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How to approach every play...

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The game is on the line. Every play of every game, the game is on the line.

Of course, only the head coach should use that approach. If players lived that way most of them would freeze just enough to get beat on every play.

Just as a quarterback should never throw over the middle late in a play, a coach should never punt on fourth and short with 4 minutes left in overtime during a game when a loss or tie knocks my team out of the playoffs. ESPECIALLY when our defense hasn't stopped **** all day.

Let us go over the simple math:

4th and 2, you need one play to go right in order to get a first down should you go for it.

4th and 2, you need a minimum of 4 plays to go right just to get the ball back in about the same place if you're lucky, with only 2 minutes left, because you are are probably also stupid enough not to use any time-outs until the 2 minute warning.

One thing has to go right versus 5 things have to go right. Hmmm. Additionally, when you have run well-conceived plays at the right moment (read: Do not rely on Cyrus Kouandjio to make a game-saving block) you have averaged about 5 yards per carry and 10 yards per pass. You have many options. And the other team? You haven't touched their QB in two hours, and their RB has been lighting you up just as bad as yours has been them.

I may be thinking about one particular game here.

The thinking of an overly conservative, old-fashioned coach might be that failure to convert the fourth down will lead to a likely field goal. Punt, and **** you.

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  1. ScottDCP's Avatar
    Sorry, was interrupted and ended abruptly.

    Picking up where I left off, punting means you NEED to: Net 40-45 yards on the punt. OK, not NEED, but it helps shimendously if you do. You NEED to stop them short of 10 total yards 3 times in a row. 4 if they have balls. Then you NEED to retain possession on a punt. CHances are your kicking teams are below average and your coordinator will either be instructed to or feel strongly that he will best keep his job if he does nothing ballsy on the return, so your sorry ass is just looking to catch a punt. Yay.

    Remember, in this scenario you are knocked out of the playoffs if you walk away saying At Least We Didn't Lose. A tie is a loss. The season is on the line every play.

    Now you have two minutes to get in range for a field goal. Opposing defense will play for it. You will take away your own deep ball so they will play to take away the intermediate (though that allows them some comfort if you do step out of character and try to throw deep in a tight situation except on your first 2nd and short.) Your conservative nature has so infected the team that they do not know how and when to be aggressive, so you will try to gain five yards on every play, throwing the ball short of the first down marker to "give yourself a chance." Thereby giving yourself only the barest chance, of course. SO you need two punting plays, three defensive plays, and about 8 offensive plays, plus a field goal kick, to go your way. GO for it on 4th? You only need a half dozen. Time is on your side, nobody feels rushed, guys feel confident, and you have a 50/50 shot, instead of 5/95.

    I have no sympathy. That call is straight out of the Gregg Williams, Dick Jauron, Doug Marrone textbook. I wish you well in your next career because it for damn sure shouldn't be coaching football for my team.