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Content Post Idle thoughts: the "slow your roll" edition

2021 Patriots Season:
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This has an opening post with good commentary and information, which we definitely recommend reading.

40yrpatsfan

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Don't lump me into this group. I think he has been a bust of a pick thus far based on what he was paid and his production, but I am holding out hope for him to turn it around. I don't hate the guy and I am rooting for him to succeed. But pointing out that, based on money spent and expected production from the guy, he has not remotely lived up to either thus far is a valid criticism of the guy.

And I also think overall the Pats have had a successful free agent class. I am the guy who has been saying that they need to give Bourne more things to do because he seems to always over perform when he gets the ball.

I am not offended by Smith at all.
When you call Smith a "bust signing" after a half season, that's an exaggeration even if the guy had played 0 games or had zero receptions. It's not something to declare until we're much further into this, unless the player is a disaster personally like AB. Smith will have some big games eventually, that seems obvious to me.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Speaking of slow your roll… greatest we’ve EVER seen from a quarterback? Hoooo boy. Loving what we’re seeing so far but let’s see what the narrative is after the reality check of these next few games.
Exactly. Greatest ever debate is best saved for after a career, not before it barely begins.

On the line of Mac's narrative, there's an aspect I haven't seen brought up yet that is likely to start getting dissected by the media - watching mac's non-verbals, since we cant hear what he's saying most of the time we are exposed to him, he seems like a total goofball. By that I mean watch his eye rolls, faces he makes, hand gestures, etc - they're not typical ones (the fist pump, the double arm raise, etc) normally seen by a "trash talker" or the "quiet confident" types. They look like the class clown, happy go lucky kid that doesn't care whether the outside world "sees him dancing in front of the mirror."

As a similar personality myself, it's immaterial to me, but I expect the media, if he continues playing well in this hot take world, to start harping on non-football stuff to try and generate content and clicks.

(and yes, I could be way off here because of the minuscule sample size)
 

DarrylS

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We live in a world where the half full crowd tends to predominate, "Johnnu Smith is a bust" tends to dumb down the dynamics of a player finding his role on a team.. what I do like is that Mac Jones does not seem to want to "punish" players because they have not played up to expectations, to continue this run. Seem to recollect in the past that once a WR got into the "doghouse" he stayed there for most of the season. This does not seem to be the case any more, even Harry is getting targeted..

If Smith is being used to block more, that is not his choice, I suspect that over time teams are gonna "sleep" on him and his abilities will be more obvious when the situation arises.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
Seem to recollect in the past that once a WR got into the "doghouse" he stayed there for most of the season. This does not seem to be the case any more, even Harry is getting targeted..
The team aspect that influences this is every play has a "first read" component, second read, etc. A player can get "buried" through scheme as much as by "thrower's choice".

That said, as there is no mind control, could Jones throw whatever first read he wanted? Sure, and I would seriously doubt any coach would EVER say "you throw the first read we tell you buddy, no matter how open Jonnu Smith is!", but some play design first reads are that way for a reason - they statistically tend to succeed with all other aspects being equal (player skill, no one slipping on the play, the defense doesnt KNOW for sure that's the play they're running, etc).

In short, could the coaches call on Smith to block every play - or to be a decoy running route that will almost always be covered versus a certain defense? In that way burying him as much as any QB could? Sure. The coaches could absolutely on-field doghouse him, but it would be career suicide to coach that way and would be too easily revealed through analysis.

In this discussion, the QB has much more influence as to who is part of the offense by target, but that makes the on-field dynamic MUCH more predictable and defensible - meaning now the offense has to win on SKILL ALONE instead of on both skill and scheme.
 

ashley1992

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Godchaux was really struggling early in the year and getting blown off the line quite a bit. All the people in the media who watch this stuff in the all 22s like Bedard pointed it out. He has improved in recent weeks, but he had a career game on Thursday. He has been a disappointment until recently.
Godchaux last 7 games have been really good. Once he started playing better, notice how our run defense has improved dramatically.
 

patfanken

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Great post Ken, even by your usual high standards. Responding to 3), I’ve complained before about posters who claim to be instant experts on everything instead of listening to actual experts with training and expertise, I am the type that goes to a surgeon for surgery insight, a dentist for dental advice, Palm Beach Pats Fan for Chemisty/Biochemistry insight, and PWP for Engineering/Tech insight :)

I figure to be consistent and get some insight on a theory of mine from the only Board member with actual extensive football coaching experience (you of course). I’m not discounting what other board members have learned on their own, but I’ll go to the expert FIRST.

Thus I would like to zero in on 3, something that you have alluded to several times before. It goes contrary to how I think of things, but since you actually have football expertise I am beginning to think I have been wrong (…Note: for those posters who have -evidently- never been taught the meaning of “I am/have been wrong”, PM me and I’ll explain the meaning of this old phrase which has recently fallen out fashion). ;)

I figured (previously at least) that whether or not they could run fast, guys like Russell Wilson, and Brady and Brees, we’re simply superb natural athletes who could have been professional Hall of Famers in OTHER sports (Wilson and Brady in baseball, Brees in tennis). And despite how much like LOVE Mac, I simply haven’t thought he was the same level of natural athlete (Mac was an excellent tennis player in high school but not regularly beating future Tennis Hall of Famers like Brees did).

