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Idle thoughts..... I just want to say.....

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Dec 14, 2010.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    .....WOW!. I just feel the need to ramble.

    I was totally emotionally unprepared to lose the Jet game....and I greatly appreciated the fact that I didn't even have to have a single stressful minute after the first quarter. Conversely, for some reason, I would have been fairly comfortable if we happened to have lost vs Chicago. It was an away game, against a hot team, on a short week, in a horrible environment, and weather conditions that seem ill suited to our game. So given it was a non-conference game and all those disadvantages, if the defense looked somewhat improved and we came out healthy, I wouldn't have LIKED it, but I could have dealt with a loss. After all, weren't we still in our development phase? Ups and downs are to be considered part of the curriculum. aren't they?. See how little I understood. ;)

    C'mom, be honest. How many of you were disappointed the Pats got the ball first. How many were stunned when Brady lined up in the shot gun, and Woodhead motioned into the empty backfield. C'mon, raise your hand if you didn't mutter WTF or something equally provocative under your breath when Brady came out firing like they were playing in a freakin' dome, instead of a blizzard with 50mph wind gusts.

    I don't know about you guys, but I learned a LOT about our NE Patriots after this game, and not just that they are (at this point) a true contender for the whole ball of wax.

    1. You don't just 'sip the koolaid" when dealing with BB, you drink the whole blessed pitcher....at once. His coaching and development of this team this season has been nothing short of Brilliant. There isn't another coach/GM that could have pulled off this kind of transition, not only from 2009 to 2010, but the one they had to make from September to December. :eek:

    Think about the things he has had to deal with. The losses of Ty Warren and Leigh Boddin to start the season. The losses of Kevin Faulk and Randy Moss AFTER the season started. He had to deal with the Mankins hold out and then...when he finally comes back, he has to deal with the loss of Neal. He has had more players come in and out of "final" 53 man roster than seems humanly possible. I mean our roster looks like a freakin CLOWN CAR. It looks small, but players seem to come out of it in endless quantities, from Danny Woodhead to Erick Moore. When sh!t happens he seems to find a guy and they produce.

    2. This team IS very young, but it has tremendous mental toughness. Its the ONLY way to explain the lack of turn overs and penalties, which have been the key to our success. Isn't common wisdom that young inexperienced teams make the MOST mistakes? Evidently not when they are coached well.

    3, Back in the superbowl days, one of Scott Pioli's favorite sayings was that. "the Patriots aren't looking collect talent. They are looking to build a championship TEAM (and I could be paraphrasing here, but you get the idea) And boy is that concept clear this year.

    While we sometimes forget it, but every player good enough to be in the NFL, is a great football player....and that includes the guys at the end of the roster. In fact I would opine that probably 90% of the rosters are pretty much interchangeable.

    What makes the 11-2 Pats that much different from the 2-11 Bengals? Mostly its just 2 reasons. BB and his system, and Tom Brady. If you have an elite QB you can elevate the rest of your team. If you have the right HC, he can improve the play of your players over the course of the season. Improve them to the point where at this point of the season that ARE better than teams who might have been better just a couple of months before.

    All those players need is the belief in the coach and system, their desire and willingness to be coached and the desperate need to win. Put that all together and you know what you have......The New England Patriots Back in week 2 the Jets WERE the better team...they certainly aren't now....and that says a lot about the 2 styles in which both teams were put together.

    You see that is the beautiful thing about this team. I was very concerned about the effects of the weather. BB got his team NOT TO BE. Yes they took it into affect, but they didn't let the weather control them. While I was concerned that the weather would effect the passing game, the Pats looked at it and said, "if its snowin', we're throwin'"

    Maybe the reason the rookies aren't making mistakes is that BB doesn't give them that option. By this time of the season he doesn't EXPECT them to make rookie mistakes....and thus they don't. Its the simple law of expectations It seems so simple, but you'd be surprised how often its ignored.

    Since I'm rambling I'll tell this small anecdote: When I started teaching it was in a JrHS in Dorchester. It was prebusing and all my kids were black. The school was a mess, and I worked with 2 other teachers to restructure the curriculum. To make a long story short, within 3 years we went from one incident from bing on the front page to sending more kids per capita to the 2 city exam schools (college prep) than any JrHigh in the city.

