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Year End Analysis: How Much of the Defense Was Belichick?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Vindicate, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Vindicate

    Vindicate Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    After an off-season of coordinator and unit coach poachings, one of the bigger names shipped to another state was Flores. Flores fielded a unit that gradually became more impressive throughout the year, putting on lights-out performance in the biggest game of the year.

    Days, weeks, and headlines went by - as did a potential candidate (Schiano) - and by crunch time, there were no DC's signed to the squad. It was then half-announced (I think only reporters "confirmed" this, and the team never did themselves) that Belichick himself would assume a lot of the defensive coordinator's responsibilities. The fanbase was excited - we know what he's capable of in the world of football, but to think of him having a heavier hand on the side of the ball that he knows best, with a savant-like understanding - we were salivating at the results.

    As we got closer to the season, and especially in camp and in the preseason, we got word that Mayo was not only back on the team in a coaching role, but was on the sidelines helping call plays. Bill's son, Steve, was also involved enough to the point where his name was thrown around more times this year than previous.

    After that, there wasn't much talk of who was the most involved, but there still was talk - it was just directed towards one of the most smothering first halves of a season we've ever seen. The 2019 Patriots fielded an insane passing defense with DPOY Gilmore stepping into his prime and outright blanketing his matchups. The safeties enjoyed a strong year, JC Jackson had absurd QB ratings in throws against him, and it was ridiculous. The run game was our weakness, but even then - teams had to be really well built for the run to make the most of it.

    Talent stepped up for sure - Hightower enjoyed a healthy year, Van Noy saw his name in headlines more than ever, and Collins.. well, was Collins (my favorite player to watch). But how much of this dominance should be attributed to Belichick assuming a larger role in game planning?

    Their success even carried into the late season and post-season. Our offense was just so abysmal, we couldn't get the job done. We stifled KC as much as they can be, the Ravens game was close for quite some time, even though they were seen as our worst match-up. Even the Titans game was always within reach until the end. The undermine their performance based on the end of season foibles completely discounts the fact that, well, they actually did their job pretty goddamn well. We just couldn't depend on the offense to score even 14 pts. Also, as I've mentioned in previous threads, their snap count had to be OUTRAGEOUS, which in turn fatigues the defense and continually gives opposing offenses another chance.

    We ended the year with 14.08ppg, 278 yds/pg, 55% catch rate, 13 passing TDs to 25 ints, about 25% rate on 3rd down for opposing teams, but close to 45% on scores allowed once opponent teams were in the red zone. Sacks sat at a cool 47, with 91 QB hits.

    So. How much of this was talent? How much of it was coaching? Also, I'm by no means a stat-head, and I know the stats I tossed out are the ones that like. Fantasy fans look at, so if there are more telling stats, please toss 'em in. Also, if any of my stats are wrong, correct me - I was going off of memory from something I read hours ago!
     
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  2. FCB02062

    FCB02062 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    How bout the first 8 games being against the best the Yankee Conference has to offer?
     
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  3. Hyped

    Hyped PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My comments:

    1.) It was 65% talent and 35% scheme/coaching, IMO. We were stacked on that side of the ball with what I consider the best secondary in the BB era, deep LB corps of Hightower/KVN/Collins/Bentley/Roberts, some pretty good rotational edge play, and a durable/dependable Lawrence Guy on the DL.

    2.) Our D was good enough to get out of the first round....had Chung not been hurt, I think they only kick a FG on that first drive and Tannehill doesn't hit Frisker on that crucial 3rd down in the 4th quarter. Then in the 2nd round, we probably lose at Arrowhead...but it would only be because the offense wouldn't be able to score 27+.

    3.) If you look at the past....BB did it himself in 2000 with mixed results....then when Crennel left for the Browns...it was Mangini who developed in Foxboro....then after he bolted to the Jete...it was Pees for 4 seasons...Pees did okay...we just didn't have talent...then no coordinator for a while...with Pepper Johnson and Matty P in the wings...then Matty P....then Flores without an official title....now Steve B and Mayo without official titles....

    So, I say....it was more talent...citing the 2000, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons.... I mean it was no accident that once we added Revis.....our secondary problems were fixed instantly.
     
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  4. fightingirish595

    fightingirish595 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Having a corner like Gilmore imo creates a trickle down effect which really allows you to do a lot of different things defensively.


    just look at what Rex used to do with revis. Now Obviously they had more solid talent on their D in 09 and 10 than the years after that.

