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Journey to Ring 3: Club Evaluation & Building Another Champion


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I think tweaks absolutely need to be made to the passing game but I’m really not sure bringing in a completely new OC and installing a completely new offense in potentially the last year we have Lamar on his rookie deal is our best shot at winning a super bowl. I’m really not. Our offense can move the ball and score points - we’ve seen that 2+ years now with this system. Offensive “geniuses” like Sean McVay and Sean Payton have had their high flying regular season offenses piddle out in the playoffs the last few years too. 

Unpopular opinion but I think our best chance at winning it all next year is keeping Roman, upgrading IOL, signing a legit #1 WR and bringing in some fresh eyes to add a more competent passing scheme to this system. Not getting rid of the entire system wholesale.

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13 minutes ago, Ray Reed said:

I think tweaks absolutely need to be made to the passing game but I’m really not sure bringing in a completely new OC and installing a completely new offense in potentially the last year we have Lamar on his rookie deal is our best shot at winning a super bowl. I’m really not. Our offense can move the ball and score points - we’ve seen that 2+ years now with this system. Offensive “geniuses” like Sean McVay and Sean Payton have had their high flying regular season offenses piddle out in the playoffs the last few years too. 

Unpopular opinion but I think our best chance at winning it all next year is keeping Roman, upgrading IOL, signing a legit #1 WR and bringing in some fresh eyes to add a more competent passing scheme to this system. Not getting rid of the entire system wholesale.

I agree. If it doesn't work with all those additions and a full off-season, then time to start anew. Lamar needs to get much better with his anticipation throws as well. So many times this year he was "late".

Edited by M.10.E
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In addition to the big-name FA WR1's that we'll continue to talk about, should also be looking at who might be gettable on the trade market as well - there's likely to be at least a couple of surprising names that get moved. Michael Thomas in particular is a situation that is worth monitoring with Brees retiring and the Saints up against the cap. DJ Moore is another where he's likely staying put but the Panthers might at least be willing to listen to offers - maybe we can get Matt Rhule interested in bringing in his former Temple player Tavon Young as a part of a deal. 

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2 hours ago, Ray Reed said:

I think tweaks absolutely need to be made to the passing game but I’m really not sure bringing in a completely new OC and installing a completely new offense in potentially the last year we have Lamar on his rookie deal is our best shot at winning a super bowl. I’m really not. Our offense can move the ball and score points - we’ve seen that 2+ years now with this system. Offensive “geniuses” like Sean McVay and Sean Payton have had their high flying regular season offenses piddle out in the playoffs the last few years too. 

Unpopular opinion but I think our best chance at winning it all next year is keeping Roman, upgrading IOL, signing a legit #1 WR and bringing in some fresh eyes to add a more competent passing scheme to this system. Not getting rid of the entire system wholesale.

I can agree with this. Don't burn down the house, but we have to do something.  

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2 hours ago, M.10.E said:

I agree. If it doesn't work with all those additions and a full off-season, then time to start anew. Lamar needs to get much better with his anticipation throws as well. So many times this year he was "late".

This too. Lamar's arm isn't the problem, it's knowing when to trust it and where to anticipate squeezing in the ball. I felt like he was better with his last year, but maybe it was because our offence was still surprising people and getting things open. 

That just comes with reps and film though I think - the game will slow down for our young team. I also think having no fans was big for us because we have some emotional playmakers who looked like for some reason they couldn't get into the game (home or away, the fans are part of the game).  

Edited by ThatJaxxenGuy
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Greg Roman is trash and we will never win a SB with him IMO. His playoff offenses in three games have averaged 11.7 PPG.

I think it’s time for us to turn the reigns over to James Urban. He’s worked with Lamar extensively and should know how to best scheme an offense around Lamar’s abilities.

He’s young and not as likely to be ‘stuck in his ways’. Every unit he’s ever worked on has thrived and developed talent. QB coach for Lamar? Unanimous MVP. QB coach for Mike Vick? Best season of his career. WR coach for Bengals? Helped develop Tyler Boyd. Developed Marvin Jones Jr (Lions). Mohammed Sanu? Had his best season of his career. Brandon LaFell had his 2nd best season (NE was best). Jerome Simpson was made relevant and had his best season as a Bengal.

