Operation TURNCOAT

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PonyExpress, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

    The loss to Miami has clarified many things.

    #1. The coaching in the division has improved immeasurably. The reason for this is BB's own intellectual dominance, which scorched the earth and gutted the other franchises in the division (in Buffalo's case, several times over). The natural response to this utter domination was an "if you can't beat them, join them" approach in Miami and New York. They hired the two men most familiar and in tune with BB's intellect and approach: his Wesleyan man-boobed waddling clone, Man-Gina, and his closest football confidante, the megalomanical but extremely competent defensive strategist, Saban.

    These two traitors accepted obscene amounts of money to turn BB's own methods against him, methods each of them had learned from him in close confidence. This year, OPERATION TURNCOAT began with the Deion Branch fiasco, prompted by Man-Gina's tampering, and reached a head in the last month, when the Pats were beaten 17-14 in Foxboro by the Jets, who employed a Patriots clone defense to stifle Brady, and Miami's 21-0 masterpiece last Sunday.

    If the Herminator and Wanny, or any other coaches less familiar with inner workings and methods of BB's mind, were currently running the Jets and Fins, the Pats would be sitting today at 11-2 and polishing their resume for a 1st rd bye.

    The AFC East has become the most well-coached division in football. Even Jauron has stood up to increasingly stiff competition and held his own. While the QB play in the division may still be wanting, IMO the AFC East, week in and out, plays the soundest most fundamental, disciplined brand of football in the NFL. The teams in our division are fast becoming mismatches against outsiders. The Patriots and Jets' destruction of GB in GB, the Dolphins annihilation of Chicago in Chicago, the Pats crushing defeat of Cinci, Buffalo losing by 1 point to Indy in Indy are examples of a developing trend. The Dolphins currently have the best combination of defensive coaching and personnel in the league, The Jets have imported the SD offense and the Pat defense, while even Buffalo is gelling.

    #2. What is wrong with the Pats? NOTHING. They are temporary victims of their own brilliance, an intellectual weapon stolen from them by industrial espionage and turned against them by former friends.

    I believe the Pats' lethargic play of late is due to the fact they are being worn down mentally, drained from having to scheme week to week against increasingly competent opponents. I believe the young O-coordinator is going through CORRECTABLE growing pains, but will emerge as a stellar young coach from these bumps and bruises. I believe the Pats offense is lacking a dependable playmaker besides Brady and Maroney, which complicates the already steep task facing the team each week.

    HOWEVER, those who would use the Pats' "struggles" this year as a vindication of the idea signing Branch was the answer, or keeping Givens or Vinatieri, are missing the bigger picture. The Pats must be MORE DISCIPLINED than ever before in this increasingly competitive climate. They must run a tighter ship, draft better, make more cost efficient signings. Given' into Branch would have been the first sign of franchise rot.

    IMO, If the Pats can win this division with a healthy Maroney, Wilfork, Watson and Harrison on the roster entering the playoffs, they have a puncher's chance of winning the SB, despite the struggles this season. Why? Because they will have been physically and mentally tested as much as any team in the league. The best advice for hand-wringing fans is, don't give up on team or the season because of the nattering nabobs of negativity. There is an excellent chance the players will use this adversity as fuel for their wounded pride.

    On a final note, about McDaniels. Consider the alternatives: Any coach between the ages of 35 and 55 hired by BB as a coordinator, on either side of the ball, has a life expectancy of TWO YEARS max on the Pats before being filched to become a HC elsewhere in another OPERATION TURNCOAT. Only a youngster like McDaniels and an old-timer like Peas can stay on to develop continuity with their respective squads. Waiting for McDaniels to adjust to the immense intellectual tests offered by Saban and Mangini, while developing leadership skills, has caused much moaning and groaning in the fanbase, and may contribute at times to a lack of confidence on the field from some players, but I have faith in BB's judgment of the young man and believe in time he will develop into a sound tactician and leader. BB deserves that trust from the fans to whom he has given so much.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  2. edgecy

    edgecy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Excellent post.

