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ctk232

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  1. ^this this and this. Really, I thought I saw Yeldon stop his route mid-scramble in real time but totally missed the replay...had to wait for the facebook video of all things to confirm, but Yeldon should shoulder this turnover. Not to sound like a complete homer, but Josh’s ball was remarkably on target for rolling out to his left (a rare sighting) and putting it where Yeldon could make a play. Josh played a very controlled game overall today, nothing spectacular - but exactly what was needed when it was needed.
  2. Word. I'm still hopeful he can develop as an RT at least though - the early results don't project well, but he has plenty of potential to grow into the RT role if he works on his balance/footwork. I'd also selfishly like us to prioritize WR in this upcoming draft given the shopping list there, but certainly never hurts to add OL every year if the talent is there.
  3. Not that Morse or Feliciano had great games sunday either, but I'm just curious why you may be more up on Spain than either of the other two - would you feel the same way about Ford spelling Feliciano at times as well? Couldn't agree more - especially with Dawkins. I don't have anything against him, but I don't think he's a tackle much less an LT. Just an opinion, but I actually would've preferred him at guard in the interior, but is currently LT at present by default more than anything. Granted, they made him a captain but I'm not sure his play has reflected his increased work ethic they saw. Given 5 of 6 of these guys weren't on the team last year, and where we were last year with the OL, it's a remarkable upgrade across the board. Certainly, this is the short term solution, but I'll def be curious how they approach Dawkins when his contract comes due.
  4. Digging this back up - at the time I would have amended my opinion to agree here - Spain was performing very well overall and was certainly a presence in the run game for sure. I still wasn't as high up on him at the time as I was and am with Morse and Feliciano in terms of the two best lineman, but his All-22 from those first two games was grading out better than my initial belief. To clarify, Gunner, I wasn't advocating for starting Ford at LG and working Spain in a rotation - more so to give Ford practice reps at LG as well as RG/RT, and maybe a few in-game rotations to spell Spain. I say this now only that it's interesting to see how he (Spain) has regressed, especially this past Sunday, in both the run and passing game - and frankly did so as well against Cinci late in the game. Granted, I'm also curious how much of this recent regression is due to compensating for Dawkins at times as well as pass pro shifts from Josh leaving him with odd man/delayed rushes, but the thought of working Ford into the interior more came back to me. While Spain is still the stronger, more developed option for us at LG and I don't think that should change the starting line-up, the biggest criticism he's facing now is the fact that his age may be catching up with him. Joe B even had a point about him in his latest All-22 for the Athletic which seemed to echo these concerns as he has difficulty executing the mobile pin and pull runs Daboll's scheme seems to prefer. But I'm curious how you would both feel about seeing Ford worked in at LG now as well if only to spell Spain at times, or if you both still feel it's better leaving Ford to the right side exclusively and that Spain's current issues are really out of his control? Thinking ahead (and acknowledging there is little to no actual data after just four weeks to speculate on this) I could certainly see Ford's more impactful future being on the interior as a guard versus a tackle until he develops and proves he can handle the edge rush - despite his slower feet, he does show the ability to get to the second level in the run game and still could even potentially develop into a tackle, but I'm curious where you feel he might make the most impact now and for the line moving forward?
  5. So more in reply to this, but slightly also in terms of your original post as well - there could be a few reasons this is how it appears by sight in-game. Apologies in advance for the textbook that follows: While I'm obviously no expert, the pass pro issues you are seeing are likely a combination of factors: Allen has been holding on to the ball longer (more frequently in the past 2 games than his first two), we have a true rookie and a veteran tackle on the right side but both are rookies within our offensive scheme, and, as an extension of the latter, this entire line has only played together for four games thus far. Another infrequent variable are the times when Allen supersedes the protection calls by Morse and Daboll pre-snap - there have been a handful of occasions where Allen has shifted the protection incorrectly, often leaving a free/added blitzer on the edge unaccounted for, but this is only momentarily applicable to those instances. It's difficult to assess proper pass pro when Allen tends to hold on to the ball or leave the pocket too early - these are both well-documented in the All-22 reviews by the Athletic and Cover1 and I can try and track down some footage to cite. But these instances often skew pass pro as clearly the longer you have to hold an edge rush the greater the likelihood of a holding penalty being called or a collapsed pocket leading to a sack/pressure. Similarly, if he leaves the pocket too early (the Pats forced him to do this and planned for him to go to the right side) there isn't much the RT can do to hold that block to the sidelines. We're also only returning one guy from the past year, and 5/6 guys we currently rotate are seeing this offense and blocking schemes for the first time - it takes a few weeks of real game coordination for a new line to mesh effectively. Considering the complexity of the offense, there's likely still some issues with how blitzes, delayed rushes, and stunts are picked up and passed off - compounded by how long Josh has been holding onto the ball. Specific to Ford, the pre-draft concerns were with his footwork and ability to transition to play RT immediately - this debate is also well-established on the board already, but my consensus was that he'd be a better interior lineman immediately, but has the potential to play tackle if he works on his footwork. He could still very well develop in this regard, it won't happen overnight. To avoid a novel here, the run blocking performance is consistently effective, but the bottom line with pass pro is more or less that to have 5/6 starting OL guys in their first year of an offense will likely have some initial growing pains as they learn the protections and coordinate with one another. Run blocking can be difficult to pick up schematically, but quicker/easier to grasp as they tend to be more man to man assignments rather than processing rushes and anticipating stunts/pins/rolls. I don't think our right side is anything to write home about at present, but considering where we were a year ago this is a phenomenal short term replacement job by Beane. Given Spain and Nsekhe's age - I wouldn't be surprised to see Ford kicked inside next year and us pursuing another Tackle next year/in the draft if we don't see improvement from Nsekhe. But for now, I think if you see Josh play within the pocket more and get the ball out more quickly you see a better OL grade overall.
