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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. patfanken

    patfanken PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As we wait for Sunday and listened to all the news and notes going down, there were some observations that I'd like to share BEFORE the game for a change. ;)

    1. I am pretty much astounded by who are getting these HC'ing jobs this off season. I can't help but wonder why everyone is trying to get "the next John McVay" when one would thing they'd all be looking for "the next Bill Bellick. There is no question that McVay has done a great job with the Rams these past 2 years, but the fact remains that he inherited a team with loads of top end talent that was the result of years of not making the playoffs and tons of cap space to add the likes of Su and Talib among others.

    To me it looks like everyone is trying to hire the next great OC or QB cooach. I think they have completely forgotten that being a HC or rather chief operating officer of a multiBillion dollar operation is a LOT different than being an OC or rather head of the mid-west division. Both jobs require a vastly different set of skills.

    NONE of the guys that have been hired seem to have any idea of how to coach anything more than a sliver of the entirety of running a football operation. With the exception of the Fangio signing, everyone one of the new HC's got their job because it has been perceived that they can get the most out of their team's QB as if the other 21 starters just don't matter. One would think that it might be a LOT simpler just to hire a good QB coach. :rolleyes:

    Speaking of "QB whisperers". Tom Brady's QB coach for his first 3 years in the league was none other than Bill Bellichick. Go to any TC practice and you will NEVER see BB "overseeing" his operation. He is down there coaching up everyone from camp fodder to all pros in MULTI positions, That is why he's such a success. He has a grasp on the ENTIRE operation and has an active hand in all aspects of the team. Is Matt LeFluer really ready to take that on? :rolleyes:

    I had been a HS DC and felt I was ready to take over a school's football program. I had worked under an excellent HC. I had taken notes for years. I had ideas galore. And when I eventually got the job, then I found I had NO clue. ;) Tons of stuff I hadn't even imagined was thrown on my plate, Too many things to mention here. And that's just on the HS level. It took a couple years before I felt I was truly a competent HC being able to deal with parents, teachers, administration, staff and the like.

    Given this week's hiring pattern, it just seems that the coaching gap between the Pats and the rest of the league just keeps on growing instead of shrinking.

    2. Speaking of new HC's, relative to the rest of the league, I think the Jets fared well in hiring Adam Gase. At least he has 3 years of experience to go along with that "QB whisperer" reputation. I don't think he did a bad job in Miami, just not a great job. Does anyone else think that one of big reasons he was attractive to the Jets was his 3 wins against the Pats over the last 3 years? Given who else got jobs, they could have done worse.

    3. I am hoping that we will see a markedly DIFFERENT Tom Brady starting this Sunday. This Tom Brady will NOT bail out against a hard rush. This Tom Brady will deftly avoid the rush he can expect from the Chargers. And THIS Tom Brady will make the Chargers pay dearly for any blitzing.

    I choose to believe this because I think Brady was dinged up this season and was essentially trying to get through the regular season relatively healthy. You aren't one of the toughest QB's in the league for 17 years only to turn into a wooss in the 18th year. Now taking those hits are worth it when you can be one and done and playoff time requires another level of focus. And Brady's playoff record speaks for itsself

    4. The Chargers have the best roster in the AFC....by far. But I don't think most people are aware of that since they have been hidden out west in the shadow of the Rams and playing in a soccer stadium with half the crowd rooting for the other team. They are easily the most balanced team left. I think there are only 2 position groups where the Pats have an advantage, the OL and secondary and those aren't large gaps either. But while its fun to compare groups against groups, there reality is that it ISN'T about groups, but about how the WHOLE of the team plays on a given night. That's all that matters.

    5. So how do the Pats beat the Chargers on offense;

    a. They have to run the ball effectively use the play action pass game and keep the Charger pass rush honest. The Ravens couldn't do it, so it WILL be a challenge. Here is where the OL HAS to shine

    b. Establish the Tempo - Do some no huddle or fast position changes. Do NOT let the Chargers get into a defensive rhythm.

    c. We need Josh to be at his most creative to run some formations and motions that allow our receivers to get separation. Bunches, creative pick plays, etc

    d. We need to take our share of shots down field. I know the stats say that the Chargers don't cover RB's well. But believe me. They are going to run a LOT of schemes designed to take away the short passing game. That will be their TOP priority. I think they believe that can rush just 4 a great majority of the time.

