FanPost

Tenn Game Notes: Ballard's Ego, Frank's Lack of Awareness Lead to Loss vs. TEN.

I'm honestly starting to believe that this team has a very distinct identity. Pain.

My takeaways.

1. Ballard badly missed on LT and RG. He got too smart for his own good, and cost this team at least two wins at the beginning of the season. He needs to suck it up, check his ego and fix this. Just like the craptastic Pinter experiment, Pryor is failing. Not because of the monumental failure in protection that lost us the game, but because of his numerous failures in nearly every play. Too often to see blown up plays due to Pryor flat out missing blocks, then looking lost afterward. (More to this later)

2. Fries is an obvious upgrade at RG over Pinter. This is what common sense gets you. Fans all over were calling for a change, and they chose not to do it until this week. From this game alone, it appears that literally everyone else watching this was right about Pinter, except for Ballard. Go figure.

3. Kelly continues to regress at the C position. Gives up pressure up the middle, misses protections, misses blocks, messes up snaps. He's a growing concern. I still think he's battling the after effects of Covid he caught during the right before the beginning of the season, but who knows at this point. He's been awful.

4. For everyone saying that Eric Fisher sucked, I think we can agree that he was lightyears better than Pryor. We need to move on from Pryor. Either with Raimann, Kelly, or re-signing someone like Fisher (he's a free agent). This is where Ballard's cheapness is costing the team's in-season success. You don't cheapen out on LT unless you want your team to lose. It appears that Ballard didn't get that memo.

5. Reich continues to be a mentally dense playcaller. While he's good at scheming up plays on a chalkboard, he still cant seem to understand mismatches, momentum, or in-game adjustments. He's simply not a good playcaller. This game, and the loss of momentum we had was squarely on the playcalls. Its like he has a sheet of plays and just runs through them, regardless of how the team is playing, or what the defense is giving you.

You see the TEs proving to be an obvious mismatch, but Frank completely ignores it late in the game. I still can't get why he does this. He intentionally makes the hot hand cold. This is a recurring theme.

We see that the center of the line has become an obvious problem, but instead of punishing the defense for clogging up the middle of the field (and ignoring the edge), by attacking the edges (like TEN did all game), we seem to forget that its a possible offensive concept.

6. We are starting to see the emergence of our rookies, and I believe are starting to see our offensive identity:

- Alec Piece is a legitimate deep ball and option route threat. He understands offensive keys, and seems to be in the right place at the right time.

- Jelani Woods and Mo Alie-Cox continue to show our TEs are a nightmare matchup for anyone that gets them in coverage. Assuming we can get the ball past the line of scrimmage (hello tipped balls) they are prime for disruption in the middle of the field.

- Michael Pittman Jr. continues to the the legit threat all teams gameplan for. He was double covered often, which will make our TEs more valuable later in the season.

- Aston Dulin is our new Zach Pascal. Quiet, but has sure hands and is there when you need a play.

- Kylen Granson has cemented himself in that reliable Jack Doyle role. If only he could block like him.

7. As far as our defense is concerned, they played as well as they needed to play. This loss was on our offense. The shut out the Titans in the second half, and our offense couldnt generate the production today to get this game. The loss of Leonard was big, but not as big as it wouldve been had he actively played in previous weeks. Gus is working well with the guys he has. Its not the prettiest defense, but they are doing their job.

Summary:

- Ballard needs to move on from Pryor. He's not athletic enough at LT. Either with Raimann, Kelly or re-signing Eric Fisher (Still a Free Agent)

- While it will probably never happen, Frank needs to give up playcalling. He's not good at it. This loss and the lack of offensive production is squarely on him. He can draw up all the plays he wants while at the whiteboard, but someone else needs to be calling the plays during the game.

- The offensive line as a while is getting better, but its still offensive. There's no urgency, to playing until the whistle. Too much standing around and waiting for someone else to do something. This line isn't the best in football because they stopped trying.

- This offense looks slow. LIke seriously slow. Everything is taking forever to develop, and even when we have short dump off passes, it takes so long to get them out, that its a guaranteed loss of yards. Idk how they fix this, but they need some tempo here.

- Can we please lean on Woods, Granson/Pierce, Alie-Cox, Pittman, lineup? Get Woods out in space from the WR position, and we can use his size for good point-of-attack blocking.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.