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The Pats Offense - A Need For Speed?
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mcmurtry86


Joined: 02 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomRalph wrote:
I'm not saying it doesn't work (it's proven it does) but teams like NO (in 2009) Green Bay (in 2010) whom blitzed and played man to man and tried to 'win' every defensive snap attempted (and had success) to defend by giving up '0 yards' as opposed to the Pats, who play 'not to lose' on every defensive snap.[/color]


Well, New Orleans' D in 2009 was really bad (20th in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed) and Gregg Williams' aggressiveness almost cost them their Super Bowl chances. So I'm not sure they're a great example , though Green Bay in 2010 is a pretty good one. The Saints' aggressiveness did result in a nice game ending (effectively) pick 6, but we've seen the Pats game plan do the same. In fact, the Pats scheme often results in more takeaways than aggressive schemes.

For comparison:

2009 Saints - 35 sacks, 39 takeaways, 5.5 yards per play allowed, 21.3 points per game allowed

2012 Patriots - 37 sacks, 41 takeaways, 5.7 yards per play allowed, 20.7 points per game

If you have dominant personnel, elite CB's and high-quality/disruptive front 7 talent, your idea makes sense. The problem is, and IMO the reason Belichick utilizes the scheme he does is, that finding the talent to run that high-pressure scheme - and not getting burnt all the time - is very difficult. The only team that's really been successful with it consistently is Pittsburgh.

Blitz heavy schemes do work (sometimes extremely well, as LeBeau's scheme in Pittsburgh has shown), but the downside is huge and I haven't seen much evidence that they work better than a Belichick style scheme (i.e. bend but don't break) and the downside to a safer less-aggressive scheme is much higher (less bad) than the downside to an aggressive scheme.

The other issue here is that blitz heavy schemes tend not to be too versatile. We've seen guys like LeBeau and Williams get exposed at times because they can't adapt their scheme if their opponent finds a matchup to exploit. Belichick's scheme tends to me bore adaptable to different types of offenses and can change their style on a weekly basis much more easily.

You're right insofar as both schemes can work. I just feel that people like the blitz for the seam reasons they like the long pass - because it looks great when it works. Very few defensive coordinators can stay successful with a blitz-heavy attack because the talent level you need to pull it off is extreme and usually means you're diverting significant resources from offense (picks, cap space) to defense.
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24isthelaw


Joined: 15 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcmurtry86 wrote:
dhunt2402 wrote:
The same argument you use for the defense (tried and tested, 5 SB appearances, 3 wins) is almost equally true for the offense (we'll throw out 07 because of the presence of Moss). Every other year they reached/won the Super Bowl, they never had a game-breaking burner wide receiver. Bottom line, I think a healthy Gronkowski does a lot more for this offense than a 4.3 burner. Signing or drafting a guy like that certainly wouldn't hurt, especially if they let Welker go, but its far from the main culprit behind why our offense has bogged down in clutch situations recently (injuries, [inappropriate/removed] playcalling, Brady not playing to his capabilities).


The 2004 offense was in many ways more dynamic (that's not to say better statistically, obviously it wasn't) than the 2012 offense. They could grind out yards with Dillon, work the deeper outside parts with Givens and Branch had great quickness and could get behind defenders.

I think the issue here really is more of diversity thing than a pure "need for speed". They have to have other ways to win the game on offense other than to just pound the intermediate and short passes and hope for perfect execution and lots of YAC.


IMO there are four ways this offense can be diversified.

1. Add a burner on the outside

2. Add a physical presence outside that can get off man coverage

3. Improve the running attack, taking pressure of the short passing game and passing game in general

4. Improve the defense, which takes pressure off the offense to score fast and keeps the playbook open

The 2004 team had Branch for #1, Givens for #2, Dillon for #3, and the whole crew for #4.
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TKOhitter8737


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 277
Location: northeast
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[
IMO there are four ways this offense can be diversified.

