The Nation's Tears: Volume III

joe dokes

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Your post made me a bit curious about the coin flip rules. I don't think they are generally understood. What you actually get when you win the pregame flip is the right to choose or the right to defer. And then either the loser or the deferring team gets the choice in the second half. But actually the choice is between three options. You can choose to kick or receive. Or you can choose direction. And then your opponent gets the other choice.

So, if there's really bad weather, that leads to a very interesting choice. You must choose direction. You can't choose to kick, because if you choose to kick, your opponent gets to choose direction. I don't know why to kick is even a choice, but I guess it theoretically could be important in some circumstances, but the point is that if your priority is that you want to kick for whatever reason, your opponent gets to choose direction. So, it's theoretically possible to receive and choose direction. Etc.

Abner Haynes thanks you for remembering him:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abner_Haynes#"We’ll_Kick_to_the_Clock"
 

BigSoxFan

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They almost certainly did have time for 3 running plays, but they bled the clock instead. Lynch was tackled with 57 seconds left at the one, and Seattle had a timeout. They snap the ball with 40 seconds on second and they can re-set and run another play with 10-15 on third if he’s stuffed, then immediately call timeout for fourth.

But I think letting the clock bleed is a perfectly viable strategy, as well. Pats had two timeouts and a fg ties it if Seattle scores. In that case, you’re gonna need to throw at least once. An inside slant with a short QB and your 3rd WR probably isn’t the best play on 2nd down, though, especially with a mobile QB...

Oh well!
Yeah, I think a throw on 2nd down can be defended but doing it out of the shotgun was pretty stupid, especially with a QB like Wilson. A bootleg where a TE cuts to the corner of the end zone would have been tough to defend.

As you say, oh well!
 

CFB_Rules

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That would be seen as a referee error today. He made two selections, he only gets to make one. And you never let a team kick in both halves unless they explicitly tell you that is what they want to do ("We want to kick both halves"). Listen to any coin toss where a team defers and the Referee will tell the other team what to select:

Team A: "Defer"
Referee: "Okay Team B, you want the ball (don't even look to see if team agrees). Team A, which goal do you wish to defend?"
 

simplyeric

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Yeah, I think a throw on 2nd down can be defended but doing it out of the shotgun was pretty stupid, especially with a QB like Wilson. A bootleg where a TE cuts to the corner of the end zone would have been tough to defend.

As you say, oh well!
Except you need it to be a quick play. There can be zero chance for a sack or a scramble on the pass play, because that could would be a major setback.
I can see that the shotgun telegraphs the play, but that’s part of the risk.
And honestly it almost worked. The receiver was open...Butler made an improbable play. If he had tried to break it up as opposed to catch it, he almost certainly would have been flagged for PI.
Many things about that play were right. The only thing that stopped it was something special.
If you replayed that play Groundhog Day style where no one but Collinsworth knows it’s happening over and over, how often is that play (was the throw to Lynch actually on the table?) either successful (TD) or just a miss (incomplete or D-PI) leading to another play? 9 of 10? More? How many times is that an interception?
 

joe dokes

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That would be seen as a referee error today. He made two selections, he only gets to make one. And you never let a team kick in both halves unless they explicitly tell you that is what they want to do ("We want to kick both halves"). Listen to any coin toss where a team defers and the Referee will tell the other team what to select:

Team A: "Defer"
Referee: "Okay Team B, you want the ball (don't even look to see if team agrees). Team A, which goal do you wish to defend?"
It was windy. And Stram apparently did want to kick (Or at least wanted the wind).

But that aside, if a player -- let's call him bizarro Matthew Slater -- did, after winning the OT coin toss say, "We'll kick toward the lighthouse," what would be the referee's proper move?
 

Ed Hillel

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Except you need it to be a quick play. There can be zero chance for a sack or a scramble on the pass play, because that could would be a major setback.
Neither would have been a major setback timewise. They had 57 seconds and a timeout. You snap at 40 and get sacked and call a timeout with 30-35 seconds left and your playbook is anything you want, including two runs.

