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How much is correctable?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Dec 2, 2009.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't think that we currently have close to the team that the saints have. That doesn't mean that we can't win the AFC and even beat the saints on a given Sunday. We have a top 5 offense and a top 10 defense. That's good enough for the playoffs. The issue is what we can do to be a force in the playoffs.

    THE OFFENSE
    1. The OL plays very well when healthy. They are decimated at the moment. Almost all have been playing injured, or have sat out games recently with injuries. The cure is health.
    2. Have we really been playing too much predictable shotgun? I think so, but this has happened when a lineman goes down. Again the cure is health.
    3. O'Brian isn't very good at his job, but we are not sure that he even calls the plays. In any cas,e the running game has been much, much better. We have developed both a #3 receiver in Aiken and a backup slot man in Edelman. Even Stanback looks pretty good. The offense has Morris back. Again, even here, the main issue is the health of the OL.
    4. There is ONE issue on the offense that is a mystery: the inability to finish and the relatively poor performance in the second half of games. I don't know the answer. It has been a long time since a Belichick team has blown second half leads (3 so far). Having a terrible game is one thing. Blowing a 17 point lead is quite another.
    5. BOTTOM LINE - This offense is an elite offense; not the best, but elite nonetheless.

    THE DEFENSE
    1. We could be better with Seymour and Hobbs on the squad, but this is not an option.
    We will need to settle for the fine young developing defense that we have.
    2. The defensive line has been playing pretty well when healthy. Wilfork, Green and Warren have all been injured. Wright has played very well indeed. Burgess and Pryor have been contributers in a couple of games. In the end, health is the real issue at the moment.
    3. The linebackers are what they are: our weakest unit. We knew this going into the offseason, into the draft, into the preseason, and into the season. The good news is that they have been playing reasonably well. However, it does say something when TBC is the best performer among the linebackers. It seems that better schemes might help. We have four very reasonable linebackers in Banta-Cain, Mayo, Thomas and Guyton. And Woods and Ninkovich have been OK when they have been called upon. This could have been much worse, given the personnel.
    4. We don't have much of a pass-rush. We needed one of Burgess or Banta-Cain to step up even to have what we have. That did indeed happen. However, we also need better play from Thomas.
    5. The secondary has been very good so far this year, and they have been improving. Yes, they had an aweful game against the possible league MVP and the best passer of the past three years. Yes, they missed some coverages. However, the patriot defensive schemes presented no problems for the saints. What can be done was seen in the play of the very weak saints secondary. Somehow, the patriots had no clue what was coming from the saints defense. It changed during the game. Kudos to the saints coaching staff!
    6. The bottom line is that this is a top 10 defense, and that is good enough for the playoffs and good enough to win it all if the offense plays better (which would require more healthy players).

    BOTTOM LINE
    We have a great offense and a so-so defense. We have to be able to expect the offense to win some games late, especially if the defense falters. We may prefer it the other way around, but we are who we are. Our three best players are Brady, Welker and Moss. And we are a pass-first team with no fullback and no #3 TE. The running game has been fine, given the situation. So, what does this mean? It means that the team is contructed to depend on Brady.
  2. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    We do have close to the team they have, they just happen to have it clicking now, while we are young on defense and a mere coherent game planner away on offense.

    The 2001 team did not nearly have...the Rams.....

    We got our ass kicked one game, but it wasn't the playoffs.

    Wasn't too long ago the giants struggled and we were "unbeatable". We have plenty of horses, just need coaching and some fire and desire.
  3. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    Of course Seymour would help, but we have enough for fine line play with a return to health.

    Is that second part a typo or something? A Hobbit on the squad?
  4. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    A lot is correctable.

    My ears picked up one major item during the Belichick press conference: he admitted that the team's intensity flagged as soon as the Saints grabbed the momentum. They grabbed it when the Patriots went to an empty backfield.

    Intensity is correctable.

    Playcalling is correctable--if the OC learns how to call plays better. Obviously it's correctable.

