this is no knock on our former coaching staff, who i think will be some of the best arizona has ever had. i think they will revive the cardinals more than lewis "revived" (*snicker*) the bungles. yet i feel they would never have a shot to be the "best" in pittsburgh.
Keeping it simple
The preseason tends to be a long period of time during which the game plans and call sheets can expand to unusable numbers. One player told me he prepared to use 60 different defensive calls in Week 1 and by Week 2 his defensive coordinator had the package down to 25 calls.
Players get frustrated with so many schemes because they feel as if they can't play fast. Most good players want to play with less calls and the ability to move quickly on the snap of the ball. Tampa Bay is a great example of simplifying the game plan and getting great execution on the field. The Bucs played very few defenses and coverages against the Saints and they looked like the Bucs defense of the glory days. Rush the front four and play Cover 2 is the foundation of this defense. The cutback lanes that hurt the Bucs' run defense in Week 1 were gone in Week 2, the back seven played the pass well and Tampa looked like the team that won the division in 2005 -- and not the team that finished last in 2006.
The Redskins are another team that, according to some Washington players, reduced the game plan and just let athletic ability and speed take over.
Likewise, Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt said after Week 1 that his game plan was too big on offense. A week later, Edgerrin carried the ball 24 times for 128 yards, the offense generated 431 yards and the team was on its way to a 23-20 win over Seattle.
Conclusion: REDUCE THE PLAN AND PLAY FAST IS DEFINITLY ON THE RISE.
with all 4 teams in the afc west conceivably able to go 9-7 and win the division, it has been argued that they are the toughest division to win in the nfl. the afc north is often regarded as the best division in football.
in divisions where 1 game won can mean the difference of making or missing the playoffs, it took coach wiz 1 week (and 1 loss) to realize maybe he needed to scale down HIS playbook.
however it took tomlin about 24 hrs on the job in preseason to realize he needed to let arians do the same.
to add on this, there are rumors that l. fitzgerald is requesting a trade cause he doesnt really like kens run first mentality.
i would hate to see that coming out of santonio.
and thats just offense. tomlin has pretty much given lebeau free reign on the defense. cowher never did that. can anyone imagine russ and ken imposing their will on lebeau and acting as his superior? talk about train wreck and power struggle. tomlin wasnt brought up like that. when he was coordinator in minnesota he ran the show on the defensive side. the rookie head coach allowed him to do that, even though tomlin was a rookie coordinator. why wouldnt tomlin lean on the experience of a veteran and allow him to do his job?
make no mistake, tomlin is running the show in pittsburgh, but the coaches are coaching, and the players are playing.
2 weeks into the season and tomlin has earned an A