Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to anonymis' comment:

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Regardless, I think NE needs to develop some new sources of talent. Neither Gronk nor Hernandez are the Iron Horse; in fact, they've both lost quite a bit of time to injury in their young careers. 

    At the end of the day it's a huge dropoff for the offense when either one of them cannot go, especially against upper echelon defenses. 

    Over the last four post-seasons the offense has scored 16 points when missing one of their main targets. They have scored 36 points when all hands are on deck. The former is much more in line with what you see during the regular season.

    Given that over that span the defense surrenders about 24 per game, you know you need these guys healthy and ready to go ... or some other sources of talent that are more reliable.

    We can't really count on rookies like Dobson and Boyce (as promising as their talent is) to be that, though they could be down the road. And other than Amendola, none of the other guys in the WR look to be either the constant matchup problem that Gronk or Hernandez is, and none of them look like a guy with an X-factor as a playmaker.  

    Given Vereen's explosion in the second half of the Texan's game last season, I think he could be one source to tap as a dual threat back. Perhaps not as a 1600 yard rusher, but as a 1600 yard from scrimmage guy? Perhaps like a Brian Westbrook or something like that? In the event that NE has to go long stretches without Gronk, you could simulate a spread like in 2007, but with more talent in the backfield. 

     



    good post, but I think they do need participation by the rookies like Dobson and Boyce. Keep them involved early in the season , keep their playbook simple at first - and just create some separation - hit the open guy instead of locking in on one guy, ect....

     

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    I'm not saying they shouldn't incorporate those kids, just that you can't count on them as instant contributors. 

    As far as lowering the complexity of the playbook, it doesn't really work that way. NE has a system in place, the complexity has everything to do with how they call the plays etc. College WRs have difficulty with the adjustment across the NFL because of that. 

    You can't really adjust your playbook for a rookie, you just have to do what BB does. a.) get a veteran who can play, even at a low level, without making crucial mistakes to play in front of the rookie, and b.) bleed the rookies in slowly as they get more and more. 

    I don't agree with just forcing the ball their way for the sake of reps. That is what practice is for.

    The offense is essentially conservative in philosophy and the defense isn't something that can be relied upon. Just forcing the ball out there to keep a rookie involved sounds like it could lose you some games, and in the NFL every game counts. 

    Lastly, they do spread the ball around ... NE just hasn't had end to end talent in the offense. Lloyd had 74 catches last season as the 4th option, and the Pats connected 50 or more times with five different players. That's a pretty good spread. 

    That the slot gets 100+ catches is nothing new ... the slot position (even as an aggregate) has had 100+ catches in almost every season since Brady arrived. It's the meat and potatoes of the offense. 

    I think, in closing, what NE is looking for is what I'll call *quality touches*. Just getting the ball to guys because they are there and should be involved is what practice is for. You play the guys who are the most consistent after that and then get them the ball when they get open.

     
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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

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    In response to zbellino's comment:

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    In response to ghostofjri37's comment:

     

     

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    I think you will be pleasantly surprised with vareen's ability to run in between the tackles when he gets his oppotunities. I watched him play at Cal and he had pretty good success running in between the tackles. I don't think he could holdup doing it 20 times a game but he is a good change up from Ridley when they need to get ridley a blow.

     

     

     

     

     



    I share your optimism about Vareen, though I wonder why he didn't get more snaps last year.Last offseason I thought Woodhead might be on the cusp, partly because Woody's production was weaker in 2011 than in 2010 and partly because I thought Vareen would give him a run for his money.  But Woodhead won the role and Vereen was more a back up.  This offseason, though, suggests that BB is feeling like Vareen is now ready.  We'll see, but I agree that Vareen has intriguing versatility and more athletic potential than Woodhead.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Perhaps as another poster pointed out it was a trust issue. Perhpas it took him through 1/2 to 3/4 of the season in practices and limited touches in games to become fully competent in the offense. Just throwing those possibilities out there.

     

     

     

     

     

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    I suspect the latter.  I think they expect a lot from the back in that position, especially in pass protection.  If Woodhead knew all the assignments and was executing well, he wasn't going to be pulled in favour of a guy still learning who might therefore be more mistake prone.  Vereen never really replaced Woodhead, he just started getting chances as other offensive weapons (bolden, hern, gronk, stallworth, edelman) got injured or suspended.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Regardless, I think NE needs to develop some new sources of talent. Neither Gronk nor Hernandez are the Iron Horse; in fact, they've both lost quite a bit of time to injury in their young careers. 

    At the end of the day it's a huge dropoff for the offense when either one of them cannot go, especially against upper echelon defenses. 

    Over the last four post-seasons the offense has scored 16 points when missing one of their main targets. They have scored 36 points when all hands are on deck. The former is much more in line with what you see during the regular season.

    Given that over that span the defense surrenders about 24 per game, you know you need these guys healthy and ready to go ... or some other sources of talent that are more reliable.

    We can't really count on rookies like Dobson and Boyce (as promising as their talent is) to be that, though they could be down the road. And other than Amendola, none of the other guys in the WR look to be either the constant matchup problem that Gronk or Hernandez is, and none of them look like a guy with an X-factor as a playmaker.  

    Given Vereen's explosion in the second half of the Texan's game last season, I think he could be one source to tap as a dual threat back. Perhaps not as a 1600 yard rusher, but as a 1600 yard from scrimmage guy? Perhaps like a Brian Westbrook or something like that? In the event that NE has to go long stretches without Gronk, you could simulate a spread like in 2007, but with more talent in the backfield. 

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    Agree fully Z.  In fact, over the past three years or so I've been making the argument over and over that we have too few quality offensive weapons.  It was really bad in 2011 when the whole offense seemed to go through three guys (Welker, Hern, Gronk).  It was a bit better last year maybe, but a guy like Vereen who could be a true dual threat from the backfield would add a dimension that has been missing (or at least at diluted strength) since Faulk declined.  Woody was a nice story, but like BJGE, he wasn't a guy who really stuck any fear in defense's hearts.

