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Last Guy on the Bench

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Everything posted by Last Guy on the Bench

  1. I don't know. Kelly beat Marino more often than not, but lots of people rank Marino ahead of him. Then and now. Of course, Mahomes is fantastic. I have no problem with anyone who says he's the best. But if I have to start a new team and pick one player, I'm taking #17.
  2. Good points. It's very fair to criticize decisions and strategy in that game (or in any game). And I totally agree that there is no one solution. That's why I think you have to look at the gestalt of the thing, rather than focusing on one year or one result. There are definitely coaches that are reasonably competent and kind of plateau and don't grow into greatness. Maybe Jauron is a good example? Still, give Jauron Josh Allen and who knows how that goes? Even the Bucs Dungy/Gruden example is questionable to me. Yes they won the SB so it's hard to argue. At the same time, they only made the playoffs twice in the ensuing 17 years and got bounced in the wild card round both times. So was that really the direction to take for the team? Might Dungy have won a SB along the way and kept them more competitive? I don't know. I do know that when he arrived they hadn't made the playoffs in 13 years, and under him they went four times in six years. Pretty good. The alchemy of a good team is mysterious. Maybe it will become apparent over time that McD's weaknesses outweigh his strengths. But for me right now, his considerable strengths dramatically outweigh his weaknesses, even assuming I have a good read on his weaknesses, which I probably don't. And I do think he is a guy that will attack his weaknesses head-on. That's one of his most admirable qualities.
  3. That "choking" reputation is what I'm talking about. It's juvenile. Reid won lots of big games before Mahomes. So did all of those coaches. I don't put so much weight on whether a person wins one particular game - the Super Bowl. There is too much randomness in there and too small a sample size. Coaches that go to multiple Super Bowls or even multiple conference championships win tons of big games along the way. I don't subscribe to the idea that there is only one big game. If you do, you are bound to be disappointed in most coaches most of the time. I believe there are many big games every year. That's not to say that all coaches are equal, or that different coaches don't have different strengths and weaknesses, including game management. That goes without saying. I just don't find it so obvious that someone is a genius or an idiot based on, say, whether a kicker hits a kick or not. If one play goes differently yesterday, McD just beat the big bad Chiefs on the road and likely wins a Super Bowl this year, or at least gets there. Is he a different coach based on any one of those plays? Not to me. That being said, I do think McD and Frazier made mistakes in that 13 seconds. I'm particularly troubled by the way they were guarding the boundary as if out of bounds mattered at all with time only for three plays and with three KC timeouts left. Out of bounds or not wasn't going to make any difference. I also don't understand how you don't put two bodies each on Kelce and Hill, and I agree with people who argue that you didn't really need much pass rush, since Mahomes was going to throw it quickly no matter what. Still, we could be wrong about all of that, and even if we're right, so what? They made a mistake. I don't see it as indicative that they will never win "the big one." It's just something they'll have to learn from. To answer your question, I would never put a specific result on a specific year to decide whether to fire a coach, if it were up to me. I'd look at the overall body of work, I'd look at the way that coaches and players do or don't improve over the years, I'd look at the relationships between coaches, players, front office staff, support staff, etc. All of that matters to me. If the Bills continue to field a competitive football team that is generally in the playoff hunt, and if they continue to cultivate what looks like a very healthy organizational culture and learning mindset, I would keep the coach. The only reason I would fire a coach that had that kind sustained competitive success is if it grew clear that things had gotten stale, that he had stopped growing and progressing, and/or that he was no longer relating to and developing players well. So pretty much nothing next year short of a player revolt would make me in favor of letting McD go. Again, I wasn't originally a big fan of the hire. And I still don't think he's the kind of guy I would really jibe with. Not my kind of personality really. I also suspect he might never be the sharpest tactical tool in the shed. And I do wonder what Reid saw in him that made him fire him. Still, with all of that, I think he is doing an absolutely fantastic job and I hope to see him as the Bills coach for many years to come, unless something major changes in his approach.
  4. Your list of "failed" coaches is hilarious. I hope McD is our version of those coaches. Two of them won Super Bowls. The tother two won bushels of games. Reeves won multiple conference championships and was NFL Coach of the Year twice. I love your definition of failure. I guess it includes 99% of coaches who ever coached, including a number of HOFers. McD will be in good company if he is one of those guys. According to you, the Chiefs never should have hired Reid, I guess.
