Pats Offense: Ongoing discussion

Harry Hooper

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Maybe the OL has benefitted from squaring off in practices against an underwhelming front 7? They fail the test of a real game.
 

SMU_Sox

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Maybe the OL has benefitted from squaring off in practices against an underwhelming front 7? They fail the test of a real game.
Wait how is their front 7 underwhelming? Bentley is having a career year against the run and the DL including edges are playing well. It’s a top half front 7. I don’t know where they stack exactly but they aren’t bad there.
 

Harry Hooper

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Wait how is their front 7 underwhelming? Bentley is having a career year against the run and the DL including edges are playing well. It’s a top half front 7. I don’t know where they stack exactly but they aren’t bad there.
Much better in Game 4 but before that? Saints drove down the field for the game-winning drive and only had to throw 2 passes, for example. Hightower is playing well?
 

Cellar-Door

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Much better in Game 4 but before that? Saints drove down the field for the game-winning drive and only had to throw 2 passes.
The Saints put up 81 yards total in the 2nd half of that game. If the standard for a defense is.... gives up zero drives for points in a half, every D is underwhelming
 

Commander Shears

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Has anybody ever seen Carmen Bricillo and Dave Deguglielmo (disastrous o line coach when Scar left for the first time) in the same room?

They actually do look suspiciously similar.
Just to be fair - and I'm not saying he's a great coach as his average job lasts less time than a Tik Tok - the Patriots did win a Super Bowl with him as O-line coach, and the line was destroyed with injuries in his second/final year. Brian Flores, Joe Judge, and Josh McDaniels each later hired him in the same capacity (and quickly moved on, in the non-Josh cases). For whatever reason, Bill only moves on from coaches who didn't come up in his intern/coach academy.
 

rodderick

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The Saints put up 81 yards total in the 2nd half of that game. If the standard for a defense is.... gives up zero drives for points in a half, every D is underwhelming
The defense has played really well as a group without having standout individual performers aside from Judon and arguably JC Jackson. It's incredibly taxing to take the field knowing every drive might as well be do or die because your offense will struggle to put 17 on the board. And yeah, they've failed in two late game situations (arguably three) but it's 2021, no defense can hold offenses to nothing all game, give them a little bit of a cushion to work with and they'll be more than fine.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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I mentioned this in the roster thread but I'd be happy to see Rex Burkhead back with a 7th round pick (or a swap).

His snaps have gotten fewer each game, going from 10, 11, 8 to just 3 in Houston's 40-0 blowout loss vs the Bills. He's behind Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, and David Johnson (played well so far).

He's healthy enough to be on an NFL roster, even one that's as poor as the Texans. He obviously knows the offense. Importantly, the former Patriot hardly fumbles. He only has 6 of those in 473 touches (341 rushes).
 

tims4wins

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I mentioned this in the roster thread but I'd be happy to see Rex Burkhead back with a 7th round pick (or a swap).

His snaps have gotten fewer each game, going from 10, 11, 8 to just 3 in Houston's 40-0 blowout loss vs the Bills. He's behind Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, and David Johnson (played well so far).

He's healthy enough to be on an NFL roster, even one that's as poor as the Texans. He obviously knows the offense. Importantly, the former Patriot hardly fumbles. He only has 6 of those in 473 touches (341 rushes).
This makes so, so much sense.
 

Cellar-Door

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Duke Johnson has been working out for teams, if we're looking for a free receiving back.
 

Super Nomario

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So as the rubber starts approaching the road, what are people foreseeing as the starting OL on Sunday?

My guess (L>R): Cajuste, Karras, Andrews, Ferentz, Herron
This configuration makes sense. Could also see Herron at LT (where he looked better last year than he's looked at RT this year) and Durant at RT. Alex Redmond is a likely callup and another option at RG.
 

Jimbodandy

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Houston is a great matchup for us right now. Can't stop the run at all, and pretty bad at stopping the pass. Also can't score for shit. If we can't beat these guys up even with a street OL, the season is lost.
 

rodderick

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Houston is a great matchup for us right now. Can't stop the run at all, and pretty bad at stopping the pass. Also can't score for shit. If we can't beat these guys up even with a street OL, the season is lost.
Yeah, I fear this is the kind of game that won't tell me anything if they kill the Texans but will have me on the ledge if they struggle. Those are the worst.
 

