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Reche's boo-boo

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFaninAZ, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ In the Starting Line-Up

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    Haven't seen this discussed yet; my apologies if it has been.

    Caldwell made a huge mistake on the Patriot's final drive by stepping out of bounds on the first play. It was great to have the yardage there, but the reality is that 40 seconds is way more valuable there than the yardage. The Bears would have needed to use their second time out there or let 40 seconds go off the clock, which means that one more first down at that point would have effectively ended the game. In fact, if Reche just sits down, slides or takes a knee after the catch, Dillon probably is never even in position to make that fumble.

    Anyway, he made it up for big time a few plays later with a good grab. Still, he's a five year vet. Over the past few years, the Patriots have won a lot of games with heads up plays. I notice that he didn't make the same mistake twice, and I guess that's the most you can ask for. Bottom line, though, is that with the parity in the NFL, that is exactly the kind of stuff during the regular season that often is overlooked but, it turns out, is the difference between winning and losing -- between making the playoffs and not or between getting a bye or home field advantage and not.

    Otherwise, great game. Brady's drive was simply a championship drive and the reason this guy is great. The team had every reason to collapse after those penalties or the turnovers, but the hung in there and made the plays when they needed to against a great team.

    What did people think of Lovey Smith's decision to go for three points with 4 minutes to play? I thought it was exactly the right call. It was a close call, but I think when you look at all the scenarios that could have played out, it was the decision at that time that gave his team the best chance to win the game, even though at first blush going for it on 4th down is the play that more coaches probably would have gone with. I think he and the Bears are going to be a force to be reckoned with over the next few years. The one weird thing about the play, though, was that if he was going to go for 3 points, he should have the field goal team ready to go before the play in case they didn't make it. The came a second away from taking a delay penalty on the kick, and lost many valuable seconds of the game clock getting the FG team on the field.
     
  2. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Given the events that followed, specifically, Dillon's fumble, Caldwell's blunder of stepping out of bounds could have been very costly. Moving the length of the field for a touchdown with only a minute left and no TO's is very difficult, doing it with nearly two minutes left is much more likely. The Bears had plenty of time, Grossman just made a poor play and Samuel made a good one to save our bacon.

    You're quite right about Caldwell's error being uncharacteristic of recent Patriot teams which seemed to most often do the little things right. The out of bounds play and Caldwell's fumbling of the ball he just recovered from Watson (he should have simply laid down and been happy to keep the ball) both showed either poor football instincts or a nervous player unable to focus. Neither option is very encouraging.
     
  3. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I had all sorts of conflicting emotions going through my head while he was doing that; the first was, "take the hit, stay in bounds" but also "hang on to the damned ball". When he finally got out of bounds I think I was actually sort of relieved.

    I couldn't be happier with the way this guy is working out. He's made a real contribution to our team this year, and seems to be improving with each week.

    (FWIW I though Lovie made the right decision to kick the field goal).
     
  4. TeamPats

    TeamPats On the Game Day Roster

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    The kid I was watching the game with suggested this same thing about Reche falling down on the ball. I had to disagree with him, I could not imagine a better bounce or player for that ball to end up at. The Patriots often speak of recovering fumbles as prime times to make significant yardage gains and even practice laterals much like the Pats/Steelers game in 2001. I know it was unfortunate Caldwell fumbled it but I do not believe he was at fault for trying to run with it.
     
  5. sieglo

    sieglo In the Starting Line-Up

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    I can't fault Caldwell for trying to get some YAC on that tipped ball from Watson he pulled in. That is what receivers are trained to do. It's good to be aggressive. Hopefully BB won't bench him for the next three games a la Gabriel.

    As for running out of bounds, it wasn't a heads up move by Reche. Oh well.

    I think Caldwell overall is working out great. So far this year he's been somewhere between a Branch and a Givens in skill I think.
     
  6. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    The way balls were popping out yesterday, I felt the same way. He needs to learn from Marvin Harrison how to go into the fetal position while looking like you were hit.
     
  7. 5 Rings for Brady!!

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

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    I had one poster here jump all over me for suggesting that Caldwell is not the quickest thinking guy that ever played the game of football. However, I stand by my opinion.

