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Mr. Scot

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  1. Talking about today's game on Gameday Prime, host Charissa Thompson asked LaDainian Tomlinson (who played under Norv Turner in San Diego) "What's wrong with the Panthers offense?" Don't have a clip available at this point, so I'll try to summarize how Tomlinson responded, beginning with a direct quote: "Here's the thing.Cam can't do what Norv needs him to do". Tomlinson asserted (correctly) that Norv Turner's offenses are all about timing. The idea is to hit the three, five or seven step drop and get the ball out quick. Timing and rhythm are everything. He then stated that Newton doesn't do these things well. Flipping the coin, Tomlinson also said that the things which Newton does do well (mentioning specifically the read option) are plays that Turner "doesn't know how to call" properly. That's not his game, and thus the two of them wind up being a mismatch. Thompson followed up Tomlinson's analysis by asking him how to fix it. Tomlinson said it's primarily up to Newton to learn how to run Turner's offense. Though he did say that Turner could also try to learn some of what Cam knows well, he put the brunt of the responsibility on Newton. Deion Sanders pointed out that Newton has been effective running, but agreed with Tomlinson that Newton is not a timing quarterback (doubt anybody here would argue that). Tomlinson then expressed that he believes Turner is in a very tough position. Speaking to Sanders, Tomlinson said (paraphrasing) "You know how hard it is for an offensive coordinator to call plays when he doesn't know if the guy running the plays can do it, so you have to settle for this" (i.e. something you know he can do). Asked how long they would expect it to take to fix the problem, Sanders answered "playoffs", so effectively the whole regular season. Mind you, if Sanders were correct about this, I kinda question whether we'd actually be in the playoffs. Thought it would be worth posting what was said. It'd be nice if a clip were available, but not yet. Maybe tomorrow. Clip or no clip, I have a sense that Tomlinson's comments probably won't be all that well received here
  2. After Newton gained the first down on 3rd and 1, I felt pretty optimistic that we were gonna score. Ugh. Now I'm seeing a lot of arguing over the final sequence, so I decided to go back and review it. Here's what I saw: FIRST DOWN: Quick basic crosser to McCaffrey Good play choice, good execution, Panthers call a time out. We're at the 16 with 47 seconds left...plenty of time and the team isn't rushing. I know Rivera isn't known for good clock management, but we were in a good place here. SECOND DOWN: Incomplete to McCaffrey in the end zone McCaffrey was the right choice on the play. He was being covered by a safety (Montae Nicholson), had a step on his man and no one else was all that open, but Chris Clark allows heavy pressure on Newton by Preston Smith. The pressure forces Newton to get rid of the ball before he's fully ready and the throw winds up sailing. Clark looked slow and off balance coming out of his stance, so much so I rewound it a couple of times to see if he tripped over Van Roten's feet or something. Saw no evidence that he did. It was just a poor effort that came at a really bad time. If Clark anchors his block, that play is probably a touchdown. Aside from Clark, the rest of the offensive line actually did all right on this play. But as the saying goes, it only takes one. It's bad enough to get beaten. It's even worse to look really awkward doing it. If you go back and look at Clark on that play, you'll probably see what I'm talking about. His body language after coming out of his stance looks less like a football block and more like an awkward sideways dance step. Clark's failure to do much else other than barely stand in Preston Smith's way probably cost us a score there. THIRD DOWN: Incomplete to Funchess in the end zone First off, I don't think it's coincidental that they went after the same area as the previous play. Either Norv Turner, Cam Newton or maybe both (my guess) probably figured that the prior play should have been a score so they wanted to attack the same area again, this time with Funchess rather than McCaffrey. I agree with that decision. Redskins might have seen it too. Coverage this play was by Quinton Dunbar rather than the safety Nicholson, but Nicholson was shading in that direction just in case Dunbar needed help. That's a reasonable choice since Dunbar had been getting picked on all game. There's pressure again, this time from all sides. Newton's pocket is barely bigger than a broom closet, but the pressure wasn't enough that I think Newton needed to rush the throw. And to be clear, I don't believe he did. His body language didn't look it. Sadly, rushed or not, it was a poorly thrown pass. It ended up landing far enough out of bounds that it would have taken a phenomenal effort by Funchess to haul it in. Regardless of that though, it's the decision, not the pass itself, that is most deserving of scrutiny here. The announcers - and pretty much everyone here - made note that Greg