Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from csylvia79. Show csylvia79's posts

    Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nfl--is-this-the-year-patriots-take-ball-out-of-tom-brady-s-hands-in-order-to-run-with-stevan-ridley-and-shane-vereen--.html


    Will Patriots take ball out of Tom Brady's hands in order to run with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen?

     

    New England coach Bill Belichick was huffing and puffing away on a treadmill, working hard on his running game at age 60 while recalling a story from his days as an assistant with the New York Giants.

    "I was on … like mile 20 … of the New Jersey … marathon," Belichick said. "This Giants fan … comes up to me … and says … 'Are you guys … going to fix … the running game?' … I'm like … just trying to finish."

    Belichick also talked X's and O's in his recent workout, which included a 20-minute session on a stair climber. One of his main concerns for the Patriots was rehabbing the team's running game. When asked if the Patriots were capable of running the ball last year when they had to run (and presumably when the other team knew the same thing), Belichick said, "No."

    Fixing the Patriots' running game should be a priority for head coach Bill Belichick. (Getty Images)He quickly added that, "You could say the same thing about our passing game."

    Sarcasm aside, the truth is simple: For as close to greatness as the Patriots have come the past five years, losing twice to the Giants in the Super Bowl on drives in the final minutes, there has been one obvious flaw. The running game that helped the Patriots win three titles early in Belichick's grand run has pretty much disappeared.

     

    Much of that is a testimony to the greatness of Belichick, the first coach since Don Shula to lead teams with drastically different approaches on offense to Super Bowls, and quarterback Tom Brady. But if the Patriots want to win another title, better efficiency and play from the running game is vital. The Patriots can't just put up decent rushing stats. They have to run it when everybody knows they have to run it.

    Enter Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, the pair of running backs the Patriots drafted in 2011. The lack of an offseason didn't give either enough time to learn the passing plays, particularly the protection schemes. With that problem solved, Ridley is now the starter with Vereen in position to step in if needed. That's assuming the Patriots are going to run.

    "That's all inside the mind of Bill Belichick," Ridley said. "There are a lot of things we do here and it's just my job to know what all of it is and be effective when they call it."

    [Video: Eli Manning ready for season opener vs. Cowboys]

    Belichick didn't spend a third-round pick on Ridley or a second-round pick on Vereen to make them window dressing. He also didn't allow BenJarvus Green-Ellis to go in free agency this offseason for the sake of being nice. Over the past five years, that part of the offense has been a mirage. Ever since the Patriots traded for Wes Welker and Randy Moss and went guns blazing, the offense has played like an NBA team that shoots from the outside first to set up the inside game. It can work, but not consistently.

    "Most of wish we had their problems, but that doesn't mean there aren't problems with what they do," an NFC defensive coordinator said. "What the Patriots do works perfectly in the regular season and most of the time in the playoffs because they're just better than everybody else.

    "But when you get into the fourth quarter in a tight game, it's pretty easy to defend them. You can take away the running game pretty easily and then get physical with them. You see the way the Giants have played them the past two times [in the Super Bowl]. Tight game, suffocate their offense and give yourself a chance. You still have to make great plays to win, but it's easier because the running game doesn't scare you … they can't impose their will."

    The numbers don't necessarily bear that out in the stats. From 2001 to 2004, when the Patriots won three Super Bowls, they vacillated somewhere between Nos. 7 and 28. Over the past five years, the ranking gap has narrowed to between Nos. 6 and 20. In other words, the running game of late has seemingly been more consistent. But this is where stats lie.

    The quality of the Patriots' running game has been average, at best. To believe in the New England ground game is to believe in urban legend. As in the legend of Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. Green-Ellis went by the nickname "Law Firm" and the 5-foot-8 Woodhead is a modern-day Rudy. Truth is, neither was beyond serviceable.

    [Related: MJD ends holdout with Jaguars]

     

    "You didn't have to prepare for those guys," an NFC head coach said. "Green-Ellis and Woodhead weren't going to hurt you. They got the yards they were supposed to get because of the scheme of the offense. They weren't going to make mistakes, but they weren't explosive."

