Article in PFW

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ochmed Jones, May 2, 2006.

  1. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    When evaluating the last season's Patriots running game, or lack thereof, they listed many potential causes to the problem. One of those causes stood out as significant to me - Horrible offensive play calling.
    Granted we started out the year with some sort of funky three headed monster at OC, but for this year, we have one guy.

    Does anybody agree with their assessment? And outside of the standard "he'll get better in year two with a year of experience under his belt" response, does anybody else still see this as a serious problem heading into this year???????

    Weiss didn't become a crafty play caller with a real feel for the game overnight. Parcells relieved him of duty in NY and to most of us on this board, he was a bumbling boob, until we started banking Lombardi's. That's a 3-5 year learning curve under two different great head coaches.

    Our new guy is starting his first season going solo. Is anybody else concerned?????
  2. Digger44

    Digger44 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Nope. BB is still the coach. BB will still make the necesary calls. BB is still in charge. CW was great, but he is not BB. BB is the man. BB can handle it. BB will be just fine. BB knows what he is doing.
  3. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! Supporter

    Your post gives me the urge to get my sons BB gun out of the closet and shoot some BB's at the BB Target in the backyard. :D
  4. bucky

    bucky 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Just because NEM didn't like CW's play calling, doesn't mean it wasn't any good. Personally, I didn't notice the play calling as "Horrible" last year. I did notice, however, that Brady's audibles weren't quite as successfull as you'd hope. I think it's reasonable to expect improvements both from the offensive coaching staff and from Brady in terms of game planning, play calling, and audibling.

    With regard to the running game, I think play calling had a lot less to do with it than injuries and lack of execution (not necessarily in that order). When you look at play calling, you have to look at the big picture. Every play can't be positive. Some plays have no shot at being successfull, but have other purposes in mind such as setting up another play, keeping the defense honest (or perhaps confused), running down the clock, etc.
  5. Hoodie

    Hoodie 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Wow. Where can I get ahold of that BB Koolaid?
  6. Amnorix

    Amnorix On the Game Day Roster

    Play-calling is a function of a comparison of your team's strengths versus the weaknesses of the other team. That is determined on both a player-vs-player skill level and a schematic level. Add on top of that a dose of play-calling sophstication where one team can try to fool another team in various ways.

    Frankly, it's all extremely complex, and ultimately I think our ability, as fans, to recognize "good" or "bad" play-calling is very, very limited simply because we don't, and can't, spend hundreds of hours breaking down film on how our opponent plays.

    I'll give you an example of what I considered a bad play call by Weis that worked -- late in the '04 AFC Championship Game -- the reverse to Branch that scored a TD. To me that was a very risky play, since we were in FG position, and if he had been tackled (and he almost was) waaay behind the LOS, we would've lose the Figgie.

    I have NO FREAKING IDEA why that play was called. It scored a TD, but seemed like too high a risk, even for the potentially high reward that paid off. But I also know that CW/BB wouldn't have called it if they hadn't thought the risk was well worth it. Maybe they knwe they hadn't called a reverse against the Steelers in the last 5 games, and hadn't called one at all in the last 18? Maybe they saw the Steelers heavily over-pursuing on run plays. Maybe they saw that one particular defender was getting out of position on sweeps to the left, and that a reverse back to the right was the perfect way to take advantage of it.

    I have no idea, and I don't pretend I ever will.

    Ultimately, "I know good play calling when we score points, and bad play calling when we don't" is about all I can do, except on rare plays when it really screams out at you that it wasn't the best call (or was a great call) in retrospect.
  7. p8ryts

    p8ryts Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Play calling was fine last year

    It's always going to be a contentious subject but I thought for a young guy the OC did fine. There was no steep learning curve, no problem getting plays in. It will only get better. I don't attribute play calling as a factor in the running game last year.
  8. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Totally agree. The playcalling can, and I think will, improve, but last year's problem was the running game and - big surprise - we had injuries to Light, Koppen, Ashworth, Dillon and Faulk. (And Pass.) That's a LOT to overcome.

    As for the pass O, Tom Brady led the NFL in passing yards, and it's not as simple as "Well, the run game sucked so he had to throw all the time." Given the anemic run O, it follows that teams would target the passing game all the more, and Tommy STILL lit them up.

    The offense is going to be more than fine this year. I wouldn't worry.
  9. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    I think your post is very perceptive.

    patsox23 goes on to mention injuries, which I think is certainly a significant factor.