    The NAACP held their convention that year in Boston, and we were asked to speak to their education committee. They wanted to know what we were doing than made our "inner city" school so successful academically. I explained to them it was simple. We had high expectations for out kids.....and they met them. We didn't dumb it down, we wouldn't let them get away with anything less than their best, and we got them to believe that we believed in them. The law of high expectations.

    So while I have forgotten this valuable lesson, clearly BB has not, and its shown. And as Brady so eloquently stated (and I paraphrase) "the coach doesn't let us worry about the weather, the refs, or the crowd, all we have to do is worry about playing the Bears...and JUST the Bears. That is the kind of focus that explains why the Pats have lost almost as as many players as teams like the Colts and Steelers, yet you never hear injuries as a factor when the media is talking about the Pats. Other teams have to OVERCOME injuries, the Pats simply deal with them....and move on. The next guys just steps up and is expected to perform. The law of high expectations.

    OK I've philosophized enough, just one more pont. I was thinking about why this offense has been so successful, even more successful over the end of the season than the 2007 offense. One might argue in 2007 the team was staggering to its undefeated season with a number of close wins at the end of the season, while this team seems to be peaking at the end.

    Well I was wondering about what it was that made this offense so good. I came on this thought. Multiple formations/Multiple personnel groups. Think about it. BB has this team capable of running in tons of people. Like in the Bears game, we opened with an empty backfield, and the very next play was in 3 TEs. In the past you might see this kind of change series to series or running down to passing down. But with the Pats you will see massive personnel changes from play to play....and seemingly in no particular order. This is very hard on the defense.

    Think about it, you break your defensive huddle and be faced with a completely different personnel package. You then have about 10 seconds to recognize it and get your players in position, trying to match the personnel. I think a lot of times they get teams caught in player mismatches. The bad news is that you need a QB who can find those mismatches and get his team in the right play. The good news is we have one. ;)

    Next time you watch a game look for all those CONSTANT personnel shifts and look at the defenses trying to keep up. BB also is doing the same thing on defense, which is why you are starting to see more and more teams using a no huddle in an effort to limit BB's substitutions.

    My favorite quote of the week came from Curran's article, from Alge Crumpler, whose obvious wisdom is going to make him one of my all time Patriots in a single year.

    If this is what a grizzled vet thinks, that's all you need to know about how the rest of the team feels about their HC. The media WAS in love with Rex and his style, but you need more substance to get your players to "love" past the first stretch of adversity....as Jet fans are now finding out.
  2. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    After that title, I was expecting this to be short. I was happily mistaken :D

    Great stuff as always. Bill has to be the coach of the year right now. You usually don't have the kind of turnover that the Patriots have had without a slump, and that just didn't happen with this team.
  3. AtivanPatsFan

    AtivanPatsFan Rookie

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    Damn PFK, you've outdone yourself this time.

    Outstanding post. Loved the anecdote as well!
  4. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    Today you are patfanann....
  5. nashvillepatsfan

    nashvillepatsfan Rookie

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    I was shouting at the tv, "who is Moore, and wth is he doing on the field?" Then i remembered the signing. Its funny how other teams pick up a guy midseason for their PS, and BB picks a guy up to play on gameday.


    That was a great quote. I hadnt seen that one yet.

    Nice post Ken
  6. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great thoughts as always. BB has done a great job with this team, but I'm really proud of the kids we have here. BB has drafted some really high-quality kids, smart, hard-workers, who want to be better. Spikes has been the exception in certain ways, but no one questions his work ethic or commitment to the team.

    And you can see BB's influence throughout this team. To be a successful coach, you need players to buy into what you're saying. Even watching the press conferences with these guys, they're basically speaking as if BB hand-wrote the answers most of the time. It's been a heck of a job, and the national media has laughed at BB for taking on too much, how awful the defense has been, not paying attention to their growth or watching their improvements until suddenly they start shutting down opponents like the last few weeks.

