In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
Wow man you really love to hear yourself talk. I added a few things as a response.
There are many reasons why the Pats' offense has sputtered in the postseason. Injury is a big part of it . . . to linemen, to Gronk, to key receivers (i.e., Welker in 2009). Lack of diversity and inconsistent quality at some positions has also been an issue, in particular having only average running backs prior to Ridley and weak outside receivers ever since Moss began to decline in 2009. Brady has, of course, made mistakes too, but to blame everything on him is silly. For the most part, he's been a strength of the team and--even in the postseason--not a weakness. Sounds like you have all the bases covered. The problem is some of this, some of that, and some of the other thing. Check!
Exactly . . . football is more complex than the number of running plays called.
The postseason losses also have something to do with a defense that is prone to giving up big plays at inopportune times. It's not all on the offense. Sure, the current rules make it tough for this defense to play like our dynasty defense. It is not because BB isn't a good talent evaluator as you suggest, nor is it because BB inherited his SB defense's as you agree with. It is becasue this LG is not the same LG as it was 10 years ago.
A change in the rules doesn't explain why other defenses (playing under the same rules as ours) perform much better.
As far as game planning and play calling, the use of the shotgun is the result of the type of players we've had more than Brady's preferences. Well you are on the record as saying we do not have talented receivers so how the heck is shotgun the result of our players? Last time I checked the shotgun offense needs talented receivers to work.
Can you read? The shotgun suits the skills of our players. I don't buy for a minute your idea that O'Brien and McDaniels and Belichick are dumb coaches or Rusty's idea that Brady is out of control. The Pats use the shotgun for one simple reason: it works with the players they have. We have the best coaches in the game and one of the best QBs ever. Coaching and QBing aren't the problems.
Sure, most QBs like the shotgun. It makes it easier for them to survey the field and get the ball off fast. Although it may "tip off" a pass play, it can make the opponent's pass rush less effective, since the QB starts further back and doesn't have to monitor the rush while dropping back. Overall, it's a better passing formation than a drop back, Says who?
Most QBs would agree it's easier to pass out of the shotgun. It's all Brady was saying in that quote Rusty constantly refers to. If you don't believe me, just listen to Brady.
and if a team can also run at least reasonably well from it, it's not quite as one-dimensional as some think. How? Because the defense has to cover the run too, duh. So, yeah, Brady like any good passing QB tends to like the shotgun. He likes the SG because that's what our coaches have been running since the 07 season. Read Mike Reiss's recent articles on how the SG has been used over the last years.
But the reason the coaches (and it's the coaches, not Brady) choose to run the shotgun a lot (though on less than half the plays, still) is because it works with the short, quick passing game that, for better or worse, has been the Patriots' offense's primary strength the past few years. Welker is effective primarily if he gets open fast and gets the ball in 2 or 2.5 seconds. That type of speedy release is almost impossible without the shotgun. Since short, fast passes to Welker (or to the TEs) have been the mainstay of the Pats' offense, the shotgun has been utilized heavily.
How many SB's has that offense performed well in? Note: I didn't say how many did they win? It wouldn't be a fair question. I said how many have they even performed well in? Answer that, then tell me what's wrong with the coaching philosophy on offense...
Oh, I keep forgetting, you think the coaching is bad . . . sorry, I totally disagree. I think Belichick (and his staff) are the best in the game. Maybe the best ever. I think they've done a fabulous job of turning an offense without a lot of real stars beyond the QB into a top of the league point producer.
Would the Pats' offense be better if it were more diverse? I think so No, you know so. Take a stance and stop living on the fence
--but given the players the Pats have had on offense, I don't think it would be better if they tried to run a different kind of offense.When did you become so proficient at judging NFL personnel and how to use it?
I base it on observing what the coaches do. I don't assume, as you do, that the coaches aren't as smart as I am. I think there's a clear reason why they've done what they've done. You apparently believe that you know more than Belichick. I think he knows more than me, you, and the rest of BDC combined. So I try to understand why Belichick does what he does rather than doing what you do, which is criticize him for not having the right "coaching philosophy" (see your comment above).
Running a lot requires great run blocking and good backs. Top 5 run blocking o-line in the LG, per football outsiders/profootball focus/ others
Yeah, well, I watched the film of the last Super Bowl and the blocking wasn't so great. I don't rely solely on what some stats geek or sportswriter says on his website.
Passing from under center requires a receivers who can get separation further downfield as well as strong pass blocking.It also requires the QB to actually be under center.
The Pats just haven't had these players.Branch and Givens were better then Moss and Welker were they? No, but that offense wasn't bad by any means and the defense was much better. Plus it's been a while since we've had Moss playing well and Welker playing well on the team together. The last time that happened was 2007. And in that Super Bowl it was more the O line that was the problem (oh wait, I forgot, you read somewhere that the O line is the best ever--yeah, right, Nick Kaczur was an all-pro pass blocker too).
Rather than criticize our coaching staff for calling the wrong plays, I'm more prone to praise them for figuing out a way to turn such an oddly limited set of offensive players into a league leading offense.Wow, you really don't think much of Bill Belichick the GM do you? His offensive talent just isn't up to par hey? It's all his fault. Unreal.
As I've said a million times before, I think the problem is mostly that the Pats draft low because they win. Even a great GM has a tough time building a top team when it earns pick 30 every year. The system is designed to make it hard for winners and easier for losers. The talent issues have less to do with the GM than the draft system which is purposely designed to disadvantage winning teams and advantage losing teams.
And rather than criticizing Brady, I can only admire his ability to make the offense work thanks to his super-quick and reliable decision-making on almost every play. Yeah, imagine the poor bastrd who was forced to throw to Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez? Especially when he already proved he can succeed with jags like Caldwell,Gabriel, and Watson.
Yeah, Brady is good. That's one reason the team passes so much. The coaches know Brady is one of their strengths. They call the plays appropriately . . .
With most coaches and QBs, an offense that relies so heavily on players like Danny Woodhead and Wes Welker would be at best an average one. With Belichick, his coaching staff, and Brady, it's been one of the best offenses in the league. yeah, if only they had drafted better right? Oh wait, these guys were undrafted and the COACH chose them as contributors.
I know you disagree, but the coach knows what he is doing. His "coaching philosophy" is just fine.
To get back to the main theme of this thread--Gronk--it is worth pointing out than in the past two postseasons the absence of Gronk has had a huge impact on the offense's success. Gronk when healthly is a true impact player, a guy who single-handly transforms the Pats' offense from average to exceptional. He's a great blocker in the running game and a great receiver, almost impossible to cover, particularly in the red zone. With his size and athleticism, he adds a very different dimension to our passing offense than we have without him. Take him out, and we fall back on quick passes to Welker, Hernandez, and occasionally someone else. Blame Brady, blame the shotgun, blame Welker--whatever you want. But not having a healthy Gronk was probably the most significant problem for the offense in the past two postseason defeats.
Our offense has scored 14.5 ppg in our last AFC championship and 2 super bowls. You blame 1 player for that?
No, see above. There are many reasons. I said that right at the beginning.