January 16
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issue 16
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maryland's loss once again showcases coaching and playmaking

Here we are again, talking about coaching.

We've been doing this a lot lately, it seems, starting with the Ravens shocking loss on New Year's Eve, spilling over to the first two weekends of the NFL playoffs, and then hitting close to home again last night when Maryland dropped a heartbreaker to Michigan, 68-67.

Coaching -- and the discussion about its importance -- is always a hot-button topic.

But when does the balance of responsibility shift from the coach to the players themselves? That's another worthy subject to discuss, both here at #DMD and at your own water cooler.

Let's go back to Sunday in Pittsburgh for just a second and examine what happened there in the final minute of the Steelers loss to the Jaguars.

The Steelers trailed 45-35 with one minute remaining. For the Flyers fans reading this, that's a 10-point deficit. By traditional offensive standards, that required Pittsburgh to score a touchdown, kick the extra point, and kick a field goal as well.

What wasn't traditional, though, was the order in which they needed to accumulate those ten points.

Where was his attention to detail in the final minute of Sunday's playoff loss to Jacksonville?

With 58 seconds remaining, Ben Roethlisberger connected with Martavis Bryant for a big gain that moved the ball to the Jacksonville 5-yard line.

That play ran the clock down to 47 seconds. On the next snap, Roethlisberger was called for intentional grounding, which moved the ball back to the 15-yard line.

At that point, Mike Tomlin should have called for the field goal unit.

The Steelers needed 10 points. It didn't matter how they got the points. But they needed 10.

Instead of kicking the field goal (and this all assumes the kick was good) and then trying another onside kick with roughly 35 seconds left in the game, Tomlin instead let Roethlisberger and the offense stay on the field in search of what would be a meaningless last second touchdown.

No one seemed to say anything about it on the TV broadcast, but the obvious combination, once Roethlisberger was called for intentional grounding and the ball went back to the 15, was field goal first and touchdown second.

Would Pittsburgh have recovered the onside kick and somehow miraculously connected on a last-ditch touchdown throw to send the game to overtime?

I'm not sure. Ask Stefon Diggs if he thinks it might have been possible.

Coaching. When the plays work, the coaches are brilliant. When they don't, they're bums.

I'm not a knee-jerk "fire the coach" guy over isolated in-game mistakes. But if I'm Dan Rooney, I definitely have to bring Tomlin into the office and ask him to explain what he was thinking about at the end of the game.

If nothing else, it shows the coach I'm paying attention to detail -- something Tomlin didn't do in the final minute of the game on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Speaking of not paying attention to detail...

Mark Turgeon went from hero to goat in the span of 3.5 seconds last night in Ann Arbor, although truth be told, it really came down to playmaking at the end of that loss to the Wolverines.

Michigan made a play at the end. Maryland threw up all over themselves at the end.

And Turgeon didn't help matters, either.

I wrote yesterday here at #DMD that winning is not an easy accomplishment. The other team is trying to win just like you are -- and when coaching and playmaking collide, sometimes it works out for you and sometimes it doesn't.

Turgeon should have put someone on the inbounds throw on Michigan's final possession. Doing so would have changed the way a Michigan player would have received the pass. Instead of collecting a bullet-throw from an unguarded distributor -- which is what happened -- the Wolverine who collected a higher-arcing pass would probably have collected that pass with his back to the basket somewhere near mid-court.

Our excellent Maryland reporter Dale Williams will go through the heavy lifting of that sequence in his review below. I'm simply talking here about the complexity of coaching decisions that are married with the need for a player or players to follow through and execute their specific role or duties.

Kevin Huerter got cut off and spun around on the inbounds throw and Anthony Cowan was somehow too far up in the offensive end and failed to mark his man.

What was, for a moment, a 5-on-4 man advantage for Maryland (based on the decision not to guard the inbounds pass), turned into a disaster once Cowan's man collected the ball and had open space to drive the lane. We know what happened next...


So who gets the blame there?

Here's the obvious answer: Everyone who was involved in the play, that's who.

It's not really hindsight to say Turgeon should had the inbounds throw protected. That's an easy drill to run in practice. Nearly every coach, given the circumstances, would have guarded the throw in that situation.

But even then, with the decision to not protect the throw, the play still wound up breaking down because two Maryland players failed to do their job.

You can throw Bruno Fernando in there if you want since he's the one who committed the foul, but the play broke down so quickly in front of him that it's hard to beat him up too badly for the infraction.

Turgeon. Cowan. Huerter. No one tried to screw up there at the end. It just happened. But the lack of attention to detail on the part of all three was a reason why Michigan made a play at the end of the game and Maryland left with a pouty lip.

And here's the funny thing about sports: Just seconds before his inbounds-pass brain fart, Turgeon diagrammed a great play and Huerter was able to shake loose and hit a terrific 3-pointer to give the Terps the lead.

From hero to goat, in the blink of an eye.

As the Saints showed on Sunday in Minneapolis, you have to play until the clock reads 00:00.

"Maybe we celebrated a little too much after Kevin's three pointer at the end," Cowan said after the game.

The Terps learned a hard lesson last night. You have to stay engaged for the entire 40 minutes. Not 39:57.

And for the anti-Turgeon crowd in the area, last night's loss was another black mark for the 7-year Maryland leader. The phone lines were jammed on the post-game show, with the majority of those checking in placing the blame directly on Turgeon.

It wasn't all on him, though.

Not by a longshot.

It just looked that way.

And the Steelers loss on Sunday wasn't all on Tomlin, either. His offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, was also gashed open by the black and gold faithful in the aftermath of the defeat to the Jaguars.

