OK, I am going to ask the question: Has BB lost his fastball?

Eddie Jurak

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The man is 69 years old.

Arguably, his sloppy game management led to Dallas getting a pivotal punt block.

Whether it is BB himself or McDaniels is up for some dabate, but either way a coach is ultimately responsible for what his OC does, so I will put it on BB here. The conservative offensive play calling often seems designed, not to protect his rookie QB, but rather to put his rookie QB in difficult third down situations.

Finally, was it not obvious to BB in the OT that his defense was gassed? He had to know the chance of NE getting the ball back was vanishingly small, yet he chose to punt instead of going for it.

I think maybe BB is in the "I want to coach with my kids before I hang 'em up" phase of his career.
 

soxin6

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Counterpoint: they were dominated by a superior team and were still in a position to win it.
I don’t think you are wrong, but BB the GM is one of the reasons that the Patriots are outclassed in talent by so many teams. Years of next to nothing out of the top of the draft has caught up to this team.
 

luckiestman

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You have to disentangle the coaching from the GM/Personnel. The game plan and coaching still seems very good to me. The players are just ok.
 

Jinhocho

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I just dont see how people can even say this.

They are in every game, the game plans are solid, but you cant make up for 20 years on top in no time fast. The picks the league took, the years of picking towards the end of the round etc. You guys are nuts.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think Bill is still one of the best coaches in the league, both in-game and prep even if he is getting more conservative as he ages.

I think he's a bottom half or worse GM/Personnel guy. If you paired Bill as he is with a good GM I think this team is better, we have a better roster and a deeper coaching staff.
 

Big McCorkle

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He's still an excellent gameplanner at this point but continues to consistently make horrible decisions when it comes to game management. Horrific, terrible, horrible, no-good decisions. The conservatism is beyond ridiculous at this point and entirely inexcusable.
 

rodderick

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Counterpoint: they were dominated by a superior team and were still in a position to win it.
Yeah, this is where I am as well. The other team had more talent, outplayed you for about 55 minutes pretty handily, and the Pats were in it all the way. I have some quibbles with the in game coaching decisions, but overall they looked like the more focused team that played closer to their potential today.
 

bsj

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This defense he assembled is terrible. I don't know what that means insofar as fastball, but even AFTER that pick 6, i felt MUCH more confident in Mac throwing than the Pats D actually trying to do whatever that was but was absolutely not playing defense.
 

rodderick

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This defense he assembled is terrible. I don't know what that means insofar as fastball, but even AFTER that pick 6, i felt MUCH more confident in Mac throwing than the Pats D actually trying to do whatever that was but was absolutely not playing defense.
They're not terrible, though. They're a mediocre defense being supported by bad special teams and a bad offense. Every stat paints the same picture.
 

Cellar-Door

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They're not terrible, though. They're a mediocre defense being supported by bad special teams and a bad offense. Every stat paints the same picture.
Yeah, our defense is a lot better than our offense, it's just that this week we played a team with a bad defense and a top 3 offense.
 

rodderick

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Yeah, our defense is a lot better than our offense, it's just that this week we played a team with a bad defense and a top 3 offense.
Yup. And today was a defensive disaster. Dallas could have put up 45 on them without playing meaningfully better than they did. I just think when you go basically 35 minutes without moving the ball on offense you're asking a whole lot of the defense to keep it close.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I think Bill is still one of the best coaches in the league, both in-game and prep even if he is getting more conservative as he ages.

I think he's a bottom half or worse GM/Personnel guy. If you paired Bill as he is with a good GM I think this team is better, we have a better roster and a deeper coaching staff.
Yeah, I think I agree with this. At minimum, he needs a new Pioli/Caserio type to help him with personnel decisions. It’s just too much to handle being a head coach, a de facto defensive coordinator, and a full-time GM all at the same time.
 

Hoya81

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The success of the last 20 years has largely locked them out of the top talent in the draft. Mac at 15 is the highest pick they’ve had since Solder at 17 in 2011 and Mayo at 10 in 2008.
 

