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Journey to Ring 3: Club Evaluation & Building Another Champion


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Also I feel I should make it known that if anything above is coming off as pointed or something, I’m not upset or anything, just passionately debating these points. I’m debating this as if Harbaugh showed up at my door and said, “I’m thinking about keeping Roman on as our OC”... But yeah, outside of that, it’s all love.

Just figured I’d let that be known.

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I obviously don’t have all the answers. That’s way above my pay grade. I’ll expand on some thoughts later in the week but we “schemed” a wide open Hollywood TD in the redzone to tie the game 10-10. Tyre and JK both completely whiffed on a block and the pass is incomplete. The next play Lamar throws a 100 yard pick 6 into triple coverage for a 14 point swing. 

That is absolutely an execution thing. That and the Tucker FGs would have put us at 16 points. Not great, for sure, but the Bills offense led by the offensive genius Brian Daboll scored 10. Last week we scored 20 when Tucker missed another FG and we kneeled to end the game inside the 15.

So again i’m not going to take too much credence in a really small sample size and say “this offense has only averaged x ppg in the playoffs, therefore we can’t win with it in the playoffs” when:

A. we have a much larger sample size of us being one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL over the past 2 years and 

B. anyone who’s watched the playoffs these past 2 years can clearly see our players just straight up not executing up to the level they have during the regular season. call it choking or stage fright or bad luck or whatever but it’s clear that the players are making stupid mistakes consistently in the playoffs that they don’t make in the regular season 

That’s just how I feel on the matter. People absolutely have a right to disagree but when we’re throwing pick 6s, missing FGs, snapping the ball over people’s head, dropping passes etc it’s hard to just point at the OC that has scored the most points the last 2 years in the NFL and say “get rid of this guy, problem solved” and just pretend like there aren’t some other factors going on here 

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For those deathly afraid the moving on from Roman means a terrible rushing attack. Rex Ryan moved on from Roman after two games in the 2016 season. He switched to Anthony Lynn, who led the unit to 198 more rushing yards and 10 more rushing TDs than Roman had the previous season.

5 minutes ago, Ray Reed said:

 

I obviously don’t have all the answers. That’s way above my pay grade. I’ll expand on some thoughts later in the week but we “schemed” a wide open Hollywood TD in the redzone to tie the game 10-10. Tyre and JK both completely whiffed on a block and the pass is incomplete. The next play Lamar throws a 100 yard pick 6 into triple coverage for a 14 point swing. 

Jackson should’ve run it or checked down to Hill. He didn’t process that play well, no one has debated that.

But since you want to point this play out, the pass concepts aren’t challenging multiple levels of the defense. It’s 3rd down and you need points.

You have every receiver running a curl route? No one is running a crosser underneath to draw defensive attention forward as you try and sneak Andrews behind them? Or how about running a corner route with Boykin on top of that? Every route attacked the same depth of the zone. No defender was forced to have to make a decision by overloading his zone with two guys at different depths.

You mean to tell me on a critical down, running all curl routes is the best playcall Roman could come up with?!?

31 minutes ago, Ray Reed said:

That is absolutely an execution thing. That and the Tucker FGs would have put us at 16 points. Not great, for sure, but the Bills offense led by the offensive genius Brian Daboll scored 10. Last week we scored 20 when Tucker missed another FG and we kneeled to end the game inside the 15.

Tucker FGs?!?

It was 25 mph winds in that game. Roman’s first drive we were moving the Bills off the ball and they couldn’t stop the run- at all. We bullied them all the way down the field and every run was wildly successful, there was no need to switch it up at that point until they proved they could stop us. Not only did we switch it up, we wasted a TO. That drive’s playcalling switch up led to us finishing short.

Tuckers kicks both came cleanly off his feet. He missed because of aggressive and unpredictable crosswinds. That’s not an execution problem. If Roman’s playcalling doesn’t freeze up and we get Tucker even 5 yards closer, those kicks fall through. So you’re already letting Roman off the hook and blaming this on the players. They were executing and creating rushing lanes. Jackson was FURIOUS that we called a TO there when we had all the momentum and were in the middle of a drive, who does that in the 1st Quarter?... What other offense did we see anything similar from in these playoffs, calling a TO in the middle of a successful drive when there was time left on the clock?

