After a very disappointing 2010 campaign, a couple of things really stand out about this team and organization. First, we are finally beginning to see players lose their starting status due to poor performance. In years past, players were in large part immune to demotion during the season under Dungy. We have seen this take place among the linebacking corps, offensive line and defensive line (tackle spot with Maola earlier in the year). For the most part, the players got the message and we saw better consistency and greater effort as the season wore on.
I certainly agree that players need to be held accountable for their performance. My gripe is and has always been that the organization is not dynamic enough and they do not hold theri coaches accountable. Why did it take so long for the oline coaches to tell the players to peel off the double team and get to the 2nd level to open room for the running backs? DID you really think the running game magically changed the last 3-4 weeks? No go back and look at the game film. The 1st 12 games our rb's were being stopped by free flowing lbs and lineman. This principle is a staple of run blocking at ANY level. Bottomline, the Polians and coaches do not provide any innovation or dynamics to help counter what other teams do to neutralize Manning's greatness. Think about this..why is it that the last two playoff losses have a direct connection to poor special teams play? Remember New Orleans anyone? Was anyone out there thinking don't kick to Cromartie besides myself? Why didn't Ray just instruct Pat to squib kick? NO INNOVATION...JUST PLAIN VANILLA AND EXPECT MANNING TO BE ENOUGH! More after the jump.
What we need are REAL COACHES that teach our players ways to attack the opposition to create great field position and turnovers for Manning. Bring in VT's whole special teams coaches from the collegiate level and have them to implement their system. They block a kick once every 2.5 games! Draft a true threat as a returner and turn this unit into a weapon. On defense, scrap the bend but don't break metality. We need to attack up the middle more with our front four. I like Mookie and Maola but let's get some real depth there. We also need to train our front four to bat down balls. We must be last in the league if that was a stat bc we don't coach it. However, look at NO, Chicago and other teams and you will see it's a culture. Our lbs need to more instictive in the passing game as well as our safeties and cb's. I really want more man coverage against the opposition. I could go on and on but I would love to hear what the community thinks so far. Besides, it's snowing in Atlanta and my boys are calling for dad to come play. Chow..sorry for the bold font. I hit a key by accident and didn't know how to undo it.