The Talib Effect

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ivanvamp, Jan 18, 2013.

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  1. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

    I started a different thread asking whether what my eyes told me or what the numbers told me was correct regarding the Patriots' seeming improvement on D. Well, you guys brought up some good points, so I re-looked at some numbers starting with the time Talib started playing (week 11 vs. Indy).

    PPG allowed
    W/O Talib: 21.8
    W/ Talib: 21.1
    Improvement: +0.9 ppg

    YPG allowed
    W/O Talib: 382.1
    W/ Talib: 369.8
    Improvement: +12.4 ypg

    3rd Down % allowed
    W/O Talib: 44.6%
    W/ Talib: 33.3%
    Improvement: +11.3%

    Yds Per Play allowed
    W/O Talib: 5.9
    W/ Talib: 5.5
    Improvement: +0.4

    Note: Talib didn't play every game from week 11 on, and we could be really detailed and look at every single play that he was on the field or not. That's too complex for me at this point, so I'm trying to keep it simple.

    The bottom line is that Talib has had a very positive effect on the defense, and the numbers - and not just the eye test - bear it out. This is a better defense with Talib and Dennard at the corners, and McCourty at FS, than it was with other combinations.
  2. RodThePat

    RodThePat In the Starting Line-Up

    Talib's been good, bu I think his individual impact on the defense is overrated. Sure, he helped, but the emergence of Dennard (who has played at a very similar level to Talib), moving Arrington to the slot, and finally stabilizing the Safety position with McCourty and Gregory were all extremely important components in the improvement of the secondary. Those other factors are frequently downplayed. And I know the acquisition of Talib led to McCourty being able to play safety full time, and forced Arrington to move inside, but while I think he's played well, I don't see this great level of performance by him that everyone apparently sees. If we are talking about his impact in stabilizing the secondary, by enabling Bill to move players to the positions where they're best suited, sure, he was very important. His level of individual play hasn't really stood out to me, though.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  3. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

    I wonder if it's just the opposite, actually, that Talib's impact is even bigger than it appears at first. I've heard no less than 4 commentators state that Talib has brought some intangibles...a swagger and the secondary that they didn't have before. That could be significant, though it's hard to quantify its impact.
  4. Rob0729

    Rob0729 Supporter Supporter

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    I agree about Talib. The improvement on defense wasn't his addition on an individual level. It was one piece in stabilizing the secondary. I think McCourty moving to safety was a bigger deal than the addition of Talib.

    I was one of the people who thought McCourty actually did pretty well at CB this year, but he has been far more valuable at safety this year. He is the closest thing we have had to Rodney since he left in terms of being a field general for the secondary. He is smart opportunistic player and he has made the biggest weakness of this team the first half of the year (safety play) to not be a liability.

    Other changes that were huge impacts to the secondary were:

    • Dennard becoming the fulltime RCB. He is getting better each week and a huge upgrade over Arrington.
    • Arrington moving to the star. He is still inconsistent, but far more effective as the nickleback rather than a starter outside.
    • The return of Gregory. I think Gregory is now healthy and more acclimated to the defense. He is a playmaker.
    • Chung and Wilson on the bench. Chung has dropped off a cliff in term of production. Wilson needed to eased into the defense rather than tossed into it. Hopefully he can reboot himself in the offseason.
    • The emergence of Marquis Cole as a guy off the bench.

    I think overall Talib has been decent. He is great in press coverage. He can get burnt against route runners when he is playing off the line. Luckily on Sunday, he will likely be in press coverage against Torrey Smith which is where he can excel.
  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Sometimes when you have an injury the team can end up being weaker at multiple positions. For example let's say you have a quality DT. He commanded double teams but still got the job done. The double teams allowed the DE and other DT to make plays they may not have otherwise been able to make. That quality DT goes out, and the performance of the other DT and the DE decreases. Same thing might happen when you move your C to RG to fill in for the injury to the RG, and bring in your backup C to start; now you might be weaker at both RG and at C.

    The addition of Talib has had just the opposite effect. It has made the Pats stronger at corner, and has also made them stronger at safety - the weakest of all positions on the team in 2011 - because McCourty was an upgrade there.