But, you have posted many times that because of Mac’s speed and short area quickness, he can LEARN the type of elusiveness as Wilson. Is that your experience from your long football and coaching experience, that scrambling ability and elusiveness can be taught if the natural speed and short area quickness is there? I am not challenging your assertion (you are the one that would know as a former coach), but I would love to hear you elaborate and talk on this subject some time, whether in this thread or sometime in the future, I would find it to be fascinating. Certainly if Mac could become a great scrambler in addition to all his other strengths that would be exciting :)
As far as my personal experience, I have never coached "escapeabiility". Though I can think of some drills that might help develop those attributes.
My comments about Mac's innate athleticism was to counter the hot take that he is MERELY an immobile statue. As I pointed out his combine times in the 2 key areas you'd look for as an "athlete" are his 40 and 3 cone. Mac has essentially the same scores as Wilson and better than Dak Prescott. But as shown on Thursday night he hasn't harnessed his innate abilities to avoid rushers and extend plays outside the pocket.

It could be he never had to do it in HS. He certainly didn't have to do it college. Will he ever show us that skill is anyone's guess, but the potential is THERE to be more than just a statue.

Personally I believe he will. The kid is maniacal in is approach to the game. So to think he will be content to just stand in the pocket for his entire career when he KNOWS he actually IS a good (but not great) athlete. Good enough to EVENTUALLY add that aspect to his game would be underestimating him.

I don't see him doing it THIS season. Josh has him on a very tight leash and on a very specific approach to expanding his game little by little each week as his game experiences grow. Running around and extending plays would NOT be high on the agenda Josh has mapped out. I am just proposing that DOWN THE ROAD we may see more of this aspect added to Mac's game. The ability IS there, but the instincts aren't.....yet.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
Can we use screens to Jonnu. He could be effective there.or fake a block and do a seam route while Mac steps back to land the ball to him...?

I like the idea of using him on screens & reverses & other forms of razzle-dazzle... Thought that was the idea for him from the beginning... The INT Mac threw was during a seam route to Jonnu, however... Don't like him on those routes.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
When you call Smith a "bust signing" after a half season, that's an exaggeration even if the guy had played 0 games or had zero receptions. It's not something to declare until we're much further into this, unless the player is a disaster personally like AB. Smith will have some big games eventually, that seems obvious to me.

Based on...?
 

patfanken

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I think pretty much all the skill position FA acquisitions were over-pays, maybe not Bourne if he blossoms some more. Yet it doesn't concern me very much. Pats had more cap space than most, Kraft was OK with a high FA budget. Supply was strong, demand was weak, BB got to pick his favorites at the grocery store.

BB tends to value TE a lot, going back to Mark Bavaro, Ben Coates, Ben Watson and Gronk. He found two he wanted, he had the cash and the cap to spend, he pulled the trigger. At least he's getting one to produce at a high level, and there's still time on the second one. Better than spending the two picks on Keene and Asiasi and ending up with neither being an impact player.
Here is one thing I'd like you to consider. Bill is a long term thinker. The Patriots run offenses and defenses that are rather unique in nature. Who else runs a defense that asks their DLimen to 2 gap a good deal of the time. I doubt that Godcheaux ever did it before coming here. It has been often reported that the TE position, next to the QB, is the most difficult to learn. So it is understandable that Smith might have issues right now in developing a feel for the game. Also his development might be hampered by a rookie QB on a tight leash. How often have we seen Mac take the easy throw just when if he waited a half second more a more rewarding receiver was just breaking open deeper down field. I know that has issue has affected Agular's production. His best routs take time to develop which a rookie QB who is hearing every day "get it out quick" isn't going to wait for...right now.

Like I said Bill is a long term thinker. I believe that when he came here in 2000, he looked at this as a complete rebuild. A 3 -4 year project. In 2000 on a tight cap and limited talent, he probably just wanted to establish the culture and trust in the coaching staff. 2001 was just lightning in a bottle. They far exceeding 'the plan' and from an unexpected source found his long term QB. That superbowl was an anomaly/ 2002 exposed what they REALLY were, which was a good but not great team on the rise. By 2003 Bill had assembled a team that could compete for a superbowl every year and the dynasty really began.

The point is that when Bill grabbed all those FA's he was thinking long term as well as a short term infusion of talent. NEXT year he will have a QB who is much more ready to compete. He will have skill position people who are comfortable in their roles. He will have defensive position people who are now comfortable in the new techniques they had to learn.

So when I see guys like God, Smith and Agular struggle at times, I keep that in mind. They are OK this year, but wait until the NEXT
 

SlowGettingUp

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
3. I posted the other day that Mac has the same athletic ability (speed and short area quickness) as Russell Wilson, one of the more elusive QB's in the league. Clearly Mac doesn't have the instincts and experience to use those gifts. Hopefully that will come over the next few years (or few weeks even). This is a part of his game that he needs to work on.

