Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thoughts for the day

Two random thoughts for the day today: -- According to this article by, Charley Casserly of CBS has reported that the NFL could be looking at the possibility of widening the field in order to increase player safety. My initial reaction was "....... huh?". Quickly followed by "..... what?". I dunno, maybe someone out there who is a hell of a lot smarter than me (no jokes please) can figure this one out. How does making the field wider help player safety? I mean, there has to be a reason. You don't just say "we'll widen the field, that will improve player safety. Fact". There has to be a "widening the field will cause xyz which is what will make the game safer". I don't understand. To me all that will happen is this 1) there will be more field to defend, helping the offense and 2) defensive backs will have to cover more ground to make the hit, allowing them to build more speed and thus make much harder impact with offensive players. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but to me this will actually make player safety worse. And it will serve as yet another artificial "pro-offense" move. Now don't get me wrong, I like offensive football. When I coached, I coached mostly offense. But what I prefer is to see the natural evolution of offensive football (or in the case of the "wildcat" it could be argued a regression of offensive football back to the 20's). I like to see coaches using different formations and personnel groups. I like seeing Dan Henning of the Dolphins putting his backs in the classic split-back set that is so reminiscent of Bill Walsh's 49ers (even if the quality of the offensive play isn't). I like seeing team throw in two tight ends and juggle them around, or the Browns putting RB/FB Peyton Hillis on the outside in space against a linebacker. What I don't like is the NFL artificially aiding the offense. Chucking down 15 yards just because a QB got tapped on the head or because a defender made a rough tackle on someone, all the while being almost blind to the weekly tally of missed holding penalties committed by offensive linemen, or the supposedly illegal "pick/rub" plays run by certain teams (*cough* Colts). -- Kicker Jeff Reed has been cut by the Steelers following a 26-yard field goal miss against the Patriots on Sunday night. Now, if this is being used an excuse to finally dump Reed after all the off season/off field problems they've had with him, then that's one thing. But if this is purely about the quality of his play then I don't get it. Why? Because (I know, bad grammar), his replacement is Shaun Suisham. Shaun Suisham ladies and gentlemen. The same kicker who shot to fame (or maybe just infamy) last season for missing a 23-yard chip shot field goal that would have given the Redskins a win over the previously undefeated Saints. He then missed two field goals in the Cowboys play off game. In the pre-season this year he was cut from the Rams for his poor showing. And now here he is, in Pittsburgh. And I will never understand the approach of NFL teams to kickers. If you think cutting Reed and signing Suisham is going to fix that particular problem, then there's a rude awakening on the horizon. I could understand it if they were about to swoop the Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski in some crafty piece of trading, but they're not. They're about to replace a generally pretty solid kicker who is well accustomed to the conditions at Heinz Field, with a brand new kicker who is notorious for all the wrong reasons and will have little idea about the kicking conditions. Each to his own I guess. I'll be back later with my Thursday Night pick, but till then, Have a great day everyone.

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