    Neither was a runner in the mold of Antowain Smith or Corey Dillon, the backs the Patriots had during their run of Super Bowl wins. Smith and Dillon were the kind of power backs who could both get tough yards in the fourth quarter and make opponents pay for not respecting the running game.

    The most important running stat, total carries, bears that out. Over the past five years, the Patriots have rushed more than 466 times in a season only once. That was in 2008, when Brady went down in the season opener with a knee injury and the Patriots had to play unproven Matt Cassel all year.

    During the three Super Bowl-winning seasons, New England never ran the ball fewer than 473 times and topped out at 524 carries in 2004. Or as the NFC head coach said: "This isn't a pure balance league anymore. Nobody is really running it 50 percent of the time. But it can't get completely out of whack, either … I think the Patriots, as great as they are, have gone a little too far. I want to see if they can fix that."

    That's what the guy at the marathon wondered a long time ago.



     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    We've rehashed this one over and over.  I agree with the point of view in this article--that the Pats didn't run effectively last year because of the talent they had.  Wozzy and True Champ and others will tell you it was mostly because of the play calling.  In the end, it's kind of a chicken and egg debate.  

    The good news is that we all seem to agree that running more this year is a good thing--and I think we're all optimistic that both the talent and play calling allow them to do that.  

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from sporter81. Show sporter81's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Back in their Super Bowl winning years they ran the ball well and used the screen pass a lot. If they are able to do both this year the offense will be fine come playoff time. 

    The defense is going to be very good.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    I'm assuming Rusty hasn't got banned yet - he should have his mom read him this article - he may learn something. Funny how some fans figured this out all by themselves without having to actually hear Belichick tell them that they couldn't run the ball last year.

    So one more time...why didn't they run the ball more often last year? Because they didn't have good runners. The End. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from sporter81. Show sporter81's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Thats why a lot of us wanted them to go after a guy like MJD or another proven back. They had Ridley last year, he was definitely capable but couldn't hold on to the football and got benched. He's got to correct that or he's gone.  You can't win in this league with a one dimensional offense either way, it will win some games but like we saw in the playoffs, better teams figure it out.    
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from csylvia79. Show csylvia79's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    In response to sporter81 comment:


    Totally agree! I think Ridley can be that guy.  I just hope one fumble doesn't call for him to get pulled. Mistakes are going to happen at times it just can't be consistant.


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

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    "You could say the same thing about our passing game." - Belichick

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

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Some of us have been calling for balance since 2007, whether by draft, free agency or however.  

    I don't see how this vindicates anybody, if anything it emphasizes that the offense has been finesse over smashmouth and that it hasn't been a good thing... how is that any different than what some of us have been saying this whole time?


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

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    What was to stop the Pats after the 2007 season from getting a real running back?  They had to know BJGE was not that guy. 

    Yet it took them 'til last year to draft some backs.

    Also, the author goes on to say that they ran more in 2008 when Brady went down.  They played more balanced that season.  What would have happened that season if Brady didn't go down and they played with a similar strategy.  Still wouldn't have made the playoffs? Hmmm.

    Just curious.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from pezz4pats. Show pezz4pats's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    Some of us have been calling for balance since 2007, whether by draft, free agency or however.  

    I don't see how this vindicates anybody, if anything it emphasizes that the offense has been finesse over smashmouth and that it hasn't been a good thing... how is that any different than what some of us have been saying this whole time?

    The difference is YOU blamed the coaching not the backs, when the coaching was merely using it's strengths.
    Great, even good coaches, utilize their strengths. 
    YOU wanted more of a running game which is playing it's weakness.
    Luckily, you aren't a coach.
    It's clear as a bell that BB has made a huge effort to try and fix that weakness and the D.
    Hopefully they will come thru when needed but I wouldn't expect big jumps in run percentages.  In case you didn't notice, they weren't scoring very many points during the pre-season by giving the backs reps after reps after reps.

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

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    The thing is everyone would probably agree we needed to run more last year, it's just that there were some people that blamed it on scheme, Brady, and even Belichick. Some of us thought the reason was more a lack of a runner that could get you yards when you needed them - thus the reason the ball was not taken out of Brady's hands and put into an average running back's.