    No team can sustain the kind of success we've had when so much turnovers are happening. Romeo, Charlie, Mangini. Those are great coaches today and every time one of them go it takes away our chances of becoming more successful. It happened to Tuna and it's bound to happen to BB.
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    In BB I trust, without a doubt.. nice post. Read and listen to a lot about the Pats and there is no consensus of what is wrong with this team, except for Felger and Borges. Is it the receivers, O Line, Older LB's, inadequate DB's or poor coaching(McDaniels)?? There is no concensus, one thing we do know is that this league is a copy cat league, and we have been figured out.. the past few games our flaws have been shown and there has been no significant adjustment by the Pats.

    I suspect that BB and crew will hunker down this week and develop something a little different, we have become too predictable and all teams who have pass rush strengths put let their speed rusher take off on Light and Kaczur. In the past we have been able to disguise our weaknesses by innovative play calling, low turnovers and complimentary play. This is not as obvious as it once was, as the AFC east has turned into a very football cerebral division. Things will get better...
  4. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve In the Starting Line-Up

    Nice thread.

    I've opined before that this is a rebuilding year offensively. New (sort of) OC, new WR's, rookie RB, rookie RT. Since that time our rookie RB and RT have been substituted from the bench. The injury bug has bitten this team. Again. Once again worse than most teams in the league. Is this from conditioning/nutrition, age, size limitations? I dunno. But this team has fielded over 24 different starters over the last two or so years due to injury...just for DB's!

    These things have limited the coaching staff from being as creative as usual in the schemes they use and changes they make. Simultaneously, there are two coaches in the division who now know exactly what makes BB tick. And this past weekend, one of them found an alternative set of tapes, listened to all of Brady's line calls, broke the film down to watch the blocking assignments unfold, then taught his defense to feign different pre snap moves. When Brady made his calls, the D heard them and silently adjusted their rush to defeat the calls. Brillient move from a BB desciple. Wouldn't expect anything less.

    I am confident this will be better. It was BB's plan to win out again last year and start an ongoing rebuilding project this year. That plan still is working. It just means that this year may not produce the super bowl win we all hoped for at the onset of the season.
  5. Gumby

    Gumby In the Starting Line-Up

    #11 Jersey

    Nice post, and love your optimism.

    Can't say I share your optimism for the playoffs; the team looks more and more like one and done this year. I just don't see them playing credible on offense against either a SD or Balt defense.

    I am not a subscriber to the McDaniels is the source of all that is wrong with the team theory. But I have to take issue with that part of your point.

    If we are relegated to only getting a junior in years OC because a more mature guy would get stolen; and he is such a critical reason why we are taking our lumps right now; then why are Saban and Mangini doing ok (or mediocre in the case of Saban) with their coordinators. Mangini didn't exactly get the pick of the league after walking out on us and having a shorter season to put together a full coaching staff. Saban was coming out of college and who did they get (i dont know)?

    I guess what I am saying is that I have to lay a lot more blame on BB (he in whom we trust). If these other 'lesser' HCs (mangini / saban) can put together a winning game plan to beat us; why aren't we doing better game planning to beat them (like how we failed to take advantage of Indy's and Jesters poor run defenses - maybe because BB bought too much into his own aura and said "we can't go with the OBVIOUS weakness, we want to expose the less obvious" )

    BB is responsible for whole game plan and for ensuring the discipline / toughness & FOCUS is instilled that appears to be lacking this season. They are just overlooking teams that THEY SHOULD BEAT.

    My THEORY: BB is just getting worn down after 5 hard years; most with playoff extended seasons and the last 3 with his crutches being stolen. I hope he can get re-charged and remotivate the team. We know emotionally he loves football and loves what he does; but maybe he is burning out.

    Point 2:

    If the BB aura can attract free agents like Corey, Harrison and Seau why can't he attract an OC who wants to pad his resume with sucking from the font of coaching greatness?

