Welcome to PatsFans.com

Felger: Pats moving to a more "aggressive" scheme?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BillBelichickFan79, Jul 15, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BillBelichickFan79

    BillBelichickFan79 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I was reading through Felger's mailbag and came across his thoughts on the Pats offseason.

    Hey Felger Mailbag - CSNNE

    I know Felger claims to have some decent sources inside the Patriots organization (like with the AD Brinks truck story). I thought it could spark an interesting discussion.

    I'll believe it when I see it, like Felger said, but I've been hoping for a more "aggressive" scheme for a while. I've always preferred the cliche "penetrate and attack" defense (Rex Ryan, LeBeau, Jim Johnson etc.) to the cliche "read and react" defense of BB and Parcells. I just think that type of attacking defense is more conducive for defending in the modern pass-happy NFL. More and more teams are turning 1st and 2nd downs into passing downs as we've seen with an eye-popping 10 QB's throwing for over 4,000 yards this past season.

    Of course, I'm highly skeptical that BB will just abandon the defense that has won him 3 Super Bowls in 4 SB appearances this decade, but maybe there are some signs that this could be true.

    1. Rex Ryan always says he needs corners to be able to "play on an island" to free up his front seven and safeties to wreak havoc on opponents. The Patriots have used two high draft picks in the last two years on physical/press corners who seem like they will excel in press man coverage (Butler, who has looked very promising at times and McCourty, who Rex Ryan supposedly "coveted" during the draft). They also re-signed Bodden to a multi-year deal, who was solid in press man last year.

    It's been a long time since we've seen a secondary with this much promise, and the old Patriots philosophy seemed to be that CB's weren't of the greatest importance because their dominant front 7 could make average/JAG corners look good. However, over the last 2 years, it seems like there has been a possible shift in philosophy with an emphasis on finding quality corners. I can't remember the last time the Patriots were this deep at corner, with Bodden, Butler, Wilhite, McCourty, and even Wheatley. Most feel Bodden was a steady presence last year, and Butler and McCourty seem to have the traits and the potential to be those guys who can "play on an island" at times. I even feel that Wilhite has the makings of a great slot corner and a pretty good #2 corner once he works on his ball skills.

    2. Take a look at some of the defensive lineman Belichick has collected over the past couple of years. Wright, Pryor, D. Lewis, G. Warren have all been talked about as good penetrating interior rushers by Mike Reiss. Daryl Richard came from an aggressive 1-gap/penetrating scheme at Georgia Tech. There are still classic 2-gappers like Brace and Deaderick that have been taken too, and even Warren has been said to be someone who could be a 2-gap DE. Still, the addition of some more upfield/penetrating defensive lineman is something shouldn't be overlooked.

    3. Looking at the safeties in a more aggressive scheme like the Ravens have had for years, they had one ball-hawking center fielder type in Ed Reed and one woodlayer/run stopper/blitzer at the other safety position. Guys like Rex Ryan and Jim Johnson have loved blitzing one of their safeties. Most feel Meriweather is that type of ball hawking center fielder. Patrick Chung was drafted in the second round and was called great box safety and an effective blitzer. We saw some flashes of that. One memory I recall is in the first Miami game when Chung blitzed and clocked Chad Henne but it was called back for leading with the helmet.

    4. It's been reported numerous times that Belichick will take a more active role on defense. This could simply be because there are a ton of rookies and second year players and he wants to be front and center in helping develop these guys into reliable starters. But could it also be because Belichick is installing a different scheme/philosophy for the first time and he wants to make sure the defense is firing on all cylinders? It's possible. I think with a team like this, you should try to take advantage of their youth and athleticism and maybe try to up aggressiveness and be more dynamic.

