While You're Grilling the Cowboys, Save Some Coals for Rob Ryan

Categories: Sports

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For as much screen time as he gets, and for as much as analysts fawn over his "exotic" blitz packages -- He throws everything but the kitchen sink! And sometimes he even throws that! He must be strong! Sinks are generally quite heavy! -- Rob Ryan can't be a very good defensive coordinator. Can he?

The statistics send rather mixed signals: 17th in total defense, 16th in points allowed, 5th in takeaways, ninth in sacks, 12th in third-down stops. But what we watched last night, and what we watched in the Cowboys' other meltdowns, tells a pretty consistent story. When things gets ugly and pressure-packed and important, the Cowboys' defense recalls my days as a Pop Warner cornerback, only with presumably less pee down the leg.

You have to wonder whether Ryan has fooled everyone -- including his players -- with his intricate Xs and Os. Pre-snap, the Cowboys appear more disoriented and confused than any defense I've seen this season. They have a knack for fully blowing coverages, like they did multiple times last night. And for all that exotic blitzing, they often can't get to the quarterback at all. Eli Manning dropped back to pass 47 times last night. They never sacked him. They hit him twice.

It could be that they haven't had the players; I'm sure that's what Ryan would say. But more likely it's that Ryan spends too much time drawing shit up, and too much time making players remember the shit he draws up, and not enough time teaching them how to win -- how to tackle, how to swarm, how to cover, how to fucking catch, how to be crazy people in total control, like all the best defenses seem to be.

More and more, schemes are the overvalued currency of the NFL coaching world. They're great if you're trying to convince everyone that your some sort of mad scientist with the terrible hair of an untamable genius. But if you're trying to win, they're just schemes, and it's just bad hair.


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34 comments
Wever972
Wever972

I wish JJ would read this. I was taught that DEFENSE WINS GAMES!! When will the Cowboys get some? You're right, the defense brings no pressure.I wish Jacksonville would hire Rob, and the Cowboys would bring Jack back home to coach defense.

Bob Dobbs
Bob Dobbs

Just a couple of comments from someone that rarely watches football.

He won't succeed as a talent scout either.

It defies the laws of physics that he can stand up. He sort of looks like Dallas City Hall with the supports.

IRB
IRB

For the both the Ryan bothers schemes to work well, you need a try shutdown corner.  The Jets have Revis, which allows Rex to draw up blitz packages that actually have a chance to work.  The Cowboys went into this season with an inadequate secondary dept.  When you have guys named: Church, Walker, and McCray playing important minutes, its a recipe for disaster.  They are also going to need interior linebackers who can cover running backs swinging out of the backfield.  If Ryan wants to be a head coach, he is going to perform some miracles this off-season.

Guesty McG
Guesty McG

Perhaps one of you Ryan defenders can explain to me how playing a safety between 30 and 40 yards off the line of scrimmage makes sense on a 3rd-and-3.

cp
cp

Silly question here, but isn't there a blog called "Sportatorium"? 

Fighting_blindly
Fighting_blindly

also a blitz will work if your limited secondary can have a modicum of cover on players down the field. it will force the qb to keep looking for a reciever, hold onto the ball, and eventually get smashed.

Fighting_blindly
Fighting_blindly

Eh, I think he's a good coordinator. Remember he came in just before the season began. I think the real problem is our secondary which Jones and Company spent tons of money on. If we can get to a point where Ryan can put his own choices in (axing the secondary and putting his own choices in) we will see a heap better defense. He's basically working with pure shit in the secondary right now and that is not his fault.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Sadly, Rob Ryan has never been a stellar defensive coordinator.

2004 (Raiders): 30th in yards, 31st in points allowed2005 (Raiders): 27th, 25th2006 (Raiders): third, 18th2007 (Raiders): 22nd, 26th2008 (Raiders): 27th, 24th2009 (Browns): 31st, 21st2010 (Browns): 22nd, 13th

Troy Aikman
Troy Aikman

im at my wits end with the cowboys. im tired of their inconsistency!

Craig
Craig

Mr. Ryan needs to go eat another steak....

The King Lebron James
The King Lebron James

this defense has not stepped up all year long.

they have not been able to stop anyone in the 4th quater all year long.

just go back and look at last nights game, the arizona game, the patriots game, even when Romo royally screwed us against the jets and the lions our defense did not step in and get any stops. they are absolutely pitiful, god awful! fire rob ryan and jason garrett and get rid of everyone of the defense not named ware, lee or ratliff!

Cowboys awful defense
Cowboys awful defense

our blitzes are very innefective! and ironically we kept blitzing and blitzing and blitzing!

Kingpin
Kingpin

fire his ass asap!

and stop rewarding these terrible defensive backs with long term contracts(scandrick & sensabaugh)

we dealt with these same issues last year and we did nothing to correct them!

this group of guys are awful. they get lit up for a ton of yards each and every week. It doesnt matter if its rex grossman, matt moore or eli manning. these guys are flat out terrible. its time for walker, newman, ball, & scandrick to go. and thats just the defensive backs that need to go!

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Basic football. A defense blitzes because it doesn't have the personnel to cover receivers. If you have a line that can create pressure an occasional blitz is very effective.  When a marginally competent QB knows you are going to be constantly blitzing, no matter how exotic the packages, he will adapt and burn you. The biggest problem for defensive coordinators the past few years is accounting for the new breed of TE. They're too big for a DB to cover and too fast and athletic for a LB to cover.

