Friday, February 1, 2008

Ron Wolf hates Mike Holmgren

If you haven't seen this article in the Journal Sentinel this morning, stop whatever it is that you are doing and spend a good 5-10 minutes reading this story.

Absolutely incredible. Well-written, researched, and full of quotes from numerous people in various positions. Ron Wolf and other former Packers blame Mike Holmgren for the Super Bowl loss to the Broncos during the 1997 season.

The story revolves around a few points:
-Holmgren made no adjustments to the weak-side blitzes by both the corners & safeties.
-He didn't give Dorsey Levens enough carries, which would have given the defense more rest & slowed down the Terrell Davis train (sounds familiar...Grant in the Giants game?).
-THE WORST PLAY-CALL OF ALL TIME (The Packers last play in the game).

Some of my favorite highlights:
About the blitzes-
In January 2002, the late Will McDonough of the Boston Globe wrote a column in which he remembered being one of several writers asking Holmgren about the Denver blitz at the NFL owners meetings a few months after the game.

"We practiced everything they threw at us," Holmgren was quoted as having said. "And we went over them many times with Brett. We told him, no matter what, when you see them coming, get the ball out of there. Don't hold on to it to make the big play. . . . There were many times he didn't do that in the game, and it cost us. It led to two turnovers. He saw it coming and didn't pay attention to it."

Retorted Chmura: "That's a flat-out lie. How can you get rid of the ball when the receiver is running a 15- or 20-yard in or dig? You can't scream to him and tell him, 'Blitz!' We weren't a sight blitz team. The receivers weren't responsible for seeing if there's blitz and breaking their route off accordingly. That's a bunch of crap."

About the lack of the running game:
On Wednesday, at Super Bowl XLII, Levens still seemed annoyed that he didn't get more than 19 carries (for 90 yards) in a bid to rescue a defense that Butler said had been reduced at the end to "huffin' and puffin' with their tongues hanging out."

"You take some of the pressure off Brett and give our defense a chance to rest and maybe we could shut down Terrell Davis from running all over us," Levens said. "I don't think we helped the defense out with the play-calling in the second half."

About the last play call:
"The last call of the game was maybe the dumbest ever," Chmura said. "You should have seen the look in the huddle when Two Jet Winston comes in. We had never run this play all year long. We maybe practiced it three times in training camp and this is the best you can give us? A player knows when his number is called. Two Jet Winston is no one's number called."

These are the types of stories I love reading about. Talk about former coaches/friends/players absolutely SLAMMING their coach.

The article also focuses on Wolf's disappointment to this day. He is bitter about the fact that the team he built can't be considered a dynasty because of that loss as an 11 and a half point favorite.
In the locker room that night, Wolf would say unforgettably, "We're a one-year wonder, just a fart in the wind."

As armchair coaches, this story makes you wonder what else goes on behind the scenes. Do you think that after last baseball season, JJ, Prince, Hart, & Shouse all got hammered over at Hart Park late at night and talked about how bad Ned Yost coached some games down the stretch?

I'm not saying I'm an advocate of players ripping coaching decisions, etc., but this is just great stuff to be aware of that I wish the public knew more about.


brad said...

Wow, that was a spectacular article. Thanks for posting that Woz.

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