Originally Posted by GoFor7
That's because this offense isn't built to the strengths of its players, it's built for:
1.) Playing not to lose
2.) Playing not to get Ben hurt by turning him into Mike Tomzack
3.) Babysitting the defense with TOP
I agree they could have taken more shots downfield with Mike Wallace. More of that would make the opposing FS learn some respect.
But I do disagree with your constant assessment of them "playing not to lose" and whatnot.
I was very happy with Todd Haley's offense. I thought it was aggressive, yet balanced, and it used Heath properly. One area where I think it still needed some work, was in the red zone obviously. We were still not scoring enough points. But that doesn't mean they were playing not to lose. They did everything an offense can be expected to do to help an aging defense out-- call it babysitting or whatever. The truth is, our defense had some old guys, and ToP is the old guys' friend.
Under Arians, we used to try and go for the homerun, right away in the redzone. We'd waste downs with Ben trying to throw bombers into the endzone. Haley took things in a more conservative approach and wasted downs running the ball with mostly ineffective guys like Baron Batch and Rainey. Either way the results were about the same.
I recall reading somewhere that Ben's injury really hurt their long term strategy-- that was right around the time they were going to start opening up the playbook (unleashing hell?) to some goodies they had been saving specifically for late season. They had some new packages they had been practicing, but never got to implement because they ended up having to plug in Charlie Batch, and never got back in sync after Ben returned. A lot of planning had gone into those two back to back Ravens games, a lot fo work that got smashed by the injury bug. I really wish I could find that link now.
I am actually expecting big things from the offense this next season though. I think there are several things going for us:
a) another year in Haley' s system. Plays and routes will be more instinctual.
b) better (hopefully) offensive line.
c) ground game will be addressed (pls keep Osama Bindenhall).
d) maybe a reshaped WR corps that better fits Haley's system. Admittedly, Wallace does not really fit into a west-coast offense, which is basically what we are talking about here. We need guys who can make tough catches in traffic and that can get YAC. Danny Amendola might be a nice pickup if we could. I still say Wallace for Welker.
e) resign plexiglass. As long as he understands he is here to play a specific role, and not be a feature guy, we can come to an understanding. He is still a great redzone target. We need that height to offset Heath probably being out to start the year.