  6. ^this is expanded on in the Athletic's All-22 article from today, too. Though I think Joe B nailed it in his summary - Zay is a "role player" not an "impact player." Some interesting points to his credit are that he's the best run blocking receiver on the team by far, and he's apparently getting greater separation than Smoke on average (2.7 vs. 2.3). Allen has missed several underneath crossing routes/mesh concepts that could go for 15-20 yard gains, several with Zay running the route with clean separation and daylight ahead. While I agree I don't think Allen has done him any favors, he isn't going to be this massively impactful receiver for us tearing up stat charts. I've always been in the boat that if Zay is evaluated in the context of his draft pick, he won't live up to the hype - but the reason he's on the roster now is his utility in the run game, knowledge of the offense, and improved route running on an overall basis. This is all value added, but not enough for people who only see the targets he gets.
  7. I'm hoping that's what it comes down to ultimately - but equally hopeful he goes out there and just simply plays a composed game in week 16. Funny enough, the one thing that stuck with me from that opening drive was the free blitzer off the right side of the line where Allen literally stood still, gave a quick pump fake to get him to jump, and just calmly moved around him. Just not sure how that managed to fit into a whole day of back foot madness...albeit, I know a good amount of that drive was likely scripted beforehand, but it was a completely different Allen.
  8. Agreed - it's typical when the momentum is generated by the Defense, especially with a performance as consistent as we've ever seen on Sunday. That kind of momentum get's the engine going if you will, but the offense is what needs to get the wheels moving - poor analogy aside, it was a very different Allen we saw early in the game and was certainly more panicked in his play. The opening drive of the second half was almost a complete 180 and return to more of his form we saw in the last three weeks. We all know he had issues with his pre-snap reads and in-play reads, but I'm curious to see in the all-22 what the extent of that was. Were the anticipation throws into open windows really not there most of the game? Was he just not seeing the openings and hitting them? Either way forcing him to hold the ball longer than he should. The other thing I'm curious to hear about, if we ever will, is what caused the attitude change for this game. He was clearly playing with a different mindset from the get go, and very much in conflict and out of character for how he composed himself through the first three games, including a rather sloppy first game against the Jets he at least kept composure for the majority of that game and especially in the 4th quarter. I really wish we could've seen him at least finish the game, win or lose, to make his personal statement on that last drive or two - but there's a marked difference in his confidence between the first half on Sunday, and the opening drive of the second half, regardless of Yeldon being utilized as a passing back option and the hurry up.
  9. ^can we say this a bit louder for the chicken little crowd? It's fine to be critical of Josh's play, it's fine to want better play and results from him and others on Sunday - but it's not logical in the least to take this all out of context and declare anything as being over...simple fact is this may be one of the two teams in this year's SB that we played on Sunday - and to have kept the "godly" Pats to 16 points, all while gifting four INTs, a fumble, and blocked punt, and put up 10 points (with likely even more without stupid errors and non-calls) is nothing to lose heads over...the Pats got very lucky they didn't lose that game, by any NFL standard with that toxic differential they should've won that game at least 42-10. If anything, they should be concerned.
