Reggie Miller has become one of my favorite NBA broadcast analysts. While breaking down a play, with the shooter being guarded tight, he can illustrate the fundamentals and tendencies that the offensive player uses to break down the defense. Great offensive basketball has a lot of ball movement, body control and footwork; and balance is key. Great players like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant can take over and apply the pressure due to their offensive skills. If the shooter is successful scoring with a hand in his face, Reggie calls it "Good defense, better offense", and I’ve heard that phrase used often with other Basketball analysts also.
Although Miller probably didn’t coin that phrase, it’s a phrase that always sticks in my mind while watching sports. It isn’t just related to team sports either. Last weekend at The Masters, Phil Mickleson’s aggressive play put pressure on the rest of the field of players. Even when shooting for par with a lead, those putts put even more pressure against his opponents. All the opponents had to hear was the roar of the gallery on another green, with Lefty sticking it 6 feet from the pin with an iron shot. You may ask, "Where is the defense in Golf?" Well, the defense was Augusta itself, and Phil’s offense against it dictated the pressure and pace. Lefty had one heckuva weekend at Augusta, with a 5 shot swing on 3 holes on Saturday marking his charge.
I’m gonna channel my inner Robert Plant from the movie "The Song Remains The Same", and sing to you this phrase: Do you remember offense?
*Note: this vid should have the volume cranked to 11!!*
Ya gotta love how Steve Young talks about how, although he set a record with six touchdown passes in that Super Bowl, then Offensive Coodinator Mike Shanahan wanted eight. The San Diego Charger defense wasn’t as good as the Dallas Cowboy defense - who the 49ers finally beat in the NFC Championship game that year - yet they still were 9th in points allowed. Well, unless they played the 49ers, who scored the most against the Chargers that same year in the regular season with 38 points. You want offense? You got offense. The 49ers had so many weapons against San Diego, and Shanahan had planned 100 Ways to Die for the Chargers, yet was disappointed that he only used 49. Not having two more touchdown passes with his battle plan was like General George S. Patton not commanding the Pacific Theater, or ousting the Soviets out of Europe. Thank God the NFL isn’t War, because if it was……
The 2010 San Francisco 49ers: Great defense……….ummmmmm………
Well, it remains to be seen just where the 49er offense in 2010 will rank amongst the other great 49er offenses of the past. Of course, if you have a Steve Young or Joe Montana as your quarterback, the offense automatically improves by tenfold. Being that the 49ers don’t have a great quarterback yet, the 49er defense will in all probability be the most aggressive unit on the field. You know folks, that ain’t a bad thing. But you still need the offense to put pressure on the other good to great defenses. Even though the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Giants, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have won Super Bowls recently with sub-par quarterback play and good to stellar defense, it’s still Peyton Manning against Drew Brees. Even though the aforementioned teams have won Super Bowls, the NFL still remains a passing League. Even the 49ers know that. Most of the success due to Frank Gore’s injuries and lack of true depth in the running game in the offense was due to the pass. Hey, if I see a matchup with Michael Crabtree against a lesser defender? Hand down, man down, to quote Marc Jackson. Vernon Davis running a seam route? That’s Lebron out there, so let’s give him the rock.
To use a line from the film "Get Shorty":
Chili Palmer: Pressure? I’m the one who applied the pressure.
One full season under Head Coach Mike Singletary’s Big Wooden Cross, and everybody has him all wrong already. It started with Shaun Hill and Mike Martz the season prior, and it continued with Shaun Hill and Jimmy Raye. In case you missed it, you would see that Singletary understands the true value of quarterback play. Unless the 49ers draft Tim Tebow, my faith and belief about Singletary truly lies with him really understanding that position. Guess what? He does. Where the misconception of Singletary lies is when he said that he didn’t want the offense to be predicated on a lesser player in Hill as opposed to his best offensive player in Frank Gore. A healthy Frank Gore is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL today. Gore is an elite football player, as are Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis. Frank Gore is money. Just ask the Fantasy Football geeks who have him on their rosters.
Is Mike Singletary conservative? Well, in my humble opinion, the answer is a resounding No. In fact, again this is all my opinion, he is a very aggressive Head Coach. Case in point:
Now, this example may be a bit ironic to my premise, being that the defense carried the 49ers to victory, but the aggressiveness of the defense worked that day, and Gore had more offensive yards on the ground than Alex Smith had in the air passing. The point is: Singletary Football is aggressive football. At the same time, it’s also smart football. There is so much imbalance on the offensive side of 49er football, and the only real consistency lies within it’s best players in Gore and Davis. I don’t think people truly see the football intellect of Singletary due to his persona. Most fans think of Singletary as Patton without the battle acumen as a General, and only as a warrior. Again, although the NFL isn’t War, battle strategies remain, and due to it’s violence, having a Head Coach who understands the violence of it due to experience with a young team is the first step.
On the other hand: If Bill Walsh led the Pacific Theater of Operations in World War II….....
What Mike Singletary needs is a real quarterback. Really, he has done more with less at that position. Singletary has done more for the offense since Steve Mariucci. Yet, Mooch had quarterbacks chosen by Bill Walsh. Give Singletary a real quarterback, and we might be singing this mantra:
Great defense, greater offense.