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Heath Evans and the Fullback Dive

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by unoriginal, Dec 15, 2006.

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  1. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    Maybe everyone can shut up about Bridget, Gabriel and the feud and read this article on the fullback dive... you know, something about football:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/dr_z/12/14/fullback.dive/1.html

    That's the link to the second page of 2. Here's the part the concerns the Pats specifically:

    Z has a pretty good memory for a geezer but I'm not quite sure this play was really that much on hiatus - Howard Griffith, Terrell Davis's fullback, often got to run dives for the good Denver teams of the late 90's. Not mentioned in the article is Justin Griffith (what is it with fullbacks named Griffith?) who is a pretty quick fullback for Atlanta. Very good hands out of the backfield as well.

    I think Evans demonstrated last year that he's pretty much a running back trapped in a fullback's body. In light of Heath's 4.6 ypc, despite his long run of 35, and at least another 8 yard dive I can remember recently, what does that say about the run blocking of our interior line? Each of those guys reportedly is perfect to run that quick dive - Mankins, Koppen, and Neal are supposed to be pullers, chippers, guys who can get out on linebackers and lead screens downfield - so why have we been chugging at 2 yards a carry most of the time? Exclusive usage on third and short?
  2. Robdude

    Robdude Rookie

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    While I do not disagree with the article I do not think it fixes anything. I think the dive is effective mainly because it is a surprise. It isn't what the defense is expecting. If defenses are shown to look for it I think the yards per play will go down. There are RBs out there with high YPC mainly because they are a surprise to get the ball.

    IMHO I think our running offense is pretty good. We are not ranked where I would have hoped (12?) I think we would be much more productive if we simply give Dillon the ball more. I think the team is too much in love with the RB by commitee approach. Even this last game against the Dolphins, Dillon looked very good against a solid defense but there are gaps when he does not make it on the field at all. It amazes how often he makes a solid gain only to be pulled out for the remainder of the drive and even the next drive. I like Maroney but Dillon has shown the consistency of a starting running back he should be in the vast majority of the time. I do not think defenses fear Faulk, Pass, or Evans. So when they are the only people in the backfield with Brady it hurts the offense over all.

    I know people talk about 'saving' Dillon but what are we saving him for now? The season is winding down. The offense lacks a go to guy and it seems to be missing an identity. I think our problems will be lessened (not solved) if we keep our best players on the field. I cringe everytime I see him tapping his helmet after a play to get pulled out or when he is sitting on the sideline with the offense on the field
  3. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    I remember earlier in the season it seemed like Dillon was running really hard, hammering people with square shoulder pads and carrying piles. He's seems to be running out of bounds much more often now, and taking oblique angles into tackles like he's protecting one shoulder or the other. And yes, there's that tapping-the-helmet thing. I really do think he's pacing himself for the playoffs.

    I think the one thing that is crucial for the second season is to have both Maroney and Dillon healthy and churning out yards in the cold weather, so yeah, I like to see Evans get some carries, though he also gets a little bit of wear blocking as a fullback. Anyway, I don't think Evans carries the rock enough yet to be classified as a carry leecher.

    Its really a shame Pass got injured again; good special teamer and a good fill-in if any back but Maroney got hurt. Probably also would have been an exceptional dive fullback as well.
  4. pats63

    pats63 Rookie

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    I think Heath Evans is doing a great job for the pats. He is for the team frist,like all patriots are for team frist. He can break for a big gain at anytime....
  5. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    The playoffs. Do you remember last year? Denver? We didn't have a healthy RB and the Broncos game plan was to ignore the run and tee off on Brady?

    Racking up a lot of yards in meaningless end-of-season games (we will win the division, will not get a bye, so what's meaningful?) might bring our ranking up from 12th or whatever to 10th, but so what? Who cares if we end up in the same pickle we were in last year.

    Keep him fresh, keep him healthy.
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