Monday, October 13, 2008

The Cable Experiment

As a new-found optimist, I'm going to buy Cable's explanation regarding Sunday's debacle, as relayed by Jason Jones:

"It might be easy to say, well, why didn't you know that before?," Cable said. "Well, I'll tell you why. Because I'm standing down there with a bunch of 300-pound guys at the end of the field, and that's just what it is, and coaching the offensive line and doing the job that I was hired to do. So this role, obviously, has expanded in terms of the big picture. Now I know a lot more about this football team."

And I'm going to buy his comments about JaMarcus - as relayed by Jerry McDonald - as well:

“We certainly put him in a lot of situations, moving him around, move the pocket, three steps, five-, seven-steps and play-action, and really kind of ran the gamut with him,” Cable said. “And I think we really found out a lot about where he is. And it’s obvious he’s still in a stage of development. It’s obvious maybe he can’t handle that much. But it doesn’t change the fact that we need to continue to throw the football and continue to find ways to get completions and throw the ball down the field.”

A cynical reaction might be, "Didn't Lane try this 'throw the ball a lot' stuff during the Arizona preseason game? And didn't Cable see that it didn't work then?"

Yes. But one might discount a preseason game, might consider JaMarcus's apparent recent growth (his regular season passer rating in passing formations was off the charts before this week), and might weigh in the fact that Gus Frerotte tore up the New Orleans secondary a mere 6 days before.

When Kiffin ran his Arizona passing experiment, I reasoned that his desired outcome was to put on film a ready answer to Al's complaints about his conservative, run-heavy offense. I also argued that Kiffin seemed to set up that experiment to fail. If so, it would explain why Cable thought trying it again - keeping in mind the previous paragraph - would be worthwhile.

So now we have the results of the Cable Experiment. The test of a coach is his ability to adjust. That was Art Shell's fundamental failing. Let's see how Tom Cable adjusts.

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