It should have been a PA rollout if a pass was the call. Worst case there would be an incompletion. Get out of the pocket and throw it out the back if need be. If this route was an absolute must-call for whatever reason, save it for 4th down. An INT doesn’t matter much then.
 

InstaFace

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But that's not the pass play they run in those situations. In those situations, they run the pick-play slant that they in fact ran. It was well-practiced and highly effective. There was no time for a read (to see that Lynch was open in the flat), Wilson received the ball and threw it without hesitation, and it had never failed them to that point. As Patricia points out, the Pats scout team had run it against Butler and the defense 7 or 8 times, and it had never failed to produce a touchdown against them even then.

It wasn't a bad call to pass. The pass play they ran wasn't a bad choice of play. It was just supreme preparation by the Patriots' coaches, and divine execution by Butler.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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simplyeric

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Wow. That seems ridiculous for them to interpret "we'll kick to the clock" as saying that they would kick. There is a note in the NFL rule that once the captain declares the result is final and cannot be changed so there's definitely an incentive to choose your words carefully.
The first words are "we'll kick", so...
Neither would have been a major setback timewise. They had 57 seconds and a timeout. You snap at 40 and get sacked and call a timeout with 30-35 seconds left and your playbook is anything you want, including two runs.

It should have been a PA rollout if a pass was the call. Worst case there would be an incompletion. Get out of the pocket and throw it out the back if need be. If this route was an absolute must-call for whatever reason, save it for 4th down. An INT doesn’t matter much then.
Yeah but a sack is a huge setback in terms of yardage for the TD. I get what you are saying about getting rid of the ball, but a sack would have been devastating. What are you going to do, run Lynch in from the 12?
 

DeadlySplitter

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Lynch was one of the worst backs in football on 3rd and 4th and short / goal over a several year period. In their season opener in 2015 he was stopped on 4th and inches to end the game. The narrative has been refuted, and is a complete joke.
people knew this, so Bill knew this and figured they would pass. then he called a certain defense to bait them into a pick play instead of the fade they should have run.
 

TheoShmeo

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But that's not the pass play they run in those situations. In those situations, they run the pick-play slant that they in fact ran. It was well-practiced and highly effective. There was no time for a read (to see that Lynch was open in the flat), Wilson received the ball and threw it without hesitation, and it had never failed them to that point. As Patricia points out, the Pats scout team had run it against Butler and the defense 7 or 8 times, and it had never failed to produce a touchdown against them even then.

It wasn't a bad call to pass. The pass play they ran wasn't a bad choice of play. It was just supreme preparation by the Patriots' coaches, and divine execution by Butler.
It’s hard to disagree too vehemently. As you wrote, it had worked for Seattle in the past. How hard is it to complete a one yard pass? But as many noted at the time, there’s inherently more risk in throwing over the middle on the goal line with so many arms in the air and the chance of a tipped ball. If the Pats were throwing in that situation, I’d want the ball going to either flat or one of the back corners, and for Brady to be throwing to a spot where only the receiver could catch it.

The hideous Brady pick in the AFCCG this year reminded me of these ideas. Good thing that play was not a game ender....
 

NortheasternPJ

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Wow. That seems ridiculous for them to interpret "we'll kick to the clock" as saying that they would kick. There is a note in the NFL rule that once the captain declares the result is final and cannot be changed so there's definitely an incentive to choose your words carefully.
That's how I'd interpret it.

Not shockingly, guess who's in the Showtime show commenting on it?


Makes sense with Slater asking in the KC game what they should do with the coin toss.
 

reggiecleveland

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Lol. Apparently the Rams assistant coach who called Brady a "f*ing pretty boy" is none other than Chris Shula, the grandson of Don Shula.

The salt mine runs generations.

