The Evolution of the "Belichick Defense"

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mayoclinic, May 21, 2012.

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I apologize if this has been posted elsewhere. It's a year old 4 part series on the evolution of the "Belichick Defense" up to April 2011. I did a couple of different searches and couldn't find anything, so I'm posting it for those who are interested:

    The Belichick Defense Pt. 1 | 60 Max Power O - The Strategist's Guide to New England Patriots Football
    The Belichick Defense Pt. 2 | 60 Max Power O - The Strategist's Guide to New England Patriots Football
    The Belichick Defense Pt. 3 | 60 Max Power O - The Strategist's Guide to New England Patriots Football
    The Belichick Defense | 60 Max Power O - The Strategist's Guide to New England Patriots Football

    It's an interesting read. I don't agree with everything, but for me the most interesting part is how it provides a framework for looking at how BB is tinkering with the current defense, and the interdependence between personnel and scheme. BB is very rooted in football history, and there's not a lot under the sun that's totally new. A lot of the things that he appears to be tinkering with now are things that he tinkered with in 2000-2001.

    Again, my apologies if this has already been posted elsewhere.
  2. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks Supporter Supporter

    Eagerly awaiting part 5...
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    As are we all.
  4. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    Good read! Belichick is loading up on toys on the defensive side, so I have a feeling he has some more innovations in mind. Can't wait to see what schemes and wrinkles BB and Patricia cook up for the Pats defense in 2012!
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I found part 2 of the series particularly interesting, detailing how BB evolved the defense when he took over the team in 2000:

    Hmm, let's see ...

    - A hybrid defense that mixes 3-4 2-gapping with 4-3 spacing. Check.
    - A versatile LB corps that can move around, combined with a lot of stunts and blitzes, making it hard for opposing teams to know where the pressure was coming form. Check. Adding Dont'a Hightower to the mix with Mayo, Spikes and Ninkovich, combined with DEs who can stand up, gives the Pats tremendous fexibility.
    - A cornerstone elephant player who could stand up or play on the line, on either side. Check.
    - A physical defensive line that could "run through" opposing linemen rather than around then. Check. Chandler Jones, Jake Bequette and Jonathan Fanene are all power players.
    - A versatile secondary that combined a lot of zone coverages offset by press man coverage. Check.
    - A bright young defensive mind who was made "de facto DC" but not given the title for a while. Check. Hopefully Mike Patricia will be less abrasive and a better communicator than Eric Mangini.
    - A more experienced defensive mind who worked with the defense to simplify the concepts and communicate the essence of a very complex defense. Check. Presumably that's a lot of what BB has been doing working with the defense since Dean Pees left.

    It certainly seems like BB has been down this road before. Not surprising, as this isn't exactly his first rodeo.
  6. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Pro Bowl Player

    No Jersey Selected

    Thanks for the links; as a fan who's less savvy on the technical aspects of football I'm sure it will be educational, even if I don't grasp it all.

    As a Pats fan, period, I just hope the next step in the Evolution of the Bill Belichick Defense is to stop giving up the heart-breaking drive at the end of Super Bowls and Championship Games. I mean, as a longtime fan I know what a blessing it is that this is even an issue, but it's been quite a trend since the AFCCG in Indy. Even Joe Freakin' Flacco almost pulled it off.
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    With all of the discussion of sub vs. base defense and of an evolving hybrid that can "morph" flexibly without changing personnel, there is some stuff in part 3 which quite nicely describes how the 2003-2004 defense was able to achieve much of a similar effect:

    Again, something to think about in terms of recent personnel moves in FA and the draft, and where the 2012 defense might be heading. The Pats now have the strongest group of LBs that they have had since 2003-2004, and some big, strong DEs who are fluid enough to stand up and occasionally drop into coverage. Sounds very similar.
  8. Rusty Coupe

    Rusty Coupe Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #37 Jersey

    It will be interesting to see what defense the Patriots play against Manning in his new offense. The Steelers drawing Denver in week 1, with no film, didn't get lucky.
  9. PlainOldEd

    PlainOldEd Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    #95 Jersey

    or did they? A years worth of rust is tough to shake.......
  10. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    Unless I overlooked his name, I'm surprised that Mike Vrabel wasn't mentioned, esp. in parts 2 & 3.

    I'm not surprised, however, to read that the fat little rat ManJudas nearly sank the ship before it had
    a chance to leave the harbor. Thank you, Romeo, for rescuing it from that back-stabbing bastard.
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    Good point. Part 2 talks about adding LBs like Roman Phifer and Bryan Cox, but never mentions Vrabel, who along with McGinest was the most important OLB in the evolution of the SB defenses.

    Mangini is clearly a very smart defensive mind who has poor people and communication skills, besides being a "fat little rat ManJudas". Those same problems bit him in the *ss in New York and Cleveland.

    Mike Patricia seems to have Mangini's defensive smarts but much better personal and communication skills, and is much more loyal. But I think that it would have been asking a lot to have a new guy simplify and communicate a whole new defensive approach, which is why BB spent so much time with the defense the past 2 years.
  12. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    I think they actually did. Remember Brady against the Bills in week 1 of the 2009 season?
  13. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

    not necessarily true

    what familiar targets does manning have? that offense will need time
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson Veteran Supporter

    The suggestion that Mangini was de facto DC in 2000 is ridiculous.
  15. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    And in addition to his superior people skills, Matt Patricia's beard is awesome.
  16. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    That's what the author seems to be suggesting.
  17. cmasspatsfan

    cmasspatsfan In the Starting Line-Up

    Explains Big Vinces importance and also debunks another Felger myth, he says they dont name a DC because they dont want to pay them because they are cheap when in fact its done for other reasons that we here knew all along.
  18. Schmo

    Schmo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #11 Jersey

    ... why Vince has been jumping out to DE the last couple years. Almost seems a waste of athleticism as he doesn't have the height/arm length to become as good of a 5-tech as Sey or Warren.

    Still, pretty impressive that the premier run-stuffing NT in the NFL has the ability to line up outside.
  19. Gumby

    Gumby In the Starting Line-Up

    #11 Jersey

    I always attributed it as much (IMO 45%) to protect the guy from poaching (who is going to hire a guy as HC who isnt even officially titled coordinator) as the (45%) protect him from the media etc (author's theory).

    Yeah, Felger and his twisting the truth to make accusations is legendary. I give his theory 0%. Although it may be a bonus to the organization to spend less $; Kraft has never been shy about investing money where he isn't constrained by long-term cap implications.

    My missing 10% is don't give him the title cause he needs some motivation and you don't want to fire the guy if he doesn't completely work out and you want to hire someone else over the top of him later. Challenging him to earn the title is a good strategy too.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  20. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    Re-read my post.
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