    BB should win coach of the year every year, and it's a joke he's only won it twice. But this year could potentially be one of his best jobs ever. That says a lot.
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Keep rambling.. sometimes I am amazed as we are seeing NFL history being made before our eyes.. it is almost too good to be true..
  8. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    I chugged the entire BB koolaid bottle by the first half of the game!
  9. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Great great post. PatsFans.com should use this post as an article instead of the dumbed- down crap they churn out.
    As far as the constant personel changes on offense, I wonder if BB wants to see how the opposition will counter each formation very early in the game, then design their game plan accordingly. They feed the info into the Ernie Adams T-3000 Super Computer.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  10. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Rookie

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    Best thing I've read this morning, Ken.

    Two quick takes:

    - Defense: It's amazing what these young guys have done. Thing is, even through some relatively minor growing pains, the signs were there early. Some nice bend-don't-break/big plays as early as pre-season (along with some WTF moments). Even the first play of the season, when DMc defended that pass to TO -- it was like, "..Oh. OK!" A lot of us here, even when opponents were racking up yards and points, saw the big-play capability and said "just imagine when this defense matures." I think we're starting to see that.

    - Spot on on the offense. I had to laugh during the Bears game when the announcers were saying how a lot of teams will copy this offense. Yeah, sure; good luck with that.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  11. Krugman

    Krugman Rookie

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    Nice post,PFK,like the " Belichick Times" line...now that the Jets are stumbling,the trash talk from Ryan and crew makes them look like fools,while the Pats just keep getting better....love it!
  12. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    patfanken: "......I mean our roster looks like a freakin CLOWN CAR. "

    One of the top ten best one liners ever written on this site! :D :D :D
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  13. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Now these are not idle thoughts. And someone should email them to every local mediot so they will know what insight consists of. I've been tough on some of your recent kneejerk ramblings, Ken. This was why...

    It was funny. I expected them to pummel the Bears and Cutler. My only wtf moment all game was the toss sweep to Benny in the first series. In his presser BB was talking about the effect of weather on game plans and how the warmups become a little more significant as you determine what you can and can't do, as you do in the first series or so. Basically he said that play turned out to be the only one they really needed to ixnay...

    Troy Brown on the Big Show and David Givens filling in for Holley yesterday were tremendously insightful as well on the inner workings of a BB team in transition and why once he gets the right kind of mindset in place across the board it all comes together. That is the expectation and they all hold each other accountable for achieving goals. Givens talked about how he and Branch grew up in that atmosphere. After being criticized for his hands as a rookie and being advised to catch 100 balls a day in the off season, he did just that. He credits the assistant trainer who operated the jugs machine for him endlessly, and noted that after a few weeks he wasn't alone...the whole receiving unit was out there working on their hands too. As I recall it led to some spectacular results. He said that was because no one was concerned with catching the ball any more, it had become second nature. They don't sweat the details like weather because coaching has that covered via preparation and they are never asked to do something he doesn't know (because he's proven it to them or they to him in practice) they can do. Ergo...do your job. That's all each game is. Doing your job. And once guys embrace that, all adversity (be it weather or matchup or significance) results in is elevated focus.

    The key for Bill is finding enough/the right blend of reasonably talented guys who can check their ego at the door. From 2006 thru 2009 ego became an issue on this team. Led to some departures by choice and eventually to some departures of necessity. This group is largely young, talented, sprinkled with selfless veteran leaders driven to win and at this moment all in. For that reason it is the SB favorite down the stretch. With any luck Bill can lead them to Dallas in February and they once again will do their job and become champions. He has certainly once again done his job which is to put them together as a group in position to be that. That in a nutshell is the system. Individuals fail it from time to time, usually when ego gets in the way, but it never fails to give them every possible opportunity to succeed. That's why so many previously unheralded guys make it here.

    Embracing that doesn't make you a blind faith homer, just an enlightened realist. No system or team is perfect, and failing to embrace that just makes you miserable and unable to grasp what is always a work in progress here. Bill is a teacher, the son of teachers, and he is in his element again teaching a young and eager team how to win. That's why it's not a grind for him, or for Brady this season for that matter. Grappling with disfunctional egos...that's the only thing that grinds them. Which is why not every mega talent is a fit for this system.

