Welcome to PatsFans.com

Idle thoughts - mulling it over

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Aug 6, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,689
    Likes Received:
    180
    Ratings:
    +341 / 13 / -8

    #91 Jersey

    1. When the Saints arrive in town next week to scrimmage with the Pats prior to their preseason game, I think this will be the start of a trend that will increase as time goes on during preseason. I know a number of teams have done this in the past including the Pats, but now I see it as an increasing necessity if teams are going to get in their work, avoid injuries, and increase the number of quality competitive snaps.

    These types of controlled scrimmages are much more helpful to coaches than the actual preseason games. They can be on the field, coaching play to play. They can get quality competitive snaps for their players in group work and individual work as well. The results of these drills during the scrimmage will give the coaches a lot better indication of where the Pats are in relationship with the rest of the better teams, than the actual "game" itself.

    It seems to me that the most important thing the coaches get out of preseason game is the practice they get in making substitutions and getting in their sub packages on time. It also allows the coaches to practice their game time communications between themselves and the players. But other than that, a couple of days of joint practices with another team is a MUCH better method of evaluating, coaching and improving your players. While at the same time minimizing injuries. I'd love to see 2 days of scheduled joint practices during a week, replace a couple of preseason games.

    BTW - I'd much rather watch a scrimmage than a preseason game.

    2. Speaking of watching practices, I've come to a conclusion. Its really hard for a fan to reach any valid conclusions based on what we see from the stands while watching practice. Now I read every camp report religiously...and enjoy them all, but really folks what can we really see.

    Did anyone ever have a worse preseason in 2008 than Matt Cassel. By all reports he was horrid during the practices and was even worse in the games. IIRC, he didn't lead the Pats to a single TD, and the number of first downs the 1st offense attained while he was in there could be counted on a single hand.

    Last season, Ron Brace was impressing people (myself included) and Terrance Nunn wasthe player everyone was talking about.

    I enjoy the 6-8 sessions I go to each year, and sometimes I even fool myself that I am actually gaining some insight into something. But when I reflect and I'm honest with myself, we really can't judge anything until we see the final product on the field 9.12. And even then we are all aware how teams grow or collapse from September to December.

    3. Is it me or are the media outrages growing every year. Not just here in Boston, but across the country. Silver writes a speculative story, and within a week all his speculations are being reported as facts. It seems at some point we fans have allowed the media to create the stories, rather than report what is found.

    In the past every paper had a columnist or two who was paid to give their opinions on things, but the vast majority of the writers where reporters. Guys who dug for stories and just told us what they found and let US make up our minds on what it means. Today EVERY guy has an opinion, and they don't care if its right or wrong. No accountability, no consequence. If I get it right I make sure EVERYONE knows about it, and if I get it wrong....so what. It's like the media has turned into a message board. ;)

    4. I think I'm getting tired of all the panic over where our pass rush is going to come from. Yes its a concern. Yes there are question mark, but I sometimes get the feeling that if the Pats somehow don't get a recognizable guy in camp, the league isn't going to allow them to play out the regular season.

    I think we all can agree that the Jets had an excellent defense last season. Can anyone name me a Jet player who was more effective rushing the passer than TBC? Believe me people aren't wringing their hands over at JI wondering who is going to rush the passer. They're trying to figure out how anyone will score on them. :rolleyes:

    I keep hearing the mediots decrying the fact the guys like Vrabel and McGinest aren't out there. Well do these idiots know that Vrabel only had 9+ sacks only TWICE in his career, and that other than those to 2 seasons he never had more than 5. Do they know that Willie never had a 10 sack season with BB, and only ONE in his career.

    I know that the Pats need to create more pressure on the QB this season, but claiming that the Pats have to have a "name" guy or they might as well just pack it in, just isn't so.

    5. BTW - will those practices with NO be open to the public? If they are they will be can't miss events.

    6. If you haven't read the story on the history behind the creation of Madden Football, I can't recommend it highly enough.

    Well I have to run. I'm looking forward watching this team develop. I think we are going to be very happy with this season's edition. Its actually kind of nice NOT to have the Target on your back at the start of the season. Some Pats fans might not remember, but there was a time when we weren't one of few preseaons favorites to win the superbowl. :rolleyes:

    You can't help but love the lower expectations. :D
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  2. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    Another great read, Patsfanken. I always look forward to your "idle thoughts" entries on this forum. I do wonder why you think there will be less injuries because of interteam practice, though.

    Oh and btw...this one is outstanding and applies not only in football but in all other aspects(politics) as well...

    "3. Is it me or are the media outrages growing every year. Not just here in Boston, but across the country. Silver writes a speculative story, and within a week all his speculations are being reported as facts. It seems at some point we fans have allowed the media to create the stories, rather than report what is found.

