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In further defense of Dan Connolly

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Kasmir, Sep 29, 2010.

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  1. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Mike Rodak at ESPN Boston posted this the other day:

    ...and now I'm seeing a fan meme emerging that Kyle Williams "ate up" Dan Connolly. Problem is, Rodak was just plain wrong in the above analysis. (I'm specifically referring to a thread in another board that I won't link to from here).

    The first play he mentioned was actually the 3rd Patriot's play of the drive that started the 4th quarter, occurring with 13:43 remaining. The Bills were in a 4-3, with the RDT (presumably Williams, although the number is hard to read in the TV feed), lined up over Connolly. The Patriots are in a one back set with Hernandez strong left. At the snap, Koppen and Neal double team the LDT. Connolly fires out and engages the RDT and stands him up. Hernandez engages the RDE. Light is uncovered and rotates inside at the snap as if to trap, is in no position to engage the RDT, and tries to help by pushing Connolly from behind. The safety (Scott) then come up and splits the two DT blocks and meets BJGE in the hole for the tackle. Connolly then loses his block and the RDT joins in the general pile-up, but Rodak's description makes it seem like the negative play was Connolly's fault when it wasn't.

    The second play (occurring at 12:59) is also puzzling to highlight, as it was a successful 9 yard run around left end. The Bills appeared to be in the same 4-3 set. The Patriots look to be blocking zone left, i.e. at the snap all 5 OL rotate left and look for their blocks. Koppen lets Williams skitter in front of him and behind Connolly, as both of them head out looking for 2nd level blocks. As the announcer says, Williams is a little too late to make a play on BJGE in the backfield, and BJGE then turns the corner. Not Connolly's best play, as he doesn't end up engaging anyone at the 2nd level, but it is highly unlikely that his assignment was to block Williams given the obvious zone left. Looks like it was Koppen's failure to at least chip Williams that might have endangered the play, but it's strange to focus on negative might-have-beens when there are so many actual negatives and positives to write about.

    The really bizarre thing is why Rodak singles out these plays at all. Connolly in that very same drive had two great blocks off pulling action that were instrumental in both Woodhead's second long scamper and the BJGE touchdown. Why trash Connolly? I reviewed the tape and watched him on every play Sunday. He had a great game, including 3 solo pancake blocks that I saw. Instead, because of a sloppy published analysis, the guy is getting trashed by know-nothing fans. Rodak, you owe the man an apology.

    That kind of selective reporting is really distorting. Rodak could have much more easily -- and fairly -- trashed Koppen, who in the Patriot's second series of the 4th quarter almost cost them the game when in back to back plays he had a false start -- nice trick for a center -- and then lost Williams for the only sack of the game. Or he could have trashed Vollmer for a failed cut block of the LDE on that same play that contributed to the pressure and could have led to a sack by itself.

    Why trash Connolly? I think the answer to that question is that Connolly's success reduces the drama of the Mankins vs Kraft story. The reality on the field is that Connolly is so far doing a good -- if not great -- job replacing Mankins.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  2. Calciumee

    Calciumee PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    I don't think he needs much defence! Most are impressed with him :)
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    I see a debate between Reiss and Rodak in the near future.

    How Connolly stepped to the 4 - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

  4. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    Belichick also said in the same article:

    If you listen carefully to Belichick over the years he always stresses the importance of continuous improvement in a player. In fact, if he says a player "has room for improvement" that's actually a good thing. He's very aware of career trajectories and is ruthless about ridding himself of players in decline. Connolly's on a roll...
  5. WhiteWesWelker88

    WhiteWesWelker88 Banned

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    Extend The Beast......




    Logan Who???
  6. SuperPatsFan

    SuperPatsFan Rookie

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    So are you Dan, his agent, or his mom? :p


    In any case, I hope Dan has a great game Monday. :cool:
  7. BlueThunder

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    #24 Jersey

    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    Connolly has exceeded expectations so far...Keep it up Dan !

    Be nice if they can get SOMETHING for Mankins.....he's still a solid LG.
  8. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    You can be sure I'm not Dan Koppen, Gary Guyton or James Sanders. ;)

    I just hate injustice, especially folks propagating false negative memes. It's startling how often people will make assertions devoid of data, especially when it's relatively easy to research something these days...
  9. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    I thought the title was the beginning of a question,should be 'Of'
  10. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    Yes a typo, and I don't see any way to edit a thread title -- is there?
  11. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    3 games into a 16 game season... come on guys. Whilst it's encouraging to see what Connolly has done so far to compare him favorably to Logan Mankins' performance longevity is silly.
  12. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    I said: so far. And this is response to "Connolly sucks" which had been repeated around here ad nauseum.
  13. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    IMHO, reading Rodak is a waste of time. He is quite often wrong in things like this - which play, player, etc. And his analysis is every bit as crappy as you would expect from a guy who pays no attention to detail.
  14. PatsFaninME

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    I agree. I hate that ass. Who proved to be the liar, Logan?

    I'll be DISAPPOINTED if they sign Mankins. I hope they trade him before deadline. I hate the fact that he can come back at week #10 or whatever and earn a year towards FA. I hope they tag and trade his ass if it gets to that point.
  15. JFK

    JFK Rookie

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    Neal is done after this year. We need a guard we know can play. Sign Mankins.
  16. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid On the Roster

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    #3 Jersey

    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    That answer is correct, sir.

    But first: He must repent. :D
  17. JFK

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    I'll repent on his behalf. lol
  18. ALP

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    if he comes back week 10, and is inactive, does he still get the year towards the contract?
  19. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    The point here is not that Connolly is as good as Mankins. The point is that the dropoff from an elite guard to a good guard is not too significant. If anything, Connolly's play justifies the non-signing of Mankins. By my observation, the offensive line has played very well.
  20. Sicilian

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    Re: In further defense if Dan Connolly

    Rodak is a "student assistant". Basically an intern. I don't know why so many people consider his analysis so insightful. I appreciate his effort in looking through the whole tape as he does, but I take everything he says with a big "he may not actually know what he's seeing" grain of salt.
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