    If Vereen can play  like Westbrook or maybe Sproles that would be huge.

    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah, check my last response to Anonymis.

    I think it's not necessarily that he is a dual threat, not for me. That has its benefits for sure. I agree with your earlier estimation. 

    But it's his explosiveness that I think makes a difference over the other backs. I don't think he'll ever be as good an interior runner as Ridley, who has a knack for that. But I also don't think Ridley will ever be the homerun threat Vereen is. 

    If we think of quality touches, the one that get chunks of yards, points, and force DCs to look at film and adjust, Vereen is a bit better. Frankly as a receiving option alone I think he merits more reps. 

     
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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to zbellino's comment:

     


    I'm not saying they shouldn't incorporate those kids, just that you can't count on them as instant contributors. 

    As far as lowering the complexity of the playbook, it doesn't really work that way. NE has a system in place, the complexity has everything to do with how they call the plays etc. College WRs have difficulty with the adjustment across the NFL because of that. 

    You can't really adjust your playbook for a rookie, you just have to do what BB does. a.) get a veteran who can play, even at a low level, without making crucial mistakes to play in front of the rookie, and b.) bleed the rookies in slowly as they get more and more. 

    I don't agree with just forcing the ball their way for the sake of reps. That is what practice is for.

    The offense is essentially conservative in philosophy and the defense isn't something that can be relied upon. Just forcing the ball out there to keep a rookie involved sounds like it could lose you some games, and in the NFL every game counts. 

    Lastly, they do spread the ball around ... NE just hasn't had end to end talent in the offense. Lloyd had 74 catches last season as the 4th option, and the Pats connected 50 or more times with five different players. That's a pretty good spread. 

    That the slot gets 100+ catches is nothing new ... the slot position (even as an aggregate) has had 100+ catches in almost every season since Brady arrived. It's the meat and potatoes of the offense. 

    I think, in closing, what NE is looking for is what I'll call *quality touches*. Just getting the ball to guys because they are there and should be involved is what practice is for. You play the guys who are the most consistent after that and then get them the ball when they get open.



    definitely wasn't promoting forcing a ball to any player, rookie or veteran, who has little experience with the offensive playbook.

    And, I would disagree that you can't simplify things - because BB basically did just that in Brady's first year when Bledsoe was hurt - and subsequently with Cassel when Brady got hurt.

    Look at all the veterans, like Ocho, who just didn't get it. I would rather "simplify" things at the beginning of the year instead of keeping things business as usual and have a WR run the wrong route - and Brady throwing an INT as a result.

     
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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to anonymis' comment:

     

    In response to zbellino's comment:

     

     

     

     


    I'm not saying they shouldn't incorporate those kids, just that you can't count on them as instant contributors. 

    As far as lowering the complexity of the playbook, it doesn't really work that way. NE has a system in place, the complexity has everything to do with how they call the plays etc. College WRs have difficulty with the adjustment across the NFL because of that. 

    You can't really adjust your playbook for a rookie, you just have to do what BB does. a.) get a veteran who can play, even at a low level, without making crucial mistakes to play in front of the rookie, and b.) bleed the rookies in slowly as they get more and more. 

    I don't agree with just forcing the ball their way for the sake of reps. That is what practice is for.

    The offense is essentially conservative in philosophy and the defense isn't something that can be relied upon. Just forcing the ball out there to keep a rookie involved sounds like it could lose you some games, and in the NFL every game counts. 

    Lastly, they do spread the ball around ... NE just hasn't had end to end talent in the offense. Lloyd had 74 catches last season as the 4th option, and the Pats connected 50 or more times with five different players. That's a pretty good spread. 

    That the slot gets 100+ catches is nothing new ... the slot position (even as an aggregate) has had 100+ catches in almost every season since Brady arrived. It's the meat and potatoes of the offense. 

    I think, in closing, what NE is looking for is what I'll call *quality touches*. Just getting the ball to guys because they are there and should be involved is what practice is for. You play the guys who are the most consistent after that and then get them the ball when they get open.

     

     



    definitely wasn't promoting forcing a ball to any player, rookie or veteran, who has little experience with the offensive playbook.

     

     

    And, I would disagree that you can't simplify things - because BB basically did just that in Brady's first year when Bledsoe was hurt - and subsequently with Cassel when Brady got hurt.

    Look at all the veterans, like Ocho, who just didn't get it. I would rather "simplify" things at the beginning of the year instead of keeping things business as usual and have a WR run the wrong route - and Brady throwing an INT as a result.

     

    Sorry, it sounded like you were advocating just getting people involved for the sake of iy. Or because they needed experience. This isn't a rebuilding team ... it's a team that needs to win now. You lose games that way. 

    But QB and WR are two different kinds of simplifications. 

    You don't remove the route tree from the perimeter WRs. That's an offesive overhaul. NE doesn't even have plays written that way. Your playbook, in total, is about 1000 plays. 

    You cull that down to a few 100 for the season. You cull that down to 50 or 60 for a game. More sometimes.

    Calling more running plays because your QB is green isn't the same as adjusting how you design plays and writing and entirely new system to work a rookie in. 

    Apples and oranges. 

    A lot of vets don't get it because NE plays a different style of offense than the rest of the NFL (except for a couple teams like the Steelers and Giants and now the Cowboys iirc). Some players don't get that.

    If you just mean slow it down ... well that is going to happen regardless. NE won't be able to run as many concepts with the vets or the rooks until they've been in it a while. 

    But it's really not a solution. Part of what has made this offense so effective in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s is the sheer variety of looks you can give. It's not complex internally unles you are used to something completely different. It's dixxying to opponents though. If you reduce the number of looks ... you really reduce the effectiveness. 

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

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    Sorry, it sounded like you were advocating just getting people involved for the sake of iy. Or because they needed experience. This isn't a rebuilding team ... it's a team that needs to win now. You lose games that way. 