Eddie Jurak

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He's still an excellent gameplanner at this point but continues to consistently make horrible decisions when it comes to game management. Horrific, terrible, horrible, no-good decisions. The conservatism is beyond ridiculous at this point and entirely inexcusable.
This is what I'm thinking about. I put getting the punt blocked on him.
 

jercra

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Funny how that never seemed to be a real impediment until about 2013.
It wasn't? How many championships did they win between '04 and '13 (with the greatest player in history at the helm)? This thread is... not great.
 

rodderick

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It wasn't? How many championships did they win between '04 and '13 (with the greatest player in history at the helm)? This thread is... not great.
You think they went 10 years without winning a Super Bowl because they were drafting in the 20's? Was the 2007 team not talented enough?

I just think the whole "oh, what do you expect from a team that has success? They can't draft any good players that late in the rounds" stuff is the laziest possible excuse for their drafting woes.
 

Cellar-Door

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The success of the last 20 years has largely locked them out of the top talent in the draft. Mac at 15 is the highest pick they’ve had since Solder at 17 in 2011 and Mayo at 10 in 2008.
Meh, the "we haven't had good 1sts excuse is weak, Bill has struggled in recent years in the 1st Look year by year starting with 2018 since those guys have enough time in you know what you got.

2018- #23 Wynn- the next 5 players drafted were: DJ Moore, Hayden Hurst, Calvin Ridley, Rashaad Penny, Terrell Edmunds. Penny is probably the only player not better than Wynn and there are 2 impact #1 WRs there.
2018- #31 Sony Michel- the next 5 drafted were: Lamar Jackson, Austin Corbett, Will Hernandez, Nick Chubb, Darius Leonard. 3 impact players in there including All-Pro talents and an MVP and one is a much better player at the same position we drafted.

2017- No 1st

2016- Cyrus Jones- next 5 were: Vonn Bell, James Bradberry, Adam Gotsis, Kevin Byard, Carl Nassib. Again all better than our pick, probably no "impact" players other than maybe Byard, but starters mostly.

2015- Malcom Brown- next 5 were Landon Collins, Donovan Smith, Mario Edwards, TJ Yeldon, Devin SMith- Brown is one of our best recent picks, only Collins was an impact player

2014- Dominique Easly- next 5- Jimmy Ward, Bradley Roby, Teddy Bridgewater, Xavier Su'a-Filo, DeMarcus Lawrence- again worst of the 6 is the one we drafted, Lawrence was an impact player.
 

mikcou

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Funny how that never seemed to be a real impediment until about 2013.
Well considering their top picks were #6 in 2001, #13 in 2003, #21 in 2004, #21 in 2006, #10 in 2008, #17 in 2011, #21 in 2012 and then the highest since until Mac was #23 in 2019 (Wynn), why the fuck would it?

Obviously had some trades in there (and lost some picks), but they havent had the top picks they had in the first Belichick decade in the second Belichick decade.
 

BaseballJones

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Nope. It would probably be a 30 point blowout. That’s how bad McCarthy is. I do think BB the GM isn’t very good anymore.
I think BB the GM had a bunch of down years in there but I think he's been better lately. I agree with @Jinhocho - You look at the success this team had (yes I think Brady covered for BB in those aforementioned down years) over 20 years, and you start thinking about the drain that that kind of success will have on a team when that run ends. The NFL literally stole first round draft picks from the Patriots. The Pats were routinely picking at the end of each round of the draft for two straight decades. Just as an average guess, the Pats routinely finished in the top 4 every year in the NFL (I mean, they made the AFCCG like 8 times in a row) which means that they were always picking like 29-32 in the first round (when Goodell actually allowed them to make a 1st round pick). If you look at the draft value chart, the value of the #30 pick is 620. The value of the #10 pick is 1,300. That's a difference of 680, which is the value of the #27 pick.

So due to their incredible success, the Patriots, just in the first round alone, have been "losing" an average of an additional late 1st round pick compared to teams picking in the top 10 *EACH YEAR*. The fact that they didn't have ANY down years from 2003-2019 meant that they didn't get a chance to reset through the draft. They were always handicapped in that regard. No problem - it was a small price to pay for that kind of success. But it WAS a price to pay.