Super Nomario

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Yeah, I fear this is the kind of game that won't tell me anything if they kill the Texans but will have me on the ledge if they struggle. Those are the worst.
Given the state of the offense in general and the current state of the OL, I expect a super conservative offensive game plan that is designed to win 13-3. Do not be alarmed. Mills has been awful, let him shoot himself in the foot. So I'm not going to be too concerned by a bad offensive day.

OTOH, if the D gives up 20 points, it's panic time. The Texans have only scored 16 points total in the 2.5 games Mills has been out there.
 

rodderick

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Given the state of the offense in general and the current state of the OL, I expect a super conservative offensive game plan that is designed to win 13-3. Do not be alarmed. Mills has been awful, let him shoot himself in the foot. So I'm not going to be too concerned by a bad offensive day.

OTOH, if the D gives up 20 points, it's panic time. The Texans have only scored 16 points total in the 2.5 games Mills has been out there.
Man, I just want to see a spark on offense. Defense has been amazing, I want to believe these guys can actually score points. The WRs, RBs, TEs and the QB are signed for at least three seasons, so odds are we won't see a lot of movement in those positions in the coming years, I know it's early especially with Mac but I just want something I can point to and say "okay, this is what they can do".
 

Jimbodandy

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Man, I just want to see a spark on offense. Defense has been amazing, I want to believe these guys can actually score points. The WRs, RBs, TEs and the QB are signed for at least three seasons, so odds are we won't see a lot of movement in those positions in the coming years, I know it's early especially with Mac but I just want something I can point to and say "okay, this is what they can do".
You should already be taking that from the Tampa game. I've been pretty critical of Mac so far and trying to temper expectations about what he can do as a rookie in the NFL. He's still not a deep threat. However, he started looking for those midrange looks and hitting them. And especially considering the horrible communication problems on the OL last week, that's a great sign. This week should be more of the same, except that actually being able to run a little should open up everything even more. Progress is progress.

I agree that a bad offense performance will be reason to start looking harder at the 2022 draft thread though.
 

rodderick

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You should already be taking that from the Tampa game. I've been pretty critical of Mac so far and trying to temper expectations about what he can do as a rookie in the NFL. He's still not a deep threat. However, he started looking for those midrange looks and hitting them. And especially considering the horrible communication problems on the OL last week, that's a great sign. This week should be more of the same, except that actually being able to run a little should open up everything even more. Progress is progress.

I agree that a bad offense performance will be reason to start looking harder at the 2022 draft thread though.
I thought he was fine against Tampa, but that was a secondary that allowed the most passing yards in football coming in and they lost two additional starters during the game. And once again they struggled to put points on the board. I though Mac was impressive to withstand that amount of pressure and keep being decisive, but I honestly didn't see those intermediate shots you're mentioning. 9 yards per completion with a long of 19 (mostly YAC) kinda speaks for itself.
 

Spelunker

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Man, I just want to see a spark on offense. Defense has been amazing, I want to believe these guys can actually score points. The WRs, RBs, TEs and the QB are signed for at least three seasons, so odds are we won't see a lot of movement in those positions in the coming years, I know it's early especially with Mac but I just want something I can point to and say "okay, this is what they can do".
You'd likely see that, excepting for the other kinda important offensive grouping.
 

Jimbodandy

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I thought he was fine against Tampa, but that was a secondary that allowed the most passing yards in football coming in and they lost two additional starters during the game. And once again they struggled to put points on the board. I though Mac was impressive to withstand that amount of pressure and keep being decisive, but I honestly didn't see those intermediate shots you're mentioning. 9 yards per completion with a long of 19 (mostly YAC) kinda speaks for itself.
Yeah I hear you. But I'm looking for where he's trying to go with the ball. What I saw in the first couple of weeks was a guy checking down quickly, looking horizontally early and often. There's a reason why guys have like 75% completion rates and 185 yards passing--he was taking what the defenses let him have. Against Tampa, he was looking at the seams first, not just obvious pre-snap reads like against Miami. That's how to engage all of the new receivers. It's not just about the results.
 

Super Nomario

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Man, I just want to see a spark on offense. Defense has been amazing, I want to believe these guys can actually score points. The WRs, RBs, TEs and the QB are signed for at least three seasons, so odds are we won't see a lot of movement in those positions in the coming years, I know it's early especially with Mac but I just want something I can point to and say "okay, this is what they can do".
I want a spark on offense too, but down 80% of the OL, this ain't the week for it. This is a "survive and win by any means necessary" week. The spark can come later.
 

