What Info Do You Wish You Could Get Out of Belichick?

PedroKsBambino

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I’d explore how close he really was to starting Brady over Bledsoe at end of training camp.

Brady vs Manning: who’s better
 

Caspir

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Uh, '07 broke up something of consequence, too, and the Giants were a 10-6 5 seed.
It did and it sucked. Probably recency bias but I’m over the “OMG Tyree” stuff. The Giants gave us a run in week 17 and the front d line was really good. Still sucks to not go undefeated, but a three peat has never happened and would have been a great capstone.
 

Toe Nash

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His thoughts on the unannounced rule changes put into place right before the second Eagles Super Bowl that caused him to use two challenges he might have otherwise saved, if he was aware and still thought he had a shot at getting either call overturned.
I missed this, could you expand?

Most things have been covered but I would ask how hurt Brady was in SB 42.

For most of the draft questions I suspect you'd get really boring answers even if he was being honest and forthcoming. They thought it was the best idea at the time given then information they had, and you have to trust your scouts and process.

I am scared about what he would say if he was being 100% honest about Hernandez. From the documentary and other reporting it seems like there have to have been warning signs that a less talented player would have been cut for. Even just for the weed use, setting aside anything else -- you're going to give a guy that contract when he could be suspended at any time? If he really treated him differently because he was so good on the field I guess that would be an interesting admission.

I would also like to know if he thinks football has a future and how he views the carnage on players' bodies and minds. Many of the football lifers just seem to love football so much that they can't imagine it being different, so I wonder if he has that kind of blinkered opinion or if he's more thoughtful about it.
 

tims4wins

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His thoughts on the unannounced rule changes put into place right before the second Eagles Super Bowl that caused him to use two challenges he might have otherwise saved, if he was aware and still thought he had a shot at getting either call overturned.
I missed this, could you expand?
Are you referring to the Clement and Ertz TDs? Because BB didn't have to challenge either. I've somewhat wiped that game from my memory, did BB challenge other plays in that game?
 

tmracht

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How it feels to miss on a generational talents like David Terrell and Koren Robinson and instead taking some dude they had to trade away in Richard Seymour and passing on an impact tackle in Kenyatta Walker for some guy who wouldn't help anytime soon in Matt Light.

Basically how much he hates Borges.
 

Shaky Walton

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Butler and Brady.

Butler because of the obvious. My own spin on it it is that it remains the most annoying, upsetting and seemingly foolish decision from the HC in sports I respect the most. Even if Bill thought Butler was not ready that day for whatever reason, the management of it and the apparent surprise of his teammates seemed to have an affect on morale, in addition to the obvious problems they were having in the secondary. So a full open report on all of it would be so appreciated.

And then Brady because he's Brady. Was it Tom's motivation to leave? Did Bill effectively force him out? If so, why? And in general, why not treat him a little differently than other players given the 20 years etc.? Or does BB claim or think he did.

Those are my enduring questions.

As a bonus, a full accounting on Alex Guerrero -- why was he banished from the sideline, why then, did he consider the affect on morale etc? Just the whole story.
 
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My question would be, Given the fact that Butler was disciplined to the point where he played only sparingly on ST’s (one snap, I think?), why have him active at all? The assumed, default answer is something along the lines of “in case of emergency,” to which I follow-up with HOW WAS THAT NOT AN EMERGENCY?

One final Butler-related query: Did it never go through your head, at anytime in, say, the second half, to go up to Butler, grab him by the face ask (or not) and say, “Had enough? Get on the field and do your job.” And can you honestly tell me you don’t think he would’ve been motivated to get out there and play like his hair was on fire? There were multiple crucial 3rd and 4th down conversions, stopping any one of which could well have led to a super bowl victory. Do you not think Butler’s presence could’ve helped with just ONE difference-making play?
 

