Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
It's generally accepted that when you have a dominant defense the best complement is a conservative ball control offense. However, if you really think about it, wouldn't it make more sense to take a few more chances (especially on the other side of the opponents 50) knowing that you have the D to make up fo it? How much more dangerous would our defense be if we forced offenses to score?
This thread was partly in response to all the accolades Smith was getting for his low turnovers ratio....i.e......unwillingness to take chances. I'm not saying he should or shouldn't have taken more chances, but I'm curious if you think our defense gives our O a pass to be more aggressive. Or should we continue with our conservative style of offense?
Interesting question! Typing out loud here > one of the reasons our defense was successful was b/c we had tremendous ST, pinned teams deep and our offense had little problem moving between the 20's and sustaining long, clock-eating drives. Then more focus came on the RZ for the offense where we clearly improved late in the season and in the post season. So clearly, our formula was simple...long WCO-style drives with the offense, score in the RZ, play field position and dominate with the front 7 and generate TO's. Simple formula...if you can do it.
My issue, probably like yours, is that we did not game-plan to be aggressive...at all; rarely if ever. So yes, with our defense, we should have been more aggressive, take some more calculated risks, etc. esp. towards the end of the season and post-season when the OL gelled more. Opened it up...add the new wrinkles we all thought we were saving for the post season.
THE game that this was most apparent in was the Giants game where you could see their CB's playing VERY tight and physical up at the LOS on 1st down and took away, easily, Crabtree/Williams on the wet grass. The LBer's and S's would continue to creep up to the LOS, closer and closer and we'd run right into a wall or Alex would have instant, heavy pressure with zero
outlets. Alex had three chances all game to exploit this aggressive nature by the Giants...two went for TD's to VD and Alex just missed Williams on the 3rd for a TD. We never went back to it again despite its effectiveness. Without Ginn, NY did not need to respect our speed and well, we also saw the effects on ST it had too.
So to me, Roman has gotten a fairly clean pass here but I wasn't too thrilled with him this year, personally. I felt his play-calling was pretty predictable most of the time, felt he failed miserably on 1st downs, did OK at half time, saw many times where we just ran into a wall and we didn't audible out of it, didn't use VD enough, certainly didn't stay with what worked or didn't come back to it, didn't keep teams off-balanced, felt like he didn't run/pass enough when we were having success (game flow), didn't attack weaknesses enough, didn't use Hunter like Sproles, etc. For instance...as soon as Brown went out, Eli went right to a simple post route for a TD on Brock. That's smart...exploiting s weakness; this and attacking the middle of the field ALL day long and staying away from the sidelines. This is great game-planning.