    But QB and WR are two different kinds of simplifications. 

    You don't remove the route tree from the perimeter WRs. That's an offesive overhaul. NE doesn't even have plays written that way. Your playbook, in total, is about 1000 plays. 

    You cull that down to a few 100 for the season. You cull that down to 50 or 60 for a game. More sometimes.

    Calling more running plays because your QB is green isn't the same as adjusting how you design plays and writing and entirely new system to work a rookie in. 

    Apples and oranges. 

    A lot of vets don't get it because NE plays a different style of offense than the rest of the NFL (except for a couple teams like the Steelers and Giants and now the Cowboys iirc). Some players don't get that.

    If you just mean slow it down ... well that is going to happen regardless. NE won't be able to run as many concepts with the vets or the rooks until they've been in it a while. 

    But it's really not a solution. Part of what has made this offense so effective in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s is the sheer variety of looks you can give. It's not complex internally unles you are used to something completely different. It's dixxying to opponents though. If you reduce the number of looks ... you really reduce the effectiveness. 



    I think maybe we are saying the same thing, but just using different words.  I would agree that the current system in place (aka, the entire offensive playbook) is very complex right now.  However, I do think it was different (meaning simpler) when Brady took over from Bledsoe (and has grown more complex since). 

    And I agree that what the coaches call early on in the season may be one way to minimize risk (for example, throwing less or call fewer pass plays with complex tree routes).

    However, I would disagree in not simplifying the more complex tree routes on some plays at first and adding to the same route later as the season goes on. I don't think it means an overhaul as you say - because the various passing plays have different levels of complexity.

    Maybe this is where BB is outdoing himself - and making the system too complex for the average professional athlete.  When you have and endless amount of new/incoming veterans and rookies who fail at the system.

     

     
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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

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    In response to ghostofjri37's comment:

     

     

     

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    I think you will be pleasantly surprised with vareen's ability to run in between the tackles when he gets his oppotunities. I watched him play at Cal and he had pretty good success running in between the tackles. I don't think he could holdup doing it 20 times a game but he is a good change up from Ridley when they need to get ridley a blow.

     

     

     

     

     

     



    I share your optimism about Vareen, though I wonder why he didn't get more snaps last year.Last offseason I thought Woodhead might be on the cusp, partly because Woody's production was weaker in 2011 than in 2010 and partly because I thought Vareen would give him a run for his money.  But Woodhead won the role and Vereen was more a back up.  This offseason, though, suggests that BB is feeling like Vareen is now ready.  We'll see, but I agree that Vareen has intriguing versatility and more athletic potential than Woodhead.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Perhaps as another poster pointed out it was a trust issue. Perhpas it took him through 1/2 to 3/4 of the season in practices and limited touches in games to become fully competent in the offense. Just throwing those possibilities out there.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    I suspect the latter.  I think they expect a lot from the back in that position, especially in pass protection.  If Woodhead knew all the assignments and was executing well, he wasn't going to be pulled in favour of a guy still learning who might therefore be more mistake prone.  Vereen never really replaced Woodhead, he just started getting chances as other offensive weapons (bolden, hern, gronk, stallworth, edelman) got injured or suspended.

     

     

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    Regardless, I think NE needs to develop some new sources of talent. Neither Gronk nor Hernandez are the Iron Horse; in fact, they've both lost quite a bit of time to injury in their young careers. 

     

    At the end of the day it's a huge dropoff for the offense when either one of them cannot go, especially against upper echelon defenses. 

    Over the last four post-seasons the offense has scored 16 points when missing one of their main targets. They have scored 36 points when all hands are on deck. The former is much more in line with what you see during the regular season.

    Given that over that span the defense surrenders about 24 per game, you know you need these guys healthy and ready to go ... or some other sources of talent that are more reliable.

    We can't really count on rookies like Dobson and Boyce (as promising as their talent is) to be that, though they could be down the road. And other than Amendola, none of the other guys in the WR look to be either the constant matchup problem that Gronk or Hernandez is, and none of them look like a guy with an X-factor as a playmaker.  

    Given Vereen's explosion in the second half of the Texan's game last season, I think he could be one source to tap as a dual threat back. Perhaps not as a 1600 yard rusher, but as a 1600 yard from scrimmage guy? Perhaps like a Brian Westbrook or something like that? In the event that NE has to go long stretches without Gronk, you could simulate a spread like in 2007, but with more talent in the backfield. 

    [/QUOTE]

    Agree fully Z.  In fact, over the past three years or so I've been making the argument over and over that we have too few quality offensive weapons.  It was really bad in 2011 when the whole offense seemed to go through three guys (Welker, Hern, Gronk).  It was a bit better last year maybe, but a guy like Vereen who could be a true dual threat from the backfield would add a dimension that has been missing (or at least at diluted strength) since Faulk declined.  Woody was a nice story, but like BJGE, he wasn't a guy who really stuck any fear in defense's hearts.

    If Vereen can play  like Westbrook or maybe Sproles that would be huge.

    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah, check my last response to Anonymis.

    I think it's not necessarily that he is a dual threat, not for me. That has its benefits for sure. I agree with your earlier estimation. 

    But it's his explosiveness that I think makes a difference over the other backs. I don't think he'll ever be as good an interior runner as Ridley, who has a knack for that. But I also don't think Ridley will ever be the homerun threat Vereen is. 

    If we think of quality touches, the one that get chunks of yards, points, and force DCs to look at film and adjust, Vereen is a bit better. Frankly as a receiving option alone I think he merits more reps. 