    For example they could run a 4-5-2 under coverage in either zone, man, or combo coverages that would be every effective in closing down the short passing game. (See Jets 2010) That is why it is imperative to make them pay when they are in this mode by going deep from time to time. It's the same when they put 5 or 6 DB's on the field, by effectively running the ball..

    e. I know we don't have the archetype "deep threat". But there is a pattern that Wes Welker used to great effect back in the day to get deep, and Welker was 4.6 guy. The route came off what looked like one of his usual crossing routes, lining up outside and coming inside to the seam about 8 yds deep. He'd put his foot down and break deep in the seam and more often than not he got open deep. It was a great pattern, that I haven't seen the Pats use much this year.

    f. Speaking of going deep. Now that you think about it, both Dorsett AND CP have plenty of deep speed. It's just that we rarely see it utilized deep.

    g. Back shoulders to CP and Hogan.

    6. How to beat the Chargers on defense; (disclaimer: I really don't know much about the Chargers offense beyond the obvious stuff we see in the media)

    a. Stop the run. I know it's cliche, but in this case it's an absolute necessity. The Pats have to recognize the quality of their secondary and make sure they don't present soft alignments that entice the run. Make them EARN it. Hold the Charger under 100 yds rushing and I think we win this game.

    b. Finally we have a QB who isn't a run threat. So perhaps it is time to release the Claybourn. The Chargers did a nice job against the Raven's amoeba D with better talent, so giving them a different look would seem to be smart. In a standard 4 man rush Claybourn could provide the pressure we need off the edge to at least hurry Rivers' throws

    c. I'd like to see lots of man coverage from the CB's with S's in zone over the top. Allen vs Gilmore is going to be a great dual of 2 elite players. If Gilmore is effective in minimizing Allen's production, then the Pats chances go up significantly.

    d. JCJ has the size to compete with Williams, and JMac in the slot is a plus. Like I said, this is a game we win in the secondary.

    7. Special teams - Another area where the Pats SHOULD have an advantage. Perhaps the only hole in LA's game this year has been in the kicking game. Sounds like conditions on Sunday AREN'T going to be ideal, which becomes an advantage for the Pats.

    8. Kudos to the Chargers for going 8-0 on the road. That is a truly impressive record. This is not the mentally soft Chargers that we've come to expect, and whatever success we've had in the past is just that, in the past. It has ZERO relevance on Sunday. The Chargers will be VERY tough and won't quit.

    I have always had the highest respect for Philp Rivers ever since that playoff game in Gillette when he played so tough on bad leg. Was that 2007? He's never been to a Superbowl, but he's head and shoulders above a guy like Eli as a QB.

    9. We have a HUGE logistical advantage in this game. Home crowd, weather, and west to east travel are all big pluses. But like I said, they traveled to Baltimore and beat up the Ravens pretty well until garbage time.

    10. I don't know much about Anthony Lynn except that he's 21-11 with the Chargers and is never mentioned. Going 8-0 on the road perhaps is the greatest testament to his skills. Hell this entire season they Chargers went 12-4 without EVER having a true home field advantage in one of the tougher divisions in the NFL. So while I always go into a game thinking that we have the coaching advantage, I don't think the gap this week will be big one

    BTW- This doesn't mean that I'm back or anything. Just had a few observations and was too lazy to think of a different title. ;) And while I was very grateful to everyone for their "thank you's", and gracious comments, I'd rather you'd spend your time commenting on what I've written, or just letting me know I'm full of sh!t on a particular observation. ;)
     
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  2. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Pro Bowl Player

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    That reminded me of Bradley Chubb's pro day where BB was coaching him up even though he knew and said on the video that he knew he had no chance of drafting him when we're picking #31...
     
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  3. everlong

    everlong Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    1. Brady had to have been protecting an injury. He's never bailed out like that. Against the Jets he got down but it looked like the norm.

    2. Part of it is the 06 stigma but it's a long history of the Chargers doing stupid things to lose games they should have one. Past performance not indicative of future results and all that but I just feel they'll do something in a key moment at the end to blow it and the Pats will squeak out a win.

    3. I really like Indy @ KC. I just think their defense will make a few more stops and their running game will do enough to keep KC off the field.

    4. If the Rams can get a lead and Dallas has to abandon the run that's going to be a route. On the other hand if Dallas gets a lead and ends up running the ball 30+ times I think they wear that defense down and win a close game.

    5. NO beats Philly. I don't see how they get consistent pressure with their front 4, their DBs won't stick with the Saints receivers and if they blitz they'll get killed.