The players were culpable, too. All of them. One catch here, a block there, a pass defended better -- who knows what the final difference in the game actually was, but you can bet it probably had more to do with making plays than making calls.

Just go back to New Year's Eve and revisit that distastrous 4th and 12 miracle engineered by Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd.

You can blame Dean Pees all you want, but at least four Ravens failed to stop the play from happening.

Coaching is important. Play-making is also important.

Getting both of them to function properly at the same time is how you win.

But it's a lot easier said than done.

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what's the state of the "state of" press conference?

Here we are, it's January 16th, and there's still no word on when the Ravens will hold their annual "state of the team" press conference.


League rules say every team must have a season-ending media session. Is there any chance that the John Harbaugh press conference on January 4 fulfilled the organization's obligation?

I'm reaching out to a Ravens staffer today to pose that very question.

But no matter the answer I get, doesn't it seem odd that it's mid-January and the team hasn't even informed the media of the date?

It's one thing if Steve Bisciotti is traveling or playing golf somewhere and his packed winter schedule is interfering with the team's press conference plans. It's another thing entirely to not have announced the date of the event.

"Steve's out of town until the 18th of January, we plan on having the presser the week of January 22..." How hard is it to make that announcement?

One rumor that has made the rounds is that the organization is mulling over detailed internal plans with regard to the thousands and thousands of PSL's that are for sale. And there's another rumor that suggests the team was planning on raising ticket prices in 2018 and now they're deciding how to do that or if they should do it, given their 9-7 finish and the empty seats they saw in November and December.

Rumors...but not "wildly crazy" rumors. They both might have some merit to them.

And Bisciotti, as I've said before, knows he's going to get peppered with questions about the team's kneeling incident in London back on September 24. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he makes one statement about that situation and then says, "I'm not going to answer any direct questions about the kneeling incident. My statement represents what I feel about it."

That's just my own mind at work there, but I could see it happening. Every time the Ravens organization talks about the kneeling incident and their response to it afterwards, all that does is open up fresh wounds for a lot of people in Baltimore.

I'll check in with the Ravens today and see if I can get a definitive answer on the question of whether or not the state of the team press conference is even happening. I'll report back on it in tomorrow morning's edition of "The Juice", our daily podcast feature (upper right hand corner) here at #DMD.

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the terps spotlight

DALE WILLIAMS returns for his third season of covering all things Maryland men's basketball for #DMD. Terps Spotlight will preview and review all games in the 2017-18 season.

terps suffer last second loss at michigan

It was a heartbreaking loss that the Maryland Terrapins suffered last night in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a predictable reaction from the Terp fan base as to why it happened.

In case you missed it, the Terps took an unlikely one-point lead with just over three seconds remaining when Kevin Huerter hit a three-point shot off of a very well-run set play that followed a miss from the foul line by Michigan’s Zavier Simpson. The shot put the Terps up 67-66 with 3.5 seconds on the clock and Michigan inbounding the ball under their own basket.

Michigan called a timeout, and the teams drew up plays.

Maryland Coach, Mark Turgeon, mentioned after the game that they knew what Michigan would run. He elected to not guard the inbound passer, and instead put 5 guys to defend against four Wolverines.

It didn’t work. Isaiah Livers threw a dart to Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman who was cutting from left to right just inside the half court line. He caught the pass traveling sideways near the sideline, planted his right foot, and took off in a straight line to the hoop. While driving, he crossed legs with Bruno Fernando and a foul was called with 1.2 seconds left in the game (more on that in a moment).

The 92% free throw shooting Abdur-Rahkman hit both shots and Michigan had a one-point win while the Terp faithful began to blister their head coach.

Every armchair coach with a keyboard began to express their dissatisfaction with the decision to not guard the person throwing in the ball. It’s such an easy call, right?

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was the post-game whipping boy on Monday night after the Terps squandered a late lead and fell at Michigan, 68-67.

"Make it harder to throw in the ball by putting some hands in front of the passer," everyone screamed. I read countless tweets and posts all saying the same thing.

But I say this: Execute.

Either way, guarding the guy or not, execute properly the play that has been drawn up and it’s a non-issue.

To Turgeon’s credit, he didn’t throw his players under the bus and expose who exactly misplayed their defensive assignment (Anthony Cowan). Instead Turgeon simply said that he failed to communicate properly to his team. That’s coach-speak for someone out there screwed up, but I’ll take the blame.

Instances like this are a common occurrence in sports.

When the Ravens gave up a last-minute TD to the Bengals to end their playoff chances, Harbaugh said the same thing: right call, poor execution.

Managers in baseball frequently get second guessed for bringing in a reliever who gives up a game winning hit. Was the wrong guy given the ball, or did the right guy make a horrible pitch?

Did New Orleans have the right coverage against Minnesota on Sunday? You’ll never know. But the fans see that what was done didn’t produce the desired results, so it must have been the wrong decision.

I disagree.

I’ve seen both strategies employed with equal amounts of success. My personal preference is to guard the guy with the ball, but not guarding him is not wrong, you just can’t do what Maryland did.

I waited for the game replay to become available before writing this piece because I wanted to speak from a position of knowing and not one of remembering and guessing. I watched the final seconds at least 50 times. Here’s what I saw.

By not guarding the passer, Maryland had 5 defenders to guard 4 offensive players. But that went awry. With Cowan playing near his own three-point line with his back to the passer (he did move up towards half, but far too late) and Darryl Morsell playing back by his own foul as a safety net, the 5 to 4 advantage became a 4 to 3 disadvantage.