    So we have a number of things that are probabilities or heavy possibilities:

    - new OC
    - missing a couple experienced perspectives in game plan scheming (Charley and Romeo)
    - Brady trying his wings more at audibles\
    - Dillon, despite spin and Pats expectations, not in as good a shape
    - Dillon's lingering injury so that he probably wasn't near top effectiveness the last weeks
    - Injuries and therefore successive changes in the OL
    ..... I think this is quite significant. The effectiveness of an OL is heavily based on time together.
    ..... Run blocking takes a while to learn at NFL level. And the rookies were facing a lot of different DL styles the first time around
    - Injuries to all of the main RBs. Lost production AND lack of flexibility AND limited ability to change pace

    So a tough season for the running game.

    The OL rookies getting a year's experience and the injured guys coming back should give a really significant boost to the running game. And Maroney should be a solid plus, even if he gets only limited attempts. Should be very interesting !!
  10. patpatriot

    patpatriot Banned

    Or Maybe CW Was better Than We Thought?

    What I missed was the "uncertainty factor" that CW brought with his game play calling. Throw a bomb on 3rd and 1 late in the 4th when ahead by 1 point? That's a CW special. The Pats OC lacks a "gutsiness" that CW developed over years of trial and error. In the end I think CW decided he was going to sink or swim doing it "his" way. Our OC may take some time to reach that point and when he does we'll see a lot more creativity...if he has the innate talent that CW had that is.
  11. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Yeah, problem is, like his draw play on third and 8, they rarely worked. We can get excited aobut the onesthat did, but many, many more failed than were successful.

    The uncertainty factor was based on the other team not suspecting we would run that play. Why? Because it is so stupid than no one in his right mind would do it.

    Good play calling uses sequences of plays to "set up" the other team, not run a play that no one would expect. THey don't expect it because is is low percentge.
  12. bucky

    bucky 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Sometimes you have to run a play just to let the Defense know that you can. If you run a draw on 3rd and 8 4 times and succeed once, that's not any worse that the overall success rate on 3rd and 8. But you force the defense to account for the possibility of a draw, which gives you a better overall chance to succeed in the long term. Good play calling isn't about being successfull every single time because that's impossible. It's about (a) being successfull as often as possible and (b) setting up your opponent for a few crucial plays during a game or sometimes even during a season.
  13. PatsSteve1

    PatsSteve1 In the Starting Line-Up

    I loved the aggresiveness and sometimes even a little craziness in CW's playcalling. But it'd be unfair to compare CW who called plays for years with McDaniels. I did think it was less aggresive last year, but every play he called went thru BB's headset. Just like CW's. If BB didn't like how he called plays, if he wouldn't overrule them in a game, would work with McDaniels before the next one. I don't think playcalling was THE reason for the poor run game. There were sereral reasons.
  14. the taildragger

    the taildragger Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    what makes PFW writers qualified to criticize the playcalling of the Pats' coaching staff? I have no problem if Bill Walsh wants to go on TV and make suggestions but I draw the line with Tom Casale and company.

    I find it very hard to question our playcalling given all the strife we were battling. For us to have been as productive as we were given the total lack of run support and the flux on the O-line was nothing short of miraculous.

    No matter who is calling the plays or what they're calling, you're always going to hit and miss, and there will always be opportunities for journalists to second guess.

    did we do a fair job given what we were working with out there -- which at times was a one-man battle (TB vs. team X), and compared to other signal-callers around the league?

    having said that, I'll start questioning the playcalling real quick if we have a healthy Dillon or Maroney next year, and we're still ramming Faulk up the middle on short yardage for a first down (ala Denver).
    Last edited: May 2, 2006
  15. wrangler

    wrangler Practice Squad Player

    #50 Jersey

    Too many cooks spoil the pudding. OC is the man. QB gives input and calls
    audibles at the line, depending on what he sees.

    The HC has to trust his OC, the OC has to trust his QB.

    If this progression doesn't work in today's game for your team then something has to change.

    Why doesn't P. Manning do better under presaure? He is too involved in the
    decission making. By the time he's finished with play calling, blocking assignments and all, at the line, even he has forgotten what is supposed to happen. Has his line totally confused, he looks like a "Rocket"(sp) back there before the snap.

    We don't need to go there with our offence. Saw some of that last year with our offence. Imaginative OC and a QB that can adjust and execute= WIN !

    I hope BB has chosen well.?

    Thought this was a good place to vent my anxiety.?

    Yes, we have the HC and QB,...........OC= fingures crossed.?
  16. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    Yo Wrangler,

    What did you see some of last year with our offense.

    Early in the year last season, I saw an offense that had a very difficult job of adjusting to 2nd and 8 instead of 2nd and 5 or 6 like in the previous year. The lack of production on 1st down caused the offense to bog down a ton.
    Under CW, there is no doubt, he would have changed the first down playing calling and/or formations to make it more difficult for the defense to stack eight in the box. Instead McDaniels and/or BB stayed with the Dillion ramming until he broke down. Once Dillion went down, remember Faulk was still out with a broken leg, then MCDaniels and/or BB changed it up and the offense looked better from then on.
  17. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson Veteran Supporter

    Possibly the biggest issue with our offense in the 4-4 start was the DEFENSE.
    Its hard to be imaginative in play calling when you are playing from behind.