    [/QUOTE]

    This gets back to that odd idea some posters have that subbing running backs is a bad thing. I guess they feel like it "tips off" the defense too much.  But every NFL team does lots of subbing on offense (continually changing the mix of the five "eligibles" on the field) nowadays because no player (or very, very few) is equally good at everything his position demands.  Like you say, Ridley is a better interior runner and Vereen a better receiver/run-in-space guy, so you do have to rotate those guys to get the best from each.  Subbing is also beneficial to an offense because different combinations of talent create different challenges and match-up problems for the defense. In part you sub to get your best talent for particular plays and situations on the field; in part you sub to force the defense to defend more looks. 

    People focus on the running backs in this "too much subbing" argument, but if you look more broadly at the five guys who are eligible receiver/runners, I think the Pats have been forced to do too little subbing over the past few years.  In 2011 (which was the worse year for this, I think), they may have exchanged BJGE for Woodhead and vice versa a lot, but in the other four positions they were very static: Gronk, Hern, Welker, and Branch were out there almost all the time. They created a bit of diversity by using Hern in multiple ways (and they did periodically sub in someone else, like Ocho) and varying formations, but the offense, as effective as it was, was critically low in diversity.  If one of those starters got hurt or if a defense happened to have success against that starting group, the offense just ground to a halt. 

    Sort of related to the subbing argument is the idea that the Pats should use a fullback or other two-back sets.  This one puzzles me too.  If you're a two-TE team and you use two backs, then you can put only one WR on the field.  Sure, two backs makes sense to utilize once in a while, but there's no way it is going to be a frequently employed tactic if both Gronk and Hern are healthy and playing.  They can use one of the TEs more like a fullback (and they frequently slide the TE inside at the snap on running plays), but I don't see a FB added on top of two TEs very often except in short yardage.

    With Vereen, two-back sets might be more useful, but you certainly wouldn't be using Vereen as a blocking back.  Instead, you'd be using him as a receiver and probably flexing him out a lot (like they used to do effectively with Faulk, who was a decent receiving threat when lined up near the sideline).  That might work, but it's not the smashmouth running approach that some seem to want with a two-back set.  I think people forget that when they used guys like Marc Edwards and Heath Evans and Patrick Pass a lot, they were a one-TE team primarily.  The move to two TEs creates a different dynamic because you've already got two blocker-receivers on the field. 

     

     

     
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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    This gets back to that odd idea some posters have that subbing running backs is a bad thing. I guess they feel like it "tips off" the defense too much.  But every NFL team does lots of subbing on offense (continually changing the mix of the five "eligibles" on the field) nowadays because no player (or very, very few) is equally good at everything his position demands.  Like you say, Ridley is a better interior runner and Vereen a better receiver/run-in-space guy, so you do have to rotate those guys to get the best from each.  Subbing is also beneficial to an offense because different combinations of talent create different challenges and match-up problems for the defense. In part you sub to get your best talent for particular plays and situations on the field; in part you sub to force the defense to defend more looks. 

    People focus on the running backs in this "too much subbing" argument, but if you look more broadly at the five guys who are eligible receiver/runners, I think the Pats have been forced to do too little subbing over the past few years.  In 2011 (which was the worse year for this, I think), they may have exchanged BJGE for Woodhead and vice versa a lot, but in the other four positions they were very static: Gronk, Hern, Welker, and Branch were out there almost all the time. They created a bit of diversity by using Hern in multiple ways (and they did periodically sub in someone else, like Ocho) and varying formations, but the offense, as effective as it was, was critically low in diversity.  If one of those starters got hurt or if a defense happened to have success against that starting group, the offense just ground to a halt. 

    Sort of related to the subbing argument is the idea that the Pats should use a fullback or other two-back sets.  This one puzzles me too.  If you're a two-TE team and you use two backs, then you can put only one WR on the field.  Sure, two backs makes sense to utilize once in a while, but there's no way it is going to be a frequently employed tactic if both Gronk and Hern are healthy and playing.  They can use one of the TEs more like a fullback (and they frequently slide the TE inside at the snap on running plays), but I don't see a FB added on top of two TEs very often except in short yardage.

    With Vereen, two-back sets might be more useful, but you certainly wouldn't be using Vereen as a blocking back.  Instead, you'd be using him as a receiver and probably flexing him out a lot (like they used to do effectively with Faulk, who was a decent receiving threat when lined up near the sideline).  That might work, but it's not the smashmouth running approach that some seem to want with a two-back set.  I think people forget that when they used guys like Marc Edwards and Heath Evans and Patrick Pass a lot, they were a one-TE team primarily.  The move to two TEs creates a different dynamic because you've already got two blocker-receivers on the field. 



    I think I had posted a thread elsewhere about RBBC vs lead RB, and as an average during the regular season - the data suggested that more yards were gained/game using RBBC vs. one lead RB. However, I would say that the purpose of the run game changed from 2000-2005 vs. 2006-2012. Smith and Dillon rarely broke a run more than 10 yards, but they ran with a purpose; which was simply to move the chains when they needed to or for time management.  From 2001-2003, IMO, Brady had a simpler playbook at his disposal - and more conservative, high percentage pass plays were called/used by the OC.

    I'm thinking around 2004 but no later than 2007 - the offensive playbook became larger and more complex - no problem. The running game became an afterthought. BB eventually got rid of the FB player and used TEs like Hernandez instead - to block (and Vrabel too). In addition, BB thought so much of the running game that he brought on guys like Sam Morris and Fragile Fred, remember?

    I'm thinking BB finally realized he had to revamp the offense - and finally drafted guys like Gronk and Hernandez.  The running game became more important again - when BB got hold of Crumpler to block for the RB corp. Then he got rid of the dinosaurs and picked up guys like Ridley, Vereen, and Bolden. IMO, as long as there is the RB corp has a decent blocker up front - I think they can have an effective running game - or if the blocking schemes up front improve.  Our OL do a great job of protecting Brady, but I wonder how good they are re: blocking for the RB corp?  I'm not sure if they have any standout guards who can pull and block well.

    In addition, when our RB corp had guys like Faulk, Maroney, Morris, and Fragile Fred - if any one of those guys were used in the backfield - could u guess as to what play was going to be run in conjunction with the down and distance?

