Thursday, September 23, 2010

9 comments I Feel Like I Have a Concussion After Reading TMQ

Last week Gregg Easterbrook began his season-long commitment to criticizing every single punt that takes place during a football game. Gregg loves to take the end result of a play, and if the end result was negative, criticize the coach for what he should have done. He also complimented the head coach of a college football team for going for a field goal at the end of a game to ensure his team got on the board, which is something he has criticized NFL and college coaches for years for doing because he says they are just trying to make themselves look good and make it look like they weren't shut out. This week Gregg talks about concussions and second guesses every play he didn't like that failed in the NFL this week.

Concussions are coming out of the closet as the downside of football -- one that jeopardizes both players and the long-term viability of the sport. The NFL claims progress is being made. On opening day, linebacker Stewart Bradley of the Philadelphia Eagles was hit hard in the head; his legs turned to jelly and he collapsed. A few minutes later, he was sent back into the game. That's progress?

It's always awkward when Gregg starts off TMQ with a subject that I happen to agree with him upon. It sure looked to the replays that I saw that Stewart Bradley wasn't just shaken up.

The core problem is that football coaches at the high school, college and professional levels are rewarded for winning games but not penalized for allowing their players to be harmed. A coach who sits a player down out of concern for the player's health may pay a price, if a game is lost.

This problem isn't exclusive to just football, it encompasses nearly every sport. If baseball coaches got penalized for their player's health being bad, Dusty Baker would never work again in baseball (swipes at low hanging fruit for a cheap joke).

Many players ask to return to action when battling injury, including neurological harm. But coaches are the ones who make the decisions. They're the adults in charge.

If Stewart Bradley tells Andy Reid he is fine and the trainer doesn't seem to notice any concussion symptoms (which I know may be dubious in some cases), why should Reid prevent Bradley from going back in the game? A player can just get his bell rung or be a little hazy after a hit and not have suffered a concussion. How is the coach supposed to tell the difference if the player says he is fine and the medical staff passes him upon examination?

And their incentive structure is all wrong.

I am 94.3% sure I am going to hate what could follow this statement. If Gregg Easterbrook is advocating a coach is penalized in some fashion for his players being hurt during a game and coming back into the game or a player playing hurt then he is barking up the wrong tree. Players don't have to go back in the game. Yes, I know the football culture says they have to be manly, but I don't think coaches should get penalized if a player plays hurt as long as he didn't pressure that player to play.

Should coaches who keep their players healthy and don't put players back in the game injured in any way receive incentives because of this behavior?

That the league describes itself as "comfortable" with Bradley re-entering the game without being examined by a neurologist suggests that Goodell's concussion policy is toothless.

I agree with this statement in some ways.

But team doctors face only their own conscience, not any binding NFL standard, when deciding whether players may re-enter a game.

So Gregg thinks team doctors will lie if they only have to face their conscience, but tell the truth if there is a league standard? If a team doctor is willing to lie about a player's ability to re-enter a football game and risk a player's health, I don't know if an NFL standard will do much to change this.

As long as coaches know there is no penalty for mistreating concussed players (or ignoring other health issues), coaches will continue to use players up and throw them away.

Let's say there is a binding league standard and a team doctor inspects Stewart Bradley as he comes off the field with a possible concussion. The team doctor passes Bradley and Bradley himself says he is fine to return to the game. Say it is clear while he is on the field that he is not okay or he suffers another hit during the game that ends up knocking him out for a couple of weeks. Why should Andy Reid pay the penalty for this? I realize he is in charge of the team, but Reid isn't a doctor and he can't tell if Bradley is lying about his current state of health or not. He's just trusting what Bradley and the team doctor are telling him.

Now in the case of Bradley wobbling on the field like he did, it was pretty clear he didn't just get banged up.

If the accumulated effects of lots of small hits to the head are a leading cause of concussions, then football needs best-practices standards for practice. There are no such standards now in high school, college or the pros. Neutral observers at practice would help, too.

The neutral observers at practice theory Gregg has does seem like it would work, except it would not work in reality.

(Neutral observer that is a doctor who also just happens to have plenty of time to watch football practice for two hours talking to the head coach) "Hey, #7 got hit hard on that play. It looks like he is walking kind of woozy. I think he needs to be sat down for a few plays."

(Head coach glances over at the neutral observer) "He's fine, he just completed a pass and is running the offense perfectly fine."

