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Some Special Teams analysis - Ravens game

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Box_O_Rocks, Oct 9, 2009.

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  1. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I just re-watched the first two kickoff returns of the Ravens game. Maroney did a hell of a job to get the yardage he did. Scott O'Brien wasn't using the same two-man wedge formation he did in the Buffalo game or pre-season, he had two TEs and the token OL forming a loose equilateral triangle with the TE base leading. Connolly looked awful and this formation was not working out as well. Combine the wedge breakdowns with Edelman's less than impressive lead blocking and I really missed Slater and Wendell.

    For the third KO return NE went back to the two-man wedge, unfortunately Maroney followed his lead blocker Edelman and not his wedge. Edelman doesn't see the field like a RB. Connolly and Baker looked good, but Maroney wasn't following them.

    For the final KO return, again NE went with the two-man wedge and this time Maroney followed them, he got 6 more yards than he did following Edelman and might have gotten more if Edelman and Matthews hadn't missed their blocks.

    I know folks prefer to blame Maroney for all failings that occur when he's on the field, but Slater as his lead blocker would change his KR average significantly - Edelman still blocks like a Quarterback (ole'!).

    As long as Connolly is in O'Brien's wedge, Scotty needs to stick to the basic two-man look - Big Dan as the pivot point of that triangular wedge formation is not a winner.
  2. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    I did notice Edelman pathetic blocking and at the time I was thinking that even though Maroney is a better runner, they might be better off with Edelman returning and Maroney blocking, since Maroney is a far better blocker and can see the field.
  3. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Why wasn't Slater lead-blocking? Was it because OB wanted Edelman as KOR #2, and therefore had to have him closest to LaMa?

    I think maybe Edelman should be tried as KOR #1 and Slater KOR #2/lead blocker. If not, then LaMa/Slater.

    And Connelly & Matthews just have to do a better, more consistent job up front, no excuses. Blocking is the reason why they draw an NFL paycheck (for now), after all.
  4. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    I hope we get to see more of your analysis and comments.. they've been missing since you did the play by plays in the preseason. I was hoping for the same during the regular season.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    box,

    Thanks for the analysis. I had suspected that the problem with the special teams units was our blocking, but it was only a gut feel. Maroney has shown in the past that he is a capable returner. I have even suggested that this could be his most important role over the next couple of seasons.
  6. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I thought I'd have more time for this, but things have been more hectic than I expected and I see no end in sight near term. :confused2:
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dunno why O'Brien is using Edelman over Slater except that he may like Eddy better as a returner or Slater's elbow injury affects how well he can handle the ball but doesn't slow him down as a cover man...

    Maroney is a better returner than Eddy (for now), I suspect Eddy will get better as he absorbs more tailored Welker viruses, but he's got a long way to go to match Maroney.

    Connolly left on his own is just not as fluid in space, as part of a two-man wedge he's a magnet for wedge busters so he can get hits on one or two men. If Edelman can learn to block as well as Slater does (and to pick the weakest spot in coverage) then he can play off the wedge or the front line blockers and create lanes for Maroney or Faulk or whomever.
  8. satz

    satz Rookie

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    I noticed this too and the problem is in spl team speed is so critical so you can get to your lane assignment and then block another fast guy.
    Edel is not as fast as slater or maroney or our spl teams.Looking at the run downs i can even see woods and eric alex both LB who weight more are faster.

    Its not edel is blocking is bad he is taking on a faster guy and is just getting out positioned.

    I think exceping edel to be another wes is too much too.edel is slower and will not be that speed guy ever.as we all know we cannot teach speed.
  9. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    If this is true (and I don't doubt you) then Edelman would be better as a PR, where shiftiness to get 8 yds in the face of the coverage is far more important than pure speed to get from the EZ to the 20 before the coverage arrives. What Edelman lacks in speed he makes up for with his outstanding quickness.

    I remember in the Ravens game where he caught the ball on offense, eluded his first tackler, ran more than enough steps to get at or near his top speed, and was taken down from behind by a LB. Not a sign of exceptional speed. But that could also be a sign of hesitation, of learning, of not committing to his acceleration when he has a path, so I'm willing to wait and see. Maybe he's faster than we think.
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't think Edelman will be returning many kicks or punts after the bye. We will better options (not terribly difficult). Even Slater has looked better in the past. With Welker, Tate, Maroney and Faulk healthy, I don't see Edelman returning kicks or punts.

    Edelman beat out Lewis for a roster spot. He can do many things. And perhaps by next season, he will perform some of these roles well, or not. Don't get me wrong. Edelman is doing fine for a rookie backup.

    For now, Edelman is a weak link in the special teams. It will be good to see Slater back to close to 100%. BTW, it is not clear whi Lockett is on the team if he can't play teams better than Edelman.

    Welker was injured. Edelman filled in.
    Welker and Tate have been injured. Edelman has been tried as a returner.
    Slater has been injured. Edelman has been tried as a special team blocker.
  11. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, FWIW, I think whatever issues he has with speed are probably related to mental issues; his 40 time at his pro day was certainly not worse than Welker's (his worst 40 = WW's best 40).

    And let's not forget that Edelman's also hasn't been at 100% himself the last few games (remember that whole "Questionable (ankle)" thing?).
  12. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    I believe Lockett is basically a roster filler that becomes expendable when the team needs a player, which is probably pretty soon- e.g., Junior Seau.
  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think we can all agree that Edelman hasn't looked good so far blocking on special teams, but I don't think raw speed/athleticism is the reason. (Edelman would win a simple footrace over Welker any day.)

    As far as I can tell, Edelman has never been asked to block in his life. He was a QB straight through high school and college, and his role on special teams was as an occasional punt returner -- and punter, for good measure.
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