1. Add a burner on the outside

2. Add a physical presence outside that can get off man coverage

3. Improve the running attack, taking pressure of the short passing game and passing game in general

4. Improve the defense, which takes pressure off the offense to score fast and keeps the playbook open

The 2004 team had Branch for #1, Givens for #2, Dillon for #3, and the whole crew for #4.[/quote]

Good points 2 and 3 are really the most importaint. Though i will say they dont need to improve the running game just stick with it.They had third and two or shorter atleast 11 times and 9 of 11 they line up in the shotgun with woodhead in. I know its a passing league but 3rd and 2 to me is a run down.
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The Third Rider


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still believe that what we need to do is add more talent on the defensive side of the team. We hardly had amazing weapons when won our 3 Super Bowls but we had good defensive units (may be not in 2001). I don't doubt BB's ability to coach the defense, just the talent he has to work with.
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mission27


Joined: 17 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: The Pats Offense - A Need For Speed? Reply with quote

mcmurtry86 wrote:
Well, I find it a bit strange that Belichick the defensive guru has designed an offense (or signed off on McDaniels/O'Brien's design) and built a roster which operates in the manner in which they try to force their opponents: Run long, multiple-play drives with few home-runs, keep everything in front of the opponent's back end and hope you can out-execute your opponent.


I think this is a really interesting point but there's an obvious counter point. If every team had Tom Brady and Wes Welker and two Pro-Bowl tight ends, Belichick would not be running a bend-but-don't-break defense. Even if we saw other teams trying to emulate our schemes with lesser personel it would be silly to run that kind of defense. You don't want to give teams what they're good at. Look at what Baltimore did in the no huddle out of the shotgun. They completely destroyed us.

The fact is, most teams don't play like the Patriots. They have more balanced offensive attacks. And so the Patriots are scheming their defense around how other teams play offense and their offense around how other teams play defense. We want an offense that can beat a defense that's designed to beat other offenses, if that makes sense. Most defenses can't handle the quantity of talented weapons over the middle. They don't have the personel and they aren't designed for it. So on some level, the scheme makes sense, I think.

There's a lot of truth here though in that it's pretty simple to stop the Patriots by counting on them not going deep and not hitting receives at the sidelines - if you have the schemes and players. You can really, really focus your efforts on the short stuff and on pressuring Brady. So this offense will completely destroy most teams who just can't figure that out and/or don't have the personel to defend us. But against some teams on some days we are screwed. Baltimore for instance. Back in 2007, because we had Randy and Stalworth, you couldn't do that. If those guys were covered we hit Welker. If Welker was covered we hit Moss, et al. You can't possibly cover that diverse a set of targets. Your only chance is to put a crazy amount of pressure on Brady, which is a huge gamble and which would work even less against this incredibly talented offensive line. It paid off for the Giants. We won the other 18 games. It's hard to cover what we have now, but it's possible.

So really, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with running an 80-play offense if you have the kind of schemes and personel we do, especially when the rest of the league is scheming to beat more conventional offenses (including us, we'd have a hell of a time defending ourselves Laughing). Tom Brady can pick people apart with time. You just need to have some big play potential to stop the defense from covering everyone short and effectively not worrying about your wide receivers. I really think it's a decoy issue. Our offense is not balanced and so teams can stop Tom Brady and Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, which is incredible. It's not that difficult of a fix but the options we've brought in to fix it lately have been pretty bad.

(I'm not saying the defense doesn't need to improve but it's already improving and I'm sure we're going to keep adding talent there. The offense is the much simpler fix, I think. There's really not much missing on that side of the ball.)
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ChazStandard


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would re-phrase "speed" as "playmaker". We have a good offense as long as Brady is playing well right now. When TB is in rhythm he hits Welker/Hernandez and Lloyd in the hands and they (sometimes) catch it. We don't have a throw it up WR. Someone to make up for errant throws. Lloyd can partially, but he's just not fast/big enough - he's never going to out-fight anyone.

Since Moss left, and before he arrived, we got used to working with a dearth of talent at WR. Someone that can out-run/catch/jump would be a benefit. Most teams have one, or at least the potential for one, but we don't. Even the other teams with elite QBs don't rely on precision throws as much as our offense does.

Basically, as has been said, right now we need a big drive to score. Would be good to just need a big play. And have someone to take the pressure of Brady.
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