Interesting exchange between Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh and a writer at Groh’s weekly media availability Tuesday.
Here’s the exchange between the Inquirer's Zach Berman and Groh:
Berman: “You talk often about red zone. You had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter and overtime. What were the problems, from what you saw?"
Groh: “Chance to win the game how? I thought we had the lead. I thought we took the lead.”
Berman: “Well, if you scored a touchdown, the game was over.”
Groh: “Right, you're right. We did take the lead. We did go down and score points and put ourselves in a position to win.”
This really bothers me.
Whether intended or not, Groh gave the impression he was throwing the defense under the bus. He seemed to be saying, “Hey, we did our job,” implying that the defense didn’t do theirs. Which, of course, they didn’t. Nobody did.
You just lost in overtime after blowing a 17-point lead and you didn’t score a touchdown on your last five possessions despite two drives inside the Titans’ 20-yard line. Don’t stand there bragging about getting a field goal in overtime before losing a football game.
Just a bad look.
Groh finally acknowledged that the Eagles’ red-zone offense was lacking Sunday in Nashville: “We're not getting the production that we would like. We want to score more touchdowns. And that's what we're out there to do — not to kick field goals.”
Say that in the first place.
A couple other takeaways from Groh’s meeting with the media.
• Groh was asked about Doug Pederson’s ridiculous play call just before halftime, where he ran Jay Ajayi from the 10-yard line on 3rd-and-3 with 11 seconds on the clock and one timeout remaining, essentially guaranteeing that the Eagles couldn’t score a touchdown before halftime (unless Ajayi scored it himself).
Groh was asked if he told Pederson that play was a mistake, but he said that’s not his job: “We're not there to second-guess calls or anything like that. We're going to go with the play that's called and execute and get ready to call the next one.”
I’m not sure I get this. Maybe there just wasn’t time, but if Groh is the offensive coordinator, wouldn’t part of his job be to second guess a call that doesn’t make sense? To tell Doug, “Hey, let’s take a shot in the end zone here.”
Apparently not. I don’t know this for a fact, but I have a feeling Frank Reich would have questioned that call.
• Groh had another odd comment when asked about Pederson’s lack of balance during regulation — he called 52 passes and 16 runs before overtime:
“We're going to play the game that we think needs to be played, and some of it is dictated during the course of the game.”
The other team is teeing off on your quarterback. The running game is functioning well. You’re moving the ball but not scoring points. I can’t imagine an instance when the game dictated more to run the ball.
Groh pointed out that the Eagles did run in overtime — they ran on five of eight plays in OT and netted 43 yards — but the whole point is that if they ran like that during regulation there never would have been an overtime.