(Neutral observer) "I'm afraid I am going to have to stop practice and see #7 for a second to check on him for concussion symptoms."

(Neutral observer begins talking to #7) "Are you fine? That was a tough hit you took buddy-boy. Need a drink of water and want to have a seat?"

(#7 angrily) "I'm fine, can I get back out there please? I have to get ready for the game this week. It's football, people get hit hard."

(Neutral observer) "Not so fast buck-o. I have the authority to make you sit out all practice and I think that is the best thing for you at this point. Have a seat, grab some homework and watch the game with me."

(Assistant coach begins walking over) "We good? Great. Get over here #7. Offense can't run without you. We have a lot of practice to go through."

(Neutral observer) "I'm afraid I can't allow that. He's sitting out the rest of practice, he could have symptoms of a concussion."

(Head coach starts paying attention to the situation) "What the fuck are you talking about? He says he's fine and he is playing fine. Get back out there #7. NOW! That's a fucking order unless you want to run laps for the next week."

(Neutral observer) "I have the authority here. He needs to sit. No one will be running laps either."

(Head coach) "Know what asshole? Go tell the athletic director he has a concussion. That's fine. I have a team to coach...with #7 on the field as our quarterback. Everyone here will say that he played perfectly fine after the hit, he has no symptoms I can see, and #7 will say he is fine as well. Fuck you very much."

I like the idea of a neutral observer, but the same "tough guy" mentality and need to win that causes players to go back in the game with a concussion is going to prevent this from working to reduce concussions during practice. That's just my opinion.

On Sunday night, Antoine Bethea drilled a defenseless Giants player. "What a shot!" Al Michaels of NBC said. "Oh boy, I tell you he laid the wood!" Cris Collinsworth said. Often, big hits are praised more than other athletic feats, such as blocking, tackling, throwing and catching.

What is more preferable for them to say?

"Boy, that perfect tackle was a little too violent for my tastes. I would like to see Bethea not hit the Giants player so hard next time even though it is completely within the rules of football for him to do so. Perhaps he should take care to not try and hurt the fellow. Players do have tenths of a second to pull up and not hit a player and they should do a lot of thinking about the right thing to do in those tenths of a second."

It's funny I used tenths of a second in this description and Gregg hates any time that is not measured in straight seconds with no tenths or hundredths, like 4 seconds or 5 seconds.

Fox announcers Troy Aikman and Joe Buck expressed concern when Bradley collapsed in the Packers-at-Eagles game -- then raised no questions when he came back onto the field.

Probably because they were too busy broadcasting the game. Why are announcers supposed to be the moral bystanders that need to alert the public to what is morally correct or incorrect going on during play? Announcers are the morons who call the game and provide additional information about what is happening. I don't need Troy Aikman ignoring the game for two minutes to talk about whether he thinks Stewart Bradley should be in the game or not. One comment after Bradley re-enters the game is fine, I can handle that. It's not like Aikman or Buck were on the field to know about Bradley's physical condition to give an informed opinion.

Announcers should probably be somewhat careful with what they praise, but I don't need a discussion on whether a player should be back in the game from an announcer who knows nothing about the player's current condition.

In last year's season finale of "Friday Night Lights," one of the good guys delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked the other team's star out of the game with blurred vision. The players and spectators are shown cheering, while lead character Eric Taylor, the coach, claps enthusiastically.

Unlike game announcing, which is spontaneous, this scene was scripted and rehearsed. It was negligent for the "Friday Night Lights" producers, and NBC, to glamorize concussions. If you were a kid watching that episode, what was your takeaway? Hit with your head. It's manly. There are no consequences.

It's a good thing no one watches that show I guess or else the entire population of kids who love football would be forever changed and scarred by this.

Stat of the Week No. 5: The Dallas Cowboys have lost both opening games at their new $1.3 billion stadium.

Naturally if the stadium costs a lot of money you would expect the team to play better in it during opening games of each season?

Starting on their 1, the Dolphins got a 51-yard first-down rush from Ronnie Brown behind perfect blocks by Jake Long and Rich Incognito. As usual, Minnesota's Jared Allen was trying for a sack and did not contain a play headed his way.

Who did Jake Long block as the left tackle? I would guess he blocked the right defensive end, which is Jared Allen. So if Long blocked Allen then he may not have been trying for a sack and was just blocked very well.

I don't really know what happened, but I am guessing based on the position Long and Allen each play they were faced off against each other. I can't read minds and know exactly what Jared Allen was trying to do like Gregg can though, so he is the expert here.

