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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Box_O_Rocks, Oct 15, 2008.

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  1. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I've been reading the anti-Kaczur rants and scratching my head. You graded him out with the fewest demerits in week one. I've not focused on him, probably because our interior line had me covering my eyes and whimpering, but up until he was injured Sunday, how did the five starters grade out for the season? My impression, backed up by very little time to re-watch games this season, he's done a solid job - in fact I'd say he and Light have been the strength of the O-line thus far.
  2. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    That's my impression too, but I've only looked at the Jets and Chiefs games closely.

    I should temper that assessment some by stating he in particular - and the tackles in general - have tended to draw easier assignments now than in years past.

    Teams seem to playing 7 and 9 tech with both their ends to spread the Pats pass protection out, so they can send twists and blitzes through the interior gaps with maximum space.

    This all goes back to early last year when (to pat myself, you and pats1 on the back, among others) some were cautioning against the Move-Mankins-To-Tackle-Now lobby that pass protection in space is much harder than when your sides are covered. Teams are trying to crush Koppen, our weakest point-of-attack lineman, with nose tackles and draw our tackles wide so they can send linebackers into space against our guards and running backs, who with the exception of Faulk don't excel in blitz pickup.

    The Pats have been holding their tight ends in a little more on pass plays because of this, to try to add some width to the line and shorten the area each interior lineman is responsible for. The problem is our primary tight end so far - David Thomas - is not very effective blocking against DEs.

    What I'm trying to say here is that teams aren't targeting our tackles like they were most of last year. They've discovered, after years of trying, that our interior is the belly of our line. No doubt the fresh meat aspect of playing Yates has only made the issue clearer for opposing defensive coordinators. Additionally, the addition of the tight end in the running game over last year - against these wide spread defensive lines - means Kaczur is often drawing assignments on linebackers, in both zone and man, while Thomas et al. have to move the defensive end. They are much easier to move around than defensive lineman - of course, providing you're athletic enough to reach them. I'm sure if Kaczur was consistently failing to block them, a la Billy Yates, I'd be a lot less flippant about the difficulty of that task.

    Again, long story short, teams aren't targeting Light and Kaczur with their rush schemes, and they seem to be getting easier draws in the running game based on defensive alignments.

    Caveat emptor, I'll probably be correcting these impressions once I do subsequent weeks, if it can ever be said I had an accurate understanding of these things in the first place. ;)
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  3. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There is that! :rofl:
  4. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just to say "thank you" for this thread.

    Unoriginal, I think I understand pretty much everything that you're saying (and it checks with my limited visual impressions) but would you mind defining "7" and "9" technique?
  5. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Absolutely excellent.

    I do not understand lineplay to any depth but I'd come to believe that the league had finally figured out Dante's approach and found the weakness and was exploiting it. Combine this with the departure of blocking TE Graham and the failure of the newbie TEs to block and we have the present situation.

    More than ever I'm regreting that we did not add at least 1 upgrade to the OL this off season, even a blocking TE.
  6. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Up until the other night I said that Koppen was our best OL. I have never seen an OC jacked up and knocked back 2 yards by a NT the way Koppen was by Williams.

    Evidently Williams saw something with Koppen which allowed him to get under Koppens pads and knock him back. That is the only way he could have done what he did.

    I'll say that it was the most impressive technique execution that I have seen from a NT in a very long time.
  7. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    I learn more from these threads, than I do anywhere else on the 'net. Just want to toss out a huge thank you for the breakdown threads you do, and the analysis like this thread - it really helps me to understand more about the game, and helps me know what to look for on game day (what you can see at full-speed anyways). Thanks again, I love it, and I'm sure a ton of other posters do, too.

    EDIT: Having said that, when teams pressure the tackles, you can usually chip a TE in there. What can the Pats do about inside pressure like this - is it up to the RB to help there?
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  8. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    Agreed. There are a few guys on here that should be writing for legit NFL mags. Um... is that an oxymoron?

