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3 Fitna IS short just as you describe. Remember the problems a previous short NT had here, hiting QBs in the chin with his helmut? 15 yds, 1st down.
Who was that?
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Dan Klecko. As a Pat he got 15 yd personal foul penalties as he broke thru the middle, sacked the QB but he was so short that his helmut hit the QB in the chin (face) which is a penalty. Saw it happen live twice.
Great stuff. Nice to hear strong opinions backed up by live observation. By someone who can distinguish what's happening on the field. When I go to camp (next week, I hope) I'll be lucky to distinguish the hot dog vendor. Thanks, DookFish. Respectfully read, The PatsFan37.
Anybody struggling with the lack of paragraphs can do what I do to make it more readable: highlight the lines as you read them so they stand out from the ones above and below.
"These Patriots will forever go down as a team that belonged to Belichick and Tom Brady, though the club’s identity was formed just as much around people like Tedy Bruschi and Troy Brown. Those are the men who defined the Pats as much as anyone..." - Tony Mazz, 8/31/09
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The Art of Separation:Apologies for my extended absence. In my prior posts, I focused on the defense by position with observations from last Sunday's practice. I offer my condolences in advance to the apologists for Messrs. Jackson and Maroney. My starting hypothesis, oft stated by BB and frequently ignored by posters on this board, is that BB looks for two elements in his pass catchers--(A) the ability to "get open," and (B) the ability to catch. The focus of this post is on element A. It is notable in BB's prescription that there is no mention of height, body type, speed or musculature. The practice I observed included two segments bearing directly on this issue. The first was a one on one drill featuring linebackers (plus the proposed SS transferee-Tank Williams) head to head against TEs and RBs. The pass catchers in this drill were not assigned a specific route. Rather, they were instructed to "get open" in any way they saw fit. The second segment consisted of repeated full field 2 minute drives by the 1s and 2s against the D's 1s and 2s. In the first drill, the pass catcher whose ability to "get open" most impressed me was LaMont Jordan. His steps were precise; his cuts were sharp; and he did not hesitate or reset his feet to make the catch. Conversely, Lawrence Maloney rounded his cuts; displayed no ability to juke; and no ability to use the defender's momentum against him. He is overly muscled and lacks the grace and balance to adjust to the ball without stopping or slowing his forward progress. In simple terms, Lamont has the knack necessary to gain separation. Maroney quite simply does not. Maroney is faster, stronger (I think), and has the more Adonis-like physique. Lamont has the agility, the cutting skill, the instinctual feel for setting up the D back and the ability to adjust to the ball without loss of momentum, that Maroney simply lacks. In short, I believe BB's persistance on picking up a running back, including his flirtation with Kevin Jones and the eventual signing of Lamont, arose from BB's continuing dissatisfaction with Maroney as a pass catcher. My purpose here is not to bash Mr. Maroney. He will receive the bulk of the load in the running game. He will catch 20 passes on the season of the swing and screen variety. My speculation, however, is that you will see a double dose of catches by pass catching running backs as the defensive backs double up on Moss and Welker. You may also see a two back set with Jordan and Faulk split behind Brady. In short, no linebacker can cover Faulk or Jordan for long. BB will exploit those mismatches as defenses scheme to defend last year's offense. My comments on the TEs from this drill follow. Neither Stupar nor Spach have the athleticsm or agility to separate. Conversely, Marcus Pollard is a talent in the short and mid-ranges. He set up his defender in each rep using the misstep or momentum of the defender to create separation. He is not fast and cannot split a zone but in man coverage displayed a remakable talent to free up. Watson for all his drops separated fom the linebackers easily with a variety of secondary moves and quickness. This drill tested the RBs and TEs on BB's first criteria. Can you get open? Among the RBs, Jordan stood out in one direction, Maroney in the other. On the TEs,Watson and Pollard stood out, Thomas was absent, Spach and Stupar were not competitive in this drill. The second drill of note was the two minute offense. I did not watch the QBs. I did not watch the OL. I did not watch the ball! I watched the WRs for forty minutes. The verdict was clear. Gaffney separates easily with sharp cuts, timing, and a talent at making another move if the initial play breaks down. Chad Jackson could not separate from the defensive backs on the outside or deep. He appeared most comfortable dragging or slanting across the middle on short routes. Is he fast? Yes. Can he catch? Yes. He made the best catch of the night on a badly thown ball behind him and low, that required extraordinary athleticism. Can he separate? No. Can he get open? The answer is decidedly No. The notion that Brady lacks comfort with Chad Jackson is a Red Herring. He doesn't throw to him because he is not open. Brady throws to the open man. He will fail in the NFL not because he is immature, oft-injured or can't understand the playbook. He will fail because for all his speed and musclature, he cannot gain separation on a consistant basis. Moss opens up easily on deep routes, slants, and on the sideline. His most remarkable talent is his God-given, age independant sense of where the deep ball will settle to earth. He locates those coordinates immediately and well before any D back, uses his stride to beat the defender to the spot and then uses his frame and hands legally to prevent the D back from reversing his initial advantage. In short, I believe Randy's success demonstrated repeatedly on this evening is his guidance system. Think of Wes Unseld or Paul Silas. The great offensive rebounders in NBA history are those that could first identify the probable location of the carom. Unseld and Silas were undersized with minimal vertical lift. They simply knew a split second before the more athletic players in the NBA where the roundball would end up. Randy has the same God-given guidance system. He ran four routes into the end zone on this evening. Two were easy touchdowns where he adjusted to the ball a full second before Wheatley and and then simply used his height and reach to prevent the rookie from catching up. Wheatley broke up two other end zone shots-one with his hands and one with a hit. In the latter two instances, his guidance system gave him the edge but Wheatley reversed the advantage, with a break-up in one instance and a pop in the other when Randy did not fully extend or box out for the rebound.
Respectfully submitted, The DookFish
P.S. The DookFish and the BeanFish return to camp tomorrow. The MookFish and the ZookFish are out of town and are unable to attend.
Is this not a great way to neutralize an all out pass rush??
"You may also see a two back set with Jordan and Faulk split behind Brady. In short, no linebacker can cover Faulk or Jordan for long. BB will exploit those mismatches as defenses scheme to defend last year's offense. My comments on the TEs from this drill follow. Neither Stupar nor Spach have the athleticsm or agility to separate. "
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