    That to me is the hidden benefit that most in the media are overlooking.
  6. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    On the surface the 2 biggest differences between the Pats secondary in game 3 of this year and now is the addition of Talib and Dennard to the lineup. But THAT's just the surface. Because we've added those 2 players, we've been able to move McCourty to the FS spot and Gregory to the SS position and immediately improved the coverage at BOTH position. MicCourty has added more speed, range and ball skills to the FS position than Gregory, and Gregory covers better from the SS than Chung. Plus by replacing Arrington with Dennard on the outside, we turn a liability into an asset in the slot. That's 5 positions and 5 upgrades

    Understand, the Secondary that played the Ravens in week 3 was a better one that played them in last year's AFCCG. The one that will play them on Sunday is just SOOOO much better than the week 3 EVERY position. So all the talking heads that are commenting on the porous Pats 2ndary haven't been paying attention to what's been evolving here

    Talib's impact goes a lot farther than just the infusion of his individual talents.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  7. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks In the Starting Line-Up

    Bringing in Talib was definitely a piece to the secondary puzzle. Moving McCourty to safety has been extremely important, a move that I was resistant to, but the development of Dennard has allowed the position change to be seemless.
  8. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae Retired Jersey Club Supporter

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    He also can be trusted to play the opponent's best WR in single man coverage, which is something this team hasn't had since the Samuel/Hobbs duo was around. Even there, you have to go back to the days of Ty Law to find a Patriots CB who could do it for an entire game.
  9. SacPete1

    SacPete1 On the Game Day Roster

    I view it as more a trickle effect. They have better tacklers in the secondary and McCourty has tremendous range and as a result I think we've seen a greater percentage of extra rushers. I think this will be a big difference in approach this game versus week 3 and last year.
  10. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday In the Starting Line-Up

    The wonderful thing is that BB finally has his smart and athletic safety - the guy he had in Rodney and wished he had in Reed.
  11. chris_in_sunnyvale

    chris_in_sunnyvale In the Starting Line-Up

    This is huge. The Pats continue to be looked at as a "bend-but-don't-break" defense, but they bent way too much on 3rd down IMO. With Talib*, they have been much better at getting off the field. Keep in mind this has happened while Chandler Jones cooled off after his fast start as a pass rusher.

    Talib has been great at press coverage, especially against the top WR. This gives the defense as a whole so much more flexibility how they play in general. They do not have to sit back in deep zones because they fear their CB play.


    * Plus Dennard's emergence at the other corner, McCourty's successful transition to FS and Gregory's good coverage positioning at SS.
  12. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae Retired Jersey Club Supporter

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    Also, whether we credit it specifically to Talib or not, the Patriots are no longer giving up the 20+ yard plays the way there were before.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  13. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron In the Starting Line-Up

    #24 Jersey

    Absolutely. And much of the Talib effect is McCourty being a far more effective FS than CB. Job #1 Sun is to avoid imitating the donkey secondary waving at balls like a little leaguer under a high fly.
  14. DarrylS

    DarrylS Supporter Supporter

    During a couple of games this year our d backfield had less than 5 years experience, and we had two rookies starting.

    Aside from being a pretty good cover guy, Talib also brings experience, leadership and communication which seemed to be lacking prior to him coming here.
  15. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Though that doesn't stop the mediots from mentioning them as if they all happened last week. :rolleyes:

    That's what's happening. All week we've heard about all the "improving" the Ravens have been doing, yet not a word about the improvements that Pats have made. Here's an under reported fact.

    The Pats have play 5 of the top 8 defenses in total defense (Broncos, Niners, Seahawks, Texans, and Jets) Note that the Ravens aren't included in this list as they finished 17th (averaging a whopping 23 ypg less than our Pats) The Pats played a total of 7 games against those teams Here is a list of the scores of those games in the order in which they came


    So in 7 games (a pretty decent sized sample)
    the Pats are averaging over THIRTY-FIVE points per game against the leagues BEST defenses. The Ravens don't have one of the league's best defenses. BTW- it should also be noted that in only ONE of these games (the first Jets game) did the Pats have both Gronk and Hernandez at their disposal.

