On 3rd and long situations, and establishing an indentity..... | The Boneyard

On 3rd and long situations, and establishing an indentity.....

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Lots of talk about the play calling on offense last Saturday. Lots.

When it comes to breaking down a team, scouting a team, finding tendencies, identifying what a team is all about....you need to look for key types of things. What teams do in certain situations. specific types of play calls. What they like to do on a type of down and distance and game situations. Not all situations are equal, and there are things that are done, that will be done in certain types of things that are clearly going to represent what a team is all about.

Third and long in the fourth quarter of a game, on the road, in a single possession game, with lots of minutes on the clock, with everything that happened previously, is exactly one of those types of defining moments, as to figuring out what kind of team you are looking at.

We had 3rd and just over 8 to go at our own 40 yard line, with approx 8 minutes to go in the game.

Big time play call, big time situation, what you look for in what a team is going to be about. I guarantee the coaches thought long and hard about it, and agreed that if we're going to be the kind of team that goes for the jugular, you throw the ball instead of runnign into the teeth of a stacked defense for 3 yards of field position on a punt and then hope you get the ball back.

You need to think about offensive possessions very much in te second half of the game. Giving the ball up there, in that situation, we're lucky to get one more offensive possession in the game, maybe two. As it turned out, we got two more.

Are plays more important than players, or are players more important than plays? That is the question.

I believe players are more important than plays, and you have to let players play. Runnign the ball in that situation is about plays, not players. You're banking on your defensive plays, and your special teams plays, and your system. You are not banking on players making something happen. Period.

The players have to get the job done, and you have to put them in position to get the job done.

I think our defensive identity is pretty clear, as to what it is. We are attacking, but the offensive side of the ball is a major work in progress. The identity needs to be set. In reality, there are people that will complain about failure on the field regardless of what happened. But I point to the Rutgers game last year, and a certain run call on a third down and long, as just one example.

Lastly - a story. Anybody that can get Jordan Todman can verify this with Norv Turner.

Similar situation, identity defining moment on the field. NFC championship game Cowboys v. 49ers at Candlestick in SF in the mud. Niners stormed back late, but Cowboys held a 4 point lead still late in the 4th quarter, get the ball back in their own territory, and facing a similar down and distance situation.

Run the ball with Emmitt Smitha nd that powerful offensive line into a stacked defense? Rely on field position, defense, having the lead? One of the greatest defenses ever that year in Dallas.

Turner calls down to Jimmy Johnson on the headset, and asks something to the effect of "how do you want to play this?" meaning are we going conservative or are we going aggressive.

jimmy johnson replies in classic style, not to the question, but just says "I want to score a TD".

Turner calls a bread and butter pass play to start moving the chains and get chunks. They end up completing a long play that Alvin Harper breaks free and gains about 60 yards. Smith runs it in a few minutes later - game over.

That's an identifying moment.

The funny thing about that situation - was that the cowboys had been running the same play throughout the game with Harper running a 12 yard curl, and Irvin running a deep post. The niners had been double teaming Irvin all day on the X route, and Harper was left 1-1 on the Z and Aikman kept goig to him instead of Irvin.

Irvin - being the play maker he was, as soon as the play call comes in the huddle - sprints out to Harper's Z position, forcing Harper to switch to Irvin's regular X.

The SF defense adjusts to Irvin, shades the double team on the coverage, and they run the play. Aikman sees the white jersey X receiver streak out on the post on the single coverage read and nails him - Harper takes the ball the length of the field. Irvin runs the curl route and turns completely expecting the ball.

He turns and sees Harper running the lenght of the field with his ball, and chases him down and almost carries him into the endzone.

Aikman didn't know that it was Harper that caught the ball until after the game. He thought he finally got the single coverage on Irvin on the post.

True story. Got to wonder if that play happens if Irvin doesn't switch sides, but the important thing - is that they threw it.
 
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Honestly, the moment you start talking about the NFL the discussion stops having value (except to the extent people want to talk NFL football). College football is a very, very different game.

P did not choose "players over plays" by throwing on third and long. What he did was fail to put his players in the best position he could to win that game at that time. Period.
 
