The good news is that, of course, I have no idea what Bill Musgrave is thinking. Actually, the very best source on him I have is my son, who is an Atlanta Falcons fan. The reason for which my ignorance is so very, very good for us is I can therefore say whatever I want and no one will think I am revealing anything revealing about what the Vikings are up to these days.
Some of you may have thought (because you imagine I have been locked down in a psych ward awaiting the police to taser someone throwing a fit over the lack of aluminum foil to protect us all from FBI mind-control radiation) that I was writing about some guy who was five minutes too late to send Bin Laden to a watery grave. Actually, the title of this little ditty is about a fictitious Zero formation, and a mysterious blocking scheme called Dark (as in the Dark Side) in which Adrian Peterson (Thirty) slams through a hole in the right side of the line (Five).
As the old saying goes about Erhardt-Perkins, the team runs in order to pass, passes in order to score, and runs in order to win. (Yes outraged critics, Musgrave has some WCO thinking in his head from prior collisions with it, and actually most of the plays run in the NFL are only slight variants of things everyone else is running, because it is so much safer to copy successful people.)
Why is that last clause so, Santa? Well, when you have to explain to your bosses why you called that play which failed when the team lost, it always seems to sound so very much better if your explanation says it was what Bill Belichick would have done in such a situation, rather, than that it was what the water boy advised you to send in when you lost your gum on the sideline, even if the water boy is actually the next coaching genius of pro football.
So why do I have my headphones off, not muttering those annoying lyrics at you, while I talk instead like some CIA movie spook? Now is the time for all good coaches to dust off their thinking caps for the aid of their party. Since we now know that we did draft so-and-so, what great things can we do with him, which we never could have ever managed before?
Part of the gist of Erhardt-y thinking is to change things up. Why? Because in an age when everyone and their grandmother has mobile computing technology just falling out their pockets (not just that ex-Giant OC, Tom Landry), the other guys can all find out within a few clicks what it is that you tend to call on offense when it is third down and 15 on the right hash and you are trailing in the fourth quarter. The chosen defense which their coordinator then sends wirelessly into some defender’s helmet is going to be something that will be good at stopping whatever that is the cloud says you will do. It might be time to mess up the paradigms. Play to win, lose if you have to, but always keep an ace stuck up your sleeve, even if the new uniforms make that even harder.
So, Cordarrelle’s reach is taller than Homer Simpson’s, you muse to yourself. What kind of play takes advantage of that? For some reason, the coach is listening to Soundtrack of Our Lives, and he comes up with a play called Throw It to the Universe. So much for creativity, but remember, there will come that day when Zygi asks you what that thing you did was all about, and you’ll be saying (after all) that you were aping somebody famous anyway. It’s not about CIA, it’s about CYA.
Somewhere in another part of the compound, Coach Williams is also hard at work. If Henderson really can’t cover this, what’s a coach with an available Smith and Rhodes set of weaponry to do? If you can’t get Mohamed to the mountains, nobody says your base defense cannot be tweaked. Why are they paying you, anyways??? Rules were meant to be broken, …unless the owners disagree.
(Jumping sideways, as I am wont to do, I often imagine how the job interview with Alan went…
Zygi: “So of all the gin joints in Casablanca, why do you, Mr. Williams, think you can wander into my place at Winter Park and just get a DC job?”
Alan: “Please think of me as your Handy Man, baby. If your Williams Wall should need repair, then I am the man to see. My name alone simply says it all.”)
Yes, now is the time that those great plays you may see later on are being conceived.
Perhaps Coach Williams is even now laying out his Colossus of Rhodes Package, dreaming that after London, he can explain to the owners exactly how Roethlisberger got picked: “ Yay-hey-hey! I shot in Sharrif, but I did not shoot the Corner-Bee!” (Well, if you want some fun, it is better reggae than borrowing a couple of kids running in the yard. Did Paul really steal that from a Nigerian or from Polka Radio?)
But I digress…
So, while others fear that Spielman has sold the future down the river and feverishly plot to tar and feather him, keep in your humble football mind that the birth of things to come starts now, as Bill and Alan are tucked in their beds while visions of Super Bowls dance in their heads. What rough beast slouches toward Blakeslee mayhem to be born?