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A philosophical change in WR evaluation?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by tonyto3690, Mar 29, 2013.

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  1. tonyto3690

    tonyto3690 Banned

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    Donald Jones and Mike Jenkins are not likely to light the world on fire. However they are drastically different in what we normally look for guys in the Branch/Edelman mold.

    I think the reason is that the coaching staff has seen in 2010 and 2012 how our receivers did when they got battered at the LOS. The Jets killed us with that in the playoff debacle, the Ravens in the playoffs this past season, and even Niners in the regular season. We became too timing intensive and it gave us a glaring weakness.

    On top of that, redzone production has been way too dependent on Gronkowski dominating. Welker was any sort of reliable target and the only way he ever had any production in the redzone was gimmicks and picks.

    These guys are not only both good blockers, they are capable of catching a fade, winning a contested slant route, or just catch a ball high up over the middle.
     
  2. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday In the Starting Line-Up

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    Or they're camp fodder.

    The greatest strength of this offense lies between Tom Brady's ears. So long as he is QB, the #1 priority is for his WRs to follow his directions and see what he sees at the LoS.
     
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    You certainly could have a point. I can't say I'm quite as high on some of their skillsets as you seem to be, but I'm glad to see that you're feeling optimistic about something. I was beginning to wonder if you just had a negative view 24/7?

    I personally am not as worried about who is going to be the WR2/WR3 etc, as I am about improving the overall depth of the position.

    Even though I cannot say too many negative things about Llyod last year, I really did feel as though we were limited when Gronk went down. It seemed as though Llyod was weak in some of his traits, and those traits became even more exploited when he became more of the focus. Luckily we were able to find some help from the defense and things turned out pretty well until the AFCCG, but I definitely think that there are many other WR's who can come in and catch 50-60 balls here. Hell, Branch did it in 2011. That would at least put us in a comparitive position for Llyod's production, with the key being the specific timing of the plays and the potential improvement on his weaker traits and limitations.

    In the meantime we may lose the back shoulder throw a bit, and some of Llyod's other abilities of circus catches etc. If the overall depth improves though, we could be in just as good of shape if not even better, come playoff time, due to some of the reasons that you provide.
     
  4. Brady2Moss

    Brady2Moss Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Seems like the same sign a bunch of jags and see which ones stick philosophy to me.
     
  5. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Right. Pre-snap reads and the ability to be in the right place at the right time, are going to be the biggest keys to success in this offense. I think this offense is extremely cerebral, but I may be overvaluing that trait too due to some speculation.

    I honestly think that we've lost out on some good hands due to their inability to properly do these things, and their inability to be on the same page with Brady.

    As far as being camp fodder, I think that D.Jones should be able to crack the WR4 or WR5 spot (depending on where you put Slater) in a worst case scenario, but you're right--they both could be camp fodder. We've seen Belichick bring in a lot of bodies lately at this position due to some of its weaknesses, so I would expect another handful of these type of lower level signings.
     
  6. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias In the Starting Line-Up

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    The concept of how signing a couple of camp fodder JAGs who likely won't make the opening day roster as somehow being a shift in philosophy escapes me.
     
  7. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Well, it's all predicated on the fact that the OP feels they bring a different skillset in some much needed areas. In other words, it's very opinionated.

    If he's right about their skillsets in these specific areas being improved, he may have a point in a change of philosophy in that specific aspect (red zone, fades, blocking, etc) .

    I think that we'll see a "change in philosophy" on some level anyway, due to bringing in better players who can potentially do some of the things that he's claiming they can do. Whether or not these actual players are representing that or not, is anyone's guess.

    They could be part of the search for those attributes, or they could possibly be competition for depth/camp fodder too...
     
  8. vuudu

    vuudu In the Starting Line-Up

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    Don't know, but I am quite surprise that BB has not changed his philosophy on WR and CBs. His evaluations of those positions are way behind the times.
     
  9. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias In the Starting Line-Up

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    The system wasn't the issue (and still isn't). Injuries were. The real change should be having capable depth if/when the injury bug strikes at the most inopportune times like it has recently.

    Signing JAGs like Jones/Jenkins won't be about changing the way the Patriots run their offensive scheme, just like the signings of Stallworth, Gaffney, Gonzalez, etc., didn't change anything last season. The nucleus of the offensive scheme is predicated on Gronkowski and Hernandez. Everything else is secondary.

