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Some mid-week football thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Fencer, Sep 19, 2007.

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  1. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    Tired of cameragate subjects I am.

    1. This offense has few known weaknesses. The QB is an all-time great. So is the #1 WR. The rest of the WRs seem above average or better for their spots in the food chain -- much better in the case of the slot receiver. The running back duo is getting the job done. The shotgun RB is exemplary. The OL play is more than adequate, and it's NOT just a matter of Brady's quick release and elusiveness. There's nothing wrong with Watson (except the sense that with his gifts he should be yet better). The multi-TE sets seem to do perfectly well with JAG or unconventional TEs.

    2. However, this OL has looked great before, only to look quite mediocre a couple of games later.

    3. I'm worried about Cassell. He's not proven under fire. Indeed, I regard him as one of the few known offensive weaknesses.

    4. Mike Vrabel is as underrated a pass rusher as I've ever heard of. His personality, versatility, and TE moonlighting probably mean he gets the credit he deserves as an overall player. But except for the time he won DPotM with a broken arm (or hand), I've never felt he's gotten the credit he deserves for his OLB play. What does Colvin do that Vrabel doesn't?

    5. Right now, five of the defensive front seven are playing like major stars -- Thomas, Colvin, Vrabel, Warren, and Wilfork. The other positions are also manned by very good players too. And in saying that, I may be underrating Green.

    6. There are no weaknesses in the defensive backfield right now ...

    7. ... except CB depth.

    8. Fortunately, Meriweather seems like the kind of kid who'll be able to play at least at the JAG level at any position they need him at, by the middle of his rookie season or so. And it should get better fast from there.

    9. How good a receiver is Sammy Morris? How good a receiver is Maroney right now? This matters because the Jumbo-plus-Moss package is going to keep working long term if and only if it contains enough viable receiving threats other than Moss. Watson is one. Thomas will be one when he's back. But probably the RB should be one too.

    10. In a definitely related question, how good a rusher is Heath Evans? I see him as decidedly mediocre. So I don't want him as the RB in any package, except as the backup. I do think he's an adequate backup.

    11. I loved Norv Turner's comment that you couldn't practice adequately to prepare for the Pats' spread/hurry-up offense, apparently because the scout team couldn't match the Pats' tempo.

    12. Damon Huard once got a game ball from BB for his scout team work. Faulk was once inactive for a game because he'd been too busy on scout team to actually practice his position. (Simulating Peyton Manning and Kordell Stewart respectively, for those who've forgotten.) Scout team matters a lot on the Pats. The Bam Childress praise made me think of this.

    13. What is Childress missing as a player? I assume it's that he has neither the speed nor the quickness to create a lot of separation. Yet he has the change of direction ability to do a passable imitation of a CB. I'm perplexed. I have trouble imagining it to be an above-the-neck problem, given what else we know about him. Maybe it isn't much, and we'll see him hang on next year when one or two of the high-talent vets are gone for financial reasons.

    14. Moss is staying, IMO. Welker is staying. I'm not so sure about the other WRs, however, even if they perform well. It would seem they might be more valuable elsewhere than on a team that already has Moss, Welker, and other WR talent.

    15. In particular, I think Stallworth is one-and-done with the Pats. That's even though I think he will click just fine with his pal Brady, and have a handful of big games for us.
     
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Vrabel and Colvin, can play more traditional OLB roles, because our middle guys are more complimentary and better.. while Bruschi and Seau are getting older, their wisdom is obvious.. along with AD who is able to cover some of the TE's enabling Vrabel and Colvin to rush the passer more. Overall, because of the sum of the defense.. certain players can play different, more traditional roles.
     
  3. nowayback

    nowayback Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    please stop posting threads about football here please!!! :D

    i like heath...and as bill says..what he brings to the table

    stallworth...if chad is ok next year he may be gone...but i think he will help alot this year...man am i a homer! :rolleyes:

    the cb's will jsut get better as the season goes on....we better find a way to cover tightends....like gates and clark. tha must be BB project till nov 4th
     
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Curiously, our weakness is depth (and there isn't much of a weakness except at QB). I am comfortable with all the 30 starters (offense, defense and special teams).

    at QB
    Vinny's still on speed dial. I'd trade Cassell before the deadline if we could get anything. I was surprised that we didn't draft a QB in the 5th or 6th. We did very well in taking the risk and still getting Gutierrez, who is a clearly more value than any pick than than anyone picked after the 4th. And yes, I know that there are those who think Cassell is worth two firsts.

    at CB
    Wilson shouldn't be moved. I guess Meriweather, Sanders and Eddie Jackson are candidates for nickel if there is an injury at corner. We've certainly had much worse backup situations in recent years.

    and at RB (less now that we are becoming more comfortable with Morris)
    Four running backs is thin if we really want to have a balanced attack.
     