Also the Titans game we scored 7 points not because of scheme, but Lamar bailing the scheme out. So if you’re going to assign Lamar all the blame for his pick 6 than let’s not give Roman credit for where it was not due. Peters interception put us in position to close the game out as well. There’s no telling what this offense does if the Titans would’ve scored there.
——

No one has referred to Daboll as an offensive genius. You’ve got to do it for more than one season to be known as an offensive genius. Andy Reid is an offensive genius. Sean Payton is an offensive genius. Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius. Sean McVay is an offensive genius. Brian Daboll had success, but is not someone with an extensive NFL track record.

What’s more our defense was playing at an elite level in these playoffs against the Titans and the Bills. The Bills defense the week before got absolutely shredded by Frank Reich and Rivers, albeit in better passing conditions.

47 minutes ago, Ray Reed said:

So again i’m not going to take too much credence in a really small sample size and say “this offense has only averaged x ppg in the playoffs, therefore we can’t win with it in the playoffs” when:

A. we have a much larger sample size of us being one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL over the past 2 years and 

B. anyone who’s watched the playoffs these past 2 years can clearly see our players just straight up not executing up to the level they have during the regular season. call it choking or stage fright or bad luck or whatever but it’s clear that the players are making stupid mistakes consistently in the playoffs that they don’t make in the regular season 

If the players on offense consistently aren’t executing, who coaches the unit that keeps these guys from consistently not executing?

Whats more, it’s not just the playoffs, it’s against any prepared coaching staff. The Steelers have given this offense fits the past two seasons. The Chiefs have given it fits. The Titans all three times have given it fits. The Colts game was the only game where a team gave us fits and we actually adjusted in the 2nd half to counter.

If the players clearly aren’t executing under the current OC leadership, than perhaps someone else needs to be leading the unit. Maybe someone that can be down there on the field with them to coach them up in game? Or someone that is a better motivator of men? Three games may not be a significant amount of a sample size, but it is enough to establish a pattern.

1 hour ago, Ray Reed said:

That’s just how I feel on the matter. People absolutely have a right to disagree but when we’re throwing pick 6s, missing FGs, snapping the ball over people’s head, dropping passes etc it’s hard to just point at the OC that has scored the most points the last 2 years in the NFL and say “get rid of this guy, problem solved” and just pretend like there aren’t some other factors going on here 

There are other factors. Everyone who has called for Roman to go has acknowledged that Lamar needs to step it up, that Andrews needs to have bigger games, the OL hasn’t gotten it done.

But none of that player execution excuses the lack of quality in the X’s and O’s within the passing attack.

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It is partly an execution thing, but when you have to be nearly perfect in execution to succeed then there's still something wrong with the system. And that's the problem with Roman's offense if the team can't rely on running the ball all game. 

The loss to Buffalo reminded me a lot of the loss to the Chargers a couple years ago. At least in the way their defenses stymied the offense. It obviously wasn't with big run defenders. The fast and athletic guys who can get to a spot more quickly and disrupt running plays just killed the offense. And then trying to pass on them with this highly limited passing scheme... nah. That's not ever going to work.

Trading for Michael Thomas and signing Allen Robinson still wouldn't be enough. Nothing changes there. You're still relying on the receivers to win one-on-one every play (or more likely doubled up with underneath coverage given the offensive formations) and that's not a path to success. A team can't rely on everybody winning their one-on-one matchups. That's way too hard and unrealistic. Yet here the Ravens are. 

Scheme matters. Not every player in the NFL is an All Pro. Most need some kind of help to be put in a position to succeed.

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c0 hits basically everything I would have said. 

@Ray Reed is right in that there's definitely an element of players not executing being part of the problem.  And despite winning against Tennessee I'm still not sure if I've been convinced if the Ravens as currently constructed can duke it out with play-off calibre teams in big games.

That said, there's a couple of things he brought up I want to address 

1 hour ago, Ray Reed said:

I’ll expand on some thoughts later in the week but we “schemed” a wide open Hollywood TD in the redzone to tie the game 10-10. Tyre and JK both completely whiffed on a block and the pass is incomplete. The next play Lamar throws a 100 yard pick 6 into triple coverage for a 14 point swing. 

That is absolutely an execution thing.

