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Steve Hoffman Experiment = Failed

September 23rd, 2006

Well, I’m saying it, the experiment has failed. I believe Hoffman was brought in here for one major reason and that was to develop a cheap, young kicker. With the Falcons signing veteran Morten Andersen this week, it means that Hoffman’s biggest contributing factor to the team has been wasted.

Sure Hoffman’s help should make Michael Koenen a better punter. Hoffman helped Koenen last spring before he joined the Falcons and it showed during the 2005 season. But developing Koenen as a punter was a distant secondary duty to finding that diamond in the rough at kicker.

I’m not out to say Hoffman is a crappy coach. But just that his reputation as a “guru” is not reflected in the results on the field. Sure, he has three Super Bowl rings, but I think most would agree those have more to do with the half dozen future Hall of Famers that were on those Cowboy teams than anything Hoffman did.

The situation with signing Morten Andersen is analogous to the team hiring Bill Musgrave to help Vick learn the West Coast offense, and then scrapping Greg Knapp two weeks into the season and deciding to install a different offense.

If Andersen comes out and is great, then most people will agree it’s because he still has some mojo left in his 46-year old body. If he sucks, then it will because he’s too old. Morten’s perceived success will not rest on the shoulders of Steve Hoffman. The team will basically ask him, “Play like you did 10 years ago” and it will be up to Morten to live up to that command, not Hoffman. Although interesting enough, Hoffman was a camp body with the Saints in 1985 when Andersen was entering his 4th year. Hoffman was a punter, so they weren’t competing, but they played together one summer. I don’t think it has any impact on their potential relationship, just that Andersen was a burgeoning veteran when Hoffman was doing his Tony Yelk thing.

Now, if Morten is cut in a few weeks, and Koenen bounces back and manages to finish the season well, then I’ll back off on HOffman. Or if the team finds another young kicker with little to no experience and he comes in and flies away with the job.

But until a young kicker comes in here and looks better than Jay Feely, then I will continue to criticize our guru, Mr. Hoffman.

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  1. Cappy
    September 23rd, 2006 at 13:06 | #1

    I don’t think it’s necessarily failed but I do think it’s going to take a little longer than they are willing to wait this season. Koenen’s preseason performance was no accident nor an illusion. He has the talent it just has to be refined. It wouldn’t shock me to see Koenen be the kicker again next season.

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