Olsen was at the first down marker and had a step on D J Swearinger. I'd have to agree throwing it to Olsen there would have been a better decision. You could also have gone to McCaffrey in the left flat though, and possibly with even greater potential results. McCaffrey was being covered by Josh Harvey-Clemons, a linebacker. Seriously, a linebacker, and a linebacker that was playing about five or six yards off at that. I'll take that matchup ten times out of ten and bet on McCaffrey to at the very least get the first down, and probably score. Heck, even Jarius Wright was in a good spot on the right side inside the five. With a nice sideline throw, that's also at least a first down and maybe even a touchdown. But because of what I noted above, I think it was already decided that pass was headed for the end zone no matter who else was open (for the record, Funchess wasn't) before the ball was even snapped. And while I agree with the decision to attack where the defense is looking vulnerable, you still have to make the right decision. Even if you know you have a favorable matchup, you have to walk the steps. Newton didn't, and probably heard about it from Olsen shortly thereafter. FOURTH DOWN: Incomplete to Jarius Wright This one hurt. I felt reasonably sure that even if we didn't score on this play, we'd at least get the first and have a new set of downs with thirty some seconds left. Alas, it was not to be. Wright seemed to be trying to lobby the officials for an illegal contact or a defensive holding call, but he didn't get the call. I'm not sure it matters. This ball didn't look like it was all that well thrown anyway. While there was heavy pressure from all sides, with Preston Smith abusing Chris Clark with a speed rush again, Newton isn't falling back and he didn't throw off his back foot. The ball just goes too high and too far. You could make an argument that even though he got set and made the throw, Newton did have pressure in his face. And if Wright's complaint was correct (I didn't see it, but it's possible) then who knows? So overall result: One good play, one pressure, one good idea ruined by a poor choice and one possible bad pass / possible missed penalty. Whose fault is it? Everybody's. If any one of several sequences goes differently before this point, we might not have been in this spot. Teams win. Teams lose. Speaking of which, let's not discount the Redskins defense here. Sometimes you can do everything right but the other team just does what they do a little better. Ironically enough, the flow of this game followed a similar path to a lot of our games in the most recent Super Bowl season. The Redskins went up big early then let us back in the game and needed to pull a last minute win out of their ass. Goodness knows we did that plenty back in 2015. Still, as infuriating as that often was, it sure felt a lot better being on the other side of it. I know a lot of people will blame Newton, and it'd be insane to think he didn't play a role. Even so, there's plenty of blame to go around. And let's be fair, even great quarterbacks have bad sequences. I remember watching Donovan McNabb have a horrible four down sequence to close out a playoff loss some years back. There's also Tom Brady's horrible series against the Eagles late in the Super Bowl. It happens. All you can do is pick up and move on to next week. My take. Make of it what you will (a hat...a broach...a pterodactyl...etc)
  3. I've said previously that I think it will take Eric Washington some time to adjust to his new job. Some would argue he's had plenty of time by now, and I accept that the point is debatable. That's not so much my topic here, though. To the folks who don't believe it's a transitional issue, to those who believe he just isn't cut out to be a defensive coordinator, I have a question that I'm afraid likely isn't going to make you feel any better. How many years did it take to fire Mike Shula? I believe Rivera sees Washington as something of a protege'. Obviously, he didn't see Mike Shula in that light. If this is true, then he may be more "forgiving" of Washington (though it could be argued that he was plenty forgiving of Shula). The point: As long as Rivera remains head coach, I'm not so sure anyone wanting Washington fired or demoted is going to have their voice heard. I could be wrong, and Rivera might not be that attached, but that's just my gut. And if I'm right about that, we'd all best hope that he really is just going through some growing pains and he'll "get there" at some point. We'll see.
  4. Disagree. I definitely wouldn't put Newton in a West Coast system. Outside of his nobility, his skill set just wouldn't fit. I see some folks taking this like it's an insult to Newton. It really isn't. Tomlinson is talking about a system mismatch. It's no different than saying Kuechly wouldn't be a good fit in a 3-4 defense (which, for the record, he wouldn't).
  5. I get that a lot of people like the hurry up offense idea. I would add one caution to that. The downside of hurry up offenses is that they don't give defenses much time to rest. Given the state of our defense right now, that's something to think about.
  6. Mr. Scot


