Now We Know



• The Cleveland Browns are better, for the moment, without OBJ. If no effort is going to be

made to slide him a target here or there, like the San Francisco 49ers did with Jerry Rice or

the Dallas Cowboys would do with Michael Irvin, then it’s better that he move on. When he

was in New England, even Tom Brady found a way to use the skill set of Randy Moss inside

the structure of his team’s offense. Beckhams targets have diminished each year with the

Browns, 2018- 10.3, 2019- 8.87, 2020- 6.14 and this year 5.7 in games he has played.

 

I am not a fan of Beckham’s antics or motives, but I AM a fan of his skill set. He is able to

use his speed and athletic ability to draw double coverage or stretch a zone defense

vertically. These seem like skills that are very useful no matter how sacred your offensive

system might be. What does it say about your offensive system when you only target him

on 2-3 occasions? I think Kevin Stefanski is a very good coach. He is smart and

disciplined, but he is also young and inexperienced when it comes to dealing with all types

of personalities. I’ve been there and I understand that there is probably more to the story.

The public perception is not always reflective of what goes on behind closed doors. 

 

I just hope that many things were considered and exhausted before the Browns decision

makers chose to move on from Beckham. As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in the

middle. 

 

• I first heard Dallas Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy explain why he played QB Dak Prescott

late in a 30-0 waxing at the hands of the Denver Broncos. The move potentially risked injury

to the star player and jeopardized the one thing that could “cancel” their season(an injury to

their best player). I then listened to the Aaron Rodgers diatribe on why he elected to only be

“immunized” as opposed to vaccinated. My take is that now there is no doubt why the two

men couldn’t make it work in Green Bay any longer. 

 

Both Rodgers and McCarthy have minds that operate on different longitudes. McCarthy is

the simplistic coach who has struggled to think of everything until “after the fact”, whether it

was managing the clock or making strategic adjustments. Rodgers is a QB who is so

calculating that he uses the enunciation of every word said publically to sell his self-

importance and, in his own mind, give answers to the questions before they even come

up. Working “as one” for a decade together in Green Bay might have been challenging for

both to say the least.

 

I can’t help but think about the look on both their faces after a heart to heart meeting in the

head coach’s office on one occasion. McCarthy surely had to have that “dumbfounded”,

what did he just say, look when Rodgers walked out of his office. Meanwhile, Rodgers

himself rolled his eyes while he strolled by the HC’s secretary’s desk on his way back down

to the locker room. I just find it hard to believe that these two personalities co-existed for as

long as they did under one roof. Frankly, I’m not surprised that it only culminated in one

Lombardi trophy during their time together. 

 

• We also know now that adding to an NFL referee’s already heavy burden of things to call

with POINTS OF EMPHASIS might not be a great idea. I am all for the re-emphasis on

taunting fouls, but what I struggle with is the inconsistent nature by which it is called and the

untimely manner of certain referees thrusting themselves into the conversation of games

being affected by such calls. The league seems to have left out the subjective reasoning factor of timing and just plain using common sense when legislating their wishes. 

 

The taunting call on pass rusher Cassius Marsh of the Chicago Bears vs the Pittsburgh

Steelers on Monday night this week was a call that should have been made. Marsh walked

toward the opponent’s bench, taunting by the letter of the law. However, I just think in the

heat of the moment,  I think the referee could have used better judgement and swallowed

his whistle in that instance. It’s important to let the players decide the game. The NFL

referees could follow the lead of how the NHL referees work in an overtime situation or late

in a playoff game. It is just my opinion, but I think its ok to referee a game slightly different in the later stages. 

 

The evaluators of the referees in the NFL league office should be aware and alter their

grading scale as well. Referee Tony Corrente chose to make a call at a time no call really

needed to be made. Would we even be having this discussion if he had not made the call?

And his hip check (intended or not) has to be evaluated as well. Players have been kicked

out of games for inadvertent contact with officials many times. I thought Corrente’s actions

were bad optics at a minimum and should have consequences. 

 

Taunting has been called 27 times this season. The league high, since these stats have

been recorded, was 29 in 2009. Let’s stop trying to make a subjective game OBJECTIVE.

Let’s have some common sense be part of our solutions and we can all be right. I don’t

necessarily think having some GREY AREA is bad. 

 

• The next move is on the offensive coaches. The Buffalo Bills scored six points against the

Jacksonville Jaguars, one of the league’s lowest ranked defenses in terms of points and

yards given up. Also, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott looked like a mere mortal when he

faced the Denver Broncos and their mastermind, Vic Fangio. The Kansas City Chiefs

continue to have issues on offense vs whoever they play. How did the LA Rams get

overwhelmed at home by a Tennessee Titans team without Derrick Henry.  All of this

happened right in front of our TV sets. 

 

This just in, defensive coaches are good in the NFL. Through 9 weeks, they now have plenty of film, numerous game plan ideas that have been tested, and an overwhelming pile of data,

featuring trends and tendencies supplied by NFL offenses. These same defensive

coordinators know now, how to defend certain players’ strengths and weaknesses and they

know how to take advantage of matchups that, in the first month of the season, were all in

the favor of the offense. 

 

I have often said that the second half of an NFL season is all about health and the depth of

a roster. It’s also about the adjustments a coaching staff can make and implement. At this

point in the year, it’s all about what adjustments offensive coordinators around the league

make to match the wit of their counterparts on defense. Let’s see what Sean McVay can

come up with that nobody has seen yet? Can the Cowboys OC, Kellen Moore, take the

personal beat down that he received from Denver’s defensive staff and HC Vic Fangio and

adjust? How about Brian Daboll in Buffalo? Josh Allen played his worst game against what

had been a terrible Jacksonville defense. Can Daboll unlock the next door? 

 

These coordinators will be judged on adjustments and so should their trajectory toward

being a head coach next year.

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