    In the past every paper had a columnist or two who was paid to give their opinions on things, but the vast majority of the writers where reporters. Guys who dug for stories and just told us what they found and let US make up our minds on what it means. Today EVERY guy has an opinion, and they don't care if its right or wrong. No accountability, no consequence. If I get it right I make sure EVERYONE knows about it, and if I get it wrong....so what. It's like the media has turned into a message board. ;)"

    Keep up the good work!
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  3. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    6,621
    Likes Received:
    74
    Ratings:
    +127 / 5 / -0

    #3 Jersey

    WOW.

    A startling Island of Wisdom and Insight in a Sea of Ignorance. I am compelled to respond, sir.

    ~ The one place where I diverge with your perception is at OLB. MIND you: I COMPLETELY concur, regarding your indifference to Sacks: If the OLBs are bringing consistent pressure, everybody knows it.

    But when I compare 2004's Crew ~ McGinest, Vrabel, and Colvin ~ to 2010's ~ Ninkovich, Cunningham, and Hyphen Boy ~ with NOBODY behind them ~ my colon clenches.

    ***

    I take a back seat to NO man in my admiration and gratitude for Coach Bill II...But he has been PSYCHOTICALLY neglectful at OLB, the last 2 years.

    A lot of donkeys squealed at me, when I called him out for neglecting OLB AGAIN, this year ~ when we needed to draft TWO Starting Caliber OLB's AND a Starting Caliber DE ~ but they've shut their pie holes NOW.
  4. vyrago

    vyrago Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,853
    Likes Received:
    7
    Ratings:
    +13 / 0 / -0

    Great post Patfanken, and I must say I admire your restraint wrt your first sentence. Any line that starts with "When the saints" and doesn't continue with some silly business about marching in is the product of a strong and determined will.
  5. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    41,020
    Likes Received:
    108
    Ratings:
    +188 / 7 / -23

    "PSYCHOTICALLY neglectful" is a very interesting choice of words.. when I read comments like this have to remember what has improved on paper thus far..
    QB.. improved as he is now 1+ year removed from surgery.
    WR.... improved on paper
    TE... improved on paper

    As a team should be able to control the ball more and improve overall..

    Spec Teams... improved on paper

    better field position, nuff said.

    MLB.. improved on paper
    DB.. improved on paper
    S... improved

    Overall there has been significant improvement on this team, and this argument harkens back to the day that the Pats could not make a first down on a 4th and 2.. also mindful of the times when we would bring players off the street like Hank Poteant.. the DBackfield upgrade, healthy Mayo with some very good complimentary players and the addition of big TE's may make this different. As much as I would like to see a better, "sexier" pass rush.. this will be a very good team..

    In his "Psychosis", BB has on paper, done a good job up to now, and suspect that this whole thing is a work in progress... then again I could just be a Jests fan and fast forward to week 18 and start the playoffs as the number 1 seed right now.. Rex says so.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  6. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,689
    Likes Received:
    180
    Ratings:
    +341 / 13 / -8

    #91 Jersey

    I would contend that if you put the stats up of Vrabel and McGinest in an average season vs TBC and Burgess last season you'd be less concerned.

    Now understand that I DO believe that those teams in the mid 90's were better a putting pressure on QBs than our last edition. My point is that its not just about who is at OLB. In those days the Pats were routinely in the top 5 in team sacks, but NEVER had an INDIVIDUAL who was a double digit sacker. The issue is how the Pats will create that pressure AS A TEAM. Drafting 2 one dimensional OLB projects WOULD have done LITTLE to improve the rush. As it is we drafted one. That's enough.

    ***

    Well that's a big overstated and self congratulatory, but I can see how it would look that way to the casual observer. But this isn't Pittsburgh or the Packers 3-4 OLB. They have to do certain things other than just line up and rush. Frankly there is a 2-3 year maturing process involved before you get anything close to a finished product.

    Next off season I think BB will address the DE situation very early in the draft, and perhaps he'll draft another OLB project with the first 5 picks. OTOH, there will be more than a few guys available in FA who already have 4 or 5 years in the league, and will be MUCH easier to evaluate and contribute IMMEDIATELY.

    In the meantime I think we will be an improved rush defense this season because we have improved the DL and DBs, regardless of who is out there at OLB. Though I admit I will be happier if Burgess returns, he was doing very well at the end of the year.