     
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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to anonymis' comment:

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Sorry, it sounded like you were advocating just getting people involved for the sake of iy. Or because they needed experience. This isn't a rebuilding team ... it's a team that needs to win now. You lose games that way. 


    But QB and WR are two different kinds of simplifications. 

    You don't remove the route tree from the perimeter WRs. That's an offesive overhaul. NE doesn't even have plays written that way. Your playbook, in total, is about 1000 plays. 

    You cull that down to a few 100 for the season. You cull that down to 50 or 60 for a game. More sometimes.

    Calling more running plays because your QB is green isn't the same as adjusting how you design plays and writing and entirely new system to work a rookie in. 

    Apples and oranges. 

    A lot of vets don't get it because NE plays a different style of offense than the rest of the NFL (except for a couple teams like the Steelers and Giants and now the Cowboys iirc). Some players don't get that.

    If you just mean slow it down ... well that is going to happen regardless. NE won't be able to run as many concepts with the vets or the rooks until they've been in it a while. 

    But it's really not a solution. Part of what has made this offense so effective in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s is the sheer variety of looks you can give. It's not complex internally unles you are used to something completely different. It's dixxying to opponents though. If you reduce the number of looks ... you really reduce the effectiveness. 

     



    I think maybe we are saying the same thing, but just using different words.  I would agree that the current system in place (aka, the entire offensive playbook) is very complex right now.  However, I do think it was different (meaning simpler) when Brady took over from Bledsoe (and has grown more complex since). 

     

    And I agree that what the coaches call early on in the season may be one way to minimize risk (for example, throwing less or call fewer pass plays with complex tree routes).

    However, I would disagree in not simplifying the more complex tree routes on some plays at first and adding to the same route later as the season goes on. I don't think it means an overhaul as you say - because the various passing plays have different levels of complexity.

    Maybe this is where BB is outdoing himself - and making the system too complex for the average professional athlete.  When you have and endless amount of new/incoming veterans and rookies who fail at the system.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    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.  

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from pcmIV. Show pcmIV's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    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.  



    Agreed.  Plus if you want more evidence that this is what NFL teams do just look at the track record of 1st and 2nd round WR picks in the past 5 years as an example.  I read an article that said since 2007 only 25% of those WR rookies topped over 50 catches, only 15% topped 6 TDs and AJ Green was the only rookie from the 1st 2 rounds to top 1000 yards.  It is incredibly uncommon for rookie receivers to have huge impact for a full season.  Some of it is because WR is a boom or bust postion, but a lot of it is also driven by coaching staffs only putting the new guys into positions where they can succeed which means limiting their snaps as opposed to trying to change the offense.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    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?

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to pcmIV's comment:

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    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.  

     



    Agreed.  Plus if you want more evidence that this is what NFL teams do just look at the track record of 1st and 2nd round WR picks in the past 5 years as an example.  I read an article that said since 2007 only 25% of those WR rookies topped over 50 catches, only 15% topped 6 TDs and AJ Green was the only rookie from the 1st 2 rounds to top 1000 yards.  It is incredibly uncommon for rookie receivers to have huge impact for a full season.  Some of it is because WR is a boom or bust postion, but a lot of it is also driven by coaching staffs only putting the new guys into positions where they can succeed which means limiting their snaps as opposed to trying to change the offense.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    so, then what is the purpose in bringing in new WRs every year either thru drafts, trades, or free agency if there is already going to be a pre-disposition that they can't learn the system even after off-season training and a full season (or 3) under their belt? You have noticed a large number of veteran WRs that have not been able to grasp it....

     
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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to anonymis' comment:

     



    I think I had posted a thread elsewhere about RBBC vs lead RB, and as an average during the regular season - the data suggested that more yards were gained/game using RBBC vs. one lead RB. However, I would say that the purpose of the run game changed from 2000-2005 vs. 2006-2012. Smith and Dillon rarely broke a run more than 10 yards, but they ran with a purpose; which was simply to move the chains when they needed to or for time management.  From 2001-2003, IMO, Brady had a simpler playbook at his disposal - and more conservative, high percentage pass plays were called/used by the OC.

     

    I'm thinking around 2004 but no later than 2007 - the offensive playbook became larger and more complex - no problem. The running game became an afterthought. BB eventually got rid of the FB player and used TEs like Hernandez instead - to block (and Vrabel too). In addition, BB thought so much of the running game that he brought on guys like Sam Morris and Fragile Fred, remember?

    I'm thinking BB finally realized he had to revamp the offense - and finally drafted guys like Gronk and Hernandez.  The running game became more important again - when BB got hold of Crumpler to block for the RB corp. Then he got rid of the dinosaurs and picked up guys like Ridley, Vereen, and Bolden. IMO, as long as there is the RB corp has a decent blocker up front - I think they can have an effective running game - or if the blocking schemes up front improve.  Our OL do a great job of protecting Brady, but I wonder how good they are re: blocking for the RB corp?  I'm not sure if they have any standout guards who can pull and block well.

    In addition, when our RB corp had guys like Faulk, Maroney, Morris, and Fragile Fred - if any one of those guys were used in the backfield - could u guess as to what play was going to be run in conjunction with the down and distance?

    [/QUOTE]

    I think the coaches have been changing all along based on the talent they have.  I'm not convinced there's been any preconceived plan to either emphasize or demphasize any aspect of the offense.  It's more adjustment of the tactics employed to maximize the talents of the players they have.  My opinion is that BB's unique talent is his ability not to get too attached to any single approach and to be very flexible in changing schemes to fit the players and in bringing in complementary guys to mix well with the players he already has.  Switching from offense to defense for a minute to provide an an example, I don't believe BB is rigidly attached to either 3-4 or 4-3, but is going to adjust the scheme to the players  he has, while remaining open to bringing in new players that support the direction the scheme is taking because of the skills of the players already on the team.  It's an iterative approach that is marked by an ability to change scheme to match players and change players to strengthen scheme.  But the plan is always morphing and evolving based on the players BB has rather than BB having some preexisting, rigid plan that he's trying to match his players to.

