Monday, December 20, 2010

More toadying by the sports media…

Before I go on to yesterday’s Giants debacle, a word on the Redskins’ and Shanahan’s latest game…..Sally Jenkins appears to be laboring under the misconception that yesterday’s performance by Rex Grossman validated Shanahan’s decision to bench McNabb. A good sports reporter/columnist/analyst should have known that one game does not mean jack squat. A couple of weeks ago, when Favre got injured on the Vikings’ very first offensive play, Tavaris Jackson came in and led the team to 38 points and an emphatic win over the Bills. 38 points was more than the Vikings had scores in their previous three games. This didn’t mean Jackson is better than Favre (even at this age) --- rather, if you follow the NFL, you’d know that QBs often have good outings against defenses who haven’t game-planned for them (or defenses who don’t have enough data… on the QB’s tendencies, esp within an offensive scheme). Let’s see how Grossman does in the NFC East after a D has had a week to prepare for him and esp after the Ds have had a few game films on him in Shanahan’s scheme. This is Grossman’s eighth year in the NFL and he has thrown for 37 TDs and 38 interceptions; even in his best year (the Bears superbowl season of ’06) he threw for 23 TDs and 20 INTs….he’s never even bettered a QB rating of 80 for any season… Grossman may turn out to be a decent QB yet, I suppose, but this one game against a mediocre Cowboys defense that was unprepared for him does not constitute evidence or validation of anything.

To me, the only things that were validated to me were that
(i) There is a powerful new bully in Washington and Sally Jenkins wasn’t gonna pass up an opportunity to kiss his ass and
(ii) This year’s Redskins amply demonstrate that Andy Reid is, as I always believed, a far superior football coach and thinker than Shanahan.

And now to another coaching bully, Tom Coughlin. I thought that there were so many layers to the Giants debacle yesterday but apparently it is entirely the punter’s fault. Who knew?

Stupidly, I thought
(i) That not anticipating an onside kick with the other team down 14 with like 7 mins to go was a colossal coaching blunder. The only downside to putting your hands team on the field at that time is that you start with modest field position. Besides, Andy Reid is looking at a team that has already put up 31 points on him and he figures he may need not two but three scores to be in the game, so he is almost definitely going to kick it onside....but what do I know? Peter King goes to great lengths in his MMQB column today, to make the case that it wasn’t Coughlin and his staff’s fault but rather the fault of the guys on the return team…. Poorly prepared players…hmmm… I’d think that’s poor coaching……. but what do I know?
(ii) I thought that not being able to generate a much needed first down in two consecutive series on offense within the last five minutes may have equally contributed to the Giants’ loss but then again the offense is led by the great hall-of-famer Eli Manning, so they can certainly not be at any fault, can they?
(iii) I thought that not having your team prepared to defend the punt (regardless of what the punter was asked to do) --- indeed, having a team ill-prepared to respond to crisis --- may be poor coaching….but what do I know?

After all, Coughlin courageously claimed to take full responsibility for the last play before he proceeded to throw his punter under the bus on national TV, so he must be a stand-up guy and a great coach. He did yell at the punter on national TV and ignored all the other players who were supposed to defend the play, so he must be a stand-up guy and a great coach. The players (offense and defense) didn't know how to do their jobs when it really counted, but he must be a stand-up guy and a great coach.

It is the credo of mediocre coaching bullies, and it is given credibility by toadying sports ‘journalists’ all the time….”Why take responsibility when you can make a convenient scapegoat?”

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scribbler50 said...

Well, well, back in the swing, eh? Two posts in a week, welcome back, Bro :)

Ya' know the funny thing about what happened with the Giants, and which you pointed out, is Coughlin using that all too familiar phrase nowadays when things go wrong (in this case The Punt), in which the coach says, "This one's on me." The stand-up guy routine which is designed to shut the reporters up and it's nothing but bullshit. But then he says, "It never should've come down to this," which is the real truth and ALL he should've said.

Which brings me to another Giant game, the one in which Scott Norwood of the Bills missed that super bowl winning field goal with time expiring. At a Buffalo homecoming rally after the loss Jim Kelly stepped up to the mike and told a throng of thousands not to blame Scott Norwood because it never should've come down to that one kick. And the crowd stood and cheered Scott Norwood. Same words as Coughlin and a cool thing to do. However the difference is, after Norwood pulled his kick Kelly didn't run onto the field and humiliate the poor guy on national TV. He patted him on the helmet and comforted him.

There's no hiding behind, "This one's on me!" That last seven minutes, when you consider what was at stake and how they played it, most glaringly when they backed off the line in a half-ass "prevent" giving Vick all those seams to slip through and run, was one the most catastrophic meltdowns in football history. And it's ALL on Coughlin not just The Punt.

Now the problem is, how do we get Physioprof down from the ceiling?

Anonymoustache said...

---"Now the problem is, how do we get Physioprof down from the ceiling?"---

Well, I fear that Andy Reid might do that in a couple of weeks when he moves into "playoff Andy Reid" mode ;-)
I hope for CPP's and the Eagles' sake that he doesn't but history suggests that he might...

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