Dear Coach Reid,
I am sending this letter with a constructive, not critical, intent.
I am asking that during your game planning for this week's game with the San Francisco 49ers, you spend a little time planning for short-yardage situations. Based on the sequence of events in the third quarter of the game against the New York Giants, it would appear that this topic has not been given much thought. With the ball on Giants two yard line, these are the three plays that you ran:
First down—Owen Schmitt up the middle for no gain.
Second down—Michael Vick up the middle for no gain.
Third down—Owen Schmitt up the middle for a one-yard loss.
My questions for you are:
1) Did you really think that your troubled, recently-assembled offensive line could out-muscle the Giants in a short yardage situation?
2) Has Schmitt become the go-to running back in critical situations? If so, that seems strange since he had no rushing plays in either 2009 or 2010. He's done a nice job in catching passes out of the back field, but doesn't have much experience rushing. Did you think this was going to surprise the Giants?
3) If Schmitt up the middle did not work on first down, what made you think it would work on third down?
4) Is there some reason why neither Ronnie Brown nor LeSean McCoy were given the chance to punch it over the goal line?
Here are a few short-yardage plays I'd like you to practice this week:
- Play action fake to McCoy with a quick slant route to a wide receiver.
- Vick rolls out left. If a receiver is open quickly, he throws. If not, he tries to run it in himself or throws it out of bounds.
- A wildcat formation, with a direct snap to Brown or McCoy.
But please, coach, I think we have seen enough of Schmitt up the middle to last an entire season.
A very long-time, green-bleeding fan.