I want to recap things I've been pointing out in other threads regarding the state of the offense in its current form, but narrowing the focus a bit to what I think has to be in place ASAP for this team to have a sniff of playoff success -- and I consider the Thanksgiving game to be a playoff game for all intents and purposes.
- Playcalling - who does it from this week forward?
Clearly we have a OC whose ability to make in-game adjustments in his playcall to what a pressuring defence is doing has to be questioned at this point. The apparent dearth of plays that could readily take advantage of a safety cheating up to the line time and again is mindboggling, frankly. ANY playcaller worth his salt ensures that a set of emergency "KILL" plays are available to his QB to check to and has that game planned versus every opponent. Those plays have to be available 24/7 for the QB to audible to and the receivers have to be able to adapt on the fly to make the adjustment(s).
We do not have that and it's week fifteen coming up, folks.
I believe Marcel has no alternative but to assume offensive playcalling himself. Gibson can assist as a game planner and in-game spotter, but we need the head coach to take the bull by the horns and address this. Leaving the rest of the season to chance when a playoff spot is within the club's grasp is inexcusable.
- No audibling system (no hot routes, no discernable option route packages etc.)
Pretty obvious to me that Porter and Glenn don't get to audible enough or not at all. When all is required for a QB in shotgun to do is to kill the called play, call a hot route in the middle of the field for Cobb or an interior slotback (e.g. a slant or sluggo route to expose the vacated middle zone), and to execute, I am absolutely aghast at this lack of trust in allowing player to make plays.
We are not talking rocket science here. It means that Porter or Glenn or whoever else at QB has some flexibility in how they want to experience their rubber-pellet ingestion time -- after delivering a quick strike pass that breaks the game wide open or as the pivot who "cost" us the game because no emergency option(s) were provided.
All Porter had to do ONCE in that last five minutes of the game when the Stamps had seven lined up and the safety cheating was to call a slant hot route to a slot or a quick bang route to the flat by Cobb while rolling out a few steps to buy an extra second or two of time. Instead? Robotic-we-have-to-follow-what-coach-says lockstep to defeat.
- QB "development" -- allowing players to make plays is more than sloganeering
For me, the development of any QB's leadership skills involves giving that player time to grow as an active dictator of events by allowing him to adjust to what his sees and to process his results -- learning what works and what doesn't work. Combatting the glaze that can occur in one's eyes by having the freedom to alter the playcall and attack the defence. In other words, letting the players play and getting them ENGAGED in what the hell they are doing.
I would love to see Porter develop a relationship with a receiver or three where he is going over options at the bench between series -- similar to what I detect Glenn has with Bruce. I don't see a lot of strategic thought percolating on that sideline. It's "what did Gibson call now." There's no failsafe as to when Gibson is not making the necessary calls.
Porter, Glenn, and Tafralis obviously do not have an in-game signalling system to alert receivers to hot route adjustments of any effectiveness. We are left with five receivers sticking to their lanes, limited rubs and crosses, predictable route running that has route-depth as the main differentiation -- in other words an open book that emboldens a defence to pin their ears back and blitz because the plays take too long to develop when it's crunch time!
These flaws can be fixed somewhat, but it really does point to a philosophic overhaul that has to occur in the offseason. STOP BABYING ALL YOUR SKILL PLAYERS ON OFFENSE AND GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO MODIFY/CHANGE PLAYS WHEN FACING PRESSURE. EOS.
If we executed one such play in the last five minutes of that game, we could have won!
Overcoaching is one thing. Undercoaching is another. Either allow players to make plays or call plays that address the weaknesses the opponent's alignment exposes. Chris Jones is not exactly some mystery man coaching in this league. We were not prepared and it cost us a game, regardless of execution.
Round one has ended. LOL
Oski Wee Wee,