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Mr.Debonair

Clyde Christensen

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I have a feeling if we win against Baltimore some would like Clyde a WHOLE LOT more tonight

I thought he did just fine.  He called more underneath passes and more running plays which is what people have been calling for Arians to do.  He could have called a deep pass or two more but I think he knew the line wasn't going to hold up to let that happen. 

 

With that said the last two playoff games he's been an OC for the Colts with Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck his offense has produced one touchdown so I can see how people are bother based on that.  However, some credit needs to go to the defenses they have played in there in the Jets and Ravens they aren't exactly scrubs. 

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I thought he did just fine.  He called more underneath passes and more running plays which is what people have been calling for Arians to do.  He could have called a deep pass or two more but I think he knew the line wasn't going to hold up to let that happen. 

 

With that said the last two playoff games he's been an OC for the Colts with Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck his offense has produced one touchdown so I can see how people are bother based on that.  However, some credit needs to go to the defenses they have played in there in the Jets and Ravens they aren't exactly scrubs. 

 

 

Maybe someone can enlighten me about the Dungy/Caldwell era Peyton offense, if red zone TD pct. improved in 2009 & 2010 under Caldwell with Clyde as OC? I think we had 2 out of 3 TDs in red zone opportunities, if I am not mistaken.

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Maybe someone can enlighten me about the Dungy/Caldwell era Peyton offense, if red zone TD pct. improved in 2009 & 2010 under Caldwell with Clyde as OC? I think we had 2 out of 3 TDs in red zone opportunities, if I am not mistaken.

Peyton Manning?

 

Honestly I am not going to bash on Clyde I thought he did just fine today and frankly did most of what people wanted Arians to do most of the season.  Also anyone who wants to blame him for the offense last year completely needs to remember who our QBs were.  That was the major problem with the offense last year. 

 

With that said I can see if people were concerned based on the last two playoff outings under him but that's a very small sample size against two of the better defenses in football. 

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because we were out of running backs. 

I understand why he was in the game...why was he even on this team to begin with is more so my question.

I hated the signing from day 1. Moore was awful for the Steelers the past few years and the only reason he's on this team is Arians' familiarity. Honestly we could have probably signed a UDFA who would have been more effective than Moore this past offseason.

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I understand why he was in the game...why was he even on this team to begin with is more so my question.

I hated the signing from day 1. Moore was awful for the Steelers the past few years and the only reason he's on this team is Arians' familiarity. Honestly we could have probably signed a UDFA who would have been more effective than Moore this past offseason.

Because we were out of running backs.  We cut him early in the season and only brought him back after Brown went on IR Carter went out hurt and Ballard was battling an injury. 

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Because we were out of running backs.  We cut him early in the season and only brought him back after Brown went on IR Carter went out hurt and Ballard was battling an injury. 

Yeah I get that what im saying is why did we choose Moore? Yes he is familiar with Arians offense but he is also horrible. Im pretty sure a younger guy who actually can run and catch would have been more useful than Moore's experience and complete lack of ability.

This isnt the first time a guy has managed to outlive his usefulness in sports by being on a good side of a coach or "knowing a system".

Honestly a RB knowing a system seems even less important than any other position.

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Yeah I get that what im saying is why did we choose Moore? Yes he is familiar with Arians offense but he is also horrible. Im pretty sure a younger guy who actually can run and catch would have been more useful than Moore's experience and complete lack of ability.

This isnt the first time a guy has managed to outlive his usefulness in sports by being on a good side of a coach or "knowing a system".

Honestly a RB knowing a system seems even less important than any other position.

You said he knew the offense and at the time they were looking for a replacement for Addai in pass blocking which is what Moore is good at.  Then they realized they were okay without so they let him go and at he point of the season they brought him back he at least knew the offense which is why he brought back.  It's not like there were a lot of great running backs floating around when they re-signed him. 

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You said he knew the offense and at the time they were looking for a replacement for Addai in pass blocking which is what Moore is good at.  Then they realized they were okay without so they let him go and at he point of the season they brought him back he at least knew the offense which is why he brought back.  It's not like there were a lot of great running backs floating around when they re-signed him. 

