I interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcast for this breaking news report: The Denver Broncos go head-to-head tomorrow afternoon with Gisele Bundench's husband.
I'm no Tom Brady, and I'm no Tim Tebow, but as the consummate bachelor I generally find myself out and about on a Saturday Night - looking for my next yesterday. Not the case tonight. Split some wood for my uncle today, who's still nursing a bad back after an accident. Too late and too exhausted to get all fresh and clean to go out, so instead of Saturday Night Live after the game, I guess you get me instead.
In thinking of what to share and write about tonight, only one thing sticks out. Tackling Brady.
(Two sacks in a row? Wow. Cowboys still up, 14-0.)
DBroncs1414 and I each had a post earlier this week where we essentially named our keys to the game. It got heated a little on our back and forth, but I'd guess there are no apologies from either side. Personally, I learn nothing from someone that agrees with everything I say. I call that guy a 'yes man'. DBroncs is not one of them, and we differed on our approaches to tackling Brady. These exchanges help me learn, and I get more from these than from any kumbaya session where we all 'just get along'. So thanks to him. We don't all always have to hold hands in a circle and tell eachother how great we are. At the end of the day, we all know we're on the same side. Debate brings out the best of all of us. (Wow. Go Felix Jones on that breakaway run... Just give it to my fantasy player, Miles Austin, for the score. Please?) And to be clear, what I'm talking about here isn't to argue just to argue. I'm only saying that when you debate with a smart fan, you often end up looking up facts and challenging not only what he thinks he knows, but also what you think you know.
Anyway, this post isn't about him or me, but rather about what the discussion was about. How to tackle Brady.
(Urgh. Robinson got the TD, not Austin.)
My idea in tackling Brady is to rest on those that we've paid to do the job. With Elvis Dumervil being our highest paid player, and with Von Miller being the highest draft pick in Bronco history, I expect our defense to be able to lean on them to do their worst. With Champ Bailey being our second highest paid player, I expect him to shut down Wes Welker, er, at least as much as one man can shut down this Rudy Ruttiger of a receiver. Point being, I look at our team as a team that was built to stop a guy like Brady. Our primary pass rushers are good enough that they should be expected to handle this task. I don't care that Tom Brady doesn't get sacked much. I don't care that his O-Line is good-to-great. VonDoom are the best pass rushing duo in the leage right now. Bar none. Shouldn't we trust them to do their worst? And by that, I mean bitch-sack Brady a few times and make him hurt nearly every other time he takes three seconds or five steps.
I'm not sure who's right. Tom Brady has a higher passer rating when blitzed, than without the blitz. But Tom Brady with time equals trouble. Further, the book on Tom is that he likes to step forward in the pocket to buy time. And he's good at it. So maybe edge rushers alone aren't the answer?
We have Batman and Robin on our team. And as I called out earlier in the week, the Bat Signal is being sent out in this game stronger than in any game we've ever seen. Brady needs pressured. Sure. Where DBroncs and I disagreed was how often we should blitz. To me, I say you blitz early and hit Brady early. Hit him hard. Make him feel the pain in a big way. Even if that costs a penalty or two - early on - hit him. And hit him hard. And use the blitz to do it.
But after that? Lay off. Brady's too smart for blitzing to be effective for long. Eventually, he's going to hit you where you ain't. He'll read the blitz and hit you where that blitz came from - where the coverage is weak. We need seven in coverage as often as possible. We need pressure to be created from our front-four.
Sure, blitz sometimes throughout the game. Sure, bring Von Miller in through the middle and keep moving him around. But Tom Brady is one of the smartest QBs in the league. If we need five and/or six to keep constant pressure, we're screwed, IMO. So my answer in how to tackle Brady is to absolutely bring the pain early on. Get him rattled. Make him uncomfortable. Hell, put him to sleep. But once we've established that we own his backfield, you need to lay off and keep seven in coverage. We need to be able to trust VonDoom to bring it. That's what they're here for.
Head, body, head. Once Brady realizes that the blitzes aren't coming as often, and once he starts getting more comfortable again. Then bring it again. Give him stretches without blitzing at all, followed by minimal minutes of bringing the house.
In sum, we can't outsmart Brady. Nor should we try, IMO. Get him rattled then only bring the blitzes when he starts to get unrattled - to remind him why he was rattled in the first place. After his first drive or two, we shouldn't need five and six rushers to keep him rattled consistently. We have Batman and Robin. And Tom Brady hasn't faced a duo like that all year long.
What I'd like to see in this game is one unnecessary roughness penalty on Von Miller early on. And I'd like to see 3.5 sacks between he and Doom. If we keep that pressure up all day, we'll have a pick or two. And yes, I know it's Tom Brady we're talking about. Seven in coverage is key.
There's no right and wrong here. At least not yet. I'd just like to hear other opinons on the subject. How do we tackle Brady? And look, I'm not just picking on one small point here. The plan for Tom and the execution thereof, is very likely to be the difference between a win and a loss. And a shoutout to DBroncs1414 one more time. Neither idea is dumb and neither is wrong. In fact, I won't even put a poll on this post. Debates bring out the best in us (even if it's in a bad way lol), and I'd like to keep it that way.
So what say you? Ultra agressive with the blitzing? Blitz a lot? Blitz a little? Wait, wait, i know... You'd rather be talking about tackling Gisele...
(It's halftime, so I'm posting without edit or re-read. So, sorry for the mistakes and whatnot. Maybe not my best, but hey, you'll forgive me. After all, we're on the same side:)