The other three Terps were basically playing man, but Cowan was dramatically out of position and Abdur-Rahkman was uncovered. The pass to him was easy and there was nobody around to quickly stop the ball or his penetration to the basket.

Bruno Fernando might have come out a tad too late, but he was guarding Charles Matthews until Matthews cut left across the lane where Morsell was there to pick him up.

The foul call was a real tough call that I’ll say would never, ever, be called in your home gym. The replay from the angle above the backboard clearly shows Fernando having established his position and the contact being initiated by Abdur-Rahkman.

I’m trying to maintain my objectivity, but I’m not sure you make that call to decide a game. Watch the replay from the backboard camera and decide for yourself. It was a tough way to lose.

The first half was all about the Wolverines poor shooting, Maryland’s work on the boards, and Anthony Cowan getting to the rim.

Michigan hit only 9 of 29 first half shots, while Cowan went for 13 points, and the Terps held a 22-12 rebounding edge during the first 20 minutes.

Maryland, probably not by choice, started a small line-up that featured Michal Cekovsky, Jerad Nickens, Darryl Morsell, Kevin Huerter, and Anthony Cowan.

Bruno Fernando, still feeling the effects of his recent illness, was available for limited minutes and Dion Wiley was not cleared to play due to a concussion.

The Terps came out with energy and guarded well while doing a nice job on the boards. They held a 10-7 lead at the first break and a 5-2 advantage in rebounds. Cekovsky had 2 early blocks but gave up 5 points to his big man counterpart, Moe Wagner.

Coming out of the first TV timeout, Michigan noticeably picked up the defensive pressure but found themselves with mismatches on Cowan who continually beat them to the rim.

Fernando was inserted after the first timeout but looked really sluggish and not his usual energetic self. Maryland kept going to him, but the combination of his lack of energy and Michigan double teams kept him from getting anything going offensively.

Michigan continued to miss shots and when Nickens drained a three near the 6-minute mark, Maryland held a 14-point first-half lead. The Terps, who had worked hard defensively in practice on handling ball screens were doing a nice job, but much of the Wolverine woes offensively were due to missing shots.

Cowan kept getting to rim and with 3:33 to play, Maryland held a 28-14 lead. Michigan was 6-24 from the floor. Halftime came with Maryland up 30-20.

After missing another couple of three-point attempts early in the second half, Michigan rolled off seven straight triples in what seemed like a blink of an eye. That stretch pretty much defined the final twenty minutes.

The Terps were down by ten with 5:50 left, but to their credit, kept clawing back.

They erased a 5-point deficit with only 25 seconds left, to take the one-point lead that set up the closing drama.

As I wrote here yesterday, I expected the game to go down to the last possession.

What I didn’t expect was for Maryland to be able to accomplish that with Wiley out and Fernando able to provide only a fraction of his normal output.

The fact they were able to hang, and almost grab a win, with the players they had left, showed some grit. But, in the end it’s still another loss in a season that has become difficult to see ending with a spot in the NCAA tournament.

After playing three of their last four games on the road, all against top 25 teams, Maryland will return home to host the struggling Gophers of Minnesota, Thursday night at 8:30 pm.

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have fun with #dmd

We have a lot of cool things going on here at #DMD over the next few months.

If you've never bowled in our Charity Bowling Challenge, get your team of four together right now and sign up for the 4th annual event on March 4th at Stoneleigh Lanes in Towson.

We have room for 16 teams and we have 8 signed up already.

This is a unique event in that you and your team of four are bowling to raise money for YOUR charity.

And we pay out REAL money, too! $800 goes to the winning team!! We pay out the top 7 teams in the event, so everyone has a great chance of raising money for their favorite charity.

Just go to "Charity Bowling" at the top of the page and get all the details on how to sign up.

If you're a hockey fan, we have a fun, inexpensive trip for you, as #DMD heads to Hershey, PA on February 24th for Hershey Bears ice hockey as they take on the Rockford IceDogs at 7 pm.

The bus will leave the Towson area at 4:30 pm, stocked with food, DuClaw beer, water, soft drinks and a hockey trivia contest with a $25 cash prize for the winner!

We love the Capitals, of course, but those games down in DC can be a little draining on the wallet or pocketbook. Our trip up to Hershey is just $89.00 per-person and it includes a lower level seat to the game!

Click on "Hershey Bears" at the top of the page for full details and join us, please. We have eight seats left on the bus.

If you're a fan of old rock n' roll, we have a great concert trip planned for August 24th, as we're heading to Philly to see Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra at the Wells Fargo Center.

#DMD was able to secure some GREAT seats for this show, but they're moving quickly. If you're interested in a trip down memory lane to all of the hits from ELO, get your seats on our "ELO Bus" right now and join us for a night of fun in Philadelphia.

You can get all the details at the "Electric Light Orchestra" tab on the top of the main page.

And finally, our Masters trip is SOLD OUT.

#dmd comments

Ray ray     January 17
RadioGal – Nice dagger to the heart of MikeFC. BTW, you married or connected?

Just asking.

Radio Gal     January 16

Stop? Why? It is just too funny. And seeing you get all riled up makes it more funny. The LF took one of Drew's new additions to the site[the juice]. His ineptitude and pompous style are just too hilarious. Those two things together? It can't be passed up.

