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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AzPatsFan, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I have seen many critics say the Pats don't play enough "play action". Its obvious that they have an incomplete idea of what a "play action" entails.

    Some think its only a Fake hand off by the QB to a RB in the backfield. Its not.

    The "play action" first of all, is sold by fakes by the offensive linemen, the RB and only finally, the QB. For a pass rusher the most important is the fake by the O -lineman in front of him, faking a run. To do that the Blocker must fire out and try to drive him back as if to to open a hole. If he misses even a little, the pass rusher can dodge him and get around him to rush the passer with little to interfere. They don't do this in pass blocking as its so easy to get a pass rusher completely free. In Pass blocking, the linemen retreat and punch, retreat and punch, to delay but not stop a pass rusher, while simply buying time. So for a real pass with "play action"... Strike One.

    The fake by the RB forces him to run up to, or through the line without actually getting the ball. Translation: he is removed from being able to pick up the blitz or the pass rusher going for the QB. He is not in a position to help block for the passing QB... Strike Two.

    The faking takes time, and removes the attention of the QB from looking down field to see the WRs and the progressions. Finally, the time is compressed, since the pass rushers will be on the QB faster than normal.

    When I hear fans say "run play" action and "throw it deep" they are contradicting themselves. They show how much they don't understand.

    "Play action" lends itself to quick and short intermediate passes. Why? There is simply not enough time to wait for a deep receiver to get free on his route before the QB is sacked. Its also a play that commits to a specific receiver running a route. Why? The QB will have little time to survey the field and can probably only find and check his first ie. primary receiver.

    The opposite of what the Patriots dictum is; "throw to the open receiver". If you had a great receiver like Wayne or Holt, you can rely on them to get open. The Pats don't have those receivers who can always separate, and always get open.

    So "play action" doesn't fit the scheme or personnel; Hence you don't see the Pats run it very often, if at all.

    Are you surprised???:eek:
  2. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A very useful little tutorial, AZ!


  3. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Two of NE's TDs came on first and goal and the other came on first and 10 rom the 11. I agree with you that NE should have gotten at least 4 TDs instead of just 3, and that 50% TD conversions inside the 10 next week could be the difference between a win and a loss, but they were more successful than you give credit for.
  4. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I think play action actually slows the defense down. If you are a defensive end, you can't sprint full speed forward on a pass rush if you think the play is a pass. Also, the linebackers will jump forwards to try to meet the ball carrier.

    If done correctly, this should create a wide open area behind the linebackers, and also give the QB time if the defensive ends bit on the fake.
  5. Stokes

    Stokes Rookie

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    Have to say I disagree with you here, yes, it takes time for the play action to develop, but the WRs are running routes while its developing, not just standing there, so the overall time doesn't change. Also, there is no reason a WR can't sight adjust on a play action pass, since that is pre-snap, and both WR and QB should know that adjustment will be made against a blitz. Good explanation of the O-line play. As a former guard I appreciate any love for the unseen complexities of line play. One other thing to note is that the opposite (from a blocking standpoint) can also be true of a draw play, using a pass protection kind of look to get the D-line running upfield and hopefully right past the play.
  6. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey


    Ahahahaha... Hardly ;-)
  7. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Query:But isn't the whole object of a run-action pass
    ... to give the QB a microsecond MORE time ?


    Answer: Not Really. What you are trying to do is freeze and confuse the LBs and Safeties, for a moment, and let them get out of position to defend the short and intermediate passes.

    Occasionally if you can fool (i.e finesse) ALL Four pass rushers and any would be blitzers, then it does buy some time too. The odds are that at least one of the pass rushers will come free sooner, than with a normal pass blocking though, and there is no one in the backfield to pick him up, to keep him off the QB.
  8. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    :p ... well, they taste the s...


    ... wait, no that's all wrong isn't it? :D
  9. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Think about how great it might be if we put 7 or 8 or 9 receivers into the game instead of O linemen, even if you have to line up some on the line for the rules. How do we know it wouldn't work?

    Ans: I don't want to take a chance that Brady would end up on IR while I tried it... I might not be sure that I would be burned by putting my hands on the glowing red burner on the stove. But I might SURMISE it, and never actually try it, but I don't really KNOW that...

    Thats why.
  10. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey


    Me either actually. I wonder what it tastes like? I'm sure it tastes nothing like sex (in retrospect).
  11. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Woops, I meant to say that if you are defensive end, you can't go all out sprinting forward if you think the play is a RUN (not pass as I said before). Thus, it buys a little more time for the QB. Also, since the linebackers and safeties are 'frozen' (although often I believe they jump forward instead of stand still), it creates an open area behind them with which to hit a receiver.
  12. frankiesfly

    frankiesfly Rookie

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    Personally i dont think we run it enough. What i do think we need to see more of, is the Pats offense running the screen. I think the Pats execute the screen just as good as any team in the NFL. We ran one screen to the TE, against the Jets and that was it. I would like to see the Pats run more screen plays to the running back. The screen play to Faulk this week, has big play written all over it.
  13. PrairiePat

    PrairiePat Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    This is exactly correct, and is the reason you go for the long ball behind the safeties or an intermediate pass behind the linebackers on a PA fake. The 1st Branch touchdown in Pittsburgh during the 2004 AFC Championship was an example of a deep ball off PA, and the intermediate completion to Gaffney yesterday (the crossing pattern one) was an example of the latter.