    You reach the point where you have to decide between the play that will work best, and the play that will preserve the clock.

    I agree with the comments that you have to vary calls within situations.
    If you run on 2nd and 8 half the time even if you arent tremendously effective, you are more effective the times that you pass.

    The biggest misconception about playcalling IMO is the idea that you spend all day exploiting the weakness.
    Lets say for example you have an opponent that has one terrible corner that you want to pick. If you do so, what happens? He gets help and you are throwing into doubles, thereby eliminating the mismatch.
    The real trick in play calling is to run a gameplan that creates oppportunities to exploit that guy one on one. If oyu find success in other areas that they must stop you open the mismatch you wished to exploit to begin with.

    In other words, if I throw at that guy 50 times, I'm not throwing at him, I'm throwing at a defense that is overcompensating for him. If run a game plan designed to isolate him 10 times, I will have great success. How successful I was at running to set that up is hard to gauge, because I may not have run the ball well, but I opened up 8 catches for 180 yards against that weakness. If I ran 35 times for 95 yards, it looks like the playcalling in the running game was poor, but if those 8 for 180 plus the rest of my passing game spreading the ball gets me 28 points, my run playcalling was actually very smart.
  18. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Good point. Good two points.

    1) run a play so the D knows you can. Mid routes geting jumped. Go deep. Even if incomplete, nearly getting beat for a TD will have the DBs adrenaline flowing and they will be aware of hte possibility of a deep route.

    2) as you say, the setup is the thing. What I like (and I almost never notice this unless pointed out to me) is runnng a play on say, 2nd and ten, then after a first down and its second and ten again, run the same play, almost. The D recognizes the flow of hte play but is fooled when the WR blows by him.

    On Game of the Week, NFL NEtowrk had SB XVIII. The Panther DC said at one point (referreing to Brady) "All his audibles have been for runs, right?" Now when you are at 3rd and goal from the five, audible a play action pass.
  19. ilduce06410

    ilduce06410 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    playcalling and salvador dali

    POINT 1, well made. when the opponent knows you CAN run a play they have to accommodate that possibility. when you have them thinking about that play, then you can run it on the opposite side of the field where the LB and CB haven't seen it.
    run a screen play 3 times, then run it a 4th time with the TE instead of the RB. see how good their defensive playcalling is.
    one of my coaches repeated to me "make THEM make the play. you know you can make it. they may see it, know what it is, but then they still have to make the play". i was thinking of that in '04, watching that conference game. when i saw the Twig run that reverse again and get the TD. lookit: a well-run play, a dangerous ballcarrier. ok, you've stopped it twice already. lessee if you can stop it again. we know WE can make the play. can YOU make the play, a 3rd time, run in the opposite direction?
    POINT 2. in many years watching football i gotta say CW is in the ballpark with sid gillman, walsh, shula in playcalling. he isn't necessarily GREAT, like they are, but he is g0dd@m unpredictable. not only is he setting things up, from Play 1, for a play he might run 25 plays later, but he'll also do short term setups, lke running the same fly pattern 4 times in a row, just because he doubts you'll xpect it. patriots only have to be successful 1 time, whereas opponents have to be successful 4 times.
    in last year's classic ND-USC game, for entire 2nd half i had NO IDEA what CW was gonna run next. evidently neither did Pete Carroll. ND ran a couple crossbucks that i havent seen in 10 years. he's not just unpredictable, he's diabolical. in an avant-garde way. he's setting you up for a double reverse with less than 5 minutes, not some screen play. he's settingn you up for a center-eligible play on the goallne instead of a dive. all that sh!t with TD passes to vrabel, ashworth---using big sey and hochstein as goal line FBs---how does he manage to throw the TD to vrabel every time? what' they're not expecting it?
    the downside of this kind of offensive football is watching entirely bizarre and stupid things from time to time. i still remember late 1st half in miami (won with a last-play bomb to troy), watching CW fritter away a 2-minute drill with an amazingly amateurish-looking series of plays. some really stupid stuff.
  20. lobster

    lobster On the Game Day Roster

    For most of the season I saw poor run blocking after the lose of Joe Andruzzi and Dillon was too slow getting going. Holes that Faulk could have run through, and did, were often closed by the time Dillon got up to speed. The Pat's also made no attempt to counter that by having Dillon in motion as he got the ball.

    Therefore having Maroney is potentially a big deal to the Pat's running game, although the priority initially is probably on the necessary physical development. I have doubts Dillon will make the final roster.

Share This Page