7-Things For Cowboys: Part I.
By Tom Mahoney
1. Jones Does It Again-
This season is the basement building ground for Mac. Playing
QB in the NFL is the most difficult thing to do in sports.
You have to be able to spot an open dude, in about five seconds
or less, throw the ball were only he can catch it, while 11
other dudes are trying to do you physical harm in the most
violent way possible, you and dude you are throwing too, and
hopefully, kill the both of you with the most vicious hit
imaginable. Plus, they will succeed a dozen or so times a
game, and a 300-Pound or so behemoth will blow you up with
a hit that would make most normal grown men cry. Then… you
gotta get up and do it again.
“I'm just trying to focus on not the
result, and what you're supposed to do each play, and don't
put a consequence, good or bad, on the play. That's what the
best players do in whatever sport it is,” Mac said. “They
don't care about the situation necessarily. They understand
the pressure that's implied. But they trust their training,
and they go back to what they've known and learned throughout
their years of playing. I try to look at people who do a good
job of that. There are guys on our team who do a good job
of that, and I've learned a lot from them and all the situational
football that we've had in practice. That's, obviously, a
great learning experience starting there.”
A rookie QB is in an impossible spot.
He doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing from the get go.
Mac has no NFL experience to fall back on. The best minds
in football spend the week trying to confuse him. He has to
take all that he learned in the last game and that week, the
game plan, and all the nuances, checks and calls. Then execute
the madness in the chaos, speed, and deliberate death threat
atmosphere the defense has created. While at the same time,
he can do everything right, but the O-line makes the mistake,
the WR or TE misses a block or runs the wrong route, the RB
turns the wrong way or blows his assignment, an OL misses
a block… or all the above. Then the ignorant fans blame him
“I'd say just sticking to my reads and
following what they're telling me to do. It's not that I don't
know what to do. It's just, sometimes, I might skip something
or see something. I just need to stick to what I've been taught
and do it and just play,” Mac said. “They At the end of the
day, you can't go out there and have sticky fingers. You've
got to kind of react and play how you know how to play. Sometimes
I might see something that some people don't see, but at the
same time, when we watch the film, we always get back on the
same page, and I've just got to do a better job of that and
realizing that they don't have to touch the ball. You can
do other things, throw the ball away, whatever, just to make
sure that doesn't happen.”
Plus, you have to have a computer like
mind that can memorize, process, and regurgitate what all
other ten players are doing on the field, the scheme and concepts,
and know what all of them are doing on every play. Then just
for fun, you get to have your bell rung by three or four behemoths,
who can get paid millions of dollars to hurt, injure, and
murder you. Then you have get up and do it again, repeatedly.
Plus for rookie QBs, who have never seen the speed, the size,
and the schemes before? It is a hundred times hard than what
Brady sees now. That’s why rookie QBs don’t play, and if they
do? They don't win.
“I think just staying positive,” Mac
said. “Just talking with each other and realizing that we're
going to mess up, and it's not going to be perfect, which
is hard, but I think we do have guys on our team that, obviously,
want to have fun. We realize that the fun part is the winning
part, so when we do that, it's fun. When we don't, it's not,
so that's what it comes down to.”
2. Shut Up-
So if you think that Mac has not played well, or stinks than
you are ignoramus. 99% of rookie QBs are incapable of starting
in the NFL and winning a game or a few. Winning games in the
NFL for rookie QBs is a step by step process. To think a rookie
is going to step in and win it all as a rookie? It has never
happened before (for the truly ignorant, Brady didn’t play
a game as a rookie. He was Redshirted his entire rookie season,
as 99% of Rookie Quarterbacks are). Plus they have to face
crap like this each week:
“I have a ton of respect for Mike (McCarthy Cowboys HC). I
think he does a great job offensively. Always watch their
film. Take a look at the things they're doing. They have some
very good concepts,” Bill Belichick said. “He puts the defense
in a lot of stress. Depending on what the defense is doing,
he has different ways of, whether it's a zone, man, tempo,
formations, route combinations, misdirection plays, plays
that potentially slow the defense down or give them a conflict
with their keys.
“Situationally, I think Mike is probably
as good as anybody that we play against. It hasn't been very
often, and I'm happy about that. I wouldn't want to play Mike
twice a year. There's situational football: 3rd down, 4th
down, 2-minute, 4-minute, end of half, end of game, 4th down
calls, low Red Area calls, last play calls. Things like that.
They're all good. We, in the weeks that we've played him,
probably spent more times on those plays than with any other
team. They're very well prepared, and they always seem to
execute them at a very high level.
“Mike's teams are sound fundamentally. You've got to go out
there and play well to beat them. They don't beat themselves.
They don't make mistakes. To stop them, you've got to go out
there and play 60 minutes of good football. That's really
hard. I think every time we've played them, I've always felt
like they had a really good game plan and they had a really
good plan of attack. They made it hard on us, and they're
hard to defend. Not just the players, but the positions they
put us in, how they try to attack us, and they have a variety
of ways doing it, but at the end of the day, they gave us
some problems. They challenged us, both schematically and
with their personnel matchups.”
What Mac is doing is spectacularly rare.
He has one of those Brady minds that sees the chaos the Defense
is creating all over the field, and it makes some kind of
sense to him. If you have an NFL Arm? Then 90% of playing
QB in the NFL is mental. It is so incredibly rare to have
a rookie QB, read, understand, and know where to put the ball
this fast and accurately that it shocks me that everyone isn’t
impressed. Yes, he still needs development to become a winner.
Experience will help him every game. Getting to the mental,
spiritual, and physical place to be a consistent winning QB
takes time, years, and patience. Just because we had the greatest
mental freak at QB ever, Brady, doesn’t mean that he’s in
any way, shape or form the norm. He’s the glorious GOAT aberration
that we may not see for another 50 years.
“All those different things that the
offense can do are used to gain some kind of advantage. When
you consider from a game planning standpoint what your options
are, and how you can gain advantages by doing a variety of
things, what the biggest advantage is or whatever you’re comfortable
with. However that unfolds. That's really the decision you
make is how do we gain an advantage?” BB said. “Is it tempo?
Is it motion? Is it a certain personnel group? Is it a certain
formation? Whatever it is, and so all those tools are available
to the offense. I'd say just sticking to my reads and following
what they're telling me to do. It's not that I don't know
what to do. It's just, sometimes, I might skip something or
see something. I just need to stick to what I've been taught
and do it and just play."
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