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establishing an identity? sounds like a lot of 'rah-rah' nonsense to me.

you establish an identity by winning. you win games by putting your teams in the best possible position to succeed, especially when you already have the lead. when you don't have superior talent, you take less risk.

you can have you're 'identity', your 'heart', your 'guts' and i'll just take a team that makes smart statistical choices and executes... i promise once they win, they'll be 'gutty' and have an 'identity' and any other cliche you want to identify them with.
 
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Football is football if you're talking about pop warner or NFL. The game is blocking and tackling and building a foundation on that, and the only thing that changes is the size, experience, speed and talent level. Every good high school players was the fastest, smartest, strongest player when they were a kid. Every good college players was the fastest, smartest, strongest player in high school. Every NFL players was the fastest, smartest, strongest player in college.

Being a champion, a regular competing champion is entirely about RAH RAH. You don't play this game fired up and emotional, you don't win.

You guys lament not having play makers on offense. All we needed was one play from one guy - how many times did I read that or hear that this past couple days.

Figure out what you're talking about.

I just told you. Can lead a camel to water I suppose.....
 
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Also - this whole identity thing. It comes from scouting football teams properly. If you're oging to be good at predicting what a team is oging to do - which is absolutely essential if you think that the idea of having a game plan is important - then you have to find things about a team that you can build your evaluation of opponent on.

I can only say that the play call(s) I discussed above, and what I wrote about them, the game situations around them..... Those types of plays are most definitly the types of plays that you use to start building an evaluation of a teams tendencies, and describing what they're all about.

I would bet anything, that the decision to call that pass play, was based on these coaches knowing what kind of team they want to put on the field, and putting those players out there on the field, in the position to perform.

The idea of punting and playing defense, was I'm sure thought of, and then discarded, because that's not the type of team we want to be. the defense is going to go out there and destroy opponents, not get on their heels.

I can't believe the response I got to this. Next time I'll have to use official refernces I suppose.
 
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Carl,

The quarterback was clearly struggling and we decided to call a play that didn't put us in the best position to win the game. PERIOD. If you can't admit that I don't know what else to tell you. You can talk about going for the jugular or whatever, it doesn't matter. If you want to throw in that situation, how about a safe screen pass? Or how about throwing a fade to the receiver who is 1 on 1 with the defender. Who knows what could happen then, maybe a pass interference penalty, and even if they pick it off it would be just as good as a punt.

Punting the ball counts on your defensive PLAYERS to make plays and win the game, which they did the entire second half. Its not that hard to understand.
 
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Good grief Carl. Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Alvin Harper, and Emmitt Smith are not walking through that door.

I know exactly what your point is, but you are so wrong about this it's aggravating.
 
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i also beg you to find a football team, a group of football players, a team of guys that want to win, that with the game on the line, 4th quarter, 3rd and 8...and facing a defense stakced and geared to stop the run..would rather run the ball straight into that stacked defense or go for the throat and move the ball through the air.

Oy vey. I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall sometimes. It's so clear though.

I'd rather have players that were given that opportunity on the field and failed in that situation, and are hungry to face it again and get the chance again, to make it work, and make it work over and over again, rather than get into the huddle in that situation and hear the 3 yard run play call....because they may have failed before, or because the know that the confidence to get the job done is somewhere else, rather than in them standing in the huddle.

Ok - I'm ready for another game, and I've said my piece. Hoepfully there are some out there that get it.
 
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The best position to win the game? HOLY the best position to win the game is go get te duckING first down, and the best way to get a first down against a stacked defense against the run on 3rd and 8 is to THROW the damn ball.

Man, am I fighting a decade old mentality about the game or what.

Game on Friday. Think about what I wrote. Eventually it will sink in as more games go by.
 
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i also beg you to find a football team, a group of football players, a team of guys that want to win, that with the game on the line, 4th quarter, 3rd and 8...and facing a defense stakced and geared to stop the run..would rather run the ball straight into that stacked defense or go for the throat and move the ball through the air.

Oy vey. I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall sometimes. It's so clear though.

I'd rather have players that were given that opportunity on the field and failed in that situation, and are hungry to face it again and get the chance again, to make it work, and make it work over and over again, rather than get into the huddle in that situation and hear the 3 yard run play call....because they may have failed before, or because the know that the confidence to get the job done is somewhere else, rather than in them standing in the huddle.

