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*** Ascension of a Juggernaut ***

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Off The Grid, May 17, 2011.

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  1. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Brother Maine ~ Before The Draft ~ on The BackField



    For me, it's a question of resources. After O-line and QB, you have five guys out of eleven to either run the ball or catch passes. To require a defense to "cover everything", ideally you might want an RB who's a threat to break a run for big yardage even out of an offensive set that includes four superior pass-catchers (even better if the RB is also an excellent pass catcher). These would be "classic" early-down, Q1-Q3 "feature backs"; guys who you can still count on to make a big running play in Q4 when you're down by a score. However, RBs who can do this consistently are pretty rare, even those running behind very good run-blocking offensive lines. I'll call this type of RB "Class A".

    Most RBs need at least one extra accomplished run-blocker some percentage of the time to get started through the LoS or to get around the corner. Unless you have extraordinary TEs or FBs, this extra blocker necessarily takes one of your better pass catchers out of the set and gives the defense maybe one less guy to worry about in coverage. But, still, that can be okay IF the RB in question has the level of burst and elusiveness that allows him to do great things once that extra blocker enables him to get to (relatively) open field. And play-action is still a legitimate threat for a defense to worry about because there are still three (hypothetically) superior pass-catching WRs on the field. I'll call this level of RB "Class B", which would encompass a wide range of talent - from those guy who need one extra blocker less of the time to those who need one almost all the time.

    And then there's guys like BGE. BGE seemed to need TWO extra blockers just to get started most of the time (one of them Crumpler, who is certainly NOT a superior pass-catcher anymore). Even so, BGE doesn't appear to have the burst/elusiveness to do much after he gets through the LoS or TO the corner. Sure, he can run over a guy here and there, but he provides a merely adequate ground game at the "cost" of having only two superior pass-catchers in the set (offset somewhat by Gronk being one of the TEs). This tends to telegraph to the defense when you're more likely to run than pass, de-legitimizes the threat of play-action and leaves the defense having only two superior pass-catchers to cover. This would be "Class C".

    "Class D" would be the guys who can't do much no matter how much extra blocking help you give them.

    So, that's my take on you first question. Yes we can, and SHOULD, try to improve on BGE. This is not to say "replace him". BGE, to me, is a nearly perfect Q4 back - the guy you'd use to pound the ball in Q4 to take time off the clock and protect a lead while giving your feature back a breather (and protecting him from injury risk), while not worrying a whole lot about fooling a defense with play-action (such a situation sorta does that for you).

    The second question, which you've only implied, is what "Class" does Ingram fit into? Is he really a "Class A" who might be worthy of a first round pick? I have no clue. Many say, "YES!" while many others disagree. Maybe he's merely a very good "Class B" who might be worth a 2nd round look since he'd still probably provide a better tactical ground game requiring fewer resources "borrowed" from the passing game. But then, Leshoure, Ryan Williams or someone else might also be a good to very good "Class B" guy. And, of course, in every draft it seems that one or two of the 15-20 RBs taken after #64 turns out to be good "Class B" guys, not including UDFAs (where the odds are realistically something like 1 in 30, though it seems much better sometimes). [SIDEBAR: Interestingly enough, historically, the odds of coming up with a "Class B" diamond in the rough have actually been HIGHER in round 4 than in round 3. My only explanation would be that round three is where teams end up taking RBs who've been hyped as "hidden gems" that turn out not to be while round four has guys who haven't been hyped.]

    The next question is, of course, "Do we have sufficient resources in this draft to bolster both lines, upgrade OLB and maybe nickel/slot CB, AND try to get a very good Class B running back, maybe in the 2nd?" Actually, I think we might this time around.
     
  2. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Brother Jay on Shane Vereen, BEFORE The Draft!!


    I think the most important thing to add to the RB corps is a guy who can contribute in the directional and zone games. As it stands right now they have a directional back in BJGE and a zone back in Woody. It makes defensive calls easy to make when you know what kind of blocking scheme is going to be run ahead of time. The player must also be ready to go soon. Having experience in zone, midline read, and power offenses is helpful. Sounds a lot like the blur offense, don't it? That's why I'm partial to Vereen who not only has the patience and power to be a directional back, but the burst to be an effective zone back.
     
  3. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Brother Mayo on PatriotsPlanet: Super Hybrid Offense!!


    Thinking about the offense and the rumors of "changes" coming down the road, the following occurred to me.

