Let's talk about the H-Back

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mgteich

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Let's be clear. In our offense,

The number 1 responsibility of a TE is blocking.

The number 2 responsibility of a TE is blocking.

The number 1 responsibility of a FB is blocking.
 

Nonentity

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I think the problem with an H-Back is the old 'jack of all trades but master of none' situation. Not as good as a proper full-back, nor as good as a true F-type/move tight end.

I thought He Who Must Not Be Named was great lining up in the backfield, but it's a very rare set of skills.
 

mgteich

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This...all of it. Keene and Asiasi will do a good job blocking on the line in TE roles and on occasion will lead block for the RB but nothing compared to FB’s Vitale and Johnson. I think it makes sense to occasionally have one of the TE’s lead block to keep defenses guessing...but those are one offs.

One of the TE's should be able to wham block, hopefully like Gronk.
 

UptownPatsFan

Standin' Pat
Edit: This is not a personal knock on Sony, just posting a stat...without context of course.

 
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Wozzy

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Sony's production, or lack thereof can be directly attributed to poor blocking, more specifically the lack of TE's and for a time FB.

Early in the season the Pats held off bringing Ben Watson back, then both Lacosse and Izzo got hurt along with Develin. When Izzo came back he simply wasn't good. When Lacosse came back he was just okay. But when they had Watson, Lacosse and started using Elandon Roberts at FB the rushing offense improved, even more when Wynn got back from injury.

From the Jests game in week 8 on, Sony averaged 4.1 yards per carry even though they were playing tougher defenses, prior to that only 3.3 yards per carry. The top four season highs in team rushing yards came after the bye in week 10.

He's the same player who rushed them to a championship in 2018, nothing changed except the quality of blocking around him.

They drafted two TE's, signed the best young FB available in free agency and brought some UDFA FB's in for insurance.

Football is won at the line of scrimmage.
 
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miloofcroton

On the Game Day Roster
VG Post . Finally someone that sees what BB is trying to do. JS will be mostly restricted to 10-15 yd throws YAC will be become critical .BB will use some speed/quickness at WR. I believe after Jun 1,Jules will join ,Tom in TB and Sanu will be cut/traded. That will leave receivers as Harry,Meyers,Lee and fast ,udfa Thomas/Zuper.
Te Asiasi HB Keene ,TE Izzo. BB will use curls,slants ,flat passes along with using White/JJ Taylor on screens.Can use Harry.Thomas as deep threat to keep defence honest.

I agree with much of this sentiment, but I think it will be the opposite regarding the shape of the passing attack. The goal will be run and play action, with the play action stretching the middle and deeper parts of the field. It doesn't have to be a streak, but it does have to be more than just a slant to take advantage of play action (assuming it's not an RPO).

And if you are going 2TE a lot, especially with H-Back usage, and you AREN'T using play action heavily... I have to ask, wtf are you doing.
 

miloofcroton

On the Game Day Roster
Sony's production, or lack thereof can be directly attributed to poor blocking, more specifically the lack of TE's and for a time FB.

Early in the season the Pats held off bringing Ben Watson back, then both Lacosse and Izzo got hurt along with Develin. When Izzo came back he simply wasn't good. When Lacosse came back he was just okay. But when they had Watson, Lacosse and started using Elandon Roberts at FB the rushing offense improved, even more when Wynn got back from injury.

From the Jests game in week 8 on, Sony averaged 4.1 yards per carry even though they were playing tougher defenses, prior to that only 3.3 yards per carry. The top four season highs in team rushing yards came after the bye in week 10.

He's the same player who rushed them to a championship in 2018, nothing changed except the quality of blocking around him.

They drafted two TE's, signed the best young FB available in free agency and brought some UDFA FB's in for insurance.

Football is won at the line of scrimmage.

The lack of any receiving threats in the FB/TE group along with a lack of deep threats also made the passing game VERY stale in base personnel, which made it more predictable and also limited what the blocking could accomplish.
 

miloofcroton

On the Game Day Roster

I think this stat is biased against zone blocking. Runners in zone schemes attempt to gain yards in a different way than if they are in man schemes. Additionally, zone plays can tend to get blown up in ways that differ from a man blocking play (e.g. a zone play might leave someone on the line of scrimmage unblocked or might be crucially unable to set an edge on a stretch play, whereas man plays often leave linebackers unblocked instead who typically won't get a RB in the backfield before he can get going).

I don't know about Montgomery, but everyone else on that list runs in heavy zone-based schemes.
 

miloofcroton

On the Game Day Roster
I thought He Who Must Not Be Named was great lining up in the backfield, but it's a very rare set of skills.
I think this is overrated just a bit. It's just football. If you're at TE and you have to get out to the MLB for a block or have to wham the DT, it's not THAT different from lead blocking from a FB position. I think most coaches just don't even try to put their players in those positions to succeed.

Also consider that lead blocking from FB on a stretch play is much easier than the traditional iso or power that is more rarely called these days anyways. There's a lower barrier for entry if you have a zone attack, imho.
 

UptownPatsFan

Standin' Pat
Sony's production, or lack thereof can be directly attributed to poor blocking, more specifically the lack of TE's and for a time FB.

Early in the season the Pats held off bringing Ben Watson back, then both Lacosse and Izzo got hurt along with Develin. When Izzo came back he simply wasn't good. When Lacosse came back he was just okay. But when they had Watson, Lacosse and started using Elandon Roberts at FB the rushing offense improved, even more when Wynn got back from injury.

From the Jests game in week 8 on, Sony averaged 4.1 yards per carry even though they were playing tougher defenses, prior to that only 3.3 yards per carry. The top four season highs in team rushing yards came after the bye in week 10.

