December 6, 2007

Missing Man

I was deeply moved (what that says about me, I'll leave you to divine) by the Redskins putting only ten men on the field for their first defensive play from scrimmage. (The missing safety symbolized the loss of Sean Taylor, who was one of the most exciting football players I have ever seen.)

I also thought it showed a complete lack of class for the Bills to run left on that play. I have always sympathized with Buffalo for their Vikingesque failures in the Super Bowl. Henceforth, that sympathy will be lessened.


Eric said...

ESPN's Mike & Mike had a lot to say about this last Monday morning, and that show is the source of my information. The Redskins' Defensive Coordinator and his unit decided ON THEIR OWN to make this "missing man formation" their tribute to their fallen friend and comrade. They didn't tell anyone in advance, NOT EVEN THEIR OWN HEAD COACH.

IF anyone on the Bills' coaching staff or in the Bills' huddle actually noticed, before the ball was snapped, how many men the Redskins had on the field, expecting them to instantly recognize that this was being done honor Sean Taylor is extremely unreasonable. I believe it is still customary for football teams to script their first several plays in advance of the game. There is NO reason to believe the Bills noticed the shortage of players, or altered their script to take advantage of it. No reason whatsoever to believe that happened -- except that the Bills gained 22 yards on the play, which is entirely inconclusive as far as evidence goes.

IF the Bills quarterback had actually noticed the number of defenders on the field, should he have spiked the ball or taken a knee putting his team in a 2nd and 11 situation? IF the Bills running back had actually noticed the number of defenders on the field, should he have stopped running after the 3rd or 5th or 10th yard of the carry??? And how many guys on the Redskins defense did it actually take to tackle this runner? Was it 8 or 9 or 10 guys? Did the runner get more yards because there were fewer men on the field, and if so, how many more?

The Bills have gotten a lot of criticism for simply doing their jobs on that play, and frankly the critics ought to be embarrassed.

I'm a life-long Dallas resident and Cowboys fan. I couldn't care less about the outcome of that game. What the Redskins' defense did was very classy and cool. I don't believe the Bills recognized the situation or took advantage of it; but even if they did, that is what they are paid to do. It would have been an insult to Sean Taylor and the entire Redskins defense if the Bills had taken anything less than their best shot on that play.

Please don't take any of this personally, Pastor Esget -- I just disagree with all the criticism the Bills have been getting.

Christopher Esget said...

Nothing personal taken, Eric, and I'm glad for your comments. I haven't read or heard any of the criticism, but that's because I was on vacation and didn't pay any attention. (I did watch the game.)

You make some excellent points about scripting the plays, Gibbs not knowing, etc. It wasn't a surprise to me that they did it, though - the Redskins blogs I follow had all mentioned it several days before the game as a possibility.

I definitely don't think the Bills should have spiked the ball or taken a knee. In my ideal world, the QB would have noticed the defensive alignment and called an audible for a run up the middle or to the right, and let that play out.

Perhaps in the end it was fitting - it demonstrates what the Redskins have lost in terms of football. That sounds callous to say, when the real loss is that of a human being, a father, etc.

Again, I'm glad for your comments - it's helped me rethink my emotional reaction in support of my second-favorite team.