Ok - I'm ready for another game, and I've said my piece. Hoepfully there are some out there that get it.

It doesn't matter what players want. The players are 18 to 23 years old. Young men at that age do not yet know what they do not know. The players always want to go on 4th and short. The players will always want to use the trick plays and see what happens. The players always want to be aggressive.

It is the job of the coach, being a friggin adult, to know when to ignore the players wishes and put them in the best position to win the game anyway.

And your statement that the best way to win the game was to get the first down is beyond idiotic. Of course it is. The best way for me to have 30 million dollars by tonight is to buy a lottery ticket and hope I win. But, in each case, you're assuming a successful conclusion to the choice and ignoring the probabilities of getting one.
 
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After watching Brady play, any comparison to NFL and Uconn "play calling/identity" just doesn't work for me. Here is what I saw:

1. 8 + minutes to go and want to win game.
2. Uconn has bad blocking, bad passing, both teams have left lot on field.
3. Run 3 plays, stay in bounds, let clock run full 40 seconds on each play = less than 7 minutes to play as start to punt so give up ball with under 6 minutes to opponents 20 yard line.
4. Unless Vandy goes 3 and out with incomplete passes, they will eat up a lot of the 6 minutes on this drive and Uconn gets stop and the ball again has opportunity to run out the clock.

Problem:

1. Did not use entire clock on any of the snaps, a real fundamental error.
2. QB has shown can't read defenses, why put him in position to throw.
3. Plays on 3rd down even if complete have shown will not get 1st down unless catch is past yard markers (no YAC).
4. Even if 1st down, Vandy can stop Uconn on next series and gets ball back with plenty of time, maybe not as good field postion; i.e. 1st down does NOT win the game.

My answer:

Bad clock management and play call. Would not call this play with this score and Uconn defense vs. Vandy offense/specials that saw for 52 minutes, ever. Unless of course I wanted to set an identity for the team and had Brady/Hernandez on my team.

Question:

Given the 1st 52 minutes, what would you say were %'s likely:

1. Complete pass for 1st down.
2. Incomplete pass.
3. Sack
4. Complete pass not 1st down.
5. Interception
6. All other possiblities.

I'd say the Uconn offense of 9/10/11 after 52 minutes of play had very little chance for #1. Is the risk worth the reward (i.e. 1st down does not win the game).

Identity:

VT wins with specials and defense.
Florida wins with athletes.
TCU wins with defense (hmmm, Baylor wouldn't agree).
Wisconsin wins with physical style.
Boise wins with offensive execution.
Oklahoma wins by being better.
LSU wins by hurting you with their defense.

ND loses by red zone turnovers and defensive mistakes - Snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
Uconn loses with bad passing attack and late game aggressive/big boy play call - Snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
 
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Lots of talk about the play calling on offense last Saturday. Lots.

Third and long in the fourth quarter of a game, on the road, in a single possession game, with lots of minutes on the clock, with everything that happened previously, is exactly one of those types of defining moments, as to figuring out what kind of team you are looking at.

We had 3rd and just over 8 to go at our own 40 yard line, with approx 8 minutes to go in the game.

Big time play call, big time situation, what you look for in what a team is going to be about. I guarantee the coaches thought long and hard about it, and agreed that if we're going to be the kind of team that goes for the jugular, you throw the ball instead of runnign into the teeth of a stacked defense for 3 yards of field position on a punt and then hope you get the ball back.

You need to think about offensive possessions very much in te second half of the game. Giving the ball up there, in that situation, we're lucky to get one more offensive possession in the game, maybe two. As it turned out, we got two more.

Are plays more important than players, or are players more important than plays? That is the question.

I believe players are more important than plays, and you have to let players play. Runnign the ball in that situation is about plays, not players. You're banking on your defensive plays, and your special teams plays, and your system. You are not banking on players making something happen. Period. You realize you just insulted Sio, Kendall, Blidi et. al? You're asking them to make something happen by pinning them back 85 yards and saying "go ahead, get in the end zone against our D." Which players do you trust more to make a play?

The players have to get the job done, and you have to put them in position to get the job done.