    Moore definitely changed the game yesterday :( I know Rivera tends to be cautious with rookies. The reluctance to play Samuel could be due to injury concerns, but all of us understood he was healthy at this point. Beyond that, I'm baffled.
  7. What if Ron Rivera thinks were already doing that? (I'd submit to you that's a very real possibility)
  8. Worth noting: Our secondary is coached by Richard Rodgers.
  9. Saw that when it happened. Man, that had to hurt.
  10. A pretty high percentage of defensive coaches in the league would prefer this same approach, even the aggressive ones. My question right now though: do we actually have the ability to "open up" the offense? You're probably talking about launching the deep ball, and a lot of people question whether we can do that right now.
  11. The Pats still manage to win a lot of their terrible games, definitely more consistently than we do. Playing in a division full of punching bags helps a lot. That's definitely not an advantage we have, and one of many reasons why I can never minimize a loss. Home field sure would have been nice last year. the
  12. Mr. Scot

    Rewatching the final sequence

    it's infinitely more complicated than high school, which is why it takes a lot of time to learn and adjust. That goes for coaches and players alike. Charles Johnson didn't accomplish all that much his rookie year. If you would have cut him though, you would have missed out on a heck of a player.
  13. On the topic, I've spent a pretty significant portion of my life on football, and I don't regret that. it certainly wasn't a lot of fun sitting through seasons like 2001 and 2010, but I love the game and always will. My parrots bite. It hurts, but I still love them. Sometimes my favorite football team bites too, but hey...
  14. Sad to say I think it's valid that Rivera does have a habit of going for the path of least resistance when it comes to coaching hires.
  15. That philosophy got our last GM shown the door, but I also agree with it. And yeah, Peppers probably deserves to be discussed here too. We could be looking at a seriously reshaped roster next season, and that's no easy task.
  16. Newton is used to being a big play guy. He thrives on it. Getting him to be methodical is kinda like asking a puncher to concentrate on boxing, or a home run hitter to bunt, or The Ultimate Warrior to concentrate on technical wrestling. (I'd have used a more modern wrestler for that analogy but I don't really know that many of them)
  17. Gotta give Chase Blackburn a pat on the back for that one. Apparently he's the one who convinced Rivera to go for the long field goal (really took some balls when you think about it). Chase might just have a decent future in coaching.
  18. That thought occurred to me. Said it before: It's impossible to predict when guys are going to hit the wall. I honestly think that's harder than trying to decide how much money they're worth.
  19. That's not an easy transition though, for any quarterback.
  20. Mr. Scot

    Eric Reid

    Would you still say that if your safeties weren't injured?
  21. There's a lot of speculation about his shoulder.
  22. Norv does at least come from the same system we've been running pretty much since 2002. But I'd agree Newton is a lot different from quarterbacks he's coached before. I remember Turner talked a lot in the offseason about incorporating some of the read option stuff into his playbook. Mind you, among the major pro systems, I'd still consider the Coryell to be the best fit for Newton's skill set, but the Coryell depends a lot on the deep ball and we don't really have that this year.
  23. I don't think anybody would argue against the notion that Norv is a better OC than Shula. No doubt Turner is infinitely better when it comes to knowing how to use Christian McCaffrey.
  24. You agree with Tomlinson then...