Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Heartbreaker

What a crusher - the Jackets lose 17-14 to the Wolfpack.

Well, I couldn't possibly feel worse for one guy than Travis Bell. The guy has been clutch since the day he arrived and he's going through a rough patch. Make a couple of chippies and it's a W on the board. But it wasn't meant to be. All I can say is - hang in there. Don't sweat it Travis. Forget it and move on. Your day will come.

At the end of the day, the same old cliches apply - 5-6 plays determine the outcome. Two big defensive breakdowns + two missed FG's + the crazy INT to end it was the game.

However, I was to take some time to give some props:

1. Gerris Wilkinson is just a playmaker. How about that tackle on 3rd down to give a chance to our offense? Love that guy and he leads the team in tackles

2. Reggie Ball. The O-Line evidently forgot that NCST has DE's, and that they line up wide, because they were in the backfield repeatedly. Poor Reggie was on the run constantly. Folks, let's give this kid some props. He sucked it up in the 2nd half and really made some plays. His command of the team on the final drive was impressive............ By the way, Reggie led the team with 86 yards rushing, while PJ Daniels only had 60 on 22 carries.

3. The O-Line in the 2nd half. They were dominated in the 1st half, but showed some moxie in the 2nd half, helping the team move the ball consistently.

4. Calvin Johnson. 10 catches for 130 yards, 1 TD, and OOOOHHHHHHH so close to a 2nd one. And we all know that the only one he's going to be thinking about is the drop at the end. Of course, you can't fault him for that - the ball was throw slightly behind him and high, and the defender cut his legs out. It would have been another highlight reel catch quite frankly.

5. Coach Gailey. That's right. Props to Coach Gailey for making the necessary adjustments to get the offense going in the 2nd half. And I loved the playcalling in the 2nd half. Some great misdirection, naked bootlegs, spreading the passes, and figuring out how to get the running game going. Those who want to critcize Gailey and lay this loss on him can go to some other website. I don't want to hear it.......... Oh yeah, don't even try to criticize passing to CJ on the last play. The bottom-line is that if CJ catches it, Gailey is brilliant. He dropped it and now Gailey's a goat? Please. Let me tell you this - if Gailey had tried to run it with PJ, "you" would have been saying - "why didn't he try to throw one to CJ? Coach can't win this battle of perceptions unless players make plays. When players make plays, coaches look brilliant. Personally, I like what Coach did at the half to make adjustments.

6. James Johnson. If this is a glimpse on his future, then we will have a nice "Johnson and Johnson" tandem. His 2 catches were both big plays. The future bodes well at WR. Also note below that we received a committment for another wide receiver speedster in the class of 2006 - Corey Earls.

7. Chris Reis. Had 11 tackles tonight, including half a sack. I'm beginning to wonder if he just isn't more effective closer to the line. It seems that Coach Tenuta thinks so, as he's there a lot of the time. Unfortunately he was out of position on the long TD pass play in the 2nd half. On the 1st half long pass play, he was actually a milli-second away from sacking Davis. Nice job overall.

8. True freshman Vance Walker. We learned this week that the injuries on the line necessitated Walker strapping it on this season, even though he's undersized. Well, he managed to get a big sack that resulted in a 14 yard loss. Nice start to his career.

At the end of the day, three things made the difference:
1. A terrible offensive first half
2. Scoring in the redzone (1/4)
3. Two HUGE defensive pass breakdowns

Things to work on this week:
1. O-Line protection
2. Special teams, punt return protection, FG's
4. Secondary coverage.

But time for the 24-hour rule. Forget about it and move on. Keep your heads up. The season is still early. There is tons of time!!!!