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Thoughts on Offense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Koppen is becoming one of the best Cs in the NFL.
    I like the little bit I have seen of Chad Jackson. Nothing super yet, but Ive seen flashes. He and Maroney have added more speed to the O than we have had in a long time.
    Faulk makes plays. Its too bad he has those 2 games every year that he should have stayed in bed. Hopefully no more this year.
    I've been intrigued by Caldwells run after the catch potential. We havent seen a ton of chances for it yet, but its there. He did a GREAT job getting the first down after the catch near the sideline yesterday, turnign inside. It was all move. The DB never expected him to run almost east/west after the catch. The DB was in perfect position to stop the run after catch but instead of turning and running he ran laterally first to create separation.
    Watson keeps getting better, but the 2 fumbles were concerning.
    Graham seems good for one key reception every game. Sometinmes its a short yardage TD catch, sometimes its the big play up the seam, but every game (the ones he plays in) he seems to get a big play reception.
    Heath Evans is the best runner at FB on the dive from the I that we have had. We tried hard to use Marc Edwards effectively that way, with mixed results, and havent done a whole lot since, but Evans looks good on those carries.
    Someone out of Gabriel, Jackson or Gaffeny is going to become a big part of the O before the end of the year. The opportunity is there, and they have seemed to be splitting a lot of work, but I think one of the 3 (Jackson is my guess) will start contributing heavily.
    With Jackson I have seen somewhat of an effort to involve him with certain plays, incluing throwing to him on screens when the game is out of reach.
    I think this should be part of the plan. I'd like to see him in the game full time for a few series, with him featured. You can assure he gets the ball if you do screens or reverses, (not double reverses please) and getting some experience with the ball in his hands would be good. I'd also like to see him return kicks and punts, at least late in the game when we lead.
    Ideally, Id like to see him ramped up over the next 5 weeks to a full time player. Giving him 'easy touches' may help.

    Gostkowski really has a powerful leg. Last I checked he is 2nd in the NFL in KO distance behind the Denver K, and they have an automatic 7 yard headstart,.
     
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  2. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'll second the glad to see you posting. I feel this offense is oh so close to getting there. Should have put 30+ points on Da Bears. 2 fumbles inside the 10. And, the double-fumble play.

    I'll 2nd the Koppen. And, would like to add Mankins to being close to
    pro-bowl calibre. Yates did ok filling in for Neal, But, pass-blocking has been superb the last 2 wks since Neal came back.

    I love what Corey brought to this team in 04. But, Maroney is better right now. I would still use Corey inside the 10. Runs north/south better than
    Maroney. Kind of like Pitt last year with Parker/Bettis.

    I'm still holding out for improvement from D.Gabriel as a possession receiver. Can use CJ as the deep threat.

    Mr. Brady looked more comfortable at home yesterday than he has all year. I'm sure the better footing had something to do with it.
     
  3. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    Execution.

    And I don't mean shooting ourself in the foot....... :D
     
  4. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not ready to move on from Dillon yet. They are very different. Dillon gets 3-4 yards when there is nothing. Maroney isnt doing that right now. Maroney goes farther once he gets those 3 or 4 but has a lot of fruitless runs.
    Its kind of like, if Maroney gets nothing, Dillon would get 3-4, if Dillon gets 5-7, Maroney can get 10 or more.
    I think using them as we have been is a good way to go right now. Although Im beginning to think Maroney will be replacing Faulk in the passing game soon.
     
  5. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    I trusted Faulk in 2003 and 2004, but not before that and not a whole lot these days. I just feel like he either makes a great play or a terrible play. I am ready to see Maroney take over in the passing game, if that is the actual masterplan.

    But this whole team has been fumbling lately.

    Execution.
     
  6. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Its weird because Faulk is as reliable as anyone in the league 95% of the time, and a nightmare the other 5%.
    He was as bad as any player Ive ever seen in a game against the Jets. I put a big chunk of the blame of last years playoff loss on his lame fumble.
    But whenever he doesnt make those huge gaffs, he is always making plays. Maybe not 50 yarders, but he catches and awful lot of 3rd down passes, and usually gets the extra yardage he needs.
    He is an enigma to me. Clutch 95% of the time and a choker 5%, which you just dont usually see.
     
  7. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    we need plays that suit Maroney more..more outside instead of up middle trying to make something. let him use his speed..counters..get plays between B-C-D gaps.

    i understand we've been a power running team in past but we can do so much more damage with a dfferent running style
     
  8. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    #12 Jersey

    Even stranger was that in yesterday's fumble-fest, he didn't fumble at all. You'd think he would have.
     
  9. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    Every week since the Vikings game, I keep thinking that we almost broke out another great game on offense, but things went bad. Colts turnovers, Jets fumbles, Green Bay was good, Bears turnovers.

    It is as if that great game is always at the tips of our finger tips.

    If we can just execute the game plan and hold onto the ball, I really think we could roll into the playoffs.

    We keep seeing glimpses of a great offense. It is like a tease!
     
