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Bill Barnwell: Worst Coaching decision of the year goes to.....


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#46 panthers55

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

In hindsight it absolutely was a terrible call given what happened with Nakamura. The question is not whether it turned out to be a bad call looking at it after the fact, but was it a bad call at the time. I was personally in the group that would have gone for it on the road but honestly given he called a punt and the Panthers downed it at the 1, it wasn't a bad idea. If we had played aggressively like we did all day instead of going to the prevent we would have won that game and others as well. It wasn't a play here or there so much as going to the prevent which we all know just prevents you from winning.

#47 Khaki Lackey

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

like someone above said, it was a text book situation, but he emphasis is on was. you can't do that confidently anymore. you can't put your defenses in those situations because the cards are stacked against you thanks to rule changes protecting the QB and the WR, esp. after 5 yards. the game is set up now for those situations.

Very good point.

#48 FootballMaestro

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

there are other examples...quite a bit on the season if you look at the lead on the whole, even in the playoffs.

if your defense hasn't been successful against the other team's offense during the bulk of the game, but your offense has been faring pretty well against their defense, i'm sorry but you go with the one that's working, not the one that hasn't been.

you go with what has been working, not what "should" work or what some obsolete textbook says.


Yeah, tell John Fox and the Bronco's their late 4 qtr lead was big enough against the Ravens.

And in the same token, tell Atlanta, that their big lead against the 49ers were big enough as well.

You can't stop scoring (or trying to score) in this league, until its' 2min left in the 4th qtr and you have the ball--with a first down. If not, you keep trying to score. And if the other team keeps their starters in the game--trying to score points during a blow out, then you do the same. Don't stop scoring, until the other team pulls out their starters and cries uncle.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if Rivera will ever learn his lesson. He appears, anytime he has more than a 14 pt lead (even if it's in the early 2nd or third qtr), he wants to run the clock out for the rest of the game. It's only when teams catch up and get close, when he wants to run a regular offense again. Even the Oakland game, the Panthers should have won by a much bigger margin. And Cam Newton could have thrown for over 300 or 400 yards. I think he had 230 (or so) by the half.

Rivera had done this through out the season, even in games the Panthers have won, he alway slows down the offense when he has a lead (even if some of us don't always realize it when the Panthers win by a reasonable margin). You never stop trying to score, unless/until the 2 earlier examples/reasons I gave (2min left in the 4th with a 1st down or other team takes out starters).

#49 rayzor

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:36 PM

The two teams playing in the Super Bowl this year constantly rely on their defense. Keep in mind that what Atlanta did to us was the first time that had happened in 20 years.

they are relying on both their offense and defense, and both are pretty proven.

our defense wasn't proven that that point. our defense wasn't working against their offense.

it had been getting eaten up all day.

meanwhile, our offense had been doing pretty well all day, much better than the defense had.

so we choose to put the game in the hands of the guys that had been failing at their job all day instead of the group that had been the most successful element of your team. it just makes no sense.

and that hadn't been done in 20 years? are you talking about the exact situation with the ball sitting on the 1? or a team handing the other team the ball with the score close and time left on the clock only to lose it? because i'm pretty sure that latter one has happened quite often, esp. this year and it will continue to do that.

teams lost this year, esp. in the playoffs because they didn't trust their offense to keep the ball or to score again. they made the mistake of allowing the other team a chance to score by putting the ball in their hands.

teams lost because they tapped the brakes on offense and tried trusting their defense to stop the other team and protect the score.

again, i don't care how much you trust your defense. you are making a mistake by giving the other team an opportunity add points when the game is close and there's still time left on the clock. it's too easy for offenses to move the ball against even the best defenses.

#50 rayzor

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:38 PM

Yeah, tell John Fox and the Bronco's their late 4 qtr lead was big enough against the Ravens.

And in the same token, tell Atlanta, that their big lead against the 49ers were big enough as well.