Urban has spent time learning from/with Andy Reid, Jay Gruden, and Greg Roman.

I think our best chance is rolling with him as our Offensive Coordinator. He will be able to work over the offseason with Lamar and the rest of the coaches in building an ideal offensive system truly tailored around Lamar. Using similar language to our current playbook.

I think David Culley ultimately leaves to take the Texans job after no one else wants it. If not, keep him on as our Assistant HC and he can be our backup OC in the event that Urban is poached to be a HC down the road.

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I wouldn't lose sleep if we replaced Roman, but something tells me this is the plan for Lamar's rookie deal, then when he signs his long term contract we switch to a more traditional offence and spend some money on weapons. However, if we go into this season having made no major upgrades on offence we will have a problem. I really don't like our system right now (I feel like it's Gimmicky and Lamar's ability isn't) and would be pretty uninspired by more pounding the rock with our QB. 

Edited by ThatJaxxenGuy
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Also Lamar’s anticipation regressed this season. Kaepernick’s anticipation also regressed under Roman.

Its hard to throw anticipatory throws when your WRs/TEs are all crowded into one spot and can be covered by a single defender.

People can excuse Roman and blame it on Culley all they like, but Roman at every location has been the common denominator.

I’ll trade #1 rushing attack for #5 rushing attack, if it means our offense progresses our franchise QB so we’re not looking for another QB 4 years from now because Lamar is broken... which is the path we’re currently on under Roman.

You can’t just flip a switch and redevelop a QB that you sabotaged while he’s making $40m. Lamar’s development while he’s on his rookie deal should be our #1 priority.

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Gotta say I'm a little skeptical of this idea that we can just keep Roman's offense but empower a different passing game coordinator to work out his shortcomings. There are definitely marginal improvements that can be made in terms of route combinations, but the reality is that Roman's elite running game is a product of every single personnel decision being made with the running game in mind. As long Pat Ricard is more likely to play out of the slot than Hollywood, as long as WR's are earning playing time based on their blocking ability, as long as we play with these jumbo sets and 6 offensive linemen, etc. we are not going to have a real passing offense. And I don't see how that's not what we do as long as we're running a Greg Roman offensive scheme. 

And you can say - 'well, we'll just do less of that,' and that makes sense in theory, but those are fundamentally the things that make a Greg Roman running game go. And if he remains OC and the passing game coordinator is asked to work around the personnel limitations that a Roman offense demands, then it almost doesn't matter what they come up with - at the end of the day the choice was made not by our route combinations but by the amount of snaps that Nick Boyle or a 6th offensive linemen or Pat Ricard are playing. Either we actually revamp the offense so that the passing game is the priority and the the run game is designed to work within it rather than the other way around, or you're just making superficial changes. 

Edited by SalvadorsDeli
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14 minutes ago, SalvadorsDeli said:

Gotta say I'm a little skeptical of this idea that we can just keep Roman's offense but empower a different passing game coordinator to work out his shortcomings. There are definitely marginal improvements that can be made in terms of route combinations, but the reality is that Roman's elite running game is a product of every single personnel decision being made with the running game in mind. As long Pat Ricard is more likely to play out of the slot than Hollywood, as long as WR's are earning playing time based on their blocking ability, as long as we play with these jumbo sets and 6 offensive linemen, etc. we are not going to have a real passing offense. And I don't see how that's not what we do as long as we're running a Greg Roman offensive scheme. 

And you can say - 'well, we'll just do less of that,' and that makes sense in theory, but those are fundamentally the things that make a Greg Roman running game go. And if he remains OC and the passing game coordinator is asked to work around the personnel limitations that a Roman offense demands, then it almost doesn't matter what they come up with - at the end of the day the choice was made not by our route combinations but by the amount of snaps that Nick Boyle or a 6th offensive linemen or Pat Ricard are playing. Either we actually revamp the offense so that the passing game is the priority and the the run game is designed to work within it rather than the other way around, or you're just making superficial changes. 

Agreed.