  10. Precisely - I'd rather we draft one high with the wealth of WR in this next draft and continue to build the foundation at all position levels. With room for improvement, Allen, Singletary, Knox, Dawkins, [insert 1st round WR here], Oliver, Edmunds, White are all great key pieces to build a team with and maintain high talented youth for several years while maintaining a manageable cap situation - the upside would last longer, for cheaper, and have a higher ceiling.
  11. I don't think anyone fully understands the context of all of this at this point in the season, but 3-1 at the end of September. I'll attribute most of this, including my own emotions, to the Pats week hangover - especially after a championship defensive performance - but the reality is that we're 3-1, with Josh. This after an entire offseason of excitement, sure, but most of us thought this would still be a sub-.500 win team this year, maybe some true hopefuls pulling for 9-7 or 10-6, but let's put this all into context: most everyone thought we were at least another year, if not two, away from competing. Not the playoffs, not the SB, but simply competing. At the end of last year, we all knew our Defense was stout but they were prone to letting games get away from them with an anemic offense, and our offense left us no where to go but up, literally, it was the worst in myriad ways. And in less than a year from then, this team goes 3-1 in their first four games of the season. The the one loss? It came to the team that just won the SB, may very well do it again this year, and was still a game that was another single drive away from a similar finish to Week 1. Contrary to most of the chicken little hot takes, our Defense didn't let three INTs and a fumble catalyze the typical runaway we see from the Pats games every year. Our offense, while facing one of the best D's in the league, stalled, but still did something no team has done since last year's SB: score a TD. Hell, we were a handful of yards away from scoring at least twice more, and this with a roster that was assembled and has only been together a grand total of 4 months....that's unreal. Before I'm gifted the rose colored glasses, there were plenty of mistakes to learn from and bad play from Josh to critique, among others, but he's not perfect and he's not going to be perfect. It's year 2, and for where he is in his development thus far is leaving most of us not just hopeful for next season (which is where a lot of people would be resigning themselves to at this point last year and years before), but hopeful for the rest of this season. I'm upset he likely won't get the chance to continue his development bounce back for this week against the Titans, but with a two week stretch and three home games following, there's no reason to say we won't go 3-1 in our next four games as well.
  12. ^this - again we evaluate players in a "traditional" position sets that get recycled in media verbiage and armchair analysis versus the role they play within the defense McD/Frasier established. Even going back to Carolina, McD's defense employed LBs in multi-role sets, asking the Mike to equally contribute in gap stuffing run stops and pass coverage - both of which Edmunds has actually been doing well for only his second season. It's been known since last year that block shedding is to Edmund's what accuracy was/is to Allen - both need development and refinement, and despite what's being reported here, both have made great strides in their respective roles. Funny enough, the All-22 breakdown from Cinci actually shows improvement for Edmunds in this regard, being more quick to react and trusting his eyes versus waiting and reading. He wasn't perfect, but he was quicker and it made a difference. With his unbelievable acceleration he often beat the blocker/Mixon to the gap spot to at least stop the momentum and let the D converge. He let a couple plays get by him, sure, but like I said, he isn't going to be perfect for all 203 snaps that he played Sunday, at least not yet. In my mind, he's doing damn well for a 21 year old MLB in this defense and there's no indication he isn't up to the task or won't develop into this role, there just isn't. Due to the trend to a pass heavy NFL, you've seen the "traditional" Mike role transition from being a brick wall to a more hybridized run stuffing pass coverage back. The lines between middle/outside LB are even more blurred in this defense, but McD has rostered guys that bring specific skillsets to contribute to both aspects of the defense. Just to add, Cody Ford actually had a pretty good time at filling in at RG for Feliciano...
  13. Definitely - and I completely agree, it's always a match-up game week in and week out in the NFL and Belly uses it however he can. I called out those specific personnel only as known mismatches given our current issues with the right side of the line in pass pro, likely something he'll exploit. My hope is the "other way" will be established through a run game, and well-balanced pass attack capable of beating the Pats man/zone looks. Something I failed to mention that will be interesting to watch is how well Allen does with dissecting those pre-snap looks - can't stand the guy, but Belly runs the best defensive schemes in the league, often times with whatever guys are left on the roster. It'll be a fun one to watch for sure. If Edmunds can get off his blocks to cover the RBs in the flat/screen game, I think we'll see a much more one-dimensional Brady that our secondary will provide more than a match for if we can generate some pressure up the middle. Just hope we don't feel Harrison's loss too much in that regard either.
