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Idle thoughts - the DOMINANT ST's edition

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PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Was that a planned tactic?
This is a great example of the "we saw something on video we thought we could exploit" comments we hear sometimes. Likely they saw that the Chargers had had several punts blocked during this season and would therefore "over react" to a block/rush formation.

If you watch the replay - many Pats "rushers" disengage immediately rather than hard rush, but a lot of Bolts players were bunched in the "wash" of the four or five that did hard rush. That and "out kicking the coverage" allowed the Pats to set up a good sideline "picket line" for Gunnar to utilize in the run back. It was nearly the same for the other long return - they motioned the gunners in, forced SD to a bunch formation, and then disengaged immediately rather than all out rush.
 

1960Pats

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This is a great example of the "we saw something on video we thought we could exploit" comments we hear sometimes. Likely they saw that the Chargers had had several punts blocked during this season and would therefore "over react" to a block/rush formation.

If you watch the replay - many Pats "rushers" disengage immediately rather than hard rush, but a lot of Bolts players were bunched in the "wash" of the four or five that did hard rush. That and "out kicking the coverage" allowed the Pats to set up a good sideline "picket line" for Gunnar to utilize in the run back. It was nearly the same for the other long return - they motioned the gunners in, forced SD to a bunch formation, and then disengaged immediately rather than all out rush.
That's exactly what it looked like to me on the boob tube. Just prior to the snap the Pats moved inside and the Bolts followed.
 

luuked

Hall of Fame Poster
One thing I noticed when the Bolts punted was that they weren't sending players from the outside to cover the punt. On the TD return there wasn't a Bolt player within 20 yards of Gunner when he caught the ball. It looked like the Pats sent their players inside for a potential block and the Bolt players followed them in. Was that a planned tactic?

They clearly saw something on tape that made them confident they could draw both of their gunners inside by faking a block attempt. The Chargers reacted more than once the same way making it a more comfortable return for Gunner without the immediate pressure in his face.

I mean I am sure they saw a lot of holes in what the Chargers do on ST. The blocked FG with Davis and Bethel lining up side-by-side was another set play.

Like I said somewhere else.. something to remember next year in camp when people try once again to cut some ST standouts for another camp binkie who had some good reps against vanilla defenses and second/third stringers. STs matter.
 

jdlboot14

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Lots of positives after a total drubbing - of a piss-poorly prepared team.
Our D looked like champions - against a pimple-faced rookie QB without a run game.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the energy and potential of a .500 team, but we can't get ahead of ourselves.
This is a long preseason year for a lot of young players. I think it's extremely valuable.
New/Young players that will be core starters to build with next year and beyond:
Dugger, Uche, Hall, Phillips, Herron, Onwenu, Byrd, Gunner...
 

203Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
My biggest take away is the disparity in coaching. That roster is exponentially more talented than ours and Bill managed to beat them 45-0. I honestly think if you flipped Lynn and Bill the score would be 45-0 Chargers.
 

1960Pats

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My biggest take away is the disparity in coaching. That roster is exponentially more talented than ours and Bill managed to beat them 45-0. I honestly think if you flipped Lynn and Bill the score would be 45-0 Chargers.
Bill is the greatest coach I've ever seen, and I'm happier than a pig in slop that he's ours, but he's still just the coach.

Let me repeat myself here. Who or what determines talent? It certainly isn't the draft.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Who or what determines talent? It certainly isn't the draft.
More variables than I can list.

There is no definitive on talent because coaches accessing said talent are part of the complex system. Throwing up memes on talent is a way draftniks can sound superior in quoting some subset of those variables (usually AFTER the fact BTW years into their pro football career): statistics like 40 times or catches in college, height or quickness, but intangible aspects of that complexity could have as much, more, or even no bearing on it as well. Coachability, even likability, are factors. Hell, even home life, internal motivation, and friendships/family play a role.

For every "#1 sure-shot" like Trevor Lawrence there is a Ryan Leaf and Rick Mirer too - just as supposedly "talented" (if not more so). Yet something doesn't work - again too many variables in a system so complex no one can accurately predict it. Anyone that says they can is selling you something.
 
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203Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Bill is the greatest coach I've ever seen, and I'm happier than a pig in slop that he's ours, but he's still just the coach.

Let me repeat myself here. Who or what determines talent? It certainly isn't the draft.
Are you talking as far as talent evaluation or more of a macro thing as far a "who is to say what talent is?" type of deal?
 

