Gilbride and Fewell spoke to the media yesterday and dropped some hints about what to expect from the Gmen after the bye. They also acknowledged some corrections/adjustments that need to be made from their first 6 games.
Below are the questions posed to Gilbride and his answers regarding possibly moving Barden to TE in the future:
Q: A lot of tight ends aren’t big guys. Is there any thought to make him a tight end?
A: You have to block. You have to block. Ask him that one. You know how you ask running backs if they want to block? Ask your wide outs do they want to block. To be a tight end you have to be a blocker first.
Q: Can he not do that?
A: Are you going to ask a guy who’s been a wide receiver to be a tight end and take on Trent Cole? It’s not fair. You’re asking a guy to do something he can’t do. But you’re right. That’s where he more of resembles a slighter build tight end kind of kid. Again, he’s a bright guy who can play a lot of positions. That’s the appeal. He can go in and do a lot of different things for you.
We all understand that Gilbride thinks of a TE as a blocker first and foremost. But we need to ask him if he has looked around the league and witnessed how Finley of GB, Hernandez and Gronkowski of NE and Graham of NO are being utilized. Are they primarliy in as blocking TEs or are they set out wide to create matchup nightmares for opposing defenses? Look how effective Ballard was when he was set out wide. Would anyone like to see a formation of Beckum and Ballard set out wide? Would it hurt the running game by forcing an LB or safety out to cover a bigger more physical receiving target? Much less cause matchup issues.
On to Fewell with his question and answer session with the media:
Q: Do you have to pull back and not try to do too much despite having all of these guys back?
A: Oh believe me, we won’t try to reinvent the wheel. We’ll just try to get better at our base fundamentals and things that we didn’t do well in the first six ballgames. We felt like after we looked at it that we might have tried to do too much in the first six games. We tried to simplify some things and hopefully our communication will be better and we’ll be better as a defense going into the second half.
Q: Simplify some things…
A: Just communication-wise. We faced no-huddle situations and we tried to revamp our communication and terminology for that. We just tried to make it more player-friendly after the break. Hopefully we did that. Like I said, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we’re just trying to make sure that we’re all on the same page and that we can play as fast as we possibly can play.
Q: Did the wristbands work?
A: We didn’t get no-huddle situations to use our wristbands last time, but we will carry them throughout the season. The problem will come up again pretty soon, I’m sure.
You have to give Fewell credit for realizing that his players aren't getting it on the field and he needs to simplify it. You have to like his statement about getting his players to "play as fast as we possibly can play." Speed is of the essence when you play a GB, NO or NE. Again, we question how the communication issues are still an issue in year 2 of his system. Why are you now finally admitting that you need to simplify?
Finally, the concern is his statement on "we'll just try to get better at our base fundamentals." Problem is the base fundamentals are a concern too.