Showing posts with label football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label football. Show all posts

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chuck Noll, RIP

Chuck Noll / Coach who led Steelers to 4 Super Bowl titles
Jan. 5, 1938 - June 13, 2014

Success was never a destination for Chuck Noll. It was not a road that had an ending, rather always a new beginning. It was a journey, a path that never allowed for complacency or made room for satisfaction. Along the way, the lesson he instructed was always the same, whether it was life or football: Getting to the top is not nearly as difficult as staying there.

No head coach in National Football League history has ever enjoyed as much success as Charles Henry Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowl trophies. And he did it in a six-year span of the 1970s in which the Steelers, the franchise he transformed from doormat to dynasty, became one of the most dominating teams of any NFL era.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Now I hope the the Jets go 0 and 16

Rex Ryan takes shot at Tim Tebow with false Eric Decker stat

As for Rex’s phony stat — that seems like it was more about taking a shot at Tebow than it was pumping up Decker. That just goes to show you how much Ryan enjoyed his time with the Florida Gators legend.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Regimentation and adaptability

Insight from Gen. Stanley McChrystal:

When I got to the Ranger Regiment as a young captain, I was retaught all of the fundamentals of being a soldier: how to hold my weapon, how to pack my ruck, how to tie my shoes. The focus on fundamentalsdoing simple things the right waywas all consuming. But there was a reason for it that went beyond just discipline. A Ranger in combat knows exactly where the medical kit is in his ruck. And he knows where it is in his buddy’s ruck, too. The fundamentals were always in place. Predictability drives adaptability.
I find this interesting on many levels. First, we are prone to think that regimentation leads to sluggishness and pig-headness. Yet here is an accomplished strategist and leader telling us that the opposite is true.

The key thing, it seems, is that the right fundamentals must be identified. After decades of combat, the Rangers know what matters. I wonder if most civilian organizations can say the same thing?
As the combat trainers say, when it hits the fan, you don’t rise to the occasion, you default to your training. On a more trivial note, many coaches could benefit from the Ranger way of doing things. I once heard one of Lombardi old players (I think Jerry Kramer) decrying way the things are now done in the NFL. Players, he said, “were over-coached and under-practiced.” He was not calling for a return to four-a-day practices. His point was that coaches were constantly expecting players to master new plays instead of  having them thoroughly master the fundamentals of their position. (Fundamentals, there is that word again.)

Nearly every NFL game I watch I see a handful of beautifully designed plays (over-coached) which fail because one or more players messes up his assignment (under-practiced).

OTOH, that does give the coach an out. He might not win, but everyone knows who blew his assignment, dropped the ball, or drew the penalty.

Some of the really great coach--Lombardi, Shula, Woodenwere fundamental fanatics. Funny that so few other coaches emulate these winners.

Something I read once from a Spec Ops guy: “Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong."

Sunday, February 09, 2014


"Tim Tebow was a big winner on Sunday night," said Amy Beamer, whose website analyzes Super Bowl ads and polls viewers on the approval ratings of the commercials. "I don't think anybody going into Sunday night would have thought Tim Tebow would have a better night than Peyton Manning."
RTWT for some good questions about the NFL and its coaches

Monday, February 03, 2014

“No plan survives contact with the enemy” or “Why Denver lost”

From Cold Hard Football Facts:

It all leads us to one big conclusion: sexy offenses like the 2013 Denver Broncos tend to build their portfolio by beating up bad defenses.

Then when the season gets late, when they've consumed a little too much success and suddenly have to negotiate a speed trap of great defenses, these offenses look like your prom date after she disappeared with the guys from the hockey team for an hour: weathered, glassy eyed and not so hot.
For me the biggest surprise in the Super Bowl was that Denver really seemed to believe that they could beat Seattle with the same game plan that worked against San Diego and New England. In those games as throughout the regular season, the Broncos excelled in turning 4 yard passes into 10 yard gains.

Halfway through the first quarter it was clear that a four yard pass was going to be a four yard gain against the Seahawk defense,

This was not a surprise exactly--anyone who watched the Seahawks knew their D was fast and rallied to the ball.

It was a surprise that Manning and Fox apparently did not appreciate this.