    Some players just 'get it' and have intangibles, like knowing when to stay in bounds and lie down, and other players can't quite think that fast on a football field. I know which category Caldwell falls into, even if other posters at this board don't. He failed the situational awareness test. This is not about something like physically holding onto the ball, this is about a 5 year veteran mentally being aware of what is going on in the last minutes of a tight game.

    He is a solid, hardworking #2 at best. That's why we have a Tight End who will likely have better stats after the season. Caldwell is not a #1. Never will be.

    In any system with talent on offense, he is a solid #3. We don't have that luxury.

    I like Caldwell and I am not the least bit down on him. But I can recognize his relative talent and intangibles compared to other WRs in the league, and he is what he is. I've got no problems with him being on the team, but it is wrong to think that he is going to be our best or smartest player in the long run.
     
  8. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    Whether it was smart or not, I don't think he didn't realize what he did. He had two defenders looking like they were going to pull the "stand him up and rip" on him.

    I'll never know, but it seemed to me he looked at them and intentionally chose ball security over the clock. Guess you'd have to ask him.
     
  9. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    It's amazing how often I see this happen in a crucial game clock management situation... Reche is not the first on the Patriots to do this season even (I think Dillon made a similar mistake) and I see it often in other games...

    Just amazing it happens as often as it does and probably shows how easy it is for players to forget what's happening in the game....
     
  10. 5 Rings for Brady!!

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

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    Wrong. Sit on your ass and the play ends.
     
  11. Isaac

    Isaac Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Yes, huge, huge mistake by Caldwell, could have cost the game. The killer was that he had so much time to think about it, he was just standing there while I and I'm sure everyone else was screaming "Fall Down!!!" and then he stepped out of bounds. No excuses, he could have hit the ground long before the defenders got there so no possibility of a fumble.

    Hopefully BB gives him a long talking to on this, but we should all be concerned that he doesn't THINK in the moment, which is such a characteristic of BB's players. Corey Dillon did the same type of thing at the beginning of last year and he spoke all about it with the media ("that won't happen again"), hopefully Caldwell can learn his lesson.
     
  12. PlattsFan

    PlattsFan On the Game Day Roster

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    It was definitely a mistake not to dive down at the defenders' feet. And I'm pretty sure Reche realized it right away. He was looking disappointed after the play, I thought.

    As for the earlier play, there was no reason to sit down at that point. He had the ball, he was standing up, and he had a bit of space in front of him. That'd just be pure fear if he sat down at that point, and that's no way to play football.
     
  13. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ In the Starting Line-Up

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    Reche clearly knew he had made a mistake almost the instant after he made it. He made a "my bad" gesture (just like Dillon did last year when he made the same mistake). He also made sure not to make the same mistake twice, going down in bounds a couple of plays later to burn off 40 seconds.

    Also, it's tough to get too down on Caldwell, when he's the guy that pretty much made the two biggest plays of that drive. If Dillon doesn't fumble it, the worst case scenario there is a little over a minute left in a 4 or 7 point game. In short, I wasn't really trying to say in my original post that this a dumb guy, or even trying to start something about whether this is in character or out of character for Reche, but more just noting that at the time it could have been huge and noting that it's inconsistent with how the Patriots usually do things.

    Incidentally, I think on Dillon's run out of bounds, if I'm remembering it correctly (I might not be), if he stays in bounds the game would have been over, and the Pats could have just kneeled on it to run out the clock. Reche's clearly wasn't like that -- there was a lot of time left.
     
  14. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Same deal with the fumble. We were already in the red zone, well within FG range, 1st and goal I believe. YAC is all well and good but in that situation against a team BB drilled them all week on apparently to little avail about their propensity to strip balls and cause turnovers, your first priority has to be securing the ball you just recovered. Situational awareness.

    Reche had 3 boo boos as I saw them. The fumble, the catch along the sideline when he elected to break his fall with one arm rather than secure the crucial catch with both hands and sacrificing his body - something Marvin Harrison would never do - and the out of bounds. To be fair he isn't an elite WR which is why he makes mistakes and comes up just short.