    BTW- before Mike Vrabel was "Mike Vrabel"..... he was Rob Ninkovitch
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  7. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,689
    Likes Received:
    180
    Ratings:
    +341 / 13 / -8

    #91 Jersey

    First in a scrimmage you can break your team down in groups other than 11 on 11. Fewer people on the field result in fewer injuries. Also in scrimmages coaches generally have a quicker whistle and refs, which protect players. There are other things you can do to protect players and still get full contact. You can play tag on the QB - You can dictate to your defense that not to leave their feet on tackles, or to have them not to follow through after first contact. The same thing they do in their own practices.

    Again a scrimmage format allow the coaches to be more in control of the environment, while having the chance to play against another team (especially the current world champ) elevates the level of play and the speed of the activity.

    BOTTOM LINE - bill will get more evaluation info from those practices than he will from the actual preseason game.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  8. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,055
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0


    The real problem with the Steelers/Packers OLB situation is the surreal fixation on sacks.

    Anybody watch how the Packers defense did with those vaunted OLB's against Pittsburgh or the Vikings twice last year?

    The Steelers OLB were healthy last year. How dominant were they with Aaron Smith and Polamualu out?

    The real problem is that a defense like the Steelers or Jets look flashy with the sack and rack up stats against inferior offenses which lead to them being overrated.

    The real test is against elite offenses. Notice the fact that the "Steel Curtain" was hammered by the Cardinals in the SB or that the Jets defense lost 5 4th quarter leads in 2009 that resulted in losses.

    When playing an elite offense, the key is pressure up the middle. In this respect, the addition of Spikes might be the real noteworthy upgrade.
  9. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    From their D-line to LB's, they don't impress me (in terms of pass rushing). Bryan Thomas is worthless, Pace is decent, but Shaun Ellis is out of place as a 3-4 DE. These guys benefit from their attacking scheme.
    Since the switch to the 3-4, the Pats didn't have "stat" guys at LB. However, they chose their sacks wisely. I can't name more clutch LB's in the last 10 years than McGinest, Vrabel, Bruschi and even Colvin. It's the lack of playmaking in critical situations that has killed the Pats in the last 5 years.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  10. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    6,621
    Likes Received:
    74
    Ratings:
    +127 / 5 / -0

    #3 Jersey

    Don't misunderstand me, if you haven't read my other posts: I take a back seat to NO man in my FAWNING admiration and appreciation of Coach Bill II Belichick, Genius and Lunatic!! :rocker:

    He is the unchallenged MASTER of the Draft, his Insanity ~ or so I see it to be ~ notwithstanding.

    And this team IS greatly improved, thanks to his machinations, over YEARS.

    I COULD not agree MORE. :cool:

    ***

    I just wish to HELL he'd spent more Top 100 picks, over the last 6 years, on ILB and ~ the last 2 years ~ on OLB, rather than on RBs, WRs, or the 237 Tight Ends he's drafted!! :eek:

    ***

    Utterly AWESOME post, by the way. :D
  11. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    5,689
    Likes Received:
    180
    Ratings:
    +341 / 13 / -8

    #91 Jersey

    I really liked Ellis as a player. I always have. But he's now reaching the end and we should see some deterioration in his play. Jenkins is a real load, but hasn't finished a season in a while. It was reported he was almost lost for the season in camp the other day.

    No I see the Jets DL eventually being the achilles heel of their defense. Last season the managed to get a lot of pressure on the QB DESPITE only having 1 more sack than the Pats. But all their pressure came off schemes. When they couldn't create confusion, they were cut up, much like Brady did in the second game.

    Like I said the Pats have NEVER had a dominant pass rusher a la Freeney. Yet it was almost by committee that were among the tops in the league overall in sacks. But also remember back at that time, defenses were allowed to be much more physical with receivers which added to sack totals across the league.

    BOTTOM LINE - and I will repeat this mantra often this season. The key to a good pass rush is going to be measured by how effective you are getting pressure up the middle.
  12. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    6,621
    Likes Received:
    74
    Ratings:
    +127 / 5 / -0

    #3 Jersey

    Oh, you don't have to tell ME about Ninkovitch: LOVE that guy, and think he could be a BIG factor, and a SHOCK to many...I just don't like the fact that he now NEEDS to be.

    It is our lack of DEPTH...that scares the HELL out of me.

