Missing pieces on defense not offense: Misunderstood

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by NEPettyOfficer72, Apr 13, 2013.

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  1. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 On the Game Day Roster

    In my honest opinion we currently have enough offense when all healthy to easily win another 3 superbowls. We've had that for some years now. The Goat at the trigger, a healthy Danny Amendola, Gronk, Hernandez, those running-backs, Edelman, possibly Emmanuel Sanders, a retooled and reschooled Donald Jones and well respected receiving TE Jake Ballard .. along with that O-Line and the offense clearly needs NO MORE attention. I think all of these years we've been missing two things obviously and that's pass rush and coverage. Two things that were our strengths during the championship years. Now we've answered some questions through draft and free-agency the last few years but what about answering for all the lost pieces?

    For example, linebacking corps.. The big 5, we had at least 4 strong pass rushers (including Tedy).. And a superb cover guy in Tedy although I don't think coverage is an issue. As long as they let Ninkovich play LB in those situations lol we should be ok. Additionally, Spikes has good instincts even though he lacks speed and Mayo is solid in coverage .. but still yet, we need those excellent pass rushers. Look below at the names....

    Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest, Roosevelt Colvin, Ted Johnson
    all got after the passer at different times, and effectively.

    As for the defensive line we had one guy that created havoc both inside and out.. which is what Vince does now, but needs to stay fresh. But it's only him. Now we have additional pass rush but Chandler Jones needs to stay healthy and he is learning. Our former championship group.. have all types of players who could line up anywhere and pressure from different directions.

    Richard Seymour, Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Ted Washington, Bobby Hamilton, Jarvis Green... look at these names, got to be kidding me.. have we replaced at least two? Vince Wilfork is great, Rob Ninkovich is outstanding but switches his LB roles often and Chandler Jones looks to be a young phenom when healthy, Kyle Love is also solid but is that enough? Do we need more? The answer is yes, which is why to me Tommy Kelly's signing made sense... But still is that enough?

    And last but not least the secondary. We had All Pro Assante Samuel, Rodney Harrison, Ty Law, veteran Tyrone Poole, Randall Gay and Eugene Wilson who sometimes played the corner position. Since we haven't had a good corner until Aqib Talib, and a solid opposite before Alphonzo Dennard.. and an impact safety since Rodney Harrison.. until Adrian Wilson arrived.. but my question to you is.... do we still have enough? What are we missing?

  2. mustache

    mustache Rookie

    I agree I think the most important thing for this year is to improve the pass rush. Coverage should be better than it was last year with DMC having a full training camp as a safety the return of Talib and Dennard as outside corners with arrington in the slot. Tavon Wilson VS Adrian Wilson is the only top slot with a moderate level of unncertainty before injuries happen. Ras-I Dowling has been written off by fans but I doubt by the coaches. If his hip heals up (and it should) he could overtake Dennard for the right cb slot.
    The area of the team that iis thinnest with young tallent is the defensive line. Wilforks past 30 now and while still a force needs to have his snaps tailed back. Love is solid as a runstuffer but thats it. Deadrick is not a passrusher. Tommy Kelly is a stopgap signing but should help for this year and hopefully next. The inside defensive line is where we really need a draft pick on this team. This should be 1a draft priority for this year. Heck if the Sanders deal goes through I would not have a problem with getting two here with our 1st and 2nd round picks. It has to improve.
    The outside rusher role should really improve this year. Chandler Jones is entering his second season. That ankle injury really slowed him down last year at the end but when healthy he was a force. If he makes a standard or better rookie to sophomore jump we will be vastly improved there this season.
  3. State

    State In the Starting Line-Up

    #17 Jersey

    Talk to Nick Saban. When he played Michigan State in a bowl game a few years ago, and destroyed them, he knew it would be no contest.

    He said the only way to defeat Bama is to be able to get to the QB. MSU couldn't do it and lost.

    We couldn't do it against Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game and lost.

    Ninkovich is more than serviceable. He's a good player. But he plays above his size and abilities. We need a stud DE opposite Chandler Jones to create an edge rush.
  4. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    I don't understand why people need to single out one side of the ball as the "need" side while ignoring the other. It's very obvious there are needs on both sides of the ball...

