Okay...I have a lot to get off my chest.....If I need to get it off my chest, that means it is on my chest. To fit all this on my chest, my chest must be huge. This leads us to the obvious fact that MY PECS ARE ENORMOUS!!!
(wife rolls eyes)
1. 8-8 in 2009
a. New head coach
b. New offensive system (which was sold as having a 2-3 year learning curve especially for qb)
c. Huge player turnover (I believe close to 60%....might be a little off on that)
d. Brutal schedule (we played all the top teams in the league except NO and MIN....even our off week games
were against the likes of Balt and Pitt.....
2. 8-8 in 2008
a. Shanny established as head coach (Not a shanny hater by any means....simply comparing seasons)
b. Cutler in 3rd year in system (supposed break-out year for a Shanny qb)
c. Established offensive system
d. Cakewalk schedule compared to this year (Not near the top level teams we played)
I don't understand the McD haters complaining about the benching of Marsh and Scheff. I really thought BM had changed his colors through the year, but this really shows that he has not and I hope we get compensated for him and I hope the door hits him hard on his way out. The attitude and selfishness is unbelievable, but what really gets me is him asking out of practice cause it hurts to breathe when it's cold.........I can't imagine what a Bdawk or DOOM had going through their head at that point. THE FREAKIN PLAYOFFS ARE ON THE LINE AND HE CAN'T PRACTICE CAUSE IT'S COLD!!
Ok, Ok.......He is, in my mind, a top 3 receiver in the league. Argue with me if you want, but like Cutler, there's few who can physically do what he does at his position. (I am a Cutler hater btw, turn your back on your team, fans and Mr. B and you hit my bad list). McD benches him in a huge game and we lose....what a dunce move. I can't believe he'd do tha.......huh? Oh wait....you mean that team leaders met with McD and supported the move? Hmm....well I still hate McD because he's.....uh........he's........HE"S TOO YOUNG!!
No young coaches have success in the NFL. I'd rather have spags (2 wins), or Cowher? this is the one that gets me....The guy wins one SB in 15 years in Pitt and he's hailed as the best coach on the market last year. (They don't, by the way, win that SB if we don't knock NE out for them in the divisionals). Give me Tomlin over Cowher anyday. I love Shanahan, but he's won nothing without Elway. These aren't bad coaches, in fact they're great coaches, but even great coaches don't win the Super Bowl every year. (didn't shanny go 8-8 in his first year? and he did have Elway running things).
Anyway, McD has made mistakes and he's said as much. Those of you who want him to own up to every little mistake he's made and specifically tell you where he's been wrong are looney!!! No other coach in the league is expected to do that. Yeah he's made mistakes, yeah there will be growing pains. Let me tell you what I love about this year's team and where it's headed.
1. We have smart players who play hard. McD is methodically weeding out those who don't want to be here, or have attitude problems. I might be in the minority (being an old guy with kids....ok I'm only 29, but I do have 3 kids....and huge pecs...did I mention that?) I'd prefer an 8-8 to 10-6 team year in and year out that I can be proud of and feel good about cheering for than have an elite team full of punks.
2. We've shown we can hang. We might not be elite yet, but he hung tight with the elite teams we played this year. Ind and Phi games both came down to the last min or two, and we did beat 4 of the 5 division champs we played this season. These are games we would've been blown out last season. This team doesn't quit (even down 21-0 to the best team in the league).
3. Our defense hung tough almost all year. I do think they wore down, and they gave up some late drives that cost us games, but I think this is an issue with our offense going 3 and out for the entire first and second quarter all year. If our offense could sustain a few more drives our defense stays fresh and I think potentially makes a few more stops. It's fun having a defense that can occasionally come up with a big play.
4. DOOM!! How long has it been since we've had an elite pass rusher. Yeah, he disappears at times, but I think you could argue that about any pass rusher. After an elite QB, I think an elite pass rusher is the hardest spot to fill on a team, and we have one.
What I don't like so much:
1. Our interior O-line got owned repeatedly for most of the year. This is fixable, and is a symptom of a new system that calls for big, powerful lineman vs. the more agile zone blocking lineman that McD inherited. I say this takes another year or two to iron out.
2. I was sold on Orton all year until the last few weeks. I still think he could be great in this system, but it seems he's thinking too much, especially in big situations. I give Orton on more year before Brandstater takes over, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Orton blows up next year and becomes a top 5-6 qb. He's shown flashes when he has time to throw.
3. The interior of our front 7.....I'd love to move up and get Suh, but don't think we want to guarantee 30-40 million to a rookie, so I say stay pat and hope this Bama LB drops to us. Hopefully Baker pans out next year, and DJ settles down in his second year in yet another position.
Well, that's about it folks. Tear me up if you like, but please support what you're saying.