Defense Matters:

If it’s not apparent to everyone after this past weekend, then maybe you should update your understanding of football. Let’s separate the crowd into two distinct groups, those who have played organized football at the high school level and beyond, and those who haven’t. If you fall into the latter group, no amount of research and google searches can replace what you’ll never truly understand. This game is far more complex to believe you can somehow watch and understand. I’m sorry this also excludes most females, but my point is to describe the fundamental nuances of the sport. Bare with me! To all those, such as myself, the experience of participating in this physical battleground gives relevance to my commentary.

Every single play, eleven individuals line up across from one another on the “line of scrimmage”, and every snap of the ball into play, ignites a battle of the most primative aspects of the human condition. Your adrenaline flows like a river, exciting every cell in your body. Your heart races with anticipation of what your body will be called to do in the name of competition. Deliberation is replaced by the instinctive capacity of your brain. Reaction is far more critical than calculation for the tasks at hand. Emotionally, you are searching for the end of this conflict, in hopes of elated celebration, given your realization of the pain associated with giving everything only to discover defeat.

A teams defense is how it protects this emotional high ground. The offense can struggle mightily, and the defense can preserve that hope for success. Conversely, all the success in the world for the offense, is only as meaningful as the support of its ability to prevent the opponent from scoring. Defense, or lack there of, controls the spirit of a teams personality. With it comes an almost arrogant confidence, without it the insecurity of the team is at stake.

This is where the Razorbacks are at as a team, and a program for that matter. The only difference between the Razorbacks and the Crimson Tide is Nick Saban and whoever our coach is! Saban fluently understands how a teams character is structured, and simply builds around that. Everyone else starts on the other side of the team, and attempts to compensate for their deficiencies on defense…

Excellent post.

Only when you have skin in the game can you appreciate
the accuracy of your take on live play.

It is similar to paper trading versus real money on the
line. The juices flow much different and the difference
is felt bone deep. Emotions with monopoly money never
approaches the real deal.

The intensity and suddenness of live football takes
my breath away. Gladiators in our modern era.

I played the game, but not at a high level. I promise you I know much more about football now than I did when I took the helmet off for the last time.

Those who did play at a high level SHOULD know the game better than the rest of us … but that doesn’t mean they actually do. Maybe they just coasted on athletic ability and never developed a deep understanding.

I think you miss the boat on Saban. He doesn’t build his team on defense. He builds his team on complete preparation of every facet, offense, defense and special teams. That’s the Process he talks about – breaking an incredibly complicated situation down into manageable pieces, then mastering those pieces. They don’t focus on winning; they focus on each play. Bielema’s “1-0” mantra is a version of that. Win each play, each day, and the results on Saturday night take care of themselves.

This is a pretty good synopsis of the Saban Process from a business-oriented website. Of course, it has applications to business as well as football.

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Saban is a “Defensive” minded coach. He involves himself much more in that area than on offense. I think that shows up on the field more often than not, given his teams excellence in their defensive statistics year in and year out?

I really don’t think Saban looks at the offensive playbook. He doesn’t have to worry about it. I feel like CBB should have the same situation here with Enos. After the Alabama game CBB mentioned he may have a larger role in the defensive preparation. Why was he not more involved in the first place?

Just my two cents, but this AD & his coaches aren’t held to any standard of excellence? As long as there are more wins than losses, and we’re graduating players, that’s considered success?