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Priority #1 - Patriots Need New Secondary Coaches

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DropKickFlutie, Jan 27, 2013.

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  1. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie Rookie

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    We can talk about getting new player talent all we want through draft or free agency, but I want to raise the issue of poor secondary coaching that Greg Bedard brought up during the season:

    Why does it seem like players always regress/plateau in the Patriots’ secondary? The list of promising rookies (1st or 2nd round picks) who never improved after arriving here is long:

    Brandon Meriweather
    Terrence Wheatley
    Darius Butler
    Leigh Bodden (not a draft pick but he got worse)
    Patrick Chung
    Devin McCourty
    Ras-I Dowling
    (Tavon Wilson)

    That's a half dozen HIGH draft picks who never improved to starter-level. It should be clear first that these prospects were good draft picks - relative to their rookie peers they had potential, but like most rookie prospects they still need good coaching and improvement in order to become starter-level talents in the NFL.

    Corwin Brown did well (noted by a posted named Boiler) in McCourty's first year (a PRO BOWL year), and that same year he also coached up Arrington to have a breakout year as well. Corwin Brown was only on the staff for one season.

    Below are the secondary coaches for the Patriots. Neither coach has any actual experience playing cornerback or safety in D1 college or in the NFL. We have one guy Flores who played linebacker at BC and the other guy Boyer who played small division football (likely the Ohio connection).

    Josh Boyer
    Josh Boyer is in his first season as cornerbacks coach on Head Coach Bill Belichick's staff after three seasons as defensive backs coach. Boyer joined the Patriots as a coaching assistant in 2006, serving in that role for three seasons.

    Brian Flores
    Flores played football at Boston College as a linebacker from 1999 through 2003. In 2004, Flores joined the Patriots as a scouting assistant. He then became a pro scout in 2006 before moving to the coaching staff as a special teams coaching assistant in 2008. His title was changed to assistant coach offense/special teams in 2010. He was named defensive assistant in 2011. In 2012, he was named safeties coach.

    Look at the gradual improvements in offensive line (Scar) or defensive line/linebacker (Peppers) regardless of the personnel; it's a stark contrast to the secondary which has been a weakness going on 5+ years where almost no players have actually improved since they got here. I know Belichick doesn't fire coaches (while being ruthless with his player roster), but he should consider firing some of his staff to shake things up and also let them know that poor coaching performances will be acted upon the same way he deals with his players.
  2. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    Based on how their secondary looked with/without Talib. I think it's clear that the team had a talent, not coaching issue.
  3. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie Rookie

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    As sports writers and posters here have covered before, the "Talib Effect" is more myth than truth. Also, it's telling that they had to trade for a guy when they couldn't coach-up/improve their half dozen high secondary draft picks over the past several years.
  4. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You can't coach up crap. The team has missed several times on their DB selections. That's a talent evaluation issue, not a coaching issue.
  5. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    It doesn't matter what "sports writers" or anyone else says. Their is statistical proof that the Pats defense was much better against the pass and on 3rd down when Talib played. Those high secondary picks haven't gone on to do anything special with any other teams. Unfortunately, they just sucked. It has nothing to do with the coaching
  6. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan Rookie

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    I hear Mangini might be available :bricks:

    It's odd how BB is a defensive genius, often seen coaching up the defense, but we consistently have a weaker D. i guess you just have to go with your strength (which is Brady), but defensive teams seem to do well enough in the playoffs.

    We're getting there, must be time to double down on some backfield players.

    and the Mangini thing was a joke. I think that bridge was atomized after Sunday, September 9th, 2007.
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    After the competition committee instructed officiating crews to make a 'point of emphasis' in the way penalties were called on defenders in pass coverage, Bill Belichick made a conscious decision to focus on offense and scoring rather than defense and preventing scoring as the key to winning in today's football.

    We can debate whether or not that tactical decision was the correct one to make, but that - along with those changes in the way games are officiated, along with a few draft picks that did not develop as well as would have been - has been more of the cause in the decline in the performance of the defense than the performance of position coaches, or Belichick himself not being a good defensive coach.

    As for what the position coaches did during their playing days, should the Patriots also jettison Belichick based on his relatively limited experience in playing the game?

    Let's not forget that the Patriots have had virtually a complete overhaul of their defensive roster (every player not named Vince Wilfork) while finding a way to remain highly competitive. Generally speaking teams bottom out with losing records when that has to happen; somehow the Patriots avoided doing that. Maybe the Pats would have been better off doing just that, resulting in some much earlier draft picks.

