On Sunday morning, Simms spoke with Francesa on the NFL Now.
1) His remarks on how Arizona gameplanned the Eagles were once again a reminder of some of the failings of Gilbrown.
Simms said it was a (paraphrased) clinic on how to playcall and gameplan vs. blitz and pressure. “Perfect.”
6 screens called, maybe 7. The Cardinals were 5 for 6, or 6 for 7. 1TD and many (5?) first downs picked up with those screens.
Got a first down on 3rd and 18 when Warner hits a backside SLANT.
What they did NOT do? They did not go deep! Except for the fleaflicker, they were patient underneath. They waited. They built the whole game on PHL’s pressure and blitz. Rutledge, Grimm, Haley, Whisenhunt, Carthon… between all of them, they had enough brainpower to figure out how to beat the predictable pressure of PHL.
2) Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner will both (likely) end up in the Hall of Fame. Warner has it all but sewed up, Roethlisberger (at his implied pace) will do it too. Says Warner throws the ball better now than when he was playing in St. Louis and the Rams beat the Titans. His hand strength wasn’t what it once was, he went to the glove. He learned, he worked, he improved and over time he got better. Giants Stadium was not built for Warner.
3) On the Roethlisberger-Whisenhunt relationship, how they did not get along when in Pittsburgh… Simms speculates it was a difference of opinion on how to get it done. Whisenhunt was the Offensive Coordinator, he did the job, his offense got it done. The QB takes orders from his coaches. Period. And obviously Whisenhunt has called it well. Simms went a step further, reminding everyone that it was Cowher himself who gave credit to his assistants, that Cowher was the conservative one who had his assistants telling him that they needed to be aggressive in the playoffs. Simms went out of his way to make a point of this, that this was an important message for ALL COACHES: YOU CANNOT BE CONSERVATIVE IN THE PLAYOFFS.
4) Simms very positive on Rex Ryan. handles the players, forceful but not to the point of irritation. Like Parcells. He drives his players, but not so far that they stop playing for him. Players like him, they believe in him. Rex Ryan will give the players plenty of reasons to like (playing for) him.
ULTIMATENYG comments: (1) Simms gets it, time and again. You heard the Gilbrown criticisms here first. Carl Banks corroborated them indirectly AND directly. And now Simms offers more evidence by noting the screen calls. (2) Re conservative playcalling, that is the Marty Schottenheimer/Herm Edwards method. What works during the regular season does not work in the postseason? Why? Because if you play conservatively during the regular season and emphasize not beating yourself, the hapless teams will implode in front of you and you will win enough times to get to the postseason… but NOW what do you do once you are in the tournament? Do you play a style that waits for the opponent to implode, or do you go out and take the game to THEM? Playoff teams are consistently more disciplined and will be using far more concentration than you saw in the regular season. They will not make the mistakes you saw and feasted off of in October. Interesting how it took Cowher CHANGING in order to finally break through. So we look back in retrospect and learn that Cowher’s win in the post season was because of aggressiveness and his losses were due to conservatism. What does that say about the offensive gameplan vs the Eagles, as well?!