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Old 10-07-2008   #21
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

Good post, Herv, and nice historical perspective.

As a long time Oiler fan, I think you hit the nail on the head. Our old team had the knack for rising up against good competition only to lower themselves to lesser teams the following week. We would often see dismal road games, and then miss the stellar home games because of black out rules. It was always a Jeckyll & Hyde sydrome with them.

A game like last Sunday will either make or break a team. They will either learn from it and be better for it, or it is the beginning of the end of the Kubiak era. Personally, I think they will rebound and use it as an example of what every individual player must do to complete the job. Sage's meltdown serves to reveal that no player is above the team, and the team is only going to be as good as the performance put forth by every individual.

We are a better team than 0-4. I truly believe that after watching the past two weeks. So it is just a matter of waiting to see how they respond to the heartbreak and letdown. Will they become deja vu of old Houston pro football? Or will they rise above it and give us new & improved Houston Football 2.0?
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Old 10-07-2008   #22
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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Originally Posted by Mailman View Post
Horsepuckeys.

Kubiak's decision-making in the first three games played a significant role in those losses, but the Monday morning quarterbacks who still think that bootleg was a terrible play to call in that situation need to wake up and realize it's Tuesday.

A fair, reasonable assessment of that decision must account for the context in which it was made. Despite the foolishly premature celebration that took place in Sunday's gameday thread, that game was not over. The Texans held a ten-point lead with four minutes left against one of the best quarterbacks ever and a team the Texans have beaten only once in franchise history. A first down ices the game, but ball protection is top priority. You've just run it consecutive plays and gained a paltry two yards. It's 3rd and 8, you have two tights in the game, they're expecting a running play up the middle or to the right. The critics insist the correct play is to run it up the gut into the middle of the stacked box because that's the safe, conservative play, but that essentially concedes a three-and-out, and it also puts the running back in the middle of a swarm of defenders punching, twisting, and ripping at the ball.

The bootleg Kubiak called was just as safe (if not more) as the running play not called. The play put Rosenfels in the open field, ten yards from the nearest defender. He had the option of throwing to his primary target (OD) for a big gain and the win, or he could just play it safe and tuck the ball and run. Which running play is safer? The one up the middle into a pack of waiting defenders, or the surprise bootleg that gives the quarterback plenty of space to pick up some yards before sliding down?

Blaming Kubiak for Sage's poor decision to actually run towards contact is asinine.
Very good post, but one quibble and one additional point.

First, the quibble: even with Peyton Manning on the other team, that game was still won if we had punted them to their 20 or better. Sure, Peyton could have worked a miracle, but the only miracle to the comeback that did occur was courtesy of Sage's stupidity or defiance. I'd have been quite happy with a third one-yard plunge to either run clock or burn Indy's last timeout. But, I agree with your basic premise: if you want to make a first down safely, the bootleg gives you the best chance (so long as your QB isn't either recklessly defiant or suddenly insane).

The additional point: the bootleg is also a safe play because there is no handoff. The same guy keeps the ball throughout the entire play (unless he chose to throw it to the wide-open receiver), so that's one less thing that can go wrong. Ask the Eagles: they lost to Dallas in week 2 because their two best players botched a handoff deep in Cowboy territory with a lead.

The first fumble was 100% not Kubiak's fault unless he somehow should have known that he couldn't trust Sage to run it as designed.
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Old 10-07-2008   #23
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

Did you guys notice that Sage got cracked in the chin/jaw by the crown of the defender's helmet, at the high point of Sage's leap when the defender went high on Sage?

I'm sure it stunned Sage a little bit.

I know the refs are not capable of having eagle eyes, but on the replay from an angle behind Sage and to the sideline...we got a helmet-to-face contact on that play.

Shoulda' been a flag which would be off-setting penalties, replay the down.

Don't go griping at me, either, if you think I am excusing Sage's special moment. I'm just saying: Had the ref been in better position, and had it not been such a bang-bang play...the outcome could have been a lot different. There was a way out of that series of unfortunate events, but...well, it's just the way it goes eh?

On one play, the tuck rule saves Tom Brady during the Patriots vs. Raiders playoff game...and on a play when it appears that a violation occurred with helmet-to-helmet contact on Sage, the flag doesn't drop.

How's THAT for proof that we're the epitome of Rodney Dangerfield's famous one-liner quote?

Rosencopter sales have not been good thus far. (Sigh) Gonna' have to lower the price, I'm afraid.
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Old 10-07-2008   #24
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

Those plays that costs us the game weren't Sage's only dumb plays...

