- Mar 19, 2004
- Reaction score
Great post. Thanks.I think three different traits are getting mixed up here.
One is, not being a slave to a scheme in terms of making your players fit the scheme rather than shaping a scheme that accommodates the abilities of your players. Obviously, as someone said, you can't have no inside running game, just because you don't have an RB who averages more that 2.5yds on inside runs. BUt presumably that guy is on your roster because he's great on outside runs or receiving or blocking, so you build your playing style to accommodate that. Over time, presumably you train guys to be more complete or you churn the roster, but all the time trying to accentuate the positive of what your various players can do really well.
The second is adapting your "scheme" or playing style heavily to tackle each opponent every week. This is seemingly Gase's calling card. To do that, you need adaptable players, so this coaching trait influences the first one. Given we just had to dumb down our defense because players thought it was too complicated, I'm interested to see how the roster adapts to a HC who throws a new "scheme" at them every week.
Thirdly is in-game adjustments to your playing style. I think this is where guys like Belichick and Payton and Carroll really stand out from the crowd. Sure, they vary their gameplan from opponent to opponent - making them harder to read and attacking opponent's weaknesses. But in-game they are masters of varying it too.
Gase has said he wants to make the scheme fit the players. Music to the ears of most of us on here, but it doesn't mean much in terms of W:L ratio unless you have a roster where players can do a lot of things well.
Gase's modus operandi is fastidious preparation for opponents and varying the gameplan. A separate trait that is also welcome, but it also doesn't mean much if your players can't handle the complexity of the week-to-week changes. Miami has some previous here in rejecting complexity.
The sample size of how Gase adjusts in-game to opponents is small and limited to a team with a lot of injuries. But, we could certainly say there's no evidence he's at the Belichick level of tactical manipulation in-game.
So cautious optimism seems about right. But in order to play to players' strengths , they have to have some strengths to start with. Guys like Thomas, Fox, Damien Williams, Walt Aikens, Michael Thomas, Brice McCain, Kelvin Sheppard don't have many strengths to start with and a whole other bunch of guys are using all their strengths just to be acceptable NFL roster players.
Then, you still have to play the game. How Gase adjusts in-game and at halftime will probably be the making or breaking of this roster, imo.