    5. The need for a "dominant force" at OLB has been talked about for years. Almost everyone feels this is a need that really has not been addressed. If you look at the Jets, they don't really have any studs at OLB. The pressure they created last year was more due to their scheme than their OLB's. When you look at what the Pats have at OLB, isn't it kind of similar to what the Jets had? They've pretty much got a bunch of average/solid guys, none of which are on the level of guys like Ware or Dumervil. Most teams do have some studs like Suggs, Woodley, Harrison, Dumervil, Ware, etc., but you can sometimes cover up for not having a dominant guy like that by employing an aggressive scheme. There is a lot of blitzing done by LB's in this scheme. Another addition, Spikes, was a pretty effective blitzer at Florida. Could we see some double-A-gap blitzes with Mayo and Spikes shooting gaps and trying to collapse the pocket?

    It may just be speculation or hopeful thinking, but at the very least, it's something to definitely think about. What are your thoughts on a potentially more aggressive defense? Do you expect to see one or do you have to see it to believe first?

    As you can probably tell, I'm pumped and cannot wait for opening day to come after that devastating Baltimore loss last year.
     
  2. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    18,713
    Likes Received:
    328
    Ratings:
    +865 / 6 / -14

    #75 Jersey

    I could see a more aggressive defense, they have a hell of a lot more athleticism at LB and DB. I don't imagine it will be real complex, but why do they have to go together?
     
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    31,653
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +530 / 13 / -14

    #24 Jersey

    Two comments :

    1) One of the viewers of the OTA's, I think it was Reiss but I'm not 100%, said something like "this isn't the same 2 gap defense you're used to" but he couldn't say any more because the media isn't allowed to talk about specific plays.

    2) This "I'll believe it when I see it" and "it is what it is" stuff is silly when it comes to the pass rush because with all the young athleticism we have it's VERY possible to implement something more aggressive. We'll have players like Cunningham, Spikes, maybe Crable, who aren't fully functional players but who can make specific athletic plays (I know Spikes isn't a great athlete but he was a good blitzer in college).
     
  4. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    Their defense almost lost them all 3 of those super bowls and finally cracked in '07. But to be fair, Brady had a perfect chance of pulling away from the Panthers but threw a dumb pass in the endzone that was intercepted which put the Panthers right back in the game.
    Couldn't have said it any better. The problem with the current Pats is that nobody has shown they can come through in the clutch. Nobody can make a damn play. Like the 1st Ravens game, Butler didn't do anything to make Clayton drop the pass. The Pats rely on you making a mistake instead of making opponents make mistakes.

    Lack of playmaking in critical situations his has been a major problem since 2006. While former clutch players like Vrabel, Bruschi and Harrrison were getting older and McGinest gone, nobody could step up and make a play.

    I understand their defense is young, but I haven't seen a young player with any swagger. In fact, most of them don't look very confident at all. All I see them do is look around and wait for something to happen. This defense needs an attitude and until they show that, they won't go very far in the playoffs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  5. Elijah

    Elijah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,317
    Likes Received:
    43
    Ratings:
    +109 / 9 / -3

    #11 Jersey

    You couldn't be any more wrong. In Madden 11, Brandon Meriweather has 89 swagger! Spikes has 88! And to complement them, both Hernandez and Cunningham have 85 swagger. How's that sound? :rocker:
     
  6. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I think Felgers pretty spot on there TBH
     
  7. BillBelichickFan79

    BillBelichickFan79 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I'm 100% with you. I'm not saying he shouldn't move away from it because he won, I'm saying that might be his thought process. I know everyone talks about Belichick as a defensive genius, and there's no doubt in my mind that he's a very bright guy, but his defenses have been a little "overrated."

    They couldn't stop the Rams from getting in the end zone and let them tie the game with 1:30 left on the clock. They couldn't stop Carolina from getting in the end zone and let them tie the game with 1:08 left on the clock. They let the Eagles drive 79 yards to cut the lead to 24-21 with 1:55 left. Miracle catch or not, they let the Giants drive down and score the GW TD with under a minute left in the game.

