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1st Quarter (Games 1-4) Review

 
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ThatTitansFan


Joined: 02 May 2012
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: 1st Quarter (Games 1-4) Review Reply with quote

Well, we're through with the hardest part of our schedule by far. Unfortunately we're 1-3. Circumstances cause some of that- we're very young, this is our first full offseason to install our systems, and we're starting a new QB. By default, it would have been a lot better to play these teams at the end of the year than at the beginning.

The Good
1. Locker has looked worthy of a starting spot- His game against Detroit was the only standout one, but he played fine against both New England and San Diego. Most importantly, he didn't make stupid throws. Unfortunately, our run game was crap until today, and Damian Williams rediscovered his ability to drop balls. Asking a first year starter to come in and throw 70% of the time is not a good situation, but he made it work against Detroit. Hopefully when he returns CJ will not have fallen back into suckage. A balanced offense will go a long way for this team.
2. Palmer's system is looking better each week. He seems to be making adjustments to our opponents and to the strengths of our own players. It looked like he did a good job of getting CJ in the right run situations, and we actually made it work today. Unfortunately, Hass did not play well.
3. DLine actually creates pressure! Again, this isn't enough. First and foremost, we aren't defending the mid-range quick passes, so the fact that our Dline can get pressure is negated by QBs just tossing 3 and 5 step drops.
4. Zach Brown, Wright (except for today), Mike Martin, et. all have looked good. It seems like this years rookie class might come close to what last year's did.
5. The Run game looks better every game. Who knows, maybe it'll stay good from now on. Its clear it was a total mess against the Pats, real bad against SD, mediocre against the Lions, and good today. An upward trend is better than a downward one.

The Bad
1. Jerry Gray seems to have his head stuck up his [inappropriate/removed]. That's all I have to say at this point. His belief seems to be "if it doesn't work, just keep doing it".
2. Witherspoon just looks terrible. Especially subbing in at MLB. We're back to the Steven Tulloch "hang out 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage and then make a tackle" days. McCarthy was a revelation last year because he actually HIT THE GAPS! Which brings me to my next point-
3. Injuries- McCarthy out is real bad for the D. Marks out for two games. Locker playing with an injured shoulder, and now probably out for a few weeks. Britt with a bad ankle. Cook with a bad shoulder. Washington out for a game and slightly hobbled. Honestly, could our injuries hit more important players?
4. Lack of Effort- especially today. I was disgusted by the second half, especially at the WRs. Williams and Wright seemed to lack any intensity or focus after Locker went out. Maybe that's a function of trying to adapt to Hass, but come on.
5. CJ does not seem to have his head on straight. First 3 games, and two plays today, were just filled with self-sabotage. Running sideways for no reason, choosing bad holes, avoiding contact, low intensity, dropping passes. Please, please, please let today be the rest of the season for him. One or two dumb choices, but otherwise a well played game.

So there we are. Praying that Locker and McCarthy make it back to 100% real fast (by the Steelers game preferably) and that Hass can win in the interim. We're seeing a lot of good signs from the Offense. Every week seems like another piece is coming online. If all that can get pulled together, we can be really scary. Gray is continually letting me down. Today was just mediocre all the way through. I'll give him a C-. But second half last week was a flat out F, week 1 against Pats was a D, and San Diego was another C-(although 2nd and 3rd quarter was a B).

We just can't be so damn Vanilla on defense. The one time we really mix it up, and go bump and run, we shut down a pretty deadly offense. Palmer has been creative, showed a lot of interesting stuff. Some of it didn't work, but at least he's experimenting and trying. Gray is just being stubborn, and it's really costing us. When we blitzed a lot against SD, we shut them down for 2 wuarters. 1st half against Lions we go bump and run. Both worked!

Ok guys, here's my prediction. 9-7 or 8-8 and miss playoffs. If we play the Steelers without Locker, I can't see us winning. If we had him at health, I think we take that and sneak into the playoffs at 10-6. We really do have an easy schedule from here out.

Also, subtract a win for every 1.5 games Locker misses. Hass is nice and all, but we don't have a consistent run game, and he just doesn't have the arm strength to utilize our talent. Combine that with Jerry Gray and I just don't see things working out.
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Dionysus


Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 1728
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject: Re: 1st Quarter (Games 1-4) Review Reply with quote

ThatTitansFan wrote:
Well, we're through with the hardest part of our schedule by far. Unfortunately we're 1-3. Circumstances cause some of that- we're very young, this is our first full offseason to install our systems, and we're starting a new QB. By default, it would have been a lot better to play these teams at the end of the year than at the beginning.

The Bad
1. Jerry Gray seems to have his head stuck up his [inappropriate/removed]. That's all I have to say at this point. His belief seems to be "if it doesn't work, just keep doing it".

So there we are. Praying that Locker and McCarthy make it back to 100% real fast (by the Steelers game preferably) and that Hass can win in the interim. We're seeing a lot of good signs from the Offense. Every week seems like another piece is coming online. If all that can get pulled together, we can be really scary. Gray is continually letting me down. Today was just mediocre all the way through. I'll give him a C-. But second half last week was a flat out F, week 1 against Pats was a D, and San Diego was another C-(although 2nd and 3rd quarter was a B).

We just can't be so damn Vanilla on defense. The one time we really mix it up, and go bump and run, we shut down a pretty deadly offense. Palmer has been creative, showed a lot of interesting stuff. Some of it didn't work, but at least he's experimenting and trying. Gray is just being stubborn, and it's really costing us. When we blitzed a lot against SD, we shut them down for 2 wuarters. 1st half against Lions we go bump and run. Both worked!


I don't disagree with any of your other assessments both good and bad, but the defense has been, by far, my greatest aggravation to this point. As you can see by everything in bold text, I've made it no secret about my displeasure with Jerry Gray's playcalling and questionable/ill-advised "adjustments", along with our defense in general. I like the idea of his philosophy when he came in, and love the young talent he drafted to fit his schemes. But I just don't get it. We got the players and we've shown how dominant we can be when we're actually aggressive, but we play on our heels, still use schemes that don't work and put our players in positions where they can't make plays. Our zone defense is not only weak, but grossly ridiculous the way we run it. And our open field tackling is just downright laughable (to other teams). Our defense is giving up 38 points per game, along with unimpressive yardage stats. I think NOW is the time for Munchak to pull Gray to the side and call him out on all of this. We shouldn't go another week with pathetic play like this. I find it to be completely inexcuseable. No defense should look this bad, not even in "Pop Warner" football.

QUESTION: How the Hell can we seriously call ourselves trying to be real contenders when we're giving up close to 40 points a game, and making nobody's (let alone elite players) look like All-Pros against our zone defense?

That's a question the coaching staff need to ask themselves.

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