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Speculating on my optimism

2022 Patriots Season:
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Dec 12th
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mgcolby

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The entirety of pre-season performance on the offensive side of the ball, leaves very little to feel optimistic about.

However, I go into the season very optimistic. Defensively, I think the team will be faster at the second and third levels, but with an emphasis on the 2nd level. I also believe the DL will be very disruptive.

Now onto the offense. I am optimistic for a few reasons and the first two are speculation or observations by me (and I am sure by many others).

1. BB's relaxed attitude and approach. This is odd and out of character. I interpret this as a quiet confidence in the team personnel.

2. I think they will cut back on the stretch plays early on. I highly doubt they abandon the system all together, because that is clearly the vision they have moving forward. But to be competitive and win, I think we see more of the bull dozing early on as they work on the stretch plays throughout the early part of the season.

It's a much easier adjustment for a lineman to go back to in line blocking than it is to learn zone blocking. I would be ready to have a few head scratching drives where they look like **** because they went zone for a series and then the next drive they look good as they went back to drive blocking.

3. Mac hasn't regressed. IMO it's a product of the offense as a whole implementing a new system.

4. I have no idea why people are sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has.

If Smith gets it, and by all accounts the offense is dumbed down a bit. So, if he gets it, we will probably have the most productive group of TEs in the league.

The WRs are not the Rams, but they are solid and deep. Parker's health is the only real question mark. And that is with the pre-season version of Bourne. If Bourne wakes up and plays up to his potential this WR group will be more than enough to win.

5. The stable of backs are outstanding. One of the best one-two punches in the league.

I get the pessimism, especially around the coaching staff and the pre-season performance. But folks seem to harp on the bad and ignore the good. Just remember if we see it then they are seeing even more. BB has never been one to "do what we do", if it's not working he's going to scrap it or use less of it while they work the kinks out.

Can't wait for Sunday!
 

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1. BB's relaxed attitude and approach. This is odd and out of character. I interpret this as a quiet confidence in the team personnel.

I interpret this as he's around people he likes to be around, instead of people he might find annoying like Josh, Flores (I don't know just guessing) or a-holes (O'Brien).

And of course there was dealing with Tom (ha ha)
 

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The entirety of pre-season performance on the offensive side of the ball, leaves very little to feel optimistic about.

However, I go into the season very optimistic. Defensively, I think the team will be faster at the second and third levels, but with an emphasis on the 2nd level. I also believe the DL will be very disruptive.

Now onto the offense. I am optimistic for a few reasons and the first two are speculation or observations by me (and I am sure by many others).

1. BB's relaxed attitude and approach. This is odd and out of character. I interpret this as a quiet confidence in the team personnel.

2. I think they will cut back on the stretch plays early on. I highly doubt they abandon the system all together, because that is clearly the vision they have moving forward. But to be competitive and win, I think we see more of the bull dozing early on as they work on the stretch plays throughout the early part of the season.

It's a much easier adjustment for a lineman to go back to in line blocking than it is to learn zone blocking. I would be ready to have a few head scratching drives where they look like **** because they went zone for a series and then the next drive they look good as they went back to drive blocking.

3. Mac hasn't regressed. IMO it's a product of the offense as a whole implementing a new system.

4. I have no idea why people are sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has.

If Smith gets it, and by all accounts the offense is dumbed down a bit. So, if he gets it, we will probably have the most productive group of TEs in the league.

The WRs are not the Rams, but they are solid and deep. Parker's health is the only real question mark. And that is with the pre-season version of Bourne. If Bourne wakes up and plays up to his potential this WR group will be more than enough to win.

5. The stable of backs are outstanding. One of the best one-two punches in the league.

I get the pessimism, especially around the coaching staff and the pre-season performance. But folks seem to harp on the bad and ignore the good. Just remember if we see it then they are seeing even more. BB has never been one to "do what we do", if it's not working he's going to scrap it or use less of it while they work the kinks out.

