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8/4 TC observations

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patspsycho, Aug 4, 2010.

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  1. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    This time, the Space Emperor beat me to Training Camp. I thought I was early.

    Usual suspects at PR for warm up. Edelman tried to kick back his catch and shanked the ugliest kick I have ever seen in my life. It went all of 10 yards.

    Tate, I have noticed is very polished as a PR, he is always in ready stance, always gets underneath the ball. He did not have any difficulties with the one arm catch drill where each player has to hold a football in one hand and catch with the other. Edelman and Price on the other hand dropped two, apiece. One thing that really raises my hackles is seeing Welker in PR. He should not be there.. he is abused enough, what with the hard-charging attitude he brings to his game.

    Today was my first real glimpse at Welker, and I took a long hard look at him- he definitely is not limping, is not favoring his surgically repaired knee, and is launching symmetrically, which I believe is a true sign of recovery.. when you are not favoring one leg in particular. He cuts just as hard and as well as he did before- some of his cuts kick up turf. The medical journals are definitely going to have to be rewritten on this one. I have no idea what to make of it- he is just an aberration, a freak.

    Starting off with some fundamental drills.. agility stuff for the offense. Not sure what the defense was up to. They always take the far field. From what I could see, they were doing interception return protection.. setting up protection when a DB or LB has an interception. Was Pepper Johnson ever a QB before he turned linebacker? He has one serious arm and was launching bullets across the field, including one that Bodden couldn’t even reel in.

    A bunch of fundamental drills- LB punt protection, RB handoff drills, WR agility and cutting, OL doing screen drills, pulling drills where they go through how they set up the blocking.

    Then things start getting interesting.

    Offense started running plays out of formation, but my attention was on the defense. I wanted to watch Spikes and Cunningham to see where they had progressed after one week (the last time I’d seen them). I’m happy to say that they have progressed by leaps and bounds. A lot less out of position, hitting landmarks, picking up zone handoff wells and maintaining leverage in zone coverage for the most part. 2nd string, especially McKenzie, had their moments of difficulty today- McKenzie kept getting “lost in space” (not knowing who to pick up). He blew at least two assignments, one of which was a CB handoff underneath of a WR running a post.

    With Guyton out, Spikes was in tandem with Mayo and they were switching back and forth between Mike and Will, which surprised me- that is a degree of difficulty I didn’t think Spikes would handle at this point but he is. It is very hard not to get excited about Spikes, after all the proper thing is to temper one’s expectation until we see what happens in a real NFL game. But this kid was born to play football. He is a pure football player who is one full step ahead of everyone at the snap. If I were a DB, I would be keying my reads off him because he just seems to know if the play is a run or pass, and where the ball is going, all before it happens. My personal opinion on his 40 time is that it is truly idiotic that his draft value was affected by this. He is an ILB working in close space, and the last thing you need is the ability to run 40 yards within a certain amount of time. My thoughts are that in a few years, Spikes has the potential to be one of the biggest steal in the draft we have made in quite a while.

    But sometimes there are moments where you realize he is a rookie. In situational football, near the end of practice, there was somewhat of a “Welcome to the NFL” play, where he had a big jump on a strong side run play and keyed in on it to the point of going tunnel-vision before he got “stopped” by Vollmer who broke through the DL and improvised a run block (Vollmer was LT). If that play had been in full-contact pads, or in a game, Spikes would have had his clock completely cleaned. I am sure he did not imagine that such a big man could move that fast. Hopefully he will remember that and understand that such things do happen in the NFL.

    Had a funny incident that people may have read about elsewhere. Kraft nearly got nailed by a long bomb. He got too near the blue bucket drill where Brady and Hoyer were working on their accuracy. On the last rep, Caserio decided he want a piece of the action and tossed a bomb at the same time Kraft was walking by. Kraft literally had to hit the turf to get out of the way. He got up and engaged in a friendly and comic pointing “I’ll get you for this.” The interesting thing was that Brady got into the pointing and pointed back at him. There was a lot of good-natured shouting and nodding. Read into it what you will..

    Special Teams work looks to be much sharper this year- there is definitely a sense of mission. Definitely an area of focus- I am willing to go out on a branch and say that we should see a vast improvement in that area this coming season.

    Situational football:

    Working in actual down situation, Brady moved his troops down the field.. Gronk was in the mix this time in a 212 (Ace) and took in an easy TD on a 2nd and 8.

    First and 10 in red zone, there was a nice touch as Brady did not like what he saw on the D and audibled Hernandez out to a strong side flex (originally motioned to weakside slot)- do not remember what happened with this play as I was following Hernandez to see how he would handle a change of assignment at the very last minute and he seemed to have carried it out without trouble.

