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Old 09-18-2006, 10:13 AM  
Chris Meck Chris Meck is offline
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My thoughts on the game and the team...

Starting out 0-2 is rough, but understandable considering that Cinci is a pretty fine football team with extra inspiration in the opener and we had Denver on the road missing one of the better QB's in football.

We're not great, but we're not awful. Roaf and Welbourne's retirements (both surprises) have really hurt this offense. Shields' likely leaving after this season is gonna hurt too. Sampson did a better job than Black (which ain't saying much) and Turley did just okay.

Neither is good enough at this moment for us to open up the playbook. Neither can hold off a pass rush long enough to throw the ball down the field on a straight drop-back pass play.

Huard is awful. I know, I know, I saw the completion percentage too, and I also saw open receivers downfield on several occasions when he went to a dump-off pass. He didn't take what was there. I'm talking same time, not 'if he just could've waited an extra second' because frankly Huard doesn't have an extra second to wait. Green wouldn't either, but he would make the deeper throw if it was there. Huard doesn't take very good care of the ball in the pocket either; you could make a case that his fumble this week and the two last week directly contributed to both losses. He's MADE no big plays to make up for any of them.

You can't just pound the ball without stretching the defense. I'm fine with a run heavy offense, but you've got to take some shots downfield.

The defense is dramatically improved. I don't worry that Gun's blitzers aren't racking up the sacks-they ARE doing what they're intended to do, which is disrupt the offense. In fact, Hali and Allen are doing a fine job of that without the blitz. I think the play at each level is drastically better than last year. The front four is getting into the backfield, the LB corps is fast and sure, the corners are great (hey, Walls did a nice job Sunday!) and the safety situation is in good shape too. I like Page's athleticism and figure he'll take over for Knight pretty soon for good. Wesley's game seems elevated (I'm sure because Pollard is right on his ass in practice).

At any rate, the defense is more than respectable. Hell, they're pretty damned good. They're not getting any help offensively.

I think though, that all is not lost. If the doctors were saying 4-6 weeks for Trent, then we could possibly have him back after San Fran and the bye. San Fran is NOT a very good football team, and the same effort we saw Sunday should be good enough to beat them. If we could come out of the bye 1-2 and be getting Trent back, that would be in pretty good shape.

Some of the things I'd like to see offensively: 1)more play-action passes, which slow down the pass rush and increase downfield separation. If you're running out of a two TE set, you can chip both DE's to help out the tackles before they run shorter patterns. This will also help Johnson's running lanes as it makes defenses respect the whole field.
2)more screens, which slow down the pass rush. We're doing some of this, we need to do more. And stop with all the damned reverses already! Most defenses are fast enough to defend it.
3)more quick slant passes. These are tough to defend, the ball comes out quick, and Huard has shown he can actually throw them.

just my thoughts...

Chris
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:19 AM   #2
Phobia Phobia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Meck
Huard doesn't take very good care of the ball in the pocket either;
True last week. False this week. Each time the pocket collapsed, dude wrapped the ball up and ate it. You can't call the abberation "not taking care of the ball in the pocket". It was a completed pass off a tipped ball. Obviously he should have batted it down but he was trying to make a play like any one of us would have in the same situation. You see a tip drill and your training is to catch it and run. We're all trained to do that from the moment we step onto the playground.

As he corrected the ball flapping around in the pocket from last week to this week, I'm guessing he'll bat down future tipped balls.
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:21 AM   #3
HC_Chief HC_Chief is offline
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Huard was fine. I would like to see him go down the field more, but if he's not comfortable doing so (YET), then I'd like to see him throw more to TG. Gonzo was virtually invisible yesterday.

We NEED MORE PLAYACTION!
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:30 AM   #4
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He threw a great ball to Gonzo early that TG dropped. One of his nicer passes of the day.

I can understand him not taking an extra second to take it downfield. He not only saw last week's game; he was in it...

While the blocking wasn't perfect, he was under pressure seemingly whenever he took any sort of deep drop, but the max-protect clearly worked better than what we tried in week one, so hopefully that combined with the sort of moving-pocket/bootleg stuff we tried means' he'll be more comfortable in the pocket in two weeks.
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