    Just based on this one simple factoid Is it any wonder why the spread on this game is over 8

    Don't let the mediots scare you. The fact is, if the Ravens come in here with their best game, and the Pats match it, the Pats will win. The ONLY way the Pats lose will be if the Ravens come with their BEST game, and the Pats don't play their's. Its just THAT simple. And if the Ravens don't come in playing THEIR best game, it will be a rout.
  16. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    As for his individual play, it is hard to draw judgements on games where you win by 35 (Indy), 30 (Jets) and 28 (Texans and Fins). The game situations tend to overwhelm the individual contributions making apples-to-apples comparisons difficult.

    Also difficult to look at the Niners game since it was so out of character for the Pats. The Niners only scored 17 points on drives beginning in SF territory and CK only completed 14 passes. Kind of like evaluating the defense in the Ravens playoff game in 2009.

    That leaves the following:
    Fins - Lousy passing game for Miami
    Jags - The mystery game. 22 incompletions and 3 picks. Yet still a game.
    Texans - They moved the ball but were terrible on 3rd down.

    So I would say the sample size to really evaluate the Talib effect is too small. The one situation that does stand out is 3rd down coversions:
    Fins - 23%
    Jags - 27%
    Texans - 27%

    Even the Niners only converted 36% (though the game situations may have affected that). So in games where the Pats weren't trading yards for time, they were able to get off the field pretty consistently. That is a clear difference with the current DB configuration.

    As for your domino theory point, couldn't agree more. Talib being added to the top of the depth chart does more than just improve that position. McCourty goes from a struggling CB to an exceptional S. Arrington, Chung and Wilson can focus on situational responsibilities where they can be successful. By stepping everyone down the depth chart, the overall efficiency of the backfield improves significantly more than just swapping players at a position.

    By stabilizing these positions, the whole defense improves by not having a single weak point that can be exploited (Steve Martin in 2002) which causes the other players (and play-calling) to be forced to compensate.
  17. Schmo

    Schmo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #11 Jersey

    Talib and Dennard are better CBs than McCourty was because they have........ McCourty at safety. If we had two McCourty's lined up at both CB and S, he would be the best CB on the team. You saw him chase down that sure kickoff return last week? It's nice to have that kind of speed/range helping out on throws over the top.
  18. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    If McCourty was a better cornerback, they'd move one of those two to safety, or play Chung. He's a much better safety than cornerback which is why that makes us better.

    What does chasing a kick returner have to do with it? Despite that speed, he's not a very good kick returner either.

    There are aspects, other than speed, of playing cornerback and returning kicks, that he's lacking IMO. On the other hand, playing safety plays into his strengths.
  19. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    No I think you're wrong here, Ray. I forget the stat, but I've seen several that basically said that McCourty was doing a very good job at CB up to the point where he was switched. Its been SINCE he was switched that our coverage on deep passes has improved DRAMATICALLY (go to the footballoutsiders thread for the stats on this) Not only is McCourty a better FS than Gregory, his move to FS has allowed BB to use Gregory as the SS in coverage and he's an improvement on Chung. So my moving McCourty to S, we've actually improved 2 secondary positions

    IMHO McCourty is STILL the best CB on the team, its just that the overall secondary improves as a WHOLE, with him playing S. As I've said in another thread, the impact of Talib is greater then his mere play. It allowed McCourty's move to S, and Dennard's emergence, allowed Arrington to move into the slot, where he's gone from being a severe liability on the outside, to an asset on the inside. (Again go to the FO thread for statistical conformation)
  20. Rob0729

    Rob0729 Supporter Supporter

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    Actually, I think you are wrong here. Belichick seems to value safeties more in his defenses. I mean Rodney Harrison was arguably the most important secondary player of the Belichick era maybe the most important defensive player. Milloy was huge before him. I think Belichick wants a smart safety who can captain the defense and make sure everyone else is doing their jobs correctly. That makes McCourty more valuable at safety.

    Everything we have seen out of Belichick is that he loves McCourty's play. He talks him up in the lockerroom in front of other players. I think he thinks McCourty is one of the most valuable players on his defense and he feels he can help the team in more areas at safety.
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