The second surprise was that Denver had no Plan B when it was clear that the original game plan was not working

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Football fuss

Ace of Spades:

America Shocked to Learn Professional Athletes Gin Themselves Up Into War Fever and Then Trash-Talk Opponents
Iowa Hawk:

These low class NFL players need to stop the trash talk, and get back to suffering crippling injuries for my entertainment.

The evolution of football

Steve Sailer:

The Flynn Effect of NFL Passing
The rules have obviously opened the door for high-scoring offenses with Bill Walsh being the great innovator.

Another factor is coaching philosophy: High scoring teams are built to maximize their output when things go well.

Ron Jaworski:

With some teams, the difference between their first-string and back-up quarterback isn't that much, but if your number one guy is a superstar, its an entirely different story. One time, Jon Gruden and I were attending a Colts practice before one of our ESPN games, and we were standing next to their offensive coordinator, Tom Moore. Tom is 'old school' in every sense of the word. He's been in the NFL for over thirty years and has signaled in every play call of Peyton Manning's career. As we watched, we were surprised to see Manning taking virtually all the reps in the session. Jon asked Tom why he wasn't giving some snaps to Peyton's backups. Moore is a man of few words, but when he talks, thos ewords carry weight. He looked us both in the eye, paused for a moment, then said in that gravelly voice of his, 'Fellas, if "18" goes down, we're fucked. And we don't practice fucked.'
With Manning in 2010 the Colt's won 10 games. When Manning missed the 2011 season, they went 2-14. With new franchise quarterback Andrew Luck they bounced back to 11-5 in 2012.

Really old school coaches like Don Shula built their teams for resilience when things went badly. Shula twice took teams to the Super Bowl when forced to play most of the season with his back-up quarterback. In his undefeated 1972 season, Earl Morrall, not Bob Griese, started a majority of Miami's 17 victories.

Monday, January 20, 2014

An apparently unspeakable truth

The New England Patriots have not won a Super Bowl since the NFL made them stop cheating.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

John Ziegler still makes sense

Surprisingly, this time he gets a fair hearing

See interview here.

Q: Just recently one of the attorneys on the case in the attorney general’s office asked that, and he said, “Based on the evidence, they said, ‘Did Joe Paterno cover this up?’” and he said, “Absolutely not, and I’m basing that off of the evidence.”

A:Right. Frank Fina, the lead prosecutor in the Sandusky case, said to CBS that Joe Paterno was not involved in a cover up. And I believe he said that because of the very interview that I had with his office that I released in my book where Joe Paterno makes it clear that he was not involved in any sort of cover up. He was not even in the loop of the final decision as to what to do with Sandusky. But what really gets me about this Paterno thing is had no motive to engage in a cover up. In fact he would have been a hero had he been the person who put Jerry Sandusky behind bars. And, by the way, sometimes we miss the most obvious truths in a story this complex: without Joe Paterno’s testimony, not only did Curly and Shultz not get indicted, but I believe that not even Jerry Sandusky gets indicted because no one would be backing up Mike McQueary’s testimony, they would be going up against Jerry Sandusky without any witnesses. So Joe Paterno is a large part of the reason that Jerry Sandusky is in jail today. That’s No. 1. The first article about Joe Paterno by Sara Ganim, who won a Pulitzer Prize, which she didn’t deserve in this case, November 5, 2011, has a headline, “Joe Paterno Praised for His Reaction to Child Sex Abuse Suspicions.” The reality is that Joe Paterno did exactly what he was supposed to do.

Fighting the narrative

Most of the MSM has been happy to let Chris Kluwe play the victim card even to the point of amplifying his harsh accusations against his former coaches (AKA the guys who cut him).

A couple of brave souls have the temerity to look at the facts instead of relying on self-serving agit-prop:

A Rebel Without a Kluwe

Crybaby Kluwe: Gay-Marriage Stance Cost Me My Job
Bottom line: Kluwe was old, expensive, and mediocre. Hundreds of NFL players fit that category each year and get their walking papers.