We all see things we want to see. And viva la difference. Keep on keeping on. When I was on the debating team in college, it was always more of blast to defend the indefensible.... so if you are anything like most debaters, YOU are having more fun.

mike from catonsville     January 16
@COTO, absolutely different ways to play it, no one doubts that. IMO putting a big on the ball has a higher % of being successful but playing it his way COULD be a success but I'm going with %'s. Something akin to Biff pointing out take the points right away because you've got to get 10, waiting was not a good % play. You can take a hit on 16 and win, the others at the the table may shoot you, especially when the dealer shows a face card but you COULD win.

@Radio Gal, you fire shots and the rest of the DMD fires shots, I get to defend. You stop, I'll stop, agree?

Brien Jackson     January 16
So Roethlisberger claimed today that he isn't allowed to check into a QB sneak on 4th and 1 which...wow.

H     January 16
After watching multiple Steelers games it is clear that the most important characteristic of each of their receivers is that they seem to catch everything they touch. It is hard to remember a drop. If you can combine this with speed, you have quite a deadly combination.

coto     January 16
@MFC So you agree you're not smarter than a DI coach, well, except for that one instance last night. Got it.

Agree we all can comment and discuss, in fact I said that. Where you (and others) go off the rails is when you act like there was no other choice but the one you came up with! Criticizing is fair game, but at least acknowledge the option chosen "could” have worked if executed properly.

If you cannot at least do that, you are as delusional as your "book writing" hero!

Read Radio Gals commentary on that. Or another way to look at it, can Drew take credit for writing a “book”?? He’s published thoughts of some kind or another each and every day since he started this venture, can he just call that a “book” and get “credit” from you, the grand arbiter of all things book related??

And BTW, if you asked me who knows more about sports, the Former Boss or the crew over there on the FM dial, with maybe one or two exceptions, I’d say the Former Boss. Doesn’t mean his current “product” is good, there’s a lot more to that than just knowing stuff.

Ron Mexico     January 16
“@CO, yep I did say that and it’s absolutely true. Doesn’t mean we can’t comment , he’ll this site doesn’t exist if you’re not allowed to conment”

Does a sports radio station really exist (or prosper) if it doesn’t allow callers? It’s a way to continually re-arrange minimal new content into slightly different segments and press the replay button over and over. Commenters are very much akin to callers. The interaction is what makes it interesting. Without it, not nearly as many would take the time to visit either.

TJ     January 16
More arguing about Nestor? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Radio Gal     January 16

It never fails. You ride in on your super high horse and come to the rescue.

Here is the deal about writing books. In this new world ANYONE can publish. It just takes the right amount of cash and some printer will take the job. That is not how the REAL book publishing world works. The LF is not part of the real book publishing world. There was no advance, no placing of the book, no PUBLISHING backing of ANY kind. Hell, there wasn't any editing. It just shows his delusion that the book would be a success by doing it that way. Remember the story of Hootie and the Blowfish. They were a bar band who pressed their own music and sold it out of the back of the tour bus/van. THEY made it....but hundreds/thousands? of other bands did the same thing. That is what the LF was up against. THE BOOK was an abject FAILURE in terms of sales. The word is that there are 15,000 copies or more somewhere. He gives them away at every turn....kind of reminds of Aunt Bee's pickles...Barney gave them to out of state motorist's passing through Mayberry.

But the blame for not selling through? If only people read books...it is their fault. And since the initial run didn't sell.......no 2nd edition to "fix" all of the errors. That might be the funniest thing of all. He expected to have a second run SO HE COULD FIX THE ERRORS. C'mon Mike even you have to say that is funny.

The book[which I did read, I got it at an event] was incredibly poorly written, lots and lots of errors[some so simple that it defies any explanation]. The book lacks legitimacy in every regard. So to "turn" it that Coleman et al never wrote a book....well that misses the point...entirely. It is not a real book in terms of the real publishing world. I defy you to mark a self published work that was a blazing success. In fact ED NORRIS did write a book that had an advance and support...but that was about his policing. There were other REAL books about the Ravens in that season. A couple of them were really well written. His book is a joke. I asked a guy who the LF calls a mentor[and he writes books that have ALL of the publishing backing], he called it "writing for self gratification"....and states that there is a place for it....but "most of them are really bad" and NEVER sell. The usual print for these is about 250 copies. The LF was foolish to PRINT SO MANY.

He deserves to be mocked and his[and your defense of him] delusions are FREAKING HILARIOUS, I listen[a bit} just for the unintended comedy. YOU refuse to accept that. You should buy some time on his station.....that way you can get your money's worth. Bad reads[a standard there and the funniest thing on the station], poor rotation of your material and incredibly poorly produced copy? Wouldn't that be special?

HERMAN     January 16
apropos of nothing mentioned here I've got to say it was great to view the videos of unbridled joy demonstrated by Viking's fans over their improbable comeback win Sunday. To see people become unhinged with joy, and overcome with positive emotion was heartening. We tend to think only in terms of our own history and success and the team we root for, but Minnesota fans have suffered only defeat for years and years. With four Super Bowl losses compounding the pain.

I know there is a flip side, with Saints fans devastated, but I'd prefer to focus on the fans of Minnesota and their cathartic mass release of happiness. The Saints have tasted Super Bowl victory. It was uplifting to see fans go bonkers, especially at the end of they way this season has transpired.

Mike from catonsville     January 16
@CO, yep I did say that and it’s absolutely true. Doesn’t mean we can’t comment , he’ll this site doesn’t exist if you’re not allowed to comment. Do I think I’m smarter than a D-1 coach, nope. Do I think he made the right decision at that point in the game nope, for the reasons I mentioned . Even IF the guy doesn’t get fouled or misses the free throw I think it was a bad call. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t . I’ll take the %’s of having to throw over a big vs no obstacle whatsoever. As soon as I saw that I went oh no, as soon as the pass was complete went oh “ trump”. Half court completion with 3.5 seconds it’s too much time . Something bad is going to happen and it did.

