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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    Just a couple of brief thoughts that might encourage some discussion.

    1. Perhaps the most DISAPPOINTING aspect of the Pats game this season has been the play of the OL. Its not that they have sucked this year, but the OL has FINALLY gotten some real talent, yet for the first time in this run the OL ISN'T better than the sum of its parts. Its OK, but I felt that it would be a LOT better than just OK.

    2. Is there a team with more than 14 guys on the IR? I guess there might be but not many, nor not much more. Come on guys, this is like the 4th season in a row where the Pats are among the biggest losers to injuries. At this point I have to think its systemic. Any thoughts or suggestions??

    3. I'm really torn this week by 2 entirely different looks at this game against the Jags. One (spouted by most of the media) states that the Jags 2 very good corners will take away our WRs, crowd the LOS to stop the run, which will be very difficult anyway because of the great DT's the Jags have, and keep us out of the endzone. Sounds very reasonable.

    On the other hand, courtesy of Michael Holly, he opines that the Jags of 2006 ARE NOT as good as the team that came here last December and lost in a 28-3 game (the Jags have lost some very good players to injury as well like Peterson and Taylor) and the Pats, despite their injuries are in better shape than they were back then (although we are worse at WR, we are much better off on the OL, RB, and DB that we were last Jan).

    Another thing Holley mentioned was fairly simple but right on point. Even if the Jags DO stop our running game, what has been our strength this entire year. We have been very successfull at stopping the run as well. So if winning the game is dependant at how successful your QB is in throwing the ball, who would you rather have, David Garrard, or Tom Brady???

    Holley made me feel a lot better about this game. :D
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    About damn time :)

    OL has been dissapointing. This is the group we're so thrilled to have signed long term - well they need to start playing better both against the run and the pass. But especially the run, we've had too many losses on runs for my liking.

    Injuries, I still maintain most of them have been things that we can't do anything about. Torn ACL, broken bones. Just shake your head and move on.

    Jags - I agree with Holley except I'm not sure if we'll stop the run as easily as he thinks if Vince isn't playing. That's the one wildcard that could lose the game for us (other than the obvious - turnovers).
  3. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan On the Roster

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    I don't want to sound like a broken record, but it seems to me the running game has an awful lot of negative plays generated against it. Other wise the running game is awesome by and large. And these negative plays come from teams run blitzing and gambling to get a defender into the backfield before or concurrent with the handoff, and before the RB can get up to speed.

    The cure is as old as football, a lead blocking FB, to take the backfield gambler out, or to meet a gambler S in the hole, at the point of attack and clear him so the RB can cut behind the block.

    The WHAM TE that we rely on, is often not in position to make these plays.
    A single run loss of 3-4 yards can result in killing a ground oriented drive.

    With his limitations do you think Evans has improved enough in both size, and blocking technique, to get the job done yet?
  4. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    On the Jags injury front they lost Peterson and Darius for the season. Taylor appears to be out for this game. Stroud has battled lingering injuries all season. They have had their share of booboo's.
  5. Ichiro

    Ichiro Rookie

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    I agree with your analysis about the offensive line. I thought it was our deepest, most talented OL in the Belichick era but they just haven't been consistent. Kaczur has not played as well as last year but I believe his injuries are hampering him.

    Having 8 men in the box all the time and Brady holding onto the ball longer than normal hasn't helped either.

    Lack of WR that can demand safety help hurts every part of the offense.
  6. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Rookie

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    i agree the OL has had some bad games, bad plays. overall they are still a B to B+. i hate to sounds like he that shall not be mentioned, but when our play calling gets obvious, the run blitzs and pass blitzes have hurt us. and our WR sometimes cant get open on their own, so we cant keep the TE and RBs in to block, like we did in years past, right?

    everything is complementary
  7. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Amen, and Hallelujah. My 2 pet peeves with the offense are: 1) Empty backfield formations, unless in very obvious passing situations; and 2) One-back formations in running situations. Dillon did his best work in Cincinnati when Lorenzo Neal was in front of him. Evans is no Neal, but I watch him every time he is in the backfield, and he almost always neutralizes his man. Sometimes the key to a successful running play is to make that first defender miss, thanks to your FB; the RB can then gain some momentum and better utilize his ability in a more-open field. More 2-back sets, coach, m'kay? Pretty please?
  8. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Rookie

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    Fred Taylor came up gimpy on a long run last sunday and the Jags turned to Drew-Jones who looks like a hard tough back to tackle. The good news is that he looked beat up at the end of the game and had to go to the sidelines a couple of times for a break. The Jags lost a game they should have won because of turnovers. Gerrard is not a QB that the Jags want to depend on to win the game with his arm. But they have some big, tall WR's that are plenty physical.

    If the Pats get some good hard shots on Drew-Jones in the early parts of the game, he might not have a lot in the tank in the 2nd half and they will resort to throwing. With our short CB's and Safety's, I would expect Gerrard to throw a few up there for the WR's to out-jump our DB's similar to the way Grossman did against us in the Chicago game.

