A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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Cake or Death?

Hold On - Let Go

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Wearing shorts today. It's wet, rainy and generally ugly in beautiful downtown Chester, VA today, high of around 80, but I'm wearing shorts.

Ask me why.

(assuming you asked me here) Because I am not ready for summer to end! I love the beach, love vacations, love lazy hot days (not crazy about the Virginian humidity, but it could be worse), and I'm not ready for fall. Granted, I LOVE fall too. My job takes me over into Highland and Bath Counties from time to time, and I usually plan a trip out there right at the height of the leaves turning, and there is nothing like seeing nothing but the most brilliant reds, yellows and oranges uninterrupted as far as the eye can see. Can't wait!

I really love the end of summer because of hope. Each year I get sucked into the Redskins, and lately, with a few exceptions, I have not been much rewarded. Usually, the hope of summer is replaced by the realism of fall fairly quickly.

So I am wearing shorts today. Allow me to hold on to summer for just a few more days.

Yes, I know. I will accept reality soon. But I wonder if others will?

For instance, our coaching staff seems bound and determined to hold on to the 3-4 defense. They seem convinced that Andre Carter playing in space is a good thing. Why do they hold on to these things?

I have a very good friend who was born in Oklahoma, and is a rabid OU fan. After a stop here in Richmond, where we got to know him and his lovely family, they moved to Massachusetts a couple of years ago. We talk on the phone at least once a week during the football season. This means I get yelled at once a week during the football season by my wife, as somehow, the topic of conversation never varies from football to what my wife considers to be more important: how their kids are doing, what's his wife up to these days, etc. I considered adding a poll to this to see what you all think about my conversating skills, but am pretty sure I know the answer.

Anyway, he is not a fan of the Pats, and instead gets to watch from the vantage point of a dis-interested outsider. After the Pats lost to the Jets last week, we talked about the game. I watched the second half, and saw the stats for the whole game, noticing that Dustin Keller put up ungodly numbers in the second half, and that Belichick refused to adjust his defense accordingly. From where I sat, had he moved a safety down to help, Keller would have been safely removed from the equation, and the Pats probably win that game.

Now I am not enough of a football person to know if the Pats have the personnel for that move, or if there was something else Belichick was taking away. But Keller shredded them in the second half, and Belichick didn't adjust. So my friend, Ryan and I discussed why that happened. His theory is that Belichick is arrogant. His scheme has always worked in the past to very good result, albeit not lately, and once the players he has on the roster today "get it", the D will pick up. Apparently, it is an incredibly complex 3-4 defense that you can not learn through the film room or practice field, only through experience.

Ryan talked about the vitriol that was and is being spewed in New England about how stubborn and arrogant Belichick is, and how he should adjust to his personnel.

I agreed with him.

I still do, sort of.

Part of being a coach is learning when to fight your battles, right? I would like to have seen Haslett and Shanahan come in and announce they were going to make the change to the 3-4. Eventually. When the pieces were in place. It may take a couple of years, but we would be committed to it. In the meantime, we could run some sort of hybrid as we made the adjustments. Wouldn't that have worked? I mean, say what you will about Greg Blache (I've said more than my fair share), but we were a very good defense last year. I know, I know we didn't force turnovers, and no one is excited more than me that we are doing so now. Still, you can't deny that we were good last year.

This year? Uh, no.

But we can't change an entire scheme midstream, can we? Aren't we committed now?

I love the show Friday Night Lights. DOW (Dear Ole' Wifey) says it's a man-soap. Whatever. Just a good show. Anyway, Coach Taylor makes mid-game adjustments from time to time, and last season (season 4) made an in season adjustment to run more of a wildcat offense (go ahead and mock me for being a dork, it's fine. Obviously the DOW does it, so I'm used to it). It worked and they won a few extra games on a very bad team.

Anyway, I'm not sure that is the rule in real life on an NFL team. Maybe it is in some situations. Look at Andy Reid and Mike Vick. Pretty big adjustment. There is a big part of me that wants to yell at the coaches to adjust to the personnel we have right now. But if this is something they are committed to, maybe we have to see it through?

Doesn't mean we have to like it though.

By the way, as a (potentially) happy side-note, all of you who are predicting doom and gloom for the next 4 games, chil-ax (my 13 year old rolls her eyes every time I say this and tells me NOONE ever says that, but I think she's wrong. So there). We all agree that the Skins play up and down to the competition. Given how strong our competition is the next few weeks, we may actually see a strong Skins team coming up.

So stop holding on - let go!
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