Deadspin and its media echoes decided to ignore Occam's Razor so they can use Kluwe to fight "homophobia" in the NFL.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Epitaph for a wasted season

Hazy coaching calls darken Steelers' poor season

But it's not far less than astounding that with a 28-24 lead in the fourth quarter, on a snow-covered field, the Steelers' play-calls went, pass, pass, pass, pass, run, pass on one possession. Then pass, run, pass, pass, pass on a second.

That's against a Miami defense ranked 25th against the run.

These are matters Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II have plenty of time to analyze between here and next September, as nothing looms urgently in between.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

L. C. Greenwood, R.I.P

Gone, but not forgotten

L.C. Greenwood
I still think Greenwood belongs in the Hall of Fame for all the reasons noted here:

Why the Hall of Fame is becoming a joke

Hall of Fame

Pro Football Hall of Fame
The "official" NFL record for career sacks in the Super Bowl is 4.5 (held by Charles Haley* in five Games.) The single game record is 3.0 set by Reggie White against Drew Bledsoe and new England in SB XXXI.

Greenwood sacked Roger Staubach four times in SB X and once in SB XIII. But he is not in the record book because sacks were not an official record in the seventies.

*Haley also belongs in the HoF. Hey, five rings should be trumps.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pat Summerall RIP

NFL won't ever quite be the same

The NFL forever lost part of its voice on Tuesday, as Pat Summerall passed away at the age of 82. The lead Sunday play-by-play man for CBS and later FOX, Summerall built a legacy that included a record 16 Super Bowls behind the mic and a part of perhaps sports’ greatest broadcasting duo. Along with longtime partner John Madden and NFL Films’ John Facenda, Summerall will be remembered as one of the three voices most associated with professional football.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Smart analysis you won't hear on ESPN

Tim Tebow Could Have Saved 5 GMs, 7 Coaches And 9 Teams

Seven coaches and five general managers were fired on Black Monday, the day after the 2012 regular season came to an end.

A total of nine teams canned one, the other, or both.

Tim Tebow could have saved any one of these jobs – if only these coaches and GMs had the nuggets to stand up to tired old conventional wisdom and had the common statistical sense to acquire and put on the field the most misunderstood quarterback in the game today.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Here is an hour-long interview with the author of the new biographer of Joe Paterno
WITF "Smart Talk"

The author does yeoman's work trying to clear up some of the major factual errors that lie at the heart of the prevailing narrative.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Joe Paterno and the Freeh Report

The media narrative is running far in front of the known facts. Powerline has several excellent posts:

The case against Joe Paterno: Weak to non-existent on the current record

I am aware that a consensus exists that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno acted improperly in connection with Penn State’s response to allegations of child molestation committed by one-time assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. This consensus led to the removal of a statue of Paterno, whose contributions to Penn State as a coach and financial contributor were enormous.

The consensus emerged from the report of Louis Freeh regarding Penn State’s actions related to the sexual abuse committed by Sandusky. But a friend of mine — a top-notch lawyer and former federal prosecutor — has carefully reviewed the Freeh Report. He concludes that the Report does not establish wrongdoing by Joe Paterno. Having now looked at the Freeh Report, I agree.

The case against Joe Paterno, Part Two

Unfortunately, I suspect that the journalists and talking heads who reported that Freeh’s report contains new, damaging evidence regarding Paterno read only the first part of the report. Once one reads the actual evidence, I think it becomes clear that the case against Paterno remains (for now) what it was before Freeh started investigating — that he should have done more, not that he concealed misconduct out of a bad motive. The more damning case that Freeh wants to make is based on speculation, not evidence.

The Freeh report challenged

Twenty-nine former chairs of the Penn State faculty Senate have blasted Louis Freeh and the NCAA in connection with their actions in response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal. As to Freeh’s report, they state: “On a foundation of scant evidence, the report adds layers of conjecture and supposition to create a portrait of fault, complicity, and malfeasance that could well be at odds with the truth.”

Monday, December 05, 2011

Good Point

Tebow’s Religion, and Ours

In short, people aren’t upset at Tebow’s God talk. They’re upset that he might actually believe it.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Quarterback Ratings

It is always dangerous to compare players using the popular statistics compiled by the NFL. Cold Hard Football Facts shows why with this look at quarterback ratings and strength of schedule.

I wish there was a way we could make the football "analysts" read CHFF each week before they were allowed on the air.