Dear Scott Linehan, (cc: firstname.lastname@example.org)
It wasn't you, it was me. I apologize for all of the blame I placed on you when things fell apart. I was wrong, ignorant and even a little bit spoiled. You see, I'm not used to seeing the Detroit Lions have a top-five offense. But I sure as hell know what it's like to have a mediocre one.
I was frustrated to see all of the predictable shotgun draws on first-and-10 that you were so prone to calling. I hated that your offenses could put up an abundance of yards on the opposing team, just to settle for a field goal or nothing at all. I would come to Gunther's rescue and defend him, but be the first to criticize you on a blown play-call. What I didn't realize is that the grass isn't always greener. It can always get worse.
When the Cowboys hired you, I laughed. Good luck Dallas, I thought. Little did I know that you would be the one getting the last laugh during the NFC Wild Card game last year. You led the No. 4 offense in the NFL during your first year as Dallas' offensive co-ordinator and I had to sit on my couch every Sunday and watch the Lions struggle just to stay in the top-20.
Joe Lombardi and this offense has done a terrible job since you left. I will not publicly berate this man because the players have failed to execute as well. There is absolutely no cohesion on offense. None at all. The Detroit Lions are two games into the regular season and it's almost as if they've regressed as an offense. That just cannot happen. Yes, they have a long season ahead of them still, but I thought they were done with shooting themselves in the foot constantly after Schwartz was gone.
Even after addressing the offensive line in the offseason, it remains the worst unit on the team. I'll give coaches the benefit of the doubt for starting Lucas over Waddle in Week 2, despite listing Waddle as inactive because we don't know if Waddle is actually ready to get out there. But Lucas is going to get Matthew Stafford killed. And the running game suffers badly with him in there too.
And seriously, what's with the playcalling, Joe? When will you learn that it makes less than no sense to put Joique Bell in the game when you want to call a run that takes the entire first quarter to develop? I like Joique Bell a lot, but he's clearly lost a step as a runner. Abdullah may be a rookie, but he's your guy. 100 percent. I don't even know what to say about the playcall when going for the two-point conversion late in the game. That was just the icing on the cake, I suppose.
Even beyond the playcalling, the offense doesn't seem to be on the same page at all. On the very first play of the game, Eric Ebron and Golden Tate get mixed up on a passing play. How does that happen? The offense then burns a timeout after some confusion nearing the end of the game. We already know about the miscues in pass protection during the season opener against the Chargers last week. How is it that the offense continues to look clueless in this system after an entire year of learning it?
Back to you, Scott. I'm sorry. I was wrong. I miss your creativity, especially with screen passes. I would kill to see that play-action, fake the reverse and dump it back to the running back play. That always seemed to work. I don't recall many screen passes working in the Lions' favor last year.
Please come back. If you do, I'll even send a letter to Coach and convince him to let you run a shotgun draw on your very first play back.