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The measure of a good Offensive Coordinator

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PonyExpress, Sep 26, 2006.

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  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    There's always talk about how players measure up statistically, but what about Coordinators? Here's one possible way: scoring efficiency. By scoring efficiency is meant an offense's yardage ranking vs. points ranking. A clever offensive coordinator, no matter how many yards his team gains, maximizes those yards by producing more points per yard. A lesser skilled O-coordinator does the opposite, producing fewer points per yard compared with his peers.

    Take Charlie Weis. In 2001, the Pats ranked 19th in the league in total yards gained, but #6 in points scored. In 2002 the Pats ranked 22nd in yards but 10th in points scored. In '03 18th in yards, 12th in points; in '04, 7th in yards, 4th in points. As we can see, Weis managed the offense so that it consistently produced points at a higher rate than its total yardage ranking would imply. Some would say that turnover differential by the defense aided this producing short fields for the offense, thereby skewing the stats. However there is ample evidence to suggest that is not a rule. For example, Weis was at his best in '02, when the Pats produced few turnovers with their poor defensive performance. Also, the Colts in 2002, despite maybe the best defense of the Dungy era (7/8 in rankings) were at their most inefficient under Manning. Since 2002, Manning's offense has always been ranked higher in points than yardage, as has Pittsburgh's. Whether these offense are dynamic or not, in the Steeler's case, they are efficient.

    I have criticized McDaniels a bit; There is no denying he has improved the Pats red zone efiiciency since becoming the OC, and deserves credit for that. And he DEFINITELY deserves more time, as the sample is too small to make definitive judgments. However, I am keeping an eye on the following trend: Last year, the Pats ranked 9th in yards but 10th in points, the first time that negative flip-flop has existed since Brady took the throne. This year so far, it is 6/17, a very poor ratio. Just something to keep an eye on going forward.

    A side note: since 1988 BB has had a head coaching or D-coordinator job. Only once in that time has a BB coached team's defense ever ranked worse in points allowed than yards allowed, an indication of the efficiency of his method. So if he says 3-4, the players should shut the hell up and stop griping about the 4-3.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2006
  2. FloridaPatsFan

    FloridaPatsFan Rookie

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    Good post....gives us some stats to ponder.

    I think that we hate being in 2nd place to anybody in the NFL...And rightfully so. But teams that peak to soon, often falter heading into the playoffs. Its not until the 2nd half of the season where you really have an idea about how good your team is.

    Its just Denver magnifies a bad game for us.

    I thoroughly hate that team. I hope that I never see Shanahan win another SB as long as I live....Problem is, I think that the NFL wants the Broncos to succeed and will call games in their favor.
  3. mtbykr

    mtbykr Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    Excellant post and points. I will be interested to see what that ratio is in week 11 or 12. That's when you really have a grasp on what a team can do. Let's keep an eye on it though!:cool:
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Awesome post. The other night is a good example in terms of the yardage/point ratio.

    A big play that shows that was the 4th and 1. That was a key play in the game, and the decision to just run Maroney up the middle made no sense.

    Can they please run a play action on a 3rd/4th and 1 and throw it over the top to a TE?
  5. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    WEEK 4 OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY UPDATE

    After the week 4 victory, here are the current rankings for offensive efficiency:
    Yards per game: 4th (367.8)
    Points per game: T11th (22.0)
    1st downs: 2nd (91)
    3rd down%: T9th (41.1%)
    Time of Possession: T11th (31:21)
    Red zone TD%: 6th (64.3%)

