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Just a thought...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Oct 11, 2007.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    .... that occurred to me while driving today. When I was coaching, I used to get a lot of my best ideas, driving to school in the morning. Well anyway....

    ...I was thinking about how I'd like to deal with TO on his home field. Going back to the superbowl game and adding a few games I saw him while with the cowboys, it occurred to me that MOST of the damage that TO caused was on short and mid range crossing patterns (read pick plays) that where expanded into big plays because of the YAC. So here is what I'd do.

    I tap Brandon Merriweather on the shoulder and on about 2/3rds of my coverage packages, I tell Brandon to line up on TO's nose and play physical man to man coverage....and not worry about getting beat deep.

    I would then have Hobbs play a less agressive man to man on their #2 WR. But with the understanding that he would often have someone over the top in help.

    With varied combinations with the rest of my DBs (Wilson, Harrison, Gay, Samuel) depending on situation where I am playing 5 or 6 DBs, I would want them playing in zone coverages looking to jump Romo's favorite patterns. Samuel, Harrison, Gay, are all big play guys who are great at reading patterns and jumping routes

    Understand that this is not an every down ploy, but something you can use as a base defense. One of the keys against any young QB is never let them see the same thing twice in a row, so you can't use it all the time. You also can use this basic defense and confuse Romo by disguising it. One way would be by jumping Merriweather on TO at the last minute, or a man to man from a deeper position.

    Finally I'd have AD (when he isn't rushing) locked on to Witten in passing situation. (and Rodney when AD is rushing)

    A basketball analogy would be the box and one. Here its virtually a box and 2. By applying immediate pressure you take away any quick short pass options for Romo. I don't want him taking his drop and releasing in rhythm. I want to make him go to his 2nd and 3rd options and resetting.

    Anyway I have to run. I'd like to go in more detail, but I have no time. When I get back I look forward to reading your comments and suggestions
  2. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Re: Just a thought.....

    I think there's certainly value in trying to "take away" T.O. and Whitten, but I'd like to note that Dallas has a good running game, not one that we can afford to ignore too much.
  3. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Just a thought.....

    I don't think Meriweather is good enough in coverage yet to cover a guy like TO. I have been rather unimpressed with his coverage skills so far and seems to be more suited as a SS than FS or CB at the NFL level. He seems stronger playing close to the line of scrimmage. No way would I put him on TO.

    Personally I think we beat the Cowboys offense with the front seven. We need to keep Romo off-kiltered. We need exotic blitz packages to confuse Romo. A lot of delayed blitzes and disguised coverages will work better than putting Meriweather on TO.
  4. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Just a thought.....

    What about this.
    Play your base 3-4, with base zone coverages. Take one player and play him man on TO. In essence you are taking the 4th rusher and putting him on coverage. Or if you rush 4, you play the coverage you would if you rushed 5, but play man on TO with that 5th guy.
    Example. We play 3-4 cover2. In our cover2 one of the 4 LBs blitzes. You take that 4th LB and instead of rushing, he plays TO manup (you could also assign him to play TO man up--IF HE COMES inside and either spy Romo, or drop into a zone in between the LBs, or even delayed rush if TO does not break inside. You can roll the corner up and jam TO, one good hit to slow him down while the OLB drops under him, then retreat to his zone.

    You could also do this from the nickel basically bringing a S into the box, but he is man on TO, but up if its a run.

    I like the idea of jamming him, and playing man on him under a shell zone. I suppose you could bring Rodney, or as you said Meriweather up to do that, and drop AD into the safety zone at the snap.

    The more I think about it, I think the plan should be to play VARIED schemes, like those above, that all involve someone man on TO, underneath a zone. I think a 3man rush is not a bad idea against this team. It will limit Romo leaving the pocket to extend the play. I'd rather see him sitting in the pocket for a long time than flushing him to open space to extend the play, because it seems to me he has a clock in his head that flushes him from the pocket anyway, rush or not.

    If we dedicate 1 player to play INSIDE TO, guarding against the slant and crossing route, we take away a lot of their offense. It is not difficult for a LB to defend a WR if all he has to worry about is thwarting the slant or cross. Its like covering a guy when you know where he is going before the snap. In this case you have no responsibility if he goes elsewhere.
  5. Patriotic

    Patriotic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Just a thought.....

    Or we could have a guy sneak into TO's home and replace his anti-depression pills with placebo.
  6. The Dodger

    The Dodger Rookie

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    Re: Just a thought.....

    That's exactly how you beat Romo, and that's the strategy Belichick is going to employ.

    I wouldn't get too caught up in containing TO. There's a good chance you won't even hear from him, and Dallas has a variety of other weapons for Romo to choose from.

    Shut down Romo and you shut down the Cowboys...and this from a Cowboys fan.

    One caveat, though...you have to keep him down the entire game.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  7. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Re: Just a thought.....

    The one thing I'm fairly confident we will see is a lot of movement in the Pats back 8 and quickly changing out of the pre-snap alignment after the snap (zone to man coverage or vice versa). A good number of Asante's interceptions come when he lines up in man/press formation for the first 5 yards or so, and then releases his man to a safety. This allows him to drift into a zone and jump underneath or crossing routes.

    Romo still seems like he sticks with his initial read. Last week, he threw based on pre-snap looks and had some just awful interceptions as a result. Look for him this week to hold the ball a little longer and as a result have to check down or scramble.
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