Edit:

I did? Well I certainly have changed my tune. :-)

Again, I know there isnt much out there but we were down our #2 and #3 RBs. In this era of the NFL your backup RB and even #3 RB needs to be able to help carry some of the load in the running game. Moore wasnt ever brought in to do that and isnt capable of doing that at this point. He was brought in for pass protection/receiving and familiarity. I think even a scrub off the street could have given us more than his high quality 20 yards off of 13 carries type production this season that he brought in the running game though. It was painfully obvious in this game his running abilities at this stage are pretty much non-existent.

Watching that off tackle play where he got stuffed was so annoying.

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I did? Well I certainly have changed my tune. :-)

Again, I know there isnt much out there but we were down our #2 and #3 RBs. In this era of the NFL your backup RB and even #3 RB needs to be able to help carry some of the load in the running game. Moore wasnt ever brought in to do that and isnt capable of doing that at this point. He was brought in for pass protection/receiving and familiarity. I think even a scrub off the street could have given us more than his high quality 20 yards off of 13 carries type production he brought in the running game though.

 

 

A big question is, will we ever need to invest in an RB who has speed in space after the catch for a 3rd down RB? Ballard was a trooper, he fought hard, but he was gassed at the end. Donald Brown rarely makes a guy miss after his catch, and Carter/Moore are not that kind.

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A big question is, will we ever need to invest in an RB who has speed in space after the catch for a 3rd down RB? Ballard was a trooper, he fought hard, but he was gassed at the end. Donald Brown rarely makes a guy miss after his catch, and Carter/Moore are not that kind.

Yeah im not sure myself. Its hard to tell considering we dont even know if these backs necessarily fit what Pagano wants. We think we do but they might have just kept Brown and Carter because they felt other positions warranted picks/signings right now. We'll see if they want to keep those guys around.

I do like Ballard alot though. He could be a good back behind a good O-line. Im not sure he is a star type talent but he could be a quality player though for us. Def. deserves a good portion of the load next season unless we somehow land a superstar type RB talent.

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The OC was the same for all those years.....Peyton Manning

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I don't know if anyone else felt this way but discussing the game with other pats fans, everyone knew the Colts were running it on 2nd down. I mean everyone. I posted this in another thread.  Colts had 20 third downs. 

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I don't know if anyone else felt this way but discussing the game with other pats fans, everyone knew the Colts were running it on 2nd down. I mean everyone. I posted this in another thread.  Colts had 20 third downs. 

I think Clyde likes to do that. Sometimes it works, other times, it can set up 3rd and longs. He's got to work on being a little less predictable, however, considering he wasn't supposed to be in that position, I won't hold it against him. Ballard was having a good game

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Edit:

I did? Well I certainly have changed my tune. :-)

Again, I know there isnt much out there but we were down our #2 and #3 RBs. In this era of the NFL your backup RB and even #3 RB needs to be able to help carry some of the load in the running game. Moore wasnt ever brought in to do that and isnt capable of doing that at this point. He was brought in for pass protection/receiving and familiarity. I think even a scrub off the street could have given us more than his high quality 20 yards off of 13 carries type production this season that he brought in the running game though. It was painfully obvious in this game his running abilities at this stage are pretty much non-existent.

Watching that off tackle play where he got stuffed was so annoying.

brain fart on the you said I am not really sure where that came from on my end sorry about that.

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brain fart on the you said I am not really sure where that came from on my end sorry about that.

No worries. :-)

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BA needs to GA as in Gooo Away. We would've had way more turnover if he was calling the plays. When our real coach returned Andrew's turnover decreased.

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BA needs to GA as in Gooo Away. We would've had way more turnover if he was calling the plays. When our real coach returned Andrew's turnover decreased.

