I just have one question for you, Coach Vermeil. That question is simply, "Why?" Were you drinking? Are you senile? Are you crazy? Are there skeletons in your closet that someone has threatened to expose? What else could have made you decide to keep Greg Robinson around as Defensive Coordinator for another year?
It certainly couldn't have been the sterling performance of the "D" on the field this season. I hate to point out the obvious, but we're talking about a defense that established eight new team records for futility:
- They surrendered 399 points (old record was 388 points, set in 1987).
- They gave up 27 passing touchdowns (old record was 25, set in 1964, 1976, 1980, and 1987).
- They allowed 4181 net passing yards (old record was 3662 yards, set in 1990).
- They allowed 6248 total net yards (old record was 5658 yards, set in 1985).
- They allowed 367 total first downs (old record was 344, set in 1987).
- They allowed 227 passing first downs (old record was 192, set in 1984).
- They allowed 616 passing attempts (old record was 596, set in 1995).
- They allowed 403 completions (old record was 332, set in 1985).
It's a heck of an accomplishment, isn't it? The defense also came perilously close to setting new team records for most touchdowns surrendered with 46 (the record is 51) and most rushing touchdowns surrendered with 19 (the record is 24). They also allowed opposing offenses to score 30 points or more in 7 games this season. Add the fact that opposing Quarterbacks completed 65.4% of their passes, and you can see why I'm asking, "Why?"
I realize that you are very loyal to your assistant coaches and players, Dick. I have been reminded that Greg Robinson has two Super Bowl rings. However, the Broncos fired Robinson after his defense there pulled a similar, if not as drastic, collapse. Conversely, it's true that the blame for the failure of the defense can't be pinned solely on Robinson; the players have to shoulder an equal share. Your decision, however, pins the blame only on the players.
When a defense can't stop the run, can't rush the passer, can't defend against the pass, and none of the players seems to know what he's doing, it indicates that there is a problem with the defensive scheme. The players don't develop the scheme - that's the Defensive Coordinator's job. A good coordinator, however, adjusts his schemes to properly use the abilities of the players he has. That has not happened under Robinson's tenure. Several players have anonymously stated that the team has not bought into Robinson's system. Get wise, Coach; you need to replace Robinson before this polyp develops into a full-blown tumor.