    They are a physical team but have some holes like us due to injury. It will be a desperate team out there and they know losing is guarenteeing no playoffs. However, its a game the Pats can win. We beat them up pretty good last year in the playoffs last year and I don't think they are nearly as good as they were a year ago.
  9. Krugman

    Krugman Rookie

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    I thought Evans was a decent blocker,but I admit hat I miss some of the blocking schemes during a game unless I'm focused on one or two players,curious to know the thoughts of other posters on Heath Evans as a fullback and a blocker....
  10. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan On the Roster

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    Captain,

    Thanx for the confirmation of my opinion.

    My opinion of viewing Evans current blocking mostly in blitz pickup (there's almost nothing else to see), looks like he has improved dramatically at that learned skill. Unlike running skills which you have or don't, blocking can be learned; I just don't know if he is good enough, but maybe we need to use Hochstein or even Graham lined up at the FB position.

    Your comments about empty backfields are right on too.
  11. borg

    borg On the Roster

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    Have you seen the new Patriots Marketing Video that the team shows prospective free agents. "Come sign with the three-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and we will guarantee a below market contract, a higher probability of injury, zero Pro Bowl consideration, the quietest stadium , but the best damn meal plan in the AFC East.
  12. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Mr. Box, I believe, has mentioned this in the Houston Game Day thread, but it bears repeating here: Heath Evans, to his credit, has greatly improved as a lead-blocking FB. With the lack of talent at WR, relative to RB and TE, I would never employ more than 2 WR as a basic 1st-and-10 formation. I would use either 2 RBs or 2 TEs at all times. Heck, if all 4 RBs are healthy, I would love to see 3 RBs in the same backfield, similar to the old power-wishbone or power-T formations of college yore. I've also seen the Carolina Panthers use it this season.
  13. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Rookie

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    You need a dominant O-line to do that. KC and San Diego has one. Seattle use to ..... they've come down to earth.

    Another questions can be asked.

    Is the Patriots line actually decent to good at run blocking and are they hampered by a rookie Maroney who has indecisiveness in picking and hitting the hole, plus a slow Dillon to the outside?
  14. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    And so we come full circle, back to PFKen's 1st idle thought. The OL has indeed disappointed. No longer is lack of drafted talent a reason for spotty play - not when there are 3 1st-day picks, plus a C regarded as one of the best in the AFC. I am especially disappointed in the penalties, e.g.: false starts, etc. Let's hope that these mental lapses are cleaned up by the playoffs, if not by Sunday.

    P.S.: If Matt Light is as recovered as he will be, and his broken leg is no longer a hindrance or an excuse, then I hope his replacement can be found in the '07 draft.
  15. Gumby

    Gumby Rookie

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    #11 Jersey


    ok for the obvious response: broken record...sssscratcchhhh......broken record...sssscratcchhhh......broken record...sssscratcchhhh......broken record...sssscratcchhhh......broken record...sssscratcchhhh......broken record...sssscratcchhhh......

    Now for the what should be obvious response:

    Jags corners = 2 players

    Pats WR = 2, 3, 4, or 5 depending on alignment
    OTHER ELIGIBLE RECEIVERS = RBs, FB and TEs

    Our passing game can obviously be superior to theirs because your QB is superior to theirs and the passing game is not entirely dependent on 2 WRs who might be able to be shutdown by 2 good corners.
  16. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    The bad news about Maroney is that I don't think this is coachable. Backs that come in the league with decision problems tend to stay that way through their careers. I'll give him what's left of the benefit of the doubt, but I think it's likely Maroney is always going to be prone to negative yardage plays. But if our OL play improves, I think Maroney benefits much more than most backs because he's a dangerous open field runner. And I think he's likewise going to be a tremendous receiver. But he's looking more like a replacement for Faulk than for Dillon.
  17. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    That's LOL classic. And kinda true, though I don't know about the meal plan.
  18. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    If that's the case, then we need to find Dillon's replacement, either through the '07 draft or '07 free agency. Plus an OLB. And an ILB. And a CB. And maybe a S (S or F, or both). And a WR. And a LT.
  19. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Well that's the game isn't it? Rosters are always changing, and teams need to continuously rebuild themselves. Continuing to win while doing that is of course the challenge.

    RB is probably the most volatile of all positions. At QB we should have at least another 5-7 good years from Brady, our DL could be set if we extend Warren, and our OL is set. If I had to choose which parts of the team I wanted to be both stable and excellent, I'd choose QB, DL, and OL. I'd worry least about RB, DB, and WR -- we won 3 superbowls without ever having top tier personnel in those positions. No team can have everything for very long.

    I share your concern about LB, and I'm worried that our OL isn't as good as we hoped, but all in all I think we're still well positioned to compete for the next 3-5 years (in everything except Fantasy Football). What more can you reasonably want? Maybe great coaching, a great front office, and a great owner?
  20. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    That's why I feel that, unless there are gaping holes at other positions, a draft haul should include at least one RB, one WR, one OL, one DL, one LB (I or O, depending) and one CB. Keep the pipelines flowing, in a manner of speaking.

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