I want someone to explain to me IN DETAIL...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by KontradictioN, Oct 20, 2009.

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  1. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    ...our offensive system and why it is so hard for, not only rookies, but veterans to pick up as well. I know as much that our blocking schemes are pretty exotic due to our screen and quick pass game, but I want someone to fully break it down for me. There seems to be quite a few experts around here who seem to know our offensive system inside and out and I would greatly like for you guys to weigh. Tell me, in detail please, how New England's routes and blocking schemes are so totally different from every other team in the NFL and also how the schemes generate to the running scheme and quarterback position. I have a feeling that this is going to be a very informative thread...
  2. robertweathers

    robertweathers Pro Bowl Player

  3. Willie55

    Willie55 In the Starting Line-Up

    I'm no expert but I think a lot of it has to do with the way the defense, more specifically the DB's, are positioned that determines which route is run in the passing game. Receivers like Moss and Welker are in-tune with Brady and know which adjustments have to be made just by looking at the defensive alignment. While others like Donald Hayes and others either don't get the concept or just aren't smart enough to know which adjustments to make and when.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  4. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As I understand, this system was just adopted by the Denver Broncos under McDaniels. So how is it that Brandon Marshall, who is as dumb as a rock, can pick it up lickety split while Joey Galloway, who isn't that dumb, cannot?
  5. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks In the Starting Line-Up

    They probably aren't asking Marshall to make all the sight adjustments that the Patriots WRs are being asked to make.
  6. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

    Yeah it is a concept that makes the Pats defense more complicated as well, adjustments based on what you are seeing on the field. WRs need to make adjustments but at the same time they are running timing routes were Brady needs them to be exactly in one particular spot by the time the ball gets to them. Brady wants to be able to look in a different direction from his target until his mental clock goes off and then he wants to throw to a spot on some plays, and he needs the WR to be there.

    It reminds me of Rodney Harrison trying to learn the five or six different spots you have to be in depending on what look you get from the offense, just very sophisticated stuff to get your average football player to absorb.

    I get the feeling that BB/Brady would rather somebody do exactly what they are supposed to even when they can make a freelancing type play. Seems he really wants his guys disciplined. I think Brady would prefer a play run the right way than just a play, and probably many WRs think any play is a good play, whether the WR was in the 'spot' or not.
  7. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I appreciate all of your answers, but I'm asking for detail. So the receivers need to make adjustments. Cool. But what makes our offense's adjustments so different and more difficult to make? I see receivers from other teams make adjustments on the fly all the time. I see Steelers wide receivers make adjustments on the fly at least once a game every time I watch them. What makes our's so different?
  8. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    That was more or less my understanding too. Moss spoken in the past about the things that he's expected to pick up on, and it gets really detailed. Like on some of their long TDs in 2007, Moss said that he identified that a safety had shifted his weight onto the back of his feet, based on which Moss changed on the fly to a deep route. Brady saw it too, and a TD resulted. The timing requires that both Moss and Brady independently observe it, and have enough faith in each other to know that the other one will see it too.

    The bonus is that it punishes the absolute hell out of DBs that like to sit on routes and gamble, and when executed correctly is probably a lot of why Brady just doesn't throw interceptions. You can't 'guess right', because you (the DB) have to commit before they do. All teams do this to a degree, I believe, but I've never heard of anyone else doing it to that precise level of detail (doesn't mean it doesn't happen).