    I know you are saying that was BB's choice not to seek out a guy like this; but would it really have been so bad if we only had a good OC for 2 years? Because if you are blaming McDaniels saying he is a poor OC due to his immaturity/experience; then we have a poor OC for at least 1 year and then if lucky we will have a good OC for 2 maybe 3 years before somebody starts calling for the NFL or college coaching carousel.

    So I dont see what you get by intentionally saying we are going to decide FOR an inexperienced coach. (if you accept that premise as to where fault lies - which as I stated above; I don't. I think it is player execution and some poor game planning - but all roads lead back by extension to BB).
  6. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

    So we're all supposed to fill "good" because other teams hired -- NOT "stole" -- guys away from the Patriots to work "industrial espionage" against us ??? That's supposed to make us feel good ???

    C'mon, the only way to succeed in the NFL -- or any other highly competitive market -- is to stay ahead of the competition. And BB/the Pats front office have not done that. Plain and simple.

    I can understand a bit of complacency setting in after three improbably SB wins in four years. But, hey, BB and Co. need to be smart enough to see that other teams are going to copy, co-opt, reverse engineer or do whatever is necessary to get the upper hand on the Pats -- and they are succeeding !!!

    BB has got to swallow the humble pill of realizing that he *NEEDS* an offensive guy who can utilize the talent on this team, to get them to play "over their heads" -- which the "one team" Pats of 2001-04 did extremely well; I mean, Antwoin Smith as your rushing attack (for the first two SB wins), and Deon Branch as the main passing weapon ?!!

    There needs to be a creative and innovative way of doing things on offense, things that inspire and light a fire under the guys to believe they can do it, but it has to be grounded in reality, using Seymour at FB *not* Troy Brown (!!! WOT??), for just one example. A guy like Weis could do that; Josh, unfortunately, is not ready for it.
  7. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

    And one more thing: where are the screens, designed dump-offs underneath, "dink and dunk" plays that moved the chains and were so sure bets in days past ?? *Creative* aggressiveness is the mother's milk of successful offense.

    See how the Saints, for example, are mixing things up, showing different looks and doing different things to get ball into different guys' hands. Heck, their FB, Karney, got two TDs against the Cowpokes after he had something like two previous carries *all season* until Sunday night. Then, they introduce Reggie Bush into the game. Hello !!
  8. BruschiOnTap

    BruschiOnTap On the Game Day Roster

    exactly. watching Notre Dame football, I am reminded of what we lost in Weis: top-notch offensive play-calling and personnel management.

    I mostly agree with the original post, however, in that our division is the best coached and disciplined in the NFL.
  9. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    I saw screens on Sunday, several of them. They didn't work well at all. In fact, Graham fumbled on a TE screen.
  10. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

    OK, I stand corrected. (I don't get to see many games except through the broadcast descriptions of Gil and Gino over the net.)

    I do remember the fumble by Graham. Somehow, I don't think this kind of sloppiness would be tolerated under the Charlie Weis regime. As I understand it, he always "had a way with words" in dealing with the offensive team. They apparently got the point well enough under Charlie that a rather mediocre group of talent did a lot of consistent things well enough that won three Superbowls.
  11. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    Well, not entirely corrected as I'm not sure about the 'designed dumpoffs' or 'dink-n-dunk' parts of the offense. I haven't charted how many passing plays were sent short, intermediate, or long at all this season. Just knew I'd seen screen plays.

    The bad part with the screen plays is that the OL has to do a bulk of the work. Our OL isn't playing very well in the past seven or eight games, so the screen hasn't been overly effective even in the few times it's been used.

    As for the short game, our WRs are getting jammed quite a bit that I've seen, so short passes to them aren't possible the way they were in the 'dink and dunk' era where Brady would see a CB playing 'off' and silent audible to a quick pass.

    Another thought on that topic is that many of those 'quick passes' we were used to seeing weren't playcalls at all. It was just Brady seeing something, the WR seeing it too, and Brady silent audibling to the quick pass.

    I'm not sure he's familiar enough with his WRs right now to accomplish that. If you think back, most of those quick passes went to Givens or Branch. The two WRs Brady was most comfortable with and had the most 'silent communication' with.

