Thanks for the breakdown of my response. I have a better understanding of how you were trying to link the two coaches. I also agree that the principles outlined within the maxims serve as a sound team philosophy. Many phases to this game ignored by the highlight reels. It has been said a thousand times but remains true that football is a game of inches…broken tackles, incomplete passes, shed blocks, blocked punts, out-of-bounds, etc. everything not marked on the field can be said to be measured in inches. Those measurements added and subtracted by everyone out there playing (A-11, =P ) are what get converted into yardages, first downs, and scores.
As I mentioned earlier; my history of this game needs improvement, however, having read a couple months back the book, “War as They Knew It,” I can remember what was written about the Ohio State vs. Michigan era lead by Hayes and Schembechler. I also came away with the impression that special teams was not as high of a priority as it should have been for Ohio State. In your more recent example, I see and agree with you that thankfully in Chicago special teams is a top priority, as it should be. The FO has done more than most teams to make sure the resources are available to compete in this phase of the game. Where we might not agree, is that I don’t think coaches today are lost on the importance of all three phases, as might have been done in the past. Sometimes, as can happen in any area, things just do not work out as wished or expected.
Following Boise State seasons, I can promise you BSU put in the time and stressed special teams. Brotzman and Goodale have talent, they were thoroughly recruited and practiced well, for whatever reason, they were not productive.
I realize that the “Seven Game Maxims,” are not all about special teams, it is more than that… But I think we can agree that what we are getting at is that if offense is a green light, and defense is a red one, that focusing on what is happening in between is what can get you to the finish line first.
High Fives / Like - 1 BEAR DOWN!, 0 Dislikes
Hey there, A-11! Thanks for writing back. I got your message last night sometime really late and I could only briefly write a response as my night filled with insomnia was beginning.
Originally Posted by A-11
You definitely got the point of what I was getting at. The only thing, as you said, that we might disagree on is that in my opinion, most coaches don't place enough emphasis on all phases of the game. I will give you another example, and this will go back to the phenomena we're seeing not only at the college level, but in the pros as well: poor defense. How many ball games were there last year in both the college ranks and the pros whereby both teams scored 30 points or more? I can think of no better example than the Packers/Lions game on New Years Day up in Green Bay, how both teams scored in the 40s! This is a phenomena that has been going on now for the past couple of years. Right now, I'm attributing the fact that the lack of defense was led on by there not being any OTAs or mini camps last summer in the NFL. In college, where do we begin? Teams particularly in the Big XII and the Pac 12 just don't play defense. The last six national champions in college football have come out of the SEC, and it's no coincidence that the teams out of the SEC were ranked in the top five to top ten nationally in total defense. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is playing catch up because the SEC schools are generally playing true to that magical set of maxims Neyland pointed out all those decades ago. Also, look at the teams in recent years who won the Super Bowl. Since 2006, teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and New York Giants have taken down the mighty offensive mammoths they were playing against in the Super Bowl. Why is this? Because they could pressure the quarterback and cover on defense, whether it be man defense or zone. The point is that it's not just about special teams, it's every aspect that must be adhered to if you want to win big. The Bears had the defense and special teams to win in 2006, but the offense was missing. As we all know too well what Dennis Green said, "The Bears (were) who we thought they were."