    I wish I had DVR'd the game (sort of). I'm wondering how much time Cassel had in the pocket vs. Rivers. I'm betting somewhere like 1-3 seconds less.
  9. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    An Uncle Boxter analogy:

    Rivers = rocking chair

    Cassel = flash flood
  10. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    Yeah, I made a comment in the game day thread about this - if Cassel had as much time in the pocket as Rivers (or say, ANY QB we've faced so far), he'd look like a stud.
  11. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    I agree with you (well, Stud might be a reach, but...) though it seems like a lot of fans struggle to see anyone playing if they don't have the ball.
  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There are other players on the field? Who knew? :rolleyes:
  13. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    Not most of these folks.
  14. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    yeah, 'stud' was a bit of artistic 'expression'. He'd look pretty good though, I'd bet.

    I think he's running scared now, and with his average to below average pocket sense, having 2 seconds makes things real bad. So he even *thinks* he senses pressure, he pulls the ball down, and scrambles around.
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd be just a wee bit more critical of it wasn't that he "doesn't" have to think about feeling pressure - he's been sensing it the old fashioned way.
  16. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Seriously people, geting shelled has ruined QBs. Jim Plunkett, a talented QB, required a couple years to recover from the severe blasting he took as a Pats QB. The chaotic play by the OL is just another reason BB does NOT want to put The Mick in there at QB. O'Connell would be at risk of developing some early bad habits dealing with situations 'beyond his pay grade'. Let Cassel who DOES know the system deal with the protection issues. BB knows that Cassel is likely gone next season and that O'C is the potential 2009 backup. BB is protecting the franchise's investment in O'C as long as he's able.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  17. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    O'Callaghan at QB? With his shoulder problems? Though "Probable - Shoulder" would put him in good company. Has he got the feet to drop back and set up in the pocket though?
  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So given that the interior is the soft underbelly of the OL, what is the best way to compensate for that? My first thought is to have plays such as having the QB roll out, or a toss out to the RB, and other plays that quickly get the ball away from the middle of the line. What do you guys think?
  19. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I had a true senior moment. Hard to tell all them Irish apart.
  20. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    The technique system is a way to describe how a defensive lineman positions himself relative to the offensive line before the snap. There are other systems, such as the "shade" system, that describe the same thing. The gap system describes line alignments relative to gaps between offensive linemen, not on the linemen themselves.

    The tech system varies highly from defensive system to defensive system. The general rules of thumb are that even numbers usually, but not always, describe head-up alignments, thus:

    0 tech = head-up on center
    2 tech = head-up on guard
    6 tech = head-up on tackle
    8 tech = head-up on end

    The common ones that tend to keep the same meaning from system to system:

    1 tech = outside shoulder of center, or in the A gap
    3 tech = outside shoulder of guard
    7 tech = outside shoulder of tackle
    9 tech = outside shoulder of end

    4 and 5 tech tend to change the most between systems, depending on the base front (4-3, 3-4, 3-3, 5-2 etc.) and where the coaching staff feels the need to describe alignments most. Consequently they are often out of order numerically with the other techniques. They often are

    4 tech = inside shoulder of guard
    5 tech = inside shoulder of tackle

    Some teams might switch 4 and 6 tech, or 5 and 6 tech, etc. But the low and highs are fairly consistent. The final exception is some teams will replace 0 tech (head-up on center) with 2 tech and number head-up alignments accordingly.

    Long post explaining that 7 and 9 tech almost always mean "outside shoulder of tackle" and "outside shoulder of end." Teams that line up in these techs on both sides of the line are usually trying to spread the offensive line out and have their linebackers aggressively fill and run interior blitzes.

    Note that a defensive end can still line up in 9 tech even if there is no tight end on that side. They simply position themselves on the outside shoulder of a "phantom" tight end. Speed rushers will often do this on passing downs to try to get an advantage on turning the corner on slower offensive tackles. OTs will often false start in this situation because they'll be trying to time their own snap count so they can get back into their pass drops.
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  21. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    Koppen has had problems from NTs for a long while. This year Kris Jenkins in the Jets game was driving him backwards quite a bit, and I also felt he was subpar against the Chiefs two tackles as well.

    But this phenominon is not unusual for centers, who tend to be the smallest members of the line, and who also have one of the their hands tied up by the act of snapping the ball.

