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Idle thoughts - The Yawn from TB

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Aug 25, 2012.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    I didn't see much on Friday that either got me excited or sent me in fear from the room. But this has become a habit. I hope it isn't too bad.

    Disclaimer - I have to admit I only watched the first 2 quarters and a half closely. After that circumstances forced me to be an occasional watcher for the last quarter and a half where I just got to watch a few plays now and again. So nothing real special about these observations tonight. More like gut feelings than astute observations

    THE OFFENSE

    1. Still very sloppy ,disjointed and otherwise uncoordinated. You can see the potential, but its like a jig saw puzzle without quite all the pieces put together.

    2. RB's Ridely is going to give us a very solid running game. This is a 2nd game out of 3 where he averaged over 5 ypc. The 2nd game out of 3 where he broke off at least 20+ yd run

    We know what we will get from Woodhead. Its a shame that Vareen got hurt again. I hope its not long term. And while I would caution against any overdue excitement about Demps vs the TB scrubs. its hard not to get a jolt watching him run, and will look forward to seeing him take some kickoffs in a few days

    3. WR's - 3 exhibition games and still waiting for a serious WR sighting. Still I want them to keep working on that back shoulder throw to Lloyd and I don't care if they never complete it now...or in September. I want them to keep working on it until they get it down. THIS is the kind of pass wins games in the playoffs. Its the kind of pass that simply has no defense other than a straight visible front and back double team. It might take a while to get down, but in the end (the playoffs) it will be worth the wait.

    So thus far we have a little from Branch, a little lessl from Lloyd and Edleman, and nothing from Gaffney, Welker, and Stallowrth. Lots of good reasons why. Nothing to get worried about. BUT......I didn't want to have to wait until the first game before I saw a concerted and consistent passing offense offense. Too bad for me.

    I case you didn't notice - No "no huddle" No real direction or meaning in the play calling. They weren't game planing the Tampa D, or calling plays in a progression. It looked to me that they were calling the game with other purposes beyond moving the ball. ie. how a play looks. How different players look running a play. They might run a play in a certain situation they might ordinarily pass, etc

    I've said in previous posts that losing about 40% of their practices so far has put our offense behind. Its a high precision offense with a lot of small pieces and delicate parts. In other words, "it ain't the ground and pound", so it WILL take time to see the kind of offense we have been used to seeing the past several years. It will get there.

    4 TE's They're back and bad.. with even a Daniel Fells sighting.

    Don't you ever get the feeling that if they wanted to, the Pats could pass to Gronk or Hernandez EVERY play. They don't just because it isn't fair to the other kids and want to share the ball.;'

    What I DON'T want to see is that 3rd hand 6 where we throw a 3 yd pass to someone who's totally covered. Or watch a receiver with his back to the endzone catch a ball short of the yard markers. Receivers have to make sure they have a first down, and QB's have to make sure that when they throw to a guy short of a first down, he has at least a fighting chance to make on YAC. Brady is usually very good at this....just not tonight.

    5. The OL - Not good enough, but a lot than last week. I saw a lot of improvement from Solder who was left out on a island a lot. I saw less from Cannon but some.....I guess The point is that they built on the previous week and are on an upswing. After tonight I'm not worried too much about Solder, but I would like to see Volmer get a bunch of reps against the Giants.

    Good to see Connolly back at C quite frankly. I'll be interested in seeing how BB uses the other OLman in the Giants game. IIRC he kept Solder and Cannon out there the entire game. REPS REPS REPS.

    On the 2 sacks - the first one was partially on Brady. He held the ball a bit too long. imo but it still wasn't good enough by Cannon. He was beaten wide and deep, but normally it wouldn't have mattered...but this time it did.. BTW- on a second notice from the NFL.com feed, Spencer Larsen also didn't cover himself with glory that play

    The other sack was well designed blitz or a blown assignment that wasn't picked up. It happens. Better now than then. It only goes to prove that when a D lineman is unblocked....he's a hell of a pass rusher.

    The run blocking seemed to pick up again a bit. Several creases that the running backs turned into bigger gains. Something to build on.