Can't wait for Sunday!
The thing is, they didn’t implement a new system.
They streamlined the terminology. Think of it this way, McDaniels over 8 years added terminology to the play calls to identify some unique route combos, rare alignments, etc. This cleaned up the terminology and eliminated things they don’t expect use, but could add later.
The Patriots have always run both man and zone blocking concepts within the same season, game and even drive. This off season they practiced zone blocking more heavily in anticipation that it might work well with this personnel. If it does they will use more of it, and certainly not use it exclusively, and if it doesn’t they won’t use it much. Just like every single concept in the playbook.
The offense is going to be the same offense we have run here for 20 years, with different wrinkles and focus on the things that they expect to work well with this years personnel. No different than any other year.

We took last years offense, I progressed the QB to year 2, added a WR1, drafted a stud LG to replace a mediocre Karras, and put Onwenu in Masons place. Bourne, Henry, Smith and Agholor are all in year 2. There is every reason to believe the offense will improve markedly.

The defense, on the other hand, has made more changes. We’ve lost the top talent at corner but added much more depth of talent, especially considering J Jones missed most of 2021.
We have replaced big LBs who could take on OL with smaller faster LBs. We do not know which version of nickel we will use (bigger with a 34 DE or faster with a 34 olb as the 6th piece). We added more at safety and will probably use more safeties than ever in hybrid roles.
I do not expect the defense to be overall better than one that was 2nd in the NFL (and 4th in yards as well) but I expect one that is much better matching up against the types of offenses it struggled with last year.


* we may even see the return of the (in)famous 4 safety defense, this time with 4 excellent safeties.

2 DTs
2 corners
2 Lbs
1 DE
4 safeties playing roles resembling S, nickel corner, ilb, olb.
 

Deus Irae

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I have no idea why people are sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has.

  1. Where are the significant, and certain, upgrades from last year?
  2. Where are the possibly upgrades from last year?
  3. Where are the significant, and certain, downgrades from last year?
  4. Where are the possible downgrades from last year?


Answer those four questions honesty, and I think you can easily see the "why" of it.
 

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I interpret this as he's around people he likes to be around, instead of people he might find annoying like Josh, Flores (I don't know just guessing) or a-holes (O'Brien).

And of course there was dealing with Tom (ha ha)
He kept McDaniels around for more than 15 seasons even though he was 'annoying'?
 

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I know it's a cookie cutter take, but it all depends on the trenches. If both O and d lines play well the team can go far.

Cookie cutter or not its very true. If our ol performs poorly it really wont matter how good we are at wr/rb/te, its not going to go well offensively. Give mac a clean pocket and he’ll do great.

Defensively if judon and barmore are as disruptive as they were in the first 3/4 of last year it will be a top 10 or maybe even top 5 d.
 

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He kept McDaniels around for more than 15 seasons even though he was 'annoying'?

Despite what you read here, McDaniel's was the best in the business.

Bill could trust the entire offense to him.

Why not put up with a little annoying to have that?

I'm sure the Colts found McDaniel's annoying.
 

Brotherblues

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  1. Where are the significant, and certain, upgrades from last year?
  2. Where are the possibly upgrades from last year?
  3. Where are the significant, and certain, downgrades from last year?
  4. Where are the possible downgrades from last year?


Answer those four questions honesty, and I think you can easily see the "why" of it.
Significant upgrades:
Adding Parker.
Year 2 leap for QB.
Bourne, Agholor, and Smith in their second year on team. Even if just one of them takes a big step from last year, that's huge.
Rham/Montgomery over Bolden in passing downs
Brown to LT

Downgrades:
Josh gone
Mason gone
Wynn to RT
Andrews older
Overall oline cohesion with nobody playing next to anyone they've played next to before


That's how I see it without diving too deep. Looks like a recipe for some inconsistency until the oline gels. Could very well turn some heads the second half of the season.
 

PowerRunRevival

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I'm also optimistic. This team finished in the top ten in offensive DVOA last season, and it really doesn't make sense that key players would regress and the offense would get worse. Despite what we saw in the pre-season, I don't believe that replacing Ted Karras and an aging Shaq Mason with Mike Onwenu and a 1st round guard will make the line ,completely dysfunctional. The skill positions should be improved, and Mac should get better too.

The defense finished 4th last season in DVOA. They did lose JC Jackson, but the depth is much improved this year. Barmore should continue to improve and Judon should feel more comfortable in his second year in the system. The linebackers are overhauled, but I'm in favor of the way the Pats got faster at the position.