    The funny part is, Belichick could come over to some people's houses tomorrow for a Labor Day cookout and he could explain to them how average Benny and the running game was...they still wouldn't believe it.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pezz4pats. Show pezz4pats's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    In response to Salcon's comment:

    What was to stop the Pats after the 2007 season from getting a real running back?  They had to know BJGE was not that guy. 

    Yet it took them 'til last year to draft some backs.

    Also, the author goes on to say that they ran more in 2008 when Brady went down.  They played more balanced that season.  What would have happened that season if Brady didn't go down and they played with a similar strategy.  Still wouldn't have made the playoffs? Hmmm.

    Just curious.



    They were expecting high draft pick Maroney to be that guy.  Started off well but wimped out after injury.  BJGE didn't even start till his 3rd year.  They still had Falk, Taylor and Morris to help carry the load but .......injuries happen.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Salcon. Show Salcon's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    I think the Pats may have gotten gun shy after taking Laura Maroney in the first round and how that turned out.

    That's why they ended up with the likes of  Fred "Turf Toe" Taylor who was a relic by then, Sammy Morris, BJGE, Danny Woodhead (Jets castoff) although still with the team but doesn't strike fear into defenses.  Who else?  Can't remember off the top of my head but can't believe there weren't any decent running backs available on the free agent market or the draft after 2007.

    Maybe not.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Salcon. Show Salcon's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Oh yeah Pezz thanks.

    How could I forget about Faulk?  He was their most dependable back during that time but ofcourse not an every down back.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from sporter81. Show sporter81's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Well it's a new season now and from the looks of it Josh Mcdaniels is going to have more emphasis on the running game and screen passes. We'll see but it seems that way now. The defense looks like it will be greatly improved this year. There's good reason for optomism with this new season. 

    7 more days!!!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    In response to Salcon's comment:

    I think the Pats may have gotten gun shy after taking Laura Maroney in the first round and how that turned out.

    That's why they ended up with the likes of  Fred "Turf Toe" Taylor who was a relic by then, Sammy Morris, BJGE, Danny Woodhead (Jets castoff) although still with the team but doesn't strike fear into defenses.  Who else?  Can't remember off the top of my head but can't believe there weren't any decent running backs available on the free agent market or the draft after 2007.

    Maybe not.


    Speaking of Fred Taylor, that was a guy that - even at 30 something - knew how to run the ball. I remember being at game when we had him and all the sudden the holes that weren't there for all our other lesser running backs suddenly appeared when the ball was in his hands - he found them and went through them quick and with power. Of course he got hurt in that very same game and never really came back for more than a few carries later in the season, but it was obvious the difference between a good/very good back to an average one. We need someone better than pathetically average to justify taking the ball out of Brady's hands.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    BB has said if the run is being effective he will run more. Want more running? Produce when you do get the ball to run with and you will get the ball more. Pretty basic stuff.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Salcon. Show Salcon's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    In response to mthurl's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to Salcon's comment:

    I think the Pats may have gotten gun shy after taking Laura Maroney in the first round and how that turned out.

    That's why they ended up with the likes of  Fred "Turf Toe" Taylor who was a relic by then, Sammy Morris, BJGE, Danny Woodhead (Jets castoff) although still with the team but doesn't strike fear into defenses.  Who else?  Can't remember off the top of my head but can't believe there weren't any decent running backs available on the free agent market or the draft after 2007.

    Maybe not.


    Speaking of Fred Taylor, that was a guy that - even at 30 something - knew how to run the ball. I remember being at game when we had him and all the sudden the holes that weren't there for all our other lesser running backs suddenly appeared when the ball was in his hands - he found them and went through them quick and with power. Of course he got hurt in that very same game and never really came back for more than a few carries later in the season, but it was obvious the difference between a good/very good back to an average one. We need someone better than pathetically average to justify taking the ball out of Brady's hands.


    I remember that game and totally agree.  He didn't waste any time getting to the whole.  Especially after watching Maroney dancing in the backfield he seemed extra fast.

    Also agree about taking the ball out of Brady's hands.  Hopefully there is enough talent back there now for that to happen.  Taking a little of the pressure off Brady would be nice.

    Hmm, can't say wHOLE?  How lame is that?

