Last night, it did. As I wrote this morning, New England’s look around Tom Brady against New Orleans may not have represented a philosophical sea change, but it wasn’t the same as it has been either.
This was an offense that became the first in league history to take the majority of its snaps out of the shotgun, doing so in 2007, and repeating the feat behind a backup quarterback in 2008. So when Brady is taking 14 of his 17 snaps from under center, as he did last night, it’s worth standing up and taking notice. Here are the personnel groupings from Brady’s two-series stint:
’12’ personnel (1 RB/2 TE/2 WR): 9 of 17 snaps
’13’ personnel (1 RB/3 TE/1 WR): 4 of 17 snaps
’11’ personnel (1 RB/1 TE/3 WR): 4 of 17 snaps
This is an admittedly tiny sample size, and from a preseason game no less. But several Saints defenders remarked on how were using ‘heavier’ personnel groupings more often than the team they saw in November.
Considering the numbers above show the offense using as many three-tight sets as three-receiver sets, it’s something to keep an eye on, anyway.