Roman’s system isn’t going to cut it. Could lightning strike in the bottle (or however that saying goes), maybe?

But the idea that Roman is going to best utilize our offensive talent is absurd. Unless we’re talking regular season success. He might be able to misdirection his way to a successful regular season, but under a microscope, everything Roman does is marry misdirection with simplicity to catch defenses off guard with explosive runs.

When you get into the postseason the best coaches/player minds are working their hardest to crack the code. And each playoffs they have done so. Against the smart teams, they’ve done so in the regular season as well.

Once teams realized that the counter bash wasn’t a read play, they knew exactly how to defend it? Rex Ryan on national TV pointed it out prior to the Titans game. He mentioned how HE would defend it... and he also mentioned that he just picked it up from watching the game, not even from coaches tape.

Roman is the Mortal Kombat user that spams the same move/combo and once someone figures out how to counter it, he’s left helpless.
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Brian Daboll is roughly the same age as Urban. He went to Buffalo and built a relationship with Allen then they built that passing attack with Allen providing input based on what he’s seeing. The results have looked good.
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Perhaps there’s some truth to not rocking the boat too much for Lamar, but considering Urban has three years running with Lamar and he’s had plenty of experience in a multitude of different, successful offensive systems, I don’t see why he couldn’t both keep things as similar in language to what Lamar already understands, while simultaneously crafting a passing attack that makes sense for Lamar as a passer. Then build run concepts off of that.

How about a passing attack that allowed Andy Dalton with similar arm talent to Lamar, to thrive. Combine that with Lamar’s scrambling ability opening up passing lanes and 3800-4200 passing yds, 800-1000 rushing yds, 35+ TD seasons shouldn’t be out of the equation. Only you’d hope such a passing attack would be a more viable offense come playoff time.

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Here’s where I’m at. I totally understand people’s frustration with the offense the last two playoff outings. I get that leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths so I don’t necessarily even see it as extreme overreaction that people want to overhaul the entire offense. But at the end of the day the Ravens have scored the most points in the league these last 2 years. A large part of our failings on offense these past 2 playoff pushes have been execution - plain and simple. Tucker doinked 6 points and Lamar threw a pick 6 in the red zone. A lot of times it’s easier for fans to blame coaches than the players but these past 2 playoff runs our players haven’t executed well straight up. OL terrible and Lamar way too many turnovers.

The Bills offense “didn’t get it done” in the playoffs either. Their defense won them that game. And they were stymied pretty decently against the Colts. The Saints offense “hasn’t gotten it done” in the playoffs in years. The Rams offense “hasn’t gotten it done” in the playoffs since they’ve scored 3 points in the SB. All vastly different offensive systems from ours but ones that rely on the pass more than the run. They’ve sputtered out too. The difference in the main passing offenses that have consistently been successful in the playoffs is because they have Aaron Rodgers and Pat Mahomes at QB. KC offense scored 24 points yesterday against an insanely bad Browns defense in large part because Mahomes went out. Rodgers and LaFleur could barely get a first down in the NFCCG last year. 

I think the leap that some people are making that this team/offense can’t be successful unless the offense shifts to a pass-oriented offense and the run playing off of that is just silly. We have Lamar Jackson as our QB. He’s maybe the greatest running QB of all time. He also isn’t a top 10 passer in this league. And that’s fine. But if you want us to shift to a more pass oriented offense that passes to set up the run like some in here have suggested that is exactly what some people in here yell at Roman for - not utilizing the strengths of your players.

I’m not saying the passing game is good as is. I’m saying our offensive identity has been and should continue to be run to set up the pass with the players we have. That’s made us the highest scoring offense in the league the past 2 years. Just because some people watch Mahomes and Rodgers continually ball out in the postseason and think “man that should be us” doesn’t mean it can/will happen. We have to play to our strengths. Lamar Jackson dropping back to throw 30 times a game isn’t going to win us any more/important ball games than we already have.

Get a #1 WR. Beef up the OL. Continue to win games at a rate that will get us into these big game moments and let’s see if the passing adjustments the team (should) make gets us over the hump. Canning the system entirely isn’t the way to go. 