    - In 2009 one of my biggest (of many) complaints was how predictable the offense was. We ran out of the shotgun a lot of the time (often without a RB), Brady targeted Moss and Welker most of the time, and when Maroney was put in the game it was obvious that we were going to run the ball. The run-pass distribution was poor, and the predictability was poor, allowing opposing defenses to shut the Pats down in the 2nd half of games way too often.

    - Things got better in 2010 with the TEs becoming a focal point of the offense and better ball distribution. BJGE performed really well overall. But there was still a big disconnect between the running game with BJG and the passing game. LawFirm is a nice power back, but he's not a particularly good blocker and he's not much of a receiving threat. Danny Woodhead offered both, but he's too small to be an every down back.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Pats move in a direction where the running and passing games are more seamlessly integrated, allowing the offense to switch formations and schemes without switching personnel. The TE's provide one key to this. Getting running backs who are effective in the passing game - both in pass protection and in receiving - is another key.

    Aside from Green-Ellis, the Pats currently have 4 players who fit into this "seamless" approach:

    1. "Little": Danny Woodhead. Pint sized ball of fire who is surprisingly tough for his size and who offers tremendous versatility as a runner and receiving threat.

    2. "Medium": Shane Vereen. Bigger than Woody but still the kind of back who can run in traffic and find small holes. Stronger and more physical than he looks, can also run inside. Great blocking and receiving skills. Like Woodhead, a very smart player who should pick up schemes quickly and bring what FanaticalYankee calls exceptional "processing speed" to the field.

    3. "Big": Stevan Ridley. Like BJGE a physical back who can pound the ball inside, but also a back who can block in the passing game and be a bona fide receiving threat.

    4. "Biggest": Aaron Hernandez. The wild card. Listed as a TE, but able to play RB, FB and WR as well. Started out as a running back.

    You can put any of those 4 guys in the backfield with Brady under center - including Hernandez and Ridley at fullback - and opposing offenses won't know whether you are going to run or pass. Both Vereen and Woodhead are quick enough to run the draw plays as well as block and release out of the backfield. Hernandez can run the ball, be a blocking fullback, release of the lien as a TE, or split out wide as a flanker.

    Put 2 of those guys (Woody/Vereen plus Ridley/Hernandez) on the field along with Brady and the OL and you are left with 3 open positions on offense. There's a lot you can do with those 3 positions: 3 TE sets, 2 TEs plus 1 WR, 1 TE plus 2 WRs, 3 WRs, etc. Hernandez gives you so much flexibility, because he can simultaneous function as a 2nd RB, 2nd/3rd/4th TE, and 2nd/3rd/4th WR.

    I think you could create a pretty creative and unpredictable offense with those components. The key is the ability of certain personnel to flow seamlessly between the running and passing attacks.
     
  4. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #3 Jersey

    Just curious—When?

    In HS, he played TE (and set a national record for receiving yards per game) and linebacker with

    Which of course raises the question . . . can he rush the passer? :p
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  5. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Jug·ger·naut   [juhg-er-nawt, -not] –noun


    1. Any large, overpowering, destructive force or object, as war, a giant

    battleship, or a powerful football team.


    Dictionary ~ Juggernaut​

    The Best Defense...Is An Offense That Rains TERROR on the Enemy!!



    There is a term ~ "Tipping Point" ~ that applies to many endeavors.

    My application here is this: All his foibles not withstanding, Coach Belichick ~ not unlike Andy DuFresne of Stephen King's magnificent ShawShank Redemption ~ has applied superior skill and extraordinary expertise for an extended period of time.

    My position is that you can only apply superior skill and expertise for so long...before all crumbles before you.

    In the case of Mister DuFresne, Brother King's protagonist in ShawShank Redemption, it was simply a matter of applying astonishingly persistent pressure ~ and natural talent ~ upon a wall, over a period of many years.

    In the case of Coach Belichick, it has been a matter of applying equally astonishingly persistent pressure on the rest of the league.

    Coach Bill's instrument of pressure, however, is not a Rock Hammer: It is Draft Trades.

    Unprecedented Historical Inflection Point

    I'll spare you the details.

    Suffice to say: We all know them well enough, those amazing Trades.

    What most do not ~ can not ~ conceive, is the cumulative impact of repeatedly fleecing the rest of the league...until we reach a Saturation Point ~ a Tipping Point ~ where the aggregate influx of disproportionately gathering highly skilled and motivated players and applying extraordinary coaching expertise to them...simply overwhelms our rivals...

    ...and carries all before it.

    And while I presume nothing...I believe we have just reached that point.