    He is what he is. He tries and he has probably improved more than any of the multiple receivers we occasionally feature this season. He made some good plays including coming back for a pass. But I think he has a limited ceiling and he is close to it. A good 3rd WR and passable #2 when there are no other viable options. He is not Givens who in his time here was an elite #2 and a passable #1 when Branch was unavailable.

    Real talent at some point doesn't have to think, they just react instinctively. Reche is a journeyman if he can remain motivated to keep working (like a guy like Troy did). Sometimes those guys can't sustain the effort that allows even that level of performance consistently over the long haul. Fewer still can not only sustain it but manage to build and improve on it (like Troy - who always lacked the size and speed but had instinct and quickness and worked tirelessly on his hands and took pride in establishing his versatility and leadership value).

    We may in the end have replaced Branch and Givens production, but we haven't come close to replacing their performance. The baseball analogy would be replacing an ace with 2 12-14 game winners. Works sometimes in the regular season but come playoff time it gets pretty sketchy.
     
  15. 5 Rings for Brady!!

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

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    Well said. Caldwell is what he is.

    We can like him, we can root for him to succeed. We can enjoy his success. And we do. But being objective about him means that we see he is nothing more than a #2 who is our #1b by default. With a Tight End also at #1b, and nobody at #1a.

    It is what it is. Doesn't mean we don't like him and support him.

    Here's to a big season for Caldwell, and continued hope for Jackson to show up more when given the chance!

    I would still go after a top WR in Free Agency, personally.
     
  16. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    This doesn't make sense. Why does Reche's stepping out of bounds become more serious given that Dillon fumbled later on? Even if Caldwell doesn't step out of bounds, so what? Dillon still fumbled the ball afterwards and gave the Bears another shot.

    Dillon's fumble was far and away the more costly of the two. Stepping out of bounds did not give the Bears the football, it only let them conserve a time out, which they used anyway before Dillon fumbled.

    I don't want Reche stepping out of bounds, but he got a lot of yards and it would not have been a big deal if Dillon wasn't holding the ball like Kevin Faulk.
     
  17. Kdo5

    Kdo5 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Reche has done a good job but yes the two mistakes were a little annoying to watch as a fan. On the fumble he tried to do too much. Fall down and let Brady get it into the endzone...easy. The one where he went out of bounds...it seemed like he must have thought about the fumble. He hesitated and went out of bounds...it was obvious as you watched it.
     
  18. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    We are 8-3. Last year at this point in the season with your omnipotent duo of Branch and Givens we were 6-5.

    Perhaps our WRs are better than you think, or perhaps Givnes and Branch were not as good as you think, or perhaps the instead of spending $25 mil for Givens and $39 mil for Branch, we found a better use for the money, something that helped the team more.

    It's probablyl a combination of the three (weighted toward not paying out all that money for a couple of WRs), but there is no doubt we are better off with the team we have than to have Givens and Branch and the effect they would have on the cap. 8-3 vs 6-5.

    Other opinions may differ, of course.
     
  19. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale In the Starting Line-Up

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    I was a bit more amped up than usual for last night's game, so when Caldwell stepped out of bounds instead of sliding to keep the clock going, I was dropping F bombs left and right. I'm glad it didn't come back and bite them in the arse, but it was a dumb mistake on his part. He definitely made up for it on his followup catch on 3rd down with a ton of heat on Brady. That was one of the most underrated plays of the night. The Bears hardly blitzed all night and finally when they did, Brady and Caldwell were sharp, like they've been facing that all night and knew what to do.

    Regards,
    Chris
     
  20. Burgess

    Burgess Rookie

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    I guess I'm the only one who wants Reche out of town as soon as a replacement can be found, this off season at the latest. I just think he's the type of player who finds ways to lose games.

    The fumble after saving Watson's bacon, running out of bounds when we're trying to run out the clock, not bringing in that catch on the sideline (tough play - I know)...that's 3 plays just in the last game. He's got talent no doubt, but he's one of those players that keeps both teams in the game.

    Get rid of him.

    Watson has tendencies along this line as well but his positives are far more frequently on display than his giveaways.
     

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