Hyped

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@patfanken , your weekly "idle Thoughts" thread is a must-read in these parts...even though you continue to mangle names, LOL! It was CODY Davis who blocked the punt ;-).

The Rams are a huge hurdle....their defense is #3 vs. the run....Cam will have to throw the ball on Thursday, IMO.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
That's exactly what it looked like to me on the boob tube. Just prior to the snap the Pats moved inside and the Bolts followed.
I also noticed that happening just before the snap on LA's FG attempt at the end of the half, though I just ass-umed that the Pats were trying to draw them offside in order to make the attempt even longer...
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
Like I said somewhere else.. something to remember next year in camp when people try once again to cut some ST standouts for another camp binkie who had some good reps against vanilla defenses and second/third stringers. STs matter.
It also shows that outside of 2-3 STs-only guys like Slater, Bethel & Cody Davis (who I still believe/hope has untapped potential on defense), you really don't need a team-full of them either...Buh-bye Brandon King, Chete Copeland & (finally) Terry Brooks...
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
It also shows that outside of 2-3 STs-only guys like Slater, Bethel & Cody Davis (who I still believe/hope has untapped potential on defense), you really don't need a team-full of them either...Buh-bye Brandon King, Chete Copeland & (finally) Terry Brooks...
BB has always used high-snap count players and even stars on ST; the difference is that in building the team he likewise builds depth in even the "middle class" of special teams that other teams don't. In a cap environment that likely means 2-3 potential middle class players for one potential "star". It's not a "team full" but it is more (usually 2-3 more) than many teams with the results usually equaling about one extra win per year.
 

jah

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It also shows that outside of 2-3 STs-only guys like Slater, Bethel & Cody Davis (who I still believe/hope has untapped potential on defense), you really don't need a team-full of them either...Buh-bye Brandon King, Chete Copeland & (finally) Terry Brooks...

What's wrong with King? He's one of the better special teamers in football and carries the advantage of not tempting Bill to play him on defense.

I understand the frustration with Brooks and Copeland because they really shouldn't be playing on defense but the problem isn't that they're ST only players. The problem is BB likes to use players who should be ST only in other units.
 

luuked

Hall of Fame Poster
It also shows that outside of 2-3 STs-only guys like Slater, Bethel & Cody Davis (who I still believe/hope has untapped potential on defense), you really don't need a team-full of them either...Buh-bye Brandon King, Chete Copeland & (finally) Terry Brooks...

Team-full is misleading at best especially since the vast majority of ST snaps comes from players with duties on offense or defense. There is only a handful of dedicated ST players and you know that exactly well.
 

luuked

Hall of Fame Poster
The problem is BB likes to use players who should be ST only in other units.

But that is a function of roster sizes. If you only have a limited amount of player slots and you wanna have depth to absorb injuries as well as be to adjust your schemes in versatile ways to attack opponents there are only so many absolute specialists (whether thats on offense, defense or ST) that you can carry.

Everyone else needs to have some value to at least one additional unit (his own + ST). So it is a delicate balance but an important one as we have seen yet again yesterday. Some teams just ignore the specialists on ST position and try to squeeze out more roster spots for defense/offense players. And they usually suck in ST play.
 

One-If-By-Sea

In the Starting Line-Up
Like I said somewhere else.. something to remember next year in camp when people try once again to cut some ST standouts for another camp binkie who had some good reps against vanilla defenses and second/third stringers. STs matter.

Attacking summer camp binkies in December???? You are a savage :rofl:
 

NormZauchin

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If they could actually read and write, it would be a feast for the eyes.

Seriously though, I love that scenario, especially if the Pats win and send them to 16-1.
They have a website, so some must be literate, but probably around the fifth or sixth grade level.
 

DaBruinz

Pats, B's, Sox
PatsFans.com Supporter
Ken - Great post as always..

