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Think Mike McCarthy would ever do this? Would our current HC MLF??

Wanted to give this it's own thread because it deserves it.

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Last edited by Boris
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2 things.

A) smart, but his team is more talented and shouldn't be in this position

B) Vrabel has done this twice. Both times Rich Gannon was on the call. Both times Gannon failed to see what Vrabel was doing.

Even if MM would have thought of this, his mindset would have been "our defense just needs to buckle down and stone them twice on 2nd and 3rd and 1 and force the FG." MM had a hard enough time thinking through when to use timeouts.

Vrabel basically used Moneyball principles in Football. Football has been the last sport to really look at things in an analytical way. Some decisions are going that way (don't pay RBs big money for a second contract), but it will be interesting to see if someone takes it to a more detailed level. ESPN and other sites show how win probability changes based on each decision, but it could be more heavily incorporated into decisions.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but someone like a Daryl Morey type is probably looking at these for football right now. Morey was probably one Chris Paul hamstring injury away from winning an NBA title by completely changing the way basketball is played. Other team adapted to his style and it changed the way the game is played.

Some football questions for discussion on this. Again, I haven't looked at the stats but these are the types of questions that should be asked. Let's see what the board thinks.

1. Should you ever punt? Maybe on 4th and 15 from your own 5, but what about 4th and 2 from your own 30? Is the 40 yards of field position worth giving up a 50% chance of converting?

2. Should you onside kick all the time? It's 30 yards of field position for a 30% chance of stealing a possession.

3. Is it better to throw 3 (or 4) passes beyond the first down marker to try every time to get a first down with one play or is it better to try to set up 3rd and 4? The problem is that one missed assignment or drop happens and you punt. If you make every play a sure first down if it's executed correctly, you have three chances of converting for a first down every new set of downs.

4. Other than obvious decisions (like kicking a FG to go up by 4, 9, or 17 points late in a game) is it better just to go for it on 4th and short in scoring position every time?

5. Is taking timeouts to prevent a 5 yard delay of game penalty worth it? Maybe on 3rd and 1, but is 1st and 10 vs. 1st and 15 really that much different that it's worth blowing a timeout that could result in extra points at the end of a half?

I'm sure there are a lot of others, but those are just some considerations.

Last edited by MichiganPacker2

"3. Is it better to throw 3 (or 4) passes beyond the first down marker to try every time to get a first down with one play or is it better to try to set up 3rd and 4? The problem is that one missed assignment or drop happens and you punt. If you make every play a sure first down if it's executed correctly, you have three chances of converting for a first down every new set of downs."



This has to be done quickly, as our O Line needs to be able to block, long enough, for Rodgers to see the open receiver(s) and get the ball to them. I hate when we need 6 or 7 yards and throw the ball 4 yards, hoping the receiver can get the yardage needed for the first down. I think throwing to the RBs, here, works well.

@mrtundra posted:

"3. Is it better to throw 3 (or 4) passes beyond the first down marker to try every time to get a first down with one play or is it better to try to set up 3rd and 4? The problem is that one missed assignment or drop happens and you punt. If you make every play a sure first down if it's executed correctly, you have three chances of converting for a first down every new set of downs."



This has to be done quickly, as our O Line needs to be able to block, long enough, for Rodgers to see the open receiver(s) and get the ball to them. I hate when we need 6 or 7 yards and throw the ball 4 yards, hoping the receiver can get the yardage needed for the first down. I think throwing to the RBs, here, works well.

Throwing to someone like Jones and expecting him to make one guy miss to pick up the extra 5 yards to get a first down is a high percentage play.

The thing that really drove me nuts was throwing to someone like RichRod in the same situation and expecting him to break a tackle to pick up the extra 5 yards for a first down.

I'm a fan, not a coach at any level, so I don't have a sense for what has been the real innovations in scheme, etc. in the last couple of decades. I'm a little more knowledgeable about basketball, so the move towards analytics in terms of prioritizing 3s and layups at the expense of the midrange is something that's based on data analysis and completely changed the game (for better or worse). In baseball, it's valuing on-base percentage, a lot more defensive shifting, etc.

For football, the most obvious equivalent I can think of is Bill Walsh developing the West Coast offense 40 years ago. The whole concept of coordinating the number of steps on the QB drop with the WR patterns and timing the breaks, etc. was incredibly innovative. You weren't waiting for a guy to get open as much as coming up with a system that challenged even the best DBs. In the mid-70s when I started watching football, it was basically run a post-pattern, an out, run a go route or do a button-hook and the QB would see if you were open. Before that, it was heavily Tom Landry being the innovator. All the stuff the 70s Cowboys did in terms of using the shot-gun, etc.

What are the equivalents recently in the NFL?



What are the equivalents recently in the NFL?

MLF having the receivers run those zone crossers. Always seems to be someone open & Rodgers accuracy makes it a very high percentage pass play to move the sticks.

Last edited by Boris

Bill Arnsparger's development of the zone blitz scheme.
Buddy Ryan's "46" defense comes to mind.

In the fun days of McCarthy, his 5-wide "Big Okie" packages were innovative.
I'm not sure the "U-72" package was innovative, but was effective at the time.


MP2 mentioned analytics. The two stats that best predict single game outcome are: 1) Turnover differential 2) Average yards gained per pass attempt differential. My own "combing through" game stats over the past several years tells me that if a team wins both categories they win the game around 94% of the time & it is usually by more than one TD. These two stats correlate to winning more than rushing yards & time of possession. So on offense teams strive to not turn the ball over, complete a high percentage of passes, but also hit some big pass plays. On defense they put a premium on stopping those very things. What it has led to is every era has increased passer completion % and lowered INT %. I've heard football coaches say "the game has become basketball on grass"... meaning it has become all about getting athletes out in space to make plays.  However, none of it can happen if you lose the battle up front, so in many ways "the more things change, the more they remain the same"

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