P.S. Makes me giggle to think absolutely NO ONE is comparing BB and Grandpa Shula as the HC GOAT anymore.
Well the main argument people use to bash BB is how much of an advantage he has having the best QB all those years, and if you have great QB you are pretty much in the playoffs, at least every year. Not many serious analysts can put Shula at the top because of how mediocre almost all of his Marino teams were. They actually missed the playoffs 4 years in a row when he was at his peak.

Also cracks me up the same people that say Brady sucks will say Belicek sucks because he has Brady or Brady only wins because of his coach. A nice circle of illogical hate.
 
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E5 Yaz

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I had a Dolphins fan at work prattle on about hoe Shula will always be the greatest because he'd never do things as underhanded as what Belichick did to the Jets.

I told him to do some research into how Shula got to the Dolphins and get back to me.

He never did
 

Kliq

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Shula has the career wins record, but does anyone outside of Miami really consider him in the GOAT conversation? I feel like Lombardi, Walsh and Brown are the three most common names tossed around outside of Belichick; then probably Landry and Noll. The dude is the coaching equivalent of Eddie Murray; a very good coach who hung around forever and compiled some numbers that were superior to rivals who had better peaks.

In all the Seattle blaming; Russell Wilson always gets let off the hook. He should have never thrown that ball and if he did, you can't be leading the receiver in that situation.
 

Rough Carrigan

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Lol. Apparently the Rams assistant coach who called Brady a "f*ing pretty boy" is none other than Chris Shula, the grandson of Don Shula.

The salt mine runs generations.

P.S. Makes me giggle to think absolutely NO ONE is comparing BB and Grandpa Shula as the HC GOAT anymore.
Shula didn't seem to be able to field
I had a Dolphins fan at work prattle on about hoe Shula will always be the greatest because he'd never do things as underhanded as what Belichick did to the Jets.

I told him to do some research into how Shula got to the Dolphins and get back to me.

He never did
You might also ask him why the field in Miami was so muddy for the 1982 AFC championship game against the Jets. Whoops! Donny boy just "forgot" to have the tarp on the field when it rained like hell the night before thus making the field slower when they were going to play what was considered to be a team with a lot more speed. Whoops!
 

Mystic Merlin

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And BB has a shot to pass him in career wins anyways. Including playoff records (but not counting byes as ‘wins’), BB is 55 wins behind Shula (347-292).

BB’s playoff record is fucking unreal. 31-11 overall as a head coach, and 30-10 with the Pats. In a single elimination format where he’s getting a bye more often than he isn’t it’s mind boggling how he’s racked up a .750 win percentage.

Shula, by contrast, was 19-17 all-time in the playoffs.
 

InstaFace

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In all the Seattle blaming; Russell Wilson always gets let off the hook. He should have never thrown that ball and if he did, you can't be leading the receiver in that situation.
Like the Light Brigade, it was not Wilson's to question why, just his to do or die. The play design was, get the snap, take zero steps back, set feet and throw it before the defense has a chance to react. He had the defensive alignment he wanted, and the only counter was: have a huge beefy defensive back (of which there are few) charge up and strangle the picking receiver, which Browner did, and then have a small, quick back who knows what's coming charge over and beat the receiver to the spot. Think about how impossible a task that is, to beat a receiver to a spot on a slant by merely reacting to them, and without the benefit of inside leverage, either! Butler was later quoted as saying that if they threw to Lockett in any other location, he'd have looked like a complete moron because he basically abandoned any reading of the receiver in favor of blindly charging to that one spot. A one-step fake and a fade to the outside, and Lockett catches the TD without any defender within 10 yards of him.

Also, leading the receiver? He threw it exactly to where Lockett's bread-basket would have been, if that space hadn't been occupied by Malcolm Butler the instant before it hit him. Lockett knocks Butler into next week, something like 4 yards backwards despite Butler having charged forward full-speed. The ball was thrown exactly where it should have been. Butler just made a great play.

