On the one hand we should be delighted in Mayo with 14 scores from play against a massed defense that was very disciplined.
However .... no goal chances, no real drive & energy when the game was there in the melting pot ... didn't even see Colm Boyles tigerish traits. I think it was that deep down the players didn't think they would need to push themselves to the absolute limit to win this and then couldn't switch it on when needed. Its as if it didn't register with the players that Cavan were going to be playing for their lives.
A few things stood out to me though from a Mayo perspective.
Cillian ... am i allowed to actually even think this but when Mayo play against a massed disciplined defense, is he actually worth his place give his lack of pace? Add to this that his free-taking has gone off the boil (temporarily) and he actually looked like a passenger today.
The lack of the half back-line bursting through in support ... off the shoulder running. This has been a key and essential part of our game for 5 or 6 years. I didn't see it today even once from Boyler, not once from Vaughan while Leeroy only seemed to switch into this mode in last quarter. It was desperately needed today to burst through the massed defense.
Keith Higgins ..... definitely not a full back but the manner in which he has been standing off his opponent in the last few games is inexplicable. He has always stood a metre or 2 off his opponent but so far this season it was more like 3 or 4 metres. Is he still in pre-season mode or is it the start of a decline? (feels as blasphemous a thought as my comments on Cillian)
Danny Kirby .... a dream performance or ?? Scored 4 brilliant pts from play ... every one of them a peach of a score. However, does he really have the engine and athleticism to make a difference in the engine room during the summer. It felt in the second half when Cavan turned us over when we attacked that neither himself or Parsons were in a position to in any way stop or affect the Cavan counter attack. For sure he deserves to start the next day but himself and Parsons need to figure out and understand that we don't need the 2 of them in constant attack mode. Today was a day - in the second half in particular - that demanded that one of them was sort of sweeping in front of the number 6 position
Strength and conditioning .... while we have no reason (obviously) to question this given our summer performances, the one thing that stands out for me is the lack of pace in at least half a dozen players .... a lack of pace to the point where i would call some players slow ... Cillian, Donnie, Kirby, etc. And there are plenty of others that, while not slow, could do with an extra half yard. Now i'm no expert and i know its not as simple as lean forward slightly, front of foot only touching ground, high knees, don't put your arms across your body .... and simple stuff like that. But, surely the science behind the strength and conditioning is able to identify the muscle sets (for a specific player) that need to improve to increase that players explosiveness. I know there is only so much that can be done but it does seem like we have more than our fair share of medium paced players.
Anyway, i fully expect a high energy, blood and guts performance v Tyrone (we've only played a single half of football like that so far in the league ... 2nd half v Kerry). Tyrone of course will be wounded after Donegal game and will feel they have unfinished business after championship last year. So, should be a cracker if nothing else.... tough one to call