Our "real" coach doesn't coach the offense and Luck turned it over against the Jags and Bears (four times I believe against the Bears) with Pagano.  He also didn't turn it over in a couple of games with Arians.  He also turned it over twice today and nearly did a third time he just feel on the fumble the last time and Arains wasn't even in the stadium.  If you want Arians gone fine but don't try to reach for reasons because you don't like him. 

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I personally hate Arians offense.  I know, it will be said we won 11 games and Luck set passing records.  But it is too hit or miss.  Drive will be going well, they take a shot down the field, gain two yards, then are in 3rd and 8.   You have to ask yourself if that 50% completion is worth the occasional long passes.  I think it is wrong offense for Luck.  He is talented enough to make any offense run pretty well, but I personally would like to see Arians get a HC job, and another OC brought in with a new system that is more west coast based.

 

This.  From my perspective play calling should be about down and distance.  I'm all for the deep shots to keep the safeties guessing but when it happens three or four times in a drive it's too much.  It can really stall an offensive drive when they miss.  Especially when our run game and O-line are so suspect. 

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This.  From my perspective play calling should be about down and distance.  I'm all for the deep shots to keep the safeties guessing but when it happens three or four times in a drive it's too much.  It can really stall an offensive drive when they miss.  Especially when our run game and O-line are so suspect. 

 

I actually like Arians' playbook for the most part. I just hate him as a play-caller. Clyde called the most sensible game of the season, in my opinion. Not overly obsessed with the deep ball but still let Luck take some shots downfield, mixed inside and outside runs, called plays that used Baltimore's aggressiveness against them, and plays where the short routes were actually the primary reads at times... Lack of execution hurt us and it just wasn't meant to be yesterday. 

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I don't know if anyone else felt this way but discussing the game with other pats fans, everyone knew the Colts were running it on 2nd down. I mean everyone. I posted this in another thread.  Colts had 20 third downs. 

 

 

I agree, Clyde has no creativity at all. His playcalling is completely predictable. I'm not a huge fan of Arians, but I'll take him everyday of the week and twice on Sundays over CC. If Arian's leaves, I think the Colts would be making a huge mistake if they promoted CC to OC. If Arians leaves, hopefully the Colts do their due diligence and go outside the organization to bring a young, creative, and intelligent guy from another team.

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Two things.

First, why did the offense choose not to use the silent count? They've been doing it a good part of the year on the road and for some reason they passed on it. Really hurt oline.

Second, the play calling wasn't the issue, it simply came down to receivers catching the ball and the o line providing enough time for Luck. None of those happened consistently enough for the colts to win.

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Come on......how is this even a question?

Who would've thought  the battle of dumb and dumber would've came out as Jim Caldwell being a better OC than Clyde? Once Caldwell figured out Cassius Vaughn is a chump, it was game over. Throw right, throw right, throw right.

 

Clyde is no way shape or form a OC. I know he's a great guy, and blah blah. But no thanks.

 

Just a few thoughts of top of my head:

 

There were no adjusments made at the half.

We never threw a big bomb to TY or anyone else for that matter.

We telegraphed the run and Ballard got a lot of negative yards because of it.

Sowell is/was a liability and no adjusments were made.

Satele got the start over Shipley. <-absurd.

 

If Arians leaves, I'd welcome Norv Turner with open arms.

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There were no adjusments made at the half.

 

What adjustments needed to be made? We were moving the ball, at will, in both halves. Drives stalled because of crucial drops in the redzone. What adjustments needed to be made, in your opinion?

 

We never threw a big bomb to TY or anyone else for that matter.

 

Selective memory. We did throw a bomb to TY in the 1st half, which drew the PI, remember? We threw deep to Reggie and Brazill a few times as well. We just never connected on any of them.

 

We telegraphed the run and Ballard got a lot of negative yards because of it.

 

That's our offense. We've been doing it all year. This is not exclusive to Clyde filling in and calling the game that way. Arians run designs are VERY predictable.

 

Sowell is/was a liability and no adjusments were made.

 

He called shorter passes and had 6 man protection (or 5 with a chip block) most of the game. What else could he have done short of suit up and help block himself?

 

Satele got the start over Shipley. <-absurd.