Earlier in the game while laying on a mass of men, he stuck the ball out over the goalline before he was down....He just stuck the ball up in the air...

I get what he was trying to do, but he was litterally milimeters away from having the ball stripped...

I like the fact that he's agressive, but the fact is Sage has the tendency to be a little wreckless at times...

He played a great game overall though...Just made the wrong mistakes at the wrong times and it costs us...
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Old 10-07-2008   #25
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
Sunday was what it was. "They were who we thought they were" so to speak and now after a long day of thought about what happened and what's been happening I'm going to tell all of you what I think (and if you're not interested the back button on your browser works like it always has).

I've seen this before. I recognize what's happening here. I've seen it happen in the past when the previous Houston NFL team was trying to pull it's collective ass out of a near decade long losing binge. In that game the part of Sage Rosenfels was played by one Ian Howfield and the "meltdown" was the far more common case of a kicker losing a game that his team had fought hard to win. It was bad and kind of made you sick but it didn't hold a candle to the clinic in stupidity that Sage put on Sunday. It was however the same kind of game.

When the Oilers were somewhere between bad and respectable these kinds of games were commonplace. You would see the team go on the road, not show up, and get the snot beat out of them 4-5 times a year just like the Texans did in Pittsburgh. Instead of Schaub throwing interceptions in batches it was Moon doing it but the Oilers lost quite a few games just like we saw the Texans lose in Tennessee a few weeks ago. Long drives ending in turnovers were frustratingly common for most of Jerry Glanville's early reign as coach of the Oilers. Prior to that from 1981 to 1985 you had Ed Biles, Chuck Studley, and Hugh Campbell and all together they won something like 12 games in 4 and a half years. Think of them as the Dom Capers regime was to the Texans. They were all going nowhere fast.

Then Glanville made a little progress and the Oilers started winning at home on a pretty consistent basis. They were 5-11 for two years (one of which he split with Hugh Campbell) but then went 9-7, 10-6, and 9-7. That was just a bit over .500 but winning nonetheless. The thing was they never looked consistently good during those three years. Yes, they were winning but no, they weren't even close to the real "elite" teams of the era. They were capable of going out and destroying somebody one week and then rolling over for a bad opponent the next.

The Texans make me think of those Oilers with the way they played last year and the way this season is starting out. The real clincher was that game Sunday. That was my Déjà vu moment. Sage had that same look on his face that Howfield had and I don't mean to draw a big comparison between the two. I just want to point out that the entire team played that game to win it right up until one man screwed up big enough to lose it. When that happened you saw the Texans just fold up much like the old Oilers would when adversity came calling. Back then they weren't good enough or confident enough to ovecome something like that and you could probably argue that those Moon era Oilers never did get to that level. Right up until the end Moon could throw a few picks and the entire team would just fold up their tents and go home. Jerry Glanville didn’t have the coaching skill necessary to get the Oilers past that point. Jack Pardee didn’t have it either. If Jeff Fisher had arrived sooner then maybe we’d have seen a Super Bowl out of that bunch or maybe we wouldn’t have. Nobody will ever know the answer to that and it’s really not important at this stage of the game. Today we need to know if Gary Kubiak can get the team beyond that point. I don’t care if Sage Rosenfels can bounce back from this. I don’t care anything about him at all. As far as I’m concerned Sage is dead to me because he put himself before the team. All I care about now is whether or not the coaches can get the team to take another step up.

The loss to Indy represented a bit of progress to me (albeit an ugly one). The Texans will finish around .500 on the season this year. Now I know this to be true. They’ll win most of their games at home and steal a couple on the road and be 8-8 again or maybe 9-7. They’re making progress and one more draft should give them the talent they need to be as effective as any team in our conference. I really mean that too. The only question is can these coaches do anything with that talent. One guy losing one game doesn’t change that.

Sage Rosenfels fumbled the ball, fumbled the ball, and then threw the interception that sealed the loss. This one was all on him and nobody can deny that. The next time some imbecile tells you that Sage should be starting resist the urge to punch the fool in the mouth. You’d be right of course but it’s not worth the jail time. Sage killed that win just as effectively as if he’d missed a chip shot FG on the last play of the game and I think that it’s entirely appropriate to lay every single ounce of blame for this loss on his shoulders. I also think that it’s doing an injustice to the rest of the team to go off on some rambling tirade about how they’re cursed or how the head coach should be fired. One man alone did this by playing sloppy, undisciplined football. Sage wasn’t trying to win the game. The game was won. Sage wasn’t trying to help the team. The team (with Sage being a part of it) had beaten the Colts handily all day long up until that point. Sage was trying to win the starting QB spot. Sage was trying to help himself.
Magnificent post.
It took me until to today for my anger to sufficiently subside for me to think this clearly. But I agree totally. This isn't on Kubiak. This is on Sage.

