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Thursday, December 02, 2004
Why we are 6-0 after a 1-0 start?
I really think it has a primary reason. While I think the defense is probably now a middle of the road or average defense and when they started 1-4, it wasn't, I think it is one of those rare come to Jesus moments that organizations have that has spurred this run, not defense.
I disagree with a lot of people that want an efficency expert for head coach and a push button QB, or even for that matter a less agressive DC, and what I think happened after a 1-4 start, somehow, someway, in the heat of what appeared to be a lost season, and the likely abandonment of the mess by Favre, Sherman was either given or drew his own conclusion that he had to win and had to win now or would lose his job. I think people underestimate the attitude that this board and Harlan have adopted and Sherman is in no better position than Ron Zook and Ty Willingham.
So given that I think this come to Jesus occurred and the light went off 18 mos late, I think Sherman finally came to terms, that if you have a powerfull strong horse, sometimes you have to give it its head. Sherman faced with a mediocre and developing defense, I think decided that the offense would have to be a significant part of the defense, would have to be more agressive and he would have to outscore his opponents. Even in the Houston close game, where the runners were taken away, Sherman was aggressive and offensive. I think he has through this game aided the defense greatly. It's no knock on Rossely. More than Tom Rossely, Mike Sherman is to blame for the evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses and a lot of the late game collapses and the shell we saw through last season and even this season. People scream about Favre, but with Favre and Sherman on the same agressive page they are 6-0. And they have beat at least 2 good teams and maybe 1 better than average.
I say this to make a point about the Philly game. First I think it is huge, because they need to win out to get the best seeding possible. You are infinitely better the closer you are to home field advantage. The second fact, is this game more than any well tell you if Mike Sherman will survive and this team makes a further move. Each year we have seeming come to this point. They have this pivotal big game. Sherman for whatever reason, plays white knuckle and forgets what got him here. 2 years ago it was Tampa, and the team never recovered. Last year it was Philly twice. I don't know that winning means they end up in the SB, or that they end up a champion of the NFC, but I am sure, that if they lose, they will limp on and Sherman will be in trouble. If Sherman continues to coach and organize like his back is to the wall they will fair well, but if they buy into the press, become conservative on both offense and defense, and assume this mediocre or average defense can play vanilla and they can win 17-14 game, I think it will tell us a lot about this regime, organization and it's future. On the other hand, I have to say that were they to lose a 34-31 game where they leave it all on the field, because they were too agressive, that I believe they could possibly overcome. Right now I am sure he has the team's confidence and attention, I hope he doesn't blow it all, by trying to be the guy who keeps the train schedule in Berlin, dance with the girl that brung ya and play like there is no tomorrow.