    All the pieces are in place for the Pats to unleash a dynamic scoring offense. Ranked 4th in yards per game, 2nd in 1st downs, 6th in red zone efficiency, there is every reason to believe the Pats should improve on ranking merely 11th in the NFL in scoring. If they had avoided the misadventures of Gostkowski, a missing 9 points, they would rank 8th, at 24.3 points per game. Most talented, run-oriented offensive lines don't reach their full potential until about week 6 in the schedule. Brady's rapport with his receivers should improve as Gabriel and Jackson develop their roles. Gostkowski has nowhere to go but up. The schedule is favorable going forward. The talent and signs point towards a dominating top 5 scoring offense.
  6. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Do the rankings of Points scored vs. Total Yardage Gained have anything to do with field position and turnovers?
  7. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    in part, but they converted those turnovers into TDs, which speaks well for the offense as a whole and especially its red zone efficiency. If they had produced 3 points instead of 14 (Gostkowski missing a FG :)), the scoring performance would be lower. As it is, ranking 11th in scoring and 4th in yardage is not optimal, and needs to be improved.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2006
  8. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    Last week they did the exact opposite as you suggested pre-game and won with their most impressive offensive day yet. I say as long as they keep ignoring the inane rantings of a deranged wanna-be internet OC and calling the games like professionals that understand football then we'll continue to be one of the top ten offenses in the league, despite only 1 returning WR.
  9. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Gentlemen, gentlemen, let's not resort to ad hominem attacks when the task at hand requires us to deal with the facts and only the facts....:D
  10. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    My latin is bad, so I'd have to look up what ad hominem means, but I'm not attacking NEM, I'm simply requesting that he live in the factual world, as you seem to wish as well. :)

    Fact: NEM called for a pass crazy offense as the only line to victory against the Bengals.
    Fact: The Patriots came out with a run heavy gameplan, used the pass (including the run-affiliated playaction) to keep the D honest and won handily.
    Fact: NEM tries to spin this that he was right because the forward pass was used to re-open the running lanes that were clogged due to them respecting the run.
    Fact: NEM was the polar opposite of right, and won't own it.

    So, what does ad hominem mean? lol
  11. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    ad homi-NEM................
  12. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    I knew he had to be involved somehow! Curses!
  13. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 Rookie

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    I looked up ad-hominem and now understand Pony's point. But I'm not really arguing against the person. It's just that I'm currently arguing against his arguments in another thread, saw this post and let it spill over into your thread. Bad thread etiquette? Probably. An ad-hominem post? It may look that way, but it's not, I'm doing plenty of argument smashing in that other thread.

    Apologies, Pony!
  14. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    Rest easy, fellow Pats fan:

    After our last meeting I finally reached some comforting clarity on our recent futility with the Broncos. First off, the Broncos are like 2 different teams when they play us and when they play anybody else. Look at their playoff history with Plummer and the first 2 weeks of this year. When they don't play the Pats they are just plain beatable. It's the polar opposite with us - we can look good against anybody and beat anybody EXCEPT Denver.

    So why is this comforting? Well, Denver can't play us every week and they can't beat us 3 times and win the Super Bowl - they will have to beat another great team to win it all, and guess what? With Plummer, that ain't happening. So it looks like Shanahan may never get that 'next' ring :)

    For the Pats, they may not have to face Denver in the postseason. I'm not even fully convinced they are a playoff team - they have only looked good against the Pats but don't they always? The Pats are fully capable of beating any AFC team.

    I know the burning question is -what if there is a rematch this year and how can we possibly win? Let's just say, we'll have to put on our greatest performance in franchise playoff history to pull it off, that's what it will take.
  15. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Week 5 update

    Yards per game: 336.8 (11th)
    Points per game: 21.6 (11th)
    Rushing YPG: 139.0 (5th)
    Passing YPG: 197.8 (18th)
    3rd down efficiency: 39.4% (11th)
    Red Zone TD efficiency: 57.9% (8th)
    Time of Possession: 31:01 (12th)
    1st downs per game: (2nd)
    % QB sacks allowed: (1st)
    rushes per game: (3rd)
    Completion %: 54.3 (27th)
    yards per attempt: 6.36 (22nd)
    giveaways: 6 (t7th)