And I agree, Sage was only trying to help himself. There is absolutely no other excuse for that idiotic dive. That dive is something one does when way behind and very desparate. When you're ahead by double digits and attempting to eat clock there's no reason not to slide and keep the clock moving! Had Sage performed the usual & customary hookslide, it would have been 4th & short around the 32-33 yd line - maybe a bit closer. Oh, did I mention that we happen to have a kicker who can knock down 49-50 yarders with regularity?

Also, even if Sage had taken a sack, at least the clock would have kept running forcing Indy to use their last timeout. Did I mention we have a punter, who can, at least some of the time, perform a fairly decent coffin-corner kick?

No, that's not on Kubiak. This loss is on Sage.
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Old 10-07-2008   #26
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

What I don't understand is that people are saying Sage was trying to win the starting job with the dive on that bootleg. If I were the coach and my QB pulled a stunt like that I would make sure it never happened again. Even if he did get the first down. Who here didn't hold there breath and think "oh *******" the second Sage jumped in the air? Not only does he put himself in a horrible position to fumble, he might have snapped his freakin neck on the way down. That's not something I want out of my starting QB unless it's 4th down in the Super Bowl.

With that said, I don't hate Sage. I don't feel any different about him than I did on Saturday. He is a pretty good backup who's gunslinger mentality is both his greatest strength and weakness. As has been said before, I think it is much more likely that competitive nature clouded his better judgment on that play. While that is something that is unacceptable, I just see it as bonehead play and not as Sage trying to win the starting gig.

Herv, you said 100% of this loss falls on Sage. I disagree, I think 1% of it falls on Kubiak. Everybody knows Sage is a risk taker, why even give him the chance to do something stupid? That's like sending a gambling addict into a casino with your life savings and telling him not to place a bet. If we would have ran the ball they would have taken their last time-out with 3:50 left. We punt and and they get the ball back at their 20 (we were actually in great position to pin them inside the 20) with about 3:45. Even if they were able to march 80+ yards in 1:45 with no time outs, they still have to kick an onside kick. If they don't get the onside kick then we win.

I'm not on the fire Kubiak bandwagon but IMHO we should have handed the ball off and taken our 1 yard gain then punted the football.
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Old 10-07-2008   #27
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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Originally Posted by SheTexan View Post
Nice post Herv, BUT, I realized we were making progress when we played the Jags. Our boys looked good against the Colts, IMHO, and I am proud of the effort they ALL made. Regardless of whatever was going through Sage's head at the time, I saw a competitivie team on the field, one that held their own against a good Colts team. Hopefully we can all look forward instead of backward, and help our team just by hanging in there with them.

As for the last paragraph of your post, remember, Sage was just trying to EXECUTE whatever play that was sent in to him from Kubiak. NO, he didn't pull it off, BUT, he shouldn't have been sent a passing play in the first place. IMHO. I'm not defending Sage either. I just think he was trying to hard to make something happen. I don't see him doing what he did just for himself. He is a super nice guy, and I just don't believe he was putting himself before the team. Regardless, it really doesn't matter what we think, all that matter's is what the team thinks.
We didn't need a "hero" at that point. We just needed him to think more logically. The dive was totally unnecessary when a hookslide puts us in Kris Brown's FG range and potentially up by 20.

Perhaps that stunt wasn't a conscience move to win the starting job. ...but for a 8-year veteran QB it sure was an inexcusable brain fart.
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Old 10-07-2008   #28
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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I'm not on the fire Kubiak bandwagon but IMHO we should have handed the ball off and taken our 1 yard gain then punted the football.
I can understand this mindset, but I completely disagree...


We were only up by ten against a team known for their offense...There was still a lot of time left in the game...

The bootleg WAS a safe call...

Any player can turn a safe play into a dangerous one if they act stupidly...


How hard is it for Sage to throw the ball away, take a sack or slide?

It's not like Kubiak dropped him back into the pocket...A bootleg is probably one of the "safer" passing plays you can call...