    In both cases, the run fake effectively stalled the pass rush, allowing Brady to survey multiple receivers before picking out the eventual target.

    I'm guessing we don't use this as often as some would like to make it more effective when we DO use it.
  14. PrairiePat

    PrairiePat Rookie

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    This doesn't dispute your point at all, but we ran an effective flanker screen to Caldwell for 11+ yards as well.
  15. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I guess I'll have to try it some day.
  16. frankiesfly

    frankiesfly Rookie

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    In earlier posts there was conversation if we ran the play action enough. I was just saying i didnt think so. I Brought up the screen because that was a play i think we should see more of if anything. The way the Jets where blitzing yesterday, the Pats where given golden opportunities, to make big plays with the screen to the RB. They didnt try it once.
  17. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I said the Patriots seldom run "play action" but seldom is not never. They did at least once yesterday. On Graham's TD the "play action" was used. The O linemen fired out and the RB plunged into the line.

    The Jets were forced to honor the run and it did fool them, and even if it ddin't they couldn't NOT honor the goaline plunge. The Safeties came up to help in the run plunge and Graham caught a 3-4 yard Short Pass in back of the Safeties who were fooled. Right call for the right situations.

    In general I don't like finesse plays, except when the situation is right. They are not reliable. Belichick prefers Power plays that can be expected to work more often and consistently, in spite of what the Defense tries to do. Besides its demoralizing to a Defense to have the Pats line up and say here we come with out big O line and big RBs and say "Stop us... if you can".

    :bricks:
  18. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

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    I will also add your other post which added another important aspect of the play action pass.

    The advocate(s) (ranter(s)) of more play action have been challenged to discuss the negative aspects of the play action pass along with the possible benefits. Needless to say, they have ignored this challenge, preferring to repeat OVER AND OVER AGAIN AD NAUSEUM the same tired rants about how play action is a miracle cure. They wish to totally ignore the very pertinent points you make which makes their viewpoint simplistic to the point of stupidity.

    There are a few more points that I might add as a small addition to your excellent writeup.

    There are many particular defensive schemes that make the shortcomings of the play action pass much more severe as well as the problems you point out.

    If the defensive call is for the run/pass rush to be done by the front four and the LBs are responsible for dropping into short coverage, the play action pass is worthless in terms of positive effect and has only the negatives you mention.

    When advocates talk about the play action pass 'enhancing' the long pass, there are the problems you mention PLUS if the defensive call is for DB man coverage, the play action is worthless. Even if only one DB is playing man coverage, that still leaves the second safety free to double cover the long route of the other receiver even if one safety moves up to cover the 'run'. Not only that, but if one safety moves up from a 'normal' set position, chances are very good that he actually becomes another defender in the short passing lanes which is where play action passes are usually schemed for the receivers.

    Also, as you so aptly point out, part of the 'fake' is for the OL to push forward rather than collapsing to form a pocket. I'll add that this also has the effect of creating wide open space in front of the QB so if even one rusher slips thru his block, he has a wide open unabated path to the QB.

    If the particular defensive call has the DL pass rushing period without any read to adjust to a run, then the play action pass is a disaster. If the general defensive scheme is for DEs to pass rush and ignore the run on every play, the play action pass is pretty much worthless. Example in point are the Colts where Freeney ALWAYS pass rushes and Mathis pass rushes the majority of the time - EVEN on obvious running downs. (Wonder why the Colts are the worst run defense all time ?)

    If a team is heavily oriented to the blitz (ie Steelers) then running the play action pass is suicide. Blitzers are ignoring the RBs unless they happen to be in their path. The play action pass is especially vulnerable to an outside blitz (LB or DB) for the reasons you and I mention.

    If the defensive scheme is concerted run blocking with LBs charging the line of scrimmage without making reads, there is no point to the play action pass (leaving only the significant negatives) because the short passing zone is already being left open.

    The other thing that is impossible to understand is the arrogance where some fan(s) posting on this board think they know better than Belichick what kind of play calls would be more effective. They have to be assuming that Belichick is not a very effective coach (how RIDICULOUS is that) or that he has some sort of a blind spot or unfounded bias against the play action pass (how RIDICULOUS is that when we see countless examples of Belichick using particular plays and schemes that that amaze us and produce wins).
  19. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    EXACTLY ! Thats what I said. But if you think Freeney ever gave a damn about a running play, to slow down his pass rush than you must have some powerful rope that you are smoking. Play action is meant to confuse the LBs, Safeties to open passes of the short and intemediate variety. Thanks for your confirmation.
  20. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Since when do Defensive Ends cover deep WRs patterns??

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