    Currently, there is enough on offense to win a Super Bowl should the defense improve and Brady be pin-point accurate like he was at times in Super Bowl XLVI prior to the Tuck hit. When I look at this team, I see a team that currently has one starting caliber NFL receiver: Amendola. He's missed 23 games the last couple of seasons. Further, he's a slot receiver, meaning that he's going to patrol the same area as our two TE's do. Sanders is not a Patriot yet and it would be easy for the Steelers to match. If he does become a Patriot, they will more than likely move him out to split end and he would somewhat mitigate the need to draft two WR's early. Gronk and Hernandez are Gronk and Hernandez. They're going to do what they do and, hopefully, they stay healthy. Edelman is an oft-injured WR who should be a back-up at best. I'm not sure what you see in Donald Jones that makes you think he is re-tooled and re-schooled, but he didn't do much as a WR on a team that wasn't exactly stacked with options in the passing game, meaning there was probably a lot of production to be had if he was capable of it.

    From what I'm seeing, the offense needs a WR and they need it early on, unless you trust either Jenkins or Jones to man the flanker spot.

    I agree that TE is not going to be a need. If the team takes a TE at any point in this draft, Belichick should have his head examined. But you can't deny that Ballard is coming off of what was a devastating knee injury. He is best suited as Gronk's back-up with maybe both being on the field depending on package, defensive look, and personnel.

    The OL needs attention, it just doesn't have to come in this draft if the team sees more appealing prospects at WR/DE/CB/S. Ideally, I would like to see Connolly shift back to starting C, Wendell become a back-up, and the team draft a capable RG. We could also be surprised to see Mankins let go if he has another injury marred season in 2013 (next offseason would be the first year the team could see cap relief from cutting Mankins).

    Agree with this, but I'll add the caveat that we've also been missing that athletic receiver that can force the defense to account for every level of the field. That made it easier for good defenses in the playoffs (Jets 2010, Ravens and Giants 2011, and Ravens 2012) to successfully dedicate their coverage between the hashes and flood the middle of the field. A WR (doesn't have to be a speedy deep threat) that could work outside the hashes, threaten the deep and intermediate portions of the field, and was capable of being a threat in the end zone would have been, and still is, just what the doctor ordered for this offense.

    Defensively, the pass rush was pathetic in some of the playoff games we've played since 2007. It's definitely a gigantic need. DE and WR, IMO, are the top two needs in this draft. After that, we could stand to bolster our depth in the secondary, both S and CB, and we could really use a coverage LB to go along with a healing Fletcher.

    Our current LB corps features some of the worst coverage LB's, as a whole, in the NFL. We need a guy, preferably two, that can come in on third down and stick with the TE. The Ravens got going in the AFCCG by first targetting our LB's. Once they got on the move, Boldin had a big day.

    The team has signed Tommy Kelly, who should be able to give us some good snaps, and Armstead, who should be able to provide an interior pass rush. The biggest need on the DL is a starting caliber DE that can play opposite Jones. Ninkovich is best used as a rotational/depth guy in that regard. I would love to see the team take Bjorn Werner, if available (he probably won't be).
  5. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #12 Jersey

    Exactly... People fall in love with our offense during the regular season. The same offense looks mediocre against strong athletic defenses that have time to scheme against them which ultimately leaves the defense hung out to dry. Everyone knows that the defense struggles too much but the offense has cost this team a trophy or two as well.
  6. RIpats88

    RIpats88 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    when your offense can only score 13pts, 17pts and 21pts in their last 3 playoff losses after averaging 35+ppg during the regular season there are issues on that side of the ball..

    you arent winning anything scoring 13 and 17points against top defenses. while I agree our defense has been lacking. it cant be denied that our offense has let us down as well.
  7. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 On the Game Day Roster

    That's the thing, I don't understand how the offense is only managing those amount of points with the weapons we've had against top defenses.

    Rob Gronkowski - best all around TE in football and better than both Christian Fauria, Daniel Graham and Ben Watson..

