Figuring Out D-Line Play
September 20, 2012 at 10:59am by Scott • 3 Comments »
Warren Sapp visited One Buc Place yesterday and went over tape with Gerald McCoy on his way to a book signing. You knew Sapp wasn’t there to fight McCoy like he said last week because Eli Manning was never in any real danger of getting sacked much less able to escape one. Anyway, Sapp was Sapp.
“The purple unicorn I call (Newton). This kid can fly. It ain’t even funny.”
Someone tell me, besides having wings, why Cam Newton resembles a unicorn. And why it would be a purple one. The “Purple People Eaters” made sense, even if it was fucking stupid, because the Vikings actually wear purple. And unicorns are for lonely teenage girls or old women with a lot of cats. I’m sure Newton appreciates the compliment. “Mike Vick can run fast, so I’ll call him the greyhound. What? What’d I say?”
“He didn’t have a bad second week. When the defense asks you to do that, you’ve got to do it.
“I told Gerald, the orders come from the sideline, but the general on the field has to be able to direct that stuff. Sometimes you do like this here: “Nah, I’m not doing it,’ Sapp said shaking his head.
I’m blaming Rick Stroud for this piece here because it has no context. It would be very interesting to know what order Sapp would refuse and under what circumstances. I’m assuming it has to do with not rushing the passer and playing the run instead, but I really don’t know.
Sapp on Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan attacking the Giants offense with stunts and games on the defensive line, which failed to register a sack. The Bucs gave up 510 passing yards to Manning.
“You can’t put me in that double bind and tell me we’re playing run when he’s in the gun,” Sapp said. “I’m going to pin these ears back and I’m gone. You figure this out after 51 passes and 510 yards, I’m going to figure it out while it’s going on. I’ll be damned, he’s not running the ball. I saw two runs out of the shotgun. I want your quarterback.”
This one has context, and it’s what makes me think the other one was about playing the run, too. It sounds like the defensive coaches called off the dogs when Manning was in shotgun? That doesn’t make a lot of sense, and maybe that’s what Sapp is saying. Whatever they were doing, it didn’t work. Eli may not have had to take a shower after that game.
“That’s what you get when you worked against that offensive coordinator for so many years. You think you can play a chess game. Damn the chess game, let the pieces do the damn work. Every time I looked up at the screen, it was stunt, hail, I’m like damn.”
So Sheridan was trying to outguess Kevin Gilbride because they had worked together for so long. In this case, I agree with Sapp. You can’t play those kinds of games. You wind up second- and third-guessing yourself. “Well, he usually runs in this case. But he knows I know that, so he may pass. But he knows I know he knows I know that, so he may just run anyway. Maybe he’ll quick kick.” Defenses love to say that they don’t let the offense dictate their scheme. The defense wants to be the one dictating what the offense does, and they do that by being aggressive and attacking. Just play the scheme you’ve practiced and make your adjustments as necessary.
And that makes four uses of “damn” from Sapp in seven sentences. He must really mean it!
“I said, “Gerald, walk in the man’s office and tell him we’ve got this. You can mess around on first and second down, but third down has got to be mine. Me and Kiffin used to fight about this. I’d say put it in my hands and if I can’t do it, I’ll give it back to you.’ Because I showed you last week I can get it done. Don’t bail on me now.”
I would love for someone to tell me in English if the scheme was completely different against the Giants than it was against the Panthers. Because the whole Panthers thing seemed to work out pretty well, and the purple unicorn is a much bigger threat to run than the polka-dot turtle (it makes just as much sense), so being aggressive in a pass rush sounds like a great idea for the Giants. We need Steve White to come around and explain the d-line play and tell us that it was all coaching decisions and not simple incompetence that kept Manning on his feet all day. Because from a fan perspective, it looks like they just didn’t get the job done last week.