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Scott Linehan & The Running Game

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Hoofbite, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    There seems to be the notion that Scott Linehan will help the running game, or run more, or whatever.

    I have two issues with the idea. First off, why would Scott Linehan even have to be brought in for the team to run more frequently? The team had a good average last year so the only thing left to help would be the willingness to run. In order for Scott Linehan to even be hired with the intent of running more you have to first believe that Jason Garrett wants to run more, which in spite of all the lip service he has paid to the topic hasn't actually manifested itself on the field.

    Beyond that, if Garrett wanted to run more then why doesn't he just run more? He is the HC and if he wants more running why does he need someone else to be brought in to get it?

    Secondly, the numbers just don't back up the idea that Linehan is more run-oriented.

    Over his past 5 years in Detroit few teams have less rushing attempts than the Lions. Dallas is actually one of them but Detroit has run 250 additional places in that span and Dallas only nudges out Detroit by about 40 rushing attempts. Same goes for the other teams that have fewer attempts. They have far fewer total plays.

    As a percentage of plays called NOBODY ran less than Scott Linehan did in Detroit. Nobody dropped back to pass more. Detroit is #1 in dropbacks over that 5 year span.

    Consider this: Of the 5 highest passing attempt totals in a single season, Matthew Stafford occupies spots #1 and #5.

    I know some people will argue that Detroit has a weak OL, no RBs, or whatever else. Detroit has not averaged less than 4.0 YPC and they're 4th in sack % since 2009. The OL cannot be that bad. In terms of the RB, who would expect any RB to produce enough to be noteworthy when you don't run. Furthermore, what happens if Murray doesn't hold up? Entire plan to increase running just goes out the window?

    You have to go all the way back to 2002 and 2003 to find a time when Linehan could be a run-oriented playcaller.

    Here are the ranks of Linehan's teams since 2002 in terms of passes attempted and rushes attempted.

    2002 - R: 8 / P: 13
    2003 - R: 7 / P: 15
    2004 - R: 28 / P: 8
    2005 - R: 17 / P: 10
    2006 - R: 23 / P: 3
    2007 - R: 24 / P: 9
    2008 - Omitted (Fired after week 4)
    2009 - R: 24 / P: 6
    2010 - R: 24 / P: 3
    2011 - R: 31 / P: 1
    2012 - R: 25 / P: 1
    2013 - R: 14 / P: 5

    I'd love for the team to run more but I have little confidence they will do so. Scott Linehan has been the most pass happy coordinator over the past 5 seasons and outside of 2013, you have to dig pretty deep find a season in which he could be considered modestly interested in running.

    I'd welcome it, but I don't expect it at all.
  2. LatinMind

    LatinMind iPhotoshop

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    Linehan is in Dallas because of one reason. Jerry Jones.

    Garrett tried and failed to manage HC duties and OC duties. Jerry failed with his guy Callahan. So it was clear neither guy was good enough for the job. Having sustained drives should not be a problem for the talent this team has.

    So a compromise i believe happened. Jerry got somebody else in, and Garrett got somebody he felt comfortable with.

    Linehan isnt going to make Dallas isnt a run first team. But he does create gameplans that work. He does adjust to teams on what they do. This team doesnt want to be a run first team. They have a very potent passing attack that needed somebody like Linehans vision. When you look at run first teams, they are usually run first because they cannot pass to save their life.

    Ravens, once they lost Bouldin last yr they couldnt throw for a first down it seemed.
    Seattle, besides the superbowl this team couldnt throw the ball period.
    Niners, Niners has 3 TD passes all yr. Thats atrocious.
  3. khiladi

    khiladi Well-Known Member

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    Well Jerry already stated why...

    http://sportsblogs.star-telegram.co...ill-get-megatron-treatment-under-linehan.html

    BigStar and Chocolate Lab like this.
  4. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Well-Known Member

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    Great post. The continued change and drama over the OC position and play calling should be enough to show the confusion inside the organization. Brining in yet another OC is just more lip service for the messed up approach that will ultimately end up with Romo in shotgun trying to make something out of nothing by himself.

    Jason never has gotten the running game going and you can tell he doesn't want to…Linehan is even less run oriented that Jason as you clearly point out. Its going to be the same 70% shotgun snaps as last year.
    cml750 likes this.
  5. khiladi

    khiladi Well-Known Member

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    Jerry doesn't mention it though as the primary reason for change. What he does mention in the above quote is that Linehan's offense is built around the star players. He even makes a clear distinction between him and Garrett, though they coach together. He also mentions Romo as being even more involved. In another interview, Jerry referred to how Jason couldn't keep his hands away from the offense. Now, he's going to focus on being a 'walk-around' coach with the defense. I'm thinking that Jason didn't like that Callahan, a west-coast guy, was probably trying to make some major philosophical changes that Garrett didn't like, so Garrett tried to take the reigns back.
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  6. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Well-Known Member

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    Its a sad mess. The HC cant select his own staff and the roles of his own staff. All this goes back to Jerry thinking he is the HC IMHO, 3 OC in three years and 3 DC in three years….thats totally crazy dis-funcitonal messy.
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  7. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    He will use the weapons he has and when they went out and got Reggie Bush in 2013 Det running game did show improvement. Rushing attemps did go up hell they ran the ball more than KC a known rushing team. Det avg per run has to do with talent using the run and calling running plays is what Linehan did increase. Det RB themselfs said they were given ample oppertunity in running the ball. Linehan clearly put the ball in the air and one main reason who is the biggest weapon on the Det Lions?
    BigStar, Cebrin and adbutcher like this.
  8. LatinMind