    When I hear stuff like that, it makes some sense that a guy who maybe hasn't been asked to be that observant may either a) fail to identify these things or b) misidentify them. Some guys probably just can't pick all of that up in the heat of the moment. Moss and Welker definitely can, though. And once again, I can't say for sure that that's it- just my best guess.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  9. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks In the Starting Line-Up

    Its one thing to run a hot route, it is quite another to change a route on the fly based on how the DB is playing the WR and having the QB recognize that and throw the ball to the right spot.
  10. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

    They are called route tree. Each play called has a number of branches (routes) that can be run out of the same play. The branch you pick is determined by the defensive alignment you see. If you and or both you and the QB are'nt on the same page bad things happen. Now the problem with getting up to speed in this offense is, you need to be able to learn the material, get repsand gain confidence. Allot of times a lack of confidence or indecision shows up at game speed. You can't be thinking your way through it you just have to do it, and practice. Galloways problem wasn't comprehension it was fit. He just didn't fit what we were trying to do.
  11. Pujo

    Pujo Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Nobody but a player, and one who's played in multiple systems at that, could tell you in detail what the differences are. But it's still football, not quantum physics or brain surgery, so I bet it's nothing fundamentally different, just more options, formations, reads, etc.
  12. Hok

    Hok Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I think you're confusing adjustments with improvisation. The adjustments that Patriot WRs must make are not ones that you'd be able to see. I think it's more along the lines of different routes being run based on what type of coverage the defense is playing and how individual defenders react, so you wouldn't notice an adjustment being made because it just looks like a WR running a route, but the WR must determine what route to run based on what he sees the defense doing, both before and during the play.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  13. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    That is not true.

    For example, there was one clear cut play in preseason vs. Bengals on Moss's second TD where he was initially on an inside slant but after seeing the CB identify that play and anticipate it by shifting his weight inward, Moss, when he reached the apex of the route where he would turn inside, faked half a step inside and took off on the outside. Brady was in tune with all that, he had identified this pre-tendency in the playcalling and was ready for anything if it had happened (if X, then Y). This is a great example of sight-adjustment.

    The degree of difficulty in regard to learning the Patriots offense is not the play tree itself but the modifications that go with it that form the branches which form into further branches, and those modifications are formed on tendencies, projections predicated on the post-snap look that the defense reveals, as well as the game plan, or player tendencies (again, the if X then Y). It is also sometimes sight-adjusted on defensive shifts- which is why even someone as Aiken can have trouble, even though he's been in the system for quite a while now. He ran the correct route, modification (inside slant off 3 drop) but failed to identify that the D was in man coverage, which is why he stalled right after the slant and the ball went ahead of him.

    The key to understanding this is that just as the defense can morph into anything to beat whatever is needed for a particular week, so does the offense morph to equal depth. This is BB's philosophy, he does NOT stick to one particular offense (e.g., Pittsburgh "this is what we do, see if you can beat us").

    But at the same time BB knows that overcomplicating the play tree serves nothing.. (that is what I believe is his true genius).

    So what does he do? (and this is the base of the modified Erhardt-Perkins stuff he runs). He begins with a number of base plays that are not themselves complicated, but then when you modify it by formation, then set (e.g., 1 RB in motion on 3 wide and 1 TE) then individual route modification, then tendency, then all the adjustments (sight, defense, coverage tendencies) it gets pretty close to info overload. That is the "genius" of the Erhardt-Perkins system and also its drawback when you come to it from another system. The EP system is name based, so you would go something like "Baker" (base formation) "Yell" (adjusted formation: 1 RB to motion, 3 wide/1 TE) "twenty" (base play that comes out of the adjusted formation) "barrel" (individual route) "light" (adjustment).

    So you will hear Brady say "baker yell twenty barrel light (and add a tendency option or two)."

    This probably is an oxymoron that it sounds complicated, but it is not, as long as you don't lose sight of the play tree, and remember to think in terms of simple things first, then complicated, second.

    Now when you come from another system, especially one that is number based, for example, let's say you have a 3 wide, you can just say "924 hook fly" where the x runs a 9 (let's say deep out) Y runs 2 (inside slant) and X runs 4 (curl) hook fly could be an option depending on what's happening in the flat or if the safeties cheat down or play zone.

    Simple enough in itself, but when you shift from a numbers system to a name oriented one, it's like being forced to learn chinese in a week, if you get traded.

