Note that this is not to say Mike Smith is necessarily a "soft" coach, but are his methods softer than they should be. You can be hard and still be soft. (......wait, that doesn't sound right.)
In any case, I read this article by Jackie MacMullan over at ESPN, and it really got me thinking: Is our coach not holding players accountable enough? I recommend you take a look at the ESPN article. It provides insight as to how Bill Belichick coaches and, personally, I consider him the best head coach in the business right now. He gets the most out of his players, especially players like Julian Edelman, a former QB who now plays both sides of the ball. That's freakin' ridiculous!
But the thing that interested me was how he held his players responsible. He humiliates them, and you know what? I think that's a fantastic tactic. Roddy had drop after drop after drop this year, and it certainly would explain why it didn't get any better, if Smitty wasn't holding him accountable enough. He's a fantastic coach, but he might be suffering a bit from a "Let them do their thing" syndrome. We didn't really see our quality of play increase once it started decreasing, leading to an abysmal offensive effort in the playoffs.
Not all players had an issue with their quality of play, but in some cases, the lower quality of play didn't really improve, either.
What are your thoughts on the matter? I don't think we have any bad players/coaches or what have you, but I think some bad habits may have formed over the course of the season that either weren't fixed or weren't noticed or something.