    Those things may come back once Brady reaches that level of comfort with this group. For a guy like Jackson or Gabriel, it'll probably take being in a whole TC with Tom before we can even think about those things happening.
  12. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

    McDaniels has to game plan against Mangini and Saban, who have learned from BB how to disrupt any offense based on tendencies. These same defensive minds have had little trouble disrupting the most decorated offensive coordinators in the NFL in their careers. So those who argue that demoting McDaniels is the answer to offensive struggles are too sure of themselves. I myself have argued that the "spread" "no huddle" "two minute" offense should be used more frequently, but that is no real recipe for success, and I admit it. The answer is the ability to hide tendencies, to act as a chameleon on offense, thereby counteracting the chameleon nature of the defenses the Pats have been facing. HOWEVER, with new skill position players, the ability to adjust quickly enough against Patriot clone defenses is hampered.

    I think McDaniels is learning the hard way from this, and the experience will allow him to develop into an outstanding coordinator. I believe the team will rapidly develop countermeasures, whether from personnel, playcalling, adjustments, to these chameleon clones. If I do have one suggestion it is that McDaniels should consider moving to the booth. My reasoning is that there is plenty of sideline leadership available from Scarnecchi et. al., and McDaniels needs to have a clearer head and more circumspect view of the field in order to adjust quickly to these chameleon defenses. Many quality O-coordinators do not have the mental focus to call plays from the sidelines (Henning, Whisenhunt, etc.)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  13. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Disable Jersey

    One more time, the quick screens and dink & dunk is only effective if you have quick, fast wideout(s) who is a breakaway threat. Nobody has replaced the WR-who-is-dead-to-me in that role. If you watched the Miami game you saw their DBs and defense playing our receivers just a few yards off the LOS. WR screens, short routes, etc. were covered or jammed because they knew there was not a consistent deep threat. Miami took advantage of our weakness. People need to watch games and read defenses (difficult with the crappy camera coverage) before castigating the play calling without basis in fact.

    The above being said, given the lying and intransigence from the WR-who-is-dead-to-me's camp, the Pats did the right thing for the long run. Thanks Seymour for seting the precident that lost us our best wideout a year early.
  14. mgcolby

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

    Best part about this theory is that we don't have to face any of them in the Playoffs.

    SD will give us a game, Baltimore would either be a 13-10 defensive battle or a replay of the 2004 AFCC. I don't think we would meet the Colts in the Playoffs. I haven't bought into the Cincy hype, I still think they can be run on and against Jax if you stop the run you stop them.

    The only way this team loses in the Playoffs is if they Turn the ball over 3 or more times.
  15. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract


    This is an excellent original post. I think that I have said that the quality the AFCE is a lot better than many opined. I even predicted it by saying preseason that the Pats would win the AFCE by a couple of games but all the others would be bunched together right around.500 as they beat each other up. That does seem to be the case. I just never put the obvious together to recognize that the BB dominance Forced the opponents to copycat and improve. A Darwinian forced improvement.

    It is so much better to be discussing a cogent thought than any more of the incessant war of my good friend NEM, as he attacks the latest in a long line of vitriol directed at whoever is the current occupant of the Offensive Coordinator post.

    He simply hates them all.

    No human being can have 100% of his calls a) succeed and b) do it in conformance with NEM's view of how it should succeed.

    He criticizes Josh McDaniel's even when he gets a crossing pattern across the middle in front of the LBs, that only gains 5 yards, presumably because it ONLY gained five yards. NEM then *****es when a deep incut is almost picked off as Watson attempts to cross behind the LBs because the pass wasn't completed, even though the Phins LBs were obviously looking for the play.

    Having seen him wage his war in turn against Ernie Zampese, Charlie Weis and now Josh McDaniels it get so old and so pointless. But I guess the definition of a friend is knowing the faults of a friend, ignoring them, and still liking the guy.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Brilliant post Pony!