  1. Where are the significant, and certain, upgrades from last year?
  2. Where are the possibly upgrades from last year?
  3. Where are the significant, and certain, downgrades from last year?
  4. Where are the possible downgrades from last year?


Answer those four questions honesty, and I think you can easily see the "why" of it.

1. Defensive back depth. The lack of depth really showed in the playoffs.
2. Free agents feeling more comfortable in their second year leading to individual improvements (Judon, Henry, Jonnu, Agholor, Bourne, Godchaux, Mills, ). A strong sophomore draft class continuing to improve (Mac, Barmore, Bledsoe, Stevenson). Veteran free agent additions (Parker, Peppers, Ty Montgomery. So possible upgrades at DE, TE, WR, DT, CB, S, QB, and RB.
3. Top end corner play: Mills isn't going to be as good as JC Jackson
4. Guard, linebackers.
 

rochrist

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Despite what you read here, McDaniel's was the best in the business.

Bill could trust the entire offense to him.

Why not put up with a little annoying to have that?

I'm sure the Colts found McDaniel's annoying.
WHy do you think that? Do you have some special inside knowledge?
 

signbabybrady

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Significant upgrades:
Adding Parker.
Year 2 leap for QB.
Bourne, Agholor, and Smith in their second year on team. Even if just one of them takes a big step from last year, that's huge.
Rham/Montgomery over Bolden in passing downs
Brown to LT

Downgrades:
Josh gone
Mason gone
Wynn to RT
Andrews older
Overall oline cohesion with nobody playing next to anyone they've played next to before


That's how I see it without diving too deep. Looks like a recipe for some inconsistency until the oline gels. Could very well turn some heads the second half of the season.
Spot on. Josh is no small downgrade but I trust Bill. Mason also is not insignificant but that's really it for downgrades on the offense.

Given the choice to move guys from D to O and the reports from TC and preseason you have to be a little worried but as you and the OP point out plenty to optimistic about.

For me it all comes down to Mac if he's legit I think we have more than enough talent and coaches to get it done. Of course if he's not legit it will be hard to know whether to blame him or Matty P.
 

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The WRs are not the Rams, but they are solid and deep. Parker's health is the only real question mark. And that is with the pre-season version of Bourne. If Bourne wakes up and plays up to his potential this WR group will be more than enough to win.
I wasn't aware Parker was having any health issues this season
 

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WHy do you think that? Do you have some special inside knowledge?

I said directly in the post after mentioning Josh "that I was just guessing."

The thread writer said Bill had a "relaxed attitude and approach," and it's my opinion the reason is he likes working with this staff more than previous ones.

I think Bill respects Josh's abilities, but never thought he felt the same as with Patricia and Judge.

Did you ever feel that Bill wanted Josh as his replacement? What about Patricia? Why would it be this way?

I just used annoying as a reason. It could be anything, but BB seems more relaxed and smiling with this group, and I don't think it's about what's going on the field just yet.
 

mgcolby

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  1. Where are the significant, and certain, upgrades from last year?
  2. Where are the possibly upgrades from last year?
  3. Where are the significant, and certain, downgrades from last year?
  4. Where are the possible downgrades from last year?


Answer those four questions honesty, and I think you can easily see the "why" of it.
I am being honest. But you also know that upgrades don't always come in the form of new personell. It can be guys growing into their position. Getting comfortable in the system. Yeah we signed a lot of young vets last year coming off their rookie contracts, but it was the first year in the system and with each other and they competed for the division and made the playoffs.
That is no short feet for a hodge podge of FAs, rookies and some vets. Including a rookie QB. **** look back at the 99 Skins. A bunch of HoF FA past their prime but they couldn't muster more than 8 wins.

Faster on Defense is a definite potential improvement. I think a second year Barmore and an apparent reborn Godchaux is an improvement. No way to argue losing Jackson is an improvement. But the rookie looks good so far. We'll see when the real bullets start flying. But an improvement in the two levels in front of them should help a lot. I think the overall safety play is better than last year.

Smith looks to be ready to be a major contributor this season. Parker is clearly an improvement over what we had last year. The WR corp as a whole is much deeper than last year. QB going into his second season is better than last year. And I think a second year Stevenson will be an improvement over Harris of last year and at a minimum is an improvement for the RB corp as a whole. Losing White sucks but that is the way last year ended anyway.

