Monday, December 15, 2008

We Are Who We Thought We Were

Not gonna make the playoffs...which sucks. Gonna have to swallow the Rams loss, and the Bungles loss...which sucks. And let's not forget that the other team in MD also has a first-year coach, with a rookie QB, and they are still in the thick of the playoff hunt...which sucks, though the Ravens' defense is good enough to carry a team into the postseason. I got carried away with our great start. I allowed my hopes to skyrocket. But...

Since when was this our year to win it all? Starting 6-2 makes missing the playoffs a hell of a kick to the groin, but let's face it--the only difference between the first half of the season and the second half was turnovers, for the most part. I mean, we got worse at run blocking by the minute. But for some miraclulous reason, we didn't turn the ball over during that opening stretch and it was the difference between winning and losing. Did anyone think we would not turn it over all year? Our offense was never explosive, and we never dominated anyone on the scoreboard.

The perfect analogy for our season might very well be any one of a handful of the balls that fell through our defense's hands at various points of the season. From the opener against the G-men, to yesterday's miserable loss, we have had our chances to take control of games with key INT's. I am not blaming the defense for our record--not only have they been a strength for our team, the kinds of misses they had happens to all defenses (except the Ravens, Steelers, etc.) At 6-2, we had a shot. It was in our hands. And we dropped it.

It really bothers me to hear people calling for Zorn's job or to cut ties with JC, or Portis, or all of the above. I just don't get it. Aren't we in Year 1 of the process of putting something together that won't be fleeting? From Steve Young, to Mike Holmgren, to Matt Hasselbeck, to Steve Mariucci, etc, etc...everyone has been saying since we hired Zorn that it would take more than one year to install the new offensive philosophy. Sure we all thought we were coming of age this year. But the reality is we weren't. We have a lot of young players who are in the process of figuring things out. We have holes on the offensive and defensive lines. We have players learning a new offensive philosophy.

Oh, and for anyone out there who thinks Zorn "lost the locker room", I think that is a ridiculous, even asinine notion. Part of becoming a good franchise means that inmates don't run the asylum. Portis, like many elite players is afforded a longer leash than most other players (for better or worse...probably worse.) What I saw yesterday was players get beat by other players. That happens every week. Our veterans need to stand up and recognize they got beat. Our coaches did not block poorly, or drop INT's, or fumble on the goal line. Zorn could give in a little too and be a little more Belichick-esque, but he is doing nothing wrong if he doesn't coddle divas. If we weed out a few malcontents during this rough patch, that goes a long way towards teaching our young players what is and what isn't acceptable.

Given our history of dysfuntion under Snyder, it is easy to see how fans in this town have been conditioned to react harshly and somewhat absurdly to adversity. This organization needs to prove through example that it is ready to show its fans a new way of doing business. That includes sticking to Zorn, Campbell, and unfortunately Cerrato for at least the next season if not two more seasons. The next draft will be a key moment for Cerrato to prove that he is not blind to our woes along the lines of scrimmage (so far, not so good in this department.)


Joe said...

You say that a few malcontents should be weeded out. Who?

Sugar said...

Well....I guess the truth is I don't know who. You hope these guys will band together and fight for jobs for next year. I hate crying/whining millionaire athletes. I love Clinton Portis. So aside from suggesting that Zorn may find someone worth making an example of in the malcontent department (an example for the youngsters), I am really worthless.

Joe said...

I would recommend Jansen as one. I agree that there is no clear choice as salary cap and positional need factors into these choices. Somehow, the locker rom has to shape up going into next year. This locker room seemed great all through pre-season and into the year with the work outs and the two-a-days. Not sure where it went worng but I hope somebody insode there knows how to fix it.

Danny said...

Honestly if you think that you made a point with you blog about 1st year team and all you just literally contradicted yourself the Ravens and Flacco are both rookies, Zorn is a rookie but Campbell isnt a true veteran QB because if he was he would have won those easy games that we lost against Rams Bengals and Cowboys reality is that we should be 10-4 but we are not because our offense cannot make any type of production 10pts per game for the last 7games omg that is really sad.

My point is that the reason why we are like this is because of Campbell calls runs on blitzes calls slots and in routs on zone plays he has no mentality to be a good QB in the league! Also i am not saying he should be let go but he sure as hell should be our back up or something because him being the starter isnt cutting it