Sour Play of the Week: Leading 7-3, the San Diego Chargers faced third-and-goal on the Jax 9. Antonio Gates, favorite target of the Bolts in the red zone, split left and ran a quick in-out-in move. By the second in, he was covered by no one. The Jaguars had lined up in "quarters," with defensive backs each taking a quarter of the field -- and every Jacksonville defender ignored the other team's best red zone threat, who entered the contest with 60 touchdown catches.

It sounds like Antonio Gates found a hole in the zone Jacksonville was running to score a touchdown. Kudos to him. If a Jacksonville defender had paid special attention to Gates and covered him then they probably would have not have run the correct defense "quarters" called by the Jacksonville defensive coordinator. Generally players are supposed to run the defense that was called for them to run.

Sour Play of the Week No. 2: With City of Tampa leading 20-7 with 3:35 remaining, the Carolina Panthers faced fourth-and-goal on the Bucs 1. The Panthers came out in a 1950s-style power set with three tight ends and two backs, then ran a sloooooo-developing run that was stuffed.

It was sloooooooooooo-developing because Tampa Bay had done a great job of plugging up the hole and forcing Stewart to run further out than he would have liked to. It's wasn't the design of the play to run all the way to the left, but when there isn't a hole available to run through, it's hard to run through 2-3 defenders directly into the end zone.

On the final snap of the third quarter, trailing 16-14, Mike Singletary sent in the punt unit on fourth-and-1 from his 27. San Francisco hasn't reached the postseason in nine years. The game is at home, on "Monday Night Football," against the Super Bowl champions. On the night, the Niners rushed for 142 yards and a 5.5 yard-per-carry average. You can't dance with the champ, you have to knock him down. That fourth-and-1 was a chance to reverse years of losing psychology in San Francisco -- and boom went the punt.

I hate this shit. Fourth-and-1 is a much different running situation than never every other running situation. There are more defensive players in the box ready to stop the run and it is highly unlikely the 49ers could get 5.5 yards on this play. The 49ers defense had held the Saints to 16 points through 3 quarters and didn't feel the need to give the Saints the ball with 27 yards to go to the end zone if they couldn't pick up the first down. They weren't looking to let the football game get away from them and give the Saints the ball back with great field position.

On Sunday, Washington held a comfortable 17-point lead over the visiting Texans late in the third quarter. Play straight defense, and victory is likely. Instead, Haslett called 19 blitzes on the 40 remaining Houston snaps; Washington lost in overtime.

Why would the Redskins not continue to do defensively what had gotten them to that point in the game? If a defensive strategy is working, immediately back off of it is Gregg's response. If the Redskins had quit blitzing then Gregg would have criticized them for backing off a successful game plan.

If you were wondering why NFL teams don't blitz constantly -- listening to sportsyak, you'd think the blitz is a magic formula for instant success -- the Washington collapse against Houston is your answer.

So the Redskins successful blitzing against Dallas doesn't prove anything at all? Why does the Redskins collapse due to blitzing (if that was the cause) prove blitzing is useless, while the Redskins defeat of the Cowboys the previous week, partially by blitzing, doesn't prove anything to Gregg?

The low point came with the Redskins leading 27-20, the Moo Cows facing fourth-and-10 on the Washington 34 just before regulation's two-minute warning. Washington did not need a sack or turnover, just an incompletion. The Skins blitzed, leaving Andre Johnson -- among the league's best players -- single-covered in the end zone by safety Reed Doughty. Johnson outleaped Doughty for the touchdown that caused overtime, a great catch.

The Skins blitzed five guys at Matt Schaub and very nearly got to him as well. He threw up a prayer to Andre Johnson who caught it. The Redskins had six guys covering the five receivers on this blitz, which should have been more than enough. It wasn't the blitz that caused the catch by Johnson.

Early in the Philadelphia-Detroit game, DeSean Jackson made a falling-down catch/no-catch nearly identical to the Calvin Johnson catch/no-catch in the end zone at the end of the opening day Detroit-Chicago game. When officials initially ruled completion, Lions coach Jim Schwartz entered into a condition that cannot be described on a family website. Fox, which televised the game, promptly switched to former NFL head official Mike Pereira, who now works as a commentator. "This is a tough one … it will be a tough call," Pereira said, refusing to commit himself on whether the pass was complete. If the former head of NFL officials can't understand the falling-down catch/no-catch rule, how can anyone else?