    [/QUOTE]

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Taylor was decisive and made very efficient, very quick little cuts that shook the defenders but didn't require any excess motion that would slow him down. It was something to watch when he wasn't hurt.  The nice thing is I see a little of that in Ridley too.  I'm not saying Ridley will be as good as Fred Taylor, but at least he's got the potential to be closer to Taylor than most of the other running backs we've seen around here for a while.  


     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from digger0862. Show digger0862's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Nice! We can now post videos!
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Great article. Tells us exactly what many of us have said for a while now. The run game has been an after thought in N.E. 

    It lead to us using 2 undrafted RBs as our starters for 2 seasons. As the article said, since 07 when we went crazy with the down field air attack we lost some identity. We started trying to out score teams and we forgot what got us here! Clock control, defense, limit mistakes.....3 things a down field passing offense doesnt contribute to.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    Oh and btw. BB wasnt being sarcastic about saying the same thing about the passing game. It hasn't worked in the crunch time either has it? The 2 coincide. Run, pass....keep the defense guessing. 1 thing I'm sure we can all agree on is that hasn't been happening for a few years.....well since 2008 and that amazingly talented group of runners in Lamont Jordan, Sammy Morris, and 33 year old Kevin Faulk!!!

    Because we have to have supreme talent in order to use the run game right? 6th in the league that year... With 2 castoffs and a 3rd down back.

    Anyway McD will get us back on track on offense. 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    In response to Salcon's comment:

    What was to stop the Pats after the 2007 season from getting a real running back?  They had to know BJGE was not that guy. 

    Yet it took them 'til last year to draft some backs.

    Also, the author goes on to say that they ran more in 2008 when Brady went down.  They played more balanced that season.  What would have happened that season if Brady didn't go down and they played with a similar strategy.  Still wouldn't have made the playoffs? Hmmm.

    Just curious.



    Exactly. 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    In response to sporter81s comment:

    Thats why a lot of us wanted them to go after a guy like MJD or another proven back. They had Ridley last year, he was definitely capable but couldn't hold on to the football and got benched. Hes got to correct that or hes gone.  You can't win in this league with a one dimensional offense either way, it will win some games but like we saw in the playoffs, better teams figure it out.    



    actually he fumbled twice at teh end of th eyear. he didnt play cause hes a rookie and bb is old school and also maybe bb was too afraid he wouldnt pick up blitzes well,, though he did in preseason (translation- bb didnt have confidence in him). i would have given him the rock all year and see what he is (not overuse, just regularly).


    re coments above a few of us said this for a while.
    critical part being, the rbs we played no one could fear. werent going to hurt them, therefore they could focus on shutting down the pass, AND our pass attack was limited to short and middle of field. now with confidence in ridley and vereen and with lloyd on the team,defenses cant cheat outside the numbers, long, or ignore the run. results  are if the o line holds up should be devastating on o. still gotta run when they know you will to be able to grind out the clock.

    and have a de that doesnt give a huge time of possession to our opponents ( a hug flaw of teh bend but dont break def. putting huge pressure on bradys back to have to get a td whenever we have the ball (causing mistakes)
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Here is your answer to all the debate over the running game from BB mouth!

    In response to Salcons comment:

    What was to stop the Pats after the 2007 season from getting a real running back?  They had to know BJGE was not that guy. 

    Yet it took them 'til last year to draft some backs.

    Also, the author goes on to say that they ran more in 2008 when Brady went down.  They played more balanced that season.  What would have happened that season if Brady didn't go down and they played with a similar strategy.  Still wouldn't have made the playoffs? Hmmm.

    Just curious.



    " What was to stop the Pats after the 2007 season from getting a real running back?  They had to know BJGE was not that guy.  "

    bb is a conservative coach and largely makes conservative decisions through and through (bjge is just another example of this- not a running threat but wont fumble). i give him credit, the leopard has adapted and changed some of his spots, ie going after outside rusher in round 1 this past draft.

    this conservatism also shows in game calling. recall the super bowls won and lost and the mostly conservative playcalling (less outward appearing risk, but risk in potential of losing the game due to playing very conservatively).

    3 out of 5 sb runs it worked, just barely :)

     

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