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Reiss: Patriots Move Away from 3-WR Shot Gun Base in Atlanta Game

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by maverick4, Sep 28, 2009.

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  1. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    Remember our first two games where we used the 3-WR shot gun set almost exclusively?

    Here are snaps by players in the Falcons game, where we moved the ball with ease (outside the red zone) with Brady under center, and a bruising/physical rushing attack, with traps, screens, and play action:

    WR Randy Moss -- 76 of 83
    TE Chris Baker -- 65 of 83
    TE Benjamin Watson -- 63 of 83
    WR Julian Edelman -- 36 of 83
    RB Fred Taylor -- 35 of 83
    WR Sam Aiken -- 34 of 83
    RB Kevin Faulk -- 32 of 83
    WR Joey Galloway -- 32 of 83
    RB/FB Sammy Morris -- 17 of 83
    TE Michael Matthews -- 13 of 83
    RB Laurence Maroney -- 11 of 83

    Mike Reiss' blog - Snaps played by offensive skill-position players - ESPN Boston
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I'm glad to hear it. I thought the 2 TE was very successful - if it weren't for an overthrow by Brady, a drop by Galloway, and a drop by Watson, we would've put up 40 points yesterday with that offense.

    They even ran a 3 TE set with Matthews.

    People can say Brady destroys blitzes, sure he does - but you know what else he does really well? Sit back there all day, with time, and sling it to Moss or Watson or Welker. With the weapons this team has, if Brady has time, those guys will get open.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  3. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I love it. I've been waiting to see this for some time now as I suspect the rest of us have. That physical rushing attack is going to open up a lot for the downfield passing game. It also took a lot of the pressure off of Brady yesterday as the Falcons' defense was forced to respect the run. In the first two games, neither defense was forced to respect the run and could just tee off on Brady. The change was noticeable with BB calling the plays yesterday. I just hope O'Brien was taking notes...
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Are we sure about this BB calling plays thing? I'm not so sure that was the case.

    The other thing was how successful play-action was. Brady misfired on a couple throws, and Moss failed to elevate for a pass in the 2nd quarter, but the opportunities were there.
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He had the play chart and was seen calling the plays when the offense was on the field. So I'm pretty sure of it. If not then someone had a face to face with O'Brien and let him know that 100+ pass plays in the first two games simply wasn't working.

    But you're right. The play action is going to be opened up a lot more and I love that as well. Brady is one of the best, if not THE best play action QBs in the history of the NFL.
  6. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I completely agree. There are some here who would argue shot gun protects Brady more and gives him more time and less hits on him, but I would argue it isn't the case against a defense with a decent pass rush.

    I think a physical running attack not only plays to our O-line and RB strengths, but by battering the defensive linemen and linebackers on run blocks, I think you also weaken their pass rush as the game goes on.

    Also, defenders play run and pass differently. If they even think you have a chance of running, like we do when Brady is under center, they have gap responsibilities and need to make sure they are doing that properly before they can sprint upfield and try to get a sack.
  7. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    One reason the Patriots are always trying new things on offense is that teams like the Colts have had great success run blitzing our O when we try to run the O we ran yesterday.

    During the AFCCG, the Colts went to that strategy in the second half, and they stonewalled our running game, which put Brady in a lot of 3rd and longs that he was unable to convert.

    I'm more than satisfied if the Patriots stick to the O they ran yesterday but mixed it up with a few no huddle up tempo 4 WR shotgun sets, just to keep the defense off balance.
  8. Pat the Pats Fan

    Pat the Pats Fan Rookie

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    should be interesting to see how they attack the Ravens next week. Ravens have a good rush defense and have prided themselves on not giving up a 100 yard rusher for quite a while. We probably won't have one either, but only because we utilize multiple backs.
  9. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    I said weeks ago that the pats need to get back to 2 TE's until brady knocks the rust off.....
  10. lamafist

    lamafist Rookie

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    All the same, the shotgun formation is pretty much designed to be used against teams with good pass rushes, especially teams using multiple fronts and sending pressure from different places.

    First of all, putting the QB a few yards back helps him see the field and make pre-snap reads. Putting 3 or 4 receivers wide also spreads the defense out, helping identify coverage, who's blitzing, and puts a little more space between some of the faster defenders and the QB.

    The biggest advantage, though, is that the QB doesn't have to worry about dropping back. This makes it easier to get through his reads quickly, and makes the mechanics of planting and getting the ball out quick much simpler.

