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A few "idle thoughts"

2021 Patriots Season:
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Sun
Sep 12th

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patfanken

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1. The reason for even starting this thread was a thought that occurred to me the other day. When the season started the Pats ran a lot of RPO's which featured Cam doing what Cam does best. This continued through the 2nd game even though we saw the potential of what Cam's arm could do, even though we came a yard short of pulling out the win.

So here's the thing, the last several games we've watched a very painful regression of Cam's passing game. And I can't help but wonder if we didn't move off the RPO based offense too soon, because watching Cam trying to throw receivers Tom Brady routes that requires the kind of accuracy Brady had when at his best isn't realistic, especially when we constantly see his bad footwork create bad pass after bad pass.

In Cam's defense this was an offense that Tom Brady got to develop ln over a period of 20 years and 10's of thousands of reps which created the great footwork that went a long way to making him arguably the most accurate short and mid range passer in the history of the game. Cam had the short preseason AND the inability to take the full speed practice reps you'd normally have gotten with a full preseason and regular practices of a non-Covid year. (BTW- for all my complaining about Cam's bad passing, didn't I recently read that thus far he has his best completion percentage of his career)

The point being is, maybe this is the time to perhaps go BACK to some RPO looks that would allow him to take a series or two of RPO looks and add to his comfort level. Just a thought

2. Bill Bellichick's coaching tree has already lost 2 limbs this season now that Matt Patricia joined BOB on the sidelines. I didn't follow things closely enough to understand why they couldn't make it work there. My biggest impression was that the Lions have lost a LOT of very close games over the last 4 seasons. That shouldn't shock anyone since the margin of error between wins and losses is very small the NFL in general. Even so it seemed that losing close games in the last 2 minutes was the real reason for the Lion's demise.

Still no excuses for Matt. He had a talented QB, a GM he was on the same page with, and a decade of being trained by the best football mind in the history of the game. I don't think Matt can come back at DC, but I WOULDN'T mind getting Bob Quinn back in the front office in some capacity. We've lost a LOT of front office talent over the last several years and think it has shown in the spotty drafts we've had lately.

3. Can't help but wonder about the viability of the rest of the season with a lot of teams coming down with a slew of Covid positive tests.

4. In retrospect It wasn't all that surprising the Pats lost a close game to the 2-7 Texans. They very easily could have be 7-2 with a few better bounces. THey still have a TON of talent there. Plus it didn't help that Watson picked THAT game to play out of his mind. All I could think of while I was watching was that even his few incompletions were all catchable balls. The other thing Watson did very well was spread the ball around to a LOT of different receivers during the game.

4. We will likely see Sony back for this game. Let us not forget that his last game was his most productive game as a Patriot and I HOPE that when the Pats need 4 yds on the ground they DON'T give the ball to James White while they have Harris and Michel on the bench. OK to give him the ball once or twice to break a tendency, but more than that is a waste of talent.

5. While the media and most Pats fans have given up on the playoffs, I'm not until they get their 7th loss, and even THEN in this off year and and extra playoff slot7 a 9-7 team could get in. There are 6 games to play and if you look at winning all of them is unlikely, just remember, you only have to win ONE game at a time.

6. As to the Cardinals..... It will be a very interesting game. The Cards have been VERY good at some points this season and then....not so much. It is a fact of life that even very talented teams have LEARN to win on a consistent basis. In the Pats favor they will be seeing there 3rd straight running QB in a row. Overall I think the front 7 have did a pretty good job containing Jackson and Watson and providing occasional pressure on them. And I DON'T think thei QB will show the off the charts accuracy we saw last week. No question the team will have to play better to walk away with a win, but not a hell of a lot better.


So I hope one and all had a happy and SAFE Thanksgiving this week and we can all end this holiday week on a happy note.
 

DarrylS

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IMO BOB & Patricia were made better than they actually were in the BB hierarchy/system, i.e. Charlie Weiss & Romeo, they were very good coaches who did not fare well as HC's.. Flores seems to be doing well, jury is out on Judge & Dimitroff is crapping the bed in Atlanta.