I think our defensive identity is pretty clear, as to what it is. We are attacking, but the offensive side of the ball is a major work in progress. The identity needs to be set. In reality, there are people that will complain about failure on the field regardless of what happened. But I point to the Rutgers game last year, and a certain run call on a third down and long, as just one example.

Lastly - a story. Anybody that can get Jordan Todman can verify this with Norv Turner.

Similar situation, identity defining moment on the field. NFC championship game Cowboys v. 49ers at Candlestick in SF in the mud. Niners stormed back late, but Cowboys held a 4 point lead still late in the 4th quarter, get the ball back in their own territory, and facing a similar down and distance situation.

Run the ball with Emmit Smith nd that powerful offensive line into a stacked defense? Rely on field position, defense, having the lead? One of the greatest defenses ever that year in Dallas.

Turner calls down to Jimmy Johnson on the headset, and asks something to the effect of "how do you want to play this?" meaning are we going conservative or are we going aggressive.

jimmy johnson replies in classic style, not to the question, but just says "I want to score a TD".

Turner calls a bread and butter pass play to start moving the chains and get chunks. They end up completing a long play that Alvin Harper breaks free and gains about 60 yards. Smith runs it in a few minutes later - game over. Besides the inherent differences in the college vs. the pro game, you're missing one other element. Dallas' choice was to ask their all-pro QB make a play, or punt the ball to San Francisco's all-pro QB. If Aikman was 9-25 with two picks at the time and unable to hit the broad side of a barn all game, I think that Jimmy and Norv may have thought differently.

I hate to quote Herm Edwards here, but You play to win the game.
 
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Ok - the lesson in the NFL example clearly missed the mark. Wow. NEver mind stories. Stick with facts.

This is the problem we face: Turnovers are easy to fix - this is the problem

What ails the Connecticut Huskies is really no secret. The Huskies need more offensive production and fast.



Past three games versus AQ teams



Vanderbilt, Sept. 10, 2011, L 24-21
Longest: 12 plays, 72 yards. Result: FG
Punts: 7
Turnovers: 4
Turnover margin: Minus-2
3-and-outs: 5
Lost on downs: 1

Oklahoma, Jan. 2, 2011, L 48-20
Longest: 15 plays, 55 yards. Result: downs
Punts: 7
Turnovers: 2
Turnover margin: 0
3-and-outs: 4
Lost on downs: 3

USF, Dec. 4, 2010, W 19-16
Longest: 13 plays, 67 yards. Result: INT
Punts: 6
Turnovers: 2
Turnover margin: Plus-1.
3-and-outs: 5
Lost on downs: 0
UConn has not scored an offensive touchdown against its last three teams from AQ conferences. The last offensive touchdown against those opponents came in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati on Nov. 27, 2010. So how do the Huskies get more consistency going?

"We just have to finish plays and finish blocks," coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "We’re awfully close on a number of things so I think we’ve been productive. Saturday night against Vanderbilt we started running the ball, ran the ball very well, we just can’t turn the ball over. We can’t miss a protection. We’ve got to avoid the minus yardage play down on the goal line. Two weeks in a row that has really hurt us. It’s very, very hard when you look at the statistical analysis to overcome minus-yardage plays and mistakes and turnovers. Last week we had those things."

Quarterback has been an area of concern this season. The Huskies have played three, but Johnny McEntee played nearly the entire game against Vanderbilt. Pasqualoni says he has not lost faith in him, but he also did not reveal how he would rotate his players against Iowa State on Friday night.

But clearly offensive production is a concern. Against the last three AQ teams -- USF, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt -- the Huskies have had a combined 20 punts, 14 three-and-outs and eight turnovers.

NEVER MIND MY STORIES ANYMORE:

Somebody please explain to me - how calling for a run that has very little chance of succeeding against a defense in the play call situation I discussed last week against vanderbilt is going to to do anything - anything positive - to change what the gal from ESPN wrote about.

Please explain. Please explain why you think running the ball int hat situation was a good decision - for our team - for our program - and please include how the chances of actually getting the first down were vs. the odds of getting a first down by throwing.

Please also include player mentalities, faith in players that they feel from teh coaching staff and sideline.
 