 

Agreed. Satele is, apparently, in good with someone in the organization. He continues to get the start over Shipley despite being outplayed by him all season. This has gone on longer than just yesterday so you can't pin that on Clyde either. SOMEBODY wants Satele on the field, performance be d***ed. Whether it's Pagano, Arians, the O-line coach or Grigson; Satele is in good with someone.

 

 

If Arians leaves, I'd welcome Norv Turner with open arms.

 

I'd pass on Norv, myself. A bit overrated, in my opinion

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If Arians leaves its clear...

The job goes to Clyde.

 

 

Why exactly is it clear? Just because they had no other option yesterday, hardly makes it clear that Clyde gets the job. Im of the opinion that if Arians leaves, that CC doesn't even get any consideration. He may be interviewed just for show, but I don't think he gets the job. It would be a huge mistake IMO.

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The writing was on the wall yesterday.

 

 

 

What writing? I don't get what you're saying. Arians was in the hospital, they obviously needed somebody to play the OC role and CC was the only option. Thats it! There is no writing on any wall. They were put in a desperate situation at the last minute. Nothing else.

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Why exactly is it clear? Just because they had no other option yesterday, hardly makes it clear that Clyde gets the job. Im of the opinion that if Arians leaves, that CC doesn't even get any consideration. He may be interviewed just for show, but I don't think he gets the job. It would be a huge mistake IMO.

 

I feel like Clyde is a bit of an enigma. We honestly don't know how much control he ever had when he was the coordinator between 2009-2011. It's already assumed that he gets no credit for any success when Peyton was here because Peyton was always the de facto coordinator. Yet, whenever the offense struggled under Manning, people liked to put that coordinator tag back on Christensen real quick, so they could lash out and blame somebody. Can't have it both ways. Also, lots of rumors surfaced that the Polians heavily influenced the defense last year, and tied Coyer's hands with what he could do, schematically. It's not out of the realm of possibility to believe that the Polians may have enforced that same level of control on the offense last year as well.

 

That whole coaching staff last year were just a bunch of puppets. I think the fact that Clyde is the only one still standing shows that Grigson and Pagano saw some worth in him. I honestly don't know, but I'm not gonna write him off as a possibility for coordinator next year. I think he did a good job managing the offense yesterday, despite the outcome.

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I am just saying, in my opinion, I have little doubt Clyde will be offered the job if Arians leaves.

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I feel like Clyde is a bit of an enigma. We honestly don't know how much control he ever had when he was the coordinator between 2009-2011. It's already assumed that he gets no credit for any success when Peyton was here because Peyton was always the de facto coordinator. Yet, whenever the offense struggled under Manning, people liked to put that coordinator tag back on Christensen real quick, so they could lash out and blame somebody. Can't have it both ways. Also, lots of rumors surfaced that the Polians heavily influenced the defense last year, and tied Coyer's hands with what he could do, schematically. It's not out of the realm of possibility to believe that the Polians may have enforced that same level of control on the offense last year as well.

 

That whole coaching staff last year were just a bunch of puppets. I think the fact that Clyde is the only one still standing shows that Grigson and Pagano saw some worth in him. I honestly don't know, but I'm not gonna write him off as a possibility for coordinator next year. I think he did a good job managing the offense yesterday, despite the outcome.

 

 

Well, Im certainly not against blaming Polian for a lot of the problems the team had last yr.. It is completely possible that Polian was pulling the strings on the entire coaching staff last yr.. I still think that with 3 different QB's last yr. that CC should have recognized that none of them could play the way Manning did and therefore the playcalling should have been adjusted.

 

Did Polian stop those adjustments? I don't know. I have a hard time believing that Polian could influence the coaches during the games and keep them from making adjustments. Just don't seem realistic IMO. Polian could have influenced them during the week and told them what kind of gameplan to run, but that wouldn't stop them from making adjustments during the game when it was obvious things weren't working.