You can't stop scoring (or trying to score) in this league, until its' 2min left in the 4th qtr, and you have the ball--with a first down. If not, you keep trying to score. And if the other team keeps their starters in the game, trying to score points during a blow out. Then you do the same. Don't stop scoring, until the other team pulls out their starters and cries uncle.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if Rivera will ever learn his lesson. He appears, anytime he has more than a 14 pt lead (even if it's in the 2nd or third qtr), he wants to run the clock out for the rest of the game. Even the Oakland game, the Panthers should have won by a much bigger margin. And Cam Newton could have thrown for over 300 or 400 yards. I think he had 230 (or so) by the half.

you can't even let the other team have 2 minutes. i don't feel good even letting them have 30 seconds.

you have to control the scoreboard and you have to control the ball, esp. in close games. when you put the ball in the hands of the other team, you lose control.

#51 rayzor

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

In hindsight it absolutely was a terrible call given what happened with Nakamura. The question is not whether it turned out to be a bad call looking at it after the fact, but was it a bad call at the time. I was personally in the group that would have gone for it on the road but honestly given he called a punt and the Panthers downed it at the 1, it wasn't a bad idea. If we had played aggressively like we did all day instead of going to the prevent we would have won that game and others as well. It wasn't a play here or there so much as going to the prevent which we all know just prevents you from winning.

agreed.

i have an issue with people who talk about the fact that we had them down on the 1...but even then, what were the chances that we were even going to get that? i mean how good had our rookie punter been to that point? how trustworthy had he been? and then our special teams unit? not exactly a proven corps there. were they not one of the worst in the league? what are the chances that they were going to be able to stop the ball on the one yard line? miniscule.

it was a bad idea because of the personnel they had on the field in STs and on defense. it was a bad call because they weren't doing well. they were the weakest aspects of that team. they were the weakest of the three phases and instead of going for the closest thing to a sure thing, we gave it to them.

and we did it quite often this year. the players should have been able to carry out their assignments, but the coaching staff should have known they were limited in their ability to carry them out as had been proven quite often. you play to your strengths. we didn't.

#52 FootballMaestro

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

you can't even let the other team have 2 minutes. i don't feel good even letting them have 30 seconds.

you have to control the scoreboard and you have to control the ball, esp. in close games. when you put the ball in the hands of the other team, you lose control.


No, I was saying if "The Panthers had the ball with 2min left in the 4th quarter with a first down.

You can just kneel it out at that point. :sword:

#53 CatMan72

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

Glad Rivera grew his balls back towards the end of the year, hope he keeps them.

#54 FootballMaestro

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

agreed.

i have an issue with people who talk about the fact that we had them down on the 1...but even then, what were the chances that we were even going to get that? i mean how good had our rookie punter been to that point? how trustworthy had he been? and then our special teams unit? not exactly a proven corps there. were they not one of the worst in the league? what are the chances that they were going to be able to stop the ball on the one yard line? miniscule.

it was a bad idea because of the personnel they had on the field in STs and on defense. it was a bad call because they weren't doing well. they were the weakest aspects of that team. they were the weakest of the three phases and instead of going for the closest thing to a sure thing, we gave it to them.

and we did it quite often this year. the players should have been able to carry out their assignments, but the coaching staff should have known they were limited in their ability to carry them out as had been proven quite often. you play to your strengths. we didn't.


Rivera plays NOT TO LOSE, both offensively and defensively even with 14 pt leads in the 2nd qtr. It's almost like he feels uncomfortable with more than a 14 pt lead or he feels he's running up the score (which is ironic, cause the other teams has their starters in the game trying to score).

I can almost forgive him for the defense, cause a lot of NFL teams and coaches get into the Prevent Mess. However, he should know that no leads are safe in today's NFL, especially when you're playing a potent offense, no matter how well your defense was playing, but especially if you're defense wasn't playing well.

#55 Ivan The Awesome

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

This was the one play that I was livid. I mean beyond mad. Anyone that's been watching football for over 3 years should know that in that situation, you have those pieces that can get you the yardage you need to put away the opposing team. You take it. You DO IT! Can't express how much I was raging when we didn't go for it.


Second close was when Cam threw that limp dick of a pass to hartstock to potentially win the game. Those days and those games I just threw my hands in the air and walked away from the TV, well laptop since I can't see them on TV locally.