    The offense is being choreographed in mediocre fashion... can dominate bad defenses (Cincinnati and the Jets) and looks futile against effective defenses (Miami, Denver). The offense is doing a good job at protecting Brady (1st in NFL)... but despite an effective defense and the 3rd most rushing attempts per game, the team's Time of Possession is relatively mediocre. The reason for that must be an ineffective passing game, despite a reasonable 3rd down conversion rate. The brick wall offense (as in, "bang your head against a brick wall"), which we have criticized McDaniels for, is BB's offense, and McDaniel is following the master's lead, in a departure from Charlie Weis' system. BB is developing this offense according to principles, similar to the way he has developed the 3-4 defense based on principles, such as (1) prevent the big play (2) force long drives which put a strain on the Qbs' decision making process. Maybe the Pats have analyzed offensive trends and discovered that, if you rush the ball "x" number of times per game, your chance of winning becomes 90%. Maybe that number of rushes is 30+. Maybe they have designed their current scheme around protecting Brady so that he can remain healthy, and available in crunch time if necessary to launch his "clutch" passing attack. After all the "no huddle, 4-wide" has been an effective tool for Brady this year, when used. In any event, whatever the mysterious theories behind the offense, the actual playcalling seems mediocre, failing to use surprise to create mismatches, and failing to adjust when a plan is clearly failing. Bottom line: the Pats are 11th in scoring and 11th in yards per game. That is mediocre coordinating by Josh McDaniels at this point. Hopefully self-scouting during the bye brings improvement...
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  16. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    2 words to describe the philosophy: JUST ENOUGH.

    Just enough yards and points to get the job done without having to razzle-dazzle the competition. Very vanilla game-planning that will be adjusted as needed in the game (i.e., it doesn't matter if we're getting stopped as long as we have the lead). At this point I'm not sure our offense is cohesive enough to use "surprise" on opposing D's (especially good ones).

    What goes unnoticed is that we are cutting down on turnovers. How many TO's (on offense) did we have against the good/great D's of Miami and Denver? ZERO. We are protecting the ball and in order to do that you have to keep the offense simple. Last year we had a great passing game but our tendency to attempt those tough passes resulted in more turnovers.

    I think we're doing OK on offense, we're not used to a strong running attack so the passing game is evolving differently this year than in years past.
  17. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    The Pats are protecting the ball, protecting the QB, 2nd in the league in 1st downs, 3rd in rushing attempts per game... can you say MARTYBALL? :D just kidding... i am hopeful the passing game will improve, and even flourish, later. The apparent "slowness" of the receivers is likely due to lack of familiarity in a complex system, giving the athletic edge to the D. But Brady's critics are already gathering like stragglers from a defeated army, and I want them crushed as soon as possible.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  18. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    This is the area that worries me a little. With Weis, NE would find a mismatch and abuse it. Plus, even in the lean years, they would mix things up a little. It just seemed like everything was intertwined a little better, that plays would be used to set others up. Now it just seems like each play is its own little entity and there isn't a cohesiveness to the overall offensive scheme.

    Additionally, BB has actually said how easy it is to slow down Pitt, because they are running the same plays that they have for years. It seems to me that they are running into the same trap.

    Now, I am one of the believers that NE was overly simplistic against Miami due to the high likelihood that Miami would not score enough. And against Denver, it seemed that they thought all that needed to be done was eliminate the TOs and they would win. Each game can be rationalized, but if NE is dry and unimaginative again the next time they face a good defense, it will be a trend. Clearly the WRs are an issue right now and that is definitely a factor in the offensive structure.

    As the eternal optimist, I believe that they are setting things up for the back half of the season. I just can't see BB not having an overall plan for the offense and their growth over the season.
  19. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    PonyExpress, this is one of the best posts I have read by anyone on this board... since your NFL draft posts!

    This point-ranking/yard-ranking ratio is KEY, in my opinion. It does little good to march up and down the field from the 20 to the other team's 20, if you can't put the points on the board when it matters.

    I am curious... did you by any chance look into red zone efficiency as a measuring stick for offensive coordinators? Just wondering if you looked into it, but decided not to mention it.

    .
  20. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Whether its the lack of familiarity with his receivers or play calling the Offensive has not hit its stride yet - and even the 38 points against Denver were heavilly Defensively supported.

    And as much as it pains me to say so, NEM's made a lot of good points in his criticisms of our offense and the play calling thus far IMO.

    But to answer the question at hand - the measure of a good OC in my opinion is the ability to adapt to defense - knowing that a halfway decent Defense will take away one aspect of your game, can you find ways to exploit what they DO give you.

    This is an area where I think McDaniels has actually done a decent job... and looking at our last 5 opponents, it may be that the Offensive inconsistency is due - in part - to the very different Defensive strengths we've played against.

    That being said I think its still clear that this offense has not peaked yet, and the way they have played in some games, is not going to be good enough to beat some of the better teams.

    Let's just hope they can turn it on when they need to.
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