Seeing Clearly

Hey, it’s Saturday so that means Eyes in the Backfield is ready. Did you like how I just tacitly admitted that Eyes comes out on Saturday now? We didn’t really plan it that way, but it always happens that we are a day late on it, so why not just admit it. Eyes is a Saturday feature. My favorite stat of the week concerns Joe Addai and catching passes out of the backfield. It’s a part of the offense that has completely gone away becuase of the protection problems…look for it later in the article. Anyway, here’s a taste of what’s to come:

Last week’s Eyes was pretty amazing, right down to the prediction that it would take Jack Bauer-like heroics to win. I’d say what Jackson, Brock and Freeney did to Sage Rosenfels qualifies as torture. The Ravens are coming off two losses just as painful as the Colts win was glorious. It’s a bellwether game for teams as the winner has to feel good about where they are, and the loser will be left searching for answers. This be sure to keep your eye on:

1. Watch his back. Charlie Johnson is expected to start over Tony Ugoh again, leaving Peyton Manning’s blind side virtually unprotected. If Manning doesn’t have time to throw, the Ravens will pin down the run game and play everything short. The result could be disaster for Indy.

2. Watch for cushion. Tim Jennings is starting over a seriously injured Kelvin Hayden, and he loves to play off the wideouts and gives up a lot of easy slant passes. If he doesn’t buckle it down, Joe Flacco and Derrick Mason could just play toss all afternoon.

For more Eyes…click here
I also want to comment on one of the worst uses of logic I’ve seen recently. I’ve seen this argument in several places, but I’ll use Mike Floria’s of PFT as my baseline. Some are saying the reason the Colts and Seahawks are struggling is because their coaches are on the way out, with replacements already named. Floria claims:
Though Dungy hasn’t said he won’t return in 2009, the players surely are wondering — and that year-to-year accountability that helps keep players focused and motivated and driven has necessarily been undermined.

There is one big problem with that line of thinking: because the replacement is in house and watching the players every day…the ‘year-to-year accountability’ that Floria claims is missing…is PRESENT. How can you argue that players aren’t held accountable if they know that one way or another the next head coach is right there with them? You could argue that this set up would be divisive (no one is arguing that). You could argue that it’s distracting (no one is). But you simply can’t say that the players aren’t ‘accountable’. That logic is nonsense.
The Colts are struggling because they have played 6 rookies on the offensive line and TE spots. Most teams that do that will struggle. Period.

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