    3rd and 3 Maroney dropped an easy TD pass.

    Then the defense went to nickel (McGowan), and things got difficult for Brady and Co. first he missed a drifting Hernandez, then there was a disconnect between him and Tate- it looks like he threw for a out or a short 7 route whereas Tate ran a 9. Then on the next toss, Chung intercepted a pass intended for Hernandez.

    Then the offense went to a 311 (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB) with Gronk.. Still in nickel. To the untrained eye, it looked like the offense was getting the upper hand with Brady tossing bombs and a few great passes to the delight of the crowd (including a bomb to Moss who beat double coverage), but on 3 of the situational downs he was involved with, he would have been battered into the turf if it had been full-contact (Cunningham, then Ninkovich). A little troublesome- without the extra TE, Brady was a little exposed.

    I am continually impressed with Ninkovitch.. he refuses to allow anyone to stop him from setting the edge- granted he plays mostly against the 2nd string, but from Myers (TE) to Welch (OL) nobody could handle him.

    Naturally BB did not like what he saw and the offense had to take a goalpost to goalpost lap and then do sprints at the end. It was amusing to see BB’s boys run the sprint with them.

    And this is for patjew:

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  2. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    I was so psyched to see your post and opened it immediately. Enjoyed reading it, as always, and then had the thrill of seeing a brand new pic of my-man-the-mother****ing-man. Also cool to see that WW and I are employing the same method to fool no one that we're losing our hair. Awesome!

    Can you explain the terminology of "Gronk was in the mix this time in a 212 (Ace)"?
  3. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    Thanks. good stuff.
  4. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady On the Roster

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    Up thats it the contract talks have broken down:D

    Awsome post as usual and much needed for a junkie like me
  5. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    Thought you would enjoy it.

    In this play, it was 2 WR, 1 RB, 2 TE, or what they sometimes call an Ace package. Gronk was on the LOS (line of scrimmage) and ran an in route, if I remember correctly.
  6. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Odds that someone uses this to make the case that he's pissed about his contract?
  7. jsull87

    jsull87 Rookie

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    Love hearing about Spikes doing well. Have big hopes for this draft class contributing because i think most of the picks were in areas where they will be given the chance to contribute strait away.

    Interesting that hernandez and tate had sort of off days with their route running and being on the same page as brady. I guess you can't have a good day every day of practice.

    Only thing i am concerned about is how our OL is holding up. Just worries about how this area will effect both our run game and also protecting brady
  8. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Got it, thanks.
  9. jefmblrd

    jefmblrd Rookie

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    Excellent post. I was there as well and would agree with you on Ninkovich. I've been saying since last season that this guy is a player. I agree that he sets the edge well, but he always seems to be around the ball as well. I hope he gets a chance, like Vrabel and others have gotten, to show what he can do.

    Also agree about Spikes-the guy is going to be a player and McKenzie is going to be there as well.

    I would add that Buddy Farnham looks pretty smooth out there-two nice catches today and even had his own cheering section today-must be his Brown connection.
  10. jsull87

    jsull87 Rookie

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    I have heard that buddy has been struggling a little, this is a pretty stacked WR corp atm, lets hope it translates to game time. I am really hoping cunnungham and ninkovich between them can hold down the spot opposite TBC
  11. KevinFaulk-33

    KevinFaulk-33 Rookie

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    What about Cunningham? Do you have any interesting observation about him?
  12. FredFromDartmouth

    FredFromDartmouth Rookie

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    I sure hope that Gronk is used for other situations besides just goal line; he is capable of deeper stuff but is the coaching staff capable of mixing it up? I have this bad feeling that this will become a predictable for the Patriots; always pass to Gronk on goal line situations....I miss Skippy...of course if it works everytime I could be swayed but some headhunter will be after Gronk's back.
  13. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Rookie

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    I am so appreciative of these posts. For people who don't live in NE, this is the best thing in the world and I look forward to reading each day.

    Side note: There seems to be a recurring theme of the offense having to run laps. I can't remember the last time I read any of these and the defense having to run was mentioned. Maybe I'm wrong, though.
  14. eagle eye

    eagle eye Rookie

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    Another great report Patspsycho, very enjoyable and informative read.
  15. Krugman

    Krugman Rookie

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    Very,very nice,PP,keep 'em comin'!
  16. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    That was my thought too. I feel like Cunningham has been showing some ability to keep up in coverage, so if he can muster up a little pass rush too, he's a great option opposite TBC on passing downs. So if Ninko can make himself a solid (not all-pro, just solid) presence on running downs, with our improved strength up the middle and at RE (potentially), our run D should be a much better this year.
  17. signbabybrady

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    The D ran at least one team lap while I was at practice over the weekend.
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