Pereira never said he didn't understand the rule, he just said it was a tough call, which could mean he hadn't seen enough replays to make a decision or the replays were inconclusive on which way the call should go. Simply because Pereira could not immediately say what the correct ruling on the field should be doesn't mean he doesn't know the rule.

Tashard Choice, hemmed in by tacklers with no chance of advancing the ball, tried to struggle forward for an extra stats-padding yard and fumbled. The Cowboys won't ever make that mistake again, will they? Trailing 27-17 with 4:40 remaining, Dallas has first-and-10 on the Chicago 37, holding two timeouts -- the game is far from over. Roy Williams, hemmed in by tacklers with no chance of advancing the ball, tried to struggle forward for an extra stats-padding yard and fumbled. Chicago ball, now the game is over.

Son of a bitch. Football players are taught, and they end up doing this by instinct, to go after every available yard on the field possible when they have the ball. In those split seconds neither Choice or Williams was thinking about getting an extra yard to pad their stats, but were thinking about breaking tackles and fighting for yardage. These are athletes on the field who don't have time to think all the time and want to get more yardage for the team, not for themselves.

Didn't the ever-grimacing, always-wincing Wade Philips have his team watch film of the Choice fumble?

What's Wade Philips going to say? Tell his players if they feel themselves getting tackled to just fall to the ground or immediately give up? It's called breaking tackles and it is what offensive football players like Choice and Williams get paid a lot of money to do.

"The Town" offers super-complicated bank robberies that last unrealistically long -- actual robbers want to get out as fast as possible -- and involve other unrealism.

We all know the movie was supposed to be a documentary that focused on how bank robberies actually happened and was intended to be as realistic as possible. That's why they had professional, well-paid actors in the movie.

Let's hand it over to critic Gene Triplett, who says the movie offers "Lengthy, impossibly stunt-happy, fender-shearing car chases and machine-gun shoot-outs on public streets, with the four hijackers standing off what seems to be most of the Boston police force and an army of feds, escaping every time with nary a scratch. And what about that scene where the gang dons nuns' habits and scary Halloween masks, and marches into a robbery in broad daylight with automatic weapons in plain sight? This isn't going to cause passers-by to do a double-take?"

It will cause passer-bys to do a double take, but what are they going to do? I have seen the movie and the resulting robbery did not take a long time. Are the passer-bys supposed to confront the masked bank robbers who are carrying automatic weapons? The only person the movie showed as having seen the bank robbers (and they weren't even robbing a bank) was a kid that looked to be about 12 years old. He was probably too scared shitless to do anything.

Of course it doesn't matter because it is all fake.

Reader Mike Hutchins of Rhode Island notes that, when trailing Nebraska 49-21 late in the third quarter, Washington punted on fourth-and-3, at midfield. "I wrote Game Over in my notebook," he says. And yea, verily, it came to pass.

What a bold prediction! Again, was the game over because Washington punted or because they were down 28 points close to the fourth quarter? I would argue the game was over no matter what Washington had done in this situation. If Washington had gone for it would they have eventually won the game? I doubt it. Of course it was game over and it wasn't game over because the Huskies punted, it was over because Nebraska dominated them for the previous three quarters.

Speaking of passer ratings, I don't wish to alarm you, but so far, gruntled Jay Cutler is the league's top-rated passer.

Gregg was the one knocking Cutler last year and indicating he wasn't really that great of a quarterback. So I am not alarmed at all.

As for Jersey/A, trailing 31-7 near the end of the third quarter, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin ordered a punt on fourth-and-5 from midfield. Players are lambasted when they quit on a game. Why aren't coaches?

Because Coughlin would be giving up on the game more by giving the Colts the ball back with a short field than he would by trying to put the Colts against their own goal line. It was a strategy to possibly get the Giants a turnover or good field position if they force a Colts punt.

Christmas Creep: Palmer Blair of Providence, R.I., reports that his regional theater company begins its holiday run of "A Christmas Carol" before Thanksgiving.

This is just a simple case of supply and demand. There is obviously enough interest in the show to justify running it from November 19-December 31. Yes, the SHOW IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO RUN AFTER CHRISTMAS! Whatever shall we do??????????????

Where is the universal rule that says it doesn't make sense to see a Christmas movie before the week of Christmas?

