Re: Bill O'Brien is easily the worst coordinator in Pro Football
posted at 11/7/2011 7:10 AM EST
BB is making the personnel decisions, so if O'Brien is the problem, the blame ultimately rests with BB because BB has had several years now to assess O'Brien's talent and decide whether or not to keep him.
One myth, though, needs to be busted. This offense is not that talented. Brady is good, the TEs are good, and Welker is good. After that, we really don't have much in the skill positions. I thought the O line was pretty good, but they seem to be losing it too. Part of the problem for the O line, though, is that teams don't have to worry too much about either the run or the deep pass, so they can really concentrate their efforts on pass rush and short pass defense. The line has a tougher job because of it, I think. A lot of teams are loading up the box with 8,9, even 10 men at or near the LOS. That makes life hard for the line.
Those who are defending the defense are ignoring its faults. The pass coverage is atrocious. It's not just our DBs but our LBs too. We just don't have enough guys who can play close to the receiver effectively and make plays on the ball. And the pass rush continues to be subpar. We are good against the run--it's always been a strength for this defense--and we tighten up in the red zone when our pass defenders have a smaller area to cover. This has helped us limit points scored. But teams get in the redzone too frequently. If you give up lots of shots on net, the other team will score, even if your goalie plays well. That's kind of where the Pats are now. They can't stop drives outside the red zone, and so teams get lots of shots against their red zone defense. Those teams won't score all the time--but they are scoring enough to win, particularly when our offense sputters.
There are scheme issues on both offense and defense . . . but I'm afraid the scheme is often dictated by the talent. If you don't have guys who can cover man-to-man, then you are going to be forced into playing a lot of softer zones. If you don't have a deep threat and don't have great running backs, you're going to have to pass short.
So we can criticize scheme, but maybe the real fault lies with scouting and player development. We're either bringing in the wrong guys or we're not developing them well once they're here. I think there's some of both. For instance, I'm not sure Ridley was the best guy to draft . . . but now that he's here, why aren't we doing more to get him in the mix? Why do our corners always seem to regress? What's happening with our O line that everyone seemed to think was good and that now can't seem to hold their own? Was the talent playing above it's head earlier in the season? Or is the talent playing below it's potential because the coaching has the players confused and losing confidence in themselves? I don't know the answer, but increasingly I'm wondering whether talent acquisition and development is becoming a big problem for this team--and maybe BB needs more experienced help in those areas to right the ship.