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Musing: Belichick’s epiphany?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by GameDay, Nov 20, 2007.

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  1. GameDay

    GameDay Rookie

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    As a student, historian, innovator, and the greatest practitioner of the game of football, Belichick might have had an epiphany after one of the most gut-wrenching losses of his career, the 2006 AFCCG. "The" Game might have finally forced him to realize that the game has passed him by, not as a person, but the style that had been the foundation of his long career: suffocating defense (that wins championship), QB who needs not be dazzling but smart enough to manage and not lose the game (a la Phil Simms and Hostetler), and journeyman receivers (Phil-who McConkey’s of the world).

    What makes him great is his willingness to learn and adapt. He does not rest on his early claim to fame in defeating Montana and Rice, Kelly and Reed, and later Warner and Faulk, Manning and Harrison. He might have decided that after all, he no longer had an LT or Banks, nor the rule that allowed Jim Burd knocking out Montana, or Ty Law and Milloy harassing receivers.

    Instead, he might just accept that he has a Montana, so he may as well adapt and find Rice’s of the world for his Montana. The results are Moss, Welker, and Stallworth. His praise of Moss:
    (http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2007/11/20/moss_on_receiving_end_of_praise/)
    must be the most effusive and sincere accolade that anyone can ever expect him to bestow upon his current players in public. Perhaps for the first time in his career, he knows what Walsh must have felt like and decides to play Walsh’s hand of cards. Probably in 30 yrs of his football coaching career, he has never had the joy of having receivers like Moss, and most of all, the Brady-Moss combination. The defense guru now has transformed into the offense swami. He has gone from trying to win 12-9 defensive battles to 56-10 crushing, and being accused of running up the score that he has always disdained in his early career.

    How can a person manage to have both a defense game plan in the HOF, and the greatest offensive machine that will be in the HOF?

    Can’t wait to read his magnum opus when he hangs it all up.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  2. Patradomous

    Patradomous Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    Two things changed the Pats approach of style of play.Polions touch football rules and the carpet.If you have to join em do it better than anyone else.
  3. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    Good post. Belichick always learns and improves.

    Except in public relations.:rolleyes:
  4. wdkantro2

    wdkantro2 Rookie

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    The only part I disagree with is that he's gone away from the philosophy of "suffocating defense that wins championships." The AFCCG didn't teach him that "defense wins championships" isn't still true; it's just that his particular defense was not championship caliber.
  5. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Seems like he has redeployed his assets by deemphasizing the versatile (blocking/catching)TE and emphasizing the WR. Graham was relegated to blocking first and his production as a pass catching TE was minimal. Adding Kyle Brady reduced salary for essentially the same catching production at TE and enabled BB to use cap space at WR.
  6. Poker

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    One interesting thing to consider about this: Assume the orginal poster is right that BB realized the Colts were ahead of the strategic curve with the emphasis on a great offense with a critical mass of great receivers. That part is pretty clear.

    Now to the defensive side of the ball. The Colts have evolved there as well, with a smaller, but faster and more swarming type of cover 2 D. Now, is there any chance that BB has a second epiphany on the defensive side of the ball, and realizes that if teams are going to have more open offenses, you need a much faster D? I'm not saying he has a religious conversion from a scheming 3-4 philsophy to a cover 2, but it is interesting to ponder what might be the equivalent "strategic leap" on the defensive side of the ball over the next 2-3 years as more adaptations are required to stay on top.


  7. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

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    With the current state of offenses, that most are down right offensive in their skills, either defense, cover 2 or our scheming 3-4 will work, with proper execution. I don't see Bill evolving to cover 2. Smaller, faster defenses have problems, they can be beat up, leading to injuries, they can be worn out, and the elements can have a negating effect.
  8. GameDay

    GameDay Rookie

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    Agree. The cliche' "BB plays chess while everyone is playing checker" applies beyond the X and O on the field. It applies to resource management like you said; in other words, a complex optimization problem. If you look from the perspective of business management, what these guys do are amazing: it's like one company beats out 31 competitors that have nearly equal resources and opportunities.
  9. GameDay

    GameDay Rookie

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    Interesting thoughts. He may look at this after this season. Any signs can be discerned through their FA acq and drafts. Also, defense still wins championship, but it needs good offense help. Would the 2000 Ravens have won it in recent years? probably not as easy...
  10. JJDChE

    JJDChE Rookie

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    I wholeheartedly disagree. I guarantee the Belichick was 100% prepared to go into the season with Stallworth, Welker, Gaffney, Jackson, Washington and Brown. He tried to replace Branch and Givens with Caldwell and Gaffney, it didn't work so he got a couple of guys who were better in Welker and Stallworth.

    Moss fell into our laps, we didn't seek him out. This stuff about realizing he was behind the curve is BS. Last year our receivers just plain sucked, he went out and got some better guys, then Moss happened. It was luck, if anything.


    .....
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  11. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Rookie

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    There was no epiphany. What's more, there was no big change in the Patriots' philosophy of team-building.

    The Patriots have tried to acquire WRs before in trades and FA, just never with this degree of success. The Pats went hard after Stallworth last year, and were reportedly willing to offer a better pick than the Eagles, only the Saints wanted a player -- specifically, a linebacker -- and the Pats couldn't spare any. Even before the Pats lost Branch + Givens, they went after Derrick Mason very aggressively, and even, for a time, they were convinced they'd gotten him -- until Mason's wife decided she'd rather live in the Baltimore area, so Mason took a similar deal with the Ravens.

    None of the moves the Patriots made this offseason show a departure from their normal operating procedure. When wouldn't the Patriots have traded a 4th round pick for Moss at $3 million for the year? When wouldn't the Pats have signed Stallworth for $2 million guaranteed in the first year?

    The Patriots' team philosophy has stayed the same, it's the circumstances from year to year that change. This year, three talented receivers fell into our laps. The Dolphins under-tendered Welker, and Moss + Stallworth were both willing to sign risk-free (for the Pats) contracts to come here. In previous years, things didn't work out as well. Just how things go.
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