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Which key to the season is the most impotant?

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  1. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As the season approaches what is the most important for the Patriots to improve over last year?

    I know that the most important key is keeping Brady healthy followed by no major injuries to key people. So we won't get into those.

    Here are some options

    The front 7 being able to dominate the LOS and putting pressure on the QB. We have the 3 best DL players in the league as a group. With the addition of Hobson and Mayo our LB's should be improved. The loss of Rosey is a factor but having AD at OLB should negate that. If Crable can serve the role of a pass rusher from the OLB it will add some things that we can do.

    The DB's are a group that should be good but not great. They can have a very good year if the front 7 can put pressure on the QB. If not, they could be a problem.

    The OL is a solid group but can be beaten by inside and outside speed rushers. Not many team have the DE's to move inside as the Giants have with Tuck and Cofield.

    The running game showed well in the early season and late in the season. Maroney is in his 3rd year and showed that he now is ready to step it up and Morris being healthy all year will be a plus. This is a key to keep teams from loading up for the pass rush.

    So which do you think is the most important improvement to be made. I rank the front 7 along with the running game as the most important.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  2. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I tend to agree about speed in the pass rush. Three very big guys can only create so much pressure and the QB can generally escape if they penetrate, hence the need for someone who can run down a QB.
  3. CamNeely8

    CamNeely8 Rookie

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    Which key to the season is the most impotant?


    Well that really seems like a personal issue between the players/coaches and their significant others sir!!!
  4. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Coaching.

    Hard to argue with last year since the philosophy and play-calling came within 35 seconds of 19-0.

    Constant attack mode on offense. Score TD's and not FG's. Go for it on 4th down when possible. Make the other team's offense play beyond their capabilities to keep up and make the other team's defense change what they are good at doing in an effort to slow you down.

    Bend but don't break defense. Focus on stopping the run and force the QB to be efficient and intelligent. Save the attacking playcalls until the 4th quarter (if needed at all). Turn the other team over when they make mistakes late.

    Special teams...don't give up big plays. Don't allow big returns or cough up the ball on returns. Basically be mistake-free and stay out of the way.

    Again, no complaints on 2007 but I would like to see all 3 phases of the game take a more equal responsibility in being successful. So far I like the acquisitions in the off-season. Now let's see if the coaching steps up as well.
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I actually think the keys to the season are...

    1. The ability of the linebackers to handle running backs and tight ends in pass coverage over the middle better than we did last year.

    2. The ability of our coaching staff (esp. McDaniels) to make adjustments to what defenses are doing.
  6. Rob0729

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    1.) The development of the ILB position. I think that is the biggest question mark right now. I have high hopes for Hobson and Mayo, but if those expectations aren't met we will be in trouble. If those two struggle to pick up the defense and contribute, we have Tedy Bruschi and maybe Junior Seau both another year older. We will be really thin and old at ILB if Hobson and Mayo don't come through.

    2.) The CB spot. I think Hobbs will benefit from Capers' agressive style because he is more of man/press coverage CB than a zone coverage CB which has been his role the past few years. I am concerned about the other corner. Bryant looks to be the immediate heir apparent. He should be adequet, but I really haven't followed his career.

    3.) Safety. Harrison has lost a step and was being a liability in coverage. Can Meriweather step up and be a solid starter. Sanders has his own coverage issues. Which one will win the FS position. Will Tank Williams rebound from the second year of his injury and be a solid SS?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  7. DW Toys

    DW Toys Rookie

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    great post.
    DW Toys
  8. DW Toys

    DW Toys Rookie

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    Superb post.
    DW Toys
  9. Mike the Brit

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    If I have to pick just one, that's it for me too.
  10. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Rookie

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    Health on the O line and the back 7, if it stays as healthy and as effeictive , with the exception of that game in Feb.. No doubt we will be back.
  11. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why coaching?? I'll match the Patriots staff against any in the league right now.
  12. PatsFan37

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    Slowing down the pass rush by whatever means necessary. Whether it's effective running, screen plays, or simply good pass-blocking by the OL and TEs and other blockers. The Patriots are heavily favored against any team when Brady has time to throw.
  13. Deus Irae

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    Since health is not on the table, it would have to be pass defense over the middle, especially against slants and hooks. Anything else would be a distant second in my book.
  14. Mike the Brit

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    The coaches (rightly) like to keep in the background and give credit to the players and fans focus on individual plays made or missed, but (teaching and motivation as well as play design and calling, of course) obviously plays an enormous role that is difficult for us to appreciate.

    Last season, the Patriots had overwhelming talent, on offense especially, and played with an extraordinary level of commitment and conviction, a lot of which was in reaction (I think) to being perceived as the league's "bad guys". Although they will be very talented again (barring catastrophic injuries) I judge that the loss of Samuel and Colvin and the aging of Bruschi (and possibly Vrabel and Seau) hasn't quite been matched by acquisitions. No matter. The team has won with less talent in the past. But it was done because of outstanding coaching.