  10. kptmorgan04

    kptmorgan04 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I made this exact same comment last week before the game. dont know if you saw it or great minds just think alike!

    I think a big reason that both of them are doing so well this year is because of the other one and neither one getting too worn down.
     
  11. kptmorgan04

    kptmorgan04 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I made this exact same comment last week before the game. dont know if you saw it or great minds just think alike!

    I think a big reason that both of them are doing so well this year is because of the other one and neither one getting too worn down.
     
  12. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Your post was too long to actually quote by quote reply to, so I'll just hit on the general subjects:

    The offense overall - Is much better than I expected it to be. For all the complaining by certain posters about the OC's playcalls, we've fielded a top ten offense this season. With the WR situation (which so many people choose to ignore when discussing our success/failure) and flux on the OL it's pretty amazing to me that Brady is still having such a great season.

    Jackson - I think some people have far too high of an expectation when it comes to Jackson. He was an early second round pick that missed almost the entire rookie TC. He's been behind from step one. But he's shown flashes. He's shown that he can stretch a defense (even if he hasn't actually caught the balls yet) and that itself will force a defense to change the way it plays. A WR will only get wide open behind a defense and drop the ball so many times. You've still got to cover him and defenses will do that. I think he will be a very good WR for us. If not by years end, then watch out next season when he's got a full TC with the offense under his belt.

    Graham - I'm torn on Graham. He's an absolutely amazing blocker, and has shown he can catch it some and create matchup problems in the passing game.. But he's injured. All the time. Every year he's missed games. I hope the Pats resign him, but if he's asking big money in my opinion he WILL be gone. You don't overpay for a guy that's never played a 16 game season.

    Watson - He's quickly becoming that Ben Coates type of reciever (with about twice the speed and athletic ability). I think his fumbles against the Bears were strange.

    The first on the INT/Fumble/Whatever was a play that I think almost any WR/TE in the league would have lost the ball on. It was one of those timing plays where it was nearly unavoidable. The only way to avoid it would have been to hit the ground like Marvin Harrison. And what WR/TE is going to do that at the 1 or 2 yard line? You want the TD. You stay upright to get it. I guess he techincally should have been double gripping the ball like the Jaws of Life, but still.

    The second one was a 'Gabrielesque' fumble where he knew players were all around him and didn't put ball security first while trying to make a big play. Boneheaded but forgiveable.

    I'm sure he'll make ball security a priority going forward (as all of the offense will after the reaming I'm sure they're getting).

    Caldwell - He's come along really really well. He still makes dopey decisions sometimes (not hitting the turf on that Fumble-grab, not going out of bounds late in the game on that first down catch), but as a playmaking WR he's really exceeded my expectations. I'm glad he's stepped up. I was afraid no-one at WR would but Troy (but seeing as he's playing CB too now, I guess he won't be the one too often at WR).

    Dillon - his fumbles not withstanding he's done a good job getting yardage and TDs in spite of a year where our passing game isn't taking the heat off the run consistently and our run blocking is not so hot on a consistent basis. There have been games where the run blocking has been great, and games where it's been attrocious. Dillon has done a good job. His fumbles are frustrating, but I can't fault the guy for trying to make plays. He's just gotta keep the ball off the turf.

    Faulk - He's the dinner guest that you'll have over 100 times and 95 he's the perfect gentleman that charms the other guests, the other 5 he gets up on the table, shouting curse words, and takes a dump on your grandmother's plate.

    I still love Faulk. He's a playmaker. He's just gotta take care of the ball. But then we've been saying that about him since he was drafted really. It keeps coming back up, but so do his big clutch plays. What can you do?

    Gost - After the early season kicking game struggles, he's really settled in and looks like an NFL kicker out there. Huge leg.

    Maroney - The kid lit the league on fire for the first four or five weeks. I think he's come back down to earth a bit. As stated before, the run blocking has been inconsistent, as has been the threat of the passing game. But the rookie has looked much better than I hoped he would at this point.

    He's really helped the running game to step up some after last season where we really struggled badly on the ground.

    I think here in the final stretch against several 'bad' teams we'll see the running game really pile up some yards. I could see Maroney making some huge runs against these lower opponents. I think at the end of the year it'll be a close race b/w Maroney and Addai for OROY (and Colston, depending on his health).

    Closing - I think the offense still has a lot of room to improve, and a lot of potential to do so. I think you're right that one of Gaffney, Gabriel, or Jackson are going to step up, and I also hope/believe that it'll be Jackson. He's got miles more natural talent than Bethel did, and he's got all of Bethel's speed. I think he can put it together, and that he will, but the question is whether it'll be this year or next year after a full TC. I'm hoping he can beat the curve this season.

    I think Brady has the opportunity to throw for the most TDs of his career this season with the remaining schedule. That's something to be said after the things that faced the offense at the start of this season: Aging Dillon, Rookie RB, 80% turnover at WR with only Troy as the returning player from last season, TC for only two of the WRs, OL in flux with players returning from serious injuries and rookies starting, etc etc etc.

    Good post, Andy.
     