 

IMO CC just didn't have the knowledge to adjust to the different styles of each QB and that speaks volumes about him as an OC. I won't guarantee that CC won't get the job if Arians leaves, but if he does get it, I will have serious concerns going forward about Lucks ability to grow as a QB.

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Clyde did a fine job yesterday. Perhaps even better play calling than Bruce would have done?

Christensen cant help it if the Colts dont block or if they drop the passes.

I doubt the management will want to change the whole offensive system around in Luck's second year and bring in Norv Turner.

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The OC was the same for all those years.....Peyton Manning

Exactly!!! When the goat went down Clyde looked like a deer in the headlights!!! For all those who want to knock Bruce, here's a man in his first year as the oc of the Colts with a rookie qb and one of the worst o-lines in the nfl but still managed an offense that pulled out 11 wins with Luck breaking the rookie yrd record. A man who has called plays in two Super Bowls winning one and almost another if not for Aaron Rogers. Big Ben didn't look the same without him. Now what has Clyde done on his OWN. He inherited Tom Moore's offense along with Peyton at the helm. Some want to give him a pass for last year saying look at his qbs but I say Painter was no rookie and had been here 3 seasons. Dan had started a couple of nfl games before and Bill thought enough of Kerry Collins (former SB losing qb) to give him 5 mil to come to a simplified offense that still had pro bowlers on the roster. What does Clyde do TRY to act like Peyton was still playing!! No type of adjustments to match the personnel or simplify the offense. Didn't try to put receivers in motion to gain favorable match-ups just the old "do what we do" but Clyde was no oc and lacks imagination. Now he has sat under Bruce and still does not have the mojo to be aggressive or manage more than fgs instead of tds with the predictable play calling. The only thing that helped Clyde seem ok yesterday was the drops by the receivers. Clyde must go.

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Exactly!!! When the goat went down Clyde looked like a deer in the headlights!!! For all those who want to knock Bruce, here's a man in his first year as the oc of the Colts with a rookie qb and one of the worst o-lines in the nfl but still managed an offense that pulled out 11 wins with Luck breaking the rookie yrd record. A man who has called plays in two Super Bowls winning one and almost another if not for Aaron Rogers. Big Ben didn't look the same without him. Now what has Clyde done on his OWN. He inherited Tom Moore's offense along with Peyton at the helm. Some want to give him a pass for last year saying look at his qbs but I say Painter was no rookie and had been here 3 seasons. Dan had started a couple of nfl games before and Bill thought enough of Kerry Collins (former SB losing qb) to give him 5 mil to come to a simplified offense that still had pro bowlers on the roster. What does Clyde do TRY to act like Peyton was still playing!! No type of adjustments to match the personnel or simplify the offense. Didn't try to put receivers in motion to gain favorable match-ups just the old "do what we do" but Clyde was no oc and lacks imagination. Now he has sat under Bruce and still does not have the mojo to be aggressive or manage more than fgs instead of tds with the predictable play calling. The only thing that helped Clyde seem ok yesterday was the drops by the receivers. Clyde must go.

 

 

I agree completely. CC does not deserve another chance, at least not with Indy. I don't care if some other poor team wants to take a chance on him, but I don't ever want him calling plays for Luck ever again.

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Well, Im certainly not against blaming Polian for a lot of the problems the team had last yr.. It is completely possible that Polian was pulling the strings on the entire coaching staff last yr.. I still think that with 3 different QB's last yr. that CC should have recognized that none of them could play the way Manning did and therefore the playcalling should have been adjusted.

 

Did Polian stop those adjustments? I don't know. I have a hard time believing that Polian could influence the coaches during the games and keep them from making adjustments. Just don't seem realistic IMO. Polian could have influenced them during the week and told them what kind of gameplan to run, but that wouldn't stop them from making adjustments during the game when it was obvious things weren't working.

 

IMO CC just didn't have the knowledge to adjust to the different styles of each QB and that speaks volumes about him as an OC. I won't guarantee that CC won't get the job if Arians leaves, but if he does get it, I will have serious concerns going forward about Lucks ability to grow as a QB.

