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Running Game Question

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by nabwong, Dec 17, 2007.

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  1. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Hello Fellow Fans,

    I've been in Boston for the past 5 years and I've fallen in love with the Patriots ever since I watched my first game then. I'm still learning about the play calling. I have a question about the running game. Hope you guys can provide some insight.

    Yesterday we had a lot of run plays called and I thought they were effective. However, I'm wondering why most of the calls were designed to be an inside run. I notice that Maroney has a lot of speed and power and from my own deduction, I believe an outside run game may suit him better against a one-on-one tackle.

    Is it because of the weather that most run plays were called inside? Can you enlighten me on some factors?

    Thanks!
  2. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I am not sure, they don't seem to use any power sweeps with the new blocking scheme. They also tend to use a 3 WR set which forces teams to spread out leaving the middle vulnerable.

    I guess I am a perfectionist but I expected more from the running game yesterday. The Jets are terrible against the run and with all their movement were quite subsceptible. I also think Brady audibled out of several running plays which may have lead to the false starts. The O Line seemed like they were ready to jump off the line and pound someone and when the play was changed they were just too fired up to stop.

    The one specific instance when I thought the play calling was suspect was in the end of the 3rd \ start of the 4th quarter. There were starting to get some Lomo Mojo going and then on 2nd & 4 , 3rd and 4 they passed the ball. Perfect chance to run it and take control of the game.

    Someone said business like, a win is a win. I expect more running against Miami and the Giants.

    New England - 1:51
    1st-10, NE20 1:51 L. Maroney rushed to the left for 9 yard gain
    2nd-1, NE29 1:09 L. Maroney rushed up the middle for 3 yard gain
    1st-10, NE32 0:35 L. Maroney rushed to the left for 2 yard gain

    4th Quarter
    New England continued
    2nd-8, NE34 15:00 NYJ committed 5 yard penalty
    1st-10, NE39 14:53 L. Maroney rushed to the left for 6 yard gain
    2nd-4, NE45 14:13 T. Brady incomplete pass down the middle
    3rd-4, NE45 14:08 T. Brady incomplete pass to the right
  3. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

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    Depending on the surface, the weather can have a large impact on the play calling. If the game was played in a stadium with grass (Pats play on field-turf) and the footing was worse, less outside runs would be called because of the increase in risk. A running back can slip making the cut upfield.

    As far as the Patriots are concerned, the reason they didn't call any outside runs is probably because they didn't think outside runs give them the best chance to get yards. I know it sounds cliche and overused, but if Josh McDaniels had outside runs in the gameplan, thought they would work, and didn't call them, I would expect him to be fired quickly.

    If I had to guess at an answer, it would be that the Patriots felt like they could attack the middle of the Jets defense. Their D-Line is ranked below average this year (far below as I remember), and running straight at a weak D-Line is the best way to attack it.
  4. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    That's what Maroney said. Check Boston.com for postgame comments, probably in Reiss's blog.

    Hard to cut on that surface. Nice downhill running by Laurence yesterday.

    Also, you can't just run outside. If you can't establish the inside threat, you're dead as an NFL running back. Even if you're a little squirt.

    Maroney is pretty big and strong, so his ability to run inside will allow him to break some on the outside.

    NFL defenses are too quick, smart and disciplined not to string you out and hammer you if they know you're always taking the outside option.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  5. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey


    You may be a relatively new fan, but you make an excellent point.

    I can't understand why they don't allow Maroney to run outside, towards the sidelines. He would be deadly on sweeps and pitchouts. I don't believe his strength is the inside running game.

    This has mystified me all year.
  6. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

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    Interesting. On WEEI this morning Brady said that the field turf is decent. Perhaps it is still hard to cut on, but better than normal grass?