    6. I think the Pats need to play with the lead or at least be in a close game. This team isn't geared to come back from a deficit like past teams and if they become predictable they'll be in trouble.

    7. Speaking of predictable.....McDaniels when he's not predictable they're very successful. When he is predictable not so much and this is exponentially true in the red zone. First and goal from the 2 please don't line up in a heavy package and run it every time. Play action would be open so often. Spread them out and then run it once in a while to. If I'm calling out the play from the couch the players who have watched hours and hours of tape I haven't sure as hell are.

    8. Our DL has to have a good game. If they get dominated the Pats are in trouble. I wonder if Bill would give up some pass rush and put out 3 DTs for this one. Two gap with Guy, Shelton and Brown and use Flowers and Claybourne as OLBs in a 3-4 style but go nickel or dime.

    9. Our OL has to contain all of their stunts and I hope to see a lot of draw plays which means a big game for White and probably Burkhead. Using Devlin as a blocker in passing situations...I'd love to see him rock Gordon, Bosa or another one of their guys on a stunt.

    10. Too bad the snow prediction got called off. It's been too long. I was really looking forward to a snow game and it would have slowed down the Chargers pass rush.

    11. Pats 24-23.
     
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  4. BaconGrundleCandy

    BaconGrundleCandy Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Chargers run EP variations so our defense should be familiar w some concepts & designs.

    And regarding KK, teams are only going to where the league is pointing to imo. Offensive efficiency/Explosive plays = Wins, so teams are just trying to keep up w times.

    I'll admit a jump to HC is huge. Like you said the personalities you have to deal w is insane. Same for GM. You could be the smartest guy in the room but if you can't work w different types you're toast.

    Back to KK. As a OC he should already be in the league. Teams, both pro & college have been stealing his stuff for a long time. His record obviously isn't great but some context is needed.

    In college the talent gap is so much bigger than the pros. A team like TT is getting guys that will never see a NFL locker room. More often than not a defense will hurt you in college as opposed to the NFL. Again the talent pool is smaller, leaving the best of the best, the draft, FA.

    So again while his record isn't spectacular & it's a huge jump. It's not far fetched to see a guy like him get a shot.

    Biggest things for him will be adjusting to the roster size & his air raid elements off that.
     
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  5. luuked

    luuked Pro Bowl Player

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    Thanks for posting Ken.

    The two x-factors in this game from my pov that get a bit lost in all the pregame stuff so far are Trey Flowers and Gronk.

    Personally I think Trey will have a chance to have his way with the Chargers OL and he could potentially wreck their day. The folks from the Ringer (Mays & Kelly) pointed out the Chargers RT as a potential weakspot in one of their podcasts recently.

    The other one as I mentioned above is Gronk. And it is not so much about his contributions in the passing game because I am not particularly hopeful that he can suddenly turn it on after 15-16 weeks of evidence that something is bothering him. But if he can still have a good day overall in blocking against Bosa it would make a ton of difference.

    Apart from that I think at this point we have had all the angles covered. Can't wait for the game to finally get there. BYE weeks are great for the players but really suck for us fans.
     
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  6. tasmlab

    tasmlab Starting QB, won 20 SBs, number is retired PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I might just be inventing this in my mind, but I'd like to think all of the dumping off was strategic conservation for both his health and going conservative on the risk/reward of making a few extra throws at the possible expense of a few more yard-loss sacks. Or interceptions. If they can win the game going the conservative route, it doesn't matter how many plays are left on the field or don't happen, even if it makes for poor television viewing.

    But now, it's play offs and I'm hoping everything you wrote above happens. Time for super Brady to come out and take the chances if he must.
     
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  7. tasmlab

    tasmlab Starting QB, won 20 SBs, number is retired PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Unsolicited suggestion from an Internet stranger: I'd still love to see your column even if it doesn't come out until days after the game. Maybe not feeling the obligation to stay up till 3 am on game day to finish your article would make it less of a chore.
     
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  8. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He's back, baby.
     