    Aaron Hernandez - top 5 TE, maybe even 2nd best? but also better than all three tightends mentioned above, AND he can play receiver and the "X" man on O..

    Wes Welker - best slot receiver ever, put up more numbers than Patten, Givens, Branch and Brown combined from 01-04.

    Brandon Lloyd - more ability, talent and athleticism than all four receivers mentioned above..

    Stevan Ridley - nice, top 10 emerging star runningback, best we've had since Corey Dillon

    Shane Vereen - very good pass catching runningback

    Julian Edelman - mr. everything

    Danny Woodhead - a real good version of young Kevin Faulk

    .... I don't understand why these players above couldn't produce in the post season? They seem more talented and skilled than previous championship groups. And don't dare say because we didn't have a receiver to stretch the field that's big. We had that in 2007 and couldn't put up more than 24 points against the Giants in the SB. Not to mention none of the 2003-04 receivers were over 6'1 and a real down-field threat. But here are my possible answers....

    1. Health of Rob Gronkowski

    2. Charlie Weiss was a genius at playcalling with his own personnel that were perfect for what he had in place

    3. David Givens, David Patten, Deion Branch and Troy Brown at the time were a lot more special and dynamic than what people realized and couldn't be stopped within the system of New England's Charlie Weiss and Tom at the time. They might have also been better downfield threats we've had

    4. More spread the ball around, so defenses couldn't focus in on just one.
  8. Gumby

    Gumby In the Starting Line-Up

    #11 Jersey

    A: SYNERGY. When your D lets the other team drive the field to score and puts you back at the 20 to go 80 yards INSTEAD of stopping the other team at the 35 to punt it to you at your own 35-40; you end up with an offense that can only do half of what it did in the reg season even though it has the same talent level.

    While there are ALWAYS holes in ALL THREE PHASES (lets not forget STs please - like maybe a KR?); I agree more with OP than disagree that the largest holes are on the D side of the ball.
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I think we also have been overly conservative in a lot of post season games. The offense moves the ball consistently and is hard to stop, but they play an 'on schedule' approach that leads to needing to convert tons of 3rd downs. In the regular season we are making many more 1st downs and 1st and 2nd, and in the post season we end up with a lot of 3rds to convert. Ironically we are very good at 3rd down conv, but when you put yourself in that position, you are capably moving the ball up and down the field, then get short circuited.
    In the post season we have become the passing game version of 3 yards and a cloud of dust.
  10. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Butler Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

    #95 Jersey

    I think Gronk could add a few pts to that total. But they just run into teams were the D is physical..and the pats never play well against physical Ds. Always have trouble with Balt
  11. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #12 Jersey

    Well said Gumby
  12. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    The problem has not been making plays, its been scoring points.
    In each playoff lose (expect the 09 debacle) the Patriots were effective play to play on offense, moved the ball, and got into scoring position many times.
    The ability to finish the drive is what suddenly showed up in some of those games.
    Now the fact that the defense struggled to get off the field, and shortened the game for the offense didn't help either.

    What I don't understand is why people are surprised that we have tight games against good teams. They are trying to win too.
  13. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Nostalgia rules here. Many of the players you cite did not ever play together and were from different eras of the Patriot Superbowl winers. Ty Law was a dominate CB, but he did not plaly with overated Asante Samuel. Nor was Ted Johnson a passrusher. Rosey Colvin made hsi rep wihttheBears and was hailed as a great signing. But he was inured after only a couple of games and was never the same.

    Have you forgotten the Superbowl team with Earthland and whomever in our secondary? That was by far the worst secondary the Patriots fielded in the last decade.

    BB has been rebuilding, and yet still winning, since 2009. He has fielded competent and even Superbowl contending teams. But never one without obvious flaws.

    The 2012 edition was a mostly complete but shallow team that thoroughly dismantled the Texans, but couldn't overcome the injuries that had 6 starters and 4 on Defense sitting out the AFCCG battle with the Ravens.

