Re: Bill Belichick provides some great answers about the slow death of 300-carry backs
posted at 8/15/2012 2:27 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Bill Belichick provides some great answers about the slow death of 300-carry backs
[QUOTE]Every time we get into a debate (this debate) where one side can't argue on the merits of the facts and stat's, the end result is "you think you know more than Belichick." Whack... Why do we even come here to discuss football, why don't we assume every move the Patriot's make is picture perfect and just circle jerk instead? Argue the facts, explain how the stat's above about the leading rushing teams all ending up in the Super Bowl is not relevant, or how the 49er's can increase their rushing attempts from worse to first in one season and their record improves simultaneously despite no personnel changes other than coach, how the Patriot's can win 3 rings running to set up the pass but somehow this has no bearing on losses during the pass happy era. "You think you know more than BB" or "because I said so" or "all they want to do is run the ball, they want to stop passing altogether" isn't something that wins you points in the debate club. Argue the merits of the facts/stat's, don't put words in our mouths, ignore and gloss over the facts, or let them fade away and then start a new thread to hide the previous beatings you've received in this debate. We have the weight of three rings on our side, you have two losses and numerous first round exits... but somehow you're correct. Laughable.
Posted by wozzy[/QUOTE]
Like I said last time, wozzy, we both would like to see more diversity in the offense and that includes a more effective running game. My point, though, is that the talent hasn't been there to allow effective diversity. You can disagree and think it's all play calling, but it's hard to prove one way or the other which of us is right.
All I'll say is BB's decisions (letting BJGE go, acquiring more deep/perimeter receivers) seem to match my opinion that the talent wasn't suitable. In addition, BB's recent statement about there not being a Corey Dillon available to feed the ball to and Brady's recent statements about the change in personnel all seem to mesh with my opinion.
You could argue that the change in OC suggests dissatisfaction with last year's OC, but there's no proof that BB wanted O'Brien to leave. As far as we know, O'Brien left for the obvious reason--i.e., he was offered a head coaching position at a major college. Any speculation about BB wanting him to leave is just that--speculation. BB never said anything that suggests he was dissatisfied with O'Brien and even promoted him before last season.
The Pats' actual run percentage was slightly lower than average for the league (40.5% versus an NFL average of 42.9%). That put them 20th in the league based on rushing percentage. So if we are looking only at run-pass balance, it's hard to argue that the Pats systematically ignored the run. They maybe were less diverse in the running plays they called, but that's nothing you can prove without looking at the actual running plays game by game and seeing what was called. I just bought Game Pass and now have the coaches film for all of last season. If I have time, I'll look at the coaches film for a good sample of games and see what it shows. Looking at just a few games, I was actually surprised to find that there was more variety in running plays than I remember--including a number of I-formation runs and runs where the TE was in motion before the snap and was essentially in a FB position at the snap.
The other argument you guys make about underutilizing the run in the Super Bowl is of course statistically true. But if you look at the situations the Pats found themselves in that game, their use of the run and pass makes a lot of sense. As one simple example, the final drive consisted of 8 straight passing plays (one fifth of Brady's passes were thrown on that final 54 second drive)--this really skewed the final pass-run statistics, but they Pats really had no choice but to throw on that drive. In the first half they ran 33% of the time, but some of the low utilization of the run was because their major drive in the half was a hurry up drive at the end of the half where they didn't have time to run a lot. If you look at actual game situations, you can't conclude that the game plan was designed to underutilize the run. All you can conclude is that the Pats found themselves in situations where passing made more sense than running.
Anyway, this debate is getting tedious and if you and True Champ want to think you've won it, go ahead. Personally, though, I feel pretty comfortable from what BB has said and done during the offseason that my belief that the talent wasn't where it needed to be is sound.