Also, you didn’t comment on the books written by the other radio hosts . Did you enjoy them?

Brien Jackson     January 16
Tomlin reminds me of a poker player who imagined himself to be great at reading faces, when really he is just rationalizing decisions he knows are bad ones.

casual Observer (to)     January 16
@MFC Weren’t you the one who said people don’t walk into the hospital and think they’re a doctor yet they walk into as gym they think they’re a coach? Perhaps I'm misremembering that, but if it was you, well…..

The proper analogy for the Terps malfunction was indeed the 4th and 12. You can argue strategy and probability all you want, but when players do not do their job, well, failure likely ensues. I don’t care what the historical percentages say, no play call is ever 100% executable, players can always screw up, even the simplest of things (like “just tackle the guy”). I get why people want to debate these things, and that’s fine for entertainment purposes, but the high horse declarations of “Coach Whoever is an absolute moron, everyone knows you do this…” are people showing their own cluelessness. But if that makes those people feel “smart”, well, good for them I suppose.

@MFC Yes, some of the people here check in on the Former Employer’s “work”, kinda like they gawk at train wrecks. You think that is proof of what exactly? I do agree with you that the Little Fella was totally within his rights to run his business as he saw fit, no problem whatsoever with that part of decisions he’s made. But former listeners also have the right to observe and mock, if they so choose. Frankly, I find that less absurd than those of you who boldly declare you are smarter than a top level Div I bball coach, or a professional football coach.

Ghost of JROB     January 16
If the Ravens understand the concept of supply versus demand...ticket prices can only go in one direction.

Pratt     January 16
I hope you are incorrect about the Ravens having the stones to raise ticket prices. If they do that I am finished with them. They have been in a funk over the past few years but I don't believe they are that oblivious. That means if they do raise prices they are telling the fans to go take a long walk off a short pier. I believe the value received v. price is not good for a number of reasons. This will just be the coupe de grace.

DR (the original)     January 16
@Cash I've always been with you on that. 26 years ago, two of the greatest college basketball players of all time combined to make the greatest play in the greatest game of all time. You can have your preference to guard the inbounder or not (I would), but I sure hope you're not using that play as an example.

PLB in Philly     January 16
Have to agree with Macki. That was a foul on Bruno. Not sure why Turgeon even had him back that deep. Put him out near the perimeter just in case the ball gets to an open guy. A right handed player under the basket is almost always throwing the ball down the right side of the floor. Bad coaching from Turge there, who should have had the right sided of the floor sealed off.

Cash Is King     January 16
Blaming Pitino for not putting somebody on the inbounds pass has always been blown out of proportion. Laettner hadn’t missed a shot all game...so they double teamed him. Pitino didn’t know that Pelphrey & Feldhaus would completely “freeze” and make no attempt to defend the last shot. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I also don’t think the Tomlin onside kick was such a terrible decision. They couldn’t stop Jax for 58 minutes. I guess he figured they couldn’t stop them in the last 2 minutes either. If he kicks deep and Jax converts, people would than question why he didn’t try the onside kick. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Bob     January 16
Good point from Drew about Tomlin's coaching blunder at the end of the game. If that were Harbaugh the pitchforks in town would be out!

JJ     January 16
@Macki is right. Turgeon not having the in bounds pass guarded was an AAU mistake. Hope MD doesn't miss the tourney by one game.

John In Westminster     January 16
Terps losing on the last play was karma for the blatant illegal screen which set Huerter free in the first place to get that open look for the momentarily game winning 3 (says the local Michigan fan ;) Terps had a shot at a Michigan team who was spent after a huge road win in a very tough game against Sparty. Wolverines played like they wanted to just show up, get a W and go back to their dorms. They got lucky. Terps out hustled them and deserved a W.

Macki     January 16
Dale is the only person in the country who doesn't think that was a foul on Fernando. What a homer.

unitastoberry     January 16
When you have a qb like Benny Boy who's headed to Canton after he's done fleecing the bank account of the Rooneys you let him call his own plays on 4th downs. I would have checked out of it. Unitas always said the great qbs know more than the OC and I bet the late Don McCafferty(easy rider) would have agreed with that.

mike from catonsville     January 16
@Dale, "Either way, guarding the guy or not, execute properly the play that has been drawm up and it’s a non-issue."

True to a point, you could make that claim about every play every game. Ask Pitino if he would change strategy 25 years later. Fact is we gave the passer no obstruction, none. If we put one of our "bigs" on the passer they must throw over, run the baseline or a combination of both. Which makes the pass that much more difficult. We didn't we lost. Yes you can say play 5 vs 4, how'd that work out. I think today Coach T would say I should have put a big on the passer.

But, that's why there's vanilla and chocolate.

I am disappointed in Don Markus, a fine reporter, but it didn't seem like he even asked the question of whether he thought of putting a big on the passer. At least I didn't read it, maybe it's there somewhere.

@Radio Gal, Nestor takes enough shots here why not fire back. BTW I really liked reading the books by Coleman, Haney, Conn, Garceau, Long and Vinny. They were informative and entertaining. This site continues to bash him so you must read him. Lots of folks in the closet. Maybe he does have listeners and readers this site claims he doesn't. Sure seems like like a lot of folks on the DMD listen and read. If you follow our President there's no such thing as bad publicity.