SMU_Sox

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I think it’s going to take both the OL getting healthy and time for Josh to figure out a dynamic offense with this team. It ain’t coming this week. However it would be nice for Mac not to get killed so perhaps like SN said a ton of running and short passes.
 

Cellar-Door

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Given the state of the offense in general and the current state of the OL, I expect a super conservative offensive game plan that is designed to win 13-3. Do not be alarmed. Mills has been awful, let him shoot himself in the foot. So I'm not going to be too concerned by a bad offensive day.

OTOH, if the D gives up 20 points, it's panic time. The Texans have only scored 16 points total in the 2.5 games Mills has been out there.
I'm not sure I'd say Mills has been awful, more he had an awful game. Mills has 2 starts, 1 he was awful (BUF), the other he was pretty decent. 19/28 168 1TD 0INT. That's better than 2 of Mac's games (NO and NYJ). The problem was their RBs combined for 37 yards on 15 carries. Their line stinks, their RBs stink, their TEs stink, and their WRs outside of Cooks are street FA level. This will be the rare game that the Patriots have 3 of the 4 best WRs.

HOU is the worst roster in the league probably. I can't think of a single position group where they are even average. Honestly I thought the CAR game was impressive for Mills, 1st start, short week, played well. BUF was a beatdown, but BUF is really really good and HOU has zero talent.
 

SMU_Sox

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Branson Cooks is still decent but he’s just one guy and I expect him to be bracketed. He and Tunsil are both great players. I’m not sure if they are the worst roster in the league or not. Definitely bottom 5. Their defense is league average. They are however awful against the run so that will help this week. I’m going to the game in Houston. First Pats game I will see in person since 2007 at Dallas. Talk about bad timing right?
 

Super Nomario

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I'm not sure I'd say Mills has been awful, more he had an awful game. Mills has 2 starts, 1 he was awful (BUF), the other he was pretty decent. 19/28 168 1TD 0INT. That's better than 2 of Mac's games (NO and NYJ). The problem was their RBs combined for 37 yards on 15 carries. Their line stinks, their RBs stink, their TEs stink, and their WRs outside of Cooks are street FA level. This will be the rare game that the Patriots have 3 of the 4 best WRs.

HOU is the worst roster in the league probably. I can't think of a single position group where they are even average. Honestly I thought the CAR game was impressive for Mills, 1st start, short week, played well. BUF was a beatdown, but BUF is really really good and HOU has zero talent.
The surface-level stats don't look awful, but he took four sacks so the Texans only had 151 net passing yards on 32 dropbacks. That's bad. They also went 1-of-9 on 3rd down and 0-of-1 on 4th. Run game did no favors either, but that's not the only reason they scored just 9 points. Carolina does have a good defense. He was also pretty bad in the second half against Cleveland, though that was a tough circumstance to be dumped into.
 

ManicCompression

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The Bears play the Bucs and Packers in the coming weeks, followed by SF and Pittsburgh. Is anyone interested in going after Allen Robinson if they start slipping? https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2021-nfl-trade-deadline-allen-robinson-brandin-cooks-fletcher-cox-among-19-big-names-who-could-be-shopped/

The list of QBs he's played with in his career is a tragicomedy and he's in a contract year. I know it's tough for WRs to walk in and pick up the playbook, but he has the kind of talent I'd be interested in for a 3rd or 4th round pick if the Pats are in the mix for a wild card spot. He's not a one-trick pony - he's a super smart, savvy route runner with athleticism and great hands, traits which make me think he'd thrive in McDaniels' offense. Bumping our current crop of WRs down a spot in the depth chart would do a lot of good for the offense and maybe he'd be open to staying in NE if he clicks with Mac.
 

Cellar-Door

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The Bears play the Bucs and Packers in the coming weeks, followed by SF and Pittsburgh. Is anyone interested in going after Allen Robinson if they start slipping? https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2021-nfl-trade-deadline-allen-robinson-brandin-cooks-fletcher-cox-among-19-big-names-who-could-be-shopped/

The list of QBs he's played with in his career is a tragicomedy and he's in a contract year. I know it's tough for WRs to walk in and pick up the playbook, but he has the kind of talent I'd be interested in for a 3rd or 4th round pick if the Pats are in the mix for a wild card spot. He's not a one-trick pony - he's a super smart, savvy route runner with athleticism and great hands, traits which make me think he'd thrive in McDaniels' offense. Bumping our current crop of WRs down a spot in the depth chart would do a lot of good for the offense and maybe he'd be open to staying in NE if he clicks with Mac.
I don't see it. I can't imagine we would be willing to pay what he wants to re-sign, and a rental seems pointless, even with Robinson (one of my favorite non-Patriots) this team isn't a contender. Seems like a waste of draft capital for a team with a lot of holes and aging guys. Maybe in the offseason they shoot him an inquiry on his price, but I can't imagine trading anything for him.
 