    ***

    Yes, that WAS a bit self congratulatory, but I think, when one is in a STARK minority ~ as I was, when I pissed and moaned about ANOTHER year of neglect at OLB ~ that I've earned it. :p

    ***

    I do LOVE your analogy about Vrable ~ Ninkovitch, by the way...APT. :cool:

    ***

    However, I believe you are DEAD wrong about Hyphen Boy and Burgess being even in the same BALLPARK with Vrabel and McGinest. Hyphen Boy is best on 3rd downs, only, and just had a Career Year...and Burgess is an aging LINEMAN ~ NOT an OLB, despite our best efforts to convert him ~ who got ALL his late season sacks, I believe, with an hand on the ground...But I guess those two MIGHT seem equitable to Vrabel and McGinest...to the casual observer. ;)

    ***

    Don't get me wrong about Overview, either: I think you were DEAD ON with most of what you said, and I am VERY Bullish on our chances, this year: I PRAYED for Spikes, even though I knew there was no way in HELL we were gonna burn a 2nd Rounder on him...And the combination of Mayo and Spikes in the Middle, over the next Decade...Could be simply UNSPEAKABLE. :eek:

    And that Secondary is RICH with exploding young Talent.

    Put that together with an OCEAN of receiving Talent, a strong O Line, including a FULL season of Sebastian...and the best QuarterBack in the GALAXY, now having breached the 18 month mark ~ and then some ~ since The Injury...and, therefore, poised to return to Legendary Form...I am VERY Bullish on our chances, this year.

    ***

    But we DO have an Achilles Heel.

    And it simply didn't have to BE that way.
  13. Coach42

    Coach42 Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    26
    Ratings:
    +45 / 2 / -12

    #87 Jersey

    Let's also not forget that sacks can be misleading when talking about getting pressure on QB's. Hurries are very subjective but also need to be factored in when talking about getting pressure on the QB. I would also contend that the need for OLB in this defense has diminished since they only play a true 3-4 50 or so percent a game.
  14. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    6,621
    Likes Received:
    74
    Ratings:
    +127 / 5 / -0

    #3 Jersey

    VERY good stuff, sir. :cool:

    1 ~ It is PRECISELY because of our failures against Indy and New Orleans that I focus on our horrible Pass Rush. When you're in the business of winning Super Bowls, it is ONLY those few Big Games that really count.

    2 ~ I concur with you and Fanken, wholeheartedly: The Inside Game is HIGHLY critical to our success...and my prayers were answered when we drafted Spikes.

    His Impact could be SEISMIC.
  15. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    I agree. When a QB actually sees the rush coming up the middle, they will freak out and get rid of the football quickly. In addition, there won't be a place for the QB to step up in the pocket.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  16. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    9,930
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    If that were the case I'd just call a screen every time.

    The key to a good pass rush is not knowing where it's coming from.
  17. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,041
    Likes Received:
    76
    Ratings:
    +152 / 7 / -7

    The Patriots pass rush looks like it can be good enough. As long as they cand hold strong against the run, I think they will be able to scheme QB pressure. The backfield is full of young talened players, at least they built it that way.

    Merriweather is a proven player that can get to the ball quickly and also knows how to blitz. Chung should bring some more nastiness to the defense, he showed the ability to lay a good hit last year and he supposedly worked on his coverage skills a lot. Bodden is a proven CB, Butler should take a step up in production and McCourty wasn't drafted to suck. Then the Patriots have solid backups in Sanders and McGowen.

    I am not as worried about the Patriots secondary as I was last year. They will be able to cover, take advantage of mistakes and get to the QB in key situations. Last year we saw a rough start, but they began to settle down a little bit when James Sanders came back.

    As long as the front 7 can hold the point of attack and put reasonable pressure on the QB, I think we will see an excellent defensive efffort this year.

    That of course that is not what the media is saying. They think the Patriots defense is a big unknown (which it is) and is presumed to suck. As a fan I choose to see the positives instead of the negatives. The season is plenty of time to be negative, no need to indulge in it during traning camp. They also make no mention of the offense, which they again presume will be mediocre. They easily forget that Moss is having a fantastic training camp, Welker looks to start the season, Tate is looking like a lock for the number 2 WR spot, the TE group is completely different (100% upgrade from last year IMO) and our RB group should at least be productive. The one major questionmark is the OL and that is because we aren't trusting the LG position...

    The offense looks to be set to score a ton of points this year and that will help quite a bit in the game winning category.

    The schedule is a tough one, that is for damn sure. One game at a time, enjoythe football season, we might not have one next year
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  18. italia44

    italia44 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,287
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Bombast....Hyperbole....CAPITALS.......Smilee's...

    We get it,you're passionate.......just tone it down a little,pardner.......you're going to burn out and my ears are ringing from reading your posts.(how's THAT for hyperbole).:scream:
  19. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    16,446
    Likes Received:
    42
    Ratings:
    +133 / 4 / -1

    #12 Jersey

    If those post was handwritten, it would be in crayon.
  20. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    6,621
    Likes Received:
    74
    Ratings:
    +127 / 5 / -0

    #3 Jersey

    Considering that I roll my eyes in pity and disgust every time I see your name as the last poster, it's gratifying to hear that you do NOT approve. :D
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>