Originally Posted by Mr. White
I was at the game on Sunday and I was livid, but when I watched the highlights that night, it hit me that we were just watching Sage being Sage.
The guy's always been a gambler. This time his luck ran out 3 times in a row. If anything, I have respect for him not "playing not to lose." The same kind of play is what Brett Favre is known for. He's come up short before too.
Now, I don't have any ill will towards any players or coaches. They all showed up on Sunday. I'll just chalk this one up to "**** happens."
Even the most degenerate gamblers know when to make the safe bet. "Playing not to lose" when the game is in doubt is admirable. "Playing not to lose" when you have the game won is inexcusable.
Kubiak said that they talked about the importance of taking care of the ball and, if necessary, punting in the timeout right before the play. So that's not a failure in coaching. That is 100% on Sage: he was given precise orders and defied them. But even that pre-catastrophe conversation should not have been necessary: a QB that had to be told, in that situation, to avoid a turnover at all costs probably needs another line of work. But Sage was told and decided to impersonate Reggie Bush (right down to the lost fumble) anyway.
The best explanation (from Sage's perspective) is that he was defying the coach in an effort to win the job. That kind of calculated insubordination can be punished and eradicated. But if it was truly "his competitive nature taking over" (Kubiak's phrase in his afternoon interview on 610 yesterday), then how can any coach trust Sage again? If he let his "nature" get the best of his coaching in THAT situation, then when can he ever be trusted?
That this team is sooo freaking close to being very good makes this loss even harder. We took one of the best teams in the NFL over the last decade and systematically imposed our will. Our running game looked outstanding while our heretofore uncertain defense made (arguably) the best QB in NFL history look ordinary. But Sage single-handedly threw it all away because either (1) he deliberately disobeyed his coach or (2) his "nature" forced a braincramp of epic proportions.