Is it possible that the decision to play sound, running-based football is an organization-wide decision, ie it comes down from Ozzie? Because we're into about year 15 of having mediocre offense, while generally having good football teams, and I wonder if it's part of an organizational plan. The theory goes like this:
- In the salary cap era, it is impossible to keep a good team together
- Offensive players generally are paid more than defensive players
- Therefore, there is a market inefficiency. It is cheaper to build an excellent defense than to build an excellent offense
- But you can still compete for the division and advance to the conf title game if you guild a great defense
- So, year over year we will strive to keep our defense strong, while only paying the dollars we must to sustain a mid-level offense
An organization that builds the best offense it can and tries to scrape by on the defensive side of ball, would field teams that look like the Manning-era Indy teams. The opposite kind of organization would look like the Ravens.
If any of that is true, than it would mean that fans on this board are right about offensive coordinators being sort of "shackled"; but wrong about who to blame for it. It would mean that Harbaugh bought into an organization-wide "profile" for how to consistently field winning teams, probably bought into it rather enthusiastically because (a) that's how he is anyway, and ( it fits in with his deepest beliefs about football going back to his early years, and © he understands the implications of the salary cap.
The big contracts given to Ray Rice and to Flacco, and I guess an upcoming one to be given to Torrey Smith, would represent seismic shifts in the way the organization does business. And there should be some growing pains; we don't entirely know how to do it yet.
Am I blowing smoke here? Or is it possible there's something to it?