Monday, January 27, 2014

Group QB Training Begins Following Super Bowl

Small group quarterback training will begin on the Sunday following the Super Bowl February 9th at 4 PM.
Contact Jeff Carlson for further information.

Brady, Pats Blow Conversion Call and Game

In last year's Super Bowl, down to the final play, the 49ers opt for an all-or-nothing "fade" route to Michael Crabtree.  Everyone knows that didn't end well for the Niners.  It is a bad philosophy to call a play with only one option when you are down to your last play.  The 49ers should have rolled out their extremely athletic QB Colin Kaepernick and given him 3 or 4 receiving options (Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin aren't bad choices either) as well as Crabtree doing something other than a fade.  The 49ers weren't down to their final play in this year's NFC Championship game with the Seahawks, but their season ended in eerily similar fashion again, but this time it was Richard Sherman on a deep "go" route, tipping the ball away and sending Seattle to the Super Bowl.
In the AFC Championship, the Patriots were attempting to make another dramatic comeback from a large deficit to the Broncos and needed to convert a 2 point conversion to give them a chance to get within a two score difference.  I don't know who made the ultimate call, but Josh McDaniels is the offensive coordinator, so the blame has to fall to him unless someone else steps up and says something.  The Patriots took the ball out of Tom Brady's hands and handed it to a running back on what also has to be considered an all-or-nothing play.  Failing to convert and the game was certainly lost.  Brady is arguably the game's best signal-caller and willed his team to many wins this past season.  To call a play where any missed block means defeat and also handing the ball off from shot-gun reduces the success rate even further, was derelict and a complete coaching mistake.  Obviously, since these "mistakes" are being made at the NFL level, I shouldn't be surprised to see it at other levels, but let us all learn that when you have Tom Brady or any other QB in the backfield, when you are down to the last play of the game or similar situation, give your team a much better chance at success by rolling out and giving your QB 3 or 4 options to win instead of only one.  It hasn't worked out for the 49ers or the Patriots in some of the biggest games in recent years!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bucs Make Great Move, Bears Don't

After another disappointing season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have parted ways with both their head coach and their general manager.  In a very quick turnaround move, they have signed their former linebacker coach Lovie Smith.  Smith also coached the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006, losing to his friend and former head coach Tony Dungy.
This fast hiring by the Buccaneers seems to be a great move and will make it hard for any dissenters, but he will have to make a great hire to run the offense, which if reports are true, will be former Cal-Berkeley Head Coach Jeff Tedford.  This also seems to be a good move, on paper at least.
Tony Dungy is credited with turning around one of the worst franchises in NFL (pro sports) history and taking them to within one game of the Super Bowl in 1999.  His downfall was the lack of offense any of his coordinators could or were allowed to muster throughout his tenure, finally be fired after falling in the playoffs  to the Philadelphia Eagles by a wider margin than the previous year.  Dungy's philosophy of "keeping it close until the 4th quarter" was one that I think was ultimately did him in and hope that Lovie Smith learned that that belief system is just enough to get you beat in the most important games.  When Dungy's fantastic defensive mind and schemes met up with Peyton Manning's offensive genius, the Lombardi Trophy was finally won.
On another front, the Chicago Bears announced the 7 year contract extension for quarterback Jay Cutler.  While I don't have the long term answer at QB for the Bears, on the surface, this just seems to be a bad choice for the Bears organization.  Maybe the length of it is tied to the bonus and doesn't really hamstring them financially after a year or two, but Cutler really hasn't shown that he has the intangibles to lead any team to great heights.  Sure he has ability.  He can throw some throws as well as anybody in the league.  But, he can also throw many throws like Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo.  Clutch player, great leader are not the adjectives that first come to mind when you talk about those players or Jay Cutler.
Today's winners are long-suffering Bucs fans and the players that will play for Lovie Smith!