All this excuse-making and finger-pointing towards Carroll, Wilson, or the football gods above - all it does is try and take away something from Butler making an absolutely incredible athletic play. And all this mere moments after having made a great jumping pass defense on a deep ball, only to see the carom go straight up, hit a sprawling Kearse in the helmet, bounce straight up again and see him snatch it out of the air while lying on his backside. If that had happened to me, I'd have been shredding every shreddable object in sight out of sheer rage. Butler went out and made arguably the best single play in super bowl history. Let's give him that credit, and not try to argue that it happened because of someone else's mistake, shall we?
 

Bergs

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But that's not the pass play they run in those situations. In those situations, they run the pick-play slant that they in fact ran. It was well-practiced and highly effective. There was no time for a read (to see that Lynch was open in the flat), Wilson received the ball and threw it without hesitation, and it had never failed them to that point. As Patricia points out, the Pats scout team had run it against Butler and the defense 7 or 8 times, and it had never failed to produce a touchdown against them even then.

It wasn't a bad call to pass. The pass play they ran wasn't a bad choice of play. It was just supreme preparation by the Patriots' coaches, and divine execution by Butler.
This is exactly right, and it's a point I'm sick of having to make to other people.
 

shaggydog2000

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Don Shula couldn't win a Super Bowl with Dan Marino, why is this even an argument?
He has the record for total wins by a head coach, only had two losing seasons in doing so, and coached the only perfect season in the NFL. I don't buy it either, but he has the obvious counting stats.

But Walsh and Brown would be the ones I'd reference in terms of technical innovation and influence.
 

InstaFace

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I had a Dolphins fan at work prattle on about hoe Shula will always be the greatest because he'd never do things as underhanded as what Belichick did to the Jets.

I told him to do some research into how Shula got to the Dolphins and get back to me.

He never did
That's pretty thin gruel. Not that I think highly of Don Shula as a person, nor place him all that highly in the head coaching pantheon (I'd agree with Brown first, Walsh second, too, and my sense from his many comments is that Belichick would as well). But Shula signed a contract with the Dolphins shortly after the NFL/AFL merger, and a tampering charge resulted in the Dolphins' first round pick going to Baltimore. Big whoop. The only meaningful difference between that and the Patriots getting Belichick from the Jets is that had Shula signed his deal a month earlier, before the merger, no tampering would have ever applied. Nobody, not even Jets fans, cite Belichick's move to the Patriots, with picks going back as compensation, as being an instance of "cheating". Feels like a huge reach to try it in Shula's case.

Surely there are better things to cite when denigrating Shula.

Incidentally, I imagine Belichick somewhat misses the days when coaches were regularly given the hagiography treatment, though, rather than the shit sundaes dished out by Borges and his fellowship of the miserable, or ESPN talking heads who see more profit in grinding people down than building them up. 3 minutes of googling for Shula articles, and just about every one of them is absolutely slobbering with praise and worship.
 

E5 Yaz

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That's pretty thin gruel. Not that I think highly of Don Shula as a person, nor place him all that highly in the head coaching pantheon (I'd agree with Brown first, Walsh second, too, and my sense from his many comments is that Belichick would as well). But Shula signed a contract with the Dolphins shortly after the NFL/AFL merger, and a tampering charge resulted in the Dolphins' first round pick going to Baltimore. Big whoop. The only meaningful difference between that and the Patriots getting Belichick from the Jets is that had Shula signed his deal a month earlier, before the merger, no tampering would have ever applied. Nobody, not even Jets fans, cite Belichick's move to the Patriots, with picks going back as compensation, as being an instance of "cheating". Feels like a huge reach to try it in Shula's case.

Surely there are better things to cite when denigrating Shula.

Incidentally, I imagine Belichick somewhat misses the days when coaches were regularly given the hagiography treatment, though, rather than the shit sundaes dished out by Borges and his fellowship of the miserable, or ESPN talking heads who see more profit in grinding people down than building them up. 3 minutes of googling for Shula articles, and just about every one of them is absolutely slobbering with praise and worship.
You must be fun at parties
 

CFB_Rules

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It was windy. And Stram apparently did want to kick (Or at least wanted the wind).