Ryan's scheme to me before he got here was smoke and mirrors. If he had a different last name he never would have made it past position coach.

For General Manager Jerry Jones the name meant everything.  As long as Jerry fancies himself "A Football Guy" we will see the same results over and over again.  

jamal
jamal

while a lot of last night is definitely on rob, our defense has vastly improved over that piece of shit they rolled out last year.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Is Rob Ryan a bad coordinator? No. Is he annoying and arrogant? Yeah.

I think his schemes could work if he was given intelligent players. But, he's been given a secondary no smarter than anyone who represents Dallas on reality TV. Ware, Ratliff, and Lee are smart, and then....? That's the problem. Jenkins celebrates an incompletion that had nothing to do with him and probably has more injuries than breakups this season. Newman couldn't catch a gimme pick-six. The safeties haven't been intelligent since Woodson retired. They're mental midgets. Of course they can't handle a complex playbook. Which is partly Rob's fault for not recognizing that, partly Jerry's fault for spending all his money on a stajium and limiting what personnel moves could be made the past 3-4 seasons.

Rob's trying to save Private Ryan with Gomer Pyle's platoon.

Jerry needs a psych evaluation after thinking Sensabaugh is worth a 5 (5!) year extension. Watch Philly fire Andy Reid, hire Rob to get a Ryan back and screw the Boys at the same time. Plus, to steal the joke, all Andy's oversized furniture will still be usable.

And tell the networks to stop fawning over that mausoleum of a stajium already. It's not new anymore, it's got all the character of a Chuck Lorre sitcom, the retractable part of the roof is a freaking joke, they don't have any music recorded after 1995 to play over the PA, and I don't give a fuck that Jean spearheaded the art.

chris mad at cowboy coaches
chris mad at cowboy coaches

I think he does not prepare enough defensive schemes to last the entire game. On a side note everyone said to blitz the giants. Manning has completed 90 percent of passes while under the blitz so far this year. He is number 1 against the blitz in the entire league. With that said Ryan should have had plan b. 

Jd
Jd

For gods sake he is the spawn of Buddy Ryan people!  What did you expect.

Steve
Steve

The Cowboys Defensive players look like they just met.

And who the fuck is 3-time fuckup Frank Walker?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

You give Ryan a decent group of DB's and LB's ( basically replace anyone not named DWare, SLee) and this thing would hum, they were calling some guys names that I've never heard of last night.  This thing has horrible talent imho, aprreciate the post Mr. Tone..now I'm heading over to the Sportatorium and throw up a lil gang like graffiti on the walls, since it's abandoned.

IRB
IRB

*true shutdown corner

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

You'd have to ask Joey Tone...I believe there used to be a blog named The Sportatorium..but alas it seemed to move to the corner of Parts Unknown and Don't give a Shit about the commenters.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Defunct, Jimbo. Radio Douche half-assed it to death.

Nobody make you crack the door open for a peak anyway.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Bingo. You can't have the corners and safeties playing off the receivers when you're blitzing all out. The whole point of a blitz is to force a quick throw to a guy blanketed, and if the QB can't do that, he gets plastered. So why give giant cushions to receivers when the blitz is on? That's either on the moron players or the coordinator--but I'm sure both parties would blame the other.

Jim
Jim

But.....all of those teams were just like the Cowboys......they sucked.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Exactly. The cult of personality.

RTGolden
RTGolden

They're consistently sub-par, if that's any help to you.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

"When a marginally competent QB knows you are going to be constantly blitzing, no matter how exotic the packages, he will adapt and burn you. " I keep remembering the Tuna saying to a certain QB that he would one day welcome the blitz. Not sure if that ever happened for the QB referenced but I think Eli learned the lesson. Dallas DBs can't keep up. Slow, un-football-smart and unlucky do not make for good corners or safety player men. I just want it to be over. Stop pretending we can make the playoffs. I don't really want to see another first round exit. Be done with it already.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

Scariest part of the whole game was the Jean close up.  Looked worse than Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

you left out Scandrick's extension, the guy that doesnt think Wes Welker is any good.

cp
cp

Not complaining about this post. I have no idea what happened to the Sportatorium, all I know is that a whole bunch of regulars in there invaded the City of Ate blog for some weird reason that they were upset(?) about something someone did in management (or something?) and they seem to blame it on Joe Tone. Because he said that no resources could be devoted to the Sportatotium. That's all I know. So I have no idea why a sports-related blog would wind up on Unfair Park if they guy saying that no resources can be devoted to Sportatorium, but somehow can be here???? Makes no sense. Are there different advertisers for the different blogs? Honest question, since I never visited the Sportatorium and am baffled when sports posts end up here. And I have no idea what Joe Tone does for the DO, I thought Wilonsky was the man in charge. 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Joe Tone= Man that axed off the midget's head (Long live the one named Tone!), and unfortunately decided to throw the baby (The Sportatorium) out with the bath water (midget's head)

Wilonsky= Second in command to the all knowing Joe Tone, as fer as I can tell.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

dammit we had no where else to go. flailing about like loose cannons somehow we decided to invade where our bellies took us. Hell, we commented on the Mantis' stolen bike for a week or better before we were afforded another thread. 

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