     

    On RBBC, I think there's a difference between teams that use different backs with significantly different skillsets and teams that rotate backs that are similar to each other.  The first is really about presenting the defense with different challenges and optimizing skills on the field for the plays to be run.  The second generally is more a sign that no one back is good enough to win the position outright.  I would guess the stats would be different depending on which RBBC approach was being taken. 

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    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. 

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     


    I think the coaches have been changing all along based on the talent they have.  I'm not convinced there's been any preconceived plan to either emphasize or demphasize any aspect of the offense.  It's more adjustment of the tactics employed to maximize the talents of the players they have.  My opinion is that BB's unique talent is his ability not to get too attached to any single approach and to be very flexible in changing schemes to fit the players and in bringing in complementary guys to mix well with the players he already has.  Switching from offense to defense for a minute to provide an an example, I don't believe BB is rigidly attached to either 3-4 or 4-3, but is going to adjust the scheme to the players  he has, while remaining open to bringing in new players that support the direction the scheme is taking because of the skills of the players already on the team.  It's an iterative approach that is marked by an ability to change scheme to match players and change players to strengthen scheme.  But the plan is always morphing and evolving based on the players BB has rather than BB having some preexisting, rigid plan that he's trying to match his players to.

     

    On RBBC, I think there's a difference between teams that use different backs with significantly different skillsets and teams that rotate backs that are similar to each other.  The first is really about presenting the defense with different challenges and optimizing skills on the field for the plays to be run.  The second generally is more a sign that no one back is good enough to win the position outright.  I would guess the stats would be different depending on which RBBC approach was being taken. 



    good post. I can see how one could interpret roster changes differently.  I think, BB may have been forced to improve different parts of the roster because one cant do it all in one swoop (and the timeliness of who might be available) - but the effect on different aspects of the team (i.e., having to carry dinasours for the RB corp) was the same. In regards to whether or not any of the backs can or can't be an all-around back - is it because BB limits them (and they do have the talent) or because the players can't do it?  Case in point. BB acquired Adalius Thomas with some pretty high hopes. Was it because he didn't have the mental/physical tools or because BB limited what he did on the field?  Overall, one could argue that he was a dud for the Patriots.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to zbellino's comment:

     

    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. 



    I understand what you're saying, but we're talking about "professional" athletes; both rookie and veterans, who are having difficulty grasping the offense. I think this is supported by the fact that more WRs have failed  w/ the Patriots vs. succeeded.

    Secondly, apart from Gronk and Hernandez - both who have several years under their belt now - most of the other WRs and TEs are either new or have less than 1 years experience. So, wouldn't they be learning the first time? If they're learning the first time - and then the coaches expand on what is learned - they don't have to re-learn as you've said.  

    So, with so many new receivers on hand - how to you propose the Patriots deal with the situation? go 3 and out at a higher rate? accepte more INTs and incompletions?

     
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    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to anonymis' comment:

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

     


    I think the coaches have been changing all along based on the talent they have.  I'm not convinced there's been any preconceived plan to either emphasize or demphasize any aspect of the offense.  It's more adjustment of the tactics employed to maximize the talents of the players they have.  My opinion is that BB's unique talent is his ability not to get too attached to any single approach and to be very flexible in changing schemes to fit the players and in bringing in complementary guys to mix well with the players he already has.  Switching from offense to defense for a minute to provide an an example, I don't believe BB is rigidly attached to either 3-4 or 4-3, but is going to adjust the scheme to the players  he has, while remaining open to bringing in new players that support the direction the scheme is taking because of the skills of the players already on the team.  It's an iterative approach that is marked by an ability to change scheme to match players and change players to strengthen scheme.  But the plan is always morphing and evolving based on the players BB has rather than BB having some preexisting, rigid plan that he's trying to match his players to.

     

    On RBBC, I think there's a difference between teams that use different backs with significantly different skillsets and teams that rotate backs that are similar to each other.  The first is really about presenting the defense with different challenges and optimizing skills on the field for the plays to be run.  The second generally is more a sign that no one back is good enough to win the position outright.  I would guess the stats would be different depending on which RBBC approach was being taken. 

     



    good post. I can see how one could interpret roster changes differently.  I think, BB may have been forced to improve different parts of the roster because one cant do it all in one swoop (and the timeliness of who might be available) - but the effect on different aspects of the team (i.e., having to carry dinasours for the RB corp) was the same. In regards to whether or not any of the backs can or can't be an all-around back - is it because BB limits them (and they do have the talent) or because the players can't do it?  Case in point. BB acquired Adalius Thomas with some pretty high hopes. Was it because he didn't have the mental/physical tools or because BB limited what he did on the field?  Overall, one could argue that he was a dud for the Patriots.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah, I think BB realized that in the current NFL it is very difficult to try to build and maintain a team around a set, fairly rigid plan.  You just can't acquire enough players fast enough or retain all the players you acquire.  So his genius in the cap/draft/free agency era has been maintaining the flexibility to morph what he does based on who he has and who he can realistically get each year.  So schemes are very fluid from year to year (and game to game too, though that's a different application of the same skill). 

    I do think that there are players who might do better if just "set free."  But the strength of the team is playing smart, disciplined, complex football.  By relaxing the demands, certain players might perform better, but overall team performance would suffer.  Z's post above is a great picture of the problem in the context of dumbing things down for rookies.  Same would hold true for simplifying the scheme (or allowing more freelancing) to benefit certain veterans.  Judging ability to play in BB's system (which requires smarts and flexibility/versatility in the players too, since schemes aren't static) is hard to judge in advance, which may explain why a guy like AD, who seemed to have the skills from the outside, failed once he was on the inside.  

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to anonymis' comment:

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

     

    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. 