  14. Surprised I've only seen this mentioned once - while I agree with the other posts regarding the pass rush, one thing we've all seen from the Pats all too many times are the screens and delayed checks to the flats utilizing every single RB on their roster. Cover1 has been beating this dead horse since the end of last season, but one of Edmund's biggest criticisms is he isn't great at shedding blocks to cover RB screens/throws to the flats, or plays to the boundary. Of course, in the scheme of his entire game coupled with his age I have nothing but upside on him and his future with us, but this is to Edmund's what accuracy was/is for Josh. If we can minimize the chunk plays and 1st downs the screen/flat game has given the Pats in our previous matchups - I think we'll see a more even-keeled game. Belly will test our LB core with this in conjunction with short spacing routes to attempt to slow their reads on the screen/flat plays (a la Mixon chunk play from yesterday). Gotta second the love for this analysis as well. If I may offer a counter to this however - I too think Belly matches Gilmore to Smoke in man coverage most of this game, and considering the Pats play a week-to-week defensive scheme, I'd like to see us balance mesh concepts (maybe even some Hank with Knox) with spacing landmark curls/crosses and outs for zone beaters, early and often. There are ways to stretch their secondary, but none of this matters if we can't 1) provide consistent pass protection to let 10-15+ yard concepts develop, and 2) NFL 101: establish a run game. To the first, assuming Feliciano is out this week, I won't expect much from our right side - I mentioned this in a response in another thread, but if it's known to us as an issue, it's known to the Belly. My completely speculative guess is he will likely be planning to generate most of the pass rush with 4 man rushes to avoid sacrificing an extra guy in coverage. Perhaps moving Bennett/Winovich to the left side with offset rushes/stunts, and likely with Van Noy/Hightower either providing delayed rush pressure/spying on Josh to contain his running. Heck, I'm not sold on our left side with Dawkins either - a safety blitz or two could be dialed up against him off the edge. Unless we can execute the second point and establish a run game to open up more passing concepts, those short throw spread options will likely be our bread and butter early on for moving the ball and converting 1st downs. To the second point, PLEASE let Singletary be available. I don't mean this as a knock on Gore in the slightest, but man, what having a power/finesse back combo does to a defense scheming pass coverage/pass rush along with a big yet mobile QB. While clearly less effective in pass pro this past week, I hope our OL can continue it's run blocking successes (likely in Feliciano's absence). Ford has been less of a glaring outlier in the run game in comparison to his pass pro, so I hope we can use him and Morse in more of the pin and peel runs that helped us in week's 1 and 2. The ability to demand a defense to respect the interior and outside runs will take all the more pressure off of Allen to create the opportunities needed to win, and hopefully alleviate our OL concerns at the same time. There's always something to add/counter to every analysis, but I like the attitude this team has internally developed. Being home dogs feeds into it and as long as they play within themselves and don't bite the penalty bug with the overhype (always gotta account for the Brady-ref factor), this will be a great game to watch.
  15. That would very much be the majority of it - aside from having more general NFL game experience than Foster and Duke, Daboll and the offensive staff have gone on record saying Zay's use is reflective of him knowing how to play, and having played, all WR positions in this offense. Albeit, to varying quality, but he understands the role he's to play in each position and we value that utility over one-dimensional production. Not to mention, his blocking has come a long way and is starting to remind me of the Robert Woods days - not there yet, but noticeable from his last two seasons. While I don't disagree with you here at all necessarily, I don't think you'll see NE bring all that many odd-man rushes. I'm of course purely speculating here, but if it's known to us it's known to Belly that we don't have consistent play at RT just yet. Assuming Feliciano is out this week, get ready to see Bennett/Van Noy/Hightower/Winovich all loading up that right side when on the field relentlessly regardless of where they play on the line. Hell, I'd even be concerned with Bennett and Winovich/Van Noy lining up against Dawkins as he's still having issues on the left side. As it stands, Belly will likely scheme offset 4 man rushes, and stunts on the right side of the line in particular, that will be able to generate pressure without sacrificing the extra defender in coverage, thereby making Allen's life that much more difficult in finding pass options to beat the rush. Van Noy/Hightower will likely be spying on those rushes as well to keep Josh honest and containing his running ability. The run game will play a big role in this, especially if Singletary isn't able to go, but we'll need to execute quick passing options early and often to dissuade this throughout the game. That said, I have confidence in Daboll to scheme Beasley and Brown open with mesh concepts against man and landmark curls/outs/crosses against zone like we've been doing. I would hope we start to use Knox/TE more as well, just to spread the coverage, and create gaps/mismatches. Pats play a weekly defense so expect them to scheme a base D that forces Allen into quick decisions/throws in coverage with primarily 4 man rushes, but our OL will need to come to play and think. I'm just happy this game is early and on our turf, and with a team that doesn't seem to let early point deficits phase them just yet.
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