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  9. Hyped

    Hyped PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Comments:

    a.) Had no idea you took a hiatus, Ken. No pressure on posting here. Like @tasmlab said above...no rush.

    b.) RE: HC hires...that also was my impression. I'd prefer an older guy with more experience like Fangio. It is really a CEO position and you need to Manage about 100 people (players, coaches, equipment staff, trainers, etc...), face the media, deal with the owner(s), and etc... In a way, I think BB has it all set up perfectly by delegating the non-coaching stuff to others (he has a personal assistant named Berj Najaran or something and also has Ernie Adams doing research projects and running the scout team) then doesn't waste time with the media. That's why he can coach all over the place with his assistant coaches focusing on their positions.

    c.) RE: Anthony Lynn, the guy coached under Parcells...then Rex Ryan. He was on the sidelines for one of our most painful home losses back in the 2010 season. I watched him a lot the last two years (I live in S.D.) on TV...always makes good decisions..and his record would be a lot better if not for bad kickers killing him in early the 2017 season.

    d.) I am also hoping that both Brady and Gronk have been saving some in the tank much like Shaq did during his Laker years (i.e. show up for camp fat...use the season to get into shape..then come playoff time...dominate). We are going to need them both as this team is devoid of game breaking play makers, IMO.

    e.) Patterson, IMO, is our wild card for this game. The Chargers signed a kicker (Rose) just to kick off for this game. I say lets use Patterson creatively on some screen passes when everybody keys on White/Burkhead...and try hitting him deep too.

    f.) Defensively, I am with you...shut down the run first. But we cannot do so with a heavy front though...the Chargers have good receivers in Allen, M.Williams, and T.Williams. Also, Gates is very crafty...I'd not worry about Green. Hunter Henry could make a play or two, but the guy has not played in a game for over a year now...
     
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  10. Lavictoire

    Lavictoire Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I've been thinking too they should occasionally throw deep to Dorsett and Patterson to keep them honest--maybe even on the opening play.I also would like to see some play action near the goal line. I want to see the no-huddle too, especially if we get in a rut.
     
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  11. maineman209

    maineman209 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    This season, the Chargers ran the ball through the A-gaps less frequently than the league average, and around the left end a lot more frequently than the league average, with great success. They had even better success running around right end, but didn't do so quite as frequently.

    Interestingly, the offensive right side/defensive left is about the only area where the Pats run-D has actually been good this season (Flowers, sometimes Simon).

    Anyway, edge contain may be crucial, so might not be a great game for Clayborn to return.

    Also, at least according to FO, the Chargers are the best in the league at covering TEs (Derwin James, I guess), so Gronk may not be a factor in the passing game, except as a decoy.

    Ingram is the Chargers' defender who maybe concerns me the most.
     
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  12. tasmlab

    tasmlab Starting QB, won 20 SBs, number is retired PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Odd. I don't think I've heard of a team doing this before.
     
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  13. Hyped

    Hyped PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For a couple of years the Panthers had a kicker named Lloyd Rhys on their roster who only did kick offs...nothing else (they had Kasay for FG's, IIRC).

    I know this because I picked up Rhys in a keeper FFL to purposely tank for a high draft pick....almost got kicked out of that league, LOL.
     
  14. UptownPatsFan

    UptownPatsFan Standin' Pat

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    Love about 99% of what you wrote! Only 2 things got to me:

    1) Our OL is by far better than LAC.
    2) Keep Clayborn’s ass on the bench lol.
     
  15. Tb12goesinya

    Tb12goesinya On the Game Day Roster

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    Nice write up, good stuff.

    I agree with your take on trying to find the next QB whisperer rather then finding the captain of the whole ship. In the case of a retread like Gase and others, he has acquired so much knowledge about what he would have done different and can now head into second opportunity with full confidence.
    By the time mistakes are made during the first tenure, you may have already lost the locker room or come off as inexperienced. Every situation is different, but a guy like Adam Gase is my ideal coaching candidate.. someone with reputation of 'QB whisperer' while also having learned from his past mistakes and ready to rock.

    I agree with your take on Chargers schemes trying to take away short passing game. I think it is imperative to take a few deep shots with Dorsett and Patterson, it will open things up for entire playoffs. I think having that extra dimension will work wonders with this particular team. I remember that '15-'16 super bowl champion team didnt take many deep shots at all, I don't think we are particularly suited for that with this unit. Give them a chance with 1-1 and reap benefits


     
  16. tasmlab

    tasmlab Starting QB, won 20 SBs, number is retired PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks! I have heard of a team splitting the duties between two kickers. I think the Colts did it a while back only having Adam V. doing the scoring stuff. I don't think I remember a team doing it just for a single game.
     
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  17. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Burn it all down! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Colts still do it. AV hasn't done kickoffs in years.
     
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