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Ballard Move = Brilliant

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Ballard Move = Brilliant

    In response to TripleOG's comment:

    Garrett Mills and Greg Salas arent exactly lighting the world on fire.  If this move pans out, then It will look very good in hindsight if Gronk is not ready week 1

    WHen I make an assessment it does not always require hindsight to validate it. A choice can clearly be a good move even if it ends up not being meaningful or effective due to some other later events. This move is unquestionably a smart one. If Gronk and Hern are completely healthy all year it wont be as meaningful as otherwise. But it does not make it any less smart.

    This is not the same as evaluating who to draft. There are unknowns about how a player will translate into the NFL (both physical and mental / emotion aspects come in to play - as does fit). Hindsight here is generally a requirement in final assessment.


  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from NY-PATS-FAN4. Show NY-PATS-FAN4's posts

    Re: Ballard Move = Brilliant

    In response to Eldunker's comment:

    As an ex athlete, and having experienced a torn ACL (independent of a microfracture as well), I can't comprehend how these super humans can come back and play pro football, virtually as good as new in less than 2 years.    

    Lots and lots and lots of cortisone.

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from oklahomapatriot. Show oklahomapatriot's posts

    Re: Ballard Move = Brilliant

    I'm loving the triple TE threat

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from CablesWyndBairn. Show CablesWyndBairn's posts

    Re: Ballard Move = Brilliant

    In response to TripleOG's comment:

    Garrett Mills and Greg Salas arent exactly lighting the world on fire.  If this move pans out, then It will look very good in hindsight if Gronk is not ready week 1

    If you're referring to my post, my point was that BB preferred not to lose either of those guys but had to expose them to waivers, and both were claimed.  If the Giants didn't want to lose Ballard, then they shouldn't have put him out there. 

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Paul_K. Show Paul_K's posts

    Re: Ballard Move = Brilliant

    In response to BabeParilli's comment:

    I have never said BB sucked at drafting. He is, meh, at drafting. I have always said he is a good trader and manages the cap well. I measure team building by Lombardis. Inthe end, all else is moot.

    BB is, among other things, a good manager of a team of coaches.  His coaches, like his players, sometimes have to toe the line and at other times can develop and implement their collective pet theories.  The scouts' opinions are largely trusted, and so BB drafts some really strange guys that often work out well.  If they weren't, those scouts would be fired.  The coaching staff, and a brain trust of people who never set foot on the field, all comes with all sorts of unique schemes -- the 3-4, the 5-2 for Pittsburgh, the 1-6 for the Hail Mary play. 


    For quite a few years, BB was preeminent at trading.  I think that the rest of the NFL wants to catch up to him now because a 146-46 record over 12 years is probably unparalleled in modern NFL history.  We did see a bit of the old Trader Bill but mostly BB weighed his scouts' picks versus any offer on the table.  Duron Harmon reportedly outweighed a nice offer on the table, so we'll see how he works out.

    I think the Patriots' specific picking of players in the draft, with BB running the show, has been excellent overall, and it's one part of the team's 146-46 record.  Nobody hits every pick, but I can't say the same derogatory things about Gronk, Vince Wilfork and Logan Mankins that I say about Kyle Mini-Me Williams, the Sanchize and Stone-Hips Gholston.   BB's playing the odds ahead of time by stocking up on second and third round draft picks is another major gain for the club, akin to a poker pro knowing when to bet early.  His excellent disguising of the team's draft intentions beforehand also compares to a poker pro not tipping his hand with same old same old betting of certain types of hands. 

    BB also plays the free agent process as an adjunct part of the Patriots' draft strategy.  Notice how he beefs up the roster with experienced midrange players at weak spots, and with over-the-hill guys where draft choices are going to grow into the job by midseason.  People laughed at his spending a fourth rounder for that idiot Aqib Talib for only 4 games of play, but Talib seems to be still filling a starting role in 2013.  Funny how that worked out for the team. 

    BB started out with the worst draft choices in the whole of the NFL, partly because he goes out and gets some experienced players, and partly because the team keeps going pretty deep into the playoffs.  Given that #32 starting position I think he's going to overachieve in the 2013 draft.

    Finally we get to Ballard.  The price was right, zero draft picks and a $500,000 ante into the pot to get into this game.  Ballard could optimally revert to his 2011 form, in which case Brady has an outlet target behind (or lining up opposite) Gronk or Ridley has another hole to hit, depending on whether any particular defense chooses to go weak against the pass or weak against the run.  BB has reinvented the NFL's offensive game with two tight ends on the field almost all the time, and continuity in the playbook is important.  The team's $500,000 ante plus Ballard's $600,000 salary this year will be nothing compared to the potential upside, taking the luck of the injury bug into account.  Here comes the last card from the dealer, and soon we'll see whether all that early betting produced a big winner.

