Maybe positioning your players to get overconfident in a tough home game, where you're batting .500 anyways, and needed more than 8 quarters to do so, is a bad idea. Then again, why don't coaches in the NFL ever make bad decisions, say the wrong thing, assault your opponent verbally, with gusto and a charming amount of vitriol?
Thanks to my trusty Redskins Encyclopedia, I'm reminded of better days when a coach or eccentric owner couldn't go one week without making some outrageously awesome quote for print. Preston Marshall remarked "earnestly", at the outset of the 1940 season, after surveying "the field" (of teams), that "the Redskins will be the new champions... This will be the greatest year in the history of football and the Washington Redskins." Hyperbole, maybe, ok, yea it was hyperbole, but so what? That's a(n admittedly racist) owner providing great print.
Ray Flaherty, writing a page in a book that Joe Gibbs would later quote, didn't share Marshall's enthusiasm for the season, publicly at least. So maybe the Redskins ultimately didn't win the championship that year, because they lost to the Chicago Bears 73-0, which remains "the widest single-game margin in NFL history." Details.
Still, that didn't stop Marshall from proclaiming just 2 years later that this time the Redskins were really the business: "This is the greatest team we ever had-- better than last year's or our championship team of 1937 or any of the rest." And he was right; that hyperbole preceded a 10-1 season turned championship vengence winner over the Chicago Bears, 14-6. These two teams hated, hated each other in a way that I don't even feel with our current rivalry with Dallas, because they had something viceral between them: A 73-0 shellacking. Clyde Shugart, "We hated them because of that tremendous score they ran up. Of course, we never liked them anyhow." I want to hear more players dumping on our opponents. That builds character.
If confidence ain't your thing, what about some good old fashioned reverse psychology -- cause peeing your pants is cool -- which might also work a spell, and did under Dutch Bergman when he told the 1943 Redskins, playing for a spot in the championship against the hated Giants, that "he made no plans to go to Chicago to play the Bears for the big title because he was confident the Redskins were ready to conede to the Giants." Dutch Bergman was the Redskins coach, and we won, 28-0.
Instead we get a dialogue about how the past buys you nothing, these Lions are pretty tough, bla bla bla... All I want is once, just once, for Coach to slip up and say something ridiculous. Give this team an identity as only a coach and an outrageously ill-advised quote (and decisive results) can. Say something stupid, please. Tell me that Detroit is as good as done and we're going to beat the snot out of them. Or say that we're finished because this team is a bunch of quitters. Something more stirring, at least, then:
What are you trying to say?