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Coaching Staff is about to be Tested

It's almost a fourth of the way into the season, and things are looking bleak. Granted, you couldn't really expect a rapid turn around, but after these last three games played out, a win (or two- much less probable) could have easily happened.

With all the injuries and lack of just about everything, the coaching staff is going to be tested. Of course you have to give them time, but in the NFL, that just doesn't happen. I'll start with the coordinators before going into our Head Coach. Hit the jump to read more.

Firstly, you have our offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur. He's already come under criticism from almost every angle and rightfully so. Play calling mostly, but people around here have also been concerned with the amount of touches Steven Jackson recieves a game (which was rectified last week, he had 32 touches). You can blame the play of the offense on the personnel and their inability to an extent, but it's the coaches job to realize this and make changes. Using gadget plays on 3rd down (or calling a short throw when both of your QB's have a completion percentage of 51.6% or lower) when you have a running back who is averaging 5.06 yards per touch is questionable and so is not airing the ball out when your receivers are quite fast. It's kind of quirky, but also in the Seahawks game the decision was made to punt the ball instead of attempting a long range field goal (at a somewhat familiar stadium to Josh Brown no less). I'm no sideline expert, so I am unsure of how much exactly is Shurmur's responsibility, but the play calling and decisions rest on the coaching staff.

I'll lump Flajole amd Spag's together here, as they both are defensive minds. I think it's more of a personnel issue here, but when you've had three games, you know what works and what doesn't. If everything doesn't work, then that's fine, but for someone so renowned at getting pressure on the QB, it's a bit of a headscratcher when they can't. Now, the defensive line isn't anything special, but I refuse to believe that no one on the defensive side of the ball is capable of producing pressure, or that the offensive lines we have faced so far are immovable walls of 300lb men.

This is more of a general staff issue, but for all the talk about having "football people" in charge, the lack of preparedness is eye-opening. Over the last three weeks, it's been surprising to see that the same things have been happening with no changes. Keenan Burton and Daniel Fells finally started contributing, even after McMichael and Avery have had butterfingers for three weeks now. Steven Jackson didn't get many touches the first few weeks and even though he has been averaging a good amount, they still shy away in the fourth quarter. Conserving the clock is one thing, but when you constantly have three and outs, it really doesn't matter anymore.

With one final note- It will be interesting to see how things play out. Linehan had 20 horrible games (2006 was an outlier- one missed Josh Brown field goal and he might still be here) before getting the boot, and while I think this staff is much better, I'm curious to see how fans get when the season is about to end. Will you still have the same faith if nothing changes throughout the season? How many drafts will it take for you to think that things are turning around? What will happen to Vobora (taking illegal substances isn't exactly a "good character" choice)- will they punish him more or will they just let it slide?

How long are you willing to wait for results?