Trailing Notre Dame by three in overtime, Michigan State faced fourth-and-14 on the Irish 29. As the Spartans lined up for a field goal attempt, everyone assumed a kick to force a second overtime. Instead the holder and kicker ran to the right, simulating an option pitch to the kicker; the Notre Dame defense first was shocked, then went for the kicker; holder Aaron Bates threw deep to tight end Charlie Gantt for the touchdown that won the game.

The play design was sweet, but was this really a "bold gamble," as the sports world said? For a college kicker, a 46-yard attempt is a 50/50 proposition.

Don't tell that to Frank Deford. Field goals are too easy to make! Outlaw them!

(Yes, I know he was talking about the NFL and not college football, but what's the point of having field goals in college, but not the NFL?)

Last week, I deemed it "nutty" that officials at the East Carolina-Tulsa game assessed a celebration penalty for ECU's as-time-expired touchdown that gave the school a two-point victory -- how can it be wrong to celebrate after the game ends? I further complained that zebras would not allow East Carolina to waive the try, insisting on marching off 15 yards and making ECU snap the ball and kneel to conclude the contest. I'd always thought the try was an option for the offense, which could be waived if extra points are meaningless to the outcome.

Readers including Richard McDermott of Chicago countered, "In college football the defense can score two points on a returned deuce attempt. So didn't the refs have to make East Carolina line up for the PAT, on the extremely remote chance the Pirates did something other than a kneel-down and Tulsa returned a turnover?"

Kevin Lehde, a math teacher and high school football official in North Carolina, makes the call: "NCAA Rule 8-3-2a states that if the fourth quarter clock expires during a touchdown, 'the try shall not be attempted unless the point(s) would affect the outcome of the game.' Since the NCAA allows the defense to score two points if they return a fumble or interception during a try, the officials acted correctly."

Through this wall of text, the short story of this is that Gregg was terribly wrong about it being silly to let East Carolina just kneel the ball down.

Then Gregg starts railing about college football teams and Pee-Wee teams getting escorts from the police. The government wastes money everyone. I hate to be the bearer of bad news and shock the hell out of everyone reading this.

Next Week: Pop Warner teams demand flyovers for ankle-biter games.

I am assuming this is supposed to make me laugh or chuckle. It didn't.

9 comments:

Matt said...

did you happen to see the FJM guys on Deadspin yesterday? some good, funny stuff. take a look if you haven't already.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, I did see them. I read a few of the posts as well. They did cover a few articles I had already covered and I enjoyed reading what they wrote. It's a lot of FJMorgan in one day, but I enjoyed it.

rich said...

Bradley re-entering the game without being examined by a neurologist suggests that Goodell's concussion policy is toothless.

TMQ honestly wants to pull a player until he can see a specialist? Sprained ankle? Sorry can't go back in until you see a pediatrist.

I know concussions are different, but forcing a player to see a specialist is kind of absurd.

But team doctors face only their own conscience, not any binding NFL standard, when deciding whether players may re-enter a game.

This is absolutely false. First, if a team doctor sends in injured players and something bad happens, he gets fired. Second, if something bad happens he probably loses his medical license.

Neutral observers at practice would help, too.

There was talk about doing this during the Texas Tech scandal. A lot of people wanted professors or parents to go watch practice. Like I said then, most people don't know what goes on at practice. Hard hits, cursing, yelling, screaming, suicide drills, etc. are all common place. Could you imagine the shitstorm if a neutral observer went to an AD about how the coach's were psychologically hurting their precious child?

The players and spectators are shown cheering, while lead character Eric Taylor, the coach, claps enthusiastically.

According to ESPN, this only happens in Philadelphia, so this never happened.

If you were a kid watching that episode, what was your takeaway? Hit with your head. It's manly. There are no consequences.

If you watch a fucking tv show and think that they're showing proper technique you already have a little brain damage. Any coach worth his grain of salt would instantly correct that behavior the first time he saw it.

It's like watching CSI and thinking you know how the law works.

then ran a sloooooo-developing run that was stuffed.

Ya, those sons of bitches should've kicked a FG! Oh wait, you'd have blasted them for that too. In TMQ's world the only way to avoid criticism is to do succeed at a 4th down conversion.

Mike Singletary sent in the punt unit on fourth-and-1 from his 27

Um... Because if he doesn't make it he gives NO the ball at the 27? He just established that 4th down conversions can fail, so that's a pretty good reason to punt.

