September 21, 2010
It's a very big deal to make the switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4. As David Pollack said this morning on 790theZone, those problems are compounded by asking kids to do things they've never done technique wise. Like the OLBs standing up instead of playing at the line with their hands down. (Image: Coach Grantham - By Jim Hipple)
The problems are futher compounded by the fact that our players weren't good tacklers the past several years. You don't allow 31.4 points per game in SEC play on accident. It takes a lot of blown tackles and assignments to get you there. Solving that issue isn't going to happen over night.
The other schematic problem we're dealing with exists in the secondary where Lakatos and Grantham are asking our CBs to move from playing mostly soft zone to a more aggressive man to man scheme. This issue is compouned by the switch from "playing the man" to "playing the ball."
In the past, Martinez 's troops were asked to guard the man. The theory being that a ball doesn't catch itself. If you guard the man, the ball can be swatted away at the last minute. It's also in theory easier to teach this technique because finding and tracking the ball in flight isn't easy. Changing to defending the ball means ... again in theory ... that you wouldn't have DBs seemingly lost as to the location of the ball as it's caught over their shoulder for a TD. The problem is the switch to these schemes and techniques are significant events.
They aren't made easier when the DB with the most natural ability (Branden Smith) is on the bench with a concussion.
Should we have played softer zone coverages with Sanders Cummings and Vance Cuff out there? Maybe. Revis Island is a scary and inhospitable locale. It's a rocky place where a WR's seed can find no purchase.
Unfortunately, Bulldog Islands are still excellent vacation spots, and I'm pretty sure the last ARK TD was booked as a Rewards Stay.
Maybe Grantham needs to tone the coverage down in terms of aggressiveness? I can't say, but things look messy because change of this magnitude is messy.
All that said...the disorganization and inconsistent ability to figure out who should be on the field or where to line up is a totally different thing. It bugs the hell out of me. Otherwise...like I said yesterday. I'm trying to show more patience.