First let remind you not to get the idea that Im a huge Henning fan, but a lot of you guys are way overboard these days with the Henning bashing. For that I have a huge GET REAL.
Point #1 - Playcalling is very subjective.
Its easy to sit back and say we should run here or pass here, but there arent many concrete examples of playcalling that dont fall under asthetic preference in a given situation.
From where I sit, I havent seen a playcall yet this season where Ive said there is absolutely no way that play shouldve been called there and had the idea there was a different play that was a no brainer. The 2nd and 5 play vs. Buffalo, just before the 2 minute warning where we threw a pass, I definately wouldve ran and I would say that is a situation where a run play should absolutely be the call no matter what your philosophy is. However, there is speculation that Henne made that decision and Sparano was visibly upset with him. I really dont know so I will leave that one alone. Outside of that, every play call this year has been fine. Sure there are calls where I wouldve done something else, or many of you wouldve done something else, but again, this is all subjective. So I dont see why all the Henning bashing has been so fierce so far this year.
Also you must consider that it all comes down to EXECUTION. If the players execute what is called correctly, the play is most likely going to be successful. Too much emphasis is placed on playcalling in non-critical parts of the game.
Point #2 - Our offense and the Parcells/Henning philosophy was critical to our victory vs. the Vikings
I dont know if some of you realize this, but the Vikings only had 4 possessions in the first half. They failed to score any points in the first half. Why? Because we had success running the football in the first half.
Our OL went into that building against one of the best front 4's the league has seen in a while and beat the **** out of them up front in the first half. If you guys didnt notice, the Vikings started running the ball all over us in the 2nd half and were able to score a bit. However, our defense stepped up in critical spots and came up with the stops we needed. A big part of the reason they were able to do this even after Peterson pounded the **** out of them in the 2nd half was because of the fact he wasnt able to do so in the first half. Why? Because our OFFENSE and our rushing attack was able to control the game and keep Peterson off the field. If our offense had not accomplished that, who knows if our D wouldve withstanded Peterson's assult when it needed to.
So it was a good thing we didnt start trying to sling it all over the lot. Im certain we wouldve lost that game if we had. Despite us not being able to run it well in the 2nd half, it was a good thing we stayed with that gameplan.
Side note: Isnt it great to see our defense make critical stops on money downs? Geez its refreshing. I remember when the dancing queen Jason Taylor and Zach were here, we ALWAYS seemed to give up the key 3rd and medium or 4th down to keep our D on the field and wind up losing games in the clutch. But, again, part of the reason our D was able to do this yesterday was the fact we had success running the ball in the first half and we stuck with the run in the 2nd half, despite not generating much yardage.
Point #3 - What do you guys expect?
You do realize this team is BUILT to RUN THE FOOTBALL dont you? You guys do realize that Dan Henning has traditionally held a "conservative" offensive philosophy?
This is what kills me. A large portion of you guys whining about Henning, are the same people who are so quick to hammer me when I was upset with the FO. You do realize Henning is here because this FO hired him. They are the same guys who havent fired him either. In fact, Henning's philosophies mirror that of Bill Parcells. Thats why Henning is here.
Thats also why we drafted Jake Long. Jake Long is a DOMINATING RUN BLOCKER. He was drafted so we could destroy teams up front. Run blocking is his strength. He isnt a horrible pass blocker by any means, but he is definately a better run blocker. He has also had a couple of rough games vs. speed rushers. This is what you guys preached when you said "build from the trenches". Yet, you whine about we dont throw it enough. WHAT GIVES? You want to place emphasis on LT, draft a QB afterwards, but then throw it 40 times a game? Thats a complete contradiction!!!!
Henne btw, is a prototypical Parcell's QB. He likes a big, strong QB, who is difficult to bring to the ground, and manages a game. A Phil Simms type guy. These guys want to run first, and pass second. Thats the philosophy of the FO on down to the coaching staff. So thats how we built our team. So how are you sticking up for the FO on EVERYTHING and yet bashing Henning for being conservative?
This is the team we put together. We play to our strengths. You guys who want to "open it up" and throw it 40 times a game dont seem to realize that isnt what suits our personel. We arent going to see a lot of games like that. Occasionally Im sure we will gameplan to throw it more. But, most of the time we are going to plan on throwing 15-25 times a game. When that happens, its a good thing. It means we are sticking to what we set out to do. RUN THE FOOTBALL. If we throw it 40 times, chances our that means we have gotten behind in the game by more than 1 possession and have to try and generate some big plays to get back in it. Those of you talking about Henne throwing for 300 yards in 3 of the last 5 games last year, how did that work out for us? Last I checked, we LOST our last 3 games last season. We are going to win games by running the ball, controlling the clock, playing solid defense, and Henne being more of a game manager.