    Edit:

    Laurence Maroney:
    I didn't think the field was as much of a factor as this LoMo quote implies.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  7. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Thanks for the posts so far. Yeah, my question is basically more of a whole season question where we rarely see outside runs. I guess we are also losing depth at tight end and that could be a factor. We also seem to use Welker more in the screen than Maroney. I think it's time to let loose the Monster inside Maroney. I have this feeling deep down that he can become a Jackson or Barber.

    Maybe yesterday was an exception cause of the weather but as someone has said, our turf helps the running game more than grass.
  8. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    The field is better than the mud pit they used to play on, but the conditions did favor a power running game.

    Besides, Maroney had a big credibility gap because Dillon and Sammy took the inside runs and Maroney seemed to struggle.

    This game will pay huge dividends for him and open up the outside stuff. You can't just run outside in the NFL. Most big outside runs are a result of the threat of an inside run, or a bounce out.
  9. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    Your RB is only as fast as his OL. I see very few true Toss plays in the NFL, mostly windback tosses designed to cut back inside. This is due to the speed of NFL defenses. Some teams run a "quick pitch" with the FSOT and FSOG leading but the Pat may not like it.

    Maroney is not a Toss runner imho. He is a Stretch/Inside Zone runner with good cutback ability. They just don't seem to use him that way. In Denver's scheme, he would be deadly.

    He is also extremely dangerous in the open field when he catches swing routes. I don't know why he is not utilized more for this, kind of like Kevin Faulk. It may be a trust issue.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  10. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

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    I agree. Also, the Patriots tend to favor WR screens over tosses and pitches. I think it is partly because a dropped pass is more desireable than a dropped pitch/lateral.
  11. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    The Smoke Pass seems to be most NFL team's answer to get on the perimeter NOW.

    It is very popular in college as well. I love Quick Pitch but you need good fast linemen that can block in space.
  12. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    I think they're having problems with the new zone blocking scheme. Maybe another training camp. A lot of defenders have come in totally free on maroney's runs.
  13. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    This is my thought as well. I was hoping they'd get this working for this year, but I think they didn't focus on it, as they were zone for Maroney and straight up for Morris, maybe?
  14. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    #54 Jersey

    Nab lad!

    How you doing?
  15. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    I understand your point, but can you remember ONE running play where Maroney went outside this entire season?

    THAT'S the point.
  16. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Yo Scouser, doing good. Would be doing better had we won the united game.
  17. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I remember a few times Maroney went to the outside and he looked deadly. But i don't remember if it was a designed play. I'm really interested to see what he can do on the outside.
  18. Gumby

    Gumby Rookie

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    #11 Jersey

    1. Maroney was heavily chastised his first year for trying to take EVERY SINGLE run to the outside. some on this board criticized him (and continue to ) as an E-W instead of N-S runner.

    So I think he has been heavily coached and was probably personnally trying to keep it inside and actually ignored 2 runs where he probably should have bounced it outside. The rest of his inside runs were good choices (IMO).

    2. As someone else mentioned we were down to 3rd and 4th string TEs yesterday.
    So it gets hard to take it to the outside when you have your weakest blockers on the whole line out there.

    3. It was sort of implied in BB and other's press conference statements that the game plan coming in was to use the jets as a Running Game TUNE-UP. To show the rest of the league that the Pats can run and give the OL some practice at run blocking. so based on that game plan would be to run up the middle - run it down their throats..

    Don't know the truth of that last point or if it was just the weather made us be a run team yesterday; but............Wouldn't that be the biggest bietch-slap to Man-genious; for him to find out his team is just a pre-season practice squad for our guys. LOL.
  19. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    #54 Jersey

    Nice one.

    It's Ste by the way :)
  20. RayClay

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    Not successfully. I wouldn't worry about it. As another poster mentioned, few real outside runs work in the NFL because defenders are fast and know how to string them out.

    Better zone blocking and gaining a rep as a tough inside runner (always had Barber, Morris abs Dillon, so he needs to prove that) will provide the opportunities for cutbacks and bounce outs.
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