The only reason for the panic is the lack luster offensive performances in pre season. Hard to judge if that is reality and what the regular season will bring. We shall find out soon enough.
 
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Deus Irae

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I am being honest. But you also know that upgrades don't always come in the form of new personell. It can be guys growing into their position. Getting comfortable in the system. Yeah we signed a lot of young vets last year coming off their rookie contracts, but it was the first year in the system and with each other and they completed for the division and made the playoffs.
That is no short feet for a hodge podge of FAs, rookies and some vets. Including a rookie QB. **** look back at the 99 Skins. A bunch of HoF FA past their prime but they couldn't muster more than 8 wins.

Faster in Defense is a definite potential improvement. I think a second year Barmore and an apparent reborn Godchaux is an improvement. No way to argue losing Jackson is an improvement. But the rookie looks good so far. We'll see when the real bullets start flying. But an improvement in the two levels in front of them should help a lot. I think the overall safety play is better than last year.

Smith looks to be ready to be a major contributor this season. Parker is clearly an improvement over what we had last year. The WRciro as a whole is much deeper than last year. QB going into his second season is better than last year. And I think a second year Stevenson will be an improvement over Harris of last year and at a minimum is an improvement for the RV corp as a whole. Losing White sucks but that is the way last year ended anyway.

The only reason for the panic is the lack luster offensive performances in pre season. Hard to judge if that is reality if what the regular season will bring. We shall find out soon enough.

If you honestly "have no idea why people are sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has", then you should be re-doing your analysis, because reasons for people "sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has" are easy to see.

The exercise I suggested becomes a good example of why some people "have no idea why people are sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has" while some people see the potential problems and don't think the personnel is so good that not pimping it is the equivalent of sleeping on it. Some things that were missed/overlooked/minimized, beyond what was already acknowledged, include

  • Ted Karras gone
  • Bourne struggling in training camp to the point of being dropped to 3rd string, after being arguably the team's best receiver last year
  • Wynn switching sides and struggling with it
  • Parker is an upgrade over Harry, but that's an upgrade to the WR4/WR5 spot, not necessarily to the WR1 spot (see Bourne, above), which is what was really needed in order to adjust the WR slotting


Note to people who might be inclined to jump down my throat over my posts in this thread:

Optimism is, obviously, fine in an optimism thread, and I'm just referring to that one line, which I thought went from optimism to a bit of insanity.
 

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Despite what you read here, McDaniel's was the best in the business.

Bill could trust the entire offense to him.

Why not put up with a little annoying to have that?

I'm sure the Colts found McDaniel's annoying.
What are you basing this evaluation on? How was mcdaniels annoying?
He never trusted the entire offense to him.
 
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mgcolby

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If you honestly "have no idea why people are sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has", then you should be re-doing your analysis, because reasons for people "sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has" are easy to see.

The exercise I suggested becomes a good example of why some people "have no idea why people are sleeping on the offensive personnel this team has" while some people see the potential problems and don't think the personnel is so good that not pimping it is the equivalent of sleeping on it. Some things that were missed/overlooked/minimized, beyond what was already acknowledged, include

  • Ted Karras gone
  • Bourne struggling in training camp to the point of being dropped to 3rd string, after being arguably the team's best receiver last year
  • Wynn switching sides and struggling with it
  • Parker is an upgrade over Harry, but that's an upgrade to the WR4/WR5 spot, not necessarily to the WR1 spot (see Bourne, above), which is what was really needed in order to adjust the WR slotting


Note to people who might be inclined to jump down my throat over my posts in this thread:

Optimism is, obviously, fine in an optimism thread, and I'm just referring to that one line, which I thought went from optimism to a bit of insanity.
Did you read my initial post? I addressed Bourne. Parker is an upgrade over everyone.

I think Strange will be just fine. And Wynn has played RT before and honestly I have no problem with Cajuste at RT over Wynn.

They upgraded the WR position at both the top and depth. Smith looks good, the backs we know what we have. So basically your thinking my insanity comes from essentially a rookie G and often injured RT, who is being out played by Cajuste anyway?
 


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