Many beat writers in the NY media yesterday kept harping on Fewell’s recent press interview statement on how they were “going to get after Rodger’s a**.”
They openly applauded Fewell for calling out his players for not bringing it and giving up on plays. We won’t dispute that or disagree with him, wrt most of the players on the defensive side of the ball. But let’s look more into the crux of his statements specifically with the following:
“Sometimes you have to will yourself to win. You can’t always scheme an opportunity for them to come free. … Sometimes you just have to beat blockers, you have to beat a double-team. I’ve seen that many times. Some of our guys are able to beat double-teams and we just haven’t been doing that.”
This leads us to believe that Fewell feels the players are more to blame, but not his schemes and game planning. Again, we can’t dispute the lack of effort and heart by some of the players. But could it be the confidence level in what they are being asked to do?
We understand that you cannot scheme for everything. Favorable 1 on 1 matchups aren’t working in your favor lately, Mr. Fewell. Maybe you need to figure out how to generate more favorable 1 on 1 matchups in addition to stunts, blitzes and disguising.
The elite QB’s are extremely adept at reading and analyzing defensive schemes at the line of scrimmage. But let’s look back to the Patriots game versus one of the elite NFL QBs. In that game on several occasions they showed blitz before the snap and then after the snap they backed into coverage. That was one of the plays where Kiwi got an interception of a deflection from Boley over the middle. Disguise, disguise, disguise. Be unpredictable. How many of you believe he will go with a base of cover 3 or 2 and sprinkle in man/press less than 25% of the time? How many times do we see a predictable 3 man rush on 3rd and very long? NFL, in the 21st century, is all about finding and creating the best 1 on 1 matchups to your advantage. It is a lot more than a 20th century mindset where “sometimes you have to will yourself (and) just beat the blockers” in front of you. He is delusional and feels they aren’t executing his predictable and toothless schemes. Read his entire interview: Fewell at Giants.com.
Finally, we have discussed on this blog how it is a coach’s job, just like any manager in the business world, to leverage the talent you have. Put them in the best position to succeed while masking their weaknesses. Antrel Rolle, as an example, has been asked to step in and step up in certain roles/schemes in this defense that are not his strengths. It’s not just this year but goes back to the 2010 season. Our guru, Wonder really likes Rolle on the field, sees how he can handle the big TE PHYSICALLY, how he is a secondary guy who does not mind mixing it up physically on the field. To quote Andy: “I have to believe that it does boil down to schemes too, that a Belichick or a Ryan or a Spags would put this guy in a position to succeed. I always feel that these alpha guys like Rolle are great if you have the type of coach who can connect with them. The difference between the Parcells/Ryan types and the Coughlin types is that the first set knows how to communicate with these hotheads so that they just go out and play. While the second type do not communicate, they are rigid, they do not want to listen to feedback, they know what is better, they do not connect, the player starts to lose interest because he is (truly, on an elemental level) not being respected, and the performance ultimately gets killed. How can it be that “Star” Keyshawn is a hothead jerk with Al Groh. Parcells comes in and now Keyshawn is doing what he is supposed to be doing… and fast forward to him becoming a disciplinary problem in 2004 with Gruden (a year after a title) and then suffers? You have to relate to these players and ask them what they want to do. It may seem like kowtowing, but on an elementary level it is simple respect for their skills, to want to plug them in in ways that they will be able to excel. You show them a modicum of respect. Explain to them that they can’t always do that but that you will sincerely try to do some of that. LT was a tremendous player for Parcells and he may have been DEAD and out of football with a different coach. Parcells let the partying go on as long as LT was ready on Sunday. That was the deal he made with him. LT said, ok, I will hold myself to that deal, that is fair, and they worked well with each other. Could you ever imagine Coughlin relating to his players on this level? Puhleeez. The Rules guy? Yep, right, zero chance!” But to give credence to LT when Handley came in, LT was stuck with that loser and the read-and-react Rod Rust doomed to fail (platitude to present?). It got so bad that LT ordered Steve DeOssie (the signal caller in the huddle) to change the play so that they could dial up the pressure, attack them and get off the field. DeOssie was scared sh*tless, but he was more afraid of LT than Rust and Handley, so he changed the playcall, of course the playcall worked, and when they came off the field, all the DC could do was ask DeOssie what that was… they went to the bench laughing under their breath. The coaches had lost the players respect. It was dead-team-walking. To wrap up on Rolle a frequent visitor to Ultimatenyg, Merrick gives some color on Rolle. Merrick states, “the Cardinals DC knew how to take advantage of Rolle’s skills. They draft him top 10 as a CB, then the DC makes him a S and a massive playmaker a la Ed Reed. Reed gets burnt plenty – but he makes plays. Fewell is clueless.”
Here is a guy that should have an impact this coming Sunday.