I dont care what anyone says, last year when the Saints spanked us on December 26th, I am certain A Blank read the entire coaching staff the riot act. Before they left the Superdome locker room, on the way to the charter. On December 27th, Brian Van Gorder and Mularkey started opening thier rolodex and looking down the road. They may have 'gameplanned' the Jan 1st Bucs win, and the Jan 8th Giant Fiasco(tm) but I am 100% in the belief that both our former coordinators had put the wheels in motion concerning thier next employer. Maybe they win out, and there is no 'need' for an escape plan, but believe this: they had one.
Why does it matter? Because sh*t rolls downhill. Players can sense when thier coaches and coordinators are on the hot seat, and they either ride or die, or when adversity hits, they remain flat and quit. This is one of the factors in the Giant Fiasco(tm). Yesterday a couple things stood out to me.
I dont think these players think anyone is on the 'hot seat'...But when Asante made that pick and then got the celebratory penalty, Coach Shrek went over to him and had a 3-4 minute a$$ chewing session. While we had the ball on Offense, Mike Smith was showboating yelling at Samuels. And Samuels was not hanging his head, looking forlorn, or looking him in the eye: he was fist bumping with Peterson and getting clapped on the back.
IMO, this should be Nolan's job. Smith should be watching what is going on, because what would have helped us there is him yelling at Koetter for running Turner up the gut for another 3rd down non conversion! Then after we SCORE A TD, you call him over and ream him.
Im not saying this team hasn't 'bought in'. They have. But certain games get in thier heads. This game is one of them .
Now clearly, they can go on the road and win ( see Philly ). But Im concerned about things Im seeing on the sidelines. Last year I commented on Ryan's 'lack of fire' in the Giant Fiasco(tm). This season, he is yelling 'GTFO'.
When Julio went out, so did the game. Tony G did his best, but we are dependant on #11. And, if he sustains any significant injury time for the rest of the season, then that has to weigh in on the value of that pick, IMO.
"what if there were no hypothetical situations?"