You're absolutely right about Hollywood being schemed open on the first play and Tyre Phillips and JKD whiffing being the problem, and that Lamar throwing into triple coverage is also a lack of execution.  However on that second play I think you're overlooking the fact that nobody was open when Lamar threw the pick 6, and that's a scheme thing.

1 hour ago, Ray Reed said:

A. we have a much larger sample size of us being one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL over the past 2 years and 

Almost always because we score first and can then lean on the run heavily to rack up more points - which favours Roman's scheme.  However when we get behind, his scheme and the over-reliance on running does not put the offense in the best position to make up a deficit.  There's a reason why last week was the first time the Ravens had successfully come back from 10 points down in something like 4 years, and its not because the players never execute

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30 minutes ago, drd23 said:

You're absolutely right about Hollywood being schemed open on the first play and Tyre Phillips and JKD whiffing being the problem, and that Lamar throwing into triple coverage is also a lack of execution.  However on that second play I think you're overlooking the fact that nobody was open when Lamar threw the pick 6, and that's a scheme thing.

Yup. On that pick as well as the one against the Titans along the right sideline.

Against the Titans, you need a perfect pass and legit arm talent to get it to that outside spot without Boykin running out of real estate.

Against the Bills, in that situation we should’ve had a levels concept called that gives Lamar multiple depths that he can target within a given zone. So essentially he can make maybe two reads, but all can happen quick.

Even if the Bills blitz there, Roman is relying on Lamar to identify which of those 7 guys crowded at the LOS is blitzing and which is dropping.

Then reading the entire field, with a pass rush that broke down within 1 second the play before, to scan the entirety of the field to locate where the best target is.

I just question WHY we would call that play given the down, distance, and situation.

Thats not a high success play considering many defenses are going to run a very similar defensive approach in that situation.

Edit: Also looking at Lamar’s presnap read, the pass to Andrew’s made sense. The best possibly way they could made that play work is if Andrews keeps running and Lamar throws a jump ball to the back of the endzone, which in wind, might also be a tricky proposition... because you’d want to throw a floater and a floater could come off flat, short, and also end in a pick.

Edited by diamondbull424
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I think the scheme arguments are all valid and necessary. However, no scheme is going to work behind a poor OL that's been our main downfall in the playoffs the last few years. Pressure clearly affects Lamar in the pocket and not in a good way most of the time.

I think our offense is trending in the right direction by running out of the spread more often. It's just too tough to have a passing offense when two of your receiving options are Ricard and Tomlinson. Need to be able to block with legit passing weapons.

Also completely random, I'd like Andrews to lose some weight this offseason and improve his speed a little.

Edited by M.10.E
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1 hour ago, M.10.E said:

Also completely random, I'd like Andrews to lose some weight this offseason and improve his speed a little.

Mark Andrews was in the best shape of his life coming into this season. Visually you could tell and he said so himself. Maybe COVID along with him having Diabetes hit him hard down the stretch or something, but he was in excellent shape otherwise. Lost the bad fat he had been carrying since his Rookie season.

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1 minute ago, DreamKid said:

Mark Andrews was in the best shape of his life coming into this season. Visually you could tell and he said so himself. Maybe COVID along with him having Diabetes hit him hard down the stretch or something, but he was in excellent shape otherwise. Lost the bad fat he had been carrying since his Rookie season.

Don't disagree with any of this. I'd just like him lose some weight (muscle fat whatever) to gain a little more speed.

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1 minute ago, M.10.E said:

Don't disagree with any of this. I'd just like him lose some weight (muscle fat whatever) to gain a little more speed.

Oh, so you just want him to lose some mass in general? I got you.

The only thing I worry about is him then being more susceptible to little injuries here and there. He was kinda soft at Oklahoma and even in his first couple years for us was frequently leaving the field after harder contact. That'd be my only concern there.

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12 hours ago, coordinator0 said:

It is partly an execution thing, but when you have to be nearly perfect in execution to succeed then there's still something wrong with the system. And that's the problem with Roman's offense if the team can't rely on running the ball all game. 

The loss to Buffalo reminded me a lot of the loss to the Chargers a couple years ago. At least in the way their defenses stymied the offense. It obviously wasn't with big run defenders. The fast and athletic guys who can get to a spot more quickly and disrupt running plays just killed the offense. And then trying to pass on them with this highly limited passing scheme... nah. That's not ever going to work.

