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Superman last won the day on May 3

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  1. The offense struggled to score, mostly due to bad play calling and a bad offensive line. That's not what stat padding is. Cousins has been a starter for two seasons. His team is 17-14-1, and 0-1 in the playoffs. As a starter, Cousins is 19-21-1. Derek Carr is 22-25, and was 7 games below .500 up until the Raiders gave him a monstrous OL. Arguing against a QB because his team doesn't win more games is specious, at best. This entire argument of yours hangs on the idea that because Oakland and Washington were better than the Colts last season, that Cousins and Carr are better QBs than Luck, despite the fact that a) neither of them have his career accomplishments, including in the playoffs, and b) their best years have come with rosters and coaching staffs that are better than what Luck has had most of his career.
  2. This is prompted by the ongoing conversation about the Colts passing attack in multiple threads, and a followup to my previous thread which I've been meaning to get around to anyway. Again, pardon my rudimentary screenshots and diagrams, but I am adding some all-22 looks to this breakdown. I'm going to focus on the deciding possession against the Texans in Week 14, when the season was basically on the line. Yes, the Texans were one of the best defenses in the league last year, but these plays illustrate how it's more a function of the offense hurting itself than it is being stopped, even by a good defense. #1: 4th quarter, 2:11 remaining, down 22-17 at home, it's 1st and 10 on your own 49 yard line. The Colts are in 11 personnel, lined up in shotgun with one receiver on the left, two WRs and a TE on the right, and the single back to the QB's left (where Clowney is lined up across from Castonzo). You can see that the DBs are playing a reasonable depth off of the receivers, about 5 yards, and the Texans have 6 defenders in the box, showing a pressure look with single high coverage and a likely spy/zone across the middle from the weakside safety. Now, it's late in the game, the Colts need a TD, and they have no timeouts, so you can't go super conservative, but you're up against the two minute warning here and wherever you go with the ball, the clock is going to stop without costing you a lot of time, so the middle of the field is in play. You have a loose bunch at the top of the screen, and the safety being over the top of your 3 man grouping suggests a double team. The weak spot, especially against a pressure look, is the open area in front of the weakside safety, who is 14-15 yards off the LOS when the ball is snapped. After the snap, the loose bunch runs an inside/out combo, but that side of the field is flooded with an extra defender, so no one comes free right away. The middle receiver runs a deep corner, which is doubled; the outside receiver runs an 8 yard comeback, and the TE runs a 5 yard out, which is covered. The comeback comes open, but only after the area is cleared by the other two routes. On the single receiver side, Rogers runs 10 yards and simply turns around. The DB never flips and turns, so he's in position to break on the "comeback" route (Rogers never really comes back, and Luck double clutches while looking in his direction). You can see the short middle is still open, even though the safety is crashing down and a linebacker is zoning across the middle. By the time Luck double clutches, he's being pressured, and can't come back to the open short comeback at the top of the screen. The deep receiver is doubled, the TE is covered, and Luck is being hit. The ball flails as Luck gets it away, and it falls incomplete in the flat. Here's the end zone angle, from behind the play: You can see from this angle that Luck has good enough protection. It takes 2+ seconds before he's under pressure, and he double clutches before getting hit and throwing the ball. This is a 'take what they give you' situation. The play is well covered from the time the ball is snapped, because the Texans have disguised their coverage pretty well, and they're taking away the deep receiver. Bringing one of the bunch receivers to the other side of the formation would have exposed the coverage, or opened up a better hot opportunity. But even the way the offense lined up, Rogers could have run a quick slant to give Luck a throwing window before the safety was in position to defend the pass. Rogers could have run an actual comeback instead of just turning around and then drifting toward the sideline, giving Luck no window to throw. The open receiver wound up being none other than Phillip Dorsett, who ran the short comeback on the right side. If Luck throws the ball at the height of his drop, rather than coming back to the left side, Dorsett is open just behind the linebacker, the outside defender is covering the TE out, and the other corner is turning to run with Hilton. This is a first and 10 play call, around midfield, with the game on the line and no real time constraints to be concerned with. Not only do we play right into the strength of the defense, ignoring the part of the field that looks like it will be open presnap, but the receiver who 'never gets any separation' came open right on time, but didn't get targeted.
  3. Mod note: I just removed a bunch of back and forth bickering which included a lot of unnecessary personal shots and rules violations. Please refer to the rules if you're not sure what's acceptable on this board. In general, post respectfully, without calling other posters names or trying to insult their intelligence, and you'll be fine. Thanks.