HERMAN     January 16
Coaching is about putting your players in the best possible position to win. Knowing percentages and giving them the highest possible chance to use their abilities to secure an outcome. When a coach handicaps his own team by cutting down that percentage with his or her decision, by putting them in a less than optimum position, he is culpable.

When I read yesterday that Big Ben was 18/19 in fourth and one fourth downs in gaining the first down on a QB sneak, and yet Haley opted for two different options it said he didn't use the best percentage play in his favor to get the first down. Ben may not have executed, but when the coach failed to call a 18/19 success rate, it's all on Haley. If I owned the Squealers he'd be gone.

Garry     January 16
My best guess is the end of the season Ravens address does not happen until after the Super Bowl. That gives the Ravens time to allow fans to forget about the Cincinnati debacle and the season that just happened. Rather, the Ravens will shift the narrative to the upcoming combine and draft and stay positive thereby deflecting the negatives of this past season. I can already hear Ozzie saying "We're already knee deep into planning our next season, now."

Radio Gal     January 16
The report that the frosted tipped, very very short radio mogul doesn't monitor this site is a complete falsehood. He released Chumpter 5 of that awful book...and declared 'if you need some morning Juice, I wrote about OJ Brigrance..." So as Drew used to say to another short loudmouth every morning but with a twist. GOOD MORNING NESTOR....and you are still irrelevant. And stop copying off other peoples paper, just like you copy and past e method of writing WITHOUT attribution. The LF should just be glad that self published books that don't sell are not scrutinized......if they were he would be in serious violation of some copyright laws.

Hammer and nail theory in last nights game. In Ann Arbor if they don't win, the lines are jammed with, How do you lose to a team that plays 8 guys? How can you let a pasty white guy launch a 3 in that situation? blah blah blah. Fact is Turgeon brought them all the way back. Who was coaching them up in the last 5 minutes to cut that big lead? Game management is one of his real strengths. Their record in close games in his tenure has been outstanding. Always has something good at the end of the game. Look it up. So the reality is that they practice that end of game scenario scores of times. The players screwed it up. The not guarding of the in bounds pass is something that every team does as strategy. Easy as pie to critique it when it doesn't work. If they did{have a guy on the ball} and the kid completed a long pass and someone would have had a wide open look? Bad coaching again. All coaching is bad when you lose a close one.

And again we hear the old Lefty call "he can recruit but can't coach" and Gary "he can coach but can't recruit". I guess Gary did both well enough to win a championship.....and Lefty used to say that coaching is recruiting and both are SALES jobs to players. "you know I know that I can coach"

DELRAY RICK     January 16
PACO----SORRY BUT BREES ABOVE AVERAGE. Over the last 17 years the SAINTS have how many winning seasons--10,no 12,no how bout 6,thats right SIX!!!! Your boy just throws and throws. STATS---BUT a lot of losing years. So he won ONE SB. Even a blind squirrel can find that nut.

Macki     January 15
Turgeon is a clown.

That was AAU stuff at the end of the game.

He's worse than Harbaugh at the in-game stuff.

And that's saying something.

mike from catonsville     January 15
Coach, Coach please someone show him the tape from 1992, YOU MUST GUARD THE INBOUNDS PLAYER

Great comeback ruined by huge coaching brainfart- a chance to steal a big one blown in a blink of an eye-

You kept the game in the 60's- for the most part you controlled the temo- then someway , somehow you forget to guard the person throwing it in-

like Nancy Kerrigan screamed - WHYYYY, WHYYYYY???

Brien Jackson     January 15

And I didn't even include the Colts, because I don't know if they fit the ranks of those other clubs, but they've got to be the biggest cautionary tale for how terribly wrong "blow it up" reactionary moves can go. Even if you spot them the benefit of the doubt on choosing Luck over Manning...why on Earth would you fire Polian and Caldwell because the team sucked when Manning missed a full season? And now that the Grigson/Pagano era has fully come to a close, they're reportedly moving on to....legendary failure Josh McDaniels!

So in short the Ravens should definitely be red-faced table flipping angry about being 40-40 since the end of the 2008-12 run, and they should fire John Harbaugh and hire a can't miss coaching prospect from the coordinator ranks because that ALWAYS works!

mike from catonsville     January 15
Terps walking the ball up the court, milking the clock and +10 at the half to the hottest team in the country.

Did Coach T read the DMD and comments about doing just that? Doubt it, he's a good coach, thankfully someone (Maybe that post in the DMD) got to him and said, we're out manned, slow it down. He is!!!!

Don't know if it will last but they're in the game with this strategy. Maybe Bino can send some of his $400,000 salary this way as a token of appreciation. Again, doubt it.

He's actually acting as a coach and not some AAU operator. .

Cash Is King     January 15
Brien has had this problem before. This time it is a typo. So you are too stupid to proof read...but I am too stoopid to find the data that you source...except you still haven’t said where you are getting your numbers. I knew 5% was wrong. 15% sounds believable. How hard is it to just give the site where I might be able to further research this subject? Is that so awful? I have seen you source in the comments section before. What am I missing here?

casual O (TO)     January 15
@Brien That was the most cogent comment I've read from you, kudos sir. Some of those corners you go off into are a little dark and musty, but that dose of common sense is must read stuff for all those hair-on-fire Weiman/Preston loyalists, well done. The Ravens certainly have issues they need to address, but the blow it all up and start over crowd is nuts.