How many players have left the Pats for greener pastures only to find themselves as JAGS in other systems?? Sometimes they come back to the Pats and BB figures out how to play to their strengths.

I do not want Patricia back, but agree with you about Quinn.

It seems absurd that the 4 possible QB's for Denver are all out and they have to resort to a practice squad QB?? Why even play this game today?? At the end of the day it is about the NFL and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, cannot lose that revenue.

Denver fans have something legitimate to whine about, for a change.
 

luuked

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So here's the thing, the last several games we've watched a very painful regression of Cam's passing game.

???????????

What regression ? Since week 8 the passing game has been as good as it ever was this year. If anything it has improved substantially in the last couple weeks. Granted after the low points that were the Broncos and 49ers game that was not a big challenge.

Does it need to improve further. Hell yes. But there has been absolutely zero regression in the passing game in the last several games.
 

sturmrider

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Good to hear from you again patfanken. I have taken the view that I would like to see the patriots trot out more of their development players to see what they have. Even if they make the playoffs they aren't going far, I am not saying they should tank. I love the effort they have been showing, but let's see what those TEs have to offer or Stidham and some of the defensive players they have stashed.

They trotted out Uche and he looks decent as well as Herron and maybe there are others. Let's see so we know what we are going to need in the next couple of years. I don't see them making this a one year rebuild. I don't know would be interested in your thoughts on this.

Regards,

Larry
 

Mike the Brit

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I liked the RPO at the beginning of the season very much because it gave the Pats a varied run game (and I thought that Cam was very good at disguising hand-off/no hand-off). Now the running and screen game seem quite predictable. The Texans had no difficulty sniffing the variations out (pitch out to the left to Harris when they want to run outside, inside screen to James White when White is on the field).

That said, when other teams are crowding the LOS as much as the Texans did, it isn't obvious to me that just varying the running game will be enough. Surely you have to be able to throw to take advantage.
 

farn

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Stafford. Everyone SAYS he’s a VG qb, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Perhaps it’s better to say “Stafford has the physical tools NFL people become enamoured with, but is a loser”. Stats are for losers. Like Stafford.
 
Last edited:

p8ryts

In the Starting Line-Up
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I liked the RPO at the beginning of the season very much because it gave the Pats a varied run game (and I thought that Cam was very good at disguising hand-off/no hand-off). Now the running and screen game seem quite predictable. The Texans had no difficulty sniffing the variations out (pitch out to the left to Harris when they want to run outside, inside screen to James White when White is on the field).

That said, when other teams are crowding the LOS as much as the Texans did, it isn't obvious to me that just varying the running game will be enough. Surely you have to be able to throw to take advantage.
My complaint with the offense is that ever since Fangio threw the kitchen sink at us, the offense has not responded to that. The answer is more passing on run downs but the QB can't do an effective dump off or recognize a hot receiver or throw a ball with some touch on it. Cam is personable, everyone likes him but his skill set doesn't fit when teams effectively run blitz all game.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
Athletes in their prime and in peak physical shape are the people least likely to suffer any ill effects from COVID. Well over 99% of people who get it recover just fine. Look at the numbers. Science!
That's not the point. There are many others involved in putting together a game (officiating crews, broadcast crews, stadium employees, coaching staff, etc.). Take a look at how many non-players you can see at a football game, and then add in those that are out of your view. The players comprise well less than half the people at the event, even when it is with zero or 25% attendance.
 

Doctor DDS

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
O'Brien is an interesting case. He took over a 2-14 team which he quickly turned around and had a winning record in 5 of his 6 full seasons including 4 Division titles. He was never able to make them into a serious Super Bowl contender and when they traded Hopkins and started 0-4 (against a brutal early schedule) he was toast. Am not sure exactly how to evaluate him.
 