#56 rayzor

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

Glad Rivera grew his balls back towards the end of the year, hope he keeps them.

the issue i have is that in the last few games, with the exception of that chiefs game, the really weren't in any close games at the end. they had gotten pretty decent sized leads heading into the last couple minutes of the game.

that chiefs game was one that nothing was working well. bad playing and bad coaching. everyone making dumb decisions. less than 4 minutes left and you give the other team the ball, tho? all they have to do is do what they did and keep the ball for 3-4 minutes. they had been eating up the clock all game and that was exactly what they were going to do. i don't like the call at all. you don't give your team a chance when you give the other team the ball. you're giving the other team the chance to win.

it's just a philosophy in game management that i don't like at all and i'm not sure that rivera's grown out of that. i hope he has, but i haven't seen it. hopefully that's one area that he really looks at and changes on heading into the next season. he's going to have to fight hard to not try and let the defense control the outcome of the game because that's his nature. he's a defensive minded coach in an era that offenses rule.

#57 panthers55

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

agreed.

i have an issue with people who talk about the fact that we had them down on the 1...but even then, what were the chances that we were even going to get that? i mean how good had our rookie punter been to that point? how trustworthy had he been? and then our special teams unit? not exactly a proven corps there. were they not one of the worst in the league? what are the chances that they were going to be able to stop the ball on the one yard line? miniscule.

it was a bad idea because of the personnel they had on the field in STs and on defense. it was a bad call because they weren't doing well. they were the weakest aspects of that team. they were the weakest of the three phases and instead of going for the closest thing to a sure thing, we gave it to them.

and we did it quite often this year. the players should have been able to carry out their assignments, but the coaching staff should have known they were limited in their ability to carry them out as had been proven quite often. you play to your strengths. we didn't.

I was thinking much the same as you when he called the punt. It might be the textbook thing to do but given how we had dominated in short distance situations and how our defensive secondary had been prone to giving up big plays we should go for it. I kept thinking, Belicheck would have gone for it. He has faith in his offense that they will make the play. And they do most times. Obviously Rivera doesn't trust his offense to get the first down. You know all the Atlanta fans breathe a sign of relief when we bring on the punting squad. When we punted, I was expecting a touchback, so when we downed it on the 1, I thought, Okay maybe it wasn't as crappy a decision as I thought. Surely the way we pressured them all day, they wouldn't have time for a huge play. One sack here and it gets tough to move the ball in time. Then we rush 3 and play a loose prevent zone and I am livid when White comes down with the ball. Calm down, I think, Okay, if we really pressure them we should be able to hang on and at least make it a long attempt. Stunned, I watched us still play a loose zone and we don't even protect the out of bounds where we know they are going to throw in order to preserve the clock. They march right down and kick an easy field goal. Awful.....

If that would have been the extent of it, I could have been okay. Not good, given it was Atlanta and we had them by the nuts and let them go. But okay. What was not okay, was that we caved late which presaged some games that followed, where we were passive and strayed away from doing the things we did all day on defense to put ourselves in a good position.

When we went on a mini run you could tell the defense was tougher as we played more man coverage and actually denied the ball and defended the pass instead of waiting for them to catch it and "limiting" them to a 15 yard completion. Quarterbacks had to go to more than their first read and it allowed time for our rush to get there. Linebackers did a better job of limiting the dumpoffs and screens to short gains. We remained decent against the run despite losing Edwards in the middle.
Hopefully Rivera has learned that if you want to play Jim Johnson ball you live and die by the blitz and the pressure you can generate. You have to stay aggressive and dictate to the offense instead of the other way around. If he still hasn't learned that by now, I don't know what to say.

#58 Delhommey

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:42 PM

In hindsight it absolutely was a terrible call given what happened with Nakamura. The question is not whether it turned out to be a bad call looking at it after the fact, but was it a bad call at the time. I was personally in the group that would have gone for it on the road but honestly given he called a punt and the Panthers downed it at the 1, it wasn't a bad idea. If we had played aggressively like we did all day instead of going to the prevent we would have won that game and others as well. It wasn't a play here or there so much as going to the prevent which we all know just prevents you from winning.


Saying the play was okay due to us downing it on the one is just as much hindsight as saying that it was bad because of Nakamura's screw up.

It was a bad call at the time due to percentages, regardless of outcome. It was a bad call if the punt returner fumbled it and we recovered. It was a bad call, full stop.

#59 jtm

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

Not attempting a 50 yard FG with a kicker that was brought in bc he had a huge leg with seconds left before the half, takes the cake.

#60 The Golden Child

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

Yup. totally agree.


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