Nice Pete Carril stories, those are always great, thanks guys

mike from catonsville     January 15
@DR, the great Pete Carril also said when asked about how an inferior team talent wise breaks the press. He said, " we get the ball to the 1 guard and if he can't break the press we find a new 1"

Pure coaching genius. From Charlie Eckmans lips, "it's a simple game".

DELRAY RICK     January 15
There is listihg of top QB since 1950 and BRADY,MONTANA, AND UNITAS ARE top 3. BIG BEN also in top 10 no BREES. I also read out of town papers and "TIN-FOILS" are crying like babies -----just like you RAVEN fans. LOOK AT NEX YEARS SCHEDULE FOR RAVENS------BRUTAL! !!! Hey the MIAMI sports shows on radio cry just like us. Me thinks the RAVENS are close-----all they need is 2 play makers.

DR (the original)     January 15
The great Pete Carril often tells a story about a game his team played down at UVa early in his career. He got two technical fouls and was tossed; one of his assistants was out recruiting, and the other was coaching the freshman team. Despite not having a coach, they came back from 10 points behind to win.

After the game they asked him how they did it and he said "Well, we finally found ourselves a coach..."

Clayton     January 15
To put it in simple terms that even you can understand Cash I s King, its the same rate the BrienJackson writes a sentence that is clear, concise and error free.

Brien Jackson     January 15

One thing that's really stuck out about Baltimore fans this year, and I don't have a good gauge on whether its true for fans elsewhere, is that they really have no perspective on how the Ravens relate to their peers. So we're all complaining every day about the lack of receivers and being 40-40 over the past five years, but:

-The Saints have a top 10 coach and an inner circle Hall of Famer at quarterback, and they've had some *bad* teams and some historically bad defenses recently.

-The Steelers are wasting a loaded stable of offensive talent with a terrible secondary and Mike Tomlin's game management skills.

-The Packers have squandered what should have been a New England-esque run of dominance in the NFC by sticking with one of the worst tacticians in the entire league as a head coach, even after he almost single handedly cost them an NFC Championship game.

-All this time later Andy Reid still can't even recognize his problems, let alone fix them.

-The Seahawks are as bad, if not worse, at building an offensive line as the Ravens are at getting receivers.

Heck even Belichick went through periods where he seemed to think he didn't really need to worry about talent at receiver or the secondary because he and Brady were enough to make up for deficiencies there.

All told the Ravens still stack up really well when compared to the other franchises that would typically be held out as the most consistently well run organizations in the league, and contra Ken Weinman this weekend really highlights how not far off of the pace in the AFC (non-New England division) they really were this year.

Balance and such things     January 15

I think that the 30 coaches thing is relevant. TOO many voices. Bill B. always has the fewest assts. There is no way that guys are all on the same message....of which is too over coached. One point in general. In the Falcons game at the end, the falcons were lolly gagging in the last four minutes as THEY KNEW that they would score the go ahead TD. This wrong headed approach that scoring is certain and you can't leave time on the clock? Just score the TD and keep on playing. There was a lesson in the Jacksonville/Pitt game as the Jags went full bore all the way. Keep on scoring and play faster all the way through. There was a tidbit in the Colts/ Ravens game that illustrated how programmed these guys are. Brissette needed to call a TO when the game clock was draining....and the play clock was getting close to zero. HE WAITED until the play clock was on one....when he could have saved about 12 seconds of GAME clock. But that is how it is done.

Over coaching is rampant and affects the purity of the game, which is watching HUMANS doing incredible things.

Red Auerbach had HIM and the trainer on the bench. The trainer kept track of fouls and time outs. A look at an NBA bench today? 5 coaches sitting behind the bench as there is no room for them. Makes for a less "freer" game.

Too much coaching....and it shows. Why the games are less fun.

Brien Jackson     January 15

I suppose there's no one definition of solid, and it's sort of hard to compare them because Dilfer was a starter in Tampa while Keenum was a stopgap who didn't get to rack up a bunch of starts, but Dilfer has exactly one year in Tampa that's clearly superior to Keenum's performance with the Rams, and nothing that even comes close to what Keenum did this year. And we're talking about 14 starts too, so basically an entire season. Not that he's gonna be a perennial Pro Bowler per se, but people who are acting like he's on par with Bortles and Foles right now are just wrong.

casual observer (to)     January 15
Great perspective offered on the Dish today. I love “the other team tries too”, wish the Dish went to it more often to balance out the low brow ill-informed hysteria of “40-40 is not good enough”. It’s so bad on the FM dial they probably even turned the affable Scott Garceau into just another cynical and bitter voice.

To take this adage one step further, I think football, especially at the NFL level, has to be the hardest sport to coach. You have 11 top notch athletes on the field for each and every play, they not only each have a job to do, they have to execute that job. Every. Single. Play. Any single breakdown on any single play can be the difference between winning and losing. Probably why each team seems to have 30+ coaches, but in some ways, that increases the margin for error, as now the head coach has to be sure all 30+ coaches are teaching the right thing too. And given that just by being in the league virtually assures you that each player has a huge ego and has spent his whole life getting by on talent, listening to some coach who never played is usually not one of those “talents”.

It’s what makes that guy in NE so good. His hard ass “do your job” approach works. But even he had to have some success under his belt to get away with such an approach, probably why his early career did not work out so well. Once the wins and success started coming, now what player is crazy enough to go up there and NOT listen? Of course listening and executing are still two different things.

