Originally Posted by Chocolate Lab
Meh, that article is way off. Jimmy didn't invent the 1-gap 43; that's ridiculous.
Nor did he have any success against OU at Okie State -- he never beat them, and gave up 38, 63, 27, 27 and 21 points to them.
Know why he beat them at Miami? Because he had insane talent on those teams, especially up front. Jimmy's teams lived in other teams' backfields and that beat basically every offense, not just Oklahoma's wishbone. Jerome Brown and Co. will do that.
And I like how he totally ignored Kiffin's record vs the spread the last couple of years.
Funny how just two years ago it was Rob who had the high-tech, whiz-bang offense that had buffaloed Brady and Brees. Now it's all outdated and 72-year-old Kiffin has the defense for the latest and greatest.
[View Full Quote]I'm not even against the 43 cover-2 or Kiffin at all. At the very least I think we'll be more sound and won't beat ourselves with mistakes as often. But there's a lot of hope-reaching in this "article".
BINGO! The entire article is set up to praise the Kiffin system but makes no mention of Kiffin getting torched by the read option at USC? Oregon made USC look absolutely atrocious.
As far as Dallas not being able to stop the Redskins on Thanksgiving he points out the 2nd quarter. I'm not really sure I buy into this. First and foremost, The Redskins didn't do the vast majority of the damage on read option plays in this game like they did in 2nd game. It was the passing game that pretty much scored the Redskins 2nd quarter points. Specifically two long passes that did the most damage. The pass to Robinson and the pass to Garcon, both of which came off of play action. Now, the Robinson pass did come on a play fake out of a read option look but if we're going to cite forcing an unblocked OLB to guess as the magic behind the read option, I'm not sure that explains why Danny McCray did what he did. Aikman calls the play before it happens based purely on the alignment. McCray reacts to the faked run but I think you'd be hard pressed to argue that he wouldn't have reacted to play action out of a traditional formation and that it was the read option run fake specifically that opened the play up. I think the more likely scenario is that McCray just isn't that good and as Aikman put it, "didn't check the scouting report".
And then this:
And I think the Cowboys have been aware of this for a while. Think about it: which two games did Jerry Jones cite as those in which he thought the Cowboys defense should have played better? Seattle and Chicago - both of which play the one-gap "under" 4-3 designed by Monte Kiffin.
If he's going to lean on Jerry's comments in this fashion without recognizing that holding the defense responsible for these games is absolutely idiotic, he's simply just reducing this part of his argument to "it was the right thing to do because that is what Dallas did".
Furthermore, even if we pretend that the defense played poorly and should be held responsible for these games, the Bears don't even run the read option and the Seahawks didn't run the read option at that point in the season. It wasn't until later that they broke it out and while I only did a quick search, I think around week 5 is where they started breaking it out. This quote from an Oct 10th blog after their game against Carolina.
So what this boils down to:
A play that was lost in the shuffle in the last game may be a sign of things to come. Immediately after the 56-yard bomb to Golden Tate was called back, the Seahawks faced a 2nd and 20. This was a hopeless situation for the Seahawks offense in the first four weeks of the season. Darrell Bevell dialed up a new wrinkle, the read option, and the team executed it perfectly for 19 yards. It is a play the Panthers use to great effect with Cam Newton, but is generally considered a gimmick in the NFL. Watch how it unfolded on Sunday.
The guy is using 2 games against teams where, A) the read option wasn't even involved, and B) the defense can't even be viewed as the most guilty party, in order to support his article on why Dallas needed to change to a defense that can defend the read option when it's far from conclusive that the alternative can defend the read option any better than the 3-4.
The reality is, Seattle's success against the defense in the second half of the 3rd quarter and beyond came because Dallas doesn't have a strong DL. It's above average when healthy but against the better OLs in the NFL it needs to be great. Seattle simply lined up and ran right over Dallas.
When you throw in the fact that the DL isn't a strength to begin with and then remove Ratliff from the mix, subtract the two MLBs behind the DL and have Ware playing injured and ineffective, hell yeah teams will run on you. Read option or not, you're outmatched up front to start. Washington could have ran over Dallas any way they chose. Having the read option in play no doubt added to that because now they're forcing all these street FAs to have to think and react but the real heart of the problem was a depleted front 7.
It's not like every time Dallas faced the read option they were simply dead in the water. I think they had 3 games against it between Washington and Carolina. Only the second game against Washington can be viewed as horrid. The other two weren't that bad. Certainly no worse than Seattle, Philly or even Cincy who were all running traditional sets and walked over the defense in the running game.
- Carolina: 21 attempts, 112 yards
- Washington Game 1: 32 attempts, 149 yards
Not stellar by any means but lets compare this to how Seattle faired against Chicago when Seattle was running the read option.
- Seattle: 32 attempts, 176 yards
The read option is certainly an intriguing idea for me. I think it presents some things to defenses that are tough to defend but the idea that a couple of teams with pretty unique QBs and great RBs are now transforming the landscape of the NFL and have forced Dallas into changing schemes is a little far fetched. Those two teams are sitting at home just like Dallas so apparently there's still more than 1 way to skin a cat. Something tells me the 49ers and Steelers are pretty content with being top defenses, regardless of what formation they line up in.
To be honest, I'm not sure the 3-4 itself has some disadvantage but more-so the fact that 3-4 teams have been asking an unblocked player to basically come to a completely stop and wait for the offense to move. Ask a DT in the 4-3 to do the same and I bet that defense gets gutted in the running game. Why not just instruct the guys to have their minds made up at the snap in an attempt to force the play to either the QB or the RB? If the alternative is coming to a little jump stop and getting beaten while you get caught in between going one way or the other, what's the difference?