Every year about this time, I watch, I read, I plan, I type, I erase, and I type some more. I try to solve the rubix cube of what exactly our issues were in the previous year. I read what other posters have to say, and I typically argue with either Nicky, or CT. I am an optimist by nature. Every year I think one or two off seasons is all it will take to correct every issue that is bothering our team.
I searched high and low. I went through individual stats. I watched individual reactions, body movements after both positive and negative plays. I broke down several players individual movements in correlation to their peers, and quite frankly, I realized that without work, I have way too much time on my hands.
I will not lie. I was going to school to get my BA in Sports Management with a Minor in Psychology in hopes that one day, it would help me in my dreams of getting a job in the NFL, or at least a college of my choosing. That did not work out so well. Either way, this post is about what my findings led me to believe the issues were. The answer it seems is not that far from being correctable.
It all starts with the Defense. Oddly, it also ends there. Like a wheel in motion, the offense and defense share a connection though they do not share the field at the same time. For all the additions, and the subtractions, it seemed the Defense made it hard on itself. Too many times, we played our Defense to bend but do not break. We did this in an effort to mask our weaknesses. Especially once the injuries started to pile up. Drives did end up in the red zone a lot. Even when we stopped them, drives often wound up leaving us in bad positions on offense.
That brings me to my next point. Special teams and a certain return man that wanted too much to make plays to make himself look good. Marcus Thigpen I believe was a victim of past successes. His early boast seemed to play a bit too much on his own mind. Once again, we found ourselves angry every time he took it out of the end zone looking to make a big play, only to see Tannehill and company have to start on the 10 yard line. Funny thing is, no one seemed to mention how much this was actually hurting the team.
That leads me to my last point. According to the evidence, Mike Sherman thought he was the smartest guy on the field. Just ask him.... When he should have run, he passed, when he should have passed, he ran. If a play worked, that meant it would not work again. Quite frankly, he did not trust in the tools he was given to work with. This was also an issue on Defense as well, as evident by the fact that players were not trusted to be moved around. Brent Grimes shutting down Santonio Holmes? That's okay, just motion Santonio Holmes or put him on the other side. Reshad Jones stopoing a runningback in his tracks? Just run him to the left instead. Jared Odrick beating the Guards? Just shift the Center to cover him.
The same thing happened on offense. While players were given certain jobs, they were never able to max the potential of a play. Mike Wallace was motioned twice. Both times he ran the ball as a result. We have issues in the run game? Wallace's YPC average was 11. 22 yards on two runs. Charles Clay rushed 3 times as much for a 2.1 YPC. For someone who claimed their goal was to get Wallace more involved, this seems like a good way to do it.
If I had to pick one word to best describe what failed the team, it would have to be oversimplicity of the game plans. Let me know what you guys think?