Originally Posted by Omegasupreme
The problem still is: Does Jason have the same interest in passing the ball as running the ball. You could have the best O-line in the world but if the commitment to the run is not there, the frequency of play calls and the intricacy of the plays themselves will be as minimal as last year.
Steve Young was a guest on The Michael Kay Radio Show in New York's ESPN radio last week. He said that Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh find a way to use any and all talent they have on the roster. Young said that its not that the Niners believe they need to just run the ball, they are very creative in how they run the ball: they just make it work.
[View Full Quote]I think the same thing is true about Jason and his distance passing: he finds a way to make it work in every game. But if the O-line is truly unstable or weak, then he is choosing the plays with quite possibly the longest set-up and thus the most taxing and difficult to sustain to keep the QB safe and focused. And this happening 40 times a game. It's hard to really argue with the results of 4900 yards and 28 TDs except that the sack totals of 36 and interceptions of 19 show that maybe variation and another source of offensive output would have taken some of the pressure of that one distance passing method (first Giant game and the Pittsburgh game notwithstanding).
I think the problem is that Jason is a firm believer in the "staying on schedule" philosophy of calling plays.
Meaning if the offense has a penalty or a negative play he tries to call something that will get the offense back on schedule with the down and distance.
For example in the CHI game, the first INT that Romo threw was on a 3rd and 9 play but the play before was a 2nd and 5 and it was a pitch to Murray. On that play Murray dropped the football on the pitch and lost 4 yds setting up the 3rd and 9. On the second INT of that night, facing a 2nd and 12 after a -2 yd run on 1st and 10, JG calls a pass play to get the offense into a manageable situation again. This time the pass clanks off KO's hands into Major Wright's hands. The third INT was actually the fumble that Briggs recovered and returned for a TD. I should also note that Romo overthrew Bryant (in the 2nd qtr 11:38) and Austin (3rd qtr 2:26) for would-be TDs in that game too.
In the NYG game at home:
Bryant runs a poor route leading to the first INT on a 1st and 10 PA call. The next series Romo throws Austin a 50/50 ball on 1st and 10 and it gets intercepted because Austin appears to have lead weights in his cleats. On a 2nd and 7 Romo tries to hit Felix Jones on a flare pass but is intercepted by JPP and taken in for a TD which pushes the score 23-0. The Cowboys would then score 10 pts before the half ends and then they would score 14 more points in their next two possesions in the second half to take the lead. After the Giants get a FG to bring the score to 26-24, Felix Jones would fumble the ball with 6:40 left in the 4th qtr and once again the Giants would score another FG forcing the Cowboys to get a TD to win. Then comes the second guessing of the play calling again...The Cowboys had faced 1 to 2 yd to go situations 12 times up to that point in the season. We passed the ball 7 times for 130 yds and ran the ball 5 times for 5 yds.
On the 2nd and 1, JG calls up an option route for Witten to which the Giants had a hard time defending. Romo throws the ball a tad too far in front and Witten can't make the grab. On the 3rd and 1, Romo kills the call and throws a fade to KO that ended up incomplete. The sideline ref throws the flag but then mysteriously picks it up telling the head ref that there was no foul on the play. The 4th and 1 is the INT after Romo is flushed out of the pocket and has to get rid of the ball. 7 times for 130 yds or 5 times for 5 yds?
This doesn't even include the Dez Bryant almost, finger tip out of bounds TD catch that was the final series the Cowboys had.
I have hard time subscribing to the idea that Jason wouldn't want to run the ball if the OL is able to block effectively in the running game. Just look at the games where we weren't playing from behind and JG committed to running the ball.
"It's little bit like the description of pornography from years back. It's hard to define it. But you know what it is at the end of it. It's hard to define it. I think you know who is more physical. Often times you see that in the fourth quarter. A lot of time the team on the other side feels it. We pride ourselves on being a physical football team. It's important to us. It's an important time of the year to lay that foundation." - Coach Garrett