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Monday, June 17, 2013

Offensive Trends

To go with the shortened verbiage of the offense, I wonder if Mike
Shula will be upping the tempo of practice.

It's not something that's been discussed in the media, but (sorry for
the constant media slams) it's probably not something that would be
mentioned if it isn't in an interview soundbite. So if Jordan Gross
says the tempo is quicker? It's quicker. If he doesn't say anything,
who knows.

It's a possibility, but if it isn't so far, I certainly hope it does
happen. It's another offensive innovation brought from college, though
the first guy to use it - Joe Philbin in Miami - is a longtime pro coach
(Mike Sherman might've been the motive power on that one from his failed
Tx A&M stint). Philbin upped the tempo, and threw in two scrimmages on
either side of coaches. Other teams haven't done that, but continue to
throw in as much scrimmage as they can.

But, philosophically, with concussion studies showing that it isn't
always the one big hit, it's often the hundreds of thumps you can get in
succession, is that better for the sport?

As it is, the NFL limits the total scrimmage allowed, and if too many
teams drill a lot of hitting in scrimmage situations, I wonder if that
will be sanctioned as well? A few teams are getting heat for excessive
hitting in non-scrimmage situations already, and constant drills in camp
won't help.

I don't want to be alarmist, but the idea of a constant stream of
once-every-30-seconds scrimmage plays over and over, to squeeze all you
can in? If a player's feeling woozy from heat or from taking a lot of
hits, chances are that guy's going to feel pressure to not step out.

There's a fine line with all of this. But, part of me still wants to
see the team push this philosophy, even if it's not hitting hard on the
lines. Drill two sides, have the linemen contact with just arms if
needed, and drill the rest like it's 7 on 7. And just do things over
and over again, with expert efficiency. There's just not a lot of
practice time out there.
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