 

 

I felt like adjustments were made to the offense later in the year, but by then, it was already too late. Once Dan O took over, we ran a much more simplified offense (that suited his talent level), IMO. We were traditionally a 1 back offense that ran out of 2 TE and spread formations, but focused more on the passing attack. Towards the end of the year, we stripped that strategy, inserted a fullback, went with more of a balanced attack, and either won or competed in 4 out of their last 5 games. 

 

I don't know whose idea it was to stay with the Manning offense, but we can all agree it was a colossal mistake. I don't know how many more wins we would've had, but given our talent level at QB, there's not much any coordinator could've done to make our offense respectable. A coordinator is only as good as the level of talent he has around him.

 

I agree that the offense should've been shifted as soon as we found out Peyton wasn't going to play at all. But again, we don't know whose call that was. Heck, it may have even been Peyton's call, being that he wanted to stay involved with the offense at some capacity. If you remember, he was essentially the QB coach last year. Bottom line is, we don't know all the circumstances (and likely never will) so I'm not going to base my opinion of Clyde as a coordinator entirely off last season. It was a unique position to be put in, and if it were a test, he certainly failed at it. It still wasn't your typical scenario for an O coordinator to be in, so he gets a little bit of a pass (from me, at least)  

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It's amazing that two different groups of people can see things so differently. In my own opinion, I thought CC called the game plan that people had been demanding BA call for the entire season. People had been complaining about the long ball/chunk offense all year and the offensive line's inability to protect long enough to keep Luck upright to throw it/ execute the offense, and wanted BA to call more short passes. Now here comes CC in this game, calls a LOT of short passes, and now people are saying we needed more chunk plays and we aren't able to compete by methodically trying to move the ball up and down the field in 5-7 yard segments. Make up your mind.

 

I personally would not want CC as OC just because he is an enigma like others have said. I want someone who either has proven themselves to be a reliable OC in the past or who is considered a bright/innovative up and comer that is worth taking a chance on. CC does not fit either of those categories and it would be taking a chance to promote him as OC (again). These first few seasons are very important for Luck's development as an NFL QB, and I want someone more proven giving him guidance than CC. Hopefully Arians comes back and the discussion ends there.

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What adjustments needed to be made? We were moving the ball, at will, in both halves. Drives stalled because of crucial drops in the redzone. What adjustments needed to be made, in your opinion?

 

 

Selective memory. We did throw a bomb to TY in the 1st half, which drew the PI, remember? We threw deep to Reggie and Brazill a few times as well. We just never connected on any of them.

 

 

That's our offense. We've been doing it all year. This is not exclusive to Clyde filling in and calling the game that way. Arians run designs are VERY predictable.

 

 

He called shorter passes and had 6 man protection (or 5 with a chip block) most of the game. What else could he have done short of suit up and help block himself?

 

 

Agreed. Satele is, apparently, in good with someone in the organization. He continues to get the start over Shipley despite being outplayed by him all season. This has gone on longer than just yesterday so you can't pin that on Clyde either. SOMEBODY wants Satele on the field, performance be d***ed. Whether it's Pagano, Arians, the O-line coach or Grigson; Satele is in good with someone.

 

 

 

I'd pass on Norv, myself. A bit overrated, in my opinion

We were moving the ball running to the left for the most part (not at will) and it got predictable. That's why Ballard started getting caught in the backfield alot.

 

Not selective memory, just used to seeing us thorw long alot more than yesterday.

 

We coulda/shoulda had Luck roll out more instead of sitting in the pocket all day.

 

Norv is overrated as a head coach, but a great offensive schemer.

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We were moving the ball running to the left for the most part (not at will) and it got predictable. That's why Ballard started getting caught in the backfield alot.

 

Not selective memory, just used to seeing us thorw long alot more than yesterday.

 

We coulda/shoulda had Luck roll out more instead of sitting in the pocket all day.

 

Norv is overrated as a head coach, but a great offensive schemer.

