The fifth-grade football team I help coach is off to a 1-1 start, same as the Green Bay Packers. Our first game was a little sloppy, but the kids played well enough to win, just like the Packers. Our opponents took advantage of our problems with blocking and disrupted the offense enough to beat us in week two. Just like You Know Who.
"The reality of it is we have fundamental breakdowns," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday when asked about his offensive line. "At some point, you have to win the one-on-one battle." The head coach of our fifth-graders said essentially the same thing.
Anyone who's played touch football understands that if you're on the offensive line, you have to keep the player lined up against you from getting to the quarterback. There's a fair amount of technique and skill involved, but it all comes down to getting your hands on the defender before he gets his hands on you and pushing him to where you want him to go.
McCarthy is known as an offensive tactician, a disciple of the West Coast offense and developer of quick-thinking, accurate quarterbacks. Now he's stuck addressing the league-worst 10 sacks his team has already given up this season. But his taking-care-of-business message should resonate with anyone who has grown up playing the game.
"It's a technical game," he said. "And sometimes we can be too technical."
That's a good one to tell the kids.