Well Lane, yes-turd-day pretty much stunk, but, since I am always "In", I'll start off with the good.
1) Mike Williams was the Mike Williams that we all saw at USC in his Freshman year.
He made tough catch after tough catch to keep drives alive and his catch on the sideline is one that very few receivers in this League can make. I'm sure you know about the body control, receiving ability and height it takes to make that play and if he keeps this up, he will be a force in this League.
He and Daunte definitely have chemistry and he showed why he can be a very dangerous 3rd down threat.
He may be the steal of the 4th round. Heck, at 23 years old, he is the same age as some of the rookies that came into the League this year.
2) I loved the call on third and one to go deep down the sideline to Curry.
The play was set up by the runs that got us there, and that A-Mazing catch by Mike Williams.
I wish that we would have stuck to our guns and ran from the start against that psyched up crowd and defense and imposed our will a bit to set up the pass, like I said in my pre-game analysis. It sure worked on that drive.
3) The kick-off return team did a better job yesterday. It seemed like we started from the 30 yard line on every drive.
4) Thomas Howard is showing that he is becoming the All-Pro that we have seen blossoming over the past two years.
Maybe we can shoot our worthless safeties into the gaps and drop him into pass coverage. (More on that in the second segment)
5) When Daunte had time to throw he looked good. He also didn't look very comfortable in the offense at times yesterday. He burned two time-outs and got a delay of game penalty because the plays were not getting off in time. (I'm not sure if that was him, or the play not getting in on time)
He did listen to your advice about taking sacks instead of making bad passes. Although that did kill the scoring chance at the end of the first half. (More on that later)
6) More good news for Sea-Bass. He was NOT a goat yesterday. That makes three games in a row!!!
Now for the bad: (You may want to grab a cup of coffee for this one. It's going to take a while)
1) You need to box Rob Ryan's ears. Seriously.
I know that when you came in there were some who wanted Rob Ryan to assume the Head Coaching duties, I for one was NEVER one of those, and there was a feeling that the defense is his and the offense is yours.
Well, as the "Son of Monte", you know what good safety play is supposed to look like and you MUST know that you ARE NOT GETTING IT.
Stuart Schweigert, One of Rob's pets, has less instinct than a deaf, dumb and blind fish on dry land. And the fish even hits harder.
His reads are 3 seconds late and he doesn't have the speed to square anyone up.
You said that no one is on a scholarship, yet you continue to let Rob Ryan's pets enjoy the full ride.
Now that BJ Ward and Darius are gone, your second option is Hiram Eugene, ouch!!!
We've all seen Jarod Cooper try and play safety and you are asking for that same "Schwag-Fish" type of play, except this fish would be in the frying pan.
So, now you're stuck with a one trick pony with no tricks.
Call your dad and ask him to break down the film of yesterday's game as well as every game we've played and he'll tell you that they are attacking our safeties. And winning every time.
This Un-Dynamic Duo would not be complete without the Un-Inspired play of Michael "I'll Huff and I'll Puff and I'll BLOW" helping our safeties earn the title of worst starting duo in the NFL.
We all saw Charles Woodson go into the tank after 5 years. After reaching All-Pro status and being franchised year after year without getting the contract extension he wanted he began playing uninspired football and just sucked up salary cap space.
Well, Huff-Puff and Blow has reached that level from day one and has kept running with it. I don't know if it is the scheme or his heart.
I do know that when LT swept right yesterday and he took a dive instead of taking on a blocker and stuffing the gap I began, for the first time, to question his heart.
I know that BJ has a lot of swagger and a pretty big mouth, but he also plays with passion and was in the right place more often than not.
I wish you would have given him a real shot, instead of letting Rob's pet, "Schwag", ruin our defense.
So, now that the defense is not the "#3" or "#1" against the pass, with an asterisk, defense you need to stick the baseball pitching softy cone of a coordinator on notice.
If Ryan's Kid can't cut it, maybe Lane's Dad can!!!
I mean, don't you get the feeling that the entire defense was on scholarship because of last years, deflated numbers?
Don't you think there was an attitude of, "We're great, and the offense is terrible, so we get a hall pass"?
That needs to end!!!
2) This team WAS the #1 rushing team in the NFL and had all of the momentum after Curry's reception to the 1 yard line, so, why didn't we run, or atleast run a play action to the tight end like we did in the 4th quarter.
The weakness of this defense was in the middle of the field because they send their linebackers on every play. Thus, the TD to Miller in the 4th. So, why go wide with a stupid pass to the FB in the flat from the 1? With one timeout left, no less.
I know that you are a rookie, but, if you are going to come down on Daunte for not calling the right audibles and not knowing the play book then you need to own this one.
You don't stretch out this attacking defense, wide. You hit them with delays up the middle.
How many draws did we call yesterday?
How about a delay screen to the TE up the 0 gap?
Anyway, I am nowhere capable of coaching an NFL team, and you are doing a fine job for a rookie, I just have to point these things out because to me, the armchair quarterback, they are obvious.
3) Chris Carr is NOT a punt returner. With our blockers back and healthy, Johnnie Lee can be prolific punt returner. Stick with the kid.
4) Where were the passes to the tight ends and what happened to the running game yesterday?
In the 3 losses by San Diego, the Tight Ends of the opposition tallied, 16 catches for 193 yards and 3 TD's.
The opposition, which includes Green Bay, rushed 73 times for 312 yards, (Green Bay, 13 for 42 yards).
Our tight ends caught, 3 passes for 17 yards and a score, while a less than healthy LaMont Jordan got 23 carries for 53 yards and Fargas got only two touches for 10 yards.
Did you have a brain freeze?
Rhodes was healthy, Fargas was carrying the ball well, the middle of the field was open under their heavy pressure, and Jordan was going down on first contact like a crumpled old man with a bad back.
You Have to attack the middle of the field on San Diego. That makes the LB's stay home more and gives Daunte more time to pass and run the offense.
And where was Daunte's favorite target, John Madsen?
Also, by the way, Miller was overmatched by Phillps and Merriman, he needed help out there. The poor kid was on an island.
In short, I know that this team will be undergoing a lot of growing pains as it returns to greatness, and as a rookie head coach you are an easy target.
The pieces are in place (Except for safety), and as you learn, for the first time on any level, to master the duties of a head coach we will be left scratching our heads quite a bit, but we do support you and are "in" for the ride to the top.
Let's just set up the pass with the run next time, run some draws and don't let another injured player talk you into starting again. Please!!!
Oh yeah, take Slobby Robby to the woodshed too. Everyone needs a wake-up call every now and then.
I'll be out there cheering for the Silver and Black next Sunday, so bring us home a winner Lane.