Originally posted by Jersey9er:
As i said when i posted, it's not all on Raye, and i'm not even gonna make another thread because it's not all on the O-line. Some of you guys pick and choose what you want to answer too, instead of answering with some reality. REality of the line is this, it isnt that great, but HIll at times did have options to go down the field. And that game agains Atlanta, how many plays had he underthrown Davis, at least 5. When he went downfield despite that pass to Morgan most were over or behind receivers.
When he had time and space what usually happened. He went safely with the checkdown man. Did we forget that when Morgan stopped running it was a quick out that gained all those yards.
With Ryan and even our defense. You know why he killed us, because we didnt stick to our plan, nope. Cuz we did have a plan. A plan that we could keep doin the same s**t to teams, and no one take advantage of our mistakes and weaknesses. Well Atlanta did it. Most his passes came from our over agreesive run defense, with the play action pass. Espn put the stats up the next day, and said technically they only killed us with play action. with the regular plays he had no td's, and one int.
I just say. We were exposed around the league for our weakness, and so far we are 0-2 vs, good and proven teams. Even Favre's last minute pass. We got beat it's as simple as that. I hope that more teams arent afraid to hit us in the mouth again. Only then will we really see what our team is made of. But stop with all this blaming one and not the other, cause it aint always bout the line. And a good qb, makes plays when they present themselves, and with hill regardless whether some agree or not, plays have presented themselves, we just didnt capitalize. Dont forget the two Gore runs. Were those plays because the O-line was great, no. They did ok, and Gore made it happen shedding tacklers. So if Gore can do it, with a depleted line, so can Hill. I mean s**t, he is a qb, so stop babying him like they guy that wrote that recent article about HIll being the only one prepared. Even the writers are making excuses and pointing fingers at everyone, but where it also should be pointed, and thats the QB included.
Hill is playing like I expected him to play. If he has time, he usually makes the safe if unspectacular play. No sense comparing him to Gore because the two are in two separate stratospheres as far as talent goes. No one ever should have expected Hill to carry the team and make all-pro throws. The offense is designed for the run to carry us and the pass to simply keep drives alive. Asking Hill to carry us and being disappointed when he can't is ridiculous. He is what he is. An upgrade would be nice, but right now he's the best we've got.
The defense has been playing aggressively and definitely got burned for it against Atlanta. But they seem perfectly capable of making the necessary adjustments and continuing to mature as a unit. Getting beat because you are being overly aggressive is something that can be adjusted to. It's not like we're being beat because opposing offenses are simply faster, more talented or more cohesive. So while the defense definitely got schooled, that's to be expected from a young defense from time to time. I fully expect a loss like that to make them better. Sure a top-notched pass-rusher would be nice, but I think we can be effective (maybe not top notch) with what we've currently got.
If we want to blame Raye and the play calling, I'd say while I agree there have been some questionable calls, I can't expect coaches to miraculously make things happen if the players aren't executing. And that's why I have to focus on the O-line.
If an O-line doesn't execute, that offense isn't going to have consistent success, regardless of the talent level at the skill-positions. Our O-line is getting consistently out-played in all phases of the game. As a self-proclaimed run-focused, grind 'em down offense, we need to be averaging at least 4 yards a carry. We haven't seen evidence thus far that we can consistently do that, forcing us to rely on Shaun Hill to carry us, which we knew from the start he is not capable of doing.
The bottom line is that our defense has given indication that it can continue to improve and mature, Hill is adequate if uninspiring if given time, but the O-line is consistently coming up short. Will fixing the O-line issues solve all our problems? Absolutely not. We're a borderline playoff team even if the O-line executes consistently. But it's the one glaring area that needs immediate focus or this season goes very quickly down the tubes. Yes, an upgrade at QB would also be nice, some inspired play-calling would be more than welcome and a top pass rusher might push our defense over the hump, but right now getting the O-line to execute has to be our absolute top priority, because nothing else matters if they don't start playing better.