Shooters shoot. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Pick whichever saying you want, they all apply, here.
I was about to take a hiatus from writing for the next few weeks, as I’m getting ready to head up to the West Coast for a wedding (which I am in...as the groom), but this coaching staff forced my hand.
I had to come back from vacation for a quick Pete Baron-style rant. While I can’t do it quite like Pete can, I’ll give it my best shot.
Coming out of Sunday’s abysmal game, one of the main storylines, (you know, aside from the inept passing game and the secondary’s inability to cover the other team’s only receiving threat) were the three offsides or “neutral zone infraction” penalties incurred by Von Miller, all in quick succession within the first half.
Head coach Vance Joseph had some harsh words after the game on the topic:
On OLB Von Miller trying to predict snap counts
“You don’t. You can’t do it. Watch the ball and get off on the ball. Von’s a gifted pass rusher so he doesn’t have to cheat the count to go. That drive before half killed us. We had [five] penalties. We had three offsides and two other holding penalties, so we had five penalties in one drive, which gave them the second touchdown of the half which was a killer for us. He can’t do it. He’s a gifted guy, so he can go on a snap and still win his one-on-ones.”
While I appreciate where Joseph is coming from, I would beg to differ. Yes you do do it, and yes you can do it.
Von Miller can.
Miller has literally made a living off of guessing/predicting the snap count his entire career. You don’t change that now because he guessed wrong a few times and got a couple of five-yard penalties.
Has Vance Joseph watched the AFC Championship game in 2015 against the Patriots where Demarcus Ware and Von Miller terrorized Tom Brady en route to one of the sweetest Broncos victories ever? Want to know how they did it?
Ware & Miller are jumping the snap on Stork's lower-raise head routine at center. Need to change snap count pic.twitter.com/PZPZ0GMLUO— Matt Chatham (@chatham58) January 24, 2016
Ware and Miller anticipated the snap count and played off of the center’s movements to get after the quarterback even faster.
Are there a few offside penalties as a result of this style of play? Sure. But if it gets results, who cares.
“You’re always upset about it. But at the end of the day, if I’ve got 97 sacks, probably 80 of them came off of getting a great jump. So, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I jumped off-sides, but quarterbacks throw interceptions too.’ It’s not like you tell them not to throw the ball down the field anymore. It’s just part of the game. That’s just something that I’ve worked on and I guessed wrong.
Let me translate that for you. Shooters shoot.
Want to know who has led the league in offsides penalties over the last three years? Von Miller.
Also want to know who is one of the best pass rushers of all-time? Von Miller.
If Miller let an offsides penalty keep him from being aggressive, he wouldn’t be leading all defenders since 2011 with 97 freaking sacks.
Let's do a quick survey of the players so undisciplined to lead the league in offside penalties.— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) December 13, 2018
We've got Von Miller, Myles Garrett, Chandler Jones, and Bradley Chubb all up there in the top 10.
Now let's take a peek at the top 10 sack.....oh look whatta ya know..... https://t.co/1JrV2y82LI
Besides, a quick look at the others joining Von Miller at the top of the offsides list every year is a “who’s who” of pass rushers - including Melvin Ingram, Jadaveon Clowney, Chandler Jones and Myles Garrett.
I wonder if their coaches publicly call them out for getting offsides penalties too?
Joseph’s message on Sunday should have been to keep rushing, keep shooting and eventually he would get home. It shouldn’t have been benching his best defender to make a statement and then publicly calling No. 58 out after the game for trying a little too hard to make a play to make up for the inevitable challenge screw-ups Joseph would make.
Did I just write that out loud?
Never change, Von. You’ll still be kicking ass and taking names in the orange and blue next year, which is more than we can say for this coaching staff.