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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    1. The last 2 weeks I can only picture Bob Lobel saying is old adage, "why can't we get guys like that...." Of course he'd be referring to Kelly Washington and Jabbar Gaffney, 2 guys we were supposed to be upgrading and who are having nice years with OTHER teams. And it got me thinking about WHY??.....and the answer is clear....at least to me.

    The Pats passing system is complex and difficult to pick up. In other words....its NOT for everyone. Take Joey Galloway. He's not a bum. This guy is an accomplished NFL receiver, with NUMEROUS 1000 yd season, with QBs that aren't close to what we have here. Did he suddenly forget how to be a WR? NOOOOOOOOO! He just happened to come to a SYSTEM that obviously isn't conducive to HIS skill set.

    The Pats passing system is geared to skilled route runners, and a built up relationship with your QB to be at a certain place, at a certain time....CONSISTENTLY. Most balls aren't being thrown to a player, but a SPOT. And its up to the receiver to BE at that spot at the right time.

    For some guys, like Welker, its natural, for others, like Galloway its a nightmare. Its not anyone's fault. I'm sure it wasn't because he wasn't trying. Perhaps he was trying TOO hard. This is much tougher game when you having to THINK your way to a spot, rather than just using your natural abilities. Then when you add to the fact the obvious lack of confidence he must have, it even gets worse. He must be now questioning himself on every pattern.

    So while other receivers might thrive in different environments, it doesn't necessarily mean they would have be good HERE.

    2. For those of us who have always wished be were playing a more aggressive, attacking defense, your time has come, and its for a lot of reasons.

    a. Our secondary is clearly VASTLY improved. This could be as good a secondary as we had in 2003. We now have bigger PHYSICAL CBs who can compete with the bigger WRs that now inhabit the NFL landscape. We FINALLY have a S who can ERASE mistakes (though I wish he had better hands, but we said that about Assante, and he started to hang on to the ball in his 4th year) We also have in Wilhite and Butler 2 guys who can man up on slot receivers when we go to situational Ds. I can't remember a time when we had more DEPTH in the secondary.

    My only fear is that McGowan, who has been a revelation, will get hurt, because he clearly has NO regard for his own body. That has been the pattern in his NFL career. But while he is there, its the best FS/SS combination we've had since Rodney and Wilson (in his ONE good year).

    BOTTOM LINE, having a secondary that ISN'T a liability, allows the front seven to be more aggressive...selectively

    b. We still don't have a pass rusher who can INDIVIDUALLY create havoc. Burgess still hasn't been the impact rusher we hoped, but Mike Wright has been a big surprise, and between him, Wilfolk, and Warren, our push up the middle has been excellent.

    BOTTOM LINE: Its not the sack total, but the number of time the QB has to move his feet, throw OUT of rhythm, or get hit, that is the MOST important thing.

    c. Finally the thing I love most about this defense is its PHYSICALITY. Especially in the Baltimore game, who is a very physical team. The Pats matched them punch for punch....and then some. That's bodes well for the future, because this defense is STILL a work in progress. It WILL get better.

    3. I'm tired of seeing Matt Light get raked over the coals by fans and the media. How quickly they forget how he STONED John Abrahams for the entire game. Did we all forget that they pay the OTHER guys big money to do their jobs. Sure he got by him for a sack. He probably got by him for a couple of pressures too. But we dropped back over 30 times...and gave up 3 sacks to one of the best pass rushing teams in the league (BTW - on at least ONE of those sacks, Brady was late getting the ball out)

    BOTTOM LINE: The pats have dropped back to pass 175 times this season, and Brady has been sacked ONLY 4 (FOUR) times vs 3 teams that have excellent pass rushes. And this is with Brady, not yet being Brady.....AND the WR problems

    Light is a good but not great LT, we all KNOW that. Then why is it what if Brady gets touched, we all seem to go nuts and start researching who is available to play on the OL. Its not only unfair, its basically WRONG.

    4. You all should remember that I came from a players era where you could hit the QB anywhere, and had 2 strides AFTER he threw the ball to do it. So count me among those who are tired of seeing incidental contact to the heads of QBs being called roughing. That being said, I think the fact that is missing from the Suggs roughing call that hasn't been mentioned ENOUGH, is the fact that he was CLEARLY going for Brady's knees. The fact that Brady managed to get out of the way, and minimized the contact SHOULDN'T mitigate Suggs clear INTENT to injure the QB.

    I think WAY TOO MUCH was made about the use of the word "forcibly" in the rule. Clearly they didn't want to throw the flag ONLY when the QB is writhing on the ground.

