Will Patriots’ Offensive Youth Movement Continue?
Will the New England Patriots continue 2013’s trend of going young on the offensive side of the ball? Given the players in their last year and the weak spots along their offensive line, it seems likely.
Specifically focusing on the interior line where the Patriots got much larger during the draft. Rookie offensive linemen like Stork, Halapio, and Fleming are on average much larger than bubble veteran players like Connolly and Wendell.
The problem is that they haven’t quite caught on as fast as the team had hoped. Stork was the highest OL taken in the draft, and it was a common reoccurrence to see him take a lap for a missed snap or botched play.
We’ll see this unit more when the pads come on in late July, and that might be where the rookies set themselves apart from the veterans due to their sheer size. Connolly and Wendell could very well be in jeopardy of losing their jobs when the roster needs to be cut down to 53.
What this shows is that Brady gets better over his first two hits and then slowly declines through his sixth hit, though his accuracy percentage remains higher than it is with a clean jersey throughout this span. Brady doesn’t begin to come apart until taking his seventh hit.
Brady shows a pretty remarkable ability to maintain his performance even when he’s getting drilled. An interesting stat to run this against would be how quickly he gets the ball out. Do more hits cause a delay in decision making?
Going deeper on Patriots’ selection of Garoppolo
While I never thought the Pats would select a quarterback as high as they did this year, I did think that the time to start throwing any and all quarterbacks they could get their hands on at the wall now.
My biggest question was what kind of quarterback might they target? Would it be one of the more mobile kind in the Cam Newton/Colin Kaepernick mold? Or would it be a more traditional pocket passer?
Belichick is known to stay well ahead of the curve on all aspects of football, so I assumed any quarterback acquired would tell us a lot about the direction that BB thought offensive football was going.
With Mallett on the roster, it seemed to point the Belichick still favoring pocket passers, especially one with a big arm. But with the selection of Garropolo, especially in the second round tells us something a little different I believe.
Garoppolo’s strengths? Quick reads and a quick release. Essentially what Brady does best. For all the criticism that the “dink-and-dunk” has gotten over the years, leaving fans crying for a “deeeeep threat” it would seem that Belichick thinks that’s a style of offense that can be effective going forward.
This is also reflective in the Pats’ penchant for traditional slot receivers who are extremely quick and can get open right away off the line.
They all go together with a quarterback like Garoppolo.
Will Garoppolo be Brady’s heir apparent? We’ll see in a couple seasons, but for now it appears Belichick and the Patriots will try to maintain the kind of offense that has worked with Brady.
In other words, receivers coming out of these systems are forced to learn a new way to speak about and learn the game. Instead of simply being told to run a slant or a go route, which makes learning a playbook much easier, they have to understand the concepts of each play and their assignment within in.
Great flashback read on the Patriots’ offense since I’ve been getting a lot of schematic questions lately.
Great read from NFL.com, looking at each phase of the Patriots’ offensive evolution over the last 13 years. Can’t get enough of this kind of schematic history.
People always ask me, what’s the difference between today’s Patriots and when we faced them in 2007, when they had the most explosive offense until this year’s Denver Broncos,” former New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on Wednesday. “They had no running game. We didn’t fear their running game. We dared them to try and run the football on us. But you imagine Tom Brady with a 245-, 250-pound back running downhill? That’s dangerous. You give that kind of quarterback a two-way option … when they had the most success in [Brady’s] career as a Patriot — I’m talking about winning championships — it was all about the running game. You remember Corey Dillon. That big back, that factor where when he drops into play-action and throws the ball over the top … now, you’re saying, ‘Wow — how difficult is this? What do we do?
The Patriots outscored the high-powered Broncos over the second half of the season by a 265-263 count. And a New England team that was 24th in scoring through the first month of the season (an average of 19 points per game through four contests) ended up tied for second in the league with 27.8 points per game, trailing only the 37.9 points per game put up by Denver
Despite getting rid of the ball in and average of 2.39 seconds per pass attempt during the regular season, Brady was sacked 40 times, one shy of his career high set in his first year as a starter in 2001. Last season, Brady took an average of 2.42 seconds per attempt and was sacked 27 times.