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Passing game playbook philosophy...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AzPatsFan, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The Pats have had a problem integrating new receivers into their Offense. It is also making Tom Brady very tentative in his throws, ruining his accuracy and confidence at the margin.

    The problem is the optional route running that is part and parcel of their passing game philosophy. This means that depending on what the receiver and the QB sees, the route is supposed to change in mid play. The problem is that the receivers are not picking up the same cues, and sometimes do and sometimes don't, change the route that they run.

    Tom Brady sees what they see, and would be expected to throw the ball expecting them to change routes but no longer is he sure that they will do so. If he throw for a break left, and the receiver goes right, then there is the possibility of a INT. If there is a blitz and the receiver is supposed to break off a route and Brady throws short expecting this, if they don't, then there is a possibility of not only and INT, but an INT returned for a score.

    In short, Brady is unsure waht his new receivers are going to do. Consequently, he is compensating by holding the throw a bit to see what happens and is throwing "late" or "aiming" the ball and trying to change direction possibly in the midst of his throw. Obviously this leads to some bad throws.

    It will either take time and practice without changing the philosophy, or there is a coaching decison to be made. The coaches have to decide to stop optional routes either permanently, or for enough time to let everyone, especially Brady to regain confidence that he knows where the receiver is going to be.

    In your opinion what should the Patriots do???:confused:
     
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with what you said and I vote to just keep at it. We have 12 weeks until the playoffs and are blessed with a forgiving division. Keep plugging along, come playoff time we'll have enough cohesion between the QB and the WR.
     
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    One of the better analysis of what is going on, Smerlas was talking yesterday how Brady is picking up the blitzes the WR's are not with the exception of Troy Brown. Consequently the rush is very effective at disrupting his rhythm and timing.. it is not translating into a lot of sacks, but lots of batted balls and hurries.

    Not sure if Caldwell, Gabriel and Jackson will have the aptitude to grasp the subtleties of this offense..I would think by week 5 Caldwell and Jackson would have somewhat of a clue, but have not shown it on the field. But I keep hearing it will take time and maybe it will, I do not see a major problem right now it this stuff was translating in to Brady getting sacked, beat up or interceptions would think it would be a more significant problem. I also think our run game suffers as it did last week because of this, as the safeties can focus on the run more. Keep hearing it will get better, suspect by the Buffalo, Vikes or Colts game might start seeing some results, if not then I might worry more.

    In the meantime we have come up with four wins at the bye, and there is every indication that this team will become better.
     
  4. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'm not sure sight adjustments are as big a part of the offensive problems as is being portrayed. BB himself said yesterday that in 30 pass plays per game, 3 to 4 sight adjustments are a high amount, usually its less in this offense. He said that the real problem is that the timing is off between Brady and the wide outs. For example, if a 15 yard out is the pattern, Brady and the WR have a timing set in their heads. But right now, the receivers are being pressed at the LOS because the Pats can't exploit the field vertically. As a result, the timing is off on the route. A veteran receiver, such as Troy Brown, knows that the timing takes priority, and cuts the route off at 12 or 13 or 14 yards depending on the press, and Brady changes the pass to 12, 13 or 14 based on the same factor. If Brady doesn't know when the receiver will cut, or isn't confident, then he fears the DB will cut in front and he'll throw a pick 6. Therefore the problem is (1) absence of a deep threat to lessen the press coverage. This is a factor of Brady's inaccuracy on the deep ball. (2) the correct timing adjustments between QB and receiver based on the press coverage. Bottom line: Brady needs to hit some deep passes to WRs, and Brady and the WRs need to keep practicing. They will get it soon enough.
     
  5. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    They have to use this bi-week for all it's worth. The passing game is the number one concern on the team right now. We do not need another 'starting' WR. We need Brady and the boys to get used to each other. And Jackson to get on the field more.

    But I do think some of the problem is that Brady is going to have to get used to the fact that the WRs will be out of position several times a game. I think that Brady needs to do a better job in just 'winging' the ball to the guy that is open, regardless of whether the guy is in exactly the right spot or not.

    I think Brady needs to loosen up and improvise a little, because these WRs are simply not going to be exactly where Branch or Givens would have been on any given play. Timing routes only work if the WR makes them work, but you still need to deliver the ball somewhere. Brady is going to have to learn to over-compensate a little bit for the fact that his wideouts are just not on the same page as him right now.

    Try to get on the same page, coach up the WRs, but then Brady still is responsible for throwing the ball to somebody, at the end of the day, regardless of whether the WR ran the route to perfection or not. I'm not suggesting throwing risky picks, but throwing darts with accuracy to whoever appears to be open, regardless of what route they ran, correct or not. He will need to read the field more than ever.

    Brady is simply not going to have the security of proper option routes at times this year, and he is going to have to make up some of the difference himself. This will be his most challenging year as a QB since 2001, maybe more so.

    I think it'll look a lot better as the season goes on.
     
  6. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

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    This is an awesome post, and if on target does indeed explain much of Brady's 'accuracy' problems this season.
     
  7. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    ponyexpress,

    Thank you. I should have made clear that the "route adjustments" are not just sight adjustments on changing the route but "changing the route" also includes getting open "on time",as scheduled.