    Lately, the funniest Radio Shack teams are consistently coming out of nowhere to win the Super Bowl.  This didn't happen for many years, and because the numbers no longer add up like they used to, I think there's a smell.  In fact, something smelled awful in New Orleans recently.  So, I measure success by looking at regular season win-loss records. 

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Ballard Move = Brilliant


    Bill Belichick has done a great job utilizing two TEs, but it's a bit of a myth that he invented the two TE offense.  Indianapolis was well-known for employing it for years. This article from 2000 shows how a number of teams were employing it way back then. 


    Sunday, October 08, 2000

    Two tight ends better than one

    Bengals may have found key to jumpstarting offense

    By Mark Curnutte
    The Cincinnati Enquirer

            The Bengals' offense had gone 34 consecutive possessions without scoring a point entering last Sunday's game with Miami.

            They opened in a two-tight end set, starting backup Marco Battaglia and regular Tony McGee.

            Voila! The Bengals went 80 yards on 13 plays for only their second touchdown of the season. The running game got untracked for a season-high 191 yards. Second-year quarterback Akili Smith, playing his best game since his first start as a rookie connected over the middle with McGee on the touchdown drive.

            The two-tight end offense — all the rage in Tennessee, Indianapolis and other NFL cities — made a smashing debut in Cincinnati. The Bengals scored the first three times they had the ball. The tight ends had eight receptions for 93 yards.

            Bengals coaches aren't saying how much they'll use the two-tight end formation today against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. But it's certain the Titans will use it a lot.

            Tennessee uses two tight ends an estimated 80 percent of the time. The Titans employ one of the league's best tight ends, Frank Wycheck, and one of the biggest, 272-pound Erron Kinney, as integral pieces of their offense.

            In Baltimore, coach Brian Billick went after free agent veteran tight ends Shannon Sharpe and Ben Coats in the offseason to help develop quarterback Tony Banks' intermediate passing game and improve the team's red zone production.

            In Indianapolis last season, Ken Dilger had 15 starts and 40 catches and Marcus Pollard had 10 starts and 34 receptions for the 13-3 Colts. Both players are tight ends.

            “The tight end is utilized the least of any player on offense,” ESPN pro football analyst Merril Hoge said Friday. “Two tight ends are an advantage in the running game because they force the defense to have a balanced look. That allows the offense to run at the defense's soft spot.”

            The second tight end is taking the place of the traditional blocking fullback, just as a third wide receiver does.

            Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Marc Trestman says a second tight end is a much more viable pass receiver than a fullback, but unlike a wide receiver, defenses must account for the second tight end in the passing game and the running game.

            Trestman is among offensive coordinators who think the old-fashioned blocking fullback gives defenses clues as to the direction of running plays.

            In Cincinnati, in addition to springing the running game, the double tight end could take pressure off the Bengals' pair of rookie wide receivers, Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans.

            “We have the personnel to do it,” Bengals tight ends coach Frank Verducci said of the set. “It alleviates teams from just pressing up on the young wide receivers. It gives us some options. It creates mismatches.”

            The mismatch for the tight ends comes when they are covered by safeties or linebackers in pass coverage.

            Titans coach Steve Fisher said the formation gives quarterbacks “a quicker threat in the underneath passing game because you're lined up on the line of scrimmage. It also gives the quarterback the opportunity to check up and run away from the strength of the defense.”

            The Bengals' John Jackson, a veteran who plays offensive tackle, the position that gets blocking help from the second tight end, said the formation “allows (the offense) to dictate what you're going to do as opposed to the other way around. It's ball-control oriented.”

            Against the Dolphins, using two tight ends much of the time, Cincinnati saw five of its 10 drives go for 10 or more plays.

            McGee, the Bengals starting tight end, who's both a good blocker and pass receiver, liked the set because it helped the running game.

            “It's usually a run formation,” said McGee, who had six receptions Sunday for 74 yards. “If you can get some positive things from it in the passing game, that's an added bonus.

            “It all goes back to the run. If you get that going, you can mix it up across the board.”

            And no one was happier than Battaglia, who played an estimated 35 of the Bengals' 79 offensive plays in the loss to the Dolphins and had two receptions for 19 yards.

            “It felt great to be out there, to contribute,” said Bataglia, who had a career-high 14 receptions last season. “That's the most plays I've gotten in in give years.”

            Battaglia, the team's special team's captain, calls it a new lease on life. He was Cincinnati's second-round draft pick in 1996 from Rutgers, where he finished his college career with 171 receptions for 2,221 yards.

            At 6-foot-3, 252 pounds, Battaglia is known as a big wide receiver who can block.

            “I think a big wide receiver should catch the ball,” he said. “I like running with the ball after the catch.”

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