- Its CODY Davis. And there were more than a few people who were like WTF are we signing him for when BB signed him. This was his best game. Hopefully the Pats can re-sign him and Bethel.
- The Chargers had already FIRED their Special teams coach earlier in the season. The guy pulling the duty now is just an interim guy though he's not doing himself any favors.
- unlike certain posters who insist on childish names for players they dislike, I've been impressed with Onwenu and Herron from day 1. Herron has taken snaps at both LT and RT and hasn't looked out of place. If the Pats let Eleumenor go, I have every confidence in Herron to be the swing Tackle or starting RT..
- Gunner has been progressing well this season. He's taken on the same work ethic that Edelman has and it's showing. He seems more comfortable being a blocker on the kick returns for Moncrief than doing them himself. However, he definitely doesn't look out of place on the Punt Returns.. Hopefully this trajectory continues..
 

patfanken

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Dugger has been showcasing his potential for weeks now and Uche has started to do the very same thing the last couple of games. From my point of view Uche's most impressive snap was last week when he patiently condensed the pocket on Kyler without getting out leveraged, maintained contain while closing the distance and made Murray slide to the other side. In most previous years with other DEs this usually results in the QB breaking contain with his quick feet and going on a 15-20 yard run. That a rookie had that much awareness and patience is a sign of something good

I remember that play I was equally impressed how he matched the uber-quick Murray move for move as he tried to out maneuver the Pats young LB. It showed a level of athleticism we haven't seen here in a while.


Now as you are saying nobody saw Onwenu (or Herron) coming. How quickly especially Onwenu absorbed the coaching without making too many rookie mistakes is kinda impressive. Obviously it won't happen but given where he was drafted and the level at which he is performing he should at least be mentioned as one of the rookies of the year.

You are right. I don't remember who the new Pats OL coach is, but I DO remember the Job he's done with this OL, especially given the amount of moving parts AND rookies he's had to deal with. I haven't seen much of Herron to really make any intelligent remarks on his play except to say he's playing (which is surprising just to start). But I HAVE seen Onwenu's work and can't help but think he's the real deal, and can only get better over time..


not sure that is a fair comparison. While Phillips has had a good season and at times even took on tackles at the LOS I think there is a reason why nhe rarely is used on TEs whereas Chung often got that matchup in the past. To me Chung plays with more size than Phillips. I think it is Dugger who is profiting from Chung opting out and not Phillips.

I hope I haven't led people to think that I'm diminishing one bit of Pat Chung's career as a Patriot. He was a guy was and AWESOME second half of his Patriots career. IIRC, It was BB himself who said, It wasn't Chung's fault it didn't work out early in his career, but his for not using him correctly. And Chung then had a great second run with the Pats. But the fact is BECAUSE he played bigger than he was, he was just beaten up in 2019, and by the end of the season a shell of himself. The body can only take so much.

I can see where Dugger might be a better comparative for Chung, but that doesn't mean that the Pats haven't upgraded the position from 2019 to 2020


Taking ST seriously is what it all boils down to me. And this game will be a reminder to everyone next summer during the annual tradition which is making space for camp binkies by cutting ST-only contributors. Even after 20+ years people don't trust that BB knows what he is doing by investing into dedicated ST players.

In the first 12-15 years of Bill run here that would be definitely true. Since that the time, the league in its "infinite wisdom" :rolleyes: has effectively done its best to marginalize the kicking game until instead of being truly a third of the game, it's now more like about 15% of it.

There is a reason FG success rates have risen to the point where an 80% conversion rate has become the new "Mendoza Line" for mediocrity among the kicking community. IIRC Adam, while he was here didn't have a single 80% year and he's the greatest of all time. The Miami kicker is somewhere north of 95% And there is a reason for it. The league has legislated any rush up the middle in the name of "safety". The only real shot at a FG block is finding an structural error in a team's protection, exploit it, AND get lucky. bad snaps on punts have been virtually eliminated since snappers have been declared persona non grata and can't be touched, (same with FG's) Because of it, Punters have more time to kick deeper and higher punts so there are much fewer returns. Plus the league has altered rules to make effective blocking on a punt return more difficult. So the fact we've saw BOTH 145 yard gained on punt returns AND a FG blocked makes us a very lucky fan base.

I like special teams play a lot more than the average fan, but we should acknowledge that a lot of the reason we fared so well yesterday was the extraordinarily bad coaching AND play by the Chargers as it was the great play of the Pats.


It made all the sense in the world because the playcall was a screen. Cam literally can't look at other receivers because there are linemen already running down the field. His pass was high -- which didn't help -- but the Chargers had that one sniffed out and it would have gone nowhere close to the 11 yards needed to convert for a first down.

Well that COULD be true. I have to admit that at the time was was also trying to figure out why someone was raising my aces up, when it looked like the only thing he could have hit on the river was a gut shot straight, Sadly after my call, that was exactly the case.
 

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