Elusiveness good; running not so much:

 

PatsFanInVa

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Was he part of the crowd at the Capitol Lounge in DC too? That was a large chorus every game, for years.
That might be the place to be for a Pats fan in DC, but that river is real lol... When I was younger, it was just a different metro stop but I didn't know Capitol Lounge. :/

Probably in Pats bars that is a niche in the ecosystem... in Murphy's I think the guy is the owner
 

PatsFanInVa

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Exactly. Greatest ever debate is best saved for after a career, not before it barely begins.

On the line of Mac's narrative, there's an aspect I haven't seen brought up yet that is likely to start getting dissected by the media - watching mac's non-verbals, since we cant hear what he's saying most of the time we are exposed to him, he seems like a total goofball. By that I mean watch his eye rolls, faces he makes, hand gestures, etc - they're not typical ones (the fist pump, the double arm raise, etc) normally seen by a "trash talker" or the "quiet confident" types. They look like the class clown, happy go lucky kid that doesn't care whether the outside world "sees him dancing in front of the mirror."

As a similar personality myself, it's immaterial to me, but I expect the media, if he continues playing well in this hot take world, to start harping on non-football stuff to try and generate content and clicks.

(and yes, I could be way off here because of the minuscule sample size)
His nickname at one point was "Joker," so it's probably not just you :D
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Who else runs a defense that asks their DLimen to 2 gap a good deal of the time. I doubt that Godcheaux ever did it before coming here.

In Miami under Flores he played that.
Most teams prefer signing FAs from systems similar to what they have - or want to do.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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As far as my personal experience, I have never coached "escapeabiility". Though I can think of some drills that might help develop those attributes.
My comments about Mac's innate athleticism was to counter the hot take that he is MERELY an immobile statue. As I pointed out his combine times in the 2 key areas you'd look for as an "athlete" are his 40 and 3 cone. Mac has essentially the same scores as Wilson and better than Dak Prescott. But as shown on Thursday night he hasn't harnessed his innate abilities to avoid rushers and extend plays outside the pocket.

It could be he never had to do it in HS. He certainly didn't have to do it college. Will he ever show us that skill is anyone's guess, but the potential is THERE to be more than just a statue.

Personally I believe he will. The kid is maniacal in is approach to the game. So to think he will be content to just stand in the pocket for his entire career when he KNOWS he actually IS a good (but not great) athlete. Good enough to EVENTUALLY add that aspect to his game would be underestimating him.

I don't see him doing it THIS season. Josh has him on a very tight leash and on a very specific approach to expanding his game little by little each week as his game experiences grow. Running around and extending plays would NOT be high on the agenda Josh has mapped out. I am just proposing that DOWN THE ROAD we may see more of this aspect added to Mac's game. The ability IS there, but the instincts aren't.....yet.
Muscle memory is a hell of a thing. And Mac is brand new in a lot of ways. He didn't have years of live action in college.
Basically the same number of starts as Lance. And when he did play he had the great wall in front of him. When you look at his physique, experience. It stands to reason he'll improve at least a little in that area if his instincts are there. I said right after the draft we're going to be looking at a new guy in terms of body type next year. He definitely heard all that talk about his body. That's an easy fix in the position he's with the resources he has. He'll want to improve in every area he can and again I'm sure he heard that talk.

Anyway that's one of the biggest things he might have going for him. He's still new in so many ways. He'll want to tweak every fix he can. Mechanics, physique, playbook ... You can't say he doesn't have that bc he certainly isn't in his final form.

I think back on guys like Archie Manning & Fran T. Both had the skill more or less. Fran a lot more but spoke to improving just bc they were put in the spot. Like Manning specifically bc his OL was so bad so he had to make it work in that area. He had the skill but doing in game is different. Again though both those guys improve from where they started. In part bc of their OL and through experience / live action. The one thing Mac does have is light feet. He's not stuck in cement like Mallett. Fitzpatrick is another guy that comes to mind. He always made the occasional "Fitz" play but I thought he improve a little bit in terms of harnessing it in as a plus.

The only thing I hope or really want from a QB in this area is two things. Eat up the occasionally 5-8 yards a defense can't account for at times for a 1st down, big down we have to have. This is like once, maybe twice a game.
The other is just naturally extend the play with feel and pocket movement. This doesn't mean extending a play for 6-7 seconds by doing something that isn't natural (turning your back on the defense is a killer, anything that takes away from your release movements - I hate seeing QB's try to get their arm set while shuffling their feet ..) So extend by manipulating the pocket, anticipation with some athleticism. Don't try anything extraordinary if you don't have those gifts.

I don't think Mac will be setting records but I think there's hope he could improve slightly and possibly take advantage of the scenario I mentioned above - big 3rd down late in the game, defense spread out or breakdowns and there's a few easy yards we need. Small scramble outside the pocket to extend a play.

W/e the case, he's a worker, we know that. We know the staff he's working with won't let him get complacent in any way. And try to get every once of potential there is. Couldn't have asked for a better fit / landing spot.
 

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