Dumb play by Sage...

Great call IMHO, by Kubes...

We'd been running the ball and the Colts were expecting the run.....The bootleg call had the Colts fooled and atleast gave us a chance to get the first down and ice the game on our own terms rather than letting the Colts offense (who had seemed to be finding their stride) back onto the field with plenty time left...

The bootleg also gave us a chance to atleast get in field goal range...

Last edited by Polo; 10-07-2008 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 10-07-2008   #29
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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Originally Posted by Polo View Post
I can understand this mindset, but I completely disagree...


We were only up by ten against a team known for their offense...There was still a lot of time left in the game...

The bootleg WAS a safe call...

Any player can turn a safe play into a dangerous one if they act stupidly...


How hard is it for Sage to throw the ball away, take a sack or slide?

It's not like Kubiak dropped him back into the pocket...A bootleg is probably one of the "safer" passing plays you can call...

Dumb play by Sage...

Great call IMHO, by Kubes...

We'd been running the ball and the Colts were expecting the run.....The bootleg call had the Colts fooled and atleast gave us a chance to get the first down and ice the game on our own terms rather than letting the Colts offense (who had seemed to be finding their stride) back onto the field with plenty time left...

The bootleg also gave us a chance to atleast get in field goal range...

I'm pretty sure we were up by 17. It was 27-10 when he took flight.
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Old 10-07-2008   #30
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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Originally Posted by Polo View Post
The bootleg WAS a safe call...



We'd been running the ball and the Colts were expecting the run.....The bootleg call had the Colts fooled and atleast gave us a chance to get the first down and ice the game on our own terms rather than letting the Colts offense (who had seemed to be finding their stride) back onto the field with plenty time left...

The bootleg also gave us a chance to atleast get in field goal range...
The bootleg was a safe call IF someone other than Sage is running it. Like I said in my last post, we all know Sage is a gambler why give him the opportunity to screw up the game?

As far as getting into FG range, we were already in FG range. We were at the 39 yard line or a 56 yard FG. Brown hit one from 57 last year. Granted it's not a given but why not give the ball to Slaton (who was averaging over 5 yards a carry) and have him run it against the worst run defense in the league? Sometimes you have to say "we're running the ball and we don't care how you line up". Impose your will. If I had a nickel for every time the Texans knew the run was coming and didn't stop it, then I would be a rich man.

I guess it's just a difference in philosophies. Personally I like a coach that plays it very close to the chest when you have the ball and are up 10 points with less than 4 minutes to play. And I really don't see how 3:45 is "plenty of time".
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Old 10-07-2008   #31
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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I'm pretty sure we were up by 17. It was 27-10 when he took flight.
No, it was 27-17.
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Old 10-07-2008   #32
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I guess it's just a difference in philosophies. Personally I like a coach that plays it very close to the chest when you have the ball and are up 10 points with less than 4 minutes to play. And I really don't see how 3:45 is "plenty of time".
You're right...It is just different philosphies I guess...

The Colts were stacking against the run...Yeah Slaton had been running good all day, but at that juncture in the game colts knew (expected) us to run it and they were stopping us for 1 yard gains at that point...

I wouldn't really call 59 yards field goal range either...That's a pretty healthy distance to try a field goal from...If they did run it I'd have rather them punted it if we had a minimal gain...

I thought the bootleg was a good call because it's probably the safest passing play...It also gave Sage the option of running it or taking a sack....

I'd imagine Sage was told to only throw it if it looks like a guaranteed completion, otherwise run and get what you can or take the sack...

In my mind that sounds safe enough...Especially for a veteran NFL player...He'd been playing well all game long too...

I don't understand why Kubiak should have all of a sudden decided Sage needed to be handled like he was a child when he'd been playing like a man all day long...

I don't think anyone could have predicted Sage playing so stupidly in those last minutes...

Basically: I saw the call as an agressive way to get us within socring range (field goal), or best case scenario a first...Add to that the fact that the play call actually worked....The Colts defense was fooled...They were stacking the run and it showed...I dunno, but I'd rather my offense try and take destiny into their own hands rather than punting it away and hoping the defense can hold on...

Add to all that the fact that the Colts were starting to look like their old selves offensively and it makes me like the call even more...

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Old 10-07-2008   #33
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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The bootleg was a safe call IF someone other than Sage is running it. Like I said in my last post, we all know Sage is a gambler why give him the opportunity to screw up the game?

