Originally posted by D_Niner:
Thats much better an argument than your previous one and I sir applaud you for that.
I also think we need to look at what the O did not do to get a better picture of the differences between 08 and 09.
In 08 we had a -17 turnover ratio. In a large part, this was due to the 19 interceptions thrown by our QB's. Another part was the 8 lost fumbles by the QB. Also, this 23rd ranked O averaged 21.2 points per game under Martz.
In 09 we had a +9 turnover ratio. Part of this was made up by 11 less turnovers by the QB position alone. Now you would expect a huge drop off in points for this safe type of football, right? We averaged 20.6 points per game in 09! (that's only 0.6 points per game difference from Martz's high power O)...
Yes we did play more conservative O and the stat sheets show us as 23 total O in 08 and 27 in 09; but, when you look at the total points scored in both years and how many times we turned the ball over, we were much better off this year.
Thank YOU! You bring up some very good points about the shift in offensive philosophy from the wide-open Martz offense in early 2008 to the conservative philosophy in 2009 installed by Singletary/Raye. But to be fair, I think we'd need to compare those offenses this way to get an idea if we've really improved:
Martz offense when Hill took over as QB and Singletary became HC who demanded a more balanced attack vs. Raye's offense, perhaps, just under Smith as the QB.
I think that would be the most fair and even leans more towards Raye a bit b/c we put up more points with Alex during the Rayegun changes esp. in the second halves of games when we were down at halftime.
I do concede that turnovers play a monumental part in wins/losses and you could see all off-season Singletary preaching this to the point that both Hill and Smith looked tentative, even "scared" to throw the ball this year unless a WR was wide open. Clearly, the focus for passes was well under 15 yards even if we had a streaking WR down field, open by 20 yards with nobody around him. The “cow bell” was all about Gore and the o-line and esp. on TOP (even though we were terrible on 3rd downs, a big drop off from last year).
I was happy with the focus on holding on to the ball but NOT happy with the play-calling esp. on 1st and 2nd downs this year which results in putting both our o-line and both QB's in really bad positions. I was not happy with the run-first mentality and the desire to impose our will on the defense no matter what their strengths and weaknesses were. We were a bi-polar team, not only between the first and second halves of games but also in philosophies...balance was something we NEVER acheived this year. It was all Gore or all Alex and usually at the wrong times against the wrong opposition's strengths/weaknesses.
I think if you can combine Martz's philosophy of attacking weaknesses and creating mismatches where our QB's clearly played with a confidence (esp. Shaun Hill) and our WR's excelled along with a ball-control style of Raye that centers around TOP and protecting the ball and an OC that plays to the strengths of our players you'd have a top 12 offense for sure.
I just don't see that with Raye, I don't see it with Raye/Johnson and I don't see it with Martz. Although, had Martz stayed this year for continuity and continued to play more balanced like he did under Singletary's structure, I think Alex & Crabtree would have flourished with confidence and Morgan would have continued to shine. And of course, getting VD the ball too would really open up the defense and make more room for Gore to get his yards too.
There really is a happy medium here - we just haven't found it yet and it will be interesting to see how Singletary handles it esp. if some much better OC's are available and ones that would fit our personnel much better.