Posted on: October 1, 2008 5:19 pm

Volume 1

SOMETHING OLD- “T.O’s antics”
Stats and quote source:

With good reason in the first few weeks of the NFL season, T.O. was starting to receive praise and compliments both from guys in our fantasy league and out in the real world as having turned the corner in being a leader on his team.

That all changed with his post game comments last Sunday… "I'm a competitor and I want the ball,"…funny, because he did get the ball 7 times through the air and 2 times on the ground as well as being targeted 11 other times. That’s 20 of 58 plays designed for him!

What brings about the sudden about face back to immature, crybaby T.O??

1) You have to remember, being a psychotic ego-maniac is a hard thing to shake
2) It’s easy to be great when you’re winning; character is revealed through adversity
3) Shawn Springs outplayed him in man-to-man coverage- blow to the ego
4) Maybe Romo has been spending too much time with Jessica and not with him?

This is exactly why Ruskell emphasizes having players that are character guys. Character guys deal with adversity…the thugs and mentally unstable players on the Cowboys obviously might bring down the whole ship…. I’m definitely not ready to throw in the towel on the Cowgirls yet, but wouldn’t it be fun to see them unravel?

SOMETHING NEW- “Boldin Injury leads to strategy discussion”
By Mike Sando,

The blame game began before the football game ended. Anquan Boldin lay awkwardly on the field, surrounded by Arizona Cardinals teammates and medical personnel.

Twenty-seven seconds remained in a game the Jets were leading by 21 points. The league would fine and suspend Jets safety Eric Smith for leading with his helmet against a defenseless receiver. But there was enough blame to go around. The sequence raised questions about player safety and, ultimately, coaching tactics during lopsided games.

Both head coaches -- Eric Mangini of the Jets and Ken Whisenhunt of the Cardinals -- were going all out even though the outcome wasn't in question. Mangini ordered a 2-point conversion after Brett Favre's sixth touchdown pass extended the Jets' lead to 19 points with 2 minutes remaining. Whisenhunt ordered his first-team offense back onto the field with instructions to push for more points.

Jets safety Kerry Rhodes hit Boldin from behind on the play in question, sending the receiver's head more directly into the path of Smith's helmet. And then Smith blasted Boldin. The hit made a distinct and sickening sound that witnesses said they wouldn't forget. Both players were injured, and for what?

"It was completely irresponsible for Ken Whisenhunt to be attempting to score with under 35 seconds left and his team down three touchdowns," Kyle from St. Louis wrote. "Even worse, he kept going for it after Boldin was injured. He should be embarrassed."

For the record, Whisenhunt kept pushing for points as part of a broader effort to encourage his team to finish strong no matter the circumstances -- particularly after trailing 34-0 at halftime.

"The thing you look at is, we did respond in the second half," Whisenhunt told the team's Web site. "We scored 35 points on five consecutive drives and probably would have scored a sixth had we not had the injury to Anquan.

"We never quit fighting. As tough as things went for us and you say, 'Well, you are scraping, you are reaching for positives,' that to me is a positive that we played hard."

Coaches routinely exposed franchise players to injury during blowout games in Week 4. Matt Ryan was throwing passes for the Falcons in the final 2 minutes of a 24-9 defeat to Carolina. St. Louis' Trent Green did the same during a 31-14 defeat to Buffalo. Denver's Jay Cutler was throwing in the final 32 seconds of a 33-19 defeat at Kansas City. San Francisco's J.T. O'Sullivan was throwing with 2 seconds remaining in a 31-17 defeat at New Orleans.

The New England Patriots sometimes exposed quarterback Tom Brady and other prominent players to potential harm during the latter stages of blowout victories last season.

Brady's 30th touchdown pass of the season extended the Patriots' lead to 45 points with 9 minutes remaining in a Week 8 victory over Washington. Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs left the Redskins' starting quarterback, Jason Campbell, in the game to the end. Campbell threw seven times on a late scoring drive.

"It isn't like college, where you have 80, 90 guys at a game," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said today. "You only have 45 players and you have three specialists and three quarterbacks. Who do you want to take out?

"Most teams take four receivers to the game, maybe five at most. You're in a three-receiver set. Somebody has got to play. You have seven offensive linemen at the game. You take one or two of them out, the other guys got to play.

"You take one or two guys out, then what message does that say to the guys that you leave in there, that we don't care about you? "

Protecting the most important players is all a coach can do. "Every game is different," Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "As I've gotten older, I'm more likely to [protect star players]."

As a less experienced head coach in Green Bay during the mid-1990s, Holmgren couldn't resist trying to score late points against Dallas during heated rivalry games with the Cowboys.

"We would go down there and we would have these shootouts," Holmgren said. "They would be ahead of us and kind of tee off, Leon Lett and those guys. And I just kept throwing it. But then, you learn. You think and you go, 'Wow, I can't lose the quarterback. That would be a shame if I lost the quarterback in a game that, realistically.’"