    DEFENSE -

    Very strong and consistent run defense (at least from what I watched) Good tackling. Good edge setting. Strong in the Middle. Another good game from Ron Brace. I didn't watch him every play, but those that I did I found myself noticing that he was usually the first guy off the ball and into the OL showing a quickness I hadn't noticed since his first TC.

    Aside from the first drive (only 51 yds) and into a soft zone, I thought the 2ndary continued to play well. Most of the completed passes were highly contested, and Safety help was again conspicuous.

    Marquise Cole for some reason stood out to me in the 2nd half. He made a case for himself to be more than just a special teamer. Anyone else see this too?

    I thought I saw Stevenr Gregory on the ground in the 2nd half in a cutaway I saw. Please tell me it was someone else....and NOT a safety.....again.

    If I was disappointed in anything by the defense it was an absence of a good 4 man rush. Even Jones didn't make much of a headway until he got his sack on a great rip move. Personally I thought he was playing it very carefully in controlling his rush, respecting Freeman's scrambling capabilities. In fact I thought the entire defense did that too much.

    Also it was clear that blitzing (unlike TB) wasn't something that was in the Pats "game plan" for this scrimmage. I'm sure Locker will see more, though he too is a excellent athlete/runner

    Special teams coverage was once again excellent. KO return blocking....not so much. For example on that first TB KO, there was a clear gap that had been blocked out by the TB KO blocking team. All the TB runner did was run up that crease until it disappeared. I'm not seeing any "creases" like that from the Pats. I know its real hard to practices, since the only time you see it live in in a game, but (I hate to say it) the Jets do it as well as anyone. I'd like to see us do it more....especially since we have someone who can take REAL advantage of that crease....should he get one.

    OK guys - I can't wait to get up and see which of our guys you have elevated to Gods, and which have be cast down. :D In the meantime I'm calling it a night, and hope sometime soon we can get at least an afternoon game so I can write one of these without being sleep deprived. ;)

    BTW- is there a way you can email or send a DVR recording to someone. I would think that kind of technology is around, or at least something like it. I don't have access to game replays and I'd love to be able to get games from those who do. Just a thought....if possible.....maybe.....
  2. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    isn't there some site we can all go now for all the games ...All 22 or something??..supposed to be like coaches tape or something...it's a thread here somewhere...anyway

    Don't you ever get the feeling that if they wanted to, the Pats could pass to Gronk or Hernandez EVERY play. They don't just because it isn't fair to the other kids and want to share the ball.;

    when will some Pats fans finally get it about these games? They are NOT for our enjoyment, at least not Patriot games...they are for Bill to get looks at different personnel in different roles to identify versatility, and to see what he has on basic formation calls....push off the snap, proper reads etc. I get all jerked off like everyone else when I'm watching runs get stuffed and INT's and sacks but when you actually break down the calls and LOOK at what they are calling as opposed to what we'd see in the regular season, you HAVE to realize it's all just work to BB. What he found out tonight was there are communication issues along the O line and the RB's(Ridley) make bad reads inside the their own twenty(I saw him do this more than twice at least). You are damn right they could open up and tear a team like Tampa apart with the passing offense, but, just as McD kept calling these toss pitches that got blown up behind the LOS three or four times, you have to realize they are looking at these for a reason.

    The most important thing we got out of this game as fans is no season ending injuries...that, and it looks like we have some REAL young depth that have demonstrated an ability to play up to speed on this level.

    I think BB and McD agreed to throw the O and Brady some candy in the 3rd Q and Gronk made it look unfair...as usual.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Always enjoy the posts and insight, Ken. Thanks.
  4. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    There were at least 2 instances where they ran the same play on consecutive downs (the Ridley big run and the 2 back shoulder passes to Lloyd). That never happens when the first play isn't successful, so it reinforces your observation that this game had a good amount of "practice" in it.