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You can center your running game without doing what Roman does and basically eliminate the possibility of passing effectively because of the particular ways in which he organizes the offense from a personnel standpoint, etc. That's basically what Shanahan and McVay do. It's what Kubiak did for years, including with us. It's what Arthur Smith did with the Titans while still setting Tannehill up for success. It's not what Roman does. It's not what he's ever done. It's not who he is. Designing an offense doesn't mean getting to create a menu of items where you get all of Roman's good qualities without having the obvious drawbacks. If he's our guy then we're going to have the very specific and familiar issues that come with it. 

The system is an impediment and if people who are just trying to split the baby pretending some fancy new title and passing game guru is actually going to change anything when it's still Greg Roman's offense, scheme, and playcalls are just kidding themselves. I understand that some people will find that preferable - find ways to upgrade at WR and pray that execution alone can improve things - to having Lamar learn a new system but we shouldn't pretend that this offense is going to evolve at all from a design/scheme standpoint if the guy who has basically been the exact same OC he has always been for over a decade is still calling the shots next year. 

Edited by SalvadorsDeli
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1 hour ago, Ray Reed said:

Here’s where I’m at. I totally understand people’s frustration with the offense the last two playoff outings. I get that leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths so I don’t necessarily even see it as extreme overreaction that people want to overhaul the entire offense. But at the end of the day the Ravens have scored the most points in the league these last 2 years. A large part of our failings on offense these past 2 playoff pushes have been execution - plain and simple. Tucker doinked 6 points and Lamar threw a pick 6 in the red zone. A lot of times it’s easier for fans to blame coaches than the players but these past 2 playoff runs our players haven’t executed well straight up. OL terrible and Lamar way too many turnovers.

Players running routes that place them all within 5 yards of each other, consistently, for a single defender to cover... isn’t player execution, it’s coaching- specifically the OC who has had this SAME problem at every stop prior to Baltimore.

How about the massive amount of pre-snap penalties the team endured BEFORE COVID-19 impacted the squad, is that not also on the OC?

How about the consistent inability to adjust his playcalling in-game? This isn’t just some notion of poor playcalling that every team has an issue with their OC, this is a completely broken pass system that consistently does not have a proper read plan in place. These aren’t simple, “oh let’s just try to call better pass plays” type issues. These are massive structural flaws that contribute in MAKING players LOOK like they’re executing poorly.

1 hour ago, Ray Reed said:

The Bills offense “didn’t get it done” in the playoffs either. Their defense won them that game. And they were stymied pretty decently against the Colts. The Saints offense “hasn’t gotten it done” in the playoffs in years. The Rams offense “hasn’t gotten it done” in the playoffs since they’ve scored 3 points in the SB. All vastly different offensive systems from ours but ones that rely on the pass more than the run. They’ve sputtered out too. The difference in the main passing offenses that have consistently been successful in the playoffs is because they have Aaron Rodgers and Pat Mahomes at QB. KC offense scored 24 points yesterday against an insanely bad Browns defense in large part because Mahomes went out. Rodgers and LaFleur could barely get a first down in the NFCCG last year. 

The Bills offense in the same number of playoff appearances has scored (removing the pick 6) 18.6 PPG, this with one of the games featuring last years Josh Allen and not MVP candidate Josh Allen.

KC has Mahomes, we have Lamar. There isn’t a 3-4 TD kind of difference in the overall talent of the QBs. Maybe 1-2 TDs, the rest of the difference comes in the form of an OC who can’t scheme any sort of passing attack.

1 hour ago, Ray Reed said:

I think the leap that some people are making that this team/offense can’t be successful unless the offense shifts to a pass-oriented offense and the run playing off of that is just silly. We have Lamar Jackson as our QB. He’s maybe the greatest running QB of all time. He also isn’t a top 10 passer in this league. And that’s fine. But if you want us to shift to a more pass oriented offense that passes to set up the run like some in here have suggested that is exactly what some people in here yell at Roman for - not utilizing the strengths of your players.

Building concepts off of the pass and being pass oriented are two different things.