    Smash Mouth FootBall ~ Its Sudden + Astonishing Return!!


    I'm pretty sure that far less than 1% of our fans ~ I'm hoping that number is far larger, hereabouts ~ fully grasp the import of our unprecedented drafting of a behemoth ~ an unusually agile behemoth ~ like Marcus "Howitzer" Cannon...and the rest of these Beasts:

    ~ LT Nate "Universal" Solder ~ potential 10X All Pro, under Coach Dante.
    ~ RG Marcus "Howitzer" Cannon ~ potential 6-8X All Pro, under Coach Dante.
    ~ TE Lee "The Myth" Smith ~ Potentially The Best Blocking Tight End in the LEAGUE.
    ~ XB Shane "The Machine" Vereen ~ The most DANGEROUS Back we have ever drafted.

    EVER.

    Ascension: The Rolling Wall of DEATH!!


    Need I say it, gentlemen??

    Coach Bill has taken DRAMATIC steps to forge a team that can run on ANYBODY.

    The Steelers.

    The Ravens.

    The 1985 BEARS, by God.

    ANYBODY.

    The Immortal 1977 O Line: Redux!!

    We are exactly one High Caliber Center ~ IF that ~ from matching ~ and even eclipsing ~ the devastating dominance of ~ yes ~ that O Line:

    LT Leon Gray
    LG John Hannah
    OC Bill Lenkaitis
    RG Sam Adams
    RT Tom Neville


    Mind you: I don't see this coming to full fruition until very late in 2011, so a full year ~ or perhaps 3-5 full years ~ of what I foresee isn't likely to happen just yet.

    But WAIT...There's MORE!!

    Imagine, though, if you will...

    Imagine if we DID forge a team that weilded such a Rolling Wall of Death...that we carried ALL before us...and sent the Enemy FLEEING before us, howling in TERROR...

    Imagine if the Three Headed Monster of:

    ~ Stevan "Fire When Ready" Ridley
    ~ Shane "The Machine" Vereen
    ~ Danny "Would You Like Fries With That??" WoodHead


    ...wreaked HAVOC on the shattered remnants of opposing D Lines that our Rolling Wall of Death simply DESTROYED???


    NOW How Much Would You Pay???

    Imagine...if the Enemy simply could not stop our Run Game?? :eek:

    Do you...um...do you think that maybe that guy we have under center...might be able to take a little bit of advantage of that situation??


    But WAIT...There's MORE!!!

    The Modern Game has moved way over towards Faster + Smaller on Defense...SO far over, in fact, that a team that had had the foresight to draft multiple Tight Ends who commanded an extraordinary fusion of Speed, Size, and Skill...and who could, therefore, PARALYZE Defenses who were too small to block them, and too slow to stop them...could potentially make every enemy Defensive Coordinator's WORST NIGHTMARES COME TRUE.

    GOD, I wish Coach Belichick had had the foresight to...

    What??

    Really???


    RE-HE-HE-HE-HEEEEEEEEEEEALLY???


    [​IMG]

    This Is What We're Realistically Looking At In The VERY Near Future


    1 ~ A Smash Mouth O Line that will soon be ANNIHILATING people.
    2 ~ Possibly the Deepest, Strongest, and DEADLIEST BackField we've EVER had.
    3 ~ An Hybrid Passing Offense that will be a NIGHTMARE to defend.
    4 ~ The Greatest QB of the Modern Age to Orchestrate All The Above.

    My GOD...It'll be BEAUTIFULL!!

    [​IMG]

    There Are...Possibilities

    Infallible??

    Far from it.


    The Defensive Front 7 is still vulnerable to injury, as is, ultimately, every team, ever.

    But the Extraordinary Competitive Advantage that Coach B has quietly accrued, ere the last 3 years...is unprecedented in modern times.

    It's going to take YEARS ~ or a multitude of injuries ~ to bring us back to Earth, folks.

    If we stay reasonably healthy...Exactly WHO is going to keep up with us???

    1 ~ 3 Peat.
    2 ~ 19-0.


    It Could Happen.
     
  6. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #3 Jersey


    Hah!! Good question...

    Brother Mayo's credit is unalloyed, so I'm inclined to take his testimony at Face Value...

    Good GOD, I hope I didn't just pull a Peter King!! :eek:
     
  7. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #3 Jersey

    Much BOO Yah to Brother Past!! :D

    I, myself, am shooting for a 10 to 1 "Like" to "Liked" ratio!!

