bath, but I'm sure with the kind of coach Shanahan is, that isn't an option.

I hope we at least get a fake punt. Anyways, I agree with you, they should open things up. If the system is sound, all the film on it won't matter. You simply adjust to the adjustments made against you.

But hey, jmo.

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I say stick with the vanilla. The stretch plays and bootlegs are gonna be our bread and butter during the season and we need to "practice" it against one of the better defenses in the league to work out some kinks. If these guys practice their route running and blocking until they throw up...it won't be enough.

The first two preseason games have been pretty crisp as far as playcalling and execution. Not many mental mistakes with the first teamers. I want those base plays to run eyes closed. Add kinks during the season so that teams don't have much film on them.

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I say keep it vanilla with a few wrinkles here and there, main thing is come out the game healthy. The Ravens are a very physical team much like the Steelers, so run your base stuff, give the O-lineman a chance to play physical football against one of the league's top defenses and lets measure where we.

We are young, and winning in the NFL is tough enough, lets save the Rocky road for the Giants. If we show too much we give the Giants something to game plan on. A few wrinkles her and there, but I rather see us beat them, by just being more physical than they are.

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My bet is something in between vanilla and rocky road. To keep their pass rush off balance we'll see plenty of screens and bootlegs mixed in with a steady dose of ground game. If we get the chance though I'm hoping Shanny runs the score up a tad just to humble their asses.

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I fully expect we'll run a nice mixture of plays on offense but probably not much we haven't seen before. I WOULD be surprised if we ran a reverse, a flea-flicker, a halfback option pass or a fake punt. We'll leave that garbage to the Ravens (remember last year?).

I expect the Ravens to do a lot of blitzing. I expect Haslett to follow suit but nothing exotic. This game will be more about execution than winning. I don't really mind if we lose as long as we don't get blown out.

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The OP makes a good point that a win would keep the positive momentum we have established going into the regular season.

Another good point the OP makes is that we have a lot of new faces on the roster, who need quality reps, especially considering the shortened off-season.

I think we should open the playbook up a bit for these reasons.

Not saying I would focus on this the way you would a divisional game, or even a normal regular season game, but I would certainly order a better flavor of ice cream than plain vanilla.

Don't most coaches game-plan for the 3rd preseason game? Isn't that part of the regular-season dress rehearsal?

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Predictions: Ravens put their entire playbook on film. Ryan Clark sends out a Tweet thanking the Redskins for giving the Steelers an extended look at any new plays in the Ravens play book.

Redskins open it up a little and get a little more creative, but don't put out anything too new that could be used against the Redskins come Week 1. You know. Like how it's supposed to go.

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I normally don't start any threads on the forum. But I was just discussing the style of offense we should play on Thursday night against the Ravens. Basically not to steal his quote without his permission...

Not a problem.

Question 1: What would you decide to do? Vanilla or RockyRoad?

I think first you need to define what vanilla or RockyRoad mean. You already know my view is we stick with the vanilla which I define as our base offense. Thats not saying you only run two or thre run plays and half a dozen pass plays but you stick with the base concepts within your scheme. RockyRoad I take to mean throwing the full play book out there.

The purpose of these games is to evaluate personnel and to get ready for the opening game. You might put some speciifc plays into the gameplan (as much as we have one in preseason) to help you take a look at a player in a certain situation but other than that you just want to keep things simple and give guys a chance to bang heads and shake off rust.

Question 2: What do you think the consequences are if we did that? Can you defend your reasoning?

My argument is that in everything you do you have to keep the end in mind and plan accordingly. For preseason as I say above your objective is getting ready for the regular season. That involves evaluation of players to get your depth chart and roster set, getting players mentally and physically ready for the season and minimizing and managing injuries.

To the extent then that you need to get into your playbook to evaluate certain players or play concepts in a preseason game that totally makes sense. However what you dont want to do is put on film new concepts, play call tendancies or personnel groupings which you have not used before. You go over and over this stuff in practice - and normally after training camp has closed and practices are closed to fans and the press.

If you do get deep in your playbook all you are doing is putting on film things your oponents in the early games get a chance then to prepare for. Nothing we do tonight matters except in that it helps us be ready for opening day against the Giants and the games that follow.

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I'll take 2 scoops of vanilla on a waffle cone with sprinkles. It's too early for rocky road but I don't want to see plain vanilla either.

No injuries, no injuries, no injuries is what I really want to see!

I'll have what Dave is having, please.

Tonight I want to see the same things I've wanted to see in the other games.

1. Continued maturation of the scheme on both sides of the ball

2. No injuries

3. And for tonight, I would like to see a wrinkle, not anything big, but if these coaches can come up with a wrinkle that makes other coaches say, "wow, they can do a lot with that...." I think that would not be a bad idea.

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Question 1: What would you decide to do? Vanilla or RockyRoad?

Question 2: What do you think the consequences are if we did that? Can you defend your reasoning?

I say RockyRoad.

The Ravens are going to bring it big time tonight. They always do. Our 'O' isnt that groundbreaking. We run to set up the pass. Its pretty simple. We have a lot of new guys that have a lot of learning to do. Plus dont we want to see if Beck/Rex can handle it. Id rather find out this week than week 1.

And how about a little confidence going into the season. It seems like the last two year we have looked good week 1 & 2 in the pre-season and then have looked terrible in weeks 3 & 4. How about we play some solid football every week and hope that it carries over to Week 1.

---------- Post added August-25th-2011 at 07:57 AM ----------

this is the type of game the skins typically get embarrassed...i'm interested to see how this plays out. :munchout:

qft

---------- Post added August-25th-2011 at 07:59 AM ----------

Preseason = Vanilla

Don't show nothing, this game doesn't mean anything. Just a game between two brothers

And i def dont agree with this. It does mean something. It may not go on the record but if our starters get smoked by the Ravens starters pretty sure everyone around here and on the team will think get ready for another long season. Whats that old quote? Football is 80% mental and 20% phys or somehting like that??

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I don't think we should go vanilla, but I also don't think we should go much further than butter pecan.

Shanahan has said this week that they WILL gameplan for this game. He basically said it was a dress rehersal for game planning during the regular season.

Still, I don't think they will do anything too exotic.

I say vanilla with choclate syrup on top. :)

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Shanahan has said this week that they WILL gameplan for this game. He basically said it was a dress rehersal for game planning during the regular season.

Still, I don't think they will do anything too exotic.

I say vanilla with choclate syrup on top. :)

Toppings! Toppings! You're already pulling out the toppings! Are you mad?

:silly:

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