    If I'm thinking of the right play, it was a miscommunication between Solder and Thomas. Don't know who screwed up but I'm thinking it was Solder. He slid outside to pick up a blitzing DB expecting Thomas to pick up the blitzing LB. I'll have to look again to see if Thomas was on a double-team (his bad) or if he was singled on a DT (Solder needed to block inside-out).

    Strong indeed. If these LBs stay healthy, teams aren't going to have much success between the tackles. They are lightning quick moving forward and arrive with bad intentions. If they can even be average against the pass, the defense will be fine.

    Looked like he got kicked in the leg. I'm thinking 2 weeks should heal that up just fine.

    I saw it differently. Jones was a pest in the backfield. Outside of the first drive, Freeman's alarm clock was going off pretty quick. Jones looks like a guy that needs to be accounted for...which is a huge difference from last year.
  5. woolster22

    woolster22 Rookie

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    There are many ways to download the game, problem is it usually isn't up until 24hrs later, but all the ads are cut out.

    If cable companies weren't our internet providers we would all be streaming (for a much more reasonable price than starting at 60/mo plus hardware....) hd feeds with the ability to save as much as our hard drives can handle. Instead we have the current format where comcast owns Disney/(nbc/abc, I get it confused)/plus the cables to deliver them. Just so happens the same cables are the threat to the old cable provider model.

    Unfortunately these conglomerates pay off the politicians that make it still acceptable. How Comcast/Verizon/att aren't clear trusts/monopolies (on data, whether hardwired, wireless. Cable and internet should be considered the same in this day and age. Difference is one is "live," albeit with a small delay :rolleyes: ).

    When a cable company finally goes bankrupt trying to keep the old model alive, our infinitely wise government will bail them out too, simply passing off current discomfort to the future, creating modern day Jim Crow (whoops too late. What is this county's dept at right now? Divide that by population, or better yet yearly GDP...wtf).

    All the while gun laws become more and more restrictive. I saw a great bumper sticker yesterday, "support your troops, we are going to be them to overthrow our government."

    I just went way o/t, but ****. When will we stand up and say enough? Scarily enough, is it too late?


    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  6. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rookie

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    How many times did they reshuffle the O Line onight...by my count at least three, maybe four. TEST PEOPLE....TEST.

    I'm not overly worried about the O Line. One our worst preseasons in Beluchick's tenure here where we wnt 1-3 saw us win the SB the season and we looked down right terrible in those four games too!
  7. NinjaZX6R

    NinjaZX6R Rookie

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    They kept Solder and Cannon for the entire game. But they were interchanging the Guards and center spots frequently.
  8. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That makes sense to me in regards to both positions, interior and tackles.

    The tackles need all the reps they can get due to the change and rawness, and the interior cluster (good problem of course) still needs to be sorted out to provide the best 5 man line.

    I am interested in whether Koppen played at all/how he looked, as he is still a big wildcard for me. I am also interested in McDonald and Wendell, and how that will sort out. Still a lot to decide, although I'd say that 2 of the 3 are pretty much locks in my opinion.
  9. NinjaZX6R

    NinjaZX6R Rookie

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    Koppen is pretty much useless since Wendell, McDonald and Connelly can play center and guard while Koppen can only play center.
  10. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That is certainly the more obvious thought shared by many, but I'm wondering if he doesn't sneak on there somehow anyway.

    There are many factors/variables such as the starting interior guys, whether or not Waters shows up, and the overall number of OL players kept..9..10?

    If Waters doesn't show up, I think that Belichick may give it slightly more consideration with needing Connelly, Wendell etc to possibly play guard/backup interior.

    Common sense says he doesn't make it, but I still have some small percentage that wonders how it will play out in Belichick's mind.

    Obviously I agree that those mentioned, along with McDonald all provide good versatility. I suppose whether Koppen would beat out Wendell for the backup job (or even a starting job depending on Waters, and how along McDonald has come to be a potential everygame starter at center) or not could potentially be another factor.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  11. NinjaZX6R

    NinjaZX6R Rookie

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    Koppen makes way too much money to be a backup. I think he's being paid between 2-4m per year. And he is a backup who plays one spot. I'd carry 8 linemen and probably put that Oregon LT Weems? and a guard on the PS.
  12. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I know we are not supposed to fall in love with the veterans, but Koppen has set such a standard at center for the past 10+ years hate to see discussion of letting him go, even though he only plays one position..

