2019 AB Watch: On-Field Performance & Strategy Posts Only

Status
Not open for further replies.

SeoulSoxFan

Dope
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
19,194
Let's get a fresh start and post ONLY football-related posts here. This does NOT include posts regarding his availability due to exemption lists, suspensions, etc (but does include injury news, if any).

Thanks for your patience, y'all.
 
Jan 30, 2017
51
Excellent. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the offense finds the most effective way to get the defensive looks they want.

In the Miami game there was a play where the Pats came out in a 10 look and then motioned White out of the backfield and the Dolphins all began looking around and pointing and eventually called a TO. With Gronk retiring they lost that chess piece that allowed them to shift from a run look to a pass look based on the defensive package on the field. Watson + AB + White (or a Michel that is a legit receiving threat) should allow them to maintain that fluidity.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
There seems to be some debate among the pundits about Brown's discipline vis a vis route-running. Bedard had a lot of negative things to say in reviewing AB's game against Miami, even on his receptions. To me, that is question #1 about whether AB turns into Randy Moss ca 2007 or into Randy Moss ca 2010.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
13,163
There seems to be some debate among the pundits about Brown's discipline vis a vis route-running. Bedard had a lot of negative things to say in reviewing AB's game against Miami, even on his receptions. To me, that is question #1 about whether AB turns into Randy Moss ca 2007 or into Randy Moss ca 2010.
I dont know quite enough about route-running in general, but I find it hard to believe that even an "expert" like Bedard can distinguish between bad route-running and AB not being entirely sure what he should be doing. Brady is a "I'm going to throw it to the right spot, you better be there" QB. Roethlisberger, whatever complaints he may have voiced about route-runing, also benefitted greatly from being able to stay upright and run around and wait til AB got open, which he almost always did eventually. I'm inclined to think that another week of practice will iron things out.

IIRC, Moss c.2010 just stopped running routes altogether. I don't think we're quite near there yet.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Here are some snippets of what Bedard didn't like:
On at least three occasions, Brown showed little to no effort or interest in either attempting a run block, or running a route with max effort to distract the defender. This will not fly with the Patriots, if they have any interest in holding Brown accountable. You’re either all in, or all out in this offense, and it all matters.
Since I’ve been watching the Patriots on film for so many years, I often fall back on, ‘Does that look right or not?’ when it comes to the way the players perform their duties. Whether it’s coverage techniques, how they block up stunts, or route running, you become accustomed to the way the Patriots do things.

And the way Brown ran routes on Sunday … I’m not sure that’s ultimately what they want, but at least it was successful.

Take Brown’s very first snap and route of the game when he caught a slant for 18 yards. Ran right into the void created by the inside linebacker dog blitz. Looked good.

But what kind of route was that? I may be wrong on this, but I can’t recall ever seeing a Patriots receiver ever run a route … that was basically a diagonal line from the line of scrimmage. That’s not even a real passing route. If that’s a slant, that’s either a 3- for 5-step route and then you turn to look for the ball. That didn’t happen. But at least it was effective.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
36,584
So he's complaining about a route that went for a completion? If that wasn't the plan, would Brady have had the ball in the right spot? It's posted below--AB isn't even his first look. Brady is glancing to his right, and comes back and hits AB on the numbers. If AB was freelancing that pass wouldn't have been there. He's completely discounting the fact that it's quite possible that they put a few new things in the playbook.



View: https://twitter.com/OTHeroics1/status/1173282845953073152


EDIT: This is literally the first play BB talks about in Belichick's Breakdowns this week. The Dolphins blitzed and AB went right to the open space. GJGE Bedard.
 
Last edited:

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
61,139
Oregon
The Bedard thing is just Lazy Media Pile-On Stuff. The clue is that he talks about how much film he's watched, giving himself a defense he wouldn't need if it weren't LMP-OS.

It goes like this:

The knock on AB is that he improvises his routes, or sometimes just goes where he wants to.
The Patriots rely on precision.
AB, as you may have read elsewhere, is in a whole heap of trouble off the field.
In his first game with less than a week's worth of practice, things weren't 100% perfect.
Thus, we can attribute it to the rep he earned in Pittsburgh, and it allows Bedard to knock him for something other than the off-field stuff
Therefore, when this becomes a huge issue for the Patriots, Bedard can point to this article and say "As I wrote about following his first game ..."

