Friction and Perspective.
At some point in my chequered past on these boards, I banged on about something Carl Von Clausewitz, a 18/19th century military philopsopher liked to term 'Friction'. The phenomenon that C.V.C termed 'Friction' has been simplistically and previously referred to as 'Sod's Law' or 'Murphy's Law' and details essentially the extent to which the best laid plans are thrown astray by the tempest's of luck and ill-fortune, and the characteristics required by those who required to surmount these challenges.
We have arrived, as we so often do in what we all like to term the 'Rams Nation', at a distressingly early example of exactly what Carl was talking about. The first salvos of the conflict termed the NFL season has taken a dreadful toll, not only in terms of result but in terms of human collateral. In addition to the comparatively minor loss of our starting left tackle for the season, we have the terrible news surrounding Mr Everett at Buffalo (Best wishes for a complete recovery).
I would never, and have never sought to equate human conflict with a game, (and neither do I think our situation bears any comparison with what's happening in Buffalo) but I think that C.V.C's theory of 'Friction' can relate to any area of human endeavour which involves mass participation and organisation and any element of teamwork.
Those who were most successful in war, he reasoned, were those who adapted best to the unforseen, those who managed to retain the intiative when confronted with circumstances that forced them to depart from the script. The same is true of the NFL, business, education, the professions and any other aspect of human activity.
With this in mind, I would suggest that we have sufficient evidence that we are well-equipped to endure the changes that have been forced upon us by circumstance. Last season we were confronted with the exact same challenge, at a time when looked to be in a far worse position in terms of depth and overall talent on our offensive line. Whilst we underwent a mid-season fade that led some to call for the head of the Head Coach after only one season, sufficient progress was made that we saw an explosion of SJ over the second half of the season. Comments were made about the quality of opposition over that period, but I would remind everyone that it's still the NFL and that you play who's put in front of you.
In short, adjustments were made in terms of personnel, play-calling and schemes in response to some fairly pointed difficulties, and we saw growth and progress as a result. This gives me no small measure of confidence that we have a coaching staff, who whilst quite understandably might be bemoaning their fate, aren't the types to panic. It also gives me confidence that we have an element of young talent present along the offensive line that could serve us very well in the future. That future, once again, is now.
Panic is something of course, that is often seen at time like these and it's no stranger to our forums recently. Into the mix, we can add frustration, rage, intolerance and I daresay a complete lack of perspective.
It amazes me that, in response to injury enforced changes to our offensive line, that people are advocating further change as a remedy. Surely, the changes should be kept to a minimum in order to make slight whatever disruption could ensure from this situation. We were happy with our interior linemen last season, why change them? To do so would be to introduce a further question mark into our offensive equation. It further concerns me that people are willing to revert to the failed 'Nutten' type of experiment with Timmerman at a time when guard is the least of our problems.
And the less I say on some of the comment surrounding SJ the better. One bad game does not a bad running back make and before the season is out we'll be seeing some people extolling his virtues as much as they are denigrating him now. I'd rather he was a little less effusive, but we all have our faults.
Lets be honest, we lost the game because we turned the ball over twice in key situations (aren''t they always?) and they led to Panther scores. We were unable to capitalise in the same way on our turnovers. Turnovers are only useful if you actually do something with them. We didn't lose because of the O-line, we lost because of our inability to stop the run and our inability to capitalise on turnovers.
In view of this, it is vital that we do not let this early season 'Friction', de-stabalize the rest of our season any more that it already has. We need a live body, the best we can lay our hands on at tackle, we need to move Barron over to the left, we need to leave well alone with the interior spots and we need to be patient with our skill players.
To me, the best response is as outlined above but I'll be comfortable with whatever moves to coaching staff make as long as they don't smack of panic or desperation, as so many of the suggestions to our current plight on these boards do. It was the first game of the season and as much as we have cause to be frustrated with the result and circumstance, it's patently obvious that there is plenty of football to be played and that we have plenty of talented football players to play it with. It's down to them and the coaching staff,it's a time to pull together, it's time for a gut-check, it's a time to stand up and be counted.......its a time for me to stop typing all of these bloody cliches and get back to my day job.
So come on people, its only one damn game and it's only one player. Damn good one yes, but lets get behind the rest.
Re: Friction and Perspective.
Well said, Fat Pang. This too shall pass. The coaching staff will make the necessary adjustments and we'll be back on track. It is no time to panic. Its only the first game. We'll learn what we can from it and move forward in the right direction.