They are very much in rebuild mode. Anyone who has a problem with that is asking for the impossible. It's ok for the team to rebuild. That they've been as competitive as they've been during a rebuild is a testament to the quality of Bill Belichick.

That doesn't mean he doesn't make mistakes. Obviously he does (I still can't get over drafting that stupid kicker in the 5th round last year). But he makes a lot fewer of them than basically everyone else. If he lost his fastball, he's gotten Tommy John surgery and is rebuilding his arm strength. This organization - despite what many may think right now - is on the ascendency.
 
Apr 24, 2019
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I just dont see how people can even say this.

They are in every game, the game plans are solid, but you cant make up for 20 years on top in no time fast. The picks the league took, the years of picking towards the end of the round etc. You guys are nuts.
Hard agree. (Mostly.) I get frustrating with coaching, too, and I don’t love a lot of the recent drafts - so I don’t agree with the idea that this is simply about drafting late. It hasn’t been good, draft-wise, for a chunk of years. Too many misses. This year’s draft looks pretty solid though. All of that said….

This board is off its rocker if the general consensus is we need to get rid of Belichick in the middle of a rebuild after 20 years of unprecedented success. Holy Jesus.
 

rodderick

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Well considering their top picks were #6 in 2001, #13 in 2003, #21 in 2004, #21 in 2006, #10 in 2008, #17 in 2011, #21 in 2012 and then the highest since until Mac was #23 in 2019 (Wynn), why the fuck would it?

Obviously had some trades in there (and lost some picks), but they havent had the top picks they had in the first Belichick decade in the second Belichick decade.
Drafting at like 28 instead of 21 isn't a meaningful difference.
 

mcpickl

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Meh, the "we haven't had good 1sts excuse is weak, Bill has struggled in recent years in the 1st Look year by year starting with 2018 since those guys have enough time in you know what you got.

2018- #23 Wynn- the next 5 players drafted were: DJ Moore, Hayden Hurst, Calvin Ridley, Rashaad Penny, Terrell Edmunds. Penny is probably the only player not better than Wynn and there are 2 impact #1 WRs there.
2018- #31 Sony Michel- the next 5 drafted were: Lamar Jackson, Austin Corbett, Will Hernandez, Nick Chubb, Darius Leonard. 3 impact players in there including All-Pro talents and an MVP and one is a much better player at the same position we drafted.

2017- No 1st

2016- Cyrus Jones- next 5 were: Vonn Bell, James Bradberry, Adam Gotsis, Kevin Byard, Carl Nassib. Again all better than our pick, probably no "impact" players other than maybe Byard, but starters mostly.

2015- Malcom Brown- next 5 were Landon Collins, Donovan Smith, Mario Edwards, TJ Yeldon, Devin SMith- Brown is one of our best recent picks, only Collins was an impact player

2014- Dominique Easly- next 5- Jimmy Ward, Bradley Roby, Teddy Bridgewater, Xavier Su'a-Filo, DeMarcus Lawrence- again worst of the 6 is the one we drafted, Lawrence was an impact player.
2016 can go down as a No 1st here as well

Cyrus Jones was their first pick at #60
 

speedracer

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Funny how that never seemed to be a real impediment until about 2013.
Wasn't this around the time the rookie salary caps were put in? Not being able to secure top players to below-market contracts is a significant handicap.
 

BaseballJones

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Drafting at like 28 instead of 21 isn't a meaningful difference.
Based on the draft value chart...

#28 = 660
#21 = 800 (difference of 140)
#90 (3rd round pick) = 140

So: #28 + #90 = #21. In other words, the difference between #28 and #21 is a third round pick.

You do that for a decade straight, and yeah, it's an ENORMOUS difference.
 

Super Nomario

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The definitive study I've seen ("Loser's Curse" by Cade Massey and Richard Thaler) suggests that the difference in contract amount as you move through the first round is actually larger than the difference in expected production / talent. So I don't really buy that as an excuse. They've missed on picks, it's hard. They don't have Tom Brady anymore. There are a lot of GMs from the Belichick tree looking for similar players and it's been harder to chase down bargains. They like to "zig" when the league "zags" and the current "zig" isn't working too well. And Bill's in-game decision-making has gotten timid to the point of cowardice.
 

rodderick

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Based on the draft value chart...