    I only see two things that may not be correctable: one, the tackling. Did they forget how to tackle? Or are they weak tacklers? Leaning toward the latter. Two, Wilhite? If you don't have ball skills, then you don't have ball skills. he's in the WRs pocket. And he can't do a thing about the pass.

    These are two major weaknesses, and teams will continue to exploit them.

    Bodden needs to play closer to the line and we need to play cover 2 in case he gets beat.

    How do I know that intensity was a major factor in the game? Well, on one play, Adalius Thomas was totally embarrassed and made to look like a fool. He was pissed. So the next play he goes all out, blows by the tackle, runs like a madman and sacks Brees. I know a player can't be that intense for every play, but it was clear that until that moment, Adalius's aggression and intensity was not a factor.

    You have to wonder if this defense is doing way too much thinking.
  5. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    10chars....
  6. Satchboogie3

    Satchboogie3 Rookie

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    Instinct. Is it possible that this defense simply doesn't have the necessary experience and instinct to make smart plays? If they are overly worried about making the right reads, doing their job, and not screwing up, the problem might be that they can't rely on their instincts. Now, I'm no football coach, but it seems to me that it would be extremely hard to be a force and go all-out when you are busy thinking "I have to make sure it's not a play fake and I end up out of position". I hope this defense isn't lacking instinct because if they are, these problems may never go away.
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My view is that BB has spread himself too thin, Dean Pees is merely a parrot for Bill... and the OC is who??? As he has lost so many coordinators in the past years he has assumed too much responsibility.... and the result is obvious.

    We do not have all the components of what we need, but by Bill doing too much it does not help... when we had the very good years, there were always very reliable coordinators who let BB look at the big picture... do not see a lot of creativity on either side of the ball... not sure if Weiss or RAC would make a difference, but not a big fan of Pees...

    OTOH do not know if Seymour or Hobbs would have any effect on this team, I suspect the former was viewed as a very negative influence on this team..that is why he got his one way ticket out of town... personally got tired of seeing the back of Hobbs jersey chasing receivers..
  8. 102 Pat

    102 Pat Rookie

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    It's interesting to read how when the Pats have lost this year, Seymour's name gets brought up a lot. Yet, last year, there were people wondering if he was worth the money he's making based on production (like Thomas this year).

    I think there will be lots of tape from monday night for the defence to look over and correct. The way there were beat on monday night has embarrassed them and hopefully they use that chip on the shoulder mentality. Barring a complete collapse, there in the playoffs and it's a whole new season.
  9. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Everything is correctable, it's just a matter of how long that correction is going to take. I'd doubt what we expect is an overnight job.
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Everything on the offense is correctlable - but we've had all season to correct some of those problems, and haven't done so yet. We need to address the OL. I think having Vollmer at LT and Light at RT would greatly improve our line.

    I'm not sure that the lack of a pass rush is correctable this season. We just don't have the horses. Maybe we can do something with safety blitzes, but otherwise I have a hard time seeing us generate more pressure than we already heave. When TBC is our best pass rusher (by far), it's not a good sign.
  11. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    This is the "NFL", as in "not for long".

    I think people tend to forget that at this time last year, the Giants, Colts, Titans, and Jets were the toast of the league. Remember the "Big Apple" Super Bowl (wait.. that was also this year).

    This defense is young and should be a learning experience. Also, nobody has stopped the Saints this year. Therefore, you place too much emphasis on Monday in assessing this defense.
  12. satz

    satz Rookie

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    I am not really worried as this is the first time or 2nd time if you consider the colts game where communication and coverage broke down .

    Its like the denver game where josh kept switching his QB around knowing guyton will checkdown to base defence and give cushion to his WR.I am sure if this happens again guyton and mayo will be ready and not go to base defence.