    So while I would like to see more discretion on incidental contact to the head...and fewer flags; if ANY defensive player goes low on a QB a flag should be thrown whether he was successful or not.

    4. Mike Freeman is a first class ********, and while I'm sure you guys hashed out that whole issue completely, I feel better having said it. Talk about making it up as you go along, this was internet "journalism" at its WORST. He Rush Limbaughed him. And to make matters worse, Florio took his article as fact and then succeeded to OUT SPECULATE him. Well at least Florio admitted he was just speculating. He clearly does have it out for Moss. I think its a WV thing that goes way back.

    BTW are you aware that Freeman left the NY TIMES to go to the Indy Star (...and that has to be a career move that has you scratching your head. Like a guy with a successfull TV series, leaving it to go be a weather man in Des Moines) And then compounds the idiocy by getting fired for making up his resume. Yet HE has a pulpit to call Moss bad character. What IRONY....How sad....and how poorly it reflects on how we get our news. Because no longer is the news merely reported...its PROMOTED...complete with an implied agenda..l.and that's NOT good for a democracy.

    5. As much as I want us to beat Denver, the Josh McDaniel story is a nice one. He makes his admiration of BB clear, and he success, given his rough start, is a great story. When you compare this to the Mangini experience, it is startling, and gives us an idea about how mistaken Eric was in the manner of his departure. I bet he'd have given his eye teeth for that 5 page topic sheet on being an NFL HC, and the conversations that went with it.

    6. Speaking of McDaniels, I couldn't help notice a comment by a Denver scribe on his offense. He stated that he couldn't believe how 'open' the receivers were, even on short routes. It echoed what we heard here when he was OC. The kid surely is a great offensive mind and he is missed. I think if he was around this year, Brady's progress back from his injury would have been smoother.

    7. Doesn't mean anything, but its interesting that the Pats haven't played a team that has lost a game when they played them.

    8. I find the Edwards trade to the Jets fascinating. I think Cleveland did a great job getting a lot of value for an under performing asset that they were going to lose after this season anyway. 2 serviceable players and a couple of mid round draft picks was about all you could hope for. On the Jets side this could be a home run, or another disaster. Despite the bad hands, Edwards IS someone you HAVE to account for and WILL open up the field for Keller and Cotchery. However if he DOESN'T resign with the Jets, even if he plays up to his potential, they paid WAY too much for a 12 game rental...and then there is the possibility that he continues his turdish ways. Say what you want about the Jets, but, at least this year they are very interesting.

    9. I REALLY hope Moroney has a great game Sunday...I am SOOOOO tired of threads about him.


    Well I feel a lot better with THAT off my chest. Thanks for my small pulpit here. I hope you find some of this interesting enough to discuss.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  2. dalero

    dalero PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great points on the passing game. That's why Brady was so upset when he lost Branch.
  3. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    There is no doubt this is a very tough offense for some pretty good WRs to pick up for some reason. And the very nature of timing routes i.e. throwing to a spot and not to a player, is partially what makes Pats fans question Brady's accuracy from time to time.
  4. mfaith

    mfaith Rookie

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    Great post. When you look at the litany of WRs the Pats have had in the BB era I think your explanation is the only one that makes sense. I remember reading a quote when Moss was signed. BB and TB were having a conversation about how smart Moss was and BB said learning the O wouldn't be a problem for Randy.

    And I remember when Doug Gabriel was cut and BB coming to his defense and basically saying he tried really hard and was a good player, just had trouble learning the offense.

    I'm sure Galloway is a little lost in the O and I'm prepared to give him a pass in that area but that still doesn't explain his drops. I don't care how complex the offense is, pro WRs have to catch the ball when it hits them in the numbers.

    That being said, I think both sides of the ball are improving every week. If the Pats keep this up they have just as much of a chance to be Superbowl contenders as anyone else in the AFC.
  5. Rossmci90

    Rossmci90 Rookie

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    You said it yourself about the defense, it doesn't matter how many sacks you get. So why should it matter that the OL has given up 3 sacks? Surely what matters is hurrying the QB as you said yourself. As we saw against the Jets, Brady was getting hit alot and hurried a lot.

    Just for the record, i think Light is an adequate LT, im juts playing devil;s advocate.
  6. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm trying to figure out if this is a passive-aggressive slam or a subconscious diss of #39. Heh.

