In response to anonymis' comment:
In response to zbellino's comment:
See, that second part I disgree with on a bunch of levels. I've coached youths. I've taught for years.
One thing you do not do is teach someone one thing only to turn around and teach it another way entirely later on. You don't want people to have to unlearn bad habits.
What you do, what every NFL team does, is just limit their reps working them in as they gradually assimilate more material.
You don't completely alter the offense. You are going to have 3-4 guys on the field at TE or WR or RB who know it, Brady has been playing with those plays and terms meaning one thing his entire career ... you don't gut it just to get a rookie some reps.
It would hurt the team by limiting its options. Give the rookie garbage, college level routes to run that would easily show up on film, it would confuse the tons of players who are already int he system and when they hear a call expect a wide receiver to do a certain thing (effectively asking everyone to unlearn what they've spent a decade or less learning). Finally, it would teach them nothing in the long haul because they'd have to simply learn it at some point if you wanted to run an NFL caliber offense.
When your star Qb goes down midseason, that is the time you might trim the sets down for everyone because you are in a kind of panic mode. You might run more to take the pressure off. You might run less total passing plays so you can maximize the concepts he grasps.
When you are talking about rookie WRs who will have had a whole camp to prepare and an otherwise intact offense .... the suggestion you are making is just over the top.
Just work them in as they grab the concepts in practice. When you are confident they can run mistake free concepts (largely) you let them go out there. AS they learn more and perfect more, you give them more playing time.
Again, I have not said that the the entire offense should be revamped - so, you have both misinterpreted what I'm trying to say.
So let's say that a particular pass play has a receiver with a certain route that has 5 options - cutting it down to 3 options and adding the other 2 later on would make it simpler to put the WR in a position to succeed - instead of having all 5 options - the receiver running the wrong route and ending up in an INT.
In addition, if they have 500 passing plays and they only use 100 of them for the first quarter of the season, isn't that simplifying the playbook?
how is that overhauling the entire system?
As far as your first idea goes .. why reduce the plays? Just reduce the playing time for the guys who don't get more than 100 plays. That way you are maximizing the plays for everyone and getting the most out of your available talent. That is exactly what BB and the rest of the NFL does now. Just ease the rookies in as they assimilate more material.
Your second idea, that just will never, ever (really not in a million years) happen.
Why? Let me explain the offense NE uses.
Because the Erhardt-Perkins offense uses words, like Alabama (for instance) to conjure up an image of two routes on one side of the field. OK. Now that word for the outside recievers conjures about three different things they are supposed to do. Maybe two for the inside recievers (be he a TE, slot or FB/HB). Now those routes are designed to be run together. They operate synergistically. The QB (Brady) has been running that concept in mutliple formations for 13 seasons or something, and the inside receivers (TEs and slots and RBs) all around three.
If you tinker or reduce the outside route ... you ARE overhauling the entire system. You need to also reduce the inside route. I'll illustrate how.
We'll call our concept "Crusher."
So let's say your "Crusher" concept involves a two man route combination where the inside WR runs a quick flat route, and the outside WR runs an "DIG" pattern -- it's actually a commonly used concept as they cross and clear each other but at different levels. The inside player takes his man outside clearing a throwing lane for the "DIG" pattern, while the outside receiver runs his "IN" clearing a RAC lane for the inside guy should he get the ball.
Let's add that "Crusher" is like most EP concepts, and has been the same for decades. It used to just be the FB who ran the "flat" route 25 years ago ... that you have a slot WR running the "flat" now is insubstantial as the "concept" of two routes clearing each other is the exact same .... only the personnel package has changed. Everyone on the team knows crusher, except your rookies. They all know it from all the packages they are in that employ "Crusher."
Let's also say that "Crusher" has three options for the outside WR, and two for the inside WR. For the outside WR on a "hot route" he converts to a slant, and the inside WR keeps his "flat" route, so you get a common "crossing" notion, that functions like a pick if you coach it right.
Now let's say the other option for the inside WR in the event that he sees Cover One coverage shaded to the other side of the field is to run a "GO" route (NE does this all the time with their slot), and the outside WR in that circumstance converts to a quick "Comeback" so he doesn't cross up with the Go route, and in fact, the "GO" reciever can block for him downfield should he slip his CB upon reception.
Now lets say you "reduce" the outside route for Dobson (or whoever, because these are the guys you are talking about). In every single circumstance he runs an "IN" ... great ... simple for him, just like college.
1.) Brady has to re-learn that in Cover One he still only has a DIG pattern. Or he could end up throwing to a comeback that isn't there for an INC.
AND You either have to ...
2.) Reduce the inside WR's options to just the flat route as well, "reteaching" him the concept, or ...
3.) When you see cover One your inside WR is going to cross up and crash with outside WR as he runs his "Dig" route, or possible that Brady expecting a slant on a "hot route" could throw the ball into space, or a linebacker the is shading over because he sees the "Crusher" concept developing it's "Dig" route.
This is even a stripped down version because they often have MORE options than that based on different coverages the defense gives them. It's a color-by-numbers representation of Erhardt-Perkins.
Long story short, everyone on the offense, but most particularly the inside WRs and Brady, would have to learn something entirely new. Even if it's stripped down and has less options, it's still relearning it.
Then you multiply that about 100 times so you have some kind of playbook to draw from and you aren't running the same bunch of stripped down plays every single week.
Then later you have to come back and re-establish that concept key word to mean what it fully means ... ie., all the hot route options and the second level concepts it indicates, that is to say, the stuff that college WRs on every NFL team have trouble with.
Presumably by midseason you would have to be teaching the kid that "Crusher" (and all the other concepts you've stripped down) means something more, and having everyone shift gears.
The long and short of it? It would be a complete sh!tshow. You would confuse everyone. It would be much, much better just to do what BB and the NFL at large does ... just teach them as fast as you can and work THEM in as they acquire more concepts they can run.
Say Dobson has about 20 concepts down by week one, and adds another five each week. Those will pair with a large handful of runs based on the personnel packages they relate to. You use him sparingly at first, and gradually increase the number of plays he is involved in. You organize the concepts you teach him so you can use him in "situational" packages (i.e., maybe you teach him a bunch of concepts that you might use in a clock killing or opening drive?). That way he is capable of being out there for a whole drive and you don't have to sub. You teach the vets 75% of the playbook, and you piece together a full compliment of players that can run almost all the plays, getting that kid in on drives where he can stay on the field and run everything right.
If you strip it down?
I won't even mention how broken the offense would be running college level routes. Everyone in the NFL would be all over it after a few games. As soon as you saw one formation with that WR out there a few times ... you'd know his route.
It's like trying to replace a piece in a clock with an enitrely different piece because it's easier to make. You can't do that. You just need to build a different clock, that is, have a new system. Or wait until you can replace it. Or get a used stop gap piece until the new piece is ready.
NE will do all the latter. One or two of the vets will "learn" the system well enough, or maybe one of the rookies will take to it well.
What they won't do is strip the system down to suit a second round selection who might never pan out anyway. It would just confuse the rest of the team and derail the offense for an entire season.
Sorry to be a wet blanket ... but it doesn't work the way you are thinking that it does.