Welcome to PatsFans.com

According to Dom Capers: NE played base 3-4 just 15% of the time last year

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Shockt327, Sep 7, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    999
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -2

    While doing some reading on Dom Capers approach to installing the 3-4 in Green Bay, I came across an alarming statistic: The Patriots only played their base 3-4 on 150/1000 snaps last season. Wow. Capers also says he plans to play Nickel 50% of the time; which I think applied and will continue to apply in NE too (I wish I had real numbers on the use of each sub-package to back up my point). I know the Pats play a lot of Nickel (with a 4 man line), but this makes me wonder if they do it far, far more than we realize.

    Here are my thoughts (feel free to argue or add your own):

    • The acquisition of Derrick Burgess makes far more sense in light of this info. In the Nickel, the Pats switch to a 4 man line. On a 4 man line Burgess's role would be no different than that of a 4-3 DE, if I'm not mistaken. That seems to be how he's been used in pre-season; usually lining up in what appears to be a 7-technique, as a LDE. I think he's going to have a bigger role than we initially thought.
    • Getting rid of Vrabel also makes sense. Vrabel's pass rushing skills declined in 2008. He could still set the edge in the run game like no other, but as I said above, it seems like NE is putting more of an emphasis on pass rushing.
    • Does this also partially explain the Seymour trade? In the Nickel – on a 4 man line - Seymour often moved inside as a DT. To me, it seemed as if Vrabel and Thomas (or Jarvis Green) would mostly play DE. Yet, the Pats have Wilfork, Warren, Brace, Pryor, and Wright. Those guys all project as DTs on a 4 man line. Did that make Seymour more expendable in the eyes of Belichick?

    Here the article:

    Conversion formula - JSOnline

  2. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,730
    Likes Received:
    28
    Ratings:
    +69 / 0 / -13

    #12 Jersey

    Good find!

    It's dated February, by the way, but I see nothing out of date about it. All that's transpired in the interim has been off-season. ;)
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  3. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    16,630
    Likes Received:
    84
    Ratings:
    +253 / 4 / -1

    #12 Jersey

    Awesome post- very informative. We run a 4-2-5 nickel, so in this light, it makes the LB depth issues seem not quite as drastic (although we still need to be careful, since if that becomes an exploitable weakness offenses will run on us just to force us into formations that we're ill-prepared to run).

    It definitely would seem to make sense, though, that the Pats are making moves with the 4-2-5 nickel, first and foremost, in mind.
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    41,307
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +241 / 8 / -26

    This is real good stuff...
  5. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    16,630
    Likes Received:
    84
    Ratings:
    +253 / 4 / -1

    #12 Jersey

    Also, was just looking around the Advanced NFL Stats page (very cool link- bookmarked it and will be reading), and I noticed this:

    Advanced NFL Stats: 2008 Final Efficiency Rankings

    The Pats finished 24th in defensive efficiency in 2008, after finishing 4th in 2007. While the Pats finished 10th in points allowed, almost every other measurement that I've seen--especially efficiency rankings--have them in the 20s. Makes me wonder what Belichick has in store for this season, because it's pretty clear that he's cooked up some major changes, and when the mad scientist goes to work the result is always intriguing...
  6. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    13,027
    Likes Received:
    29
    Ratings:
    +43 / 4 / -3

    Statistics lie. Run defense is the least important factor to winning games?

    Well, in a bend but don't break defense, with no run blitzing, you might give up huge yardage, but if your run D is porous and you're committing an extra guy to stopping the run, you're going to lose.

    Nothing says, "We're going to lose" more than a running back averaging 5 yards a carry against you.

    Stopping the run is job #1, even if the statistics show lots of yards gained there. If you can't stop the run when it counts (in the red zone, on 3rd and 4th down, you're going to lose. It's as simple as that.
  7. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    24,725
    Likes Received:
    73
    Ratings:
    +154 / 7 / -13




    Our red zone D was terrible last year...


    Great article. This is why worrying about whether we are running a 3-4 or 4-3 is pointless. Every thing is dictated by situations.
  8. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    16,630
    Likes Received:
    84
    Ratings:
    +253 / 4 / -1

    #12 Jersey

    Or, if your pass D is good enough, you can consistently put teams in 3rd and long. No matter how good your run defense is, teams are going to usually convert 3rd and short on you. Not saying that a run defense isn't hugely important- just saying that, with the evolution of the modern game, I don't find it surprising at all that stopping the pass has a stronger correlation to winning.

