Gibson to Special Teams - Special team gaffes from last season

Submitted by Sextus Empiricus on February 11th, 2010 at 2:59 PM

This from the front page press release - (pardon the lack of nice yellow boxes).

Assistant head coach Tony Gibson will coach the cornerbacks and free safety position. He will also add the responsibility of coordinating the special teams. Rodriguez will continue to have all of the coaches remain involved with a certain phase of special teams, but Gibson will manage that phase of the game on a daily basis and on gameday.

I commented on Brian's post a few special team gaffes from last season that call for "Special" coaching attention. I just thought of another, the straight up the middle onside kick - where we couldn't hold our blocks. Brilliant call - piss poor execution.

This is RRs answer to all the gaffes. More power to Gibson. I'm interested to see improvement here. Note post the PSU coverage gaffe by Brandon - starters were moved to cover. I think there is going to be more talent on the sidelines to use starting D and O players.

Too bad Sean Payton wasn't available to come on staff. He'd be my choice for special team coach.



February 11th, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

I thought the special teams showed huge improvement over the year before. Gibson is a good coach and we should continue to see improvements and less mental mistakes.

Sextus Empiricus

February 11th, 2010 at 6:56 PM ^

I think you could still agrue we lost the MSU and Purdue games due to bad special teams play.

MSU on the fake that resulted in an MSU FG in a game that went to OT.

Purdue on two muffed onside kicks (one successful by the Boilers where Mich did not see the ball kicked before running back for return - the other where we just didn't execute an up the middle onside kick - it was there for the taking.)

One might also argue some other games but these two were both coachable mistakes (though the Purdue player just wanted it more than the two Mich blockers - I guess.) I don't think Hagerup is going to have fake on his mind on the shy side of the 50 this year.

I general though, agreed - only one season was worse wrt special teams in my memory than 2008 and that was 1979 which turned out better by record, but was a special teams disaster.

Watts Club Moz…

February 11th, 2010 at 7:33 PM ^

2003 was a special teams nightmare. We lost to Oregon thanks to a blocked punt, botched fake punt and a punt return TD. A couple weeks later we lost to Iowa thanks to a one-game dalliance with the rugby-style punt. We should have been 11-0 and playing for the national title. That 2003 was unbelievable. Even the loss to USC would have been different if Braylon hadn't dropped a sure 70* yard TD on the first possession.

*I think it was 70. Either way, it was wide the fuck open and he biffed it.


February 11th, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

OT-You say Sean Payton .. am i the only person who thinks his 2nd half opening onside kick call was awful ? ... Its a high risk low reward move .. if you get it you got 60yds to go and if you dont get it you leave Manning 40yds to go for a TD ... yeah it worked out so some can call it a good call .. but 7-8 out of 10 times that would not have ended up good for the Saints .. great time for it to work tho


February 13th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

I certainly did not anticipate it at the time and was surprised but the call made sense for several reasons:

- Sean Payton, like most observers, thought it would be hard to keep the Colts from scoring so it was imperative for the Saints to keep the ball away from them as much as possible and score themselves.
- From the first half you had the sense that the Colts might be able to move the ball fairly easily until they got near the red zone. If so giving up the yards in the middle of the field might not be that costly as they would likely make up that ground pretty quickly regardless.
- An onside kick is obviously more likely to succeed when it is unexpected. No one expected it. If you thought you could recover one there would be no better opportunity.
- In the last few minutes of the first half the game had taken a decided turn in the Saints favor and "stealing" the ball to start the second half would keep the colts from taking the momentum back.

Payton prepared for it and picked his spot wisely. It was a reasonable gamble and may have made the difference in winning the game.


February 11th, 2010 at 5:01 PM ^

It was a brilliant call because it worked. Period. It gave New Orleans all the momentum and led to a score giving them the lead. If it doesn't work he is a bonehead. Payton deserves all the credit for having the balls to do it.


February 11th, 2010 at 6:08 PM ^

Logic police

He took a chance and got a likely result. It was a smart call because of a combination of the likelihood it would work and the coupled impacts it would have on momentum (keeping Manning on the sideline longer). Had it not worked, it still would have been a smart call. You can't judge the brilliance of an act by its effects, only by what proceeded it, only by its inputs. A combination of likely factors made it a good call. That is it. Had a combination of factors made it a bad call, and he still made the call yet got a good result, that is not brilliance, that is chance. Which, by definition, happens. But saying he was brilliant only because it worked is, well, boneheaded.