 

 

We run to the left every game because that's the only side that can produce anything remotely resembling a block. The problem with our offense is, we tell other teams what we're trying to do with predictable formations. When we're in that tight formation, we invite defenses to put 8 or more in the box. When we come out in that stupid empty formation, we invite the defenses to blitz our weak o-line. We hardly ever run out of the shotgun and when we try play action in our tight formations, it's ineffective because we haven't established the run with enough success for it to work. Those are all trademarks of Arians offense, which Clyde was tasked with managing at the last minute.  What Clyde did different (that I liked) was call more runs outside the tackle (with success), and he at least attempted to use the Ravens aggressiveness against them with screens and quick hitters. Arians rarely ever does that. His definition of a quick hitter is bubble screens,  that's it. 

 

As for not throwing deep as often as we normally do, that's actually a good thing. You can't have it both ways. You just complained about the protection issues with Sowell in at tackle, yet you want Christensen to call plays that require Luck to hold the ball longer and stand in a non-existent pocket? That makes no sense.

 

And yes, rollouts, bootlegs, etc... we've been clamoring for those all year. Not in Bruce's playbook, apparently

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It's amazing that two different groups of people can see things so differently. In my own opinion, I thought CC called the game plan that people had been demanding BA call for the entire season. People had been complaining about the long ball/chunk offense all year and the offensive line's inability to protect long enough to keep Luck upright to throw it/ execute the offense, and wanted BA to call more short passes. Now here comes CC in this game, calls a LOT of short passes, and now people are saying we needed more chunk plays and we aren't able to compete by methodically trying to move the ball up and down the field in 5-7 yard segments. Make up your mind.

 

I personally would not want CC as OC just because he is an enigma like others have said. I want someone who either has proven themselves to be a reliable OC in the past or who is considered a bright/innovative up and comer that is worth taking a chance on. CC does not fit either of those categories and it would be taking a chance to promote him as OC (again). These first few seasons are very important for Luck's development as an NFL QB, and I want someone more proven giving him guidance than CC. Hopefully Arians comes back and the discussion ends there.

 

I thought Christensen did a better job of helping Luck get rid of the ball quickly, relying more heavily on route combinations that had hot options, etc. This met with mixed results. Also, this very well could have been the game Arians' would have called; there's nothing in the gameplan that Arians didn't put there. The play calling was influenced, for sure, but this was Arians' gameplan.

 

What I hated, though, was the empty backfield on third down. Arians had been doing less of that over the past couple months, and again it's hard to tell what Arians would have done differently in certain situations. But I HATE empty backfield on third down, and we did it over and over again in this game, third and short, third and medium, third and long.

 

This offense, regardless of who is calling the plays, is still missing some crucial concepts that I think a good pro offense should have. For one, the offense relies on protection to be effective, and when protection breaks down, it asks the quarterback to make things happen. Our protection breaks down all the time, and the offense doesn't do most of the things that can take pressure off of the line and the quarterback, like including the backs in the passing game.

 

The route combinations feature concepts that stress a defense vertically and then underneath. (Unlike what people keep saying, the problem isn't that the receivers are always 20 yards downfield, it's that the underneath options rely on the deep routes to clear coverage. The underneath options are rarely primary options, they're most often crossing routes that still take time to develop.) This is a dangerous offense, as we've shown all season with big plays and lots of yardage. But it's not terribly efficient, and that's not just because we have a rookie quarterback and a bunch of rookie receivers. Roethlisberger has never been an efficient quarterback, even at his best. Philip Rivers' efficiency has deteriorated over the past two seasons, and before then, it relied heavily on big receivers making plays over defenders (very similar offense to ours). Both teams struggle to protect their quarterbacks.

 

Arians and his offense have a lot of positives. The team and fanbase should be exceedingly grateful that he was around this season, because he helped Luck and did a great job filling in while Pagano was out. But I don't think his offense is the long term answer for our team. I wouldn't be in favor of us getting rid of him, but given how strong he was as the top guy, I think he deserves a head coaching gig. And selfishly, since I think we need an offense that does more to stress efficiency, I hope he gets one.

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