Last season, the Seahawks trailed only 21-0 with more than 7 minutes remaining when Holmgren decided to let backup quarterback Seneca Wallace finish the game. Holmgren decided to "live for another day" even though enough time remained for a comeback.

"I hear the argument that we're playing to the final whistle, never say die," Holmgren said. "That's all great. That's wonderful. Then you also have to explain to the players sometimes, 'Hey, it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's a war, not just the battle. We can't lose this guy to something screwy.'

"And if we did, I wouldn't be doing my job. I'd be hurting the team. So, I have changed. With me, it came with just experience."

What do you think? Never say die....OR…Live for for another day…

SOMETHING BORROWED- “West Coast Offense”
Sections from Wikipedia and stats from

Big ups to Coach Jim Zorn of the Washington Redskins and his borrowed west coast offense! The league has trended towards hiring young 30-somethings, yet cooky Dan Snyder gives this 55-year-old-who-has-never-been-high
er-than-a-QB-coach a shot and lookie what he found so far!! In 4 games, Zorn has been poised under pressure, game plans well, and brings a proven strategy of offense that fits the Redskins player personnel to a T!!

I know from watching many Redskins games over the last few years that watching their offense was kinda like watching a train wreck over and over. The lined up in a tight, old-school formation, while the defense crowded the box and played smash mouth. Isn’t it something beautiful to now watch Clinton Portis….in space???? Not having to pound his way through 4 or 5 would-be tacklers to gain those tough 3.4 yards????

The West Coast offense, comes borrowed from Bill Walsh who formulated his system as an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1968-75, while working under the tutelage of mentor Paul Brown. Of course, Walsh went on to coach the 49ers to three Super Bowls.

Several of Walsh's coordinators went on to successfully implement this system at other teams. George Seifert won two Super Bowls with the 49ers. Mike Shanahan won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos. Mike Holmgren won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers and coached in another with the Seattle Seahawks.

We are now seeing 3rd generation West Coasters such as Holmgren's former assistant Jon Gruden who has been to 2 super bowls. Also: Andy Reid, Steve Mariucci, Dick Jauron, Ray Rhodes and now Jim Zorn.

The popular term "West Coast Offense" is more of a philosophy and an approach to the game than it is a set of plays or formations. Traditional offensive thinking argues that a team must establish its running game first, which will draw the defense in and open up vertical passing lanes downfield.

Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense, however, differs from traditional offense by instead emphasizing a short, horizontal passing attack to help stretch the defense out, thus opening up running lanes. The West Coast Offense as implemented under Walsh features precisely run pass patterns by the receivers that make up about 65% to 80% of the offensive scheme. With the defense stretched out, the offense is then free to focus the remaining plays on longer throws (more than 14 yards) and mid to long yard rushes.

Watching Antwaan Randle El and Santana Moss, who are small-super-quick WR’s who can put a nice juke on a DB and run precise routes is a thing of beauty. Moss is tied for 2nd in the NFL in receptions and Randle El is tied for 12th. You can see why Portis has been seeing the daylight when he runs once again.

What are the results with Jim Zorn’s Redskins you may ask? While it has only been 4 games so the sample set is small…. the Redskins rank 9th in the NFL in total offense up from 15th last year. Good enough for a 3-1 record and a road win over everyone’s darling the Dallas Cowgirls (who haven’t won a playoff game since 1996).

SOMETHING BLUE- “Starting Locklear the right move?”
Written By Michael Steffes,

Reports are in that Sean Locklear will take back his starting right tackle position this week against the Giants. This appears to be at the expense of Ray Willis, who played admirably in his first real time starting in this league. So is this the right move?

One could argue that this team has been searching for the right offensive line combination for 2 years. For the first time in these 2 years the line looked like a cohesive, physical unit. The team ran for nearly 400 yards in the last two games. Why change it?

Because, in my mind, it is the right move to make. First off, it sets a bad precedent to have a player lose his job to injury . . . well, aside from Rob Sims, of course (sorry Rob!). Plus, Sean Locklear is a fine player. He is very capable of handling the duties at right tackle. Even if he isn't as dominant a run blocker as Willis, he has generally been the most consistent lineman in the past few years. You could make an argument for Walt, but he did struggle a bit with Sims next to him.

Also, when in doubt, follow the money. Locklear took a hometown discount to help the Hawks, and that needs to be rewarded. Also, despite said discount, they paid Lock like a top echelon tackle. They want to make good use of that investment. And if all that wasn't enough, Ray Willis is a free agent after this year. The Hawks will most certainly want to re-sign him, as he has proven to be a valuable commodity, but the more he shines, the bigger an expense that becomes. The question is whether or not he will want to go to a place he can start. Also, if the Hawks are planning on drafting a young tackle, then that changes things too.

In the end though, it is Locklear's ability and consistency that truly drive this decision. Lock is a player, and if fully healthy, he should be able to do a nice job against Justin Tuck this weekend, and that's something I am not sure I would say if Ray Willis was the Right Tackle.
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