There's a lot of obvious improvement, so much so that even the media has been forced to do a double take. Here's a few subtle occurrences I've noticed that are indicative, even if symbolic, of an improved team. Not everything is quantifiable.
- Carr executed two successful QB sneaks like a pro. He has been one of the worst at QB sneaks in the past, as recent as last week's Ravens game. Carr's average QB sneak looks like he is riding a stationary bike. Against the Steelers, he got super low and blasted forward and seemed to enjoy it all. He might have driven a stake through the self preservation version of himself.
- On Henry Ruggs deep TD pass, I bet you didn't notice something- He was off the line. As we know, Ruggs is still working to consistently defeat press man. At Alabama, he played off the line often. This allows him to avoid the press and build into his speed. We need more of these over route concepts with Ruggs specifically.
- Carr passed for 382 yards. Darren Waller, our #1 receiving target who we force fed last week only accounted for 65 of those yards. This is it, this is what we have been striving for. No playing favorites, no mistrust. A hell of a message to opposing defenses.
- The clock management at the end of regulation going into overtime last week was expertly handled by Gruden. What I am noticing this year is that while still a spitfire, Gruden is not making emotional decisions as he has in the past.
- Perhaps the most significant sign of all that things have changed, Carr repeatedly read from high to low. Not a few times, repeatedly.
Read these tea leaves, we aren't just hoping and praying.