Maybe Your Players Just Suck
After two consecutive games with bad special teams performance, the Dolphins immediately fixed the solution… by firing their special teams coach. Most of the bad performance was on field goals and punts. In a nutshell, the Jets attacked a point halfway between center and weak-side end of the line and blocked the kick. The following week, the Fish played the Patriots. If you could believe it, the Patriots hit the same point on the line and succeeded. Who thought that the Patriots would look at tape of the Dolphins from the week before? Isn’t that cheating?
I can’t be bothered to look at who’s on the line on what play, especially for a team as loathsome as the Dolphins, but I’ll bet it’s probably the same guys. And I’ll bet someone’s missing some blocks. If that sounds obvious, it is. Is that the coach’s fault? Maybe, but coaches don’t block. Even if the coach has some blame to take, is having a godawful performance in your third game of the season really grounds to get fired?
I’m currently watching the Fish in Green Bay, who are apparently looking for new and interesting ways to fuck up for no good reason, and so far they have one hand on a punt. Hrm. I think their special teams coach replacement better start looking at the classifieds.
On the other coast, San Francisco not only isn’t performing on offense as well as last year, but their bread and butter running game is grounded. Last season, much was made about knocking on some former coordinator’s tomb, dusting him off and anointing him the OC. If memory serves, the Niners offense actually did okay. Four games into this season, Methuselah gets the can. Doesn’t matter that the vaunted San Fran defense has gone from 4th in points allowed to 27th, and consequently, the 9er’s constantly find themselves panicking to get out of a hole at the end of every game (or since the beginning of every 2nd quarter, for that matter.) If it’s San Francisco, all blame must lay at the feet of the OC… until you run out of them and have to fire the head coach.
What I don’t understand is the constant defending by the collective conscience of Alex Smith. I understand that Smith hasn’t “gotten a fair chance.” He’s been injured for something like a third of his career. Every single one of those hits must be the offensive line’s fault. And let’s not forget that since the team signed the #1 overall pick, that they have had 679 offensive coordinators. And he hasn’t always been treated like the starting QB. And sometimes, when it rains, he hears that Carpenters’ song in his head, and San Francisco gets a lot of fog, and that reminds him of rain, so y’know, he doesn’t always feel up to snuff, and sometimes the receivers–
Hey, y’know what? Fuck Alex Smith. I’ve been holding on to this for a while, because every time I watch Smith shit himself on the field, just as I’m about to lunge for the keyboard, Smith turns back into a QB… but not enough to take the game. So I’ve been conflicted. But I’m officially done with Smith. Fuck him.
So he’s been jerked around and injured and confused. Let me remind you: #1 pick is a meaningless fucking number. Sure, I know: “Peyton Manning was a #1 pick. John Elway was a #1 pick.” Yeah, and so was JaMarcus Russell and Tim Couch. And Tom Brady was a sixth rounder.
Even if #1 did mean something, it’s too late for Alex Smith. He is officially tainted. Irreparably ruined. Damaged goods. He is incapable of ever figuring out how to win it. He. Is. Fucked. Done.
Last week against Philadelphia, Mike Singletary and Alex Smith got into a sideline “confrontation” after the offense sadly walked off the field. This was something building throughout the game. Maybe the straw that broke Singletary’s forehead vein was watching Alex Smith try to outrun a sack… 15 yards backward toward the left sideline, and then, instead of just throwing the ball away, standing there, looking like the new bitch on his first day at Sing Sing. The rusher popped the ball out of his hand, where it was scooped and run for a Philly touchdown. My question is: which of Alex Smith’s prior offensive coordinators told him that was a good idea? When was that a maneuver that used to, but no longer, gels with the offensive strategy?
I won’t say the 49ers don’t have staff problems. Any team that’s had the coaching confusion that the 49ers have deserves problems. But the solution is not Alex Smith. The only team more wrong about their faith in their quarterback is the one that starts Jay Cutler. I’d love to be proven wrong (about Smith – I love it when Cutler bombs an interception), but I have a bad feeling that the Niners are going to lose a promising coach and just repeat a cycle that has led to nothing but broken hopes.
If I owned the 49ers, I’d demote Singletary back to DC, and hire Jon Gruden (that’s right, I said it.) Let Singletary focus on what he knows, and bring in a coach who for the first time since Mike Holmgren actually knows something about offense in the Bay.
But above all else, I’d acquire a good quarterback.