Johnson leaves the dice alone
When a golfer goes a few tournaments without breaking par, he admits his game isn't up to scratch and that changes might need to be made, either that or he risks disappearing without trace. The biggest gamble a failing golfer can take is not to take a gamble.
In sharp contrast, Martin Johnson puts me in mind of Tim from The Office, a man paralysed by caution: "If you look at life like rolling a dice, my situation as it stands may only be a 3. If I go for something bigger and better, I could easily roll a 6. I could also roll a 1. So I think, just leave the dice alone."
And so it was that the England manager, happy with his 3 in defeat against Ireland at Twickenham, decided to make just one un-enforced change for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland: Joe Worsley in for Lewis Moody in the back-row, hardly major surgery.
Northampton full-back Ben Foden had been tipped to replace the out-of-sorts Delon Armitage at full-back
Perhaps Johnson feels now is not the time to throw cubs like Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs and Northampton full-back Ben Foden into the lion's den. But if he thinks Scotland will be beastly at Murrayfield, then what about France in Paris next week? What about the Wallabies in Australia this summer? And what about South Africa, New Zealand and the Wallabies again in the autumn?
It is quite conceivable, indeed it is quite likely, that England will go into a World Cup year having lost six of their last eight games, and that's assuming they beat Scotland and Samoa.
Johnson came out with a startling admission following his side's defeat to Ireland. When it was suggested that, oh well, England could still win the Six Nations, he replied: "I'm not worried about the Championship". So if he's not worried about the Championship, why is he not preparing for the future?
Murrayfield was the graveyard for Johnson's predecessors Brian Ashton in 2008 and Scotland's current coach Andy Robinson in 2006, and while defeat for England on Saturday would not lead to Johnson's immediate demise, it would leave his credibility hanging by a thread.
Attack coach Brian Smith says he wants his backs to be "more clinical" against the Scots, so why not pick Foden ahead of Delon Armitage, who has looked a ghost of his former self these past few weeks? Why not throw Youngs into the mix instead of Danny Care, whose crab-like scuttling makes Jonny Wilkinson's task at fly-half that bit harder? And what about free-scoring Northampton wing Chris Ashton instead of Ugo Monye, who so often resembles a racehorse encumbered by blinkers when in full flight?
Up front, England have been struggling to secure quick ball at the breakdown and force the all-important turnovers, so the decision to dispense with Moody, one of the best scavengers in the game, appears a curious one, especially when Scotland have one of the most dynamic back-row units in the tournament.
And while Courtney Lawes has often been employed as a flanker of late by his club side Northampton, surely he would have represented a more forward-thinking pick than the Borthwickian Louis Deacon?
Johnson has shown admirable loyalty in sticking rather than twisting, but it is increasingly obvious some of his players don't possess the talent to repay him. Still, while Scotland legend Jim Telfer reckons Robinson's side are "a better team than England", with "more mature rugby ideas", four tries in their last six Tests says otherwise.
England could quite easily win the game courtesy of a few penalty kicks from Wilkinson, and Johnson, once again, will declare himself happy with having rolled a 3.
But there are those England fans - don't desert me now, I've read your views on our messageboards - who would prefer their side to lose at Murrayfield having chanced something bigger and better, having provided hope for the future, having at least tried to conjure that elusive 6.