ManicCompression

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I don't see it. I can't imagine we would be willing to pay what he wants to re-sign, and a rental seems pointless, even with Robinson (one of my favorite non-Patriots) this team isn't a contender. Seems like a waste of draft capital for a team with a lot of holes and aging guys. Maybe in the offseason they shoot him an inquiry on his price, but I can't imagine trading anything for him.
I feel you, but then I think about the results of some of our mid-round picks and I wonder - is it worth the gamble? If anyone would be able to learn the offense quickly, I feel like it'd be Robinson.

I also selfishly want to see the guy play with competence for once.
 

Saints Rest

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The Bears play the Bucs and Packers in the coming weeks, followed by SF and Pittsburgh. Is anyone interested in going after Allen Robinson if they start slipping? https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2021-nfl-trade-deadline-allen-robinson-brandin-cooks-fletcher-cox-among-19-big-names-who-could-be-shopped/

The list of QBs he's played with in his career is a tragicomedy and he's in a contract year. I know it's tough for WRs to walk in and pick up the playbook, but he has the kind of talent I'd be interested in for a 3rd or 4th round pick if the Pats are in the mix for a wild card spot. He's not a one-trick pony - he's a super smart, savvy route runner with athleticism and great hands, traits which make me think he'd thrive in McDaniels' offense. Bumping our current crop of WRs down a spot in the depth chart would do a lot of good for the offense and maybe he'd be open to staying in NE if he clicks with Mac.
I would have to expect the Pats to be trade-deadline sellers this year, not buyers.
 

SMU_Sox

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No all-22 but rewatched the game last night with my usual buddy + @Big McCorkle and Herron was a bright spot. He gave you decent play from the LT spot. It’s one game and it was against the Texans who don’t have a great pass rush but he had some highlight pass pro reps as well as run blocks. He also made a fantastic block in space on the toss they ran for 20+ yards. Meyers did too - his block helped Bolden get even more yards. It’s possible Herron could eventually be a decent RT and therefore a swing OT but from last year and this game vs his play at RT this season he looks far more comfortable on the left side. He wasn’t perfect but he gave them average play from that spot which is a bonus from a 6th round pick.

Cajuste on the other hand was bad. He was dreadful as a run blocker and had some terrible reps in pass pro. He might have also screwed up some assignments. Cajuste kept getting beaten to the inside as a run blocker. They would use Ferentz as a puller which worked unless Cajuste got beat inside and therefore Ferentz can’t get around the DT or edge who would be in his path. They ended up giving Cajuste help from Jonnu most of the game. Jonnu’s blocking was also hit or miss in this game. They do ask him to take on OLBs and DLs/edges and he struggles to execute well consistently as an in-line blocker.

Karras was ok. He’s probably better in pass pro than as a run blocker and they didn’t use him on pulls. I think part of the reason for that is Karras isn’t as athletic as Ferentz. Karras ends up on the ground more than you’d like.

Ferentz was bad. Gave up pressures in pass pro and doesn’t have much of any power as a run blocker. He and Jonnu had a couple nice pull plays.

Andrews still struggles 1:1 with DTs. His blocking was average but one thing that’s nice with him is he is a terrific blocker in the second level.

Overall I am still concerned about RT. If Herron continues to struggle with that side the options are Durant and Cajuste and neither guy looks anything like a starter. So let’s look at some combinations that might make sense: Wynn - Karras - Andrews - Mason - Onwenu. Onwenu would need some help against faster pass rushers but at least the right side of the line would be good for run blocking. Herron - Onwenu - Andrews - Mason - Wynn. Wynn at RT? Well he might have the same issues Herron does there switching sides but if they think Herron can be an ok LT it might be worth at least trying Wynn there. The thought here is you don’t want a weak spot on the line and RT is a weak spot so you shuffle it up to get average OT play and not a black hole at one of the tackle spots.