#28 = 660
#21 = 800 (difference of 140)
#90 (3rd round pick) = 140

So: #28 + #90 = #21. In other words, the difference between #28 and #21 is a third round pick.

You do that for a decade straight, and yeah, it's an ENORMOUS difference.
The Jimmy Johnson value chart no team uses anymore?
 

ZMart100

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The definitive study I've seen ("Loser's Curse" by Cade Massey and Richard Thaler) suggests that the difference in contract amount as you move through the first round is actually larger than the difference in expected production / talent. So I don't really buy that as an excuse. They've missed on picks, it's hard. They don't have Tom Brady anymore. There are a lot of GMs from the Belichick tree looking for similar players and it's been harder to chase down bargains. They like to "zig" when the league "zags" and the current "zig" isn't working too well. And Bill's in-game decision-making has gotten timid to the point of cowardice.
I'm pretty sure that paper was pre-rookie salary scale.
 

mikcou

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Drafting at like 28 instead of 21 isn't a meaningful difference.
Not sure I agree, but OK. 4 top 20 picks (including 3 top 15) through 2012 and none since other than Mac. Theres a clear difference in the top draft talent in the first 10-12 years and since. A good chunk of that is that the trades that were once there (current 2nd for future 1st) are just not on the board anymore. I do think it is fair to question how good of a drafter Bill is when the myopia in front offices that allowed for those trades is gone, but I dont think its fair to say that the top ends of the drafts have been the same because they arent.

Edited to add: I really dont agree with that statement. A lot of drafts have 20-25 clear first round guys and then a cliff. Writing off the difference between 21 and 28 is pretty crazy.
 

rodderick

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I guess the silver lining in the post Brady years is we'll be drafting 12-18 with some consistency and in short notice will be among the most talented teams in football.

That's how it works, right?
 

BaseballJones

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I guess the silver lining in the post Brady years is we'll be drafting 12-18 with some consistency and in short notice will be among the most talented teams in football.

That's how it works, right?
Did you honestly expect this incredible run to last forever?
 

Cellar-Door

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So just for fun... from 2014, the Patriots 1st rounders, plus the highest pick in the years they didn't have one have totalled 79 AV via PFR. The players drafted immediately after the Patriots picked have an AV of 184. Only once did the Patriots draftee end up with more AV than the player drafted after him. Malcom Brown with 39 vs. Landon Collins with 38
 

mikcou

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I guess the silver lining in the post Brady years is we'll be drafting 12-18 with some consistency and in short notice will be among the most talented teams in football.

That's how it works, right?
No, they need to draft better. My exercise was partially a thought experiment (I was surprised at the difference) as to why the drafts were coming out so differently. Teams have clearly become smarter on draft day trades which Bill clearly unlocked significant value through. I think its very fair to question whether the level of success they had drafting the first 10-12 years is repeatable at all or if it was a combination of luck, more support in the front office (e.g. Pioli), and the ability to take advantage of teams that incorrectly valued future picks.
 

Super Nomario

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I'm pretty sure that paper was pre-rookie salary scale.
It was, but Brian Burke (Advanced NFL Analytics) studied it again post-CBA and found that it wasn't significantly different. He notes that the Bradford era where the rookie contracts went crazy was only really a brief period at the end of that CBA ... for most of that CBA, contracts were fairly reasonable, and then agents started finding the loopholes and things got out of hand. Massey / Thaler was old CBA but before the nutty rookie deals, so it was a draft market similar to the current one. Unfortunately the link doesn't appear to work currently.

It looks like PFF studied this even more recently but it's behind paywall: https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-revisiting-the-losers-curse-the-surplus-value-of-draft-picks
 

Eddie Jurak

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It's obvious that the team is rebuiding and is not super talented. The extent to which BB should be held accountable is one question.

They have been in every game but one - that is to the coaching staff's credit.

The in game decision making in situations like 4th downs or how not to get a punt blocked looks shaky. That's what I wonder about.