  13. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    You can't get away from mistakes in this game - and this offence has made plenty in recent weeks - but what the turnovers could not hide in this game was that this team moved the ball better on the NFL's highest ranked D (although perhaps not the best, but that's another debate) than any other team has managed this season.

    The line was fantastic, giving Brady all the time he needs to do his best work, and while they didn't get the jump start on the running game that we might have expected, they opened the holes at the crucial times to keep drives going.

    We are getting to a point where there is a good balance between pass/run; Watson is now beginning to play like WR-substitute-stud we all hoped for when the receiving corps left town during the summer; Caldwell is surpassing all expectations and Troy Brown - when not moon-lighting on the other side of the ball - is just Troy Brown.

    I loved the ambition shown by the throws downfield to Chad Jackson, a sure sign that confidence in him is growing. He's only got to haul a couple of those suckers in and defences will have no choice but to account for our deep threat and that should help all those behind.

    Gaffney seems to have started his career fine, if a little quietly. I'm not going to begin speculating about the Gabriel situation, because who knows what the hell is going on with all that. All I would say is that the fact we haven't heard anything at all at least speaks well of him in that he's not mouthing off anywhere about "poor treatment" or whatever. And I would like to see him more involved. (Count me in the group that thought the Troy Brown-tipped-ball interception was intended for him; he was in a much better position to catch that ball).

    As for the backs - they seem to complement each other well; I'm nowhere near ready to write Dillon off. He had an excellent 18 yarder earlier in the game, and makes those yards up the middle well.

    Maroney is coming on brilliantly, and I think is now getting to the point where more of those runs that were stopped at or before the lien of scrimmage are being converted into small yardage gains. He's also becoming a key component of the receiving game, which feels like a major bonus.

    Faulk too made some key contributions the other night, as did Heath Evans who continues to be useful in certain situations.


    Without the errors - yes I know, I know - this was a 30-point-plus game. And that's progress, which I expect to see more of on Sunday.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  14. brady et al fan

    brady et al fan Practice Squad Player

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    I'm liking the full complement of backs too. If for no other reason than it gives each guy a rest so they all remain fresh for the whole game. Also, the change of pace requires more preparation by the other team.

    And for most of the fumbles you just have to tip your cap to the Bears. I've never seen such ball hawking skills so I wouldn't be too concerned about our turnovers at this point. And even though it feels good to say we could have scored 30 if we hadn't turned it over so many times, that's a big part of why the Bears are so good. Kind of like us in 2001.

    As for CJ, I'm just still not a fan of his. He's got speed which we desparately need. But he's got to start catching those balls. Dive for it or something. Just catch the darn thing.

    As for Gabriel, I don't get it. He was looking like the guy for a few weeks, then fumbled the ball, and we haven't heard from him since.
     
  15. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    If they stay healthy, this is the best set of RB's / FB's in the league. As far as Maroney coming back to earth, I don't think so. He's still a big kickoff threat. Plus, if you remember the quick-out where he accelerated past Briggs and nearly got a TD. Very few RBs in the league have that kind of speed.

    This guy is special and he has not come down to earth.

    But next week we'll probably see more emphasis on the passing game as BB gives Brady a chance to train the receiving crew.
     
  16. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I pretty much agree with all of the insights above so will focus on WR concerns that have, IMO, really been the only thing that has been holding the team back.

    It's amazing but true - if not for Caldwell it seems like we'd have no deep game at all, and even though there have been flashes from other WRs, the fact that Caldwell is our best, most consistent WR threat is a concern going into the playoffs.

    There were just 4 catches by WRs on Sunday - having a more consistent and credible deep game will open things up for Watson and Graham, and provide them with the ability to gain more yards after the catch.

    It will also open things up more for the RBs both in the running and passing game.

    Can they get by and win without a better WR game? Yes absolutely... but this is the biggest weakness on the offense in my opinion and if it can be addressed it makes them much more formidable going into the playoffs.
     
  17. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wow, better than San Diego? I agree they are good but I wouldn't go that far.

    The offense is moving in the right direction, in different games we have got production from WRs, RBs and TEs. The remaining games can be used to sharpen the WRs which IMO are the weakest link. They will be hard to contain if the can hit on all cycles consistently. A lot of weapons that can be adjusted based on the specific opponent and gameplan.
     
  18. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Perfect analogy. No matter how many "please" and "thank you" stats he accumulates, he's still the guy who takes a dump on your grandmother's dinner plate :D
     
  19. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The OC

    We've gotten to "Good, Not Great" status... and with a ton of upside. I agree there.

    Token "Small Piece of Sky Might Be Falling" question: Did I see O'Callaghan get knocked out of the Bears game, or did he just get banged up, and come back?

    If the former, how much did his work affect the offensive productivity, especially on the running side?

    PFnV
     
  20. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Re: The OC


    Looked like it surely was another concussion. Not good if it was. It'd be his second of the season already, and his draft concern was the number of concussions he'd sustained in college. His career is paving to be a short one if he's sustained a second concussion already this season.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006

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