If Trent Brown is healthy he would be a huge upgrade there (literally) but I’m skeptical he’s going to be able to stay healthy for more 7-8 games. He’s already had a setback with his calf and he has had injury issues for years. They could also go with Wynn - Onwenu - Andrews - Mason - Herron and just give Herron more help but even then if a DL beats Herron to his left the tight end can’t help much anyway.

With run blocking the main issue is you don’t want guys getting beat. The Patriots have had 1-2 guys getting beat on most plays weeks 1-4 and even week 5 had multiple runs blown up because 1-3 OL lost their 1:1s. Ideally all 5 guys either stalemate or win their blocks but at least stalemate the blocks so the back has 1-2 yards to gain before getting hit. They didn’t run as many combo blocks this game either which was interesting because they really struggled with those blocks vs the Saints.

I think the run game should be able to get back on track and not be worst in the league however I’m not sure how good it can be with these starters and the RT situation. I’m also worried about Jonnu and his ability to in-line block. They put him on islands against bigger guys and he’s just not winning at a rate they need from him. He got better this game but, again, Houston doesn’t have a good front 7. It’s possible with him missing a ton of camp and being used in a different role with harder responsibilities that he’s just going through an adjustment period.

Aside from line play we also noticed Henry as a receiver. He’s really hitting his stride. His releases were excellent. His routes were exceptional and his catches/hands flawless. Henry is never going to be much of a blocker.

I wonder if the Pats thought Jonnu was going to be the primary in-line blocker and if so - did they completely miss their eval there or is this just Jonnu getting used to a new role and/or not playing well.
 

SMU_Sox

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Another thing we noticed was that Agholor got benched after the INT. Harry replaced him. Harry also got benched later on for Agholor. Both guys got benched because they either ran a bad route (Agholor) or the wrong one (Harry). With Agholor he runs an intermediate curl route but his curl isn't rounded at all - he needs to cross the face of the defender above him and come back. His winddown was sloppy and took too long and he doesn't curl his curl and the DB recovers and makes the play. It is possible he thought he was running a hitch and not a curl. I just think it was a sloppy break. Either way he fucked it up so it doesn't matter and he was benched right after.

Harry OTOH clearly ran the wrong route. He broke in when he should have broken out. When you make a right turn when you should make a left turn you have to make a U-turn to the bench...
 

Zososoxfan

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[snip] So let’s look at some combinations that might make sense: Wynn - Karras - Andrews - Mason - Onwenu. Onwenu would need some help against faster pass rushers but at least the right side of the line would be good for run blocking. Herron - Onwenu - Andrews - Mason - Wynn. Wynn at RT? Well he might have the same issues Herron does there switching sides but if they think Herron can be an ok LT it might be worth at least trying Wynn there. The thought here is you don’t want a weak spot on the line and RT is a weak spot so you shuffle it up to get average OT play and not a black hole at one of the tackle spots.
[snip]
So for shorthand:

Wynn - Karras - Andrews - Mason - Onwenu
Herron - Onwenu - Andrews - Mason - Wynn

I haven't caught a lot of Pats so far this season, but Onwenu seems like a worse fit at tackle than Wynn. Onwenu has incredibly quick feet at his size, but I don't believe he's got much reach. Wynn is relatively svelte at 310. I guess I just really don't like the first option above since it puts 2 very much OG type players at tackle, whereas option B at least has Herron as an OT shaped guy.

Has Karras played any tackle? IOW, is Herron-Wynn-Andrews-Onwenu-Karras an option at all?
 

SMU_Sox

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So for shorthand:

Wynn - Karras - Andrews - Mason - Onwenu
Herron - Onwenu - Andrews - Mason - Wynn

I haven't caught a lot of Pats so far this season, but Onwenu seems like a worse fit at tackle than Wynn. Onwenu has incredibly quick feet at his size, but I don't believe he's got much reach. Wynn is relatively svelte at 310. I guess I just really don't like the first option above since it puts 2 very much OG type players at tackle, whereas option B at least has Herron as an OT shaped guy.

Has Karras played any tackle? IOW, is Herron-Wynn-Andrews-Onwenu-Karras an option at all?
Karras has never played OT as far back as college and he absolutely is not an option there. He is far too slow. Karras is a decent enough interior pass protector but he has below average foot speed and balance. He is not a good run blocker but he can stalemate guys. He is not athletic either. He can't play OT. Not an option unfortunately.
 