    One of the big knocks on Bethel was that he couldn't get the need to be some where "on time". It does little good to get open a second after Brady has checked on you said to himself "not open"; gone on to check the next receiver. The same is true if you get open a second or two early and when Brady checks you in his progressions, the DB has started to recover and is closing on you. Once again Brady says to himself "not open"; and goes on the next receiver.
     
  8. PhilD

    PhilD On the Roster

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    PonyExpress: top, top post. Grade-A analysis, backed up with some decent evidence from BB.

    I'm just wondering when we'll start hearing that the problem with the passing game playbook philosophy is the absence of slants and crossing routes, and an "insane" offensive coordinator. Unfortunately, even quality analysis dies an unwarranted death amongst polemic and exaggeration. ;)

    Edit: having just thought a little more, does anyone remember the article around training camp where Brady was talking about trying to improve his deep ball? He talked about finishing the throw with the throwing arm completing its motion to the left hip, so that the ball dropped almost vertically on a spot, rather than sailing on a more regular trajectory, which is what happens if he sort of flicks it out there. Two points here. Firstly, dropping the ball on a spot narrows the potential range a WR has to catch the football. This increases the accuracy Tom needs to have to be able to place the ball on a precise spot, and consequently makes it harder to hit the wideout in stride. In short, it needs to be a more perfectly thrown ball. Secondly, my quaterback mechanics isn't that hot, but completing the throw fully puts more force through the ball, which probably tends towards an overthrow rather than an underthrow, especially if the throwing action isn't perfect, and assuming that the effect of dropping the ball more vertically and the length of the throw are to some degree separable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  9. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    I wish I could take credit for the analysis in my post, but it came almost verbatim from the horse's mouth. Here is the audio of the Oct. 9th interview (Click on the "Big Show", and "Coffee with the Coach"): http://rope.weei-am.fimc.net/podzinger.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  10. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Ahhhhhh, well that explains why it seemed there was so much truth to it.
     
  11. Johnny Z

    Johnny Z Practice Squad Player

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    Class of 1983
     
  12. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    Really great insights by AzPatsFan and Pony Express. Really great reads.

    I think the Pats might have to regress in their passing philosophy back to the early Brady years which relied heavily on short passes and YAC. At least for the time being - I wouldn't see a problem with this.
     
  13. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I understand your point, NEM, and I don't totally disagree, but I'd say a lot of the "inside" routes you're talknig about got batted down in the Miami game, so it's not like it works constantly or anything. That said, I've also noticed Brady's inaccuracy on the out patterns.
     
  14. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Fine, deep football thread !
    Good work, AZ ... PonyX ... 5Rings ... and PhilD.

    Maybe this is the time someone smart can help me understand.
    "Not able to challenge vertically (stretch the field)"
    What does this mean?

    Because a team only completes 1 out of 8 of its long balls, instead of 1 out of 4 ...
    doesn't mean that the secondary is going to just let the deep receivers run free.
    They'll cover the same way.
    Therefore, the offense has challenged them vertically, and stretched the field.

    Of course, completing the long throws
    dramatically improves game outcomes.
    But how does failing to complete them
    let defenses crowd the line or jump the shorter routes
    or line up for the next play with any tactical advantage whatever
    ... aside from down-and-distance?
     
  15. PatsSteve1

    PatsSteve1 In the Starting Line-Up

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  16. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    if a cb does not believe a wr has the speed to run by him, the strength/quickness to break the press and gain a step or two at the LOS, the hands to catch the deep ball, or the QB to throw it accurately, the cb usually gets physical at the LOS in order to disrupt the timing/rhythm of shorter and intermediate routes. If the cb fears that a wr has the speed/strength/quickness to avoid or break the press and gain an extra step on a deep route, and that the Qb is accurate enough to hit it, he is more likely to back off the LOS to protect himself from getting burnt. This negates the press and opens up the short and intermediate passing game to a rhythm/timing offense. Therefore "stretch the field vertically" is not only the act of throwing deep but the posture of the defense.
     
  17. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    This is true, but Brady is not telling them what sequence he wants to run those plays in. That is the art of playcalling from the O-coordinator.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  18. PatsSteve1

    PatsSteve1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    * The gameplan and what calls to make in various down and distance situations is decided before that game is played during the preceeding week.
    Those play cards coaches hold don't have evry play in the playbook on them.
    They are the plays the coaching staff, including the HC, has decided to use in certain situations. For example, the seemingly dumb call where Brady acted like Manning going down the LOS(a penalty was called becaue he didn;t stop) and the ball was snapped to Faulk was a play the staff decided to use in that particluar situation leading up to the game. The OC didn't just pull it out of his hat on a whim, much as some would lead us to believe.
    Every call that's made goes through BB's headset, who could veto it, and on to Brady and the QB can change a play that's called. It isn't just an OC sitting there picking plays randomly as a game goes on or picking plays out if a hat. We've heard the same rant through 3 SB's in 5 years and sadly, some have even bought it. Funny we rarely hear the complaints when the Patriots win -:) This isn't to say every play called is perfect or even close for the situation. No OC has ever been perfect with playcalling. But, I'll take the "guys" doing it for the Patriots over anyone on this board.
     
  19. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great thread (except for the usual attempted hijack). I've been trying to inject some comprehension of the basic concept that we run a sight adjusted offense and that it takes more time to achieve a comfort level for the QB and his WR's into threads here for weeks now - to little avail.
     
  20. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    Practice.

    You're right, by the way, so the answer is obvious.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006

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