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In today’s Cover 3:
George Kittle’s biggest play this year
Bill Belichick: Unemployed
Lamar Jackson’s performance despite his MVP-Calber season
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Kittle's Best Play: The Power of Visualization
In the recent NFC title game, amidst the highs and lows, I spotted something that might have slipped by many in real-time.' It later gained traction on social media, but I felt compelled to shed light on it for those who may have missed it.
George Kittle, the formidable tight end of the San Francisco 49ers, uttered something truly remarkable at halftime when his team was trailing the Detroit Lions by a significant margin—14, perhaps 17 points.’
He said, "I can't wait until after the game when I can say that they had us right where they wanted us, and yet we came out on top."
Take a moment to absorb that statement. George Kittle wasn't merely expressing hope or determination; he was visualizing a triumphant comeback.
His conviction that they would turn the game around and his intention to use the phrase "they had us right where they wanted us" after the victory were nothing short of powerful.
The impact of this visualization cannot be overstated. It likely played a pivotal role in shaping the events of the second half. While quarterbacks are often seen as the leaders who rally their teams, occasionally, a dynamic player like George Kittle steps forward to inspire with more than just his on-field abilities.
Leading On All Fronts
George Kittle can run, catch, block, and do it all on the football field. Yet, the best play of his career might not involve any physical prowess but rather his halftime words. His message to Brock Purdy, and possibly other players, carried a profound weight. It instilled confidence, set a vision, and pushed the team in a new direction.
Being The Team Guy
While we rightly applaud Brock Purdy for his exceptional performance, there's a strong case to be made that those crucial moments of Kittle's leadership at halftime were the finest of his career.
They transcended individual plays and highlighted the immense impact that belief, visualization, and confidence can have on a team's success.
When the Super Bowl concludes, fans may remember not only George Kittle's incredible plays but also the invaluable visualization and unwavering confidence he instilled in a young starting quarterback, ultimately propelling them to victory.
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Unwanted: Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick, unemployed. Have we ever witnessed the consensus greatest coach of all time interview for other jobs and then not get them? It's a scenario that's hard to fathom.
Imagine if Nick Saban decided to give it another shot and interviewed for some college football positions. Most would assume he could take his pick.
Or what if Phil Jackson, past his prime but still a legendary figure, sought an NBA coaching role after his Lakers days? Would any NBA team let Gregg Popovich walk out of an interview without an offer?
It's intriguing to ponder.
A Different Story
Bill Belichick undoubtedly stands among the greatest coaches in NFL history. He boasts six championships, an illustrious defensive mind, and a resume that speaks volumes about his excellence. However, in recent years, particularly without Tom Brady, things have taken a different turn.
For the first time in a long while, we've seen Bill Belichick's Patriots not making waves in the playoffs. In fact, their sole postseason appearance ended in a painful 47-17 defeat to the Buffalo Bills, a far cry from their previous dominance.
It's possible that the post-Tom Brady era, combined with potential disconnects between Belichick and the younger players in the locker room, has led to a situation that few could have foreseen: Bill Belichick, not by choice, finding himself in a state of uncertainty.
The Next Chapter
As the current coaching cycle winds down and the remaining job openings get filled, Bill Belichick's options may seem limited. He could pursue a career as an analyst, grace our TV screens, or take a well-deserved year off to go fishing. However, the reality may be simpler: perhaps the right job offer didn't materialize.
In a world where Bill Belichick's resume speaks for itself, it's a reminder that even the most legendary figures can face unexpected turns in their careers. Whether it's a temporary break or an unforeseen opportunity, the football world awaits the next chapter in the storied career of Bill Belichick.
Lamar Jackson: Staying True To Your Game
In the wake of the AFC Championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs, there's been a lot of discussion about Lamar Jackson's performance.
Lamar, who is likely to be named the NFL MVP, had a tough outing in that critical game. As I dissected every snap and reviewed the film, I wanted to share my major takeaways from Lamar Jackson's performance.
A Heck Of A Year
First and foremost, let's acknowledge that Lamar Jackson's regular-season performance was nothing short of spectacular and a big reason he's in the MVP conversation. The postseason certainly factors into MVP voting, but it's vital to remember his incredible achievements throughout the year.
The AFC Championship
Now, let's dive into the AFC Championship game. The Baltimore Ravens suffered an epic second-half meltdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.
It's natural to assign blame across various aspects of the game, from Todd Monken, the offensive coordinator, to Zay Flowers with his fumble and taunting penalty. But what's crucial here is the lesson we can learn from moments like these in playoff football.
In the playoffs, you can't change who you are as a player or as a team. You can't deviate from the strategies and execution that have brought you success. It's a lesson that became evident during this game.
Baltimore's offense, for instance, ran the ball significantly less in the second half compared to their regular-season average. Lamar Jackson attempted several deep throws, slightly overthrowing his targets – a departure from his usual style.
Even at the individual skill position level, they moved away from their strengths, neglecting the short and intermediate passing game that had been so effective, especially with Odell Beckham Jr. and Bateman. This shift in approach did not yield the desired results.
A Look At Patrick Mahomes
Now, let's take a moment to look at Patrick Mahomes, his playoff success, and his remarkable career. Mahomes, at just 28 years old, has not played perfect football in every playoff game.
What he has consistently done is stick to his game, adapt to what the defense offers, and perform in crucial moments. Mahomes knows how to find the open receiver when it matters most.
So, if there's one lesson Lamar Jackson can take from this playoff experience, it's this: When the stakes are at their highest, stay true to who you've been all along. Embrace what has made you successful and don't deviate from your identity.
In the grand scheme of things, this AFC Championship loss is just one chapter in Lamar Jackson's remarkable career. There will be more opportunities ahead, and the lessons learned from this game will only make him and the Ravens stronger as they continue to chase their championship dreams.
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