    Doubt if you can teach him two positions at this stage of the game..
  13. goheels22002

    goheels22002 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My main observation that hasn't been said was the use of Gronkowski as a blocker all night long except for the TD from Brady and one other catch. It looked to me like the plan was for Gronk to work on his run blocking - they ran off his side a lot - or to pass block, frequently on Cannon's side.

    Ken made the point about the hurry-up offense. After Brady got sacked early - not his fault at all IMO - the offense normally goes to no huddle and right at Cannon and Thomas's side. The Pats stayed in the huddle and let the defense catch their breath and dial up their pass rush.

    In a typical game, Gronkowski gets targeted frequently and is part of some stacked set with a slot receiver and a back or wideout. If there is a reason to feel encouraged, it is that the Patriots had a partial offensive unit out there and very little of their game plan.

    The return game was spectacular. But, geez, coach. Do you really have to put Aaron Hernandez back there with eleven lunatics trying to make the team bearing down on him? Do you have to? If the return game can give Brady a short field consistently, the Patriots will be lethal on offense.

    Last, it was awful seeing the injuries to the Buccaneers's big guys. Nobody wants that. The Pats got out of there pretty clean, I think. Steve Gregory looked like he may have gotten hurt but never left the sideline and was walking normally - he's a good player and I hope he's okay.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  14. UK_Pat37

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    I felt he outside held their ground a lot better. Interior pressure was a problem at times which, given the shuffling, is to be expected. If both Mankins and Waters play this year it won't be an issue though.

    The sack that caused the fumble is all on Brady. I saw Cannon getting a lot of stick for that but I don't see much else he could have done. Brady's body clock needs to sound alarm bells at that point and he has to scramble or throw t away.

    The receivers continue to worry me. Our problem last year was separation down field and I think it still is. Lloyd is still an unproven commodity for us and we know we have reliability in the middle of the field...we really need some speedon the outside...I wish Ebert was making a bigger push...his 4.3 speed could stretch the field a little.
  15. QB12

    QB12 Rookie

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    And my assessment, that you disputed, that Moore would be demoted after his awful performance against the Eagles was validated when Cole and not Moore was the #4 corner.
  16. RelocatedPatFan

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    Does that mean WW is receiver #6 because he didn't play or maybe BB knows what he has in Moore? or, could it be Moore played extensively in game #2 or does BB have something else in mind?

    I certainly won't know until the season begins (or someone is cut) :)
  17. TheComeback

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    No, I didn't. I saw a nice pass deflection, but I also saw him get burned more than a few times. Freeman seemed to be looking his way a lot.
  18. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually, if I remember what was said back when that contract is signed, Koppen can only earn the full value of his contract if he's the starter; if he's just a backup, he won't see most of it.
  19. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah. And didn't they suck in the third preseason game last year, pretty much for similar reasons?

    "Nothing to see here, folks. Time to move on to the Opener."

    PS: Maybe we did see an unexpected secret weapon in Demps?
  20. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    the board thanks you for your input, gameday...been plenty of requests from fans who couldn't watch live
  21. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Some quick thoughts (Note I am going to focus mostly on the positives since plenty of people are focusing on the negatives):

