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Wide Receiver thoughts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Aug 29, 2012.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I strayed over to the Gaffney thread and found out that 13 pages later, he was STILL released,. ;) But the conversation over there got me thinking about HOW I was thinking about the WR situation and came up with a couple of thoughts I'd like some feedback on.

    1. Our base offense is some combination of the 2 TE's, 2WR's and a single RB. I'm thinking more than 70% of our offense is going to come out of some combination of this base

    2. I think people have lost sight of the fact that Lloyd has replaced Branch, not Ocho as the Z receiver. Ocho was the #3 WR in an offense where the #3 WR lost relevance as the season wore on.

    3. Lloyd is NOT a deep threat in the traditional sense. In other words blowing by a CB and creating separation through speed or acceleration. That's never going to happen. Lloyd's ability to be a deep threat depends on him being able to be better than the DB going after the ball. We have to understand that every deep ball LLoyd is going to catch will come with a DB standing right next to him Its his ability to gain body position, NOT his speed, that makes him a special receiver,

    4. The back shoulder throw is one that Brady had gone pretty much his entire career without throwing on a regular basis. Now its important that it become an integral part of his arsenal. We've seen it tried a few times so far, and clearly its a work in progress. If Lloyd is going to be as successful a contributor as we all hope, Brady is going to have to get good at this pass. Success at it, will open up so much more.

    5. Gaffney's release was a surprise to me. I'm guessing its the injury. There are a couple of receiver starved teams right in our own division who would have already pounced on him if he were healthy. It could be that the Pats already have an understanding that when he's healthy he'll be back. It could be that he's down for a couple of weeks and nothing will happen with anyone until he's not.

    Just a hunch, but I don't think Gaffney is gone forever.

    6. The depth Chart now got easier. Branch now backs up Lloyd. Edelman backs up Welker and it will be interesting to see who will be the choice when/if the Pats go to 3 WRs.

    7. But its not a big deal who because don't think we will be in what we'd normally call a 3 wide set as often as one might think because of the Hernandez factor. Its not so much about having 3 WRs out there its having 5 immediate targets. Well between Gronk, Herandenz ,Lloyd, Welker and a RB, (ie Woody, Demps, Vareen) we have that pretty much covered WITHOUT going to a 3rd WR. Who the 3rd WR is could be a moot point in this offense.

    8. One of the reasons I was down on Branch was that he didn't play ST's and tkhe perception he only played the outside (Z) WR. I think that in his swan song with the Pats. McDaniel is going to use Branch more all over the field in certain spots. More of a jack of all trades per se. This will increase his value even though his snaps decrease. Whether he survives his forays in the middle of field is another story. But right now Branch's primary role will be to back up Lloyd and play in sub packages.

    9. We started the off season rife with receivers. We spent the bulk of TC trying to figure out how we were going to squeeze 7 guys on our 53's. Now as the reality of the season descends on us, its becoming more likely that FIVE is the final number...and that number might include Slater. Because that's probably the number, especially if we have 4 TE's in our future.

    10. Given our dependence on the TE position, I think its wise to keep 4, one back up each for Gronk (Fells) and Hernandez (Shiancoe). However if we do that, then I can't justify carrying a FB, when one of the TE's can do the blocking the few times we want to go to the "I".

    11. Think back to back in early April when we had Gonsales, Gaffney. and Stallowrth, plus assorted camp bodies, and reconcile it to now when the position seems almost thin. What's the expression "We've come a long ways, baby". Or as Spock would say at this point "Fascinating"
     
  2. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good analysis Ken! A lot of the stuff you have argued is the stuff I have argued in the Gaffney thread and others that I have been thinking of, but a lot of stuff I haven't thought of.
     
  3. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    ROBO, think about all the servers that have died trying to provide bandwidth for all the impassioned and heart-felt arguments we've all had over the last 5 months about who that 3rd WR is going to be. Well, the more I thought about about it. The more I've come to the conclusion that aside for depth/injury issues, it really doesn't matter. Because WHOEVER he is, he isn't going to be on the field enough to matter. The only time I see that #3 or #4 WR comes into play is in case of injury. Other than that, I'll be surprised to see the #3 get 10 snaps/game
     
  4. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't think it's a given the back shoulder throw is a Brady issue. I heard someone opine the other day that it's used in situations where the receiver can't get over the top of the defense, and Lloyd and Brady who seem to be a work in progress, were unable to connect because one anticipated while the other didn't. Lloyd knows the offense. He isn't yet in synch with the QB, and in some of his other stops it was more a situation where the QB had to get in synch with the receiver.

    Felger had an interesting theory about the plethora of WR signings this offseason. Leverage. And it worked. And eventually other than Lloyd...they are all gone, at least pending injury or early season roser churning.
     
  5. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I agree with most of what you said I think, especially regarding the FB. I think the roster spots will be at too much of a premium to keep a dedicated one, unless we had an exceptional talent. We really don't, so I see us keeping a 4th TE instead.
     
