Can this team change it's offensive identity?

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by cloud34, Jan 6, 2010.

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  1. cloud34

    cloud34 On the Game Day Roster

    ...from a spread 'em out, 4 or 5 wides sets, to a power running team? The healthiest and deepest position on the team right now would be at RB,going 5 deep, the thinnest at WR, without Welker and possibly even Aiken. Could the offensive line, which has become more of a pass blocking unit the past few years become a snot blowing power running machine? I know this minimizes your best player in #12, but could a running game similar to the 2001 team be the best way to go at this point?
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    We'll be surprised and impressed.
  3. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

    IMO they started moving in that direction already starting with the Carolina game. # of attempts out of the shotgun is way down from earlier in the season and the pass/rush % is about 52/48 .

    Power-running team? No. More balanced? Absolutely.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  4. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron In the Starting Line-Up

    #24 Jersey

    Absence of WW will allow defenses to focus on the run, and the Pats were not a great rushing team before. I think they will have to prove they can still pass before they are able to run.
  5. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 Supporter Supporter

    power running games, with a premium on time of possession, usually go hand in glove with shut down d's and i don't think even quaffers of the Kool Aid would describe our defense in those terms this year. so, for now i think the pats will continue to focus on putting up a lot of points and hope that Pees' unit can hang on in the fourth quarter.

    i think the biggest question was the one effectively posed by Brady on Monday when he said that the Offense would have to evolve back to where his favorite receiver was the open guy. that to me is what has to happen in the space of just a week if the pats are going to be a threat in the playoffs. a solid running game that complements that will be critical to his ability to do that, but I think that's where we're going to see the change to the team's "offensive identity" and not in the area of a makeover into a power running team.

    i don't see the pats making that kind of a change as long as Brady is healthy and the franchise QB.
  6. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

    I'm not saying the offenses are similar in design or that this team is a running team but I think most would be surprised to know the Pats 2009 running game production is actually slightly more productive than the 2001 running game was:

    2009 - 466 attempts 4.1 avg 120 ypg 19 tds
    2001 - 473 attempts 3.8 avg 112 ypg 15 tds

    In 2009 we ran on 44% of plays, 2001 was 49%.

    I think people remember the 2001 and 2003 teams much differently than they actually were on offense. The 2004 team with Corey Dillon is remembered as the offense of all 3 title teams. It wasn't. Those first 2 title teams were both passing teams - just more of a controlled passing game than the current offense which relies on Moss deep and Welker's YAC.

    I can certainly see the Pats going with more of that old Pats style passing game - for example running Moss on a lot of shorter routes. I'd be surprised if they came out and tried to run it 40 times.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  7. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron In the Starting Line-Up

    #24 Jersey

    This is misleading because the 2001 team did not have the complimentary passing game. 2009 rushing yards were gained on defenses designed to stop Welker and Moss. Those players are now turned loose.
  8. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Let's go full T! We can have LoMo, Morris, and Taylor in the backfield. Multiple fake handoffs per play!

  9. 102 Pat

    102 Pat In the Starting Line-Up

    #85 Jersey

    I think by late afternoon on sunday, we'll be on here raving about Kevin Faulk's performance...just saying...:)

    Still, won't this be the first game all year long where all the RB's are healthy and ready to play?
  10. There are no shutdown defenses in the tournament this year based on objective measures of shutdown defenses. What's constitutes your concept, well......

    The Pats lead the league in TOP, where exactly is that within power running?

    After a decade of BB football, why is the concept of opponent specific gameplans so hard to fathom? In 2006, with Reche Caldwell, the Pats went 5 wide and spread the Vikings out. Against the Bengals in 2006, Maroney had his best game.

    Besides half this board has complained the offensive woes were based on Bradt targeting Welker. Problem solved.
  11. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Exactly. "Eating up the clock" does NOT mean run run run. You win TOP by getting first downs to extend drives, and you do that by finding a favorable matchup that you can exploit. If that's your o-line run blocking against a small front seven, running is a good option. If that's spreading out and getting a quick receiver matched up with a linebacker, you make a quick pass and it's the same result.

    Balance is key to keep defenses honest, but overall you select plays that you think give you an advantage, run or pass.
  12. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 Supporter Supporter

    you make a very interesting point on TOP...the Pats (at least according to CBS: NFL Stats - are actually second to Green Bay by a few seconds per game, but that doesn't invalidate your point...the interesting thing is that the Pats achieve that high TOP despite being only 12th in Rushing Yards...they are, however, third in passing yards, suggesting that Brady's accuracy and all those throws over the middle to Wes allowed them to eat up a lot of clock with the passing game...that's definitely at risk without Welker. the Pats ended up 11th in Total Defense, 12th against the Pass and 13th against the rush, so their success on TOP was clearly due primarily to the accuracy and nature of the Passing game.

