OK, one thing I HATE is criticism with no suggestions for solutions. I have been pretty critical of Jim Zorn's play calling over the past 2 weeks. And Blache's as well. While Blache gets a pass because his defense only gave up 7 points, I still think his guys are playing too far off the ball. And his refusal to mix in some blitz packages befudles me. Today's NFL requires intricate defenses. Blache preaches a "straight up, ous against yours" 'D', that is just not practical. That may work if you have dominant players all over the field, but we simply don't. Now, I'm not saying we can't get by on his vanilla defense, or even prosper. But we will never be feared. Baltimore has plenty more playmakers on defense than us, and they blitz all the time. Not just that, but they give different looks. Not us.
Same thing on offense. Why not change things up some? Why SHOW that we're gonna run at the goal line. And if we DO show it, why not show it in different ways.
So, as I said in my opening sentence, I've jotted down a few ideas. Feel free to shoot them down, call me stupid, or add your own.
OK, I'm sure most of you know my thoughts on the lack of a "jump ball" in out repetoire, so I won't bother bringing that up. Oops, guess I just did. Well, OK, I guess I'll expand on it then. Look back on those last few run plays. In every one, we had Moss in as the lone wideout. How about putting Kelly in there (or Mitchell). Even if you run it, it will set up the fade later on. Also, how about a bootleg down there, with *multi-level* routes on that side. It seems every time JC rolls out, he has one option on the side he's running to, and ends up having to throw the ball in the dirt. In the time it takes him to compete his roll out, I'm pretty sure Moss could run to that side of the field from the other side, with Kelly and/or Cooley already there. Next, how about *NOT* running sideline routes every time? Sure, we took some deep shots yesterday, but you can tell that JC's progressions start on the sideline, then move in from there. I'd like to see multiple routes down the middle, maybe even crossing routes.
Now, as for running plays, what happen to the pitch? Sure, it can be risky, but it can be productive if you have the QB running one way, with the defense following, before he pivots and pitches to the back. And remember the old B-Mitch play? Gibbs ran it with Betts a few times. You know, the shotgun draw. I mean, if we're gonna be in the 'gun more often, why not mix things up there as well. And last, a "Jumbo" package at the goal line. Picture this - 3rd and goal at the one. The MLB looks in the backfield and sees us in the 'I formation'. Except it's SELLERS at tailback, and Lorenzo Alexander at FB/lead blocker. If you can't get a yard out of that formation, I don't know what would work.
Here's where I'd REALLY like to see us mix things up. I dunno how much Blache knows about the 3-4, but I'd love to see us line up in it sometime. Who are our 2 best pass rushing LB's? B-Rak and Wilson. So why not have them on the field at the same time, coming from opposite sides? Daniels is plenty big to play a 3-4 end, and Alexander could line up on the other side. Or even Big Al, with Montgomery or Griffin at NT. I'm not saying CHANGE to this formation, but CHANGE UP a little. And how about a corner blitz, or even a jail break every once in awhile? After working under Gregg Williams the past few years, Blache must know how to set these up.
OK, that's it. Like I said, you guys are welcome to pick this apart a much as you want. I'm not pining for a change in coaching here, just a little change/update in philosophy. Being innovative on offense and unpredictable on defense is how teams start fearing you. That's something we haven't had here in a long time.