    Criticizing drafts or FA non moves or their disciplined approach to teambuilding is fools play. Not that fans aren't free to be foolish...that's the lifesblood of fantasy football... I just find it better to sit back and marvel at the process knowing that at it's core lies the courage of Bill's convictions based on a lifetime of experience and no small measure of success...in reality football. Players ultimately win games. Bill will always be the first to acknowledge that. Systems put them in position to, and the smart ones who are a fit here because what they want most is to win figure that out.
  14. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Digesting your anecdote about your experience at the Jr High in Dorchester, it hit me that there is a divergence in both education and sports coaching between 1) the law of high expectations and 2) the positive self-image school.

    The Positive Self-Image School ("I AM somebody") works very well in getting someone to participate and get to the table. It doesn't get that person to the GOAL however. It is a limo ride without a map.

    The Law of High Expectations ("Here's HOW you can put in the work dammit, you can do it, stay focused and there are no excuses") gives the MAP.

    What you did in the 60's was the Law of High expectations. Unfortunately since then, it all too often was overwhelmed by well-meaning educators who overwatered it with the Positive Self-Image School.

    Rex Ryan is a teacher of Positive Self-Image School and Bill Belichick is a teacher more like you in the 1960's.

    It doesn't get any clearer than this season.
  15. Two Eight

    Two Eight Rookie

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    One thing about this team I've noticed is everyone is doing their job and playing well. There's no player on the roster that makes us fans groan...no Chad Brown, Monty Beisel, Artrell Hawkins, Duane Starks, Reche Cladwell, Ken Walter, Lawrence Maroney (to some), etc etc. Instead everyone's overacheiving and playing out of their head football right now, even someone like Kyle Arrington who nobody here wanted as a starting CB at the beginning of the year is playing good tight coverage and making plays. It's a special season and it definitely has that feeling again...
  16. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Oh come on, all they need is a good veteran offensive line, a perennial 100 catch slot receiver, a super bowl MVP receiver, three starting caliber tight ends with perfectly complimentary skillsets, a Kevin Faulk (and a Woodhead to mimic Kevin Faulk if he goes down), and a hall of fame QB to make sense of it all.

    Piece of cake!
  17. NYCPatsFan

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    Excellent read, as always Ken. Wonderful to read it this morning. Thanks! :)

    One query: wouldn't you include Maroney in the list of guys who were shipped out?

    I understand that he was inactive for the Bengals game and but I think almost all assumed him to be part of the team.

    Granted, BB could have had his trade in mind but that still points to the fact that team was about to shed a lot of its deadweights and morph into a different animal early this season. And these are not fringe players who were either traded or went to IR; so, to make this whole transformation in the beginning of the season and have the team play at this high level when it matters - UNBELIEVABLE!!
  18. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    #12 Jersey

    Remember last year at this time? AD and his antics, Lategate and the infamous Alligator Arms Carolina game. This year definitely has That Old Feeling. Last year, not so much.
  19. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That leapt out at me, too! It's really amazing...take a look at the players who made a significant impact on Sunday's game who weren't even on the roster during preseason:

    Woodhead
    Moore
    Branch
    Graham
    Page

    But one place I disagree, Ken:
    I think there's a key element missing there, and it's the one that separates the 2010 Patriots from the 2009 Patriots. It's a roster full of guys with the right team attitude. It's the mindset of an Alge Crumpler vs. a Chris Baker, or a Deion Branch vs. a Randy Moss. It's the work ethic of a class of rookies who were almost all college team captains. BB molded a team that would be responsive to his coaching and Brady's leadership, and it has made all the difference.
  20. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Fred Kirsch, is that you?

    You drink the whole pitcher after Patriots victories over the Jets and Bears in successive weeks.

    The roster is far from a clown car and Eric Moore is the most expendable player on the roster right now.

    Tom Brady runs the New England Patriots offense, need I say more.

    The New England Patriots success this season can be correlated to the development of players from the 2009 NFL Drafts and 2010 NFL Drafts; the departure of Randy Moss and the return of Deion Branch; the acquisition of Danny Woodhead.
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