    (as an aside, Green Bay is very interesting on the TOP stat...they lead the league in that regard, but their Rushing Offense is only 14th and their Passing Offense is just 7th...they do, however, rank second behind the Jets in Total Defense...but most interestingly, they crush the rest of the league in Takeaway/Giveaways with a net of 24 (40TA and 16GA)...the nearest team is the Cowboys at 15 or just about half...the Pats had a net 6 TA/GA (28/22).)

    as for oppo specific game plans, my only point is that going from the game the pats have played this year to what the OP suggests probably can't be done in one week and the stats cited above tend to validate that point.

    the realistic scenario, IMO, is based on whether they can move from "All Wes All the Time" to the 2003--2006 approach where the receiver of choice was "Whoever the Hell is Open." i think that's what Brady meant when he said the Offense would have to "evolve" this week without Welker.

    the bottom line to me is that they need an offense now that can put up enough points to cover for a D that, for whatever reason, seems to give up too many points when they're ahead in important games...the great thing about the Bills and Jax games was that they seemed to have improved a lot in that regard, which is why the way the Houston game ended was so disappointing to me.

    Good post. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  13. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    You know... I think losing Welker is a blessing in disguise. I fully expect a smackdown for that statement and I admit it feels awkward to say.

    BUT... we have other clutch guys in Faulk and Watson (plenty of examples available from this season alone). Where losing Wes will be most costly is in uber-tense 3rd down situations.

    The thing is, Brady can't look beyond Welker for a go-to guy, as Welker isn't there. He has to step back into his old role of finding the open guy, because it won't be Wes for 10-12 passes a game.

    Moss will have to play over the middle some. In fact, if he wants that ring, he's got to put his body on the line. I hope he's healthy.

    Edelman and Faulk can do what Wes does on a certain scale. At any rate it should be enough.

    Also, whetever blueprint people thought the Saints drew up is now toast as this injury changes what Moss does and makes the next go-to guy impossible to be sure of.

    This also will help us for next year (assuming we can win a game or four this post-season) in retraining Brady and maybe uncovering solid WR options already on the team that Wes made invisible prior to now.

    Oh to be a fly-on-the-wall this week.
  14. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 Supporter Supporter

    yeah, it looks like that's pretty much what they did, but with the emphasis on passing was brady's efficiency and plays across the middle to welker that ate the clock up...not just keeping the ball on the ground...
  15. Exactly 74

    The playoffs will be determined by putting up the points in the sense the winner will sustain scoring. TOP is a factor, but another factor is the number of possessions. At some point, increased drives do equal more points. That's why football is a game of adjustments.

    A few threads ago, I challenged Kontradiction to name "great" defenses for 2009. Every defense he named surrendered leads that were equal or more that the Pats surrendered this year. All the defenses had games where they were blown out equal or exceeded the Pats.

    It's very understandable and correct to have doubts about our defense. However, the level of judgement this year has been too much against prior BB defenses and too little on current or standard defensive performance levels.
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson Veteran Supporter

    I disagree. They still have to defend the Welker position.
    If they choose to "focus on the run" which you imply means they ignore Edelman who is in Welkers spot running Welkers plays, then Edelman will exceed Welkers production.

    Thats the thing I don't get. Why would someone assume that the defense will defend the plays we run any differently because 11 is lined up in 83s spot? Once its snapped, nothing is changed. I would HOPE that they defend us differently and then that can make up for the difference in ability between 83 and 11


    #12 Jersey

    The only positive thing to get out of the loss of Welker is that Brady should and WILL look for the open man and not dwell on just 2 guys anymore...Moss will be more of a decoy than a factor in the playoffs...Its up to Edelman,Aiken and whoever suits up as a receiver to take on the burden and produce. - Moss will NOT be a factor in the playoffs IMO,he is going to be out there double teamed and leaving man to man on the other guys,thats where they must shine.
  18. NEPatriot

    NEPatriot Banned

    How can we change our offensive identity when we don't have one?

    I find it amazing when we can't find our identity during training camp, preseason games, and 16 regular season games.

    It's too late to find it when we are in the playoff, isn't it?
  19. mgteich

    mgteich Veteran Supporter

    The offense is NOT changing, nor should it. When he played, Welker averaged about 10 catches a game. When Welker didn't play Sunday , the slot reciever still caught 10. Edelman is NOT Welker, but he is Welker's replacement in the offense. Since we have a capable replacement, there is no need to change the offense.

    After all this offense is a top 5 offense in almost all overall categories. We are a passing team, but are still above average in running yards and #2 in TOP. We don't need to change the offense.

    What we do need to do is to execute the offense in the second half, especially the fourth quarter. Having four healthy quality running backs should help. I don't recall us ever being in that sitauation in the playoffs.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  20. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    The offensive "identity" wont' change. Edelman will be expected to do his job, which was previously Wes' job and the gameplans and playcalls will continue to be made based on the opposing defense. They wont run if the defense is stacking the box and they won't force the pass if they defense is dropping everyone back.

    And it's not like the spread is new since Moss/Welker got here.

    Moss has been double teamed every single game for most of his career. No matter what you want to say, Moss being on the field will be a big factor. I fully expect him to make plays, even the best defenses don't contain Moss over the longterm. His "bad" games this year came in games where Brady missed signficant practice time and was running plays for the FIRST time during the actual game, along with other things. Defenses have to do all they can do just to keep Moss' numbers human, but he'll still produce.

    And this ridiculous assertion that Brady only looks for 2 guys has got to stop. Losing Welker is not GOOD for the team, although I think the team can overcome it. There is no "blessing in disguise" here, I'm sorry. But just look at Welker's production. Look at Brady's production, even with all the injuries and the toughest pass defense schedule in a couple of decades etc...
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