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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Custer's Last Stand

I have watched alot of Packer games in my life, but I have never seen one as terrible and poorly played as what I just witnessed. I've seen games when Favre tries to force the ball too much and the Pack gets into problems with turnovers. Those are tough to watch, but it comes with the territory. You can't get mad at Favre for that. Sometimes he throws picks, sometimes its the best play you've ever seen. We Packer fans deal with it.

Today's game was a direct result of a horrific coach who has hung onto Brett Favre's coat tails to somehow continually make it to the playoffs and mask his own incompetency.

Issue #1-Play Calling

Sherman refuses to throw the ball down field. Does he think Favre doesn't have the arm? Does he not feel that Walker, Driver, and Ferguson are capable wideouts? Favre completed 27 passes. 12 of those were to running backs. One was a 17 yarder to Driver, but other than that none went for over 11 yards. Down by 2 touchdowns with under two minutes left, Sherman is still calling screens and flares. This makes absolutely no sense. It's like sac bunting in the ninth when you're down by 8 runs. Only Joe Morgan would advise that.

Second, the only thing that was having success all day was Ahman Green and the running game. Ahman averaged just under 5 yards a carry and was never stopped for less htan three yards. Even though it was a tight ball game all the way through, Sherman called in #30 just 12 times.

Issue #2-Penalties

A sure fire sign of a poorly coached and non-disciplined team is penalties. Green Bay had 14 for 100 yards, not to mention 5 by CB Ahmad Carroll. (another one of Sherman's brilliant draft picks) Five penalties by a single player in one game is ridiculous. The kid had problems with it all last year and Sherman refuses to bench him. Three of those penalties kept drives alive and one negated a 40 yard punt return. Carroll is a parasite to the team, but Sherman refuses to admit his mistake in not only drafting him but also allowing him to keep his starting position.

Issue #3-Kick Returns

Antonio Chatman has proven for 2 years now that he is not capable of hadling punt retuns or kickoff returns. He has never once broke a big play and will not even attempt to try. The job of a punt returner is to advance the ball downfield as far as possible, not simply secure the ball with a fair catch where ever it lands. Chatman seems more scared of being hit than Rodney King. Just catch the ball and run it, Antonio! Have a little faith that you won't fumble. Terrence Murphy and Robert Ferguson handled kick returns at A&M and were more than capable. Let's take that job away from Chatwoman and give it to one of them. And while we're at it, just release Chatwoman too. He serves no benefit to the team. Why can you not see this Mike Sherman?

I often stay up until 6 or 7 in the morning wondering how Mike Sherman got the job as head coach of the most storied franchise in the NFL. How does one go from TE coach of a struggling Seahawks team with no good tight ends to head coach of a perrinial playoff team?

Here's the answer, as dumb as it may sound. As a favor to Mike Holmgren, who is God in Titletown, the organization agreed to interview him the day before they were to meet with Marty Schottenheimer. Apparently, Bob Harlan was so blown away by measly Mike Sherman he gave him the job on the spot. What? We're not even going to talk with Marty? Didn't he lead the Chiefs to the playoffs for something like a million consecutive years? We don't even want to see what he has to say? I guess we really think this TE coach is going to be something. Turns out we were wrong. The ironic thing is that this guy who supposedly specializes in tight ends doesn't even use our gifted Bubba Franks properly. I can't remember the last time we throw to him inside the 20s. He was one of the premier TEs in the league his first couple years. Then the TE guru took over as head coach and took him out of the offense. Incredible! He can't even get that right.

I'd get into Sherman's terrible drafts but there is no point. The Pack was finally smart enough to relieve him of his GM duties. It just took a little too long. The fact is that this might be one of the worst coaches in the league. His record looks good but I don't think he had much influence on that. He inherited a strong team from the Holmgren era and has taken into a slow decline every year since. And this is where we're at now. Ridiculous! How did we not see it coming? Holmgren must be laughing his way to the playoffs. He no longer has to compete with the team he created.

But I guess it's useless to complain. The Packers extended this bum's contract for 2 more years this offseason. I guess all you Vikings, Bears, and Lions fans have something to look forward to. Well, maybe not the Vikings. After all, they extended Mike Tice this offseason too.

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