    This 2013 edition looks even more solid and deeper, at least on paper. If the WR revamp works, this edition could be the first of the complete, unflawed, deep, Superbowl favorites.
  14. stinkypete

    stinkypete In the Starting Line-Up

    #24 Jersey

    If Pitt doesn't match the Sanders offer, the recieving corps will be better than in 2012 because it will have much more scheme versatility. The recent playoff offensive meltdowns have been result of offenses that were too predictable. The offense ran through Welker, the best at what he does but a one-dimensional weapon, and relied on the outrageous physical mismatches of the TEs. If one TE went down, defenses could put their #1 corner on Welker, double up the surviving TE and neutralize the Pats offense.

    Amendola might be a downgrade from Welker, but Amendola/Sanders/Jones has to be a better corps than Welker/Lloyd/Branch. Amendola and Sanders both have the speed to play outside and both can play the slot. This offense would function at close to a 2012 level with either, and will be a dimension more dangerous with both healthy. Throw in a healthy Ballard (I hope) and you can now line up Hernandez wide more often. It has the versatility to match up with defenses week to week and the depth to survive a TE injury. This group isn't going to outproduce the 2012 offense on paper, but I see an offense that has greater ability to finish a drive.

    At this stage, the only pieces needed on offense are on the line, and even then we're talking on developmental/depth players.

    The defense feels close, close as its been in half a decade, but seems to need one more player on each level. Most would agree the big defensive needs after the Wilson/Talib signings are outside rusher, coverage backer and athletic corner, and that's where I see the draft going.

    Problem is, we have 2 picks (assuming Sanders is a Patriot) for 3 roster spots. I see the coverage LB as the most likely position to sacrifice. Wilson and Nink are both versatile enough to fill the role, but relying on them intensifies the need to bolster the pass rush and coverage depth.
  15. tonyto3690

    tonyto3690 Banned

    Yes and in the regular season our defense would thrive off getting turnovers and creating short fields for the offense to work.

    When all of a sudden teams stop gifting you turnovers and good field position, guess what? It makes it a lot harder for the offense to score points.

    The defense the past few years has been predicated on getting turnovers, because our talent isn't good enough to just stone wall people, especially in the secondary. But in the playoffs you play better QBs and interceptions are a lot harder to come by. On top of the fact defenses are allowed to get away with more in post season, it naturally is a lot harder to score. And on top of that when all your receives weigh 120 pounds or less, that mugging becomes doubly effective.

    The problem is our defense can't win a game when our offense doesn't score 30 points

    The problem is our defense simply can't churn out turnovers like in the regular season

    The problem is gambling on a 2009 Saints defense type run of 3 turnovers per game is just completely absurd and unrealistic.

    We need to improve the defense. We should be able to win a game where our offense scores less than 20 points.
  16. olschool

    olschool Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Totally agree. When this team needs to win a low scoring defensive game, their defense just isn't up to the task.
  17. Stilla

    Stilla On the Game Day Roster

    We need to be able to free up our flanker on the line of scrimmage. If Jones doesn't get double teamed he will be more productive. The answer is to control the line of scrimmage from the middle. Reestablishing the line of scrimmage has to be in our favor after the ball has been snapped. Put the center and the guards on their heal.

    We need a DT who can provide the push which demands attention.
  18. BradfordPatsFan

    BradfordPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

    #11 Jersey

    I think your fourth point is head on but also you need to expand on your first one. There have been a number of injuries at the end of each season. Continuing to improve overall depth via free agency should help.
  19. Ivan

    Ivan Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #75 Jersey

    the problem is both. The offense is having problems scoring in the biggest games and the defense hasn't been good enough to get it done in those games. the answers are also related to both, they need to be tougher on both sides of the ball and the offense has to put up 24-25 points while the defense holds teams to 21 or less, and 24 or less when facing a really high powered offense.
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Your HOPE that the offense will be better is NOT based on talent. It is based on hoped for health among players with injury histories.

    Amendola/Sanders is a downgrade from Welker/Lloyd, who accounted for almost 1/2 of the receptions of one of the very best passing offenses in the NFL. What we all hope for is that health at TE will make up for this deficit.

    What we seem to continue to ignore (as I suppose we should) is how good the offense would be with Welker/Lloyd and Sanders (or a draftee) in addition to health at TE.

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