Zososoxfan

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Karras has never played OT as far back as college and he absolutely is not an option there. He is far too slow. Karras is a decent enough interior pass protector but he has below average foot speed and balance. He is not a good run blocker but he can stalemate guys. He is not athletic either. He can't play OT. Not an option unfortunately.
Fair enough, I saw that he's taller than both Onwenu and Wynn and lighter than Mike, so I thought he might be a fit. Having short OTs (esp. at both LT and RT) just seems like a recipe for pass pro disaster at the pro level, but maybe I'm overemphasizing player shape, and undervaluing their skillset. TBF, I'm doing that because I'm not even remotely familiar enough with their skillsets!
 

ShaneTrot

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No all-22 but rewatched the game last night with my usual buddy + @Big McCorkle and Herron was a bright spot. He gave you decent play from the LT spot. It’s one game and it was against the Texans who don’t have a great pass rush but he had some highlight pass pro reps as well as run blocks. He also made a fantastic block in space on the toss they ran for 20+ yards. Meyers did too - his block helped Bolden get even more yards. It’s possible Herron could eventually be a decent RT and therefore a swing OT but from last year and this game vs his play at RT this season he looks far more comfortable on the left side. He wasn’t perfect but he gave them average play from that spot which is a bonus from a 6th round pick.

Cajuste on the other hand was bad. He was dreadful as a run blocker and had some terrible reps in pass pro. He might have also screwed up some assignments. Cajuste kept getting beaten to the inside as a run blocker. They would use Ferentz as a puller which worked unless Cajuste got beat inside and therefore Ferentz can’t get around the DT or edge who would be in his path. They ended up giving Cajuste help from Jonnu most of the game. Jonnu’s blocking was also hit or miss in this game. They do ask him to take on OLBs and DLs/edges and he struggles to execute well consistently as an in-line blocker.

Karras was ok. He’s probably better in pass pro than as a run blocker and they didn’t use him on pulls. I think part of the reason for that is Karras isn’t as athletic as Ferentz. Karras ends up on the ground more than you’d like.

Ferentz was bad. Gave up pressures in pass pro and doesn’t have much of any power as a run blocker. He and Jonnu had a couple nice pull plays.

Andrews still struggles 1:1 with DTs. His blocking was average but one thing that’s nice with him is he is a terrific blocker in the second level.

Overall I am still concerned about RT. If Herron continues to struggle with that side the options are Durant and Cajuste and neither guy looks anything like a starter. So let’s look at some combinations that might make sense: Wynn - Karras - Andrews - Mason - Onwenu. Onwenu would need some help against faster pass rushers but at least the right side of the line would be good for run blocking. Herron - Onwenu - Andrews - Mason - Wynn. Wynn at RT? Well he might have the same issues Herron does there switching sides but if they think Herron can be an ok LT it might be worth at least trying Wynn there. The thought here is you don’t want a weak spot on the line and RT is a weak spot so you shuffle it up to get average OT play and not a black hole at one of the tackle spots.

If Trent Brown is healthy he would be a huge upgrade there (literally) but I’m skeptical he’s going to be able to stay healthy for more 7-8 games. He’s already had a setback with his calf and he has had injury issues for years. They could also go with Wynn - Onwenu - Andrews - Mason - Herron and just give Herron more help but even then if a DL beats Herron to his left the tight end can’t help much anyway.

With run blocking the main issue is you don’t want guys getting beat. The Patriots have had 1-2 guys getting beat on most plays weeks 1-4 and even week 5 had multiple runs blown up because 1-3 OL lost their 1:1s. Ideally all 5 guys either stalemate or win their blocks but at least stalemate the blocks so the back has 1-2 yards to gain before getting hit. They didn’t run as many combo blocks this game either which was interesting because they really struggled with those blocks vs the Saints.

I think the run game should be able to get back on track and not be worst in the league however I’m not sure how good it can be with these starters and the RT situation. I’m also worried about Jonnu and his ability to in-line block. They put him on islands against bigger guys and he’s just not winning at a rate they need from him. He got better this game but, again, Houston doesn’t have a good front 7. It’s possible with him missing a ton of camp and being used in a different role with harder responsibilities that he’s just going through an adjustment period.

Aside from line play we also noticed Henry as a receiver. He’s really hitting his stride. His releases were excellent. His routes were exceptional and his catches/hands flawless. Henry is never going to be much of a blocker.

