Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which does not go on hiatus after today’s edition. Actually, it might but just for a week. Typically the standard has been that we won’t do the F Double on the Fridays I travel, and I’m not sure that’s going to change. The closer doesn’t come out every night, you know?
Speaking of scheduling and functionality and probably pitchers, too, I think I’ve found the strike zone with this new schedule. It’s still weird as hell to have to publish for Saturday and Sunday papers and push myself for the entire week, and I haven’t even soldiered through a travel day yet, but the blog routine is fine on my end. Obviously, we’re still working through conquerable issues with its appearance and the way things are supposed to look and work, but we’ll get there. The headlines and the RSS feed on the blog’s homepage ought to be working soon. The problem with embedding the chat is fixed. The other problem with the chat should have never happened, but that’s not a blog thing. I’m not at the “Write your local congressperson!” stage quite yet.
I took the new in-game blog plug-in for a spin yesterday, and some of you caught it. It’s all right. I think I’ll like it, and I hope you do, too, but it’s new, so of course I’m not sold on it as of yet, and it won’t be completely smooth tomorrow. But as has been the case on the Daily Mail side, that’s going to be our as-it-happened account of the game. No halftime story. No at-the-buzzer story chased by a more complete version for print. Live position the game. Story after the game. There won’t be as much Twitter, either, and, yes, this is a different story than I told you two weeks ago. But we spent some time considering the options and this was the best vehicle, as it always was.
All I ask is you be on your very worst behavior.
(One more: My JRL493 class publishes its first editions of their competing online sports magazines a week from today. Your, um, feedback is appreciated.)
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, choose your words carefully.
I think the telling part of Mike’s story is that when RichRod picked up on people possibly stealing his signs, he switched to a wristband… it didn’t work and they went back to the signals halfway through the game. The more you overthink things, the worse off you’re going to be.
An advantage can certainly be gained if you know the play that is coming… but the players on the field have to be the ones that know it. If the coach on the sidelines knows the play, it just seems as though it would take way too much time and effort (and likely lead to confusion) for them to tell their players as the offense is lining up.
The Georgia Southern coaches though WVU might run some zone read… so they prepped for it. How many plays did WVU actually run a zone read? On top of that, with White/Slaton/Schmitt, WVU seemed to only run four different plays per game and still no one on their schedule could stop them.
I think ESPN and Rod Gilmore has led us, as fans, to believe that a win can always be had if the coach just makes the right decisions throughout the game. I’d say it has a lot more to do with the players on the field doing the right things. (Sorry, I watched part of a game that Gilmore was commentating, this weekend. At all times, he wants every player/coach/team to do anything other than what they’re doing.)
Bingo. In the referenced 2007 game, WVU was bothered during the game because it allowed itself to be bothered before it. There was something empowering for that team to stand on the sideline and see the coach rip of his wristbands and go, “Screw it. We’re beating them at our game, even if they know it’s coming.” I think more coaches are like that than we think, though they’re all paranoid to certain and sometimes extreme degrees. The bigger concern, as I see it and has been relayed to me, isn’t what opponents know but when they know it. It’s too hard, as explained above, to communicate every stolen signal on every play. The best coaches would rather their defenders read and react than predict and react. But say there’s a fourth-and-2 play at the defense’s 34-yard line in the fourth quarter and the offense wants to pick up the first down to protect a 31-30 lead and kill the final 1:05 on the clock. Defenses are smart enough to know the offense is going to pick from a small number of plays. That’s scouting. The defense can then call a timeout or just quickly convey something and prep the players for, say, three plays. Those players can then go out and focus on the signals for just three plays. The other side of that is the defense could just as easily tell the players to look for those three plays and read and react and not predict and react. How you feel and what you believe about this topic is really subjective. I just find it fascinating, and that was the case before Baylor’s brilliance. Those guys …
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