  5. Hope so. I'll be pulling for them, if I can convince my bruised heart to watch the game.
  6. I agree, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I think they will romp over the Bengals. Maybe the Rams can give them a fight, but between Stafford and Mahomes I know who my money would be on. I think the Chiefs just won the Super Bowl tonight. By 13 seconds.
  7. Yeah, I think he erred too. Definitely on the defensive strategy. Maybe on the kickoff - I'm less sure about that. Most coaches makes lots of mistakes though. It's an unbelievably complex and fast moving game. I'm not ready to throw out the people who have built by far the most satisfying and fun version of the Bills in 25 years. Josh has much to do with that, of course. He's a freak, and a good human, and unbelievably competitive and dedicated. But he could have landed with coaches who didn't develop him well, and who didn't prioritize the kind of tight and human culture that he seems to thrive in. I think he's in the right place with the right coaches. I'm looking forward to the next 10 years (although I don't know how much more damage my heart can take from these brutal losses - I've been at it for 40 years (50 if you count the fact that as a little kid my first football love was the Fran Tarkenton Vikings teams - no strangers to brutal losses)).
  8. Fair enough. Sorry if I took you out of context. Totally agree that right now Reid is a better tactical coach than McD. And I'm not sure McD's strength will ever be tactical. But I do believe that he will keep working to find and develop good tactical minds and that everyone on the staff will keep working to improve their approach over time. I agree about Dabol too. He's a funny one. I like him, and think he will also continue to get better as a play caller. (No idea how he'll be as a head coach.) But I did think the coaching tonight on offense was nervous and tight at times, especially early. They needed to unleash Allen early and let things play out. That series of calls before the punt on 4th and 1 was painful (as was the punt). But they're human. I just get tired of everyone who makes a mistake (especially when a lot of the mistakes probably aren't actual mistakes) getting called idiots and trash, etc. But you weren't doing that, so sorry to aim my frustration at your reasonable post.
  9. Do you know how many years people crapped on Reid for never being able to win big games?! Coaching, like anything else, is a developmental process. Plus you need the players. Plus you need to get a little lucky. I swear that Pittsburgh is the only team in the league with its head on straight in terms of letting coaches stick around long enough to develop and to give the organization some coherence. I wasn't a McD fan when he was hired. But he has done a great job building an organization that is geared toward long-term competitiveness. And he continues to grow as a coach. He'll get a little better each year if he's given time. These knee jerk responses are predictable, but ridiculous.
  10. I don't think it was confusing. He would be surprised if both were on the roster. He would not surprised if neither were on the roster. And it's implied that he wouldn't be surprised if the third possibility holds - that only one of them is on the roster.
  11. Love it. Milano is serious. In other news, how good is Micah Parsons!? Coverage and rush. I would love to have that guy on our team.
  12. Thanks. I went and looked for it, and I think this is what you were talking about? Pretty cool. Belestrator on Allen, Diggs, Singletary
  13. Aw, crap. Now I have to like him. What are you doing to me Bill, being all classy and large spirited? It's disturbing my universe.
  14. Yes, they have seriously upped their game over the past couple of years. This year especially.
  15. Agreed, he's a good poster. But "we" don't "all" hate the Chiefs. Many do, but I don't really get it. For me, they are a great team, and it has been fun to watch them. Love Reid. Love Mahomes (don't understand why people are hating on him - except for the obnoxious brother thing). Don't get me wrong, I do hate losing to them. But that's another story. I hope we plaster them by 50 on Sunday and Mitch T. is on for mop up duty the entire fourth quarter. But life's too short to hate every excellent and entertaining team in the league. Save the hatred for where it really matters: The *Patriots.
  16. Diggs led the league last year in receptions and yards. Massive year. You can't expect him to put up those numbers every year. No one does. His current numbers would be 96 catches for 1150 yards (in a 16 game season to keep it comparable) - a nice year that would be 3rd all time on the Bills for receptions and 10th all time for yards. If that's a down year, I'll take it. Plus he could easily go off for a game or three and jack those numbers up. Now that we are good and have good players, people's expectations are stretched beyond realism (see e.g., every discussion of Josh's regression).
