....because I'm feeling kind of prolific tonight....and these thoughts just came into my head. 1. There is an interesting juxtapostion in defensive coaching philosophies between Dungy and BB. I'm kind of surprised that it hasn't been addressed so far given the massive overdose of media attention this game has engendered. a. As we all know, BB has developed a series of schemes out of the base 3-4 set that allows him to literally present an entirely different look every single week, based on the challenges presented by the opposition. The philosophy behind this approach is basically, every team has different challenges and require different schemes and strategies to attack them successfully. We also know that it takes a certain kind of skill set, physical stature, and mental make up to play in this defense. Its based on the strength of the DL. The way the Pats play the 3-4 requires a very special, and very rare set of skills to excell at it, which is why there are 3 first round picks on our DL. The same goes for LBs where size, strength, and athleticism have almost eliminated most college LBs from concideration. Except for Seau, all of our LBs are former DLmen in college and all have taken 3-4 years to hone their skills to a level where they can excell in the defense. Hence the emphasis on experience, intellegence and possition flexibility The development of our secondary is more traditional, with the exception of a premium of smarts being required to make all the adjustments necessary to complete this defense. b. On the other hand Tony Dungy believes that he is better off with staying with the Tampa 2 defense. The Colts by and large will always be where you expect them to be. The Philosophy behind this approach is basically, if a player lines up in the same position every time he will feel more comfortable reacting to what he sees infront of him during the game. The more comfortable he feels the more likely he will react and execute his responsibilities, especially as the game goes on, and he sees the opponent's game plan develop. Like the Pats defense, the Tampa 2 requires the Colts to draft and acquire specific skill sets to run their defense. They HAVE to have 2 great pass rushers on the outside, since, by and large, in order to be successfull, they need to generate an effective pass rush with just their 4 DLmen. Unlike the Pats speed has a greater premium at LB since they have a lot of pass coverage and their MLB has to be able to cover deep middle in some of their coverages. Since they play mostly zone, their CBs will tend to be bigger and better run supporters, and be better zone defenders than man to man, while their real DB speed comes from their safeties. The Colts are probably only finding the next Warren Sapp (the early years) away from duplicating the great Tampa Bay defenses of the late 90's in INDY At any rate, both have been highly successful for a lot of years doing a job almost completely differentlys. Kind of interesting I thought. 14. I continue a love/hate relationship with the NFLN. I found their AFC playbook show tonight to be very good, with Baldinger and Sterling Sharpe. They do a great job of breaking down film and making it palatable for even casual fans to see the game from the inside/ On the other hand the NEXT show just pissed me off no end. On the surface it looked like a great show. They asked the age old question, who is better Manning or Brady. The idea was to break down the position into 10 catagories, and ask a panel of 6 experts who was better. The catagories were basically broken down into 3 areas, physical gifts, metal abilities, and intangibles, with the final one being personal accomplishments. Manning won 7-3. That's not the point and it didn't upset me one bit that Manning won. Based on the catagories I would have had to go Manning as well, though it would have been 6-4. What bothered me was the make up of the so called panel, which included Marshall Faulk and Jim Mora. Talk about stacking the Deck. Guess how many times Marshall and Jim voted for Brady.....TWICE. I'm waiting for the next comparision, maybe they could have Willie McGinest and Charlie Weiss on the panel. 15. One of the things I'm constantly hearing that kind of bothers me is that the Pats have no running game. Now after checking the stats, I found the Pats 3 main rushers (Faulk, Moroney, and Morris) all average OVER 4.5 ypc and the Pats are ranked 8th in rushing in the league and have rushed over 100 yds in every game this year except one. In my world those are good stats for the league and GREAT stats for the Pats of the past 2 decades (2004 being the exception that proves the rule) I think the football world is vastly overlooking the impact our rushing attack is going to make in THIS game and even more so as the year goes on. I will even go so far as saying that Lawrence Moroney will have a bigger day than Joseph Adai. Watch for Moroney catching the ball this game. 16. I really liked that article from LA that was posted earlier today. I think it brought out not only the human side of BB, but showed WHY he's the best HC in the league. Contrary to popular wisdom, BB DOESN'T have a huge ego. He listens to his players, he still believes he can learn from them and others. He takes the blame when things don't work out. He NEVER throws a player under the bus, even when they deserve it. Instead of berating a player when he fails, he gives them the reason why they failed, and what they have to do to make sure it doesn't happen again. This is the very OPPOSITE of arrogance. Bill's so called arrogance comes...again....from his reaction to the media. He learned in Cleveland that if you don't control the media, or rather the flow of infomation TO the media, it will control you. He DOES make the media's job difficult. He DOES need a charisma transplant. But he DOES strictly control the flow of information that goes out to the media.....and it works. His reward for doing what is best for the team, is the reputation of being arrogant, gruff, and unresponsive. In other words he has committed the ultimate media sin, he didn't realize that in the media's eyes, its "all about them" and woe to the coach or manager that doesn't give them what they want. AND if you don't think there are those in the local media who can't wait for the day that BB has a losing season, you are kidding yourself. They were killing him here from the moment he took the job, right up until the moment Adam's kick went through the uprights....and its killing some of these pukes that they have to take his style because of his success Its part of the reason that the running up the score issue has been blow out of proportion, or that "spygate" still lingers.