     



    I understand what you're saying, but we're talking about "professional" athletes; both rookie and veterans, who are having difficulty grasping the offense. I think this is supported by the fact that more WRs have failed  w/ the Patriots vs. succeeded.

     

    Secondly, apart from Gronk and Hernandez - both who have several years under their belt now - most of the other WRs and TEs are either new or have less than 1 years experience. So, wouldn't they be learning the first time? If they're learning the first time - and then the coaches expand on what is learned - they don't have to re-learn as you've said.  

    So, with so many new receivers on hand - how to you propose the Patriots deal with the situation? go 3 and out at a higher rate? accepte more INTs and incompletions?

    [/QUOTE]

    Hey Anonymis,

    Those WRs have failed for different reasons. Only Ocho had trouble grasping the offense -- and somehow that has spilled over into this narrative that NE's offense is a rubix cube for veterans. He is dyslexic. he came from a system that like the old Coryell system uses numbers to designate routes, and a generic tree to assign their adjustments. Adding him to an offense that uses words instead of numbers was an iffy proposition to begin with, as dyslexia displaces word association ability. 

    Tate failed because he couldn't catch balls that hit him on the hands, and had trouble adjusting deep. He actually came along at a normal rookie rate. 

    True, Lloyd had lost a step, as evidenced by his low RAC yardage and the fact that he was never open deep, but he was removed because of some kind of personality conflict. But the guy caught 75 balls and was in there for the lions share of the snaps ... and he isn't exactly a genius. He also has yet to be signed.

    Slater wasn't cut out to be a WR anyway, but was really drafted as a STer anyhow.

    Chad Jackson, a while back, just was terrible. He didn't work elsewhere as well.

    Taylor Price has yet to catch a pass, all in 2011 with the Jags, and was waived in 2012, then reverted to the IR. 

    On the other hand: while some of them just stunk because they weren't good WRs to being with Caldwell, Stallworth, Gaffney, Patten, Gabriel, and Aiken all got it enough to get significant reps.   

    I don't see this issue you are talking about outside of the fact that NE hasn't scouted WRs very well in the draft, and has basically grabbed a lot of scrubs in FA to go with the few standouts they've nabbed as well. 

    Moreover, just about everyone they've put in the slot has been good to some degree, disregarding Edelman's dropsies and injuries. 

    NE's perimiter WR problem has to do with scouting, the normal NFL learning curve (WRs have one of the highest bust rates), and the fact that NE hasn't devoted *quality* selections often enough, and have preferred to go bargain hunting.

    I have no doubt that a consumate pro like Amendola will have the offense down pat by game one. He already has experience in the system (Josh installed it in 2011 in St Louis when he brought Lloyd in). Ballard is coming in from NY where they use EP verbiage and run most of the same concepts. Leon Washington (the presumtive 3rd down back/WR) also is coming in from the Jests, where they run EP as well.

    And although they might not light the world on fire because neither are exceptoinal talents, Jones and Jenkins will probably get it as well.

    Second. Gronk (who will be out), Edelman, Hernandez, Ridley, Vereen, Amendola, Ballard, and Washington all have experience with the EP offense (the Jests run the same thing). For a Two-TE base offense ... that is a complete compliment.

    At any given point there will likely only be one guy who isn't familiar with the concepts to start training camp on the field. They will know some but not all.  

    You aren't feilding a team of rookies, you are developing a couple of them. It takes time. And you don't re-order your offense to ease the curve. It would be a nightmare and you'd just have to reteach them anyhow.  

    Third, its not about expanding a concept, it's about committing to memory what a word means. Memory doesn't "add" the way you are talking. It replaces in this instance. You aren't adding a "new word" for the changes to the concept, which would qualify as expanding, but asking them to overwrite the old word with a totally different, manifold concept. It's actually very, very difficult. I've tried it years ago regarding comma usage. By the end of the semester I had a class doing something two different ways.

    At some point they will have to understand the word "Crusher" (and dozens and dozens of other concept words) in its fullest anyhow. So what happens at that point? You are back at square one. You have to reduce their role in the offense anyhow. You don't run a split playbook with some plays of one variey and another of a dumb variety. 

    Also, it's about reteaching the veterans who are here and have been doing the same thing for three years, and slowing the curve of guys who are NFL vets and will find this much easier to suit a rookie or two. 

    You just don't do it. 

    Finally, you propose a totally false dilemma. NE isn't going to throw more incompletes or interceptions. Say you have Jenkins, who gets 75% of the material out there most of the time. You bring Dobson along ... he has 40%, mostly tailored to non-hurry up situations. 

    You run Dobson for 3-4 drives in the game. You run Jenkins for 8-9 drives a game. As Dobson and Jenkins come along learning more, you let them compete for the middle ground they both understand. Whoever is executing at a higher level takes the snaps from the middle, and as each week goes by both of them are adding more and more concepts to their repoirtoire. 

    There is no "hit" you are taking here, outside of the hit you take losing any vet and standout performer like Welker and a monster like Gronk to injury.

    I like your sentiment, but you can't run a team like that. Just teach the guys 5-10 concepts whch could get them in on 20-40 plays/personnel variations. Use them for those. That is what NE does ... as does every other NFL team. This is the NFL, everyone has to run NFL routes and use NFL caliber ideas. Otherwise your team will get left in the dust. 

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    Great thread...

    Early in the year Woody got all his carries, by season's end he was almost exclusively a receiver, considering we only carried 4 receivers on the roster this isn't surprising.  

    Some difference this year might come with the addition of Blount if he makes the team. Most traditional Ernhardt/Perkins offenses have used running back by committee, and at least one of the backs was a bigger, bruising type; think Maurice Carthon, George Adams, Rob Carpenter, Ottis Anderson, Leonard Russell, Marion Butts, Anwoine Smith, Corey Dillon, Brandon Jacobs etc...

