Monday, November 12, 2012

No we Chant

I had a thought about Chan Gailey today that I found infuriating. Now I'm not a football coach so many of the details escape me. I played little league and have watched the NFL my whole so I feel I have a pretty good idea what football is all about. I think some of the best teams are the best managed. It's true in all sports but especially in the NFL. The teams are so bloated with players, coaches and other staff that organization is a major key.
The Bills obviously have a problem with this. Having a 94 year old, absentee owner can't help.
More to the point of the coaching are my feelings about Chan Gailey. At first I liked the idea of hiring Chan. He's a guy with an okay record in the NFL who has a history of working well with average quarterbacks. He also is a details guy. He wants his teams good in the fundamentals. I love that. I want to see a team out there that at the very least won't commit a ton of penalties or waste timeouts. To Chan's credit this has mostly been the case. I know this last week's loss to New England, where they committed a near team record number of penalties, is an outlier. For the purposes of this entry it's mostly moot.
What's bothering me most is Chan's inability to adapt his game plan. The Bills do not blitz the quarterback. Their defense is 32 in the league but Chan will be damned if he is going to change the blitz  to mix it up. He says he's protecting his inexperienced corners but they're getting burned on a regular basis already, so what's the point? Maybe if these opposing quarterbacks were lying on their backs more often the corners would be fine. Chan Gailey is coach so I guess we'll never find out.
CJ Spiller became the first running back in 60 years to be averaging 7.6 yards per carry after 60 carries. This last game against the Patriots he actually averaged 7.8 yards per carry! Will Chan give it to him more? Nope. He's decided to spilt time with Freddy Jackson who is averaging 4.0 yards per carry. Don't get me wrong, Freddy is great! He crushes defenders and always seems to get 2 or 3 yards more than he should. But to neglect a weapon like Spiller who only got 9 carries last week is downright criminal!
CJ Spiller is 14th in the league in rushing but has at least 36 fewer rushes than every running back in the top 20! Of the 4 backs immediately ahead of him on the list, 40 yards separates their rushing totals. The other 4 backs average 45 more carries than Spiller's 87. That's right, 50% more carries. Keep giving him 9 carries a game Chan.
Last year Chan's system took the league by storm! Injuries and Chan's inability to adapt his scheme to changing defenses cost the Bills a lot of wins and maybe a playoff spot. This year he, and his faith in an average QB's arm as opposed to 2 exceptional running backs, has cost them at least 2 more wins. Every week after they loose he says the team doesn't execute. Shouldn't the coach make changes when players are failing to execute his plan? Aren't there always generals depicted in war movies who will never change the attack plan despite overwhelming loses?
Despite the worst defense in the league the Bills should still be 5-5 and 1 game out of the division lead and wild card. Instead they're staring at a blacked out Thursday night game (which I was suckered into buying tickets to), another 5 to 6 win season and another 10th overall pick. The 10th pick will not get an Andrew Luck and the Bills run of mediocrity will continue.

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