    Isn't that supposed to be the staple of a BB defense? Make big plays when it counts? Come up clutch? "Bend but don't break?" All they had to do was keep the Rams, Panthers, and Giants out of the end zone, but they couldn't. Even in the 07 AFC Championship, they let the Chargers drive all the way down into the red zone 4 times. Even against Indy in the goal line stand game, they let Indy drive down and basically got lucky that they couldn't punch it in on four tries. Against Indy in the 2006 AFC Championship, they blew a 21-3 halftime lead. It's happened way too many times in critical situations. Usually Brady bails the team out by driving down the field to win it with just seconds remaining. But when he doesn't have the chance to like in SB42 with barely enough time left, or when he fails to and throws a pick like the 2006 AFCCG, the team often comes up on the losing side.

    I agree that the Pats rely on you making your own mistakes and virtually beating yourself. It's sort of a "keep everything in front of you/make them earn it" motto. I've never been a fan of this type of defense.

    I prefer the more aggressive style of defense where the pressure you put on your opponents forces them into mistakes. You dictate the tempo, throw off their timing, force them into quicker decisions. As we saw many times this year, you can keep dropping guys into coverage, but eventually even a decent QB will just wait it out and eventually find an opening (Chad Henne).

    Look at what the Jets did vs us at the Meadowlands last year. We get the ball back with just under two minutes left. The ball is in Brady's hands. This is a situation Brady thrives in most of the time. The Pats picked up a first down on the first pass and then had 4 straight in-completions. Game over. The Jets brought the heat and had Brady under fire. He had no time to find an open WR and had no time to go downfield. That's the brand of defense I love.

    I don't think it's a coincidence the two best defenses over the last decade in terms of YPG and turnovers are Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

    Additionally, I do recall Reiss saying that it wasn't the same 2-gapping defense.

    Belichick is a smart guy. I think he realizes how the NFL has evolved and I trust him to make the changes he feels are necessary.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  8. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Yep, we cant have games like last year where QB's like Henne, Flacco, Sanhez etc had 5+ seconds every down to sit in the pocket and throw the ball
     
  9. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    31,047
    Likes Received:
    576
    Ratings:
    +1,742 / 16 / -5

    Really? Against the Rams they shut down the Greatest SHow on Turf for 3 1/2 quarters. The Patriots offense scored 13 points in that game while the Pats defense scored 7 points (a Ty Law INY returned for a TD). To say the defense almost lost the Pats that Super Bowl is a gross mischaracterization of what went on in that game. The Pats won that game because of two things - the defense and the last offensive drive. The Pats defense stopped that game from being a repeat of the Pats-Bears Super Bowl.

    Against Philly, the Pats turned over McNabb three times and played bend don't break for most of the game. People forget that the Pats offense stalled quite a bit in that game (I think they had 6 three and outs on offense) which put the defense on the field far more than they should.

    As for the Giants' Super Bowl, the defense failed the last drive, but that was a total team effort.

    As for the Panthers' Super Bowl, that game could have been over too if Vinatieri didn't miss two lay up field goals and kick a horrible pooch kick off right before the half that allowed the Panthers to get into field goal range in one play. Again, it wasn't all on the defense.
     
  10. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    31,047
    Likes Received:
    576
    Ratings:
    +1,742 / 16 / -5

    I have always said the last fseveral years that while people were blasting McDainels and O-Brien, I thought the attention should have been more on Pees. I never got the hatred of McDaniels and people would be upset at him because the Pats score over 30 points and while the defense gives up four TDs. Pees never seemed to be held accountable and the offense was always blamed for the defensive problems (the Pats scored too quickly and didn't give the defense a chance to rest was my favorite excuse for the defense repeatedly written on this board).

    I was impressed with Pees when he first got here, but somewhere around 2007 he got very passive in his play calling. It seemed that he liked to play prevent defense for large portions of the game. I know Belichick likes a read and react 2 gap, but a staple of his defense was allowing opposing offenses to move in the open field a bit but always tighten up in the red zone. Pees seemed to never get that because he would still play a loose defense in the red zone. Crennel would take advantage of the shorten field and allow his front seven to put more pressure on the QB, Pees still didn't do that nearly enough.