It's just lazy crap
 

Reverend

for king and country
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
So he's complaining about a route that went for a completion? If that wasn't the plan, would Brady have had the ball in the right spot? It's posted below--AB isn't even his first look. Brady is glancing to his right, and comes back and hits AB on the numbers. If AB was freelancing that pass wouldn't have been there. He's completely discounting the fact that it's quite possible that they put a few new things in the playbook.



View: https://twitter.com/OTHeroics1/status/1173282845953073152


EDIT: This is literally the first play BB talks about in Belichick's Breakdowns this week. The Dolphins blitzed and AB went right to the open space. GJGE Bedard.
I was gonna say, if that’s not the route, it should be. Right in the soft spot in the defense.

Edit: And Brady led him perfectly.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
8,944
If he's right about run-blocking, that's legitimate cause for concern. Part of what made Gronk so irreplaceable of course was his dominance at run-blocking. That said, (1) Edelman takes some running plays off too, and (2) Bedard doesn't exactly have credibility after his faulty dissection of that first play, where we actually have BB on-record highlighting that that specific route by Brown as being a good play by all involved.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,574
Hingham, MA
If he's right about run-blocking, that's legitimate cause for concern. Part of what made Gronk so irreplaceable of course was his dominance at run-blocking. That said, (1) Edelman takes some running plays off too, and (2) Bedard doesn't exactly have credibility after his faulty dissection of that first play, where we actually have BB on-record highlighting that that specific route by Brown as being a good play by all involved.
This seems like a valid point - would BB have included it in Belichick Breakdowns if he didn't think it was a good play?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ5Wu13tpls
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
8,944
well, DrewDawg had already mentioned it, so I was just reiterating it. Bedard does watch a lot of Patriots film, but it's hard to trust him that "Brown wasn't run-blocking!" when he may or may not understand the options and latitude that each offensive concept gives to specific receivers.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
13,163
Since I’ve been watching the Patriots on film for so many years, I often fall back on, ‘Does that look right or not?’
I read this as an admission that he hasn't actually *learned* anything from all that film, if he falls back on something that has nothing to do with film.

(And the breakdown stuff).
 

Reverend

for king and country
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
This seems like a valid point - would BB have included it in Belichick Breakdowns if he didn't think it was a good play?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ5Wu13tpls
From Bedard:
Since I’ve been watching the Patriots on film for so many years, I often fall back on, ‘Does that look right or not?’ when it comes to the way the players perform their duties.
In what universe does watching Brown run to the unoccupied center of the field during a blitz and have Brady lead pass him in stride not look right?
 

steveluck7

Member
SoSH Member
May 10, 2007
2,921
Burrillville, RI
I read this as an admission that he hasn't actually *learned* anything from all that film, if he falls back on something that has nothing to do with film.

(And the breakdown stuff).
On that play, my completely untrained eye saw:
DB played outside technique, essentially funneling Brown inside.
**edit** watching the video again, the DB didn't really play outside technique, it looks like he was passing Brown off as he made no effort to move with him
Linebackers blitzed and DE's dropped, leaving the middle wide freaking open
Brown ran right towards the center of the open zone

He actually might have been able to break it if he went a little more vertical, depending on the angle the far side DB took
 

Reverend

for king and country
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
well, DrewDawg had already mentioned it, so I was just reiterating it. Bedard does watch a lot of Patriots film, but it's hard to trust him that "Brown wasn't run-blocking!" when he may or may not understand the options and latitude that each offensive concept gives to specific receivers.
I think my favorite clip of the game is White pretending to dog it while not calling attention to himself on the play when he’s actually a receiver for Edelman. It’s legitimately funny—and then he gets the ball for a big gain.


Edit: I can’t find the video they showed of the closeup on White as he just sorta shuffled over to the left...
 

nazz45

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 16, 2003
2,620
Eternia
From Bedard:


In what universe does watching Brown run to the unoccupied center of the field during a blitz and have Brady lead pass him in stride not look right?
He must have skipped watching Edelman out of the slot all these years. It looks like a simple conversion route to find soft spot in coverage. The thing is, there are some freelance aspects to the slot position in this offense - as long as QB and Receiver are aligned on what they see coverage wise. It’s not simply run 5 yard stem then break because that’s the route design called in huddle. We know this. He should too.
 