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I like Carl Spackler better than yankeeghostconfrence or whatever it was before. It makes me wonder why you never chose the name to begin with.
 
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And don't even try to tell me that punting and playing defense is a better way to win the game than getting a first down when you've got possession of the ball.

Bill Stewart pretty much destroyed his job security and gave us te opportunity to win by thinking that way last year.
 
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OMG. Do you write stuff just for the sake of writing stuff?

1. WVU was not ahead when they punted. It was an entirely different situation. I thought it was a poor call at the time, but so what? Every situation is different.

2. If our QB Saturday night was Geno Smith, everyone's reaction here would be totally different. The reason almost everyone is disagreeing with you is because our passing attack had been totally ineffective and we didn't have a QB who had demonstrated in prior games that he was better than he was playing.
 
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Somebody please explain to me - how calling for a run that has very little chance of succeeding against a defense in the play call situation I discussed last week against vanderbilt is going to to do anything - anything positive - to change what the gal from ESPN wrote about. It's not. Our offense problems are not going to be fixed by a play call in one key spot. They're just not. At that point, all you can do is make the decision that gives you the best chance to win THAT GAME. And that decision was to rely on your strength -- the defense.

Please explain. Please explain why you think running the ball int hat situation was a good decision - for our team - for our program - and please include how the chances of actually getting the first down were vs. the odds of getting a first down by throwing. We had completed all of 3 passes all game that would have given us enough yardage to get the first down. We had 2 interceptions at that point, and Vandy had dropped at least 2 more. The chance of getting the first down was marginally better passing the ball than running the ball. Not enough to make up for the fact that we were just as likely to turn the ball over as we were to get the first down, particularly in running an out route right to the sticks.

Please also include player mentalities, faith in players that they feel from teh coaching staff and sideline. I know if I was a defensive player, I'd be stoked, and if I was an offense player, it would be pretty clear to me that I hadn't earned that trust
 
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After watching Brady play, any comparison to NFL and Uconn "play calling/identity" just doesn't work for me. Here is what I saw:

1. 8 + minutes to go and want to win game.
2. Uconn has bad blocking, bad passing, both teams have left lot on field.
3. Run 3 plays, stay in bounds, let clock run full 40 seconds on each play = less than 7 minutes to play as start to punt so give up ball with under 6 minutes to opponents 20 yard line.
4. Unless Vandy goes 3 and out with incomplete passes, they will eat up a lot of the 6 minutes on this drive and Uconn gets stop and the ball again has opportunity to run out the clock.

Problem:

1. Did not use entire clock on any of the snaps, a real fundamental error.
2. QB has shown can't read defenses, why put him in position to throw.
3. Plays on 3rd down even if complete have shown will not get 1st down unless catch is past yard markers (no YAC).
4. Even if 1st down, Vandy can stop Uconn on next series and gets ball back with plenty of time, maybe not as good field postion; i.e. 1st down does NOT win the game.

My answer:

Bad clock management and play call. Would not call this play with this score and Uconn defense vs. Vandy offense/specials that saw for 52 minutes, ever. Unless of course I wanted to set an identity for the team and had Brady/Hernandez on my team.

Question:

Given the 1st 52 minutes, what would you say were %'s likely:

1. Complete pass for 1st down.
2. Incomplete pass.
3. Sack
4. Complete pass not 1st down.
5. Interception
6. All other possiblities.

I'd say the Uconn offense of 9/10/11 after 52 minutes of play had very little chance for #1. Is the risk worth the reward (i.e. 1st down does not win the game).

Identity:

VT wins with specials and defense.
Florida wins with athletes.
TCU wins with defense (hmmm, Baylor wouldn't agree).
Wisconsin wins with physical style.
Boise wins with offensive execution.
Oklahoma wins by being better.
LSU wins by hurting you with their defense.

ND loses by red zone turnovers and defensive mistakes - Snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
Uconn loses with bad passing attack and late game aggressive/big boy play call - Snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

Fair enough. But how does UConn win? I know how every team loses, I want to know how we win.

When the second half of a game rolls, around and definitely the fourth quarter. Offensive possesions get real valueable, and you need to start thinking about them, in relation to the scoreboard. And you've done that.

