Re: The Patriots and their Tight End situation
posted at 7/23/2010 11:39 AM EDT
Imho, The personel (i.e. players themselves) WERE the ones who were lacking... Now don't get me wrong, Wizard here is right on the $ RE: Needing to keep at least 1 TE on the line in order to protect Brady, whom as we know too-well, Our Offense lives and dies by, far, FAR more than any other position or specific player.
Yet, It appears to me at least, That even back to circa 2005/2006, Bill Belichick WILL go out and trade for a TE very readily and/or Select a TE in the Draft pretty early on...
Now, What Am I gettin' at? A: I'm glad this thread was started, because RE: Defense, I trully believe that BB's gonna use this year, Some variation of The Cover 1 D (with the twist of having 2 or even 3 Interchangeable Safeties... YET, On OFFENSE, Again and again, I've been tryin' to make sense out of Belichick Drfting not 1, But 2 TEs, AND even moreso, Drafting 2 TEs with different skill-sets (Comparatively speaking now, Gronkowski-UNreal blocker, decent speed and decent hands, Yet not a true threat when he does get the ball with the fielld elusiveness of Vernon Davis/Jermichael Finley/// Hernandez-pretty strong, great routes, perfect hands, Yet not a guy who'll be able to maul a D-Lineman like Gronkowski can)...
Again, WHAT does this mean? Think circa 2005-2006. NE already has Graham & Watson on the team, So Why in the world, Select David Thomas AND Garret Mills? AND, What does this have to do with NE's current TE roster players/draftees?
I'll tell ya: Graham + Watson have an eerily similiar game set as Gronkowski (on a whole, or at least "moreso"), WHILE Thomas + Mills also, Have an eerily similiar skill-set as Hernandez.
RE: Losing Watson, Graham, & Thomas...what COULD Belichick Do? Watson wasn't either great at having soft hands, running good routes, and despite his decent size, He really wasn't a mauling blocker by any means (sureyou miraculously get him the ball, and he can make defenders miss=But again, as FA rolled around, Watson's singular skills were overpaid in FA...who cares). Graham wasn't a true pass-catching threat but he was an incredible Blocker (although he did have much more rounded skills overall than Watson)=But once again, Denver paid VERY handsomely (I think?), For Graham's services when he hit FA a few years back (Salary Cap?...again, what can ya do). Now David Thomas=Great potential to be that pass-catching Dallas Clark type TE, YET hegets hurt, then he gets hurt again...then I'm pretty certain, Thomas gets hurt a 3rd time (and what do you do again-Keep him on forever with these injury issues again and again?)
And THIS ALL Means imho 1 Thing: Belichick has wanted for some time to exploit the various usages of having a 2 TE set on Offense... Below, I offer a great link I came across, On what it could possibly mean for NE's Offense, On how to exploit Today's NFL Defenses:Before I offer up the link, THINK The Following points/questions as you read through it
More teams playing 3-4 Defenses=Less Defenders right on the LOS, and even bringing 1 more LB up to the LOS, Does not offset an Offensive team with 7 guys up or right @ The LOS...The Result=EASY 4 yard run play.
Defensive Team's LBs are unable to cheat too far up to the LOS, Because IF you have 7 men right at the LOS (TE OT OG OC OG OT TE) a team can flank to each far sides of the LOS 2 above-average WRs, So NOW=The Defense not only has to wonder about those wideouts beating less defensive coverages (IF those LBs try to stop a potential run-play by cheating forward), BUT The Defense STILL has to worry about those TEs and the single RB as eligible receivers=Again, This equals an easy run-play, or a potentially Huge Pass-Play (IF the defense plays it as a run).
Finally, Think what having a pass-catching TE instead of a standard FullBack means in today's NFL=Fullback-slower, not a great pass-catcher, and maybe a bit of a better blocker than a pass-catching TE/Pass-Catching TE-Faster, Excellent hands & route trees, The SAME size (IF not just a speck Bigger) than a FB=not giving up much in terms of blocking ability, YET gaining 100X more in terms of that pass-catching TE being a far, far better Offensive Weapon.~
Again people, This is ALL about VERSATILITY
...Mixing up formation designs-THEN Having the Defense react to that formation-THEN having the ability for the QB to call a slight audible in order to exploit what that Defense is thinking the offense's play to be.HERE IS The Link...It IS a MUST Read to get a better understanding of ways to exploit a Defense using a 2 TE set
...now that I look at it, Which poster was doing all the "Football Outsiders" stuff...I might have to credit this to him.