As far as Henne goes, I felt like he played a good game vs. Minnesota. I dont need him to throw for 300 yards to think he played a good game. Thats not even what he is here for anyway as I have pointed out. I dont need stats to judge his performance. I watch the games. If you will notice, his stats in the first 2 games are almost identical. However, I thought his performance in Buffalo was very average if not slightly below. The difference in the two games were simple. He hit on the deep ball vs. Minnesota on the first play that helped set up our rushing attack. In Buffalo, while Marshall couldve caught the ball, he made a very poor pass that cost us a TD. I also thought he managed the game much better in Minnesota. Many people pointed out how he was not milking the playclock at the end of the Buffalo game. In Minnesota, he did just about everything we needed him to do for us to win.
Henne is just another part of the philosophy. We want to run the ball and have our QB not have to throw it all over the lot. Those of you who want that, shouldve been for drafting a different style of QB and probably a different style of OL. Its simply about what we built our team to do. And honestly, Im pretty much on the side of the folks who see today's NFL as a passing league. Thats why I wanted to draft Matt Ryan. But, Im never going to be against power football if thats what our FO wants to do so long as they have success doing it. You can approach things a different way and still have success.
So again, you guys who bash Henning but, constantly praise the FO are being completely contradictary. Henning is doing nothing but carrying out Parcell's plan and using the strength of the players he brought in to build this team with. If you think the Long and Henne picks were the way to go, dont whine about the playcalling being conservative. Those guys fit that philosophy and thats why they were selected. As long as its successful, Im all for it.
As far as my bashing the FO, my reason was simple. We went 7-9. Thats a good enough reason for me to bash away. Losing. I care about results. Especially when I was one of the people who felt the way the league is now, that a more wide open passing attack combined with a defense that has a few playmakers is the way to go. But, again, we just arent going to do that with the personel we have. We have these guys because they fit what the FO and coaching staff wants to do. Some of the draft choices before last season were very questionable was another reason I was upset with the FO. And it takes more than beating the Bills to compensate for that 7-9 performance. Beating a quality opponent on the road like Minnesota certainly helps. If this team is a success this year, then of course I will be pleased.
Point #4 - The wildcat.
I get sick of hearing how the wildcat must go. NO. It shouldnt. The wildcat is a big part of what we do. POWER RUNNING. Again, its just another thing that fits the personel and the philosophy of the FO and coaches. We want to beat the **** out of the other teams defense and run the ball straight down their throats. I like it. Its kinda the American way. I dont want to get all political, but it reminds me of this ol' Carlin bit. "But, we can bomb the **** out of your country alright!" We get a lot of practice. SO WERE GOOD AT IT!!!!!!!!!! Cant execute a pass play worth a ****, cant run a screen or a deep post, but we can POUND THE **** OUT OF YOUR DEFENSE!!!!!
Also, the wildcat indeed gives teams something else to spend time working on in the week leading up to our game. No team has the same success as we do running it, because we have the personel built for running it. And we get a lot of practice.....SO WERE GOOD AT IT!!! Carlin is great.
So yea, the wildcat stays. And those of you who want to bash Henning for running it at all and especially for the Pat White plays last year, keep in mind, its the FO who brought in Pat White and the FO who purposely brought in players who they felt would perform well in the wildcat and the overall philosophy of being a power running team.
So in summation, those of you bashing Henning...GET REAL!!!!!!!! And the next time you want to bash him, bash the FO instead because its all their plan that is in place and the reason Henning is even the OC. But, really you should just stop bashing Henning all together. He has done a fine job with what he has been given and the plan laid out in front of him. He is simply toe'n the ol company line here. And as it stands now, the company line looks like it could be onto something. As I pointed out, it was their philosophy that got us a win against the Vikings and has put a defense out there that looks like it can get the job done. So far so good this season. Hopefully, these guys can keep it up.
And look for the phins to be the first team this season to have success running the football right at the Jests this Sunday. Thats right Rexy, as you would say "were going to run it straight up your ****ing ***" you **** talking ********er. SO BE READY.
Wow. That took a while. I have two more issues Id like for folks to "Get real" about. I dont know if I feel like posting them now. You guys let me know what you think of this and give me some feedback please. Are there people interested in me doing a regular "Get Real" post? Because I could call it WVDolphan's Get Real. I love that phase ever since SlipperySoap used it in that one post. Thanks.