Young Teams With High Expectations Make Lousy Excuses
By Scott Allen
This weekend two teams who were predicted to win their divisions and some even put Super Bowl aspirations on them took down a couple of L's in the loss column. So what happens when teams with high expectations lose? You start making excuses.
The San Francisco 49’ers and the New York Jets would be two such teams that did just that on Sunday and Monday respectively.
Let’s start with the mess that is the 49’ers. Here is a team picked to win the NFC West by pretty much everyone outside of the state of Arizona. Let’s be honest, there are3 some jokers IN the state of Arizona that think the same way. By the looks of things on Sunday, the only thing the Niners will win is the admiration of Cardinals fans when they tank those expectations and finish in third in the division if they keep this up.
After Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, Niners coach Mike Singletary blamed much of the problems with Alex Smith and the offense on poor communication thanks to some shoddy headsets. He did thank Hawks coach Pete Carroll for the “medicine”, but he also threw in the headset issue, which I found interesting, considering that’s not how Alex Smith put it.
When asked if the headsets were the problem on Sunday, Smith said the headsets were working fine. Oops.
Of course that lead to a team meeting at team headquarters in Santa Clara, California upon the Niners return from Seattle. Sounds like a team that needs to get on the same page of lies and excuses, don’t you think?
I was a little surprised at Singletary’s comments given his rep for his brutal honesty both as a player and coach. What it sounded like to me was a coach who was going to do anything to quench the notion that Smith had everything to do with the loss and shouldn’t be the starter if this team is to win the division and make noise in the playoffs. So why not blame headset communication? It’s an easy out. Plus, if he gets beat by the New Orleans Saints on Monday night next week, he doesn’t have to use that excuse because the difference of caliber of teams between the Hawks and Saints is like night and day. I’m sure you won’t see the Niners on separate pages going forward. It will all be the same group of lies now.
As for the New York Jets, coach Rex Ryan actually blamed part of the loss on the Baltimore Ravens defense. Sounds pretty honest to me. Sounds like a plausible excuse. After all, the Ravens are one of the top defenses in the NFL. The Ravens though, would have lost this game if the Jets had even cut their penalties by just half. At one point in the third quarter the Jets had almost as many penalty yards (120), as offensive yards (121). Even cornerback Antonio Cromartie said “we need to be more disciplined”. That was a point Ryan sort of got to at one point saying the penalties were damaging, however he starts his press conference off with “you’ve got to tip your hat to the Ravens…..give them credit”.
Yeah the Ravens defense was hard hitting. Yes it was good at times, but the Jets had several scoring opportunities. Penalties, turnovers, inept offense is what mostly did them in on Monday night. Ryan was still more about saving face because of the high Super Bowl expectations. Let’s just be honest here. If you keep losing games like that Rex, you won’t win five games this season, much less a Super Bowl.
These teams should stop making excuses and when they aren’t making excuses, man up, be honest. The Arizona Cardinals won’t sugar coat it, at least not on the part of head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Then again, there aren’t many expectations on the Cardinals. Maybe that’s wherein the issue lies. Stop placing such high expectations on a young, growing team. Save the expectations for the teams that have been there before. The New England Patriots, the Indianapolis Colts, the Philadelphia Eagles. You didn’t hear any of these excuses out of the Colts and Eagles after Sunday losses, did you? That’s because they know how to handle adversity and handle high expectations.