One thing about the Keenum vs Dilfer debate, both were gunslingers in college if I recall (Houston and Fresno St respectively). Yet another indicator as to how different Sunday is from Saturday, two guys like this become “caretakers” on Sundays after passing for quite a few yards on Sat (no I don’t have the stats, just going by memory here). But if MIN winds up winning it all, they have to bring Keenum back, right?? And go get some more of them alpha dogs! lol

Brien Jackson     January 15

1. That's a typo, it's supposed to be 15%>

2. Why exactly do you think lying about how easy it is to look that up is a worthwhile use of everyone's time?.

Trent Defender     January 15
trent Dilfer had some solid years on some bad Buc's team. His four year run as the starter in a DIFFERENT NFL was better than Keenum's any other year BEFORE playing on a really good team this year.

They are similar, in fact Dilfer was tons more established in his role as a caretaker than Keenum. He was a lower than middle of the pack REAL starter in the league, Keenum was a mop up 2nd and 3rd option. Dilfer was drafted 6th overall....which probably made him a starter with the Bucs, But he was better and it is a good comparison. To any team that is NOT the Vikings...signing Keenum will NOT solve the QB problem.

That Guy     January 15
Brien always uses those kind of weird stats to support the point he's trying to make. What he doesn't do is actually watch the games. If there's not some kind of stat to support his point (some of which he makes up) he just doesn't debate it.

Cash Is King     January 15

What is your source on 5% of suspected onside kicks being successful? I can't find that info online. Thanks in advance.

Brien Jackson     January 15
I'm not saying he's not potentially a one year wonder, but comparing Keenum to Dilfer is remotely apt. Dilfer was a backup caliber QB who wasn't *good* even during the Superbowl year. Keenum had an MVP caliber season this year. It might not be repeatable, but it's a lot more than Dilfer ever did.

DIS and DAT     January 15
Little known fact about Brees, He beat Andy Roddick at tennis when they were young kids. Funny how he is not considered as good an athlete as some others because he is smaller, not as fast and doesn't possess a rocket arm like some others. NO DOUBT he is the best overall athlete in the QB position EVER. And being a good athlete means more than speed trials and physical tools. The ability to see spatial concepts and the all important "feel" for the game. That confounds the "pros', some guys can just play. Ask any Oriole fan who the best athlete is and they might say, AJ or Manny or any number of others, ask an Oriole player and they all will say JJ Hardy. He can play any game and be good at it, Like Brees. BUT he is not the greatest of all time when it comes to playing the position in my opinion. Not all his fault, but winning is important. And it should go without saying that playing in a dome has helped tremendously. For Paco's argument to be legit...that everyone else who has played in a dome should be as good as Brees...well that is easily refuted. They just aren't as good. Not nearly as good. Playing in that joint has helped his overall stats.

I think it is crazy funny that the reason given for the Jags having "no chance" to beat the Steelers because they only scored 10 points the previous week, well they just don't understand the league. AT ALL. Clueless in fact. All QB's in the league have ability. It is not like they can't complete a pass. Kyle Boller threw 5 TD's one night. Given the right play at the right time, anyone can be had. And what have we learned about the Steelers? They can't play D very well. And Ben has a feel for the game like few others. Jax was NOT in the prevent D, they played aggressive all the way through.....and that is why MANY teams give up underneath passes that lead to defeat, but it is still the best and most solid way to burn out the clock. I was super impressed by the lateral to Bell by Ben on his scramble. Talk about quick twitch and seeing spatial concepts. Hell, he might be the guy who makes Antonio Brown great and the others. Do we see receivers leave Pitt and still be great? Will have to look that one up.

What will become of Keenum AKA Dilfer? I think that the Viking WILL NOT pay him. And for the team to take a chance on him and pay him real starters money? DOOMED with a bad contract. He is on the right team at the right time. His arm is either really weak or weary. I actually thought that the Vikings were going to blow OUT the Saints before the game. Zimmer might have reverted to Marvin Lewis for the 2nd half as they tried to squirrel away the clock and sit on it...just totally unlike Jacksonville did on D.

Still have to go to the super solid refuting of the Ravens playing an easy schedule....and that somehow sullies their 9-7 record. This year was an outlier....but that team that plays in NE plays an easy schedule every single year. NOT one of those teams in their division has produced a solid team year in and year out. Put the Ravens down for TWO divisional wins every year....and HOPE to go 2-2 in the Pitt, Cinn clashes. It doesn't happen every year...but MOST "experts" will put the Pats down as 6-0 in their division. THEY are a good team and can really sprint through a season...but it sure helps to have a 30 yard head start in a 100 yard dash. They get to play a WC winner AT HOME to play for the conference championship. Kind of like TIGER cherry picking his tournaments and stacking wins at the same venues. You have to win them...but home cooking and a big head start sure HELPS.

Crabby Patty     January 15
@ Brien

The comments on Tomlin are right on. He is overrated and lacks basic abilities such as clock management.

The onside kick was an early xmas gift to jags. Bad call and hysterical execution.

Brien Jackson     January 15
Tomlin reminds me a lot of people who picked up a few Sabermetric concepts 10 years ago and then went around bashing managers for lineup order without really understanding what they were talking about. For as much as he's ahead of the curve on 4th downs, the onside kick call really was atrocious. The success rate on suspected onside kicks is right around 5%, and not getting it basically gifts Jacksonville the game sealing FG. The idea that their odds of stopping Jacksonville we're less than that is silly, and Tomlin remains an impressively bad in game coach.

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Baseball: Pirates trade former N.L. MVP Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco.

NBA: Durant (32) leads visiting Golden State past LeBron, Cavaliers, 118-108.

Wizards fall to 25-19 after losing at home to Milwaukee, 104-95.

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