We had a TD lead. 8 minutes to go in the game. Ball on our own 40. (there's also something in games, that's not very well defined - called momentum) We lost a ton of it after failing to score the TD on the first possession of the game.

But anyway, momentum is on our side. WE've got the lead, just put up 18 unanswered points on the board.

Why would you consciously make a decision to give that momentum away?

Football people will go at it for days about a single situation on the field like this, because it's so damn important, and there will always be a divide.

I will say that the decision to run into a teeth of a defense with low percentage to gain the first down distance would be a consistent decision with the way this program apporached the game as recently as Jan. 1, 2011.

It is not consistent with te way this program approaches the game as of Sept. 16, 2011.
 
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Fair enough. But how does UConn win? I know how every team loses, I want to know how we win.

I will say that the decision to run into a teeth of a defense with low percentage to gain the first down distance would be a consistent decision with the way this program apporached the game as recently as Jan. 1, 2011.

It is not consistent with te way this program approaches the game as of Sept. 16, 2011.

Wrong. Prior to 1/1/11, we would have punted, sat back in a soft zone, and hoped that the other team made a mistake. See, e.g., @ Rutgers 2010. Here, we would have relied on our aggressive defense that, save for 3 plays, was beating the tar out of the opposing offense. We've already reinvented ourselves on defense. The offense is going to take a bit longer.
 
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True, WVU was ahead, I just remember the lack of balls in the call.

I'm going to make an argument fallacy here that I've been trying to avoid. But I've got no choice anymore.

When those guys are standing in the huddle, and they know the situation on the field, whatever play call comes there way is going to mean a hell of a lot. Anybody that's been on either side of the situation, either in the huddle or on the sideline making the calls, I guarantee knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I think what's important to understand here, is taht these types of play calls are the key moments in games that you can begin to really understand what a team is all about, what palyers are all about, what coaches are all about.

As I noted above, football people will go on and on forever about game situation like this, and nobody will ever be right, and nobody will ever change their minds, if they've got different fundamental opinions about the game. I believe that football is an aggressive sport, the most aggressive players, coaches and teams will win the most, and that consistency in how you approach the game in EVERYTHING is most important, and therefore I have the opinion I have.

Some guys will talk and argue about decisions around plays, and how plays turned out over decades.

That play was one of them for this young 2011 team. There were others in teh game too. And everybody on this offense I hope, I believe, is salivating for another opportunity to be in the same position and get the job done.

That's a good thing.
 
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Wrong. Prior to 1/1/11, we would have punted, sat back in a soft zone, and hoped that the other team made a mistake. See, e.g., @ Rutgers 2010. Here, we would have relied on our aggressive defense that, save for 3 plays, was beating the tar out of the opposing offense. We've already reinvented ourselves on defense. The offense is going to take a bit longer.

I understand what you're saying, but it's not being consistent throughout the team. It's saying that we're ok with a tty offense that isn't aggressive, even though the defense is going for the throat. In the past, it was consistent to play offense the way we did, because the defense played the same way - conservatively. There's nothing wrong with it, I've said many times - it can be successful. It's just not my taste.

More importantly, players cannot be successful if they're not given the opportunity to make plays. Our QB was playing like a turd. Our receivers were playing like turds. Our blockers were playing like turds. What do you do? Third and long. Stacked box. A first down gets you real close to winning a game, and gives them the opportunity to make a play, and the confidence from teh sidelines that they're going to get the job done.

Treat men as what they are, and they will remain what they are, treat them as what they could be and should be, and they will become what they could be and should be.

That's a very, very old proverb. And it's true. I'm looking to see major improvement in the passing game on Friday, and if it does, you can point to this single play - as a big reason why.

The play did not cost the game, and in all honesty, the interception didn't cost us the game either.

Sooner or later, you'll realize that what you're fighting, is a mentality - an attitude that has pervaded the game for a decade when it comes to UConn football.

The attitude and approach to the game is different now, and it's consistent, and it did not cost us a win.
 
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I understand what you're saying, but it's not being consistent throughout the team. It's saying that we're ok with a tty offense that isn't aggressive, even though the defense is going for the throat. In the past, it was consistent to play offense the way we did, because the defense played the same way - conservatively. There's nothing wrong with it, I've said many times - it can be successful. It's just not my taste.