    The only place I will challenge your thinking is the McDaniels is the only option idea. BB publicly stated he wanted to keepthe Charlie Weis offense and not have his guys learn a new system from an outside OC. This left him with an interior choice between Dabol, Fears, Mangurian, and McDaniels, Scarnecchia has already made his desire to remain a Position coach understood.

    Mangurian has OC experience under Dan Reese, but at the time did not have the experience in the Weis system. Dabol and Mcdaniels are both Saban graduate assistants who have moved up the ladder, Fears has gray whiskers, so I assume he is a known quantity to BB.

    McDaniels got the sideline to QB headset last season and the title this season, arguably he is a second year OC. I've seen improvements as far as Tommy's ability to hold back and not try to carry the team on every play, this I attribute to a better OC (as opposed to QB coach) to QB understanding. Anybody who is brought in from the outside to be OC is either coming from the Notre Dame offensive staff or has to apprentice as a position coach for at least a year.

    McDaniels play calling may not be as exciting as some would like, and he has been hampered by player limitations in both knowledge and ability. He is still in training and allowed to make mistakes as long as he and BB can work to improve. Against the AFCE, that alone is a challenge.
  17. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

    Yes, the confidence that Brady has in his receivers getting open and *catching* the ball (w/ little or no chance for a pick) requires some play time together, and, yes, Givens and Branch seem to have been two of TB's most trusted targets.

    Ain't it a shame.

    OK, here's the problem: too many receivers disappeared -- Branch, Givens, (Patten), and other guys that Brady had developed solid confidence in; THEN, to rub salt in that wound, Charlie Weis departs and BB has to find a way to keep the offense *evolving* with *new relatively untested/unfamiliar wide-outs*, and with other teams' defenses catching up to the way the Pats had worked successfully heretofore.

    BB tries to keep the momentum going all by his lonesome but finds it's not only too draining to keep the Pat's D (his first love) sharp *and* also handle the O, but that his offensive acumen is not on par with his defensive skill. Result: last year, w/ special focus on the Denver playoff game.

    So, this year he goes with a young (smart, talented, we'll assume) but really *inexperienced* OC guy in Josh. Josh is doing his best to _get up_ to speed, but this is a league that moves pretty quickly in its adaptations, especially on defense, and the Pats O is now a young fawn lost at night while the predators are all grown up and have learned how to make the kill.

    Result: Miami 21- Pats 0; Denver, Jets, and even Indy also doing a fair number on the NE Offense. Brady's reeling, lost on Gilligan's Island but after everyone left the set 35 years ago. Bummertown.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  18. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    How is Saban a traitor? He was an outstanding college coach.

    A high percentage of the Coaches are from the Parcells/Belichick tree, including Charlie Weis, so we better learn to deal with it.

    There is a certain creativity to being an OC. Most of the game plan is put in during the week by BB, Tom and Skippy.

    We need to figure out the game plan problems this year and if McDaniels doesn't have the feel for it, get a new OC next year.
  19. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

    haha, I don't know that it's all that bad. I think this offense has shown flashes of being a high powered machine. That's been weeks ago now, yes, but the potential is there.

    Brady is still one of the best QBs in the league and when Maroney gets back into the lineup, we still have a good RB duo (if the OL will block well enough for either of them to be effective).

    I still think the development of Caldwell leaves us some hope at the WR position. I think once Jackson gets healthy again we'll have that deep threat. I think if Gabriel gets his issues worked out it's been shown that he can be productive. It's just a matter of IF all those things can happen in the next few weeks to the point that we're competative in the playoffs. If not, then we'll have all offseason to worry about how the offense of 2007 will improve.
  20. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Pro Bowl Player

    Well, bottom line: the Pats O is not terrible but they are clearly not operating at the elite level needed for a SB victory. They don't have enough "surprise, surprise, gotcha", they way they had 2001-2004. Right now, you see how the Bolts O is clicking like a Swiss watch and you look at the way the Pats O is in such disarray and you have to wonder.

    The O has never been one made up of super-stars but they always found just the right combination of plays -- and executed them well -- so they could get it done. Right now, something is lacking, mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.

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