Last edited:

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
13,163
He must have skipped watching Edelman out of the slot all these years. It looks like a simple conversion route to find soft spot in coverage. The thing is, there are some freelance aspects to the slot position in this offense - as long as QB and Receiver are aligned on what they see coverage wise. It’s not simply run 5 yards and stem because that’s the route design called in huddle. We know this. He should too.
Right. And that's where I'd expect that AB and TB would be out of sync, and where it might look to either the untrained eye, or someone looking for something that may or not be there, to think that AB was screwing up.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
21,574
Hingham, MA
I tweeted at Bedard re: the Belichick Breakdown. His response: "He mostly praised Brady". Not backing down.

Edit: now he's going back and forth with someone else on this topic
 
Last edited:

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
61,139
Oregon
I tweeted at Bedard re: the Belichick Breakdown. His response: "He mostly praised Brady". Not backing down.

Edit: now he's going back and forth with someone else on this topic
As I insinuated, it was an ego thing on his part
 
Aug 2, 2010
62
There may be no bigger fraud in the Boston sports media than Greg Bedard. Just a pompous, pompous ass. Why someone would pay for his site when The Athletic is a much better value (with much better local coverage) is beyond me.
 

Reverend

for king and country
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I tweeted at Bedard re: the Belichick Breakdown. His response: "He mostly praised Brady". Not backing down.

Edit: now he's going back and forth with someone else on this topic
The best part is that Belichick says that that center blitz they know it’s something the Dolphins run, though they didn’t have any film on it from this year. And clearly that’s the read, so yeah, Brady made it easily despite the lack of film.

So the team is awesomely prepared. What am I missing?
 

SeoulSoxFan

Dope
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
19,194
There may be no bigger fraud in the Boston sports media than Greg Bedard. Just a pompous, pompous ass. Why someone would pay for his site when The Athletic is a much better value (with much better local coverage) is beyond me.
I'd ask for some paperwork but the topic is more appropriate in the media thread.
 

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
3,634
Yeah, I don't know. Did it look right or not though? 20 yard blitz beater for an easy first down, sure, but did it look right. Jury's out in Bedard-land.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
36,584
The best part is that Belichick says that that center blitz they know it’s something the Dolphins run, though they didn’t have any film on it from this year. And clearly that’s the read, so yeah, Brady made it easily despite the lack of film.

So the team is awesomely prepared. What am I missing?
The narrative!!!
 

rodderick

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2009
6,573
Belo Horizonte - Brazil
I'm still fascinated by the concept of Bedard being annoyed that AB didn't cover himself by running a slant, instead of darting into a wide open zone. That's just next level stupid.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
36,584
I'm still fascinated by the concept of Bedard being annoyed that AB didn't cover himself by running a slant, instead of darting into a wide open zone. That's just next level stupid.
He definitely didn't like being called on it.

"Who said he made up his routes? You're being stupid."

"Well, you said he ran a route that didn't exist, so...."
 

Bowhemian

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2015
2,388
Bow, NH
Yeah, I don't think many experts are going to agree with Bedard. O'Sullivan mentions how the Patriots favor the receiver routes changing based on coverage and not literal to a playbook.
That’s exactly what they do. They are option routes that the receivers run based on coverage. The hard part for veteran receivers to learn is what route to run with what coverage, and run the route that TB expects them to run. Which is why you saw a couple missed connections this past Sunday between TB and AB.
 

KiltedFool

has a terminal case of creeping sharia
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2005
2,271
AB historically was known as an incredibly precise route runner, to the point where they talked about if he ran a pattern, he'd break off the same foot at the same stride within inches of the exact same spot every repetition. There were articles that highlighted that, look his foot hit the same spot when he made his break four times in a row in practice. But over time as he got more established and got more in sync with Ben there was a lot more freelancing and improv. It still worked pretty well, because long familiarity allowed Ben to anticipate pretty well, and as noted, he was tough to bring down and AB is elusive as hell.

