One of the first issues that a lot of us found intriguing about the Marty Mornhinweg hire was the apparent philosophical disconnect that he had from Rex on the face of things. Marty is well-known for his years of passing to an excess in Philly; Rex is well-known for his preference for a "Ground & Pound" offense and was happy as a pig in boo-poo back in '09 when we led the league in rushing (in yards, and in attempts by a wide margin). So of course, it begged the question: how is this oil and vinegar gonna mix?
We seemed to have our first clue in pre-season game 1 where we ran the ball 16x and passed it 42x. Rex, in his press conference, said that we needed to have more balance in the run/pass ratio. Apparently, he went public with his musings before consulting Mornhinweg. Per Cimini:
"Who said you need to be balanced?" Mornhinweg said. "You score points throwing the ball. Now you're getting into a philosophical situation. Look it, we don't care how we get it done -- running, passing, we don't care who gets the credit. It's whatever it takes to win the next game."
Woops. Maybe Rex should talk to his coach before taking him to task in the media about his playcalling. Or maybe he can try watching the offense when they're on the field and maybe give Marty a nudge every now and then to remind him to run it. I mean, you are his boss after all Rex. And you're standing right there, or are supposed to be at least. You can tell him to run it if you want the ball run, you know? Thats usually how this whole head coaching thing works. You kinda get to call the shots. And you really can't play dumb as if you don't know what's going on. This isn't Enron.
And was it really all that surprising? Granted, I'm not at camp, but have any of you heard two peeps about them spending a lot of focus on the running game in these practices? Based on the reporting, it seems that the installs have been heavily skewed towards the passing game. Which kinda of makes sense in that, traditionally, in a West Coast system the pass sets up the run rather than vice versa. Often times, short throws on early downs are viewed as an extension of the running game. Maybe Marty's plan was to make sure the passing game is installed ASAP so that the QBs and WRs are as comfortable as possible and the scheme is set, saving the focus on the relatively few running game installations for later.
I gotta say, though... It was pretty damn refreshing to watch receivers running free down the field for most of the game. It was clear that Marty had his unit coached up. I really liked the route combos, and the timing of the plays, and the seemingly attack-style mentality that the receivers have. There doesn't seem to be very much hesitation, other than at QB. Its nice to have a coherent offense for once. Maybe Rex should watch it sometime.