Saturday, October 21, 2006

Mo' Denny

An interesting article pertinent to the post below… Here’s your chance to learn why the Cardinals suck!

Every team takes its cues from the head coach.

If by “takes its cues” you mean “knows which play is being run,” then, sure, I agree.

In the NFL, every head coach is expected to be a teacher, a strategist and a leader.

Yes, being a strategist would come first, then a teacher, then last being a “leader” in terms of importance.

Dennis Green does a good job at the first, a mediocre job at the second and fails miserably at the third.

Dennis Green is a bad coach… but it’s not because he’s a bad leader. It’s because he’s a bad strategist, as you so rightly allude to.

His Arizona Cardinals were devastated Monday night in their 24-23 loss to the Bears, and there will be no coming back from this defeat as long as Green stalks the sidelines in suburban Glendale.

Keep it coming, keep it coming. Good work. Now just tell us about the horrible job he (and his (not yet fired) offensive coordinator) did managing the clock in that fourth quarter.

We’re not just talking about his postgame rant in which he demeaned the Bears. “Go ahead and crown them if you want but they are who we thought they were. … We let them off the hook,” Green screamed.

Ah… can’t wait! Finally an NFL article writer who knows what he’s talking about! I can’t wait for the part where you rip Green for passing so much when he should have been burning the clock and talk about that idiotic time out he called! After articles upon articles about leadership and intangibles, boy am I ready to read some real analysis!

Poise and leadership? Both flew out the window long ago with Green.

Oh… dear god. Add yet another writer to the ever expanding “Leaders shall always prevail” club.*

And such a promising beginning too… I mean Dennis Green is a horrible coach. Just not because he can’t “lead” or because he’s not “poised.” I mean just go watch Mike Shanahan, one of the best coaches in the NFL today, run up and down the sideline like a madman with his face completely red. He’s definitely not “poised.” But who cares?

* Alternatively called the “Winners Win!” club, the “Intangibles FTW” club or in some rare instances the “David Eckstein is my Hero” club.

That tirade was just the guacamole on top of the nachos.

Speaking of expanding… Dennis Green! (Heh.)

His demeanor on the sidelines during the second half smacked of panic. Everything about Green’s persona was imploring his team not to choke. Of course they followed suit.

Oh, so they lost because Dennis Green was asking them to win!! I get it! Not because their offensive coordinator decided to be a complete idiot and call timeouts and pass plays every other down! Not because their offensive line helped one of the greatest rushers of the last ten years to the worst performance by a running back IN NFL HISTORY!!! (I DID NOT make up that last one. Go look it up if you don’t believe me.) No, of course not, it was none of that. It was Dennis Green asking- nay, imploring his team “not to choke.”

The Cardinals shut down the Bears’ previously explosive offense and dominated the game with their defense. But while Green frantically tried to figure out a way to get his team to hold on,

Wait, so what was Dennis Green doing right during the part when the Cardinals were owning the Bears? Telling his team to lose?

Bears coach Lovie Smith cut a stoic figure on the other sideline and watched his team fight back and take the game with its defense and special teams.

So basically… Lovie Smith stood around, did nothing, literally did not move, watched his team come back… and he gets all the credit. This is truly a remarkable article.

Before meeting the Cardinals, the Bears had looked like the best team in football. On a night when quarterback Rex Grossman had an embarrassingly bad performance — four interceptions and two lost fumbles — they still figured out a way to win the game.

As I mentioned before, that can be almost completely attributed to two things- the Cardinals’ clock management, and the Cardinals offensive line both of which were terrible. So Lovie Smith being “stoic” really has nothing to do with it.

Green’s team had a 20-point lead into the final seconds of the third quarter. But when Mark Anderson crashed around right end into quarterback Matt Leinart and forced a fumble that Mike Brown scooped and returned three yards for a touchdown, it set off a chain of events that Green and his losing team could not prevent.

So Green couldn’t have prevented it at all then? Even if he was as stoic as Lovie? I thought you just said it was because he panicked… This is getting too confusing.

They had their opportunities, especially after Grossman threw fourth-quarter interceptions to Darnell Dockett and Robert Griffith that would have put the game away if another team besides the Cardinals had been involved. But the picks just played into the Bears' hands by putting their defense back on the field.

Yeah, Lovie Smith foresaw all that in his mind’s eye before deciding that the best course of action was to not panic.

The Cardinals had done a great job of moving the ball and putting two touchdowns on the board in the first quarter.

And then Lovie Smith’s telepathic powers wrecked havoc.

After that, the Bears defense controlled Leinart and the Arizona offense.

Much in the same way that Lovie Smith controlled Leinart’s mind.

That's because Green became more conservative in his playcalling when he should have stayed aggressive.

Mental… block… not… working…

The Cardinals showed no ability to move the ball on the ground, but Green kept calling Edgerrin James’ number in a fruitless attempt to shrink the game. If James had run for three or four yards per carry, the strategy would have been successful.

Yeah, stupid Edgerrin! How dare he not run the ball three or four yards with the worst offensive line in football!

But James had 36 carries for 55 yards — not even a yard and a half per attempt.

You’ve written this entire article as though you’ve never even heard of what an offensive line is. You’re scaring me. Please don’t tell me you need lessons on “football” like that other guy.

The Associated Press, citing the Elias Sports Bureau, said that was the most carries in an NFL game by a player while averaging less than 2 yards per carry.

Once again… not Edgerrin’s fault. And how the hell is this connected to your article in any remote fashion?

Even with all those pratfalls, the Cardinals still had a chance to win. But Neil Rackers, the best kicker in the NFL last season, missed a 41-yard field goal attempt at the end of the game.

Let me guess. You’ll try and blame that on Dennis Green too.

Even that speaks to Green's conservative play: The Cardinals moved down the field on the final drive but resorted to run plays at the end to wind down the clock instead of trying to get closer.

How did I know.

Here’s another thought for Green. If you want to get your running game going, try blocking a middle linebacker by the name of Brian Urlacher.

Here’s another thought for you. If you want to write an article about “football”, try learning what the hell an “offensive line” is.

If it seemed that Urlacher was involved in every play in the fourth quarter, that’s because he was. He finished the game with 19 tackles and a forced fumble. A giddy Urlacher told the media after the game that he was unblocked throughout the second half.

Oh! I think I see your point! You’re subtly implying that Dennis Green should have been out on the field blocking! It all makes sense now! Sorry for doubting you!

Green is not without some ability.

Aha! So he can block! That imbecile, not letting anybody know until now!

His decision to insert Leinart in the starting lineup in Week Five against Kansas City was a move that showed insight and guts.

I still think yanking Warner was a bit premature but whatever… that’s for another article.

He had been to the postseason eight times in Minnesota and done it with seven quarterbacks. Few coaches would have been able to pull off that kind of achievement.

Yes… though there’s all this thing called luck. You know, like where you get lucky and have good quarterbacks as opposed to bad ones?

But even with superior personnel in Minnesota, Green’s teams went 4-8 in the postseason. His postseason finale in Minnesota was a 41-0 loss to the Giants in the 2000 NFC championship game that was not as close as the score would indicate.

Maybe he’s just not a winner.

Owner Bill Bidwill and his sons have their own problems, but the first step toward climbing the ladder involves getting new leadership on the sidelines.

No, the first step would be to get this thing called an “offensive line.”

Green’s vapid self-promotion has propelled this team into the quicksand and there is clearly no escape.

Good-bye, Denny. It's time to head back to the TV studio.

Steve Silverman writes regularly for and is a freelance writer based in Chicago.

Ugh… this article is so stupid I feel like punching a wall. With my pitching hand.

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