    As Bill would say it’s a players game. Most of it is talent.

    Most Super bowl champions this decade had a shutdown guy or close to 2 in some cases. Can’t really claim causality there though.
     
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  5. Vindicate

    Vindicate Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    It like the dual analysis and citing previous seasons Belichick has drawn up success in similar situations. I also agree that had some key members not gone out in the wild card, we could've won.


    Great input... :/ They shutdown the same offense in the second half that just obliterated both the Titans and Texans. They are also the only reason we were neck and neck with the Ravens.

    Gilmore's effect really can't be overstated. It allowed us to put great/decent CBs on matchups that they could easily handle.
     
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  6. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie In the Starting Line-Up

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    Pats were 8-0 then went 4-5 after trading Michael Bennett... ?
     
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  7. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The defense was very good but not quite "dominate" meaning early in
    the season they set the offense up for success however if the offense hung
    them out to dry they would eventually be exposed. :(
     
  8. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Pro Bowl Player

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    Thought besides the Baltimore game, the defense put them in a position to win every game including the Tennessee game. Your right, they got exposed but only because the offense didn’t hold up their end like you said. I mean 24 points to the Chiefs in any other year for this offense was a slam dunk as well as 13 or 14 to the titans. Oh well, spilt milk on a Wednesday night.
     
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  9. bigballas

    bigballas Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    nah, Bennett was insignificant contributor and didnt fit the scheme. The real problem was being stuck to Wynn and the 1st round draft pick.

    We were 9-1 with Newhouse (barely losing at Baltimore) AND ..3-5 with Wynn.

    :D
     
  10. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Spot on. Can’t emphasize enough how good Gilmore is and how important to the defense. He is the biggest reason for the defensive dominance, or at least as much as that’s possible in this era. Without Gilmore this is a pretty typical Patriots defense with a solid secondary but lacking in other areas. The domino effect is tremendous...again, I point to the Miami loss as evidence of Gilmore’s greatness. When he didn’t play at an elite level and couldn’t shut down an elite receiver, the defense struggled badly. In roughly 13 out of 16 games he was a magician out there and rivaled only by prime Revis (in the post-2004 pass “defense” era.)

    I think there is some causality in winning, and especially winning in the postseason. Pass rushers are a dime a dozen, while Von Miller had that incredible playoff run, even that was boosted very much by Talib and Harris smothering receivers. Belichick spends a lot on defensive backs (Revis, McCourty, and Gilmore were all market setters) because that’s what championship teams need. The decade started with the Steelers and Packers in the SB; Polamalu and Woodson were both DPOY around that time. Ed Reed’s Ravens won it all. The Legion of Boom won the next year with Sherman and Revis. The Patriots, with Revis, finally broke their drought in 2015. Already mentioned 2015 as Talib and Harris were dominant. And then Gilmore in 2018 was first team all-pro and enabled the Patriots to win a historical defensive dominant Super Bowl.

    All-pro defensive backs and Lombardi trophies have been finding each other a lot this past decade.

    Pass rushers get the highlight reel sacks and win awards with their big numbers. Great defensive backs may get INTs sometimes, but their real value is in preventing highlights. Elite defensive backs are much more valuable than elite linemen. Yet top DBs get $15M and top linemen over $20M. Bill’s economics once again comes into play. In hindsight, the Gilmore signing was absolutely in line with Bill’s understanding of value and cap economics. Also explains why he takes big risks on DBs in the second round. They haven’t planned out, but he has explained that round 2 is where you swing for the fences. Clearly defensive backs are the guys you want to hit home runs with because their upside is tremendous and you can actually extend them if they are good.
     
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  11. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    When were Sherman and Revis on the same team?
    I gather you mean Sherman and Browner.

     
  12. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    yeah, typo.
     
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  13. stinkypete

    stinkypete In the Starting Line-Up

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    Can both be an answer?

    It's always been Belichick running the scheme, changing on the fly to adjust to talent. This year was no different. In most of the seasons that were cited (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2017) the defense ranked highly in ppg despite having profound deficiencies in depth and talent. Belichick defenses always overachieve.

    The talent held opponents to 14 ppg. The 2017 defense would have given up 30 to Dallas and probably 40+ to KC. Put this defense on any Patriots team from 2005 on and that team probably wins the Super Bowl.
     
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