    Spread the LOVE, baby!! :rocker:
     
  8. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #95 Jersey

    [​IMG]

    But I do enjoy your enthusiasm.
     
  9. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Nice posts, but someone needs to switch to decaf....... :D
     
  10. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

  11. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I was feeling pretty awful during the draft, but I'm warming up to it now. And I hope the RBs will revolutionize the offense the way our TEs did last year.
     
  12. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I love this, I love a great RB core, I love "an offense that rains terror on the enemy", I think I might love you :D

    But....REALLY?
     
  13. The Scrizz

    The Scrizz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #11 Jersey

    Forget it, he's rolling.
     
  14. eom

    eom In the Starting Line-Up

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    I was gettin' excited for a minute, but then I remembered that next year all these guys will be worthless busts.
     
  15. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Just wait until we lose a single pre-season game, then they'll all be labeled as "Made of Glass". It's just a genetic thing with a certain percentage of our commentariat. About a third or so of the folks here are either on Prozac or Ridalin, depending on how well the game is going. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #3 Jersey

    That's the stupidest thing I've ever read.

    SERIOUSLY, man...

    What do you mean "Prozac OR Ridalin"??? :D :rocker:

    YouTube - Tom Green, the Bum Bum song
     
  17. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #3 Jersey

    OK, any suggestion that I even REMOTELY channel Brother Bluto...is greatly appreciated. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Dude... I missed a letter. "Ritalin". I'll just wait here for my ticket from the grammar police then, mkay? :rolleyes:
     
  19. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #3 Jersey

    Fair question, sir!! :cool:

    Patriots Planet - New England Patriots Forums and Message Boards

    Let it never be said that Brother Mayo fails to Take Care Of Business:

    Aaron Hernandez Developing as Top Receiving Option for Tom Brady - New England Patriots - NESN.com

    "FOXBORO, Mass. -- Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez puts in work. Whether he's in Tom Brady's side pocket, or running extra routes against the defense after practice, Hernandez has earned what he has gotten through four games of his rookie season.

    The shifty Florida product leads the Patriots with 240 receiving yards, and he is second on the team with 18 catches. Hernandez has quickly morphed into one of Brady's favorite targets, and the offense has experienced success when Brady has looked toward Hernandez.

    Hernandez, who won't turn 21 until Nov. 6, has transitioned to the NFL a little more quickly than most might have expected.

    "You have so much time," Hernandez said. "You have rookie camp, mini-camp, training camp, all these camps. If you don’t know the plays yet, then there’s something wrong. Obviously, there’s some plays we put in week by week that we have to pick up on, but you have so many people like Brady, [who is] going to be on you in the huddle if you are unsure, so there’s really nothing to worry about."

    Hernandez compared his relationship with Brady to the one he had at Florida with former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, although Hernandez said he has matured a lot more in the last few years, and that has sped along the growing process.

    "With Tebow, it took a little longer because I was really young, really immature going into Florida, so I didn’t pick up everything as quick as I do now," Hernandez said. "So when I finally developed into a good player, then Tebow and me started getting my connection, and he started trusting me and that’s how things came along. And then when Tom started trusting me, that’s when we started getting our connection, and he started talking to me and working with me."

    Hernandez's success can also be greatly attributed to his athletic ability. He plays more like a wide receiver, and the Patriots use him as such. He is faster and certainly quicker than most linebackers, and he is bigger than opposing safeties. When the Patriots get him in the right matchup, Hernandez has been able to really thrive.

    That’s actually how Hernandez first realized his potential as a tight end. He was a running back in middle school but transitioned to wide receiver in high school -- a move the coaches told him was necessary if he wanted to play on the varsity team as a freshman. As a sophomore, Hernandez wanted to go back to running back, but the coaching staff had different ideas, instead moving him to tight end because of his elite athleticism.

    It worked immediately on the high school fields in Connecticut, and then again in the SEC, and that recipe is still holding true in the NFL. So far, it's been all about a strong dedication to make the right adjustments for Hernandez, and he's realized that will help the game come to him.

    "It worked out for the best, I guess," Hernandez said of his switch to tight end. "I liked it because they put slower people on me, linebackers that couldn’t move as much. It made me happier because it made it easier for me. But it didn’t matter, anyways, I just loved running routes and catching the ball."
     
  20. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #3 Jersey

    Misunderstanding, my good man: I had NO idea that you'd misspelled it. :eek:

    I was actually AGREEING with you...in my own horrifically twisted WAY. :D

    .
     
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