    The only problem is that for this to work to beat the pressure, the QB needs to be consistently accurate and able to hit the guys running the hot routes. Brady always was. So far in '09, he hasn't been.
  11. PATRIOTSFANINPA

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    The question remains.... Is Maroney headed to his annual IR or out for 6 or more weeks...again?
  12. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    I think shot gun is effective to give the QB more time if the defense knows you're going to pass anyways, in an OBVIOUS 3rd and long situation where they don't care if you're in shot gun or not, they know it's a pass. Otherwise, why let them know there is little chance of a run?

    We kept Brady under center mostly against Atlanta, he had zero sacks and more time to scan the field. The previous 2 games with the shot gun happy offense, he was constantly under attack.

    How do you explain this?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  13. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    I noticed we went largely with 2 TE 2 RE formation in 2nd half with Galloway as odd man out.

    Shotgun is no good if you use it exclusively, to the point where it's expected.

    We need to mix it up, and what we did in the 2nd half was great.

    The playcalling yesterday was on a different level than the first 2 games, that is why I felt BB was calling it. There was much more mixing it up, much more creativity. Some ballsy moves that are BB's trademark.
  14. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    In particular, several Atlanta players said New England’s reliance on a play-action passing attack surprised them. Because the Falcons had to respect the Patriots’ running game, they couldn’t rush Brady as aggressively as they’d like.

    “They kind of did a little mind games on us. That’s all it was,” defensive end John Abraham said. “They did a good job. I’ve got to credit them with how they played. We watched a lot of tape, and they didn’t do as much play action before.”

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/patriots-approach-surprised-falcons-148364.html
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank god for not running so much out of the shot gun. The shot gun has it's place, but we seemed to be using it almost exclusively as our primary offense. We ran 3 WR formations but only targeted 2, didn't have good blocking help, and were entirely predictable. And also rather boring.

    Screens, draws, delays, play action, and a power running game - those are the things we did well in 2003-2004. The shot gun has a place, but I for one welcome seeing it become less of our core offensive formation.
  16. PATSYLICIOUS

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    The run game helped alot. Made us less predictable and the Falcons D was off-balance the whole game. This is what I prefer about getting away from the shotgun and hope it's used more. It's no coincidence this was game with more looks was our best offensive performance by far of the year. Not just the points, but 40-20 advantage in TOP what's not to love about that.
  17. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Atlanta had little or no pass rush absent their rookie DL. They seldom blitz and Abraham is their only real weapon so accounting for him isn't that complicated. Play action against NY would have only gotten Brady killed. And as BB has stated repeatedly we can run every play in the book out of shotgun and have. When we don't run it's generally because it's not working. He noted the OL did a much better job getting off the ball this week and gave the backs more room to run. I'm sure some of that was improvement in their performance and some of it was matchup related. As I believe Mankins noted.
  18. lamafist

    lamafist Rookie

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    I'm not sure what you think needs explaining. We had three games against three different teams, who played us different ways and had players of differing abilities. You're assuming that the correlation of the change in scheme indicates causation, but, as MoLewisRocks pointed out, the Falcons weren't blitzing like the Jets were. Brady was going to see less pressure and more men in coverage no matter what scheme we used.

    As for shotgun tipping your hand -- first, the Pats run a lot of draws out of shotgun, often quite effectively, so defenses always have that to consider. But the primary reason the Pats' use of shotgun doesn't really tip their hand is the fact that the Pats have essentially replaced a lot of handoffs to the tailback with screens, hitches, and swings to slot receivers -- particularly Wes Welker.

    In 2007, when Welker was healthy and Brady is in pre-injury form, the Pats' offense used this type of attack at times almost exclusively, and was one of the most consistently unstoppable offenses the NFL had seen. While it may be better to lean a bit more of Fred Taylor and a traditional running game while Brady continues to get his sea legs, an eventual return to Brady's preferred formation is what's best for the Pats' offense.
  19. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    No team cares that our shot gun draw play is effective. They know we pass 85% out of the shot gun. They are willing to give us the 6 ypc out of this draw, because they know we get away from the run when we use shot gun a lot.

    The Jets may have blitzed heavily and proved that we still can't stop an 07 Giants style defense with shot gun, but the Bills had a different, less blitz-happy team and still nearly beat us when we primarily used shot gun.

    It's pretty silly to say that the only solution to the blitz is Welker out of shot gun. Welker was healthy and on the team when the offense got stuffed by the Giants in 2007.
  20. BionicPatriot

    BionicPatriot Rookie

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    I hope they do keep it more balanced. I don't want the team to go back throwing it every down. But people, if you think when Brady is feelin' it he's not going to throw it around all day...Well you just don't know Tom Brady much as a fan do you? The guy loves to throw it around, and when he's on, he's deadly. I have no problem whatsoever with some much needed variety in the game plan. But I hope we never scrap an offense that can be unstoppable.
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