    LatinMind iPhotoshop

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    Bush add 1022 yrds rushing and 546 yrds receiving. 4tds rushing 3 receiving. i think 1600 total yrds is about where Murray will end up. He's a better runner but not a better receiver. I could see 1300-250 for Murray
  9. NJ22

    NJ22 Well-Known Member

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    I think you nailed it. Jerry will add 100 ex-head coaches if he has to before he will admit JG can't coach.
    I agree, also that we need a plan. period. When you have the worst defense in the league, ball control should be priority one. When you have a game like GB, last year where your D actually shows up for a half and you get out to a 23 point lead, you need to know that the D can't keep that up so let's keep them on the sidelines. AND you are running the ball at will..You can not have possessions like they had in that second half, with incomplete, incomplete, sack, punt. Used about a minute of clock. 3 runs and a punt there and they probably don't have enough time to come back, game over. Really basic game management skills would have won about 5-6 more games over the last 3 seasons even with the awful defense.
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  10. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think given the line play and the simple fact Murray is a between the tackles runner more so than Bush that Murray has a great chance to have a very good season. I'm not worried about Linehan calling run plays I think given the weapons he will use what he has in place. Bush ran for over 1,000 for the 2nd time in his career last year and yes he caught a lot of balls out of the back field because Linehan played to the strenght of Bush
    Cebrin likes this.
  11. Hoods

    Hoods Well-Known Member

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    What?
    dallasfan4lizife likes this.
  12. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    If we're able to run short yardage and goal line better, that's great. Otherwise, I don't really care if we run it more often or not, unless we're talking about closing out games because we're playing better on defense. But, for the record, I think people are fooling themselves if they expect a lot more running from Linehan. If we run it more, it'll be incremental.

    I do think we'll use Dunbar in the passing/screen game a lot, though, which should be fun to see.
  13. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Bingo. Jerry is going try everything before he lets his "comfortable" pet head coach go, up to and including taking pretty much everything away from him except being the public face of the team. That means Garrett isn't doing much coaching anymore, but it keeps Jerry's old crony in office.

    It's a terrifying thought for those of us who want better at a critical position. But like the original Spaulding -- not the new one -- we'll get nothing and like it.
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  14. GloryDaysRBack

    GloryDaysRBack Well-Known Member

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    You're really big on this linehan thing and the numbers support your position.. I'll take take a friendly bet and say dallas rushes more this season than you think... Give me a fair number-any category you like-again, something fair... And ill take the over

    You have everything on your side too. .. our horrendous defense is going to put us behind early and often. .. Plus linehans history ... I'll still take the over.. Assuming you give me a fair number. .. By no means do i think we are all of a sudden going to be a rushing team
  15. NJ22

    NJ22 Well-Known Member

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    It's funny as skeptical as I am, I will convince myself that this combo might just do the trick! when I know deep down there is no chance. Here is my prediction, we go 8-8 Garrett gets a 5 years new deal. Jerry hires Brian Billick, John Gruden and Bill Cower to be "Sideline consultants" and Jason "head coaches" from Jerry's booth with a fake headset from toys r us.
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  16. dstovall5

    dstovall5 Well-Known Member

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    He's a huge improvement, and I think he'll be one of the biggest factors of our success(if we have any). And no, it's not that I think he'll come in running smash mouth football like Seattle, 49ers, ect; I really don't think he's going to run much more than Garret did, but he'll definitely get our RBs involved more, just it'll be in the passing game. Last year both Reggie Bush and Joique Bell each had more targets then Demarco Murray, that tells you right there he loves utilizing his RBs out of the backfield. He also would line up Bush on the outside occasionally, which is something we've yet to see. I'm excited about how our offense is going to utilize Murray, I think he's going to have a MONSTER year.

    Here's a highlight video of Bush last year, it shows some of what I'm talking about.

  17. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Funny to me that some of the people claiming Linehan will be a big improvement are the same ones who were claiming about a week before Linehan was hired that Garrett was a great OC and every problem with our O was all on the players for bad execution.
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  18. dstovall5

    dstovall5 Well-Known Member

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    Who are you talking about? I think most of the people here have always said Garret is a terrible OC and is a major hindrance to our offense. That GB game was a prime example of just how inept Garret is as an OC, I don't see how anyone could defend that performance.
  19. jday

    jday Well-Known Member

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    I'm just curious who suggest Linehan is a run-first type of OC? Granted, I've read many blog entries that suggested as much, but I don't recall the media or sports analyst indicating that this is the direction the Cowboys will take. I do recall Linehan indicating in a interview somewhere that his approach to the run will largely depend on the score. If they are leading in the 2nd half and our comfortable with the lead, then running the majority of the time is just smart football. Also, with the addition of Martin, and more experience across the board for the other OL positions, the Cowboys absolutely should have more room to run. Rather or not they take advantage of that on consistent basis, at this point, is another question.
    dstovall5 likes this.
  20. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    I'll go league average in attempts. I'm not sure Dallas comes out in the top half of that.

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