By The Sports Consigliere
Sometimes I can't help but wonder what is so hard about life as an NFL coach.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't discredit that they have a hard job and it takes a lot of preparation in the week leading up to the game. However, I find myself scratching my head at situations that really don't seem that difficult, yet still get screwed up.
It would be easy to throw someone like Herm Edwards under the bus for going for the win vs. San Diego. When Shannahan does it and succeeds, it's a gutsy call. When Edwards fails, it was the wrong decision. I don't fault the choice and as Herm says, "you play to win the game."
There have been 2 scenarios over the past week that I just can't seem to comprehend.
The first situation came on Monday night as the 49ers drove down the field for the win.
Shaun Hill was doing a remarkable job hooking up with his playmakers and got the ball all the way down to the 2-yard line. As they begin to change out their package, I can't help but wonder why they didn't just spike the ball. They get the goal line group in and catch them off guard by running…a spike??? What kind of clock mismanagement leads to wasting 25 seconds while switching out personnel only to spike the ball anyway?
So there they sit, a few feet from a victory with enough time to call any play. They choose a run with Frank Gore and he comes up just shy. While the play is under review, Martz and Co. had plenty of time to come up with a genius call that would lead to the game winning score with no time left on the clock.
The ball is placed down and the clock begins to tick. Hill is set for what will surely be some sort of bootleg that gives him a run/pass option. He takes the snap and runs a dive to Michael Robinson?!?!
If I'm calling plays for a team that has a mobile quarterback, a great RB, some decent wide receivers and a solid TE, I'm certainly not running a dive with my backup running back.
Is it really that hard?
The 2nd scenario happened just last night.
The New York Jets defensive backs did a great job of shutting Randy Moss down, all night long. Well, almost all night long.
Through the first 59 minutes and 52 seconds, the Jets had bumped, jammed and annoyed Moss as he tried to release from the line. They would stand him up for the first couple of yards and by that time, Moss simply didn't feel like finishing his route. You could see it on every snap during the final New England dive.
There was no way that the Jets were going to allow Moss to run by them and get room to roam. So why would they change that strategy on the last play? What would make you think that it was suddenly a good time to give him a 7-yard cushion?
About 7 seconds after I starred at the top of my screen and wondered why he wasn't being jammed, the game was tied.
Being that the Jets went on to win in OT, most people will forget that play. I'll continue to wonder if it's really that hard.