    Case in point, 2008 Patriots: we were efficient against the run, and inefficient against the pass. on the net, we had an extremely inefficient D.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  9. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    999
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -2

    Brilliant analysis. We should ignore the mountain of evidence that shows otherwise, and instead should adhere to vague generalizations.

    Yes

    Wow. Way to completely misread the article (if you ever bothered to read it at all). No one is arguing that giving up 5 YPC makes no difference. What they are arguing is that having a poor run D isn't nearly as important as passing, passing D, and turnover differential.

    That's why teams that dominate against the run like the Vikings or Jags do not really scare anyone come playoff time. Yet teams like the Colts - who have been historically inept against the run - can be legit SB contenders year in and year out; because they pass the ball well and are very good on passing D.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  10. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    16,630
    Likes Received:
    84
    Ratings:
    +253 / 4 / -1

    #12 Jersey

    That's pretty much the standard MO for most of this board, unfortunately. Sucks, because it makes it pretty difficult to have any real discussion/debate.
  11. Hercules Rockefeller

    Hercules Rockefeller Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +9 / 0 / -0

    Excellent post Shockt. I also think that Belichick, who is constantly evolving his thinking as a coach, is going to give looks to teams that they have not seen from him in the past. And yes, the Colts defense was the worst run defense to ever win the title in 2006. They could stop the pass though, and they won the title. Running the ball will always be important, it's the first job of a defense. But in a league that is nearly 60% pass, it makes sense to focus on the pass a bit more than in years past.

    We all remember how much of a back-breaker it was last year to give up the 3rd and 15 in OT to the Jets. Yet, last year, I was consistently more nervous on 3rd and 12 than I was on 3rd and 2. I think this year that will change.
  12. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    7,669
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0

    Shockt, excellent post. I hope to read more from you, and those like you, in the future.
  13. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    13,261
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +13 / 0 / -0

  14. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    16,630
    Likes Received:
    84
    Ratings:
    +253 / 4 / -1

    #12 Jersey

  15. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    7,669
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0

    Interesting.

    They have Jarvis Green as the 5th best 3-4 DE in the league (Warren 1, Seymour 2). But, they also have Monty Beisel as the 22nd best 3-4 linebacker in the league, and Willie McGinest as the 5th best 3-4 linebacker. So... not sure how much merit it has.
  16. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    999
    Likes Received:
    8
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -2

    Willie Mac is up there because he is a situational player, coming off the bench. Meaning, he gets after the QB on a high percentage of the time, in relation to how few snaps he has.
  17. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    7,669
    Likes Received:
    17
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0

    I know I'm biased from past experience, but I can't take any rating system too seriously which ranks Monty Beisel as the 22nd best 3-4 linebacker in the league. It ranks him about 200 spots too high =D
  18. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    16,630
    Likes Received:
    84
    Ratings:
    +253 / 4 / -1

    #12 Jersey

    Yes, Jarvis is 5th best, but by those metrics it's basically 1-2 are tier 1, 3-4 are tier 2, and then 5 and onwards are a distinctly lower third tier. IF those statistics are a valid representation, then the dropoff between Jarvis and Seymour is pretty huge. Seymour has a much higher pass-rushing rating, and much higher vs. the run (although it doesn't list Jarvis as an outright liability vs. the run, which surprises me a little).

    It's sorta like saying "Yeah, Brady, Manning and Brees are 1-3, but Phil Rivers is ranked 5"- even if that is the case, the drop between the first 3 and Rivers is still... precipitous.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  19. bigfandan

    bigfandan Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    #12 Jersey

    Good find. enjoyed reading it.

    I thought about advanced stats for NFL for a while. This is fun.
  20. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    13,027
    Likes Received:
    29
    Ratings:
    +43 / 4 / -3

    Cherry-picking here.

    In the years the Patriots won the Super Bowl, we gave up tons of yards, not many points. Our forte in the Ted Washington years was stopping the run. For every Peyton Manning out there, there are multiple teams like the Ravens and Steelers who stop the run first. In fact, the Steelers have two Super Bowl wins this decade, and they've been weak in the defensive backfield. Manning is a freak, but even he struggled to win the big one. That's why the Colts succeed, but look what it took for them to get there. They gave up 30+ at home in the AFCCG and still won. Is that a winning formula? Heck no.

    Statistics do lie, especially any stat looking at yardage primarily.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>