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Maybe we had it all wrong two years ago...


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#1 Frash Brastard

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 05:58 PM

After the 2005 season, when the Seahawks shut down our only home run threat with the ball, Smitty, the whole focus in the offseason was getting someone to draw coverage off of him, and while maybe that was a good idea, it wasn't as much a good idea as bolstering the running game.

In Denver on Sunday, we saw that theory truly manifest itself, though for a different reason. Because our backs were so much of a threat to the Broncos, they forgot this little guy named 89 that lines up wide on offense. Denver lined up in a 4-4 to start, leaving 3 DBs to cover the field and Smith on single coverage. It was a very basic and obvious strategy that could be pointed out, and Delhomme found Smith open all day, even Moose for a decent 70 yards.

The statistics don't lie, Smith has the highest yards per catch average he's ever had (17.7 YPC, second only to Calvin Johnson in the top 10, but we knew that freak was going to tear it up anyway) and is in the top 3 in receiving yards despite lower total grabs (he's got 12 less than Roddy White and 33 less than Andre Johnson, the 2nd and 1st receivers respectively). And he's only played 14 games. He's getting to make the most of his receptions because he doesn't have to run short patterns to get that 5 yards, we have Williams and Stewart to do that for us now.

So now the focus is to recognize what the defense is trying to shut down early on and adjusting the playcall to exploit it. I don't think we'll see any 4-4 formations again, but that was too easy to spot anyway. Delhomme wasn't born yesterday and he can recognize a defense.

#2 natty

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:15 PM

I thought it was pretty clear after 05 that the problem was beefing up the running game. We went into Seattle with practice squad running backs.

But now we have both - Moose is definitely a legit 2nd receiver.

#3 goncrazi

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:15 PM

I ain't gonna say I told you so, but...

I was one of the people on here saying our loss against the Seahawks had more to do with losing Foster the week before and then Goings early in the game than a lack of a "second" receiver. Certainly it would have been nice to have a guy to draw coverage off of Smith, but with Foster and Goings out, we had ZERO threat in the running game and it was pretty easy to roll coverage to Smith. Say what you will about Foster, he commanded attention.

Having said that, don't forget we drafted DeAngelo the following spring. What's been the difference this year? An offensive line that is built for the kind of power running game we had been trying to run.

Oh, and a great 2nd back helps a bit too.

#4 OneBadassCat

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:20 PM

I didn't think our running game was that good in 05 anyway whether Foster was in there or not. I mean he would have helped but the offensive line we have now is what we should have had then that was the biggest difference. It was more Foster than the line that got those couple 100 yd games imo.

#5 Delhommey

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:28 PM

Um, didn't the FO draft a RB in the first round the year after?

I'm not seeing the epiphany here.

#6 JungleCat

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:55 PM

I thought of Steelers/Panthers Super Bowl this year as it should've been in '05. If the Panthers are going to get one soon, I think this is the year.

#7 joemac

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:16 PM

Smiths only played 12 games....

#8 outlaw4

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:16 PM

Um, didn't the FO draft a RB in the first round the year after?

I'm not seeing the epiphany here.

We picked up Hartwig and Key to be a Moose replacement. Neither panned out in the long run.

IMO, we tried to be cute in the trenches when what we needed was to be strong. I don't think that they didn't try to bolster the running game, the problem was that they approached it the wrong way.

#9 SteveSmitty

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:21 PM

In '05 we depended on Smith for every single offensive yard of production. He was our only weapon and the guy got us all the way to the NFC Championship. With a player like that combined with a good running game, there's really not much else you can ask for.

#10 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:24 PM

I agree somewhat with what you are saying, but Denver in no way compares to Seattle's defense that year.

FWIW, we did upgrad the passing game as well. There is no doubt that Moose, Jarrett, and Hackett are upgrades over Colbert and Carter even if we don't throw to them much. I think Jarrett has done well with limited opportunities.

#11 SteveSmitty

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:27 PM

I agree. I think Jarret has alot of potential and has done extremely well with the limited number of throws he's gotten this year. Moose is moose. The guy does all the little things and usually catches every reasonable throw that comes his direction. We have the '03 Panthers football team with a better LB core and a better running game.

#12 JungleCat

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:30 PM

Keyshawn was serviceable but not like having Moose back.

#13 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:39 PM

Keyshawn was serviceable but not like having Moose back.


Agreed. Personally, I think Moose is a better receiver overall, but without all the mouth.

#14 beastson

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:44 PM

I ain't gonna say I told you so, but...

I was one of the people on here saying our loss against the Seahawks had more to do with losing Foster the week before and then Goings early in the game than a lack of a "second" receiver. Certainly it would have been nice to have a guy to draw coverage off of Smith, but with Foster and Goings out, we had ZERO threat in the running game and it was pretty easy to roll coverage to Smith. Say what you will about Foster, he commanded attention.

Having said that, don't forget we drafted DeAngelo the following spring. What's been the difference this year? An offensive line that is built for the kind of power running game we had been trying to run.

Oh, and a great 2nd back helps a bit too.


Your forgot Stephen Davis was out too

#15 JungleCat

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:47 PM

I think the Bears wouldv'e beat the Seahawks, but that's just my opinion.


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