But that aside, if a player -- let's call him bizarro Matthew Slater -- did, after winning the OT coin toss say, "We'll kick toward the lighthouse," what would be the referee's proper move?
The NFL has pretty rigid rules on stuff like this since the Thanksgiving fiasco, but the smart Referee would understand what the player wants and select the option that gives it to him, even if that's not exactly what came out of his mouth. These are football players and they are geared up for a game emotionally, it's not the time to give a grammar exam.

So in your case, Slater says that and you tell him "Okay you want to defer" (turn the mic off here before he can open his mouth and say something that further muddies the water). The other team has to take the ball, and then Slater gets his option of where to kick. The winner of the coin toss gets what they want, and more importantly both teams get what they expect.

If you parse out a very technical ruling where one team kicks twice, then one team is furious and the other team is unexpectedly very happy, and you've set yourself up for a nightmare on the sideline before the ball is even kicked.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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He has the record for total wins by a head coach, only had two losing seasons in doing so, and coached the only perfect season in the NFL. I don't buy it either, but he has the obvious counting stats.

But Walsh and Brown would be the ones I'd reference in terms of technical innovation and influence.
Shula had the entirely of Dan Marino's career and made only 1 SB and lost 2 AFCCG, both at home. He won two SBs in the early 70s, then coached another 20 years and never won another goddamn thing, even with one of the greatest QBs in history falling into his lap in the draft.

He's made his public living off the back of the 17-0 team and he and his team have never STFU about it even as it recedes into the mists of history and no one remembers actually seeing them play.

He's a bitter, overrated fraud.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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No argument, but Walsh and Montana for starters if there was one. It was also kind of a home game for the 49ers (Stanford stadium).
Shula also lost SB XVII. He reached SB XVII because he ordered the field untarpped the night before the AFCCG against the Jets to made a mud bowl and to deliberately slow down the NY Sack Exchange. They won by a whopping 14-0, and one of the TDs was a pick Sox by AJ Duhe.

Shula's a fraud and he always has been.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Shula also lost SB XVII. He reached SB XVII because he ordered the field untarpped the night before the AFCCG against the Jets to made a mud bowl and to deliberately slow down the NY Sack Exchange. They won by a whopping 14-0, and one of the TDs was a pick Sox by AJ Duhe.

Shula's a fraud and he always has been.
Didn't Belichick do something similar prior to the field turf? Then when it didn't suit his needs anymore they ripped up the field and installed field turf midseason, which is no longer allowed?
 

joe dokes

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The NFL has pretty rigid rules on stuff like this since the Thanksgiving fiasco, but the smart Referee would understand what the player wants and select the option that gives it to him, even if that's not exactly what came out of his mouth. These are football players and they are geared up for a game emotionally, it's not the time to give a grammar exam.

So in your case, Slater says that and you tell him "Okay you want to defer" (turn the mic off here before he can open his mouth and say something that further muddies the water). The other team has to take the ball, and then Slater gets his option of where to kick. The winner of the coin toss gets what they want, and more importantly both teams get what they expect.

If you parse out a very technical ruling where one team kicks twice, then one team is furious and the other team is unexpectedly very happy, and you've set yourself up for a nightmare on the sideline before the ball is even kicked.
Appreciate your insight. I'm not as optimistic that the sideline discussion wouldn't start and end with "Coach, I stopped listening to him and turned to the other team as soon as Slater said 'we'll kick,'" but exploring where officials' discretion lies is an interesting topic. And I suspect the best ones are known for exercising it reasonably.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Back when I used to be able to tolerate watching golf, I remember they used to make this huge deal in the British Open about the guy who would engrave the trophy as soon as the winner walked off the last green.

I wonder if Belichick has a boat painter who stands there with the paint sprayer as the game is winding down.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I didn’t realize when it went from V to VI he went from a white background with black Roman numerals to black background with white Roman numerals.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/look-bill-belichick-renames-his-boat-vi-rings-because-he-has-six-rings/amp/
It's interesting that although he includes the rings he won as an assistant in the total number, he only puts the number he has won as a head coach in the rings on the tail of the letter R.
 