    Ridely, Bolden are cut from the Curtis Martin/Joe Morris cloth of medium sized, hard worker types with a fair amount of speed and home run hitting ability.  You can never have enough healthy, talented backs but having an oversized one that can hammer an opposing defense and rip off some long runs is a bonus.

    Then third down backs have their role, Meggett, Faulk, Woody and now Vereen, who has as much or more every down potential than all the others because he's incredibly strong.  We can't be unhappy with our stable of backs because they're as varied and talented as any in the NFL.

    The rookie receivers have to be looked at with some excitement, they'll be given every chance in the world to start this year and make contributions. The one player who nobody seems to be giving a shot to is Jenkins, if all he can do is run seam routes and fly patterns well like David Patten than he will find a home here, assuming he stays healthy for the first time...

     

     

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    Great thread...

    Early in the year Woody got all his carries, by season's end he was almost exclusively a receiver, considering we only carried 4 receivers on the roster this isn't surprising.  

    Some difference this year might come with the addition of Blount if he makes the team. Most traditional Ernhardt/Perkins offenses have used running back by committee, and at least one of the backs was a bigger, bruising type; think Maurice Carthon, George Adams, Rob Carpenter, Ottis Anderson, Leonard Russell, Marion Butts, Anwoine Smith, Corey Dillon, Brandon Jacobs etc...

    Ridely, Bolden are cut from the Curtis Martin/Joe Morris cloth of medium sized, hard worker types with a fair amount of speed and home run hitting ability.  You can never have enough healthy, talented backs but having an oversized one that can hammer an opposing defense and rip off some long runs is a bonus.

    Then third down backs have their role, Meggett, Faulk, Woody and now Vereen, who has as much or more every down potential than all the others because he's incredibly strong.  We can't be unhappy with our stable of backs because they're as varied and talented as any in the NFL.

    The rookie receivers have to be looked at with some excitement, they'll be given every chance in the world to start this year and make contributions. The one player who nobody seems to be giving a shot to is Jenkins, if all he can do is run seam routes and fly patterns well like David Patten than he will find a home here, assuming he stays healthy for the first time...

     

     



    I don't write off Jenkins. 

    I'm also eager to see what Donald Jones can do. I think he is a good value prospect as a veteran. 

    Just shy of 6'1" and he runs in the 4.4s. 

    He played some slot in Buffalo, got better every year, but really was a a ceiling in that offense. They have a star wide reciever who nabs 80 passes, and they push 80-90 balls at their RBs for their short game, along with another 80 through the split end and tight end. Then another 50 among the host of 4th wideouts and extra Tes who get time in the off packages.

    Out of the slot for Buffalo, he is really only competing for 30-50 passes anyhow. 

    The future is certainly (hopefully) Dobson and Boyce and Amendola, with Edelman being the extra slot/utility guy, but either Jenkins or Jones could have a great year or more here. 

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    In response to anonymis' comment:

     

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     


    Yeah, I think BB realized that in the current NFL it is very difficult to try to build and maintain a team around a set, fairly rigid plan.  You just can't acquire enough players fast enough or retain all the players you acquire.  So his genius in the cap/draft/free agency era has been maintaining the flexibility to morph what he does based on who he has and who he can realistically get each year.  So schemes are very fluid from year to year (and game to game too, though that's a different application of the same skill). 

     

    I do think that there are players who might do better if just "set free."  But the strength of the team is playing smart, disciplined, complex football.  By relaxing the demands, certain players might perform better, but overall team performance would suffer.  Z's post above is a great picture of the problem in the context of dumbing things down for rookies.  Same would hold true for simplifying the scheme (or allowing more freelancing) to benefit certain veterans.  Judging ability to play in BB's system (which requires smarts and flexibility/versatility in the players too, since schemes aren't static) is hard to judge in advance, which may explain why a guy like AD, who seemed to have the skills from the outside, failed once he was on the inside.  



    There's nothing wrong w/ discipline and playing w/i a scheme so that one improves the odds that a particular outcome will be achieved - that's what situational football is about right?

    It would be nice to play to a player's strength/talent once in a while to make a big play - something that might garner momentum and get the team pumped up.  Altho vanilla is a great flavor, sometimes butter pecan is worth taking the risk.......lol.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Simplify The Offensive Playbook? Reasons for Optimism.

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    Great thread...

    Early in the year Woody got all his carries, by season's end he was almost exclusively a receiver, considering we only carried 4 receivers on the roster this isn't surprising.  

    Some difference this year might come with the addition of Blount if he makes the team. Most traditional Ernhardt/Perkins offenses have used running back by committee, and at least one of the backs was a bigger, bruising type; think Maurice Carthon, George Adams, Rob Carpenter, Ottis Anderson, Leonard Russell, Marion Butts, Anwoine Smith, Corey Dillon, Brandon Jacobs etc...

    Ridely, Bolden are cut from the Curtis Martin/Joe Morris cloth of medium sized, hard worker types with a fair amount of speed and home run hitting ability.  You can never have enough healthy, talented backs but having an oversized one that can hammer an opposing defense and rip off some long runs is a bonus.

    Then third down backs have their role, Meggett, Faulk, Woody and now Vereen, who has as much or more every down potential than all the others because he's incredibly strong.  We can't be unhappy with our stable of backs because they're as varied and talented as any in the NFL.

    The rookie receivers have to be looked at with some excitement, they'll be given every chance in the world to start this year and make contributions. The one player who nobody seems to be giving a shot to is Jenkins, if all he can do is run seam routes and fly patterns well like David Patten than he will find a home here, assuming he stays healthy for the first time...



    We now have a solid corp of RB who are younger; which is a good thing. Ridley and Bolden are both listed at 220. Antowain Smith was listed at 218, and Dillon listed at 225. Patrick Pass from moons ago (the guy who was "shot" in the hammie and let go of the ball) - was listed at 238.

    I'm much happier w/ the current crew vs. Morris and Fragile Fred and Laura.

     

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