He's still likely fast in and out of his breaks, which has always been one of his calling cards. But the incredible precision of his route running has fallen off. Remains to be seen if it will come back or even if it's needed. If TB and AB can look at the same developing play and make the same adjustment they'll connect, regardless of how sloppy his route running gets. And I think even in freelance mode he still mostly makes his cuts sharp on outs or curls since that's so critical to keeping the defender from cutting off the pass.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
36,584
I hope so. There's been articles that talk about how he has a good football brain, so hopefully a few weeks of reps will get him and Brady on the same page, at least most of the time.
 

caesarbear

lurker
Jan 28, 2007
233
In the video I posted, O'Sullivan is already impressed with how AB was running his successful plays. He breaks down how AB can't run a mechanical precision route, i.e. same foot at the same stride, because that's not how Patriots receivers operate. He didn't break down the missed connections of course. We can only speculate but it's probably reasonable to think it's a fixable problem given how he performed on the successful plays.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
7,806
Brown was on the field for 24 snaps and was targeted 8 times. This was also new ground, which Bedard conveniently ignored. Neither Gordon nor Dorsett had anywhere near the same number of targets early in their respective tenures.

I recall two of those incompletions having occurred when the Pats got down to the Dolphins 10 yard line. On one, it appeared that Brown cut one way in the end zone while the throw went the other. It didn't seem like Brown was freelancing; just seemed more like just typical missed connection that would expect for a guy that had less than a week to learn the playbook and all of 3 practices under his belt. Brown also seemed to motion to the official that he was held on the play (don't think he was, but there may have been some incidental contact when Brown tried to turn for the ball). On the other, Brady's throw was clearly off target; Brady was clearly upset at himself on that one. I don't recall the other two incompletions, but I thought one was a good play by Rowe.

As for run blocking assignments, there could be a number of explanations. My thought is that such assignments are more nuanced than just throwing your body at the nearest defender. Maybe he was told not to worry about run blocking unless he had a clear and obvious path to the defender. Given his unfamiliarity with the playbook, a bad run block could be worse than no block at all. He could cut the wrong way and end up tripping the runner. Or do something that gets him called for a penalty.
 

KiltedFool

has a terminal case of creeping sharia
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2005
2,271
AB has never had a reputation as a willing or enthusiastic blocker. He will engage, but he'll never be compared to Hines Ward or even currently Juju. You'll get the typical generic receiver "stalk block" level of effort out of him, but he's not going to go out and lay someone out. Never really been his thing. I think I recall him being successful in some crack or wham type blocks on defensive ends or linebackers coming in from the slot, but again more of a "get in his way" than a "mama said knock you out".
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
7,806
View: https://gfycat.com/circularregularamericantoad


AB may have been held but it looks like he doesn't get his head around in time.
The "holding" play was earlier on the same drive. Pats were on the Miami 20, and Brady threw towards the end zone. Brown turned the wrong way, then turned toward the ball. I don't think he was held, or at least held enough to draw a call. But I don't have a video of the play handy either.
 

loshjott

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2004
7,985
Silver Spring, MD

Mike Reiss

At today’s media-access period at practice, what stood out was Tom Brady and Antonio Brown — seen in this video in the distance on the opposite sideline — spending some 1-on-1 time together. Brady seemed to be going over what he expects on certain routes.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Could it be that TB was more conscious about the (possible) pressure and threw the ball earlier than usual? The protection was pretty decent but the ball was released before AB can cut on his route.
What I see is that Brown gets his defender on his inside shoulder so Brady throws it to the pylon. Unfortunately, Brown tries to cut back upfield and runs back into the coverage and away from the ball. My guess is that is what was drawn, but Brady expects his WR to read the coverage and adjust. But Brown's isn't there yet.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I had a similar read on the failed throw to the other corner. I think Brady thought Brown would cut it back to the middle hard one he broke the plane, but Brown was going for a backline fade. Brady threw the former, Brown ran the latter.
 

brandonchristensen

mad photochops
SoSH Member
Feb 4, 2012
24,449
It's funny how many of these sideline videos we're getting where I'm supposed to ignore the foreground action and instead focus on the background.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.