The Defense, despite their conservative DC, "John of the impacted bowel", did an excellent job in the trenches. Dick Seymour and Big John Henderson played as tough as any Titan; Lamar Houston, Matt Shaughnessy and Trevor Scott held their own in the trenches. I have nothing, thus far, but admiration for Mike Wauffle and his DL, our DL.
The Cell Block played well too: LBs San Quentin, Death Ro, and Warden Wimbly carried out their assignments with only a few gaffs and improved on getting free of blockers and debris to get to the ball - as a group, they led in tackles as is proper Our DBs Asomugha and Routt also did their part to win the game.
But we lost, and lost badly. So, what went wrong? We know. On defense the Safeties blew coverage and missed tackles. Tyvon Branch, I'm guessing, played the worst game of his life, for despite his 6 tackles, Branch blew coverage resulting in two TDs. The fist was a 56 yard strike to Nate Washington when Tyvon left him to chase after some distraction (I watched the game at Ricky's and when that play occurred, Routt (as usual) got the blame) Then Branch missed that tackle on Chris Johnson near the LOS that would have prevented that 76-yard touchdown run; next he was beat by the Titan TE Scaife on the 26 yard TD.
Many will wonder why I'm dwelling on Branch. It's because I've noticed a trend that disturbs me, I've listened as certain players are praised despite their performances. Players like Jason Campbell, who like Branch, are given a free pass despite their performance. These "entitled players" (Dick Seymour was among them last year, having 4 or 5 poor games after Philadelphia that drew no censor) are exempted from criticism. Seymour is making up - big time - for his lax play during mid-season last year. But, now, the same trend is occurring with Jason Campbell whose shown only a couple of opening preseason drives. Cable promised open competition at every position, including QB; yet, with all those substitutions on Sunday (six starters) he did not substitute the struggling QB. Why was that? What was preventing him from letting Gradkowski play the second half? Bruce came in for Campbell against SF and quickly threw two TDs and galvanized the team last year, when it was in chaos, and he did it with the same offensive line that Campbell struggled all day with (except when handing or dumping off to Darren McFadden).
The fact is, we have tremendous talent on this team - top 10 talent - but weak, unimaginative coaching and a few weak-link players on both sides undermining and hindering us.
The Offensive Line must be immediately overhauled. Veldheer would make a great Center in time but we need him now at LT. Gallery or Loper remain at LG, Satele must come back to C, Soup Campbell and Langston are best at RG (and Cooper Carlisle should create an opening on the roster), Khaliff Barnes should play RT (unless Veld and he switch).
The Safety play is critical with our style of defense (Tampa 2), bring in Mitchell and Stevie Brown. Trade Huff and bench or rotate Branch. Tyvon is fast but constantly out of position and having to chase after. Hiram Eugene isn't great but he's smart, a good athlete and always near the ball. We need smart as well as tough and fast men at Safety ... and it doesn't matter if they are young if they learn quickly and have good instincts (think Stevie Brown).
Jackson must adjust his play calling to the limitations of the o-line and the QB. Long routes with a porous line and slow witted QB, albeit with a good arm, won't work - we need to involve JLH and Nick Miller in slants, button hooks, quick outs. Don't hesitate to bring in Grad. It won't shatter the psyche of Jason (but even if it does, tough shit, that's football Huey.
Marshall, use your OLBs for blitzing more often but keep Death Ro at home in the middle much of our trouble could be avoided by keeping the Stud at home in the middle.
I hope this helps.