Herm Edwards’ theory/excuse the last couple years has been that playing rookies now will pay dividends later. In effect, he believes that forcing them into the starting lineup will help speed up their development. Despite it’s inherent risk, there is some logic to that line of thought. But there are also some possibly devastating side effects to this logic, with the most prominent being:
a) If you treat the season as the 4th pre-season game and your opponent doesn’t, you’re guaranteed to stink.
b) You could actually stunt a young player’s development by giving him a job he hasn’t earned. Some players in that position may assume that they’ve “made it” and no longer do whatever it takes to improve and truly “earn” that starting position. In short, they may not be as ‘hungry’.
I much prefer Dick Vermeil’s “renting your job” philosophy. Whether young or old, you only had a starting spot if you earned it. Jared Allen played right away because he earned it. The one time Vermeil didn’t follow his own philosophy, it had disastrous results: Ryan Sims.
Starting quarterback Tyler Thigpen before he earned it was a mistake. He may have promise, but he obviously isn’t ready for this yet. By putting him in a failing situation, he may have set his career back by years. Herm said last week that one of the things this team really needs is consistent quarterback play. What is Damon Huard if not “consistent”? Obviously Huard should have started if we wanted the best chance to win against Atlanta. Herm can’t keep his “logic” straight. Even the announcers couldn’t understand why Thigpen started over Huard and just assumed Huard was hurt and couldn’t play, which even Herm admits wasn’t true.
Speaking of Herm logic, if we’re in a complete youth movement and winning now comes second to player development, why is B. J. Sams the starting returner (or even on the team) over Dantrell Savage and Jamaal Charles? Why is Damion McIntosh starting at right tackle instead of Herb Taylor? If you’re going to urinate on us and tell us it’s raining, at least keep your story straight.
Flushing the season before it starts to POSSIBLY help the future is a risk. However, maybe this isn’t a risk for Herm. Maybe he thought it was the best chance to save his job. If you admit you’ll stink before the season starts, everyone has lower expectations. But no one had them this low. If we’re going to flush, let’s do it right and replace Herm, too. Get out the plunger if necessary. Three years of Herm and we’re still heading downward.
Grades & Comments:
- Thigpen didn’t earn this and wasn’t ready. 21 months ago he was playing for Coastal Carolina. Hopefully Herm isn’t destroying Thigpen’s chance at a career.
- Larry ran well despite the lack of a downfield passing game. Of course, it all came after Atlanta had a comfortable lead.
- Herm still leaving Larry shaking his head on the sidelines in important situations. Who puts in Charles at the goal line? Crazy stupid.
- If Charles can’t catch or cover his blocking assignments, why is he the 3rd down back?
- Charles is a promising runner, but he is going down too easily .
- A few drops exacerbated Thigpen’s inaccuracy.
- Had trouble getting open.
- Poor protection.
- Get some credit for opening up running lanes in the 2nd half .
- McIntosh is not working out at RT.
- Albert obviously still has things to learn, but development is on schedule.
- Waters gets honorable mention for making a tackle using another human as a weapon.
- Gashed again by the run.
- Absolutely no pass rush against a rookie. Shame, shame.
- Lost the battle at the line-of-scrimmage repeatedly.
- Again, no sacks. Oh Jared, where art thou?
- Good first few series performance wiped out by rest of game.
- Another horrible performance by Pat Thomas. Who is this guy and how is he our starting MLB? By his performance so far, I don’t see how he possibly earned the distinction of a starter. Harris was much better last year.
- D. Johnson was very disappointing today.
- Flowers/Carr looked ok… of course Matt Ryan proved we have no 3rd CB without Surtain.
- Better day for Page. Pollard looking somewhat improved at safety this year.
- Did you watch the game? Nothing but bad decisions and failed action.
- Novak’s short kickoffs just don’t cut it and he doesn’t make it up with exceptional FG ability. We need another option.
- Herm misunderstands the saying, “get the ball in the hands of your best player”.
My apologies for not providing an article to any potential loyal readers last week. My satellite/DVR malfunctioned and spared me the devastation (and possibly saved me a TV). Without seeing the game, there was little to write about and little analysis to be made for such a debacle. Let’s just give everybody an F. Reading comments, it sounds like that game was the last straw for a few Herm supporters.
Even though JD has already covered many of last weeks Hermisms, I think last week’s press conference was so full of “doozies” that some need to be emphasized:
Herm: “We played decent up in New England and loss, and we played this game and it’s 6-0 at half, no different than the New England game.” … “We played this game and in the first half it was really the same score as in New England, in my opinion, where we were trailing 7-3.”
VLTC: Yes, they’re similar in that they were both catastrophic offensive failures. But of course that’s not what he meant when repeatedly saying the games were ‘similar’ in the first half. He was conveying that he thinks we did equally ‘well’ and ‘kept it close’ in both games. Of course, there is one big difference in the two games’ first halves: It is possible, although unlikely, to win with three points. There is absolutely no way to win with ZERO. Herm really doesn’t seem to understand this.
Herm: “In both games, we get behind, if we can’t throw the football and make plays down the field, they stack the box and it’s difficult to run.”
VLTC: You have to try to find out!
Herm: “We are putting in our game plan now, but we are sort of thinking about being more decisive on quarterback, letting the guy who plays quarterback, play quarterback and just play with that guy. What we are thinking about now is letting just one guy play.”
VLTC: After just one week, Herm completely changes his philosophy. From rotating QBs to needing “one guy”. He has no idea what he’s doing and is absolutely desperate.
Herm: “In the first half of the game they had 34 yards rushing, so it’s not like we had bogged down completely”
VLTC: From the box score I count 67 net rushing yards by Oakland in first half. What game tape was Herm watching?
Herm: “We played New England pretty good, pretty good, and then at the end they ran the ball and gapped us.”
VLTC: Can our next coach use English a little “gooder”? You play WELL, not good. Actually, no, you didn’t play well or “pretty good”, you lost.
Q: Which quarterback gives you the best chance to win?
Herm: “I think both of them. I think it’s just how you want to orchestrate it this week. We’re going to determine who the starter will be but both will be available to play along with Martin, who will play too. That’s how we’ll look at it.”
VLTC: Why can’t you just answer the question? Just tell the truth, Huard gives the best chance to win THIS game, but you think playing Thigpen now may pay dividends in the future. It’s a risk, but a risk you’re willing to take. We can understand that; don’t treat us like babies who can’t handle the truth.
Q: On Thigpen not knowing Huard was injured:
Herm: “In that situation you never want to tell a kid, ‘by the way, the next series the other guy is coming in.’ You don’t want the guy thinking about that. You want him to just go play, don’t think about it. That’s all you can control.”
VLTC: Wait, wasn’t that your game plan? To have them split the series approximately 2-to-1? And by not telling him Huard was hurt, doesn’t that make him look over his shoulder MORE? You make no sense, Herm.