    That said, great musings as usual. Agree with your thoughts on the 2009 D, a work in progress.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  7. mayoclinic

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    We keep hearing how complicated the Pats system is (both offense and defense) and how hard it is for rookies/new players to pick it up. We see a lot of WRs and LBs/DBs struggle in particular. We routinely see it take a full season for rookies to begin contributing in a major way, whereas other teams seem to be able to plug in players with greater ease and get contributions from them - including players we've had with little success. It makes me wonder a bit if BB's system and playbook are a little too complicated.

    On the other hand, we ran a fairly vanilla offense (with Brady out) and defense (with no secondary) last year. And there are players like Wes Welker at WR and Brandon McGowan at DB who just seem to come in and take like a duck to water. So I wonder at times if it's more than just the complexity of the system. I don't know the answer. It's frustrating to see Delmas jump in and start making plays for Detroit at a high level while Chung languishes on the bench and seems to be struggling with the playbook. Or, to go back to WRs, Mike Wallace making a big impact with the Steelers.

    Gaffney was productive for us, so I'm not surprised to see him produce for Denver. I always liked Washington and would have preferred keeping him to Aiken and thought he had more at WR, but I understand the cap issues. It's nice to see him getting some success.

    My impression with Galloway is that we signed him but aren't adapting to his skill set, and are asking him to be a fish out of water. Seems like a dumb kind of move, from an organization that doesn't generally make dumb moves, so I'm obviously missing something. But I've noticed a tendency of taking players and putting them in schemes which don't fit their skills (running Maroney without a lead blocker into a crowd of defenders being another good example).

    I've been begging for a more physical and aggressive defense for years now, and I felt in the preseason that we finally had the personnel to make it happen. I'm ecstatic with what we've seen so far, which I hope is only the tip of the iceberg. I think we'll see much more as some people develop (Butler in particular) and others get healthy (Mayo). I think we're still 1-2 players away from being a "dominant" defense, but I agree that this could be the best Pats' defense since 2003. I just hope we don't let some key pieces get away after this year and have to rebuild all over. Continuity is critical.

    Light is a good but not great LT, I agree. But he's had a tendency to have some very costly breakdowns. 20% of the points we've allowed so far have been given up by our defense, on Light breakdowns. That's not acceptable. LT is a high profile position, and you have to take some heat if you get burned. With that said, we need to do a better job of giving Light more support, including this week with Dumervil. A 2nd TE would be nice.

    I also prefer a bit more physicality. However, as players have gotten bigger and faster and offenses have gotten more pass oriented, the chances of injuring a QB increase significantly as the rules get more lenient. The NFL revolves around Brady vs. Manning, Rothlisberger vs. Rivers, and Brees vs. Ryan. Take those guys out and the games become less interesting, and the NFL suffers. That's a fact of life.

    I agree, McDaniels was a terrific OC, and is quickly becoming a fine head coach. He's clearly learned well, and is building a mentally tough team that is on the same page and committed to winning, his way. I think we've missed him a lot this year, particularly Brady and Maroney. I'm not yet convinced that our offensive playcalling is coming around.[/QUOTE]
  8. BradyFTW!

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    Great points, though I still think that you may be selling galloway just a little short. He's always been a pretty good route runner, so I don't buy that this is necessarily just the wrong system for him, either. I still think he just needs more time, although even if that is the case, it's totally fair to question a) how much more time he needs and b) if we can afford to give it to him. Bottom line is that he should be a functioning part of this offense by now, and he isn't.
  9. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I wouldn't write off Galloway just yet.
    Galloway is coming back from a major injury, and just as much time off as Brady.

    If people are giving Brady some slack for missing multiple WIDE OPEN throws, then cut Galloway some slack for also coming back from injury, major time off, plus learning a new system.
  10. captain stone

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    Beat me to it.

    On one hand, Ken, you excuse the pass rush's meager sack #s by trumpeting "not the sack total, but the # of times the QB has to move his feet, throw out of rhythm, or get hit; that is the most important thing."

    On the other, you defend Light & the OL by focusing only on the low sack #s and ignoring the # of times that Brady has had to move his feet, throw out of rhythm, or - the most important thing - been hit.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  11. BradyFTW!

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    I agree with the point you're making (that you have to be consistent in your standards), but from what I've seen, Brady hasn't been hit very much since the Jets game. Clearly, there were major issues in the first two games, but Atlanta and Baltimore are no slouches, and the OL generally held up very well against them both. Seems like some major issues were identified and fixed after the Jets game.
  12. patfanken

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    There are some times when I wonder if all this complexity is starting to become counter prod uctive. Not just with the Pats, but in offenses around the league. I can't help but remember Unitas to Berry, where the shear execution of the play made it possible, even when the defense knew it was coming. Given the mad athletic skills of TODAY's players, I wonder if its time to go BACK to a simpler time, and work on the EXECUTION of a play rather than its scheme.

