Sunday, October 25, 2009

what's wrong

With each passing game it is becoming more and more obvious that Tim Tebow is pressing. He is a shadow of the player he was in 2007 and 2008. Don't talk to me about the concussion because he was playing the same way before that hit. He is just trying to do too much. Pressing is understandable with the loss of 2 wide receivers who are now starting in the NFL and the loss of 2 key offensive linemen, but something has to be corrected if this team expects to reach its ultimate goal.

Unfortunately the problem is compounded by the fact that the offensive is being coordinated by the inexperienced Steve Addazio, whose previously held the same position for a year at the offensive juggernaut Indiana. This is not to say that the offense hasn't had some success, because it has, nor I am saying that Addazio needs to be replaced because I don't think he does - remember last year when fans were calling for Mullen's head. Unfortunately, the offense is close to becoming a liability.

What I would do to fix the problem:

1. Tim is holding the ball way too long, which in turn is making the offensive line look much worse than it is actually playing. How else do you explain so many linemen grading out as champions - especially after the Arkansas game when Arkansas had 6 sacks? Sure there have been some breakdowns, but more often than not Tim's decision making has been slow if the first option is covered. Tim's first interception was an example of bad decision-making. To fix this problem, plays can be called that have a predetermined destination after the pre-snap read. Against MSU, the defensive backs were playing close to 10 yards off the receivers before the snap. What's wrong with throwing the ball quickly to Thompson or Cooper and letting them pick up an easy 5 yards?

2. Stop coming to the line, faking a snap count and then looking over to the sideline. I have to admit that I hate this part of our offense. Football is about reacting and right now it seems like the offense is thinking too much. Another example of over-thinking is the use of trick plays in the red zone. Typically you don't see more than one reverse or trick play in the red zone a season, this year we have both a reverse (to James) and a reverse pass (by Cooper). Just let our playmakers play.

3. Move Carl Johnson back to guard. If the purpose of this offense is to run up the middle, move Johnson back to the position that he dominated at last year - LG. Moving Johnson to LG would mean Mike Pouncey could go back to RG. Now we have our 3 best OL lining up at the guards and center. This would also help the pass game too, because all too often (the 2nd interception against MSU comes to mind) the pressure has come up the middle on passing plays. I understand that the question then becomes, who plays LT if Johnson moves to LG now that Patchan is hurt? But I am sure that the staff can figure this part of the equation out. From what I am hearing Xavier Nixon has really been coming on in practice, so why not give him a shot?

4. Remove Brandon James from the "Percy" position. While I love Brandon James in the return game, I am never happy when he is in the game when we have the ball. Percy had about 4 inches and 30lbs on James and James isn't effective in that position, nor is he a threat. I would move Demps into the "Percy" role - 5-10 runs, 5-10 catches. While Demps isn't as big as Percy was his second or third year, he is definitely a threat to score every time he touches the ball - just like Percy. This might also be what the team needs to get the "Jet Sweep" going again this year.

5. Stop sending Rainey up the middle. With Demps out against MSU, Rainey had one of his better games and most of his big runs were outside the tackles. Everyone has different running styles and Rainey excels off tackle and on sweeps. Rainey is not big enough for the rigors of running between the center and guard (like Moody), nor does he hit the hole quick enough (like Demps). Maybe it is best explained by saying that when Rainey runs, he glides, as opposed to Demps who hits the hole like he is coming out of the starting blocks.

6. When it is 3rd and short let someone else carry the load. The legend of Tim Tebow is becoming a burden to the legend himself. We have a running back in Moody that, if given the chance, can move the pile. Rather than heaping the burden of converting every short yardage play on Tebow, maybe it would do him some good, and in turn the team some good, to see someone else make a big short-yardage play. On the first 3rd and short against Georgia, I would line up with Tebow under center and Moody at tailback and give Moody the ball. If we did this, Gary Danielson might have to preform CPR on Verne Lundquist, so it could be a win-win.


Floridan said...

Good post.

Is Meyer too stubborn to make changes from what he and his staff consider to be the things that "should" work?

Also, Emmanuel Moody is an underused asset. Even if you run Tebow on 3d and short, having Moody in the backfield will give the defense something to think about.

Andrew said...

"If we did this, Gary Danielson might have to preform CPR on Verne Lundquist, so it could be a win-win."

Classic... lol

Unknown said...

Well said.

I have been yelling exactly the same thing about items 4-5-6 since the start of the season.