    Koppen coming out of college was rated as a smart but weak prospect who'd have difficulty blocking superior athletes, a career backup type a la Russ Hochstein, and while he's exceeded expectations he also frequently plays to type.
  22. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    On passing plays, yes. You can also move the pocket and run boots, but again, teams are lining up in wide techs with their defensive ends so they're hard to reach without good play action.

    On running plays, a good blocking fullback can really help the interior out. But I'd call Evans a jack-of-all-trades type, which is just as well since he's our only fullback.
  23. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    So in your opinion, why aren't the pats doing this? Or are then, and just ineffective at it (moving the pocket, etc).?

    I fear that the book is now out on the interior of our OL, and we'll continue to get killed up the middle unless something changes. Is Ross/Neil that much better than Yates to help in this regard?
  24. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    They can't run boots because (a) the wide techs from the defensive ends mean the offensive tackles can't reach them, so the ends can either "set the corner" on the boot or else sack the QB and (b) when we keep tight ends like David Thomas in to pass block, they can't block the same defensive ends once they reach them.

    "Reaching" in this case would mean establishing a block on the defensive end's outside shoulder. A tackle like Kaczur, assuming a boot right against a 9 tech defensive end, would have to traverse a combined C and D gap, cross the end's face, and then begin pushing the end outside-in while ensuring the end never got deep enough to interrupt the QB's boot.

    The only way to reach these guys is with a convincing run fake, which would cause the defensive end to abandon upfield rush and crash down the line of scrimmage. A tackle could then bucket-step around the end and grab his outside shoulder, establishing the primary block on the boot. The backside guard, usually, will pull with the run fake, then shuffle off-tackle in front of the QB's boot to pick up any linebackers or stunts. But none of that works if your run fakes suck, which is to say, if you're not running the ball very effectively, which at times we do not.

    And yes, I would consider Neal superior in all aspects to Yates, based on what I've seen.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  25. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    Thanks, appreciate the analysis. So in short, we can't run fake very well because we don't run very well, so the DE isn't likely to bite on the play-action. Hence, no boots. And our TE aren't great blockers, leaving the T on an island. On top of that, Yates blows (I can see that with my untrained eye) and for some reason Koppen is getting killed this year man-up on DT.

    Ouch :)

    edit: PS - I love threads like this. Having not ever played football, this is a great way to learn more about the game. I'm beginning to really love the X's and O's aspect of football, so I soak this stuff up whenever I can find it. Thanks again.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  26. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    Not quite what I was trying to explain. Because our tight ends aren't great blockers, we pass block against wide alignments with a short line. This causes our tackles to get width in their pass splits, moving them away from the guards, which puts the GUARDS on an island because they're not used to/not good at blocking in space.

    They play without leverage because they now have to worry about being run around. It's Reggie White vs. Max Lane, just without quite as much space.
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  27. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    Ah, I gotcha - the T have to pass block the DE wide (because of where the DE lines up), and hence he moves away from the G, leaving the G alone on a DT/blitzing LB
  28. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank you so much!

    I'd guessed part of this, but now it's all much, much clearer -- especially the part about the phantom end. Why I come to the board (see sig. :))

    [Mods: there should be a place for detailed and informative threads like this, so that they don't get buried by the everyday trivia and wailing.]
  29. Zeke_Mowatt

    Zeke_Mowatt Rookie

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    If what we're looking at is a steady diet of 7 and 9 techniques with a 1/3 nose, isn't that a fairly easy alignment to dissect with a simple i back alignment and trap blocking? I mean, our guards are somewhat small/athletic in comparison, are you seeing anything in the run game that would rule this out, are they trying this and failing miserably, or does it just seem like they're unwilling to? I wish I had more time to go back and watch the DVRs of the games but I'm pretty sure my wife would kill me if I made her suffer through the games and my ranting 2 times a week rather than 1. I would think, especially in a 3/4 setup, this would be the absolute easiest DL technique to run on. Obviously if we're looking at a 4/3, it's a different animal but that doesn't leave Koppen as exposed either (in theory at least).
  30. cincipatsfan

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    This is a GREAT thread. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and analysis.

    I'd love to watch a game with some of you guys :eat3:
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