    Therefore, a systemic change in philosophy still doesn't fix the core problem. The Patriots' offense doesn't need a overhaul or a makeover. They simply needs better depth when it matters most. Their offensive philosophy is good enough to win a championship as is.
     
  10. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    LIke I said, I really have no opinion in this matter. I can reasonably see where the OP is going if indeed, they have a better skillset. That is obviously very debatable. To be honest, I'm just happy to see him saying something positive.

    I don't believe anyone is saying that they are changing anything about scheme...just bringing in players who provide a better skillset at certain things that he went over such as blocking, fades, etc--which could lead to red zone improvement as better targets. I'd have to agree that our red zone game took a hit once Gronk went down due to lack of size and seperation etc.

    I agree with you 100% about depth. To me, that is the most important aspect for improvement. To be honest though, I really don't know if D.Jones is a better blocker or not, I haven't seen enough of him. I can realistically see Jenkins being a better red zone target and even a bigger blocker (not necessarily meaning "better") although I really haven't followed him that closely since he was at Ohio State, which was a long time ago. If he sees Jenkins as our WR5 (depending...Slater...blah, blah) then I could respect the thought that someone 6'4" would be an improvement in the red zone, which may lead one to believe that they are looking for different skills, or a "change in philosophy" so to speak.

    As I said in my reponse, I don't necessarily share his enthusiasm. I do however respect his thoughts, understanding of course that they are extremely opinionated--like many ideas here. We'll have to wait and see if he was on to anything or not.
     
  11. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think that Belichick looks for the kinds of measurables that we all want, just like anyone else; however I also think he looks at other things like intelligence etc due to needing the ability to thrive in our system.

    Of course it could be argued that someone like Dez Bryant would still be useful on some level, and they'd probably be correct, but as a whole they would also cause us problems too due to running the wrong routes and not being able to see the same things that Brady sees pre-snap etc.

    I think we may see him shift a tiny little bit in terms of taking more chances here and there. We've already seen a somewhat bigger CB in both Talib and Dowling. Overall though, I'd have to think that Belichick probably chalks up his failures to sheer luck a bit too.
     
  12. TheBostonStraggler

    TheBostonStraggler In the Starting Line-Up

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    I also don't think BB is against the prototypical star WR (a Randy Moss type skillset) but it gets weighed along with their ability to fall in line with the 'Patriot way' as well as the BB 'always be stocked with the middle of the road' way. This ultimately causes the Patriots to opt away from seemingly obvious WR (and other) upgrades. It isn't entirely true as we have seen BB take some shots on players of questionable 'Patriot way' thinking......but it has truth to it. The Patriots are a contrast to a Snyder's Redskins or Jones' Cowboys. Teams that have a philosophy for winning of collecting talent is of almost singular importance.

    I am doubtful of any change in WR philosophy for 2013. So far 2013 = Dynamic duo TEs, DA in for WW (like it or not), a better but similar version of the 2012 Branch, Lloyd or a similar player at Llyod's spot, uncertainty/little behind them. Maybe I am reading the situation wrong but 2012 sure appears to be a mirror for 2013 in philosophy.
     
  13. AzorianPats

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    #12 Jersey

    I don't think Belichick against the prototype WR, I just think he's against paying any WR that prototype $$. I think from a cap wise its just not a position he feels the team should splurge big money on, esp in one player. Moss, Chad Johnson, and to a lesser extent Llyod all came here on good value deals. That's why I'd be shocked if we drafted a WR in the first rd unless one he loves falls to our lap.
     
  14. DarrylS

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    My view is simplistic, we have had difficulty winning the big ones in "the tournament" for several years now, while we put up great numbers and rack up a lot of wins in the regular season a different approach is needed to insure victories in the latter part.

    Amendola, Jones and Jenkins are different receivers than we are used to, but I do think that BB is not done....
     
  15. Hok

    Hok Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    What is a first round pick if not a great value deal? Cheap five year contract.
     