  6. Rob0729

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    I agree. This has become TE centric offense. Lloyd will add a dimension with the outside/deep presense, but most 4 and 5 wide sets will still only include two WRs. I do think they will rotate Branch and possibly Edelman in there a bit just to keep the starters fresh, but I don't see any back up WR getting more than 20 or so snaps on a regular basis.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  7. Gwedd

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    Not only the 2-2-1 package as you point out (2 TE, 2 WR, 1RB) will likely be the base formation, but that is such a versatile package.

    Seriously, you can run so many different plays out of that that it almost forces the other team into a more traditional zone or "Tampa-2" defense than man coverage, because they won't know what is going to be coming at them.
     
  8. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks In the Starting Line-Up

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    One thing that kind of disappoints me is that the Patriots still have not tried to develop a big athletic WR. I suppose Hernandez fits that role, but I'd like to see them at least have somebody in the pipeline. As it stands right now, the Patriots look pretty pathetic at WR depth.

    However, I would not be surprised if they added somebody cut from one of the other teams.
     
  9. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I mentioned this in the Gaffney thread but I'll reiterate here. I think 2007 spoiled us a bit, in that we brought in three WR (Moss, Welker, and Stallworth) and all three worked out really well (a pair of them extremely well). This year we brought in Lloyd, Gaffney, and Stallworth, and so far only one looks like he's working out (Gaffney may be pending). I think that's closer to the norm than bringing in three guys that explode.
     
  10. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I disagree that the Pats look pathetic at the WR department. Have you looked at the WR corps around the league? Right now, none of the the other AFC East teams have a decent #2 starter and only the Bills have a good #1 starter. And that isn't even looking at their depth. And you think the Pats look pretty pathetic at WR depth.

    The Pats have one of the best WR starter duos in the league and are three WR deep and very few teams have good WRs four deep. I challenge you to come up with 10 teams that have far superior depth than the Pats. if the Pats are pathetic this should be easy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  11. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    It's a problem that I think stems from both their draft philosophy and their offensive system. Basically, the majority of the big athletic receivers are going to go in the first round, and given how hit or miss WRs are for us (veteran or rookie) due to the type of system we run, I don't think the Pats view WRs as a gamble worth taking with a 1st round asset. It's a difficult problem to solve, especially since there are usually safer positions to draft for that are still areas of need (OL, DL, etc) available in the 1st round.
     
  12. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Agree with a lot of your points, but let's not pretend Brady can't make that throw:

    David Givens - NFL Wide Receiver - YouTube
     
  13. BSR

    BSR In the Starting Line-Up

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    I am still worried about the Lloyd-Brady connection and have been since mini camps. I know many here are convinced its going to come around, I am still not sold. It wouldn't even shock me to see Branch picking up just as many snaps as Lloyd, especially critical situations.

    As for Gaffney, I think there is a small chance that he will be picked up later, but typically BB is releasing veterans early in order to give them a chance to be picked up by another team. The only reason I can see for that not being the case would be because BB needed bodies for this fourth preseason game and Gaffney wouldn't be ready to go.
     
  14. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks In the Starting Line-Up

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    Patriots have Lloyd and Welker. Welker is limited in what he can do, not too much of a down the field threat. Then the Patriots have Deon "no separation" Branch and Edelmen, who has played hot and cold.

    Besides, I am talking about players after the starting two. If the Patriots have an injury, they are pretty faulked.
     
  15. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Got to disagree , for the first couple of years he was never asked to go downhill. Last year is the first time he played more onthe outside. he was still just a yr from his major injury. THis year he will be better.

    This is the only forum where people think a 100+ catches guy is limited .
     
  16. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    Great stuff as always and good point on Gaffney. He's coming off an almost 1000 yard season, regardless of age or whatnot those guys always have value. One would have to think he's nursing something significant. I too hope it's not the last we see of him, the more weapons that are proven to fit in our offense the better especially given our luck with injuries.
     
  17. Rob0729

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    First, Welker has led the league in receptions for the last three years. Saying he is limited in what he can do is misleading because he is virtually unstoppable in what he can do. Plus, he is a lot more versatile than you give him credit for.

    Second, name five teams who can say their starter goes down and they aren't taking a significant drop in production. There are very few teams out there like the Packers who are four or five WR deep. Most of the AFC aren't even two WRs deep.

    Third, the Pats aren't "faulked" if Welker or Lloyd goes down. This team is a TE centric offense now. Brady threw for over 5,000 yards and 39 TDs with this basic receiving corp minus Lloyd and the Pats were one minute away from winning the Super Bowl with an injured Gronk. So you are going overboard with how much trouble this team would be if Welker or Lloyd goes down.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  18. PP2

    PP2 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Shiancoe is hardly compatible to Hernandez and the route he typically runs.

    Also you are not accounting for Ballard who is certain to come off PUP and bump someone off.
     
  19. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    How can they be screwed if Lloyd goes down? That would be the same exact offense from last season that carried the team to 13-3 despite a historically bad pass defense.

    If Welker goes down, sure you'll see a dropoff but Edelman has proven to be a capable slot reciever and you still have Gronk/AH/Lloyd/Branch as solid to elite targets. In no way would they be screwed. 2+ injuries to top targets, then you may see struggles but the same can be said for any reciever set in the league.
     
  20. Joker

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    why does Shiancoe have to be compatible with AHern...they gettin' married or something?
     
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