    -The o-line had an up and down night. Sometimes they were very solid (on the TD drive in the second quarter) and others they were downright horrible. I would assume with Mankins regaining his legs, Vollmer back, and probably Waters back that this all will be moot when the season starts.
    - Solder seems to be improving his technique. He seems to use his arm length more, keeping his center of gravity low, and moving less stiff. I think with the real starting o-line and some scheming, he should be ok. Maybe not as effective as Light, but not a liability.
    - Chandler Jones seems to be unblockable. The guy at times treats his blocker like rag dolls. Even double teams don't stop him. I think one thing he needs to work on though is improving his angles to the QB. There were several times that he pressured Freeman, but if he took a better angle it would have been a sack. Granted one or two might have been a sack with a less mobile QB. One thing I am surprised about him is how well be holds up against the run. He had two tackles in that area - one for a loss and the other for an 1 yard gain. He set the edge very well.
    - Spikes look to be picking up from his solid Super Bowl appearance. The guy brings a mean streak to the defense (which should be supported by Hightower when he improves).
    - Branch has shown his job isn't in jeopardy. He will be solid as a #3 or #4 WR. Stallworth is gone especially with the addition of Demps. Stallworth is just ok with the 2s and 3s.
    - Hernandez might have surpassed Gronk as Brady's #2 option after Welker except in the red zone. He seems to be all over the field. Now I will temper this a bit by stating that Gronk was asked to block a lot last night.
    - I wish they didn't go with a vanilla zone defense most of the night. I would have liked to see a more agressive defense like the one that Tampa threw at the Pats. I am hoping that Belichick and Patricia are only doing the soft zone to evaluate players and not as a strategy for the year. I think the Pats' front seven is strong enough to apply pressure on the front end that will allow the Pats take the training wheels off the secondary.
  22. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Kind of a stretch to use the 'he didn't play until scrub time because we know what we have' with a guy on the bubble to make the roster, who was cut twice last year.
    I didn't see Welker out there playing in the 4th quarter, and to suggest the use of Wes Welker and Sterling Moore would share a logic is an abysmal effort at insight.
  23. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    Nothing wrong with the "soft zone" Robo. It might drive US crazy, but its still the reason why our scoring defense is always better than our total yards.

    I've just been impressed how much closer that zone coverage seems this season....so far. Virtually every pass is contested and requires a good to great throw and a precisely timed route.

    Conversely, one of the hallmarks of the Pats offense has been receivers running wide open in the short to mid-zones. Not so much this pre season. Either Josh is holding a lot of stuff back or defenses are starting to catch up. OR maybe JOB will start to get a little respect from the masses. ;)
  24. Rob0729

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    I don't mind a soft zone depending on the situation. Many times it is the right call. My problem is when you play it most or all of the game. I would have liked to see the Pats try to turn up the heat a little on Freeman at times with some exotic stuff. But they might be holding that stuff back for the regular season.

    I just think the Pats have the front seven to be more agressive on defense. In 2004, an aggressive front seven hid the deficiencies in the secondary due to injuries. I think this front seven (although have a lot to prove to be compared to the front seven of the 2004 team) can show some of that aggression.
  25. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What always puzzles me is how fans can watch a secondary get beaten up playing a conservative zone, where they can't stick with a receiver within their assigned zone, and call for the same players to play and aggressive man to man scheme.
    Its like asking the OL that gets beaten with a double team to man up and play aggressive man blocking with no help.
  26. Uncle Rico

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    Before I had my coffee, I saw the thread title and thought there was some controversy over Brady yawning on the sidelines or something.

    Guess that's one of the things about pre-season games for me -- the opponents barely register.
  27. Gwedd

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    As Ken pointed out, and others have said, this game was more about evaluations than game planning. Winning is nice, but the Pre-Season is all about checking the conditioning levels, seeing who actually understands the plays and playbooks, and who has the best "feel" for their position and the situation(s) they see developing.

    Gregory didn't leave the sidelines after his injury (as least as far as I could tell) so I believe it was probably just a deep tissue bruise to the calf or shin and nothing more serious.

    Overall I'm not as worried as I was at the start of the pre-season, because what I see is a team getting better, learning from mistakes, and that will pay off in spades later on.
  28. Rob0729

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    Other than three passes to Vincent Jackson (one where it looked to be just a miscommunication between two players), I didn't see the first team secondary getting beaten up playing conservative zone last night though. After that first drive, Jackson was really quite (but I wasn't watching him so maybe they pulled him).
  29. Rob0729

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    Gregory was kneed in the thigh by Dowling. He should be fine.
  30. QB12

    QB12 Rookie

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    That's because Sterling Moore, who I called out here for his awful play against the Eagles, was demoted.
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