  17. That subtle one at the end with McKenzie just DESTROYS me. Funniest/coolest handshake ever.
  18. The Red Rifle. Gotta love him. (A little easier to take when we are up by 28 and it's preseason, of course.)
  19. Fun read on Jimmy Johnson in The Athletic. Like many of you, I imagine, I couldn't stand the guy back in the day. But after a few decades have eased the pain I can now look back on him fondly as a beloved old enemy. Anyway, interesting comment by DJ about how they flipped the script on the Bills in our fourth Super Bowl and came back in the second half. Painful, but good to know: Daryl Johnston Fullback, 1989-1999 The one that I always remember is halftime of Super Bowl 28 in Atlanta against Buffalo. We’re down 13-6. And they really just kind of stifled us in the run game. They were doing something; they were twisting and moving inside. They were crashing their tackles inside and looping the linebacker outside, just running some stunts in the front so our guys couldn’t really tee off on them. And they were quick. It was one of the things that we always struggled with was the quickness and the movement in our run game. And they were giving us fits. At halftime, Jimmy was outside the locker room and he said, “Listen, we know what they’re doing. You guys get off your feet, take care of your business. In about 10 minutes, let’s get back together, we’ll have everything up on the board for you. We’re going to show you what they’re doing. We’re going to show you how we’re going to counter that. And the second half, we’re going to force them out of what they’re doing right now. And then as soon as they move out of that we can get back to what we planned on doing.” So it was a play we had run about five, six weeks ago. It was just “power,” you know, just the power play. They were stunting the 3-4 outside linebacker with the defensive tackle down inside and looping the linebacker to the outside. So for power, it’s easy, everybody just adjusts and they’re basically taking themselves out of the play. If you remember the opening drive of the second half, when we had the football, it was Emmitt left, Emmitt right, Emmitt left, Emmitt right, Emmitt right, Emmitt left and it was “power” the whole way down the field. There wasn’t a whole lot of deviation on the play call. They were going to need to stop stunting and go back and play more traditional defense and at least mix it up a little bit. And they never really did. They kind of just stuck with what they were doing. And that’s why we had so much success in the second half. I’ve always felt the way that Jimmy handled that whole thing because we were really frustrated coming in at halftime. And remember, Troy had the concussion against San Francisco in the championship game and it was just one week before the Super Bowl. So we were gonna lean on the run game a little bit more but they stuffed it in the first half and it was a little bit of “what’s going on here?” Then for him to be out at the locker-room door and to be saying, “Hey, we know what they’re doing. Don’t anybody panic, go in and take care of your business? We got the long Super Bowl halftime, we have plenty of time. Let’s make sure everybody’s (knows) what we’re doing. And we’ll go out here in the second half and we’ll force these guys out of what they’re doing and we’ll take advantage of the game plan that we have in place.” It’s Hudson Houck and it’s Norv Turner and everybody’s in on the X’s and O’s and all that stuff, but Jimmy to be there being real positive and knowing what we were going to be able to do in the second half. I thought it was, if not his best coaching moment while we were there, it was definitely near the top. Full Article (subscription required): That Was Just Jimmy
  20. Exactly. Very impressive actually. Not to mention playoffs 3 out of 4 years with a team that hadn't sniffed the playoffs since the Victorian era. And the one year he missed out, he was starting a rookie QB. I was not a fan of the McD hire at all. Ecstatic to be so wrong. And though he still has his weaknesses, like any coach, I don't see how anyone can look at either his quantitative record or the qualitative vibe of this team and be anything other than deeply impressed.
  21. Exactly. Love to see the NFL continue to grow internationally. Been following soccer (football) more and more closely over the years and the international diversity is a breath of fresh air compared to the insularity of U.S. sports. I really enjoy it for that reason (as well as many others).
  22. Epic. That should actually be the new Shout song. The stadium would be blistering.
  23. I was thinking about that too. 17-3 sounds pretty good to me. And that 17 would then include wins over Mahomes (maybe) and Rodgers or Brady. I suppose I am getting ahead of myself, but what else am I meant to do this week?
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