As far as getting into FG range, we were already in FG range. We were at the 39 yard line or a 56 yard FG. Brown hit one from 57 last year. Granted it's not a given but why not give the ball to Slaton (who was averaging over 5 yards a carry) and have him run it against the worst run defense in the league? Sometimes you have to say "we're running the ball and we don't care how you line up". Impose your will. If I had a nickel for every time the Texans knew the run was coming and didn't stop it, then I would be a rich man.

I guess it's just a difference in philosophies. Personally I like a coach that plays it very close to the chest when you have the ball and are up 10 points with less than 4 minutes to play. And I really don't see how 3:45 is "plenty of time".
We all know Sage is a gambler. What we didn't know (until that moment) was that he is one of the stupidest gamblers who ever played QB. There are good gambles and bad gambles--what Sage did was so cosmically bad that I'm not sure there is a word for it.

To me, the field goal is a red herring. Even if Sage had slid like any marginally-aware QB would have done, I would punt rather than try a 49-yarder. Even with the FG, it would have still been a two-score game. With 3:00 left, I'd rather have a ten point lead and the Colts pinned inside the 20 rather than have a 13 point lead with a kickoff coming. And that's the best-case for a FG: if Brown misses, the Colts are at their 40 and down 10. And if, for some reason, punting was not an option, I think I would have gone for it rather than try the FG.
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Old 10-07-2008   #34
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

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I think I would have gone for it rather than try the FG.
good point...

If Sage would have slid and been inches short, I'd have liked to see them go for it too...

Nobody complained when Kubiak went for it on that fourth down in enemy territory against Jacksonville two yrs. ago to ice the game...

I guess that's cuz it worked...
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Old 10-07-2008   #35
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

Lost in the back-and-forth about that play is the penalty called on the Texans. Either the Colts decline it and give Kris Brown a chance at a fifty-yarder, or they accept it and give the Texans a chance to convert on 3rd and 18.
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Old 10-07-2008   #36
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

I didn't mean to insinuate that we should have tried to kick a 50+ yard field goal. Just saying that If Sage slides we're looking at a 50 or so yard field goal compared to a roughly 54 yard field goal if we had just picked up two yards on a run.

As far as the play call. Sage going Rosencopter wasn't the only bad thing that could have happened. I admit that it was a good call in the sense that the Colts didn't see it coming. But Sage might have tried to force the ball to a receiver and thrown a pick (as he has been known to do). Or he could find a guy wide open and over throw him leading to a pick. Or he could have found a wide open man, thrown a perfect pass, and have the WR tip it straight into a defenders hands. Or they could have been waiting for the bootleg and lit Sage up in the backfield leading to a fumble. Or Sage could momentarily think that he is John Elway playing in Super Bowl 32.

I just think a run play is the safe and smart decision at that stage in the game. The Colts were stacking the box because they knew we would be stupid not to run. They wanted us to pass because they knew that was the only way they could win the game.

And your right, Sage was told to pass only if a WR was wide open or get what he could on the ground. I'm pretty sure at no point was he told to do what he did. LOL.
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Old 10-07-2008   #37
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

Good stuff, thanks!
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Old 10-07-2008   #38
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo View Post
I don't think anyone could have predicted Sage playing so stupidly in those last minutes...
Looking at it 48 hours later, I think this line is what it all comes down to at the end of the day (not to chop your entire post down to one line, but this point is the key to it all, IMO).

I was bit vocal about questioning Kubiak's call in my emotional disappointment. But after the smoke cleared, it is evident to me that all that matters is that the player failed to take care of his responsibilities. Nobody else screwed up on that play except for Sage. A coach should not call plays expecting a colossal failure.
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Old 10-07-2008   #39
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
Looking at it 48 hours later, I think this line is what it all comes down to at the end of the day (not to chop your entire post down to one line, but this point is the key to it all, IMO).

I was bit vocal about questioning Kubiak's call in my emotional disappointment. But after the smoke cleared, it is evident to me that all that matters is that the player failed to take care of his responsibilities. Nobody else screwed up on that play except for Sage. A coach should not call plays expecting a colossal failure.
He had alot of room but our QBs are slow ( this does not mean I'm endorsing any ex UT qbs ) .
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Old 10-07-2008   #40
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Default Re: Tuesday I woke up and realized that I was looking at progress.

it was a heartbreaking loss but a great time at the game. maybe we're heading somewhere. this team was a mess heading into 06 and at least we have all pro talent now and guys who can make a difference down the road possibly
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