  4. You know that's not how it works, right? The Colts had one of the worst passing defenses in the league last year, of course Carr shredded it. That's not a reflection of Luck. The Raiders also had arguably the best OL in the league. As always, comparing QBs becomes a game of "ifs," but Luck has accomplished more in terms of team success and personal stats than Carr (and Cousins), with a weaker supporting cast and a less effective coaching staff.
  5. How about an even longer response? So since we're breaking this down, let's not conflate separate issues. Hilton is one of the game's best, most productive receivers, he's Luck's favorite target, and his production speaks for itself. That doesn't mean I necessarily agree with how he's used, but it's hard to complain when he's so effective, so let's say that Hilton's usage has been acceptable. I disagree with the characterization of Dorsett, because I can show several instances of him being open and not getting the ball (post #2). I also can show several instances of defenses playing off coverage on him (and other receivers, so this is not meant as a defense of Dorsett), but the play sends the receiver into the strength of the defense rather than hitting him short and giving the receiver a chance to make a play with the ball in his hands. Just because the offense has had some success doesn't mean it can't be improved in very specific ways. More on this in a minute... I think you're mischaracterizing or maybe just misunderstanding what I'm saying, especially about Lockett. He is a great return man, and even if he didn't get opportunities as a receiver, he would be productive as a returner. That's on any team, I think. Dorsett got chances as a returner, and blew them. That's on him. I am NOT saying Lockett would be restricted to only returning, only saying that even if he didn't get good chances as a receiver, he'd still be more productive than Dorsett as a returner. I hope you're right about Ballard and his directive, for obvious reasons. But on Chud, I am not arguing that he can't coach at all. I've been a very vocal critic of Arians' offense (which is similar to Chud's), and I acknowledge that he's a good coach. I just don't like his offense and play calling, going back to 2012 at least. I am saying that I don't like Chud's offensive approach (just like I've said about Arians). Considering what the offense can improve on, the first and most obvious concern is QB pressure and sacks. This offensive approach ALWAYS yields more pressure and sacks, and it's not hard to see why. It emphasizes aggressive passing concepts, stretching the field vertically, it features more deep drops than any other offensive philosophy (and one report says the Colts ran more 7 step drops than any other team in the league last season), and that necessarily leads to more QB pressure. Combine that with a playmaking, never-say-die QB who believes he can make something happen every time he drops back -- and he's almost right about that -- and add in an offensive line that struggles to pass protect, and you're going to have an often sacked QB. Luck has been hit and pressured more than any QB since 2012, and he's missed 10 games the last two years. The second biggest concern is turnovers, and since Luck's rookie season, we've been talking about the need for him to take better care of the football. Well, an aggressive passing attack is going to lead to more interceptions, necessarily. Combine that with the increased rate of pressure, and now you have a concerning amount of QB fumbles. My third concern is a lack of efficiency. Completion percentage, INT %, yards/attempt, YAC, etc., are typical measurements for efficiency. Luck had a strong year in 2016, but in comparison with the best passing attacks in the league, we're lacking in one way or another. Two basic things I've said I would like our offense to do: 1) Maximize our strengths, and 2) minimize our weaknesses. We have fast and quick receivers; we should get them the ball as quickly as possible. We have a weak pass protecting OL; we shouldn't ask them to pass protect for deep drops very often. We have a mobile QB; we should roll him out and let him make plays. Our QB excels at play action, with or without a strong rushing attack; we should call more of it (to Chud's credit, he's used more play action than Pep did, from Day 1). And so on. Philosophically, we should do more of the things we're good at, less of the things we're not good at. So after a full season in Chud's offense, when I can offer screenshots of play after play where we did silly things in the passing game, schematically, I think it's more than fair to be critical of Chud's offense. He doesn't call slants or screens, and when the defense plays off, we don't check to quick hitters, even on early downs (post #1 and 3). Just philosophically, I want the offense to do these things that lead to efficiency, take pressure off of the OL and QB, and reduce the opportunity for turnovers. This is not born out of a desire to defend Dorsett. He has his issues, but I don't think there's any question that he hasn't been used correctly. And that's just a function of our offense not attacking defenses in what I think is the best way. Chud has shown the ability to call great games. The first game he called was very good, and they adjusted to backup QBs that season was a good display of coaching. And I don't care which receivers get used the most. If Dorsett is the odd man out, oh well. But any group of receivers would benefit from these adjustments, IMO. And again, I've been saying this since before Chud (and Dorsett), and will continue saying it until it happens or I'm proved wrong.
  6. Kind of an alarmist article, especially the headline. To me, the point is we need to run a better offense to make life easier on the QB (where have I heard that before???) and Luck needs to make better decisions when receivers aren't open (also a commonly held belief).