I wonder if the Pats thought Jonnu was going to be the primary in-line blocker and if so - did they completely miss their eval there or is this just Jonnu getting used to a new role and/or not playing well.
Lazar liked Cajuste's atheletism. Maybe, he just needs some time as he hasn't really played for 2 years.View: https://twitter.com/ezlazar/status/1447950620359548937
 

SMU_Sox

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Lazar liked Cajuste's atheletism. Maybe, he just needs some time as he hasn't really played for 2 years.View: https://twitter.com/ezlazar/status/1447950620359548937
For sure - I was actually a big Cajuste guy that year. It stinks he missed two years because his biggest issue coming out was all technique based and he hasn't had a ton of time to work on his craft. He has the traits you want for an OT though and still retained his athleticism. He's a long shot but since he looks physically back to health no reason to give up on him. He still has a year left on his rookie contract so if he gets enough practice this year he might even be a serviceable backup next year which has some value. Still think RT and OT next year have to be addressed.
 

Cellar-Door

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View: https://twitter.com/BenFennell_NFL/status/1449042981839900676


This is interesting, as you get deeper in the thread a bunch of people who are smart (including Mina Kimes which brought it to my attention) are discussing that the Patriots just don't have any interest in running RPO stuff. Not just a Mac thing, they only ran 13 RPO actions with Cam last year (5 in the SEA game... which was his best game). Lazar has a quote in there where McDaniels basically says... we might run it in certain matchups, but mostly... yeah we don't really plan to use it.

This seems weird to me. RPO actions are popular because.... they work. Mac did well with them in college, Cam did well with them. Seems bizaare when your offense struggles to basically not use a tool that much of the league uses to give their QB better looks.

It really feels like the Patriots (Josh particualrly) were way ahead of the curve 12-15 years ago... but now they have stagnated and they're behind most of the league.
 

SMU_Sox

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Mac is so good at quick and short passing and they could use the RPO as a way to attack advantages post snap. The RPO is something a guy like Mac excelled at and would excel at it in the pros. I’ve been wanting to see some all year. RPOs are super efficient plays. Colleges use them 20% of the time and they are used 6-8% of the time in the NFL. They prefer to run under center. I think Josh would say well I prefer to just run on first down and then later use play action on first down to get some chunks. But in reality they run against single high stacked boxes which they would probably have a better chance throwing on and the RPO would help with that. Saban has talked about how difficult they are to defend against. It makes no sense to me why they won’t at least sprinkle some in.
The Patriots have been a team that takes advantages in inefficiencies in everything that they do. That just makes ignoring the efficient RPOs even more infuriating.
 

RedOctober3829

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Mac is so good at quick and short passing and they could use the RPO as a way to attack advantages post snap. The RPO is something a guy like Mac excelled at and would excel at it in the pros. I’ve been wanting to see some all year. RPOs are super efficient plays. Colleges use them 20% of the time and they are used 6-8% of the time in the NFL. They prefer to run under center. I think Josh would say well I prefer to just run on first down and then later use play action on first down to get some chunks. But in reality they run against single high stacked boxes which they would probably have a better chance throwing on and the RPO would help with that. Saban has talked about how difficult they are to defend against. It makes no sense to me why they won’t at least sprinkle some in.
I would run more and more 11 personnel and run against light boxes then mix in the RPO game as the game goes by.
 

SMU_Sox

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I would run more and more 11 personnel and run against light boxes then mix in the RPO game as the game goes by.
I am with you there. If you have the lead and want to use 12, ok fine. But also mix in looks where you go empty out of 12. Although which RB do you want going out wide or in the slot with our current group? Bolden? He can but that’s backup quality reps there.
To your point though I agree. The frustrating thing with them is they invested a ton in two tight ends and not much in wide receivers so your 11 personnel package has 3 guys that aren’t world beaters.
 

RedOctober3829

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I am with you there. If you have the lead and want to use 12, ok fine. But also mix in looks where you go empty out of 12. Although which RB do you want going out wide or in the slot with our current group? Bolden? He can but that’s backup quality reps there.
To your point though I agree. The frustrating thing with them is they invested a ton in two tight ends and not much in wide receivers so your 11 personnel package has 3 guys that aren’t world beaters.
I would put your boy Rhamondre out in the slot. He's a good pass catcher and has more explosiveness than Bolden.