Mike the Brit

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O'Brien is an interesting case. He took over a 2-14 team which he quickly turned around and had a winning record in 5 of his 6 full seasons including 4 Division titles. He was never able to make them into a serious Super Bowl contender and when they traded Hopkins and started 0-4 (against a brutal early schedule) he was toast. Am not sure exactly how to evaluate him.

I think that there are three reasons why good coaches don't have success: they get fired before they've had enough time; they are at the mercy of the General Manager; they haven't found a quarterback. O'Brien had time and control over personnel -- and he had Deshaun Watson. So fair enough.
 

patriot1136

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Looking back, we were so close to winning that game against Seattle. Not to mention, the losses to Denver, Buffalo, and Houston were pretty close. If one of those went our way, who knows what we would be saying now. I do think momentum and sometimes "swagger" from winning games is a thing.
 

VrabelJr

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Looking back, we were so close to winning that game against Seattle. Not to mention, the losses to Denver, Buffalo, and Houston were pretty close. If one of those went our way, who knows what we would be saying now. I do think momentum and sometimes "swagger" from winning games is a thing.

Confidence is everything.
 

Ian

Administrator
ADMINISTRATOR
Athletes in their prime and in peak physical shape are the people least likely to suffer any ill effects from COVID. Well over 99% of people who get it recover just fine. Look at the numbers. Science!
That's not an accurate statement. That's a 99% "didn't die" statistic - not everyone has necessarily fully recovered. That's a blanket statement people have tossed around now all year yet what isn't included in that statistic are the people dealing with long-term effects, or cases like the one in Jacksonville where his career is in jeopardy. Since it's impossible to know who may/may not have any type of serious long-term effects, that's why the league is being so cautious out of liability reasons - not to mention just being smart. Until we really know the long-term effects of this (blood clots are a major one), dismissing it isn't wise. I understand what a mess this year has been given all the mixed messages, but the "science" has actually shown us that there's more to it and caution and being smart needs to continue. Hence the reason why the league has at least been taking some steps to hopefully further protect the players/staff/coaches, etc.
 

luuked

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IMO BOB & Patricia were made better than they actually were in the BB hierarchy/system, i.e. Charlie Weiss & Romeo, they were very good coaches who did not fare well as HC's.. Flores seems to be doing well, jury is out on Judge & Dimitroff is crapping the bed in Atlanta.

I don't really understand why people think Dimitroff crapped the bed in Atlanta. He was their GM for 12 years and put together some pretty strong rosters that competed in the NFC. They were damn close to winning a SB against us.

Overall to me this looks like a somewhat successful resume as a GM.

Patricia was a good taskmaster. I would not be surprised if he finds his way back to Foxboro at some point as a special assistant especially because our coaching staff is pretty thin anyhow and he has proven that he can translate Bill's vision properly (otherwise he wouldn't have stuck around that long).

The only good thing coming out of this season on defense is that nobody will be asking for HC or coordinator level interviews with Mayo this offseason.
 

patfanken

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I don't really understand why people think Dimitroff crapped the bed in Atlanta. He was their GM for 12 years and put together some pretty strong rosters that competed in the NFC. They were damn close to winning a SB against us.

Overall to me this looks like a somewhat successful resume as a GM.

Patricia was a good taskmaster. I would not be surprised if he finds his way back to Foxboro at some point as a special assistant especially because our coaching staff is pretty thin anyhow and he has proven that he can translate Bill's vision properly (otherwise he wouldn't have stuck around that long).

The only good thing coming out of this season on defense is that nobody will be asking for HC or coordinator level interviews with Mayo this offseason.
I agree that the coaching staff is both thin AND very young,. It could use a few "old heads"
 

Thelonious

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
???????????

What regression ? Since week 8 the passing game has been as good as it ever was this year. If anything it has improved substantially in the last couple weeks. Granted after the low points that were the Broncos and 49ers game that was not a big challenge.

Does it need to improve further. Hell yes. But there has been absolutely zero regression in the passing game in the last several games.
Cam's rating today: 23.1. 4 td passes in 11 games. 7 ints.

That must be some fine weed.
 

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