    Another thing Pees seemed to lack is the deception. Far more when Crennel was here, LBs and safeties would move around far more and opposing QBs would be confused on who rushed and who didn't. Other than certain situations the last few years, defenders would stand still until the ball was snapped. Also, Crennel loved the delayed blitz. It would throw o-linemen off because they would think a LB was going to drop into coverage and lose track of him. Pees barely used it.

    Another problem with the defense that will hopefully be fixed is that Pees obviously was not great at in game adjustments. Why else would he be in the booth and Belichick was the one working with the starting defense making the adjustments? What DC sits in the booth anymore?

    I personally think the loss of Pees may be an addition by subtraction. It seems that Belichick agrees with that assessment. Who knows if Matt Patricia or Pepper Johnson will be great DCs, but I do expect the defense to be more aggressive and better than it was last year.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  11. BradfordPatsFan

    BradfordPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    2,525
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    I was going to say a lot of these same things. Also, in the Carolina Super Bowl weren't the Pats down to their two back up safeties at the end? I'm sure that had a lot to do with Carolina's final drive.
     
  12. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    23,776
    Likes Received:
    682
    Ratings:
    +1,861 / 19 / -12

    Disable Jersey


    Precisely. Belichick uncharacteristicly publicly went ballistic on the sidelines at the blown safety coverage that yielded the Eagles last TD. Note how the game ended. The Pats D (#37) made a pick.
     
  13. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    13,061
    Likes Received:
    40
    Ratings:
    +85 / 4 / -3

    Meanwhile, Sean Payton is stealing the Patriots' defensive playbook to contain Manning.

    The Colts were the archnemesis during all those years, or otherwise the Steelers. These are two teams that you do NOT play aggressively against. You slowly choke them to death like a boa constrictor, because both QBs have been known to make boneheaded decisions in tight spots. That's just what the Patriots used to do. I wish I had the resources of Cold Hard Facts to look at how successful the Steelers and Colts have been in the red zone against the Patriots in the playoffs. I know that the Patriots won their share of games in the playoffs against these two teams, but specifically the Belichick defense was at its best in the red zone.
     
  14. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    4,613
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -1

    #3 Jersey

    An aggressive scheme will improve the D, well I think it would.

    Hit the WRs as they catch the ball, and make sure they are scared to do it again :D
     
  15. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    31,047
    Likes Received:
    576
    Ratings:
    +1,742 / 16 / -5

    Well, I am assuming that Belichick will still try to tailor his defense for his opponents. Against a team where it is more advantageous to play a zone and allow the shorter passes while not allowing anything over the top like the Colts, I am sure that is the way the Pats will play. But the Pats faced a lot of first time starting QBs last year and didn't even try to confuse them by pressuring them at all.
     
  16. cmasspatsfan

    cmasspatsfan In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0 / -0

    Your right, if the Pats were any good they would have won all those super bowls 65-0 :rolleyes:
     
  17. Garbanza

    Garbanza In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    I can see a more "agressive" scheme because the defense is younger and faster. If they can learn the defensive schemes quickly - maybe, just maybe, they can indeed be more agressive because their athletisism will allow them to.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  18. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    23,776
    Likes Received:
    682
    Ratings:
    +1,861 / 19 / -12

    Disable Jersey

    That inexplicable behaviour in 2009 really really frustrated me last season. Was the talent SO bad that it couldn't adapt week to week to install a more agressive rush at the expense of coverage on newbie QBs or what? Puzzeling.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  19. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,798
    Likes Received:
    36
    Ratings:
    +101 / 4 / -0

    Great point. I believe it was Reiss who made that comment.
     
  20. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    13,061
    Likes Received:
    40
    Ratings:
    +85 / 4 / -3

    I think the young players have to learn to play that style of defense. If you're constantly switching up, there's a question of whether they can get it down when it counts.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>