Trading for Michael Thomas and signing Allen Robinson still wouldn't be enough. Nothing changes there. You're still relying on the receivers to win one-on-one every play (or more likely doubled up with underneath coverage given the offensive formations) and that's not a path to success. A team can't rely on everybody winning their one-on-one matchups. That's way too hard and unrealistic. Yet here the Ravens are. 

Scheme matters. Not every player in the NFL is an All Pro. Most need some kind of help to be put in a position to succeed.

Yeah I think you nailed it here with the bolded. Like sure, if we execute perfectly, things work, but when we don't and we make small mistakes OR the other team makes a great play and puts into 2nd or 3rd and long, the drive is basically over unless Lamar goes Super Saiyan and extends the drive and we get to do that all over again.

Contrast that to watching the Chiefs or any other actual good offense throwing the ball, you can put those teams in 2nd or 3rd and long and they convert. The top 5 teams this year in 3rd down conversion rates were:

  1. Green Bay 
  2. KC
  3. Baltimore
  4. Buffalo
  5. New Orleans

Those are basically the top 4 passing offenses, and us, and if you do a deep dive into our 3rd down conversion rate, it's largely because when our offense is on track we force A LOT of 3rd and shorts, which are almost impossible to defend against with this offense. However, if you get a stop on 1st or 2nd down against this offense and put us behind track, especially in the playoffs, it's basically gg, we're punting.

All of this to say, there is a major problem with your scheme when you HAVE to be perfect to execute and move the chains. You watch KC and they're throwing to guys who are wide open on every play and they make passing look easy. The way they use Tyreek Hill is the way we should be using Hollywood and the way they use Kelce is how we should be using Mark Andrews, but it's just not.

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How about Brandon Scherff for us? 

Still plays at a very high level. Just turned 29 in December, should have at least 3-4 years of plus play left in him. Would slide in at our weakest link(RG) and immediately solidify our right side. Also, getting a vet like him in FA enables us to avoid leaning on multiple Rookies for the 2021 season.

Bozeman is the best of our interior bunch(not saying much IK), and he's still ascending. I expect him to retain his starting spot at LG or he could shift back to and start at Center. Depends on who we draft or sign.

So the line would look like LT: Stanley LG: Bozeman/Early Round Pick 😄 Bozeman/Early Round Pick RG: Brandon Scherff RT: Orlando Brown Jr.

^^^Looks solid to me. Scherff has said publicly his family likes it in Washington, so we could be one of the few teams capable of landing him if he wants to stay close to the area.

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12 minutes ago, DreamKid said:

How about Brandon Scherff for us? 

Still plays at a very high level. Just turned 29 in December, should have at least 3-4 years of plus play left in him. Would slide in at our weakest link(RG) and immediately solidify our right side. Also, getting a vet like him in FA enables us to avoid leaning on multiple Rookies for the 2021 season.

Bozeman is the best of our interior bunch(not saying much IK), and he's still ascending. I expect him to retain his starting spot at LG or he could shift back to and start at Center. Depends on who we draft or sign.

So the line would look like LT: Stanley LG: Bozeman/Early Round Pick 😄 Bozeman/Early Round Pick RG: Brandon Scherff RT: Orlando Brown Jr.

^^^Looks solid to me. Scherff has said publicly his family likes it in Washington, so we could be one of the few teams capable of landing him if he wants to stay close to the area.

IDK, of all the needs on the team, a FA IOL doesn't seem like a top priority. I feel pretty confident for the sake of continuity they'll keep Bozeman in at LG. Assuming Stanley can come back healthy for the start of the season and we don't trade either him or Brown, that's 3 spots locked down. Then I think we let Mekari/Powers battle it out for that RG spot. So, it just becomes a matter of adding a center with a premium pick, which in this draft class seems like a very realistic possibility - someone like Creed Humphrey being the ideal candidate.

Stanley/Andre Smith
Bozeman/Bredson
Humphrey/Colon-Castillo
Powers/Mekari
Brown/Mekari

I feel incredibly comfortable rolling into the season with that squad, as long as that money that would have been spent on an OL is spent elsewhere, say on a WR like Allen Robinson - I think we're going to have to pinch every penny we can to sign a receiver of his caliber, given our cap restrictions.

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