Al Zarilla

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Back when I used to be able to tolerate watching golf, I remember they used to make this huge deal in the British Open about the guy who would engrave the trophy as soon as the winner walked off the last green.

I wonder if Belichick has a boat painter who stands there with the paint sprayer as the game is winding down.
He has a couple of painters and he talks to them during the job. “Look, fellas, this isn’t that difficult. It’s just like when we went from V to VI and to VII. Talk to each other. Trust each other. Just do your job!”
 

Rough Carrigan

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Well the main argument people use to bash BB is how much of an advantage he has having the best QB all those years, and if you have great QB you are pretty much in the playoffs, at least every year. Not many serious analysts can put Shula at the top because of how mediocre almost all of his Marino teams were. They actually missed the playoffs 4 years in a row when he was at his peak.

Also cracks me up the same people that say Brady sucks will say Belicek sucks because he has Brady or Brady only wins because of his coach. A nice circle of illogical hate.
After Bill Arnsparger stopped working as his DC, Shula's teams didn't seem to be as good.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Shula had the entirely of Dan Marino's career and made only 1 SB and lost 2 AFCCG, both at home. He won two SBs in the early 70s, then coached another 20 years and never won another goddamn thing, even with one of the greatest QBs in history falling into his lap in the draft.
Lets not forget failing to win a single playoff game during the tail end of Johnny Unitas' prime then finally getting to the Super Bowl with Earl Morrall under center yet somehow managing to lose to the Jets.

Shula is sort of the Peyton of coaches - clearly one of the all time greats but a guy whose playoff resume lagged badly behind his gaudy regular season numbers.
 

E5 Yaz

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This made me curious.

Dan Marino postseason: 32 TD passes, 24 INT
 

dcmissle

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Shula .... had .... no .... excuse.

Because, like Belichick, he had the keys to the whole fucking kingdom.

But unlike Belichick, he faced no salary cap and enjoyed much more restricted player movement.

So either Shula the Head Coach fucked Shula the GM, or vice versa, or both.

Look at the Marino years. They got to the SB early — and were annihilated by the 49ers. Never got another whiff.

It’s so open and shut that even blind rage haters like Francesa, who make preposterous arguments against Brady, will not go there with Belichick and Shula.

Dan Marino was an insanely gifted QB, a God. Tragic waste.
 

Marciano490

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Go further - no salary cap. In one of the most desirable cities in the US in a state with no income tax (was that true back then?).
 

reggiecleveland

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To be fair to Shula he won 2 sb and got back 2 more times with different players. That's a pretty great career, just not, well you know. Joe Gibbs career seems better
Shula .... had .... no .... excuse.

Dan Marino was an insanely gifted QB, a God. Tragic waste.
Am I wrong in that of the other greats he reminds me most of Brady. Not a fast runner, quick release, felt the rush rather than scrambling, successful with all kinds of receivers.
 

simplyeric

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Am I wrong in that of the other greats he reminds me most of Brady. Not a fast runner, quick release, felt the rush rather than scrambling, successful with all kinds of receivers.
Seriously?
It’s like you know nothing about football.
Fuck Marino.
This is the Nations Tears thread, not the ‘let’s talk glowingly about Dan Fucking Marino.
If you want to talk about Marino’s on-field prowess, take it outside.


(Please note: my ire is feigned. But still: fuck Marino)
 

Marciano490

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To be fair to Shula he won 2 sb and got back 2 more times with different players. That's a pretty great career, just not, well you know. Joe Gibbs career seems better


Am I wrong in that of the other greats he reminds me most of Brady. Not a fast runner, quick release, felt the rush rather than scrambling, successful with all kinds of receivers.
Wasn’t that most QBs back then? Or successful ones except for outliers like Cunningham? Also, didn’t Marino have a much bigger arm?