  7. Just to take it a step further, I would prefer an offense that stressed efficiency rather than trying to attack downfield first. Coryell typically looks to push the defense back and then, if necessary take a short completion under the coverage. That means your short passes are more late progression dumpoffs, not hot routes. With more and more teams struggling to pass protect, and especially because of the varied pressure schemes that have become more prominent, this offense is more susceptible to pressure. Defenses will play off since you're not going to throw a high percentage of screens and other quick hitters, and that makes it even harder to hurt them deep. They'll also play single high and bring an extra rusher, which you have to counter with a 6th blocker, meaning they're taking one of your receivers out of play. Would we call that a flaw? I think it's an inherent weakness in Coryell, and the only way to really shore it up is to install quick hitters that punish the defense when they play off or send extra rushers. The only Coryell coordinator that I know has done a good job of that is Turner, and the concepts that he installs make his offense more of a hybrid than anything else. If we ran his offense, I probably wouldn't have any complaints.
  8. I think the philosophy behind Air Coryell is fine, but the way it's mostly run is rigid and over aggressive, and leads to inefficiencies in the passing game. Arians in particular has made comments like 'I want my RBs to run the ball and block for the QB, they don't need to be pass catchers.' To me, that's a reflection of a very aggressive Coryell approach. But then you see David Johnson catch 80 passes, so something's missing. And I think Norv Turner runs the Coryell in a balanced way. So it's not necessarily the philosophy of the offense, it's the way I mostly see it being run.
  9. You mean the 2015 draft... And I'd love to have Tyler Lockett, but we wouldn't have been using him right either. He probably would have earned his keep as a return man, though. Dorsett muffed a couple punts and they'll probably never give him another chance back there.
  10. He put on a bunch of muscle weight in college, and he wound up being too tight and stiff, not flexible enough, and so on. He slimmed down some and regained his quickness. It's very possible that he's gotten bigger and stronger and worked with good trainers who have helped him maintain his agility. I hope so. I don't think he's a typical downhill, fill the hole, take on the block Mike backer. I think he's at his best using his range, changing direction, etc., a Will backer. But he definitely has the awareness and instincts to play Mike.
  11. Not if he's slow and stiff at 242.
  12. That's not good. He was reportedly too big at times in college, then he comes in even bigger. Some scouts said he should be at 230.
  13. No, I think it's inherently flawed. Even if you have a great passer behind a great OL with great receivers, you're throwing a high rate of low percentage passes and ignoring high percentage opportunities. The degree of difficulty is just way greater than it needs to be, especially when you see the best and most efficient QBs in the league feasting on easy throws because defenses are still afraid of getting beat deep. I've said since 2012, I don't need a WCO, but in this offense, your QB is always going to get pressured, hit and sacked more than necessary, and you're almost always going to top out in the low 60% range for completions. Yeah, you can make up for it with big plays, but coordinators who have perfected that balance between long developing plays and taking the easy stuff have ventured away from the aggressive Coryell concepts. I do agree that Arians is a better play caller than Chud, so far, but I had the same complaints when Arians was here.
  14. At this point, I hold the offense against Pagano because, IMO, this is his preferred offense. The Pep hire was likely influenced (if not forced) by Grigson. Arians and Chud -- the Coryell guys -- belong to Pagano. I don't think he micromanages the offense at all, but if his vision is the vertical offense and power running game, then he has to take ownership for the faults in the offense.
  15. I'm not really arguing that Pagano is better, but O'Brien is a QB guy, and a former OC. He's had his own guys from New England brought in, and both of them played horribly for him in Houston. Brock Osweiler was pretty good in Denver in a small sample size, and he went to Houston and produced the worst statistical season of any QB in the league last season. The best QB they've had is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played better once he left. They haven't had a cumulative 4,000 yard passing season since O'Brien has been there, and they haven't come close to having a single 4,000 yard passer. Their best receiver was completely marginalized by their offense last season, going from a monster to a nightmare. At this point, he's looking like Brian Billick -- an offensive minded head coach being carried entirely by his defense (led by a defensive legend, in this case, so it's hard to give O'Brien much credit for that side of the ball) because he can't for the life of him get the offense on track. But Billick had a SB to boost his cred and buy him some time. O'Brien has to make it happen with Watson and/or Savage this season, otherwise his whole platform as an offensive coach is completely undermined over an extended period of time. Unless the Texans bomb this year, he's probably safe, but I don't see a strong case for him being anything more than average/mediocre himself. If I were ranking by tiers, I see him on the same tier as Pagano, although we can discuss their rank within that tier, if it matters.

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