Washington did not need a sack or turnover, just an incompletion. The Skins blitzed

Because if you give a good QB and a great WR 4 seconds to stand in the pocket, odds are they'll find a way to make a play. Blitzing is meant to force the QB to make quick decisions. Sometimes this leads to INTs, sometimes to incompletions.

a great catch.

So let me get this straight. It was a great catch, so it wasn't a problem with coverage... What exactly would not blitzing have fucking changed?

Pereira said, refusing to commit himself on whether the pass was complete.

Except he did. Pereira said at least three times that it should be incomplete. He even referenced the Johnson non-catch and explained the rule.

The Cowboys won't ever make that mistake again, will they?

The problem is that they went for extra yards... it's that they didn't secure the ball well enough. Fuck you TMQ.

"The Town" offers super-complicated bank robberies that last unrealistically long -- actual robbers want to get out as fast as possible -- and involve other unrealism.

IT'S A FUCKING MOVIE! I do enjoy how the movie critic basically describes every James Bond movie ever.

This isn't going to cause passers-by to do a double-take?"

"Hey honey, those men over there wearing masks and carrying assault weapons... we should tell them they're committing a crime!"

::gunfire::

(wife)"Oh if you had just not done a double-take!"

ivn said...

CC Sabathia gave up 7 runs on 10 hits in five innings to the Rays.

ALL HE'S DONE IS BEEN THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL FROM START TO FINISH.

fuck you Joe Morgan

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I think a player should see a team doctor on the sidelines after he gets hit and is woozy, but a specialist is a bit much. It's football, sometimes guys get hit and get the wind knocked out of them. Gregg should know this.

Neutral observers are a bad idea for the reason you state as well. If a neutral observer watched college basketball practices then he/she would assume that coach abuses his players. It's just a part of coaching and is a culture that people who don't see it everyday don't understand.

TMQ keeps thinking that people believe television is real. I think it says more about him than the shows that are unrealistic.

I remember quite vividly that Stewart run and I thought if they go for a FG then TMQ will roast them. They went with their biggest back over the strongest part of the OL (the LG/LT) and the Bucs got penetration. Perhaps under the "Cowboys rule" Gregg invented Stewart should have just immediately fallen to the ground so he didn't fumble trying to get more yards. Great play by the Bucs to make him run laterally.

There is no excuse for Singletary to punt in that situation. It's taking a risk that doesn't need to be taken. You are also right about Schaub that if he is given all day in the pocket he will find a receiver anyway. You know Gregg would have criticized them if they didn't blitz there. Great catch, nothing they can do except cover Johnson with two guys or pass interfere.

I swear to God, I can't figure out how TMQ thinks a civilian could have stopped an armed robbery with three guys with automatic weapons. If I see a bunch of guys with automatic weapons and I am a child, I am turning my head the other way.

Ivn, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Nevermind David Price got out of the jams that Sabathia couldn't get out of pitching at home. It's a more complicated vote than just saying Sabathia has been the best.

Matt said...

ivn - cc gave up the cy young last night to felix. suck on that Joe Morngan! felix with 12 wins!!

RuleBook said...

After all the criticisms Easterbrook does about coaches making decisions to keep the margin of defeat small, I am shocked (not really) that he didn't address the Texas-Texas Tech game. With less than 2 minutes left in the game, trailing by 10 and holding only 1 timeout, Texas Tech had 4th and long inside their own 10, and Tommy Tuberville opted to punt the ball. While this is a perplexing decision to say the least (essentially waving the white flag at a point where tying/winning the game was a realistic proposition), he proceeded to use his final timeout after Texas ran on 1st down following the punt, as though he were still trying to win. This was the perfect example of a coach trying to hold the margin of defeat down, and Easterbrook totally missed it.

RuleBook said...

On opening day, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett called a dozen safety blitzes against Dallas, a high number, and the Skins escaped with a one-point victory on the final snap.

I can't begin to understand what he was thinking here. The Redskins led the entire game, so to say they escaped with a victory on the final snap is to say that every team that holds a lead escaped with a victory on the final snap. Secondly, they had a 6-point victory. For someone who criticizes every analyst for mis-identifying a blitz, he makes some glaring errors.

Bengoodfella said...

Rulebook, that is a perfect example of a time when it is necessary to go for it on fourth down deep in your opponent's territory. Tuberville was really waving the white flag at that point since he had no way of stopping the clock. That's ridiculous and Gregg should be all over that. How did he miss that?

I think that describes my overwhelming feeling about Gregg. He criticizes all of these teams and coaches, then makes glaring errors himself.