    Considering some of the personnel on the field the last few years - Sergio Brown, Marquice Cole, Phillip Adams, etc. - perhaps the coaching staff has actually overachieved, not underachieved.

    One last item to consider: how much help has the secondary received from the front seven in terms of consistent pressure up front? If we're going to point fingers, doesn't the (lack of) a quality pass rush over the last few years have as much (or more) to do with the success of opponent's pass offense as the coverage by the secondary?
  8. PatsWickedPissah

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    jmt57 et. al. you guys are killing the thread topic tantrum
  9. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    I'll parrot Dues and point out none of our players amounted to anything elsewhere sans Butler so unless you want to say the coaching screwed them up so bad they left the NFL I find this unlikely.
  10. Brady_to_Moss

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    #95 Jersey

    #1 welker #2 CB/Talib
  11. Deus Irae

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    The sports writers are wrong on this subject. Well, it's more accurate to say that the "myth" claim is misleading. The notion behind Talib's addition leading to better play isn't set in the idea that Talib is the world's greatest corner. It's set in the idea that Talib, in concert with an improving Dennard, allowed McCourty to be moved to safety and Arrington to the nickel/slot, which improved the team at all 3 spots and allowed the team to play much more press man which, in turn allowed for more variance in coverage calls and more ability to attack the QBs with more players via the blitz, when desired.

    The numbers bear this out. It's no myth. The only "myth" is the idea that Talib was 100% of the difference. Few, if any, people make that argument.
  12. zipster9

    zipster9 Rookie

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    Sorry, but the Secondary coaches are to blame as well.

    Is it hard to tell/train the cover guy to "turn you head if you see the WR looking up?"

    How many pass-interference, because the cover guy never looks back?

    No, I doubt the coaches say this. They rather tell the covery guys to "put your hands in face"...
  13. Deus Irae

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    That's not on the secondary coaches. It comes straight from the top. Belichick wants the DBs to do that unless they have the receivers on their hips.
  14. JMC00

    JMC00 On the Roster

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    Bill needs to get Jon Hoke and Gill Byrd as the secondary coaches who are both out of a job because of the Lovie Smith firing. Move Boyer and Flores elsewhere.

    It might even give the Pats the inside track on signing Jairus Byrd, Gill is his dad.
  15. Observer

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    All scheme and technique issues stem from the top. The coaches would be fired if they were not doing belichick's bidding so there is no point in blaming the Boyers and Patricias of this world. It is too bad that his preferred technique is one where the CB wouldn't intercept the ball even if it hit him in the back.
  16. blackglass3

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    So if its not coaching why has Devin McCourty gone from great coverage corner to crap CB/decent safety? Was it a case of teams getting film on him? Was it coaching? Was it a different technique he was asked to play in 2010 vs. now?
  17. Deus Irae

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    He hasn't. He wasn't good in man as a rookie, but the team played a lot of zone so it was covered up. He's not good with his back to the QB. In 2010, the team still had Sanders and Meriweather, who knew what they were doing back at safety (even if Meriweather didn't always do what he was supposed to), so they could help McCourty and limit the damage of the mistakes. In 2011, they had a bunch of slappies at safety, so they couldn't cover for the corners, and the mistakes of players like McCourty and Arrington were on full display.

    Teams got the book on him. We saw that over the course of the past two seasons. He's solid if he's facing the QB. He's too succeptible to the double move on the outside, and he doesn't quite have the high end speed to recover or to stay with the burners of the league, so he's half a step behind all too often at corner. If he had an Earl Thomas back at safety, he'd probably be fine again at corner, at least as a CB2, but he's got Chung and Gregory, so he's exposed.
  18. Haley

    Haley Rookie

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    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. How can our talent evaluation be so consistently bad? I have a hard time believing this, especially after watching McCourty and Chung the last few years. And who does the talent evaluation on these guys? Wouldn't that be this same coaching staff at fault anyway?
  19. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    Also keep in mind that the whole 'don't look for the ball and hit their hands' thing is only if the corner gets BEAT.

    The idea is that if you're beat, you're probably going to give up that pass, so might as well play their hands instead of looking back and wasting time, since you'll never recover anyway.

    The CBs aren't being told to never look at the ball from the start, just if they've lost tight coverage and are about to give up a pass.

    At that point it makes sense to play the hands, since its your only shot. The fact that we see this move so often reflects on how bad the corners are/were, not the move itself.
  20. blackglass3

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    Thanks Deus, I had been wondering that off and on lately and this thread brought it to the forefront of my mind.
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