Monday, October 22, 2007

Strengths and Weaknesses (American Football)

This is mostly a comment about American football, but there's a pretty interesting comment about strengths and weaknesses that I'll throw in at the end except that I forgot where I heard it from.

After watching two terrible performances by two supposedly good teams in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, I think NFL coaches are overthinking too much. For both Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, they came in with acclaimed running games against suspect run defenses, and decided to throw the ball early. Yes, you can say that Denver and Indy were both expecting power running and stacked 8 in the box. But as we could see throughout the game, that didn't stop either offense when they decided to run. Too bad they both found themselves in holes because they started off by passing the ball. Who cares if they're expecting what's coming? Do what you do best and you'll get the best result you can. That's why Belicheck is so good, he doesn't care if he throws the ball 20 plays in a row and the opposing team knows it. It's what works and he'll keep doing it till you can stop him.

Which brings us to this insight that I heard once that I think applies to life as well as football. "On offense, you're as strong as your strongest link. On defense, you're no stronger than your weakest link" - I forgot

When you're attacking, you're going to keep going to your strengths. If you have a great running game and a weak passing game, you should still stick with your running game even if there's no element of surprise. When you're on defense, the opponent will keep attacking your weakest point. Whichever side of your defense is more inexperienced, that's probably where the opponent will direct their attack.

I think this quote is fascinating because people often use the phrase "a chain is no stronger than its weakest link" (or some variation) but don't realize the importance of distinguishing between the two scenarios.

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