More importantly, players cannot be successful if they're not given the opportunity to make plays. Our QB was playing like a turd. Our receivers were playing like turds. Our blockers were playing like turds. What do you do? Third and long. Stacked box. A first down gets you real close to winning a game, and gives them the opportunity to make a play, and the confidence from teh sidelines that they're going to get the job done.

Treat men as what they are, and they will remain what they are, treat them as what they could be and should be, and they will become what they could be and should be.

That's a very, very old proverb. And it's true. I'm looking to see major improvement in the passing game on Friday, and if it does, you can point to this single play - as a big reason why.

The play did not cost the game, and in all honesty, the interception didn't cost us the game either.

Sooner or later, you'll realize that what you're fighting, is a mentality - an attitude that has pervaded the game for a decade when it comes to UConn football.

The attitude and approach to the game is different now, and it's consistent, and it did not cost us a win.

It is not saying it's o.k. to have a offense. It is recognizing that, at least that evening, the offense has been and you have to find a way to win anyway. Coaches get paid to win despite a team's limitations -- not just to ignore them and see what happens.

Do you really think the offense feels better about itself because the coaches let them try something and we're 1-1 instead of the coaches having done their job and being 2-0? Because I find it hard to believe you want football players who aren't more devastated by losing a game they had won than they are by having let the D win us the game.
 
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My problem with HCRE, besides the fans approach that I felt, was that he pigeon holed the team like a hammer (everything he saw looked like a nail). Some of his teams were truely bad offensively (Bones/DJ), he found nitches for players and used them to fit that nitch (Easley blocking receiver), he returned to conservative play vs. fixing offense performance (Tyler 3 interception game early in his second year ended Uconn passing attack for the year), refusal to be aggressive on defense against option/spread teams when bend and don't break clearly did not work (still remember that Navy game, and all the Slaton/White games). Putting aside my probable over estimation of the skill of his players on offense and defense HCRE did one thing very well, he understood that not so easy for opponent to WIN the game. His strategy worked better against "non elite" teams (and traditional formation vs. spread/option), but then how many elite teams do we play. I remember thinking USF was going to win at the Rent until the last play that included the nice stay at home tackle on the 3 yard line, and that USF would win in OT last year - I was wrong on both.

So, just saying, I'd rather make a very middle of the road Vandy offensive team mount an 80 yard drive with at most 2 possessions and likely only 1 possession left in the game I saw for the first 52 minutes than any strategy that included JMac reading defenses and deciding whether to and executing a throw on 3rd and 8 from the Uconn 40.
 
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I understand what you're saying, but it's not being consistent throughout the team. It's saying that we're ok with a tty offense that isn't aggressive, even though the defense is going for the throat. In the past, it was consistent to play offense the way we did, because the defense played the same way - conservatively. There's nothing wrong with it, I've said many times - it can be successful. It's just not my taste.

More importantly, players cannot be successful if they're not given the opportunity to make plays. Our QB was playing like a turd. Our receivers were playing like turds. Our blockers were playing like turds. What do you do? Third and long. Stacked box. A first down gets you real close to winning a game, and gives them the opportunity to make a play, and the confidence from teh sidelines that they're going to get the job done.

Treat men as what they are, and they will remain what they are, treat them as what they could be and should be, and they will become what they could be and should be.

That's a very, very old proverb. And it's true. I'm looking to see major improvement in the passing game on Friday, and if it does, you can point to this single play - as a big reason why.

The play did not cost the game, and in all honesty, the interception didn't cost us the game either.

Sooner or later, you'll realize that what you're fighting, is a mentality - an attitude that has pervaded the game for a decade when it comes to UConn football.

The attitude and approach to the game is different now, and it's consistent, and it did not cost us a win.


OK, now this is getting downright comical. So if we see an improvement in the passing game we can look back to the play where the QB and the staff cost us a game by throwing a pick 6.

Funny stuff.
 
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OK, now this is getting downright comical. So if we see an improvement in the passing game we can look back to the play where the QB and the staff cost us a game by throwing a pick 6.

Funny stuff.
+1.
 
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