    And on top of that, while Brady is not opposed to sight adjustments, he still likes his receivers to run precise routes with great timing so he can throw the ball before they get there. Remember that is Brady's greatest ability.. his accuracy and his ability to get rid of the ball so fast.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  14. parthasas

    parthasas Patriots Nation PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    After reading the above in full, I kind of feel like the Jessica Simpson direct TV commercial " I totally don't understand what it means, but I want it " :D

    Awesome explanation :rocker:
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  15. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    I'm going to caveat this post with: This is just my opinion, and this is the explanation based on what I believe to be the case.

    I'd say, as a WR, it goes something like this:

    I'm Randy Moss (I can dream, can't I?). I line up on the line of scrimmage on the left side of the line. The defense lines up in their base cover two (IDK, lets Choose the Colts). My primary route is a post.

    The ball snaps. I am going to run my post. Now, there's many things that can happen:

    1) The defense can play the defense that it lined up in. The route will stay the same unless I can make an opportunistic move based on a coverage mistake by a defender (CB in the short zone, Safety in the deeper area).

    2) The defense can blitz. I will need to recognize this and cut off my route accordingly. Knowing where the area that the blitz is coming from is important. If I can get there, I probably should.

    3) The defense can mask the coverage. It could change from cover two to man-to-man, or 3 deep. I would have to change my route accordingly.


    Now, all of those things that can happen, need to be split second decisions. Moss and Brady can make a TD happen because the defensive back is leaning on his inside leg a little too much, giving Moss just enough outside leverage to have a free release downfield.

    Every single thing has to be read by the WR and the QB at the same time and the same way. The same decisions need to be made about the same inputs. If the QB reads blitz, and the WR doesn't (and doesn't cut off his route), the QB might throw to where he expects the WR to be, only to throw into an INT.

  16. holyredeemer

    holyredeemer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #12 Jersey

    I see what you're getting at, and to be honest, I dont think you need an IN DETAIL type of answer. No one knows except for the people involved in the organization what JG's problems were.

    As far as the Broncs go, McDaniels has a lot of players over there performing better than they ever have. Reason for that? I don't know, but my guess would be that McDaniels has probably dumbed it down quite a bit, and is slowly easing his guys into the offense. Not to mention, their coaching staff is doing an incredible job. Marshall may not be as smart as Galloway, but regardless of running the same offense or not man, there are still a lot of differences.
  17. livinginthe past

    livinginthe past Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    #12 Jersey

    Great post, Patpsycho!

    5 stars! :D
  18. Mark Morse

    Mark Morse PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #15 Jersey

    Great analysis ... totally agree. All WR's make adjustments while the ball is in the air. Marshall made one on Shawn Springs on an underthrown ball. He cuts back under Springs and walks into the endzone. Moss did the same thing the week before. Its the pre-snap reads by the WR and QB. Branch and Givens were great at this. Brady doesn't have to signal to the WR, they just know. The pass to Welker against Denver where it hit him in the legs as he was heading upfield isa perfect example. Welker saw the safety cheating toward Moss, Brady didn't. There are several passes each week where the Pats receiver hasn't even made his cut yet and the ball is out of Brady's hand. Receiver makes the move and there is the ball. Precision.
  19. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

    Depending on how extensive the route modifications are that the receivers are asked to make, it may be necessary for them to understand the routes and route modifications of other receivers in the offense, so two people don't end up in the same spot.

    Usually route trees are set up to exclude cases like that though, i.e. an out and an arrow run to the same spot on the sideline.
  20. eagle eye

    eagle eye In the Starting Line-Up

    #85 Jersey

    Just on Joey Galloway.

    The guy had a very poor 2008, he signed with the Patriots and we were all hopeful and maybe expectant that the clock would turn back on his career as has happened with so many other veterans that have come to New England during the Belichick era. It didn't work out, I think its as much not being physically up to it anymore as problems understanding the playbook.

    Edit to add: That time he pulled out of catching a ball rather than take a hit pretty much was the end of him with New England.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
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