PREDICTABILITY OF STUPIDITY: Saints' Gameplan
I couldn't have written this any better myself. I'm starting to think this guy is my long lost twin brother...
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE PREDICTABILITY OF STUPIDITY: Saints' Gameplan Leaves Much To Be Desired
By TCU Dan - SaintsReport.com Staff Writer - 6:07 pm CST
Last week the NFL witnessed the Indianapolis Colts flog the Tennessee Titans 33-7. The gameplan was simple. It started on offense by spreading the field. The Colts used an array of motion and multiple receiver sets to keep the Tennessee defense off-balance. The Indianapolis offense, however, remained balanced by handing the ball to Edgerine James 30 times for 120 yards. Defensively, the Colts knew what they had to do and did it: take Steve McNair out of the game. First, gain an early lead so Eddie George was not a factor. Then they released the pass rush. The Colts victory was easily attained and the Titans went home frowning.
Did the Saints coaching staff forget to watch film last week?
I commended Mike McCarthy for his patience last week against the Texans. But the Titans are a different ball club. With five defensive starters MIA, one would think that McCarthy would scheme aggressively on offense to compensate for an injury-depleted defense.
I really underestimated Mike on this one!
SOMETHING MUST BE IN THE WATER IN THE BIG EASY!
The tell-tale sign of an ineffective offensive gameplan is when a team does not begin to move the ball until it is forced to get away from its script. There is no reason why each of the Saints top three wide receivers should not be receiving at least 4 balls a game. Why is it that the New Orleans coaching of the staff has no perception of its own predictability, but everyone else in the league does?
CASE IN POINT: Deuce McAllister tallied 11 carries for 8 yards against the Titans. Nine of his carries were in the first half. Why oh why was Deuce so ineffective?
THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE!
Mike McCarthy does not know how to utilize his talent. He is the opposite of Mike Martz (head coach/Offensive Coordinator of the St. Louis Rams) in that he wants to rely too much on his best player (Deuce McAllister). It is like an army commander who refuses to use the world's most potent airforce because he would rather go at the enemy with his Sherman Tank. Mike McCarthy is who makes this team one-dimensional.
It has been said time and time again: this team is built to set up the run with the pass. Deuce McCallister could easily have had a 150-yard rushing game against the Titans' defense. But the Saints chose not to spread and stretch the field in the first half. Deuce was constantly working against a stacked box. Even his two big runs last week against Houston were made against eight-man fronts. You cannot ask a running back to consistently break tackles in the backfield. You also cannot ask a offensive line with an average weight of roughly 313 pounds to consistently wear down opposing defenses through the running game.
PATIENCE IS A TWO-WAY STREET
While I mentioned last week that I admired the Saints' first half patience against the Texans, I cannot say the same thing this week. While it was the same conservative approach, you much view such an approach through a kaleidoscope. Trying to force-feed the ball to Deuce McAllister is not an exhibition of patience. While some may argue that McAllister only carried the ball 11 times, the fact is that the Saints only possessed the ball for a mere 20 minutes and 49 seconds. Not to mention they were playing from behind throughout the game. Deuce should have had 20 + carries this game. The mistake was trying to give him all 20 on the first two possessions.
The patient approach would have been to spread the field on first and second down. Throw a deep pass to Joe Horn on first down. Second down maybe a crossing pattern. Run the ball on third down. Just mix up the play calling. So what if not every pass is a completion! At least you have gotten the safety out of the box and Deuce now has some breathing room.
I could rant on about Mike McCarthy forever. Instead, I will make this one quick point: Mike is committing the carnal sin of coaching. He is trying to force players to conform to his scheme. To have a successful team you have to scheme to the strengths of your players. The New Orleans Saints have an identity on offense. They are an explosive, multidimensional offense that should be putting up 30 points each game. Why this is not happening is obvious and perhaps it is time for a change, whether that comes about by Mike McCarthy changing his ways or the front office changing its offensive coordinator. One thing is certain: if these stubborn tendencies to not subside, the Saints will once again be home alone in January.
I know the coaching staff is trying to protect Aaron Brooks. They have said time and time again that they do not need him to win games for them because of all their weapons.
NEWSFLASH: Aaron is the medium for accessing these weapons and is a weapon in himself. In his 3rd year as the Saints' full-time starter, Aaron has never looked sharper than he has in these first three games. It is time to let the youngster loose. Part of the reason for protecting him is due to the boos of last year and the heat he has taken (largely unjustified) from the fans and the media for the past two late-season collapses. Forget the politics. Put the ball in Aaron's hands and let him sling it. Yea, he's going to throw some interceptions, but he's going to throw more touchdowns, and I have a feeling that the interceptions won't be of the costly variety.
Going off of the above passage, Aaron Brooks is not Trent Dilfer and should not be treated as such. He should not be used to manage games, he should be used to win games. This defense is not top five and certainly not top ten the way injuries have taken a toll. The offense cannot simply try to "manage" games and expect to win. They are going to have to put points on the board if they expect to make the playoffs. I am much more comfortable losing when I know that this team did what it took to win. You don't want Aaron to take the heat for losing games? FINE! Don't put him in that position. If the offense puts up points early, he won't be forced to try and make plays on his own in the fourth quarter. That being said, history has shown that Aaron has thrown more game-winning touchdowns than game-losing interceptions.
I did not rant on the defense because I did not see it necessary. I will cut Rick Venturi a little slack because he is already having a lot of sleepless nights. Losing five starters on defense is no small matter. The offense should have taken the initiative to step up to the plate. This is a team, and a team's strengths should be used to compensate for its weaknesses.
That being said, I believe the Saints were too concerned with containing McNair's legs on defense that they allowed him to beat them with his arm. The lack of aggressiveness was prevalent on both sides of the ball.
Does anyone else find it ironic that in Mike McCarthy's attempt to establish Deuce McAllister as a running threat he is actually taking him right out of the game? Somebody must have given Mike a squared peg and told him to put it in a round hole because that is what he is attempting to do with this offense.
I am a huge Jim Haslett supporter and I think he is an excellent head coach. But I wonder if he realizes that the performances of his assistants reflect directly on him. Maybe he should start to rethink his loyalties.
Fakhir Brown should never be left one-on-one in man coverage. He has below-average speed for a cornerback and was taken advantage of against the Titans. Is Keyou Craver really playing that bad?
When Eddie George has 29 carries, you know that the Titans have executed their gameplan to a T. I feel sorry for the Saints' defense. They just couldn't get off of the field.
Joe Horn extended his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 65 Sunday after bringing in one catch for five yards.
Fred Thomas and Ashley Ambrose performed admirably in the secondary. They both had key pass-breakups and if Ambrose had caught that interception in the end-zone, the game could have ended differently. Tebucky Jones still needs to wrap up when he tackles.
Finally, I'd just like to say that the performance of Jerome Pathon gave a glimpse of why the Saints offense can be so dangerous. While Joe Horn and Donte Stallworth were held in check for most of the day, Pathon brought in four catches for 89 yards and a touchdown, with three of the catches coming on the lone scoring drive. If utilized properly, there is no way any defense can match up against the Saints' many weapons.
PREDICTABILITY OF STUPIDITY: Saints' Gameplan
I think that is a very accurate assessment. How the hell are you going to manage an offense when you\'re playing from behind all the time? Turn Brooks loose !! Quit running Deuce up the middle and waiting to throw the damn ball until we are 20pts behind. It\'s hard for any QB to be successful when you put him in that situation. If not for Brooks pure athletic ability he would have gotten killed yesterday.
Even the great Joe Montana and the high powered west coast offense he ran had to throw the game plan out the window when they got behind by 20pts.
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