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Hernandez and Gronkowski Snaps per Position

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Sciz, Feb 27, 2013.

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  1. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tight End or Wide Receiver? - Offseason Low Down - Rotoworld.com
    Great article that used PFF's numbers (at least these are hard to screw up) and put together the percentages that some tight ends spent at each position. The Pats' two are listed below and will probably surprise a lot of people.

    Hernandez:
    41% slot
    35% in-line
    19% wide
    5% backfield

    So for all of you talking about turning him into a WR, don't bother. He already played 60% of his snaps as a wide receiver last year, about the same as last year (although I think it was closer to a 30/30 slot/wide split than 40/20).

    Gronkowski:
    51% in-line
    45% slot

    There wasn't a full write-up on Gronk, so there's 4% of the snaps that were split between out wide and in the backfield in some unknown way.
  2. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    Has Gronk ever played FB? Would love to see the beast power through the whole for Ridley on a goal line play now that Ballard is here.
  3. I.M. Fletcher

    I.M. Fletcher Rookie

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    Pretty interesting stats. I wonder what the backup TEs splits would have looked like this year.
  4. JarOfMayo51

    JarOfMayo51 Rookie

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    Gronk has basically assumed the role of a full-back many times when hes motioned and the ball is snapped when hes behind the G/C/G area. He starts from his TE position or spread out wide, but they will motion him all over the place to help block in the run game.
  5. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hernandez in the slot is a TE, not a WR. (Technically Hback)
    Ths is a critical distinction because the biggest value Hernandez has is his matchup vs LB and S, and when he is in PFFs definition of the slot it is a 2 TE 2 WR (neither of which is him) formation.

    Again no one would say Gronk was a WR 45% of the time.
  6. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You're making this way more complicated than it needs to be. The point of all of this is to take listed position out of the equation. If Hernandez is in the slot, then he's considered to be the same "position" as if Welker were in the slot. It doesn't matter who's guarding him. The benefit is that since teams consider him a TE, they don't usually put an extra CB on the field. There's nothing that says that Hernandez can't be in the slot while being covered by an LB or S, and you can have 2 TEs on the field without having either of them lined up at the traditional TE position.
  7. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hernandez is a TE. To call him something else is wrong. When a team runs a 2 TE offense with 2 WRs one TE is basically always 'in the slot'
    Lining up between the T and WR does not make every player the same.
    To say Welker and Hernandez are playing the same position is just wrong.
  8. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hernandez is listed as a tight end. He's still a tight end no matter where he lines up. These stats are talking about where he lines up, completely ignoring the position he's listed at.

    You don't understand what these numbers are representing. That doesn't make them wrong.
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    the numbers are right, but your interpretation is wrong. To say Welker and Hernandez are playing the same position means you aren't applying logic to what the numbers mean our don't understand the offense.
    Your belief of what pff means by slot and what read going on on the field conduct each other.


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  10. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    If a guy lines up in a WR's position and runs a WR's route, he's acting as a WR.

    If Gronk or AHern are covered by different players than would cover WRs in the same positions, there are two obvious explanations:


    • They have different physiques, so different guys are suited to cover them than are suited to cover little(r) WRs.
    • They MIGHT line up in a more classic TE and/or blocking role, so the guys who cover them have to be the ones you'd also want on the field against a different offensive formation.
    Those explanations might be reasons for saying "The whole point is that the guys are REALLY TEs", but they are not good reasons for denying that the guys are ACTING as WRs.

    Where I find this all interesting is not so much in terms of position semantics, but rather in questions like "Which of our receivers -- TEs or WRs as the case may be -- can we productively send to which parts of the field?"
  11. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Agreed, and Hernandez does not do that very often.

    But that makes no sense.
    If Hernandez goes out with an injury, Fells or Hooman come in. If Welker goes out with an injury a WR comes in.
    Hernandez doesn't play Welkers role, Welker doesn't play Hernandez role.
    Every player who lines up behind the los between the T and WR is in the slot, and qualifies as 'the same' in those numbers.
    A TE who lines up in the TE area but back a step because there is a split end on the other side isnt a WR while the TE who is on the LOS because the flanker is on his side, is a TE.
    Almost all of the formations in question have WR and TE on each side of the field. Which one is on the LOS and which one a couple of steps back is meaningless to what their real position is. Often the reason is that we send men in motion on almost every play to determine coverage and it is usually an inside receiver, so which alignment is used depends on you want to be the motion guy, for various reasons.




    Those numbers give us zero insight into that question.
  12. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    The Patriots offense is based on concepts and personnel groupings. To say that that Welker and Hernandez being lined up in the same spot is always the same or always different isn't correct. There's going to be some overlap. The value of Hernandez is that he can be plugged into many of the groupings/concepts so that Patriots don't have to substitute and therefore can take advantage of what personnel the defense puts on the field. If Welker and Edelman were both out they could move Hernandez to the slot as a pure receiver and use Gronk and one of the other TEs in those roles. Hernandez is less likely to replace Gronk simply because he isn't half the blocker he is.
  13. Kenneth Sims

    Kenneth Sims Rookie

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    It would be interesting to see the percentages broken down by whether the Patriots had their running back in the backfield rather than lined up wide. It would also be interesting to see on what percentage of plays Welker is lined up outside.

    One of my concerns with this offense is that while Welker and Hernandez have different skillsets, they both are most effective running inside routes. But, since you don't want too many inside routes being run on any one play to prevent a traffic jam, you end up using either Welker of Hernandez to run outside routes which they are much less effective doing.

    I've come to the conclusion that this is why the Pats run so many empty sets. The runnng back out wide draws a defender out there allowing more room for Welker, Hernandez and Gronk to run the inside stuff.
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