Lamar having his check down routes being Pat Ricard and Nick Boyle/Tomlinson on 1/3 of his pass plays is setting him up for failure. I suppose he should anticipatory throw them open and past the 1st down marker as well?

Building pass concepts off of 22 personnel means any penalty or missed block or failed attempt at hitting a running hole, puts us behind schedule. Which in turn is WHY we’ve had such an issue scoring points in the postseason.

Our personnel packages and playcalling tendencies have us running out of 22 personnel often enough that defenses can sell out to stop it. Against undertalented teams in the regular season it works. Against top playoff defenses and coaching minds, it’s forcing sustained drives where we get no explosive running plays out of those obvious run formations.

The explosive Lamar run’s in the postseason have all come from 3 WR sets where the defense was spread out and couldn’t completely account for Lamar.

Does this mean that 21 or 12 personnel packages wouldn’t hold value? No. They would and should be a part of the teams identity. Those formations are far more flexible and would make forming a proper passing attack around them much easier to do.

1 hour ago, Ray Reed said:

I’m not saying the passing game is good as is. I’m saying our offensive identity has been and should continue to be run to set up the pass with the players we have. That’s made us the highest scoring offense in the league the past 2 years. Just because some people watch Mahomes and Rodgers continually ball out in the postseason and think “man that should be us” doesn’t mean it can/will happen. We have to play to our strengths. Lamar Jackson dropping back to throw 30 times a game isn’t going to win us any more/important ball games than we already have.

So considering we keep Roman, whats your solution for a better passing route plan or more strategic personnel packages? Particularly considering he hasn’t shown a propensity to execute these improvements in any stop prior? 

Simply claiming the players need to execute can’t be enough. There needs to be X’s and O’s accountability with regard to the passing attack. Not simply, “go out there and out talent everyone else and hope Lamar can find you behind an elite pass blocking OL.”

We’ve seen traits that both Lamar and Hollywood have excelled at in college and early on in their NFL careers conceivably appear to regress in this passing attack. What’s the solution that you believe Roman’s continued guidance will provide them?

1 hour ago, Ray Reed said:

Get a #1 WR. Beef up the OL. Continue to win games at a rate that will get us into these big game moments and let’s see if the passing adjustments the team (should) make gets us over the hump. Canning the system entirely isn’t the way to go. 

Getting rid of Roman doesn’t mean the entirety of the system is scrapped. There are coaches on this staff that have intimate understanding of this system, that can look to keep together the integrity of the rushing attack while making structural improvements to the passing attack as well.

There are potential solutions to the passing attack that don’t rely on blowing up the entirety of this offensive system.

My sentiments on this offense are simple, like Steve said, good coach, good guy, needs to move on:

 

Edited by diamondbull424
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2019-2020 Playoff Teams
Steelers: 37 PPG
Chiefs: 34.8 PPG
Browns: 32.5 PPG
Bucs: 30.5 PPG
49ers: 28 PPG
Packers: 26.7 PPG
Texans: 26.5 PPG
Rams: 24 PPG
Colts: 24 PPG
WFT: 23 PPG
Titans: 21.3 PPG
Bills: 21 PPG
Saints: 20.3 PPG
Seahawks: 20 PPG
Bills: 18.6 PPG
Vikings: 18 PPG
Patriots: 13 PPG
Ravens: 11.7 PPG
Bears: 9 PPG
Eagles: 9 PPG

That Bears offense was bottom 10 all season. That Eagles offense had a slew of injuries. And that Patriots offense was one of the least talented offenses that season.

Yet our #1 and top 12 offenses in 2019 and 2020 respectively was competing with those units. The difference isn’t just players executing poorly. There are a slew of offenses above that also executed poorly, yet also put up far more points than ours.

Simply claiming other team offenses, “didn’t get it done” is irrelevant, everyone of them “got it done” better than our offense outside of a team that just fired their HC and another team whose HC is on the hot seat and likely to be fired next season.

edit: If our offense was averaging 20-24 points in the playoffs, our defense the past two seasons perhaps gets us to a SB win. But not with it averaging less than 12. Adding a hyper talented WR can only mask but so many systemic flaws.

Edited by diamondbull424
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