    The defensive coaching staff this season has the task of integrating a significant number of new players at linebacker and in the secondary. It did it in 2001, 2003 and 2004. Can it do it again? Offensively, I have no way of judging J McD but my impression is that the Patriots do not have the range of imaginative plays and play calls that made them almost unbeatable in pressure situations at the end of games under CW. I also think that it has taken the team a long time to learn how best to use Maroney.

    And, of course, there was the single game the team lost last season ... It's the coaches' job to learn from that (we can be sure that other teams will!) at the same time as getting the players to put it behind them. Not trivial.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  15. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually I think Josh is doing a good job. BB hears all the plays called and can over rule them if he wants. If Josh was not doing a good job, BB would not have hesitated to bring someone else in this season. He's not sentimental.
  16. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    Or he would have taken over the offense as he did with the defense from Mangini down the stretch of his 1 year as DC.
  17. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    For me it is improving the pass defense down the middle of the field. Bruschi, Rodney, Seau, and Sanders are just not a good mix at those spots in the passing game - just collectively too slow. Hopefully we can integrate some of the new players into regular rotations at those 4 spots and improve the pas defense there.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  18. Dragda

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    We were remarkably healthy last year compared to other seasons. I think the biggest key would be to have another lighter injury year like that. Improvements won't happen if we are picking up street FAs to fill holes.
  19. jmt57

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    At the risk of over-simplifying things, the key is the play of the lines. I would say that about any team, any year. The team that controls the line of scrimmage nearly always wins. If either line is not doing their job, it puts undue pressure on those other players behind them to over-compensate in order to succeed. On the other hand if the line is doing what they are supposed to do, then it gives the rest of the team an opportunity to make the plays, both big and small, that result in a win.
  20. Metaphors

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    The lack of a screen game was the single most baffling part of last season for me. The few times Maroney caught screen passes, it took him a good 3 seconds of running to reach the first defender. I also remember a delayed middle screen to Faulk where he turned after the catch and started to make a juke move...then realize there was nobody within 15 yards of him.

    It seemed like the playcalling was trying to set a tone or send a signal, rather than taking what the defense was giving. Hopefully the Pats are through that phase of their development and realize that there are easier and safer ways of killing a fly than using a shotgun.
  21. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    Seymour's return to form.

    he is supposedly healthier than he has been in years. If he bounces back to form than all questions on DE will be answered. He will imediately make the pass rush better making it easier for the dbacks to cover and he will take up more space in the run game freeing up the LBers.
  22. KontradictioN

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    Thing is BB is not an offensive guru. McDaniels was hyped to be one before the Super Bowl. Honestly, I could have made better adjustments to slow the Giants' pressure.
  23. Deus Irae

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    What adjustments, other than quick slants to the wideouts, do you think you could have made and been successful with?
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  24. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    A few more screens and draws would have been nice.

    but in all honesty I am not sure how much difference a few adjustments would have made to the outcome. With Brady's injury and hindsight I think the only way we were winning was to play the game that unfolded and to have either gotten lucky with 30 seconds or to have not got unlucky with the Tyree Catch, and missed INTs on the drive.

    Basically when Brady got hurt we should have known we were in for a dog fight and that it would be a tight game until it was over but we couldn't get the 18 games out of our head so we thought blow out.
  25. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That and screens to the running backs to offset the pressure coming in from the outside. That, and once I got inside the ten, I would have burned a little more time off the clock so that the Giants' offense would be in hurry up mode but I understand that that is easier said than done in the Super Bowl.
  26. Deus Irae

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    They ran a bunch of screens. Someone posted the data in a thread a while back. They just didn't work.

    I'm with you on the clock thing, though. I was screaming at the tv about that.
  27. KontradictioN

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    Knowing you, you were probably sitting there and having a debate with the TV about it. ;)
  28. signbabybrady

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    I had that thought of burning more time before we scored too, and it annoyed me for awhile. Until I realized that a field goal would have only tied it meaning potential overtime. You can't be trying to burn clock at the expense of the go ahead score.
  29. BionicPatriot

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    Speed in the front 7. I don't understand why people worry about the secondary that much. You need a good, not great secondary to win. Ask the Giants. As long as you have a fast powerful front 7, your golden. This team needs to be able to chase down athletic TEs over the middle all day, cover those passes. I want a team thats constantly getting after it every play, then you'll see how our "good" secondary plays great.If the front 7 receives good contributions from Mayo Hobson and Crable I think we'll have a nasty unit.

    As for coaching being our problem, a lot of fans would love to have our flawed coaching staff. The only problem I have is with McDaniels and his knack for not adjusting. All through out the stretch of the 2007 season McDaniels was able to make the proper adjustments to help the Pats pull out the close ones. Suddenly in the biggest game of the season he didn't know how to handle a crazy pass rush. I don't want this thread turning into a McDaniel hater vs. supporter thread, but I hope he improves in that part of his game.

    Also, key to our team down the stretch is a HEALTHY running game. This team is dead in NE without it.
  30. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    And when it takes you until 3rd down to score the TD, you didn't have downs to burn.
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