    If you really think about this the back 7 is full of 1st and 2nd yr players who have never played in such hostile environment and made mistakes. I am sure you will see a tonne of improvement the next time.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  13. aluminum seats

    aluminum seats Rookie

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    The key to the season is a pass rush. The key is Thomas. Not much hope for the bust that is Thomas now, but there's always a chance.

    As much as Ray Lewis makes me cringe with that BS hopping and screaming around, you wonder if a bust like Thomas NEEDS something like that. It's the one area you wonder if Parcells would do a better job than Belichick--needling the guy, getting under his skin. (Belichick I know does that too, this is just a maybe.)

    I honestly think the hometown fans should get on Thomas, tick him off. Because you're right--when he WANTS it, he can get it done. But most of the time it seems like he can't be bothered.
  14. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    That is exactly it. They have to have the system down cold and make those reads automatically, then the instinct will develop when they know to follow the reads or break off to make a play.

    It takes a few years.
  15. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    This is a big issue, IMO. Yes, there are personnel issues. But we've always had those (Hello Earthwind Moreland, Hank Poteat and Randall Gay), and overcome them. Now, there has been so much brain drain, losing RAC and Mangini on defense, and probably the top 4 offensive minds on the staff, that I'm not confident BB can do enough with smoke and mirrors to mask the personnel issues.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  16. MoLewisrocks

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    I think there are two keys and of the two pass/run blocking trumps the pass rush because there are more teams who can stop us than outscore us all things being equal.
  17. satz

    satz Rookie

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    I forgot to add 1 more point that we are comparing them to cox,ted,teddy,tylaw,otis and others who have had 8-9 yrs of experience .

    so i see in a yr or so we will have the experience to handle this .as always hindsight being 20/20 i would have taken mathew or cushing instead of brace.

    its also bad that we lost macZ [3rd rd pick] on first day.It would have nice to have 2 true ILB inside as guyton is a 4-3 OLB playing inside and sometimes outside.
  18. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale Rookie

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    I think a lot of the offensive woes are correctable. The Brady/Moss/Welker version of the spread offense has 2 years of tape for teams to examine and find ways to counteract. The better teams are (predictably) doing so. The Pats' 1st drive of the night kept NO off balance. They need to keep doing this, using formations and playcalling to keep the defense from teeing off on Brady and give Moss and Welker room to breathe. I think when the Pats mix things up, they can score on anybody.

    On D, the lack of a pass rush cripples their effectiveness against the better offenses. They can blitz the bejeesus out of Sanchez and the lesser QBs and get away with it, but Manning, Brees and probably Rivers and Favre would kill that style of D. To correct this clear weakness, the Pats need to coach up the D very well and mask the problem. On obvious passing downs, the Pats should be zone blitzing, showing several pass rushers before the snap, shifting along the line, then bringing different guys from different angles. Make the OL guess correctly.

    The problem with the above is that, much like Miami's Wildcat, gimmicks only work for a while before game film catches up to them. The Pats are probably best to save such ploys for January and spring them on unsuspecting opponents.

    As for the DBs, I like the aggressive play, the man coverage. Sure, it cost them vs. NO, but Brees also made some perfect throws as well so tip your hat to the guy. The aggressive coverage was working vs. Indy before the Pats went soft in the 4th quarter and has looked best against other teams. When the Pats have played soft, they've lost to lesser QBs (Sanchez, Orton) so I'd rather see them go down in flames fighting than passively give games away.

    One last note on the DBs: Expect Butler to take over Wilhite's starting job in Miami. If not, he'll have the starting job by the playoffs I'm sure. Ty Law didn't nail down the starting CB job until very late in '95 as CB is one of the toughest jobs to master. That Butler hasn't started sooner is no indictment on him. He's a keeper.

    Regards,
    Chris
  19. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Brace went #40. Cushing was gone at #15, Mathews at #26. Cushing was never an option, Mathews we could have taken but it would have cost us a lot more than Brace as we wouldn't have gotten the excellent valued trade downs that we ended up with.
  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I never saw either one as a 3-4 OLB for us. Maybe ILB. Good players, though.
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