    Remember in football what was old becomes the new thing. I wonder if there was an passing offense that ran its routes REGARDLESS of the defense, it might be very effective for a while before the defenses caught up. That would mean that the QB would know EXACTLY where every receiver would be BEFORE he took the snap. Wouldn't that improve the "execution of the play" Wouldn't it eliminate many of those maddening picks that seem to go directly to THEIR guy, rather than our guy. Wouldn't it leave the receiver with less to think about. He could concentrate on his release and route execution, rather than trying to read a defense 3 steps into his route...hoping against hope that the QB is seeing the same thing....knowing that if they aren't in synch....nothing good will happen.

    Just musing here. There will be a time where all this "complexity" which looks great on paper, becomes counter productive.
  13. mayoclinic

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    I don't know the answer, but I agree that the complexity can be counter-productive at times.

    Adalius Thomas spoke openly in 2007 about how complex the Pats' defense was and how hard it was for him to get comfortable when he moved over from Baltimore. Yet I haven't seen us move him around the way Baltimore did to take advantage of his versatility, and he certainly hasn't had the kind of impact with us that he had with the Ravens.

    I can understand occasional busts with kids like Chad Jackson who have lots of physical skill but can't learn the playbook (though you think we'd screen for that if our system is so complex to begin with). But it seems like our schemes are prohibitively complicated at times, with a huge learning curve. I guess I'm not sure why that has to be so, or what is the benefit of all this complexity.
  14. patfanken

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    You got me, Ross. Pardon my bit of Sophistry. But the point I wanted to make is still the same. In a league where its common for a team to pass the ball 30-50 times a game, the QB is going to get some pressure on him. We all know that. The fact that Brady has been harassed, shouldn't be surprising, but I doubt its any worse than the rest of the league, and perhaps a lot better (BTW - is there a site that tracks "QB pressures" and QB hits) The simple fact is...the offense line is WINNING that pass rush battle many times more than they are losing it.

    Its almost like a baseball player who is can be a superstar FAILING 70% of the time. A superstar pass rusher gets the same recognition despite FAILING 95% of the time. Kind of makes you go hmmmmmmmmmm. :D

    My point is that our OL pass blocking is better than they are given credit for, including Matt Light. By and large they have blocked very well, and deserve more of our support.

    And if you are going to blame Light for the 2 turnovers that led to TDs, then you better be prepared to share that blame with the QB, because he had a part in both of them as well.
  15. captain stone

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    Until LaMa - and the OL - actually has a great game, threads about him - and the OL - will continue...as they should.
  16. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    - Galloway brings a skill set that nobody else on the team can provide...he occupies a safety opposite Moss. With both WR requiring help over the top, that spreads the defense pretty thin. With the Pats gameplan against the Ravens not looking much for the deep ball (with the blitzing and Reed, good call), it became a little easier to sit Galloway. Going forward, Galloway needs to make sure his struggles don't overwhelm the benefits of his speed.

    - I generally don't criticize the OL when they get physically beat. It does bother me when they get beat with poor technique. Light has goofed up his technique twice and the result was 2 TDs (and could-have-been losses). Just unacceptable for a team that has expectations of playing for a championship.
  17. captain stone

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    [/QUOTE]

    I'm not yet convinced, either. At least McD had Charlie to study & emulate; BOB had...?
  18. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    I agree that the Atlanta game was a very clean one by the OL. But that's the way Mike Smith plays defense, as both the DC of the Jags & the HC of the Falcons: minimal blitzing, relying on the front 4, mixing coverages. The Ravens game, however, was far less clean. He didn't take as may hits as he did in the J-E-S-T game, but the punishment was comparable to the Bills game. Elvis Dumerville must be licking his chops.
  19. BradyFTW!

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    That's fair- Brady certainly saw his share of pressure, and was sacked a few times. That said, Baltimore's an excellent pass-rushing team. I'll take that level of pressure, going against them, any day of the week. Very few OLs can keep their QBs totally in the clear against an elite pass rush- I thought that it was a pretty good job by the OL just to keep Brady as clean as it did.
  20. captain stone

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    It never ceases to amaze me how often supposedly qualified HCs attempt to show just how great a strategist they think they are, by disregarding the inherent truth of If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It. During the Falcons game, for instance, Atlanta seemed to have some success with a particular run or pass, but then they wouldn't try the same play-call for the rest of that series. Played right into our hands, I thought.
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