He's the same player who rushed them to a championship in 2018, nothing changed except the quality of blocking around him.

They drafted two TE's, signed the best young FB available in free agency and brought some UDFA FB's in for insurance.

Football is won at the line of scrimmage.
Just a post. Not a personal knock on Sony.
 

Tatupu

Rookie
The problem with making Fullbacks an integral part of offense is that it’s next to impossible to keep them healthy for any consistent period of time in today’s game. Guys are too big and game too violent. Last year both FBs went down in short order and then it’s back to the drawing board. Very hard today to rely on an offensive scheme based around having a FB available to pound guys. 2018 was awesome with Devlin but not sustainable in my humble opinion.
 

mgteich

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The problem with making Fullbacks an integral part of offense is that it’s next to impossible to keep them healthy for any consistent period of time in today’s game. Guys are too big and game too violent. Last year both FBs went down in short order and then it’s back to the drawing board. Very hard today to rely on an offensive scheme based around having a FB available to pound guys. 2018 was awesome with Devlin but not sustainable in my humble opinion.

I would think that we will have Jakob on the PS, and Keene available for emergency FB duties if Vitale is injured during a game. I don't that there is any question with regard to Belichick's plans to keep the FB as important to the team. He signed Vitale after all. [and he use Roberts last year; if FB wasn't important Roberts wouldn't have been used]
 

Hercules Rockefeller

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
The problem with making Fullbacks an integral part of offense is that it’s next to impossible to keep them healthy for any consistent period of time in today’s game. Guys are too big and game too violent. Last year both FBs went down in short order and then it’s back to the drawing board. Very hard today to rely on an offensive scheme based around having a FB available to pound guys. 2018 was awesome with Devlin but not sustainable in my humble opinion.

Intuitively this should be true, but NFL fullbacks are pretty durable. Likely due to a few factors -- they play fewer snaps, are not tackled frequently, a number of teams do not employ the position. There is strong survivor bias but just from the people I thought of and looked up, it looks like last year was some rough luck.

Develin didn't miss a game in his NFL career until his injury last season, he played every game from 2013-2018. Lorenzo Neal missed 3 games total 1994-2008, all in 07. Moose Johnston played every game nine times of his first ten seasons. Derek Watt has played every game so far. Kyle Juszcyk, Mike Tolbert, Jamize Olawale, Anthony Sherman, Bohanon from NYJ, Patrick DiMarco, all pretty durable. Even Mike Alstott missed way fewer games than I remembered, and he took a beating.
 
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TomPatriot

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Let's be clear. In our offense,

The number 1 responsibility of a TE is blocking.

The number 2 responsibility of a TE is blocking.

The number 1 responsibility of a FB is blocking.

The most prized Patriot characteristic is versatility.
 

mgteich

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The most prized Patriot characteristic is versatility.

I disagree. The most prized Patriot characteristic is being able to do your job. For example, a TE that can't block is useless.

Sure, AFTER it is established that a TE is a good blocker, other characteristics are important: e.g. receiver, runner, special teamer, or deep snapper.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
I disagree. The most prized Patriot characteristic is being able to do your job. For example, a TE that can't block is useless.

Sure, AFTER it is established that a TE is a good blocker, other characteristics are important: e.g. receiver, runner, special teamer, or deep snapper.
But according to a recent Daniel Jeremiah tweet, Bill Belichick himself stated while HC in Cleveland that not being a great blocker should not preclude a great pass-catching TE from making the team, or words to that effect...
 

n6249c

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VG Post . Finally someone that sees what BB is trying to do. JS will be mostly restricted to 10-15 yd throws YAC will be become critical .BB will use some speed/quickness at WR. I believe after Jun 1,Jules will join ,Tom (and Gronk) in TB and Sanu will be cut/traded. That will leave receivers as Harry,Meyers,Lee and fast ,udfa Thomas/Zuper.
Te Asiasi HB Keene ,TE Izzo. BB will use curls,slants ,flat passes along with using White/JJ Taylor on screens.Can use Harry.Thomas as deep threat to keep defence honest.
Under this scenario BB sets up Brady with his two favorite weapons in Tampa Bay, and Belichick himself has a novice QB with a supporting cast of newcomers and castoffs, mostly unproven talent.

What better way to answer the question was it Brady or Belichick?

And with TB in the NFC and BB in the AFC the football gods could smile at the chance it all comes down to a head to head matchup in the final game of the season. Wouldn’t that be an instant classic?

Is that what Belichick is trying to do?
 

TomPatriot

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I disagree. The most prized Patriot characteristic is being able to do your job. For example, a TE that can't block is useless.

Sure, AFTER it is established that a TE is a good blocker, other characteristics are important: e.g. receiver, runner, special teamer, or deep snapper.

Idk. BB just went an entire season without a TE who could block well.
 

scott99

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Pats need actual TE's who can play on the line, both Keene and Asiasi fit that mold.

H-Backs and Fullbacks are the same in everything but name, assuming the player has that skillset to go out and catch passes like a WR.

Vitale is a really good athlete and very strong, he should be fun to watch either as a blocking fullback or as a weapon on offense. Block, catch, run... he can do it all.

Blocking should be much improved from last year with these three added and health.
I'm really hoping McDaniels uses Vitale like he was used in college. He was a weapon, a small TE who ran a 4.60 forty, so he's got good speed and good hands. Asiasi, Keene and Vitale all on the field at the same time could be a deadly combo in both the passing game AND running game as blockers. You can have a 2 TE 2 WR set with an HB in the backfield with the QB, Or a 1 TE set with 2 WRs, RB and HB in the backfield with the QB. Just so many variations that can be so versatile. HOPEFULLY everyone stays healthy and McDaniels can take advantage of what we have talent wise.
 
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