  5. Wotan_the_Wanderer

    Wotan_the_Wanderer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think both are fine as receivers with Sammy enjoying an edge over LM. However, in this set and especially if it's out of the shotgun, Faulk is the guy you want in there. He's the best playmaker as a receiver of the three, but more importantly, he's also the best blocker of the three when two of the TEs are sent downfield on patterns and the play calls for the RB to pick up a blitzing LB, safety or a corner.
     
  6. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Interesting thoughts about Cassel, but it won't happen. The team is set with their QBs, and the only way Vinny comes in is due to injury to one of the 3 on the roster. Maybe this is what you are hearing (reading), but I would be shocked if the team received two firsts for Cassel.

    Gutierrez, on the other hand, is the number two of the future only if he continues to progress from where he is now. Right now, if needed, Cassel would be the first off the bench, but Gut left an indelible impression in his first TC and has a bright future should he continue his rise and learn the playbook at the same time. This is a great situation to have, and the team won't sacrifice depth at this position just to get perceived value for either backup.
     
  7. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OK Fencer, to summarize your comments: the team's two biggest weaknesses are #2 QB and #4 CB. I'll take that. :)

    Cassel is clearly as big a question mark as you'll find in the league. But is the position a "weakness" compared to other #2 QBs around the league? Looking at other top offenses you have:

    Colts - Jim Sorgi
    Bengals - Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Chargers - Billy Volek
    Broncos - Patrick Ramsey
    Cowboys - Brad Johnson

    I'd call Cassel a classic high-risk, high-reward gamble. One of the JAG vets might scare you less, but their ceiling is mighty low. And of course, there's always Vinny on the vaunted Sofa Roster.
     
  8. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Yes, if it's the shotgun, you definitely want Faulk.

    But I was thinking of a more traditional power set, in which there's a good chance you'll actually use all that TE beef to block for the RB. And in that case, Faulk is clearly not the choice at RB. Rather, you want a guy who can power his way into the line, pass block, OR catch-and-run. A lot of guys are good at two of those things and mediocre at the third (e.g., Dillon, who I once saw work a perfect double move, but who we don't normally think of as a receiver). Almost nobody is really great at all three.

    As for Faulk, I think he's worse than mediocre as a conventional power RB, because of ball security. He's just not going to hang on if there are that many stronger arms grabbing at him. The guy's probably a lot stronger than almost anybody else in the world that also has his speed and quickness, but even so he's a little below where he has to be to be an NFL feature back.
     
  9. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The Bills defense has been pretty bad so far against the rush and pass but given the fact their defensive ends have had success rushing the passer against us in the past I think the Pats will go with a lot more two TE packages this week where we run play action and screens to slow them down.

    Against the Jets and even more so the Chargers we wanted to spread them out so there wasn't as much of this game plan.
     
  10. Wotan_the_Wanderer

    Wotan_the_Wanderer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    ^O, I was going under the presumption of using one of the three RBs as a receiver out of a three TE set. If not, then no, you don't want Faulk in there. He's the weakest of the three in short yardage or goalline situations so I agree with you here. It comes down to LM or Sammy. LM in the first half and Sammy in the second half is how I'd go about it.
     
  11. PatsRI

    PatsRI PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually the Pats spread them out in 2 and sometimes 3 TE formations and still had Moss open deep.

    SD game offensive groupings:
    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/
    2 WR/2 TE/1 RB -- 27 of 64 snaps
    3 WR/1 TE/1 RB -- 23 of 64
    1 WR/3 TE/1 RB -- 11 of 64
    1 WR/2 TE/1FB/1RB -- 2 of 64
    4 WR/1RB -- 1 of 64

    Reiss:
    "When the Patriots went to multiple tight end sets early in the game, tight end Benjamin Watson was sometimes split wide as a receiver, giving it the look of a three-wide package and helping create advantageous matchups. Overall, the package with three tight ends has been productive through two games, with Randy Moss scoring touchdowns in back-to-back weeks when lined up as the lone receiver. It's a reflection of the balance the Patriots' offense has achieved to this point -- and the excellence of Moss himself -- when a power package is on the field and the offense still can hit the big play."

    -----
    Look for more of the same this week in order to keep guys in to protect Brady and add the fact that the Bills secondary is very banged up (2 guys lost for the year already)
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  12. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Wow that was a lot higher than my perception. It seemed like 3 WR with Watson almost all night. Perhaps the fact that he was often spread contributed to that.

    Also SD and NYJ are, or at least were last year in the Jets case, very good defenses. We play Buffalo, Cincy, Cleveland Dallas and Miami all of whom are in the bottom 8 in total defense.

    Dallas is going to be hurting until they get Newman back. He is one of the most underrated players in the league and much better than Williams who is one of the most overrated.
     
  13. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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  14. njpatsfan

    njpatsfan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    So much for the "we'll use Moss as a decoy for other receivers" theory that was so popular on this board all offseason.

    Who knew that the real "decoy" was Ryan O'Callahan ..... who seems to be announced as "eligible" every other play.

    R
     
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