  16. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #91 Jersey

    I think the OP has some basis for his opinion. Both Jones and Jenkins ARE a biggerand more physical than what we've seen in our WR's the past. But its so early in the process, it remains to be seen if this is a trend or just coincidence. An equally good case could be made that both these signings were just for guys who are long shots to make the roster, and were brought in on no risk deals to add to the WR competetion.

    What I DO disagree with was the OP's perception (one which is widely been accepted as fact) that ths quantum shift in the Pats offensive philosophy was brought about by the offense's perceived failure in the AFCCG. People seem to forget that the offense that game managed to rack up over 420yds of offense, and spent much of the game in the Raven's red zone. The game was lost more because of the Pats failure to execute on several makeable 3rd, and shorts, the 2 TO's, and the lack of Gronk in the red zone, than the inabilty of the offense to move the ball.

    This perceived "shift in offensive philosophy is driven a lot more by 2 factors that are much more common sense driven, that by any failure in an individual game.

    1. Its just common sense for an offense to want to be more balanced in ball distribution. When over 30% of your passes are going to one person, you make yourself too predictable and easier to defend

    2. Anything that works as well as the Pats offense has in recent years, will be caught up with by the league's defenses. BB understands better than most, that you either keep evolving or you die. For that reason good defenses HAVE had a better handle on how to play the Pats, and he sees the need to adjust to what teams have started to do.

    That means getting bigger receivers who don;'t necessarily need to get great separation in order to catch the ball, and add them to the "quick twitch guys like Welker, DA, and Edelman; and create an offense where Brady will spread the ball around a little better and be less predictable.

    Wht this certainly ISN'T, is some knee jerk reaction to a single game or failure in a single gle game. The fact that the Pats gained well over 400 yds against that so called awesome Ravens D, was more an indictment of the Pats lack of execution at critical times in that game, than a overall failure of the offense to move the ball.

    The bottom line FACT here is that this so called shift in philosophy was going to happen regardless. Even if the Pats had managed to win the superbowl last season.
     
  17. Jimke

    Jimke In the Starting Line-Up

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    I question Belichick's judgement when he signs a receiver who can't
    get open and has the nickname "Molasses Mike".
     
  18. BrickPat

    BrickPat Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Here is my evalutaion of the WRs:

    Donald Jones + Mike Jenkins = Reche Caldwell + Doug Gabriel


    Brady the aging but still highly effective surgeon is being given rusty scalpels, well at least one part of his life isn't perfect. Speculation that these signings may be adequate isn't saying much.
     
  19. RelocatedPatFan

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    I'm of a similar mindset to PFK above.

    I see this as allowing for different options/skill set that TB can employ. We saw that last year (more in the first 1/3 of a season) with Lloyd using the behind the back shoulder throw. Though, some of that was due to having limited knowledge of the route tree/comfort between QB and receiver.

    We know TB has amazing accuracy and can throw the ball with zip and accuracy on the short-medium routes (including sideline throws which still covers a fair distance and is a much harder throw than it looks). For example, WW has great recognition of defenses and finding a hole to get open. In reality, he has a very small sphere where the ball can be throw where he can go get it (not meant in a disrespectful way, but more acknowledging that WW has physical limitations).

    In 2007 we saw some of what having a big athletic receiver can do for you. The throws can get easier in the sense that the accuracy doesn't have to be quite there if the receiver has the ability to jump/block out defenders. Think of Gronk as having that necessary athletic ability. His throwing sphere would be huge compared to WW.

    At this point (last year) we had 2 TEs that had different skill sets, Branch and WW who were on the same page, but required a more accurate throw and Lloyd who fit a similar style and was even less capable of going over the middle effectively. I think the WR signings is to encourage competition and somewhat a hope that something sticks (gotta be better than 2006).
     
  20. Nunchucks

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    Patriots need WRs that can go get the ball. In the past, we had guys that will get to a spot when they are supposed to be and the ball has to be in the perfect place...That philosophy doesn't work when defenses diagnose your plays and get to the spot as well....Welker ain't fighting nobody for the ball. That was a major problem in the playoffs.

    WRs that can make catches, even if covered, now that is something this team has lacked sans Gronk. Ravens won because they have guys that can make contested catches....Patriots know that they need guys like that too.

    Sure, Jenkins and Jones may not be world beaters, but it is a step in the right direction and certainly could mean a slight philosophy shift.
     
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