Shaky Walton

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Was uncertainty around Gronk the main or only reason why he did not upgrade the TE position before last season? Going into the season with the TEs he had, and then cutting Watson before bringing him back, was odd. So the thinking process around that would be appreciated.

And then an honest response to why he did not draft a WR this year would be interesting, too.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Was uncertainty around Gronk the main or only reason why he did not upgrade the TE position before last season? Going into the season with the TEs he had, and then cutting Watson before bringing him back, was odd. So the thinking process around that would be appreciated.

And then an honest response to why he did not draft a WR this year would be interesting, too.
Watson was suspended the first 4 games, it was a roster manipulation. You don't need to waste your question there.
 

RedOctober3829

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What really led you to not take the timeout before the Butler play vs. Seattle?
What motivates you to keep coaching?
Have you ever seriously considered leaving New England?
Why did you not want to kick the FG early in SB42?
What exactly does Ernie Adams do?
What's the one trade or free agent signing that you were the closest on that would have shocked the NFL?
 

Super Nomario

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Watson was suspended the first 4 games, it was a roster manipulation. You don't need to waste your question there.
They cut him after that. Watson was suspended four games, they kept a roster exemption for the fifth game, then they cut him for Week 6. Then they brought him back for Week 7 and he was basically the starter the rest of the year and Izzo, who had been the starter up until that point, did not play another offensive snap.

I think @Shaky Walton has a totally valid question here. From the outside looking in, it looks like they totally mismanaged TE last year. Since we know Belichick isn't dumb, it would be interesting to understand what he thought was going to happen (did they think Izzo would be good?). And WR was nearly as bad of a mess, with seemingly every move backfiring and making things worse.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I think Bill’s honest replies to many of the personnel questions being posed won’t be as interesting as folks think.

Anyways, my guess is that once Cook picked NO over NE in free agency — and perhaps because of lingering possibility Gronk could return - BB looked around at the remaining options and cast his lot with LaCosse and Izzo. I’m sure he knew it was a risk (no teams have strengths everywhere), but, no two ways about it, it failed spectacularly. Stepping back, I think the TE shitshow was the product of several years of failure to procure any semblance of depth at the position. Dwayne Allen sucked HARD, and Izzo and LaCosse somehow managed to be worse, and Watson was simply decrepit by 2019.

I could see Bill having essentially backed himself in a corner by 2019 at the position, basically.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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They cut him after that. Watson was suspended four games, they kept a roster exemption for the fifth game, then they cut him for Week 6. Then they brought him back for Week 7 and he was basically the starter the rest of the year and Izzo, who had been the starter up until that point, did not play another offensive snap.

I think @Shaky Walton has a totally valid question here. From the outside looking in, it looks like they totally mismanaged TE last year. Since we know Belichick isn't dumb, it would be interesting to understand what he thought was going to happen (did they think Izzo would be good?). And WR was nearly as bad of a mess, with seemingly every move backfiring and making things worse.
I stand corrected, I had the order of things mixed up with Watson. No disagreement on how the TE position was handled. I do disagree on WR, for a glimmer at least it looked like they were stocked pretty decently there, then Gordon flamed out and the AB fiasco, etc.
 

Devizier

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Honestly, the Jets thing. How quickly did he realize it was a trash fire? How scary was the prospect of working for Woody Johnson?
 

Super Nomario

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Anyways, my guess is that once Cook picked NO over NE in free agency — and perhaps because of lingering possibility Gronk could return - BB looked around at the remaining options and cast his lot with LaCosse and Izzo. I’m sure he knew it was a risk (no teams have strengths everywhere), but, no two ways about it, it failed spectacularly. Stepping back, I think the TE shitshow was the product of several years of failure to procure any semblance of depth at the position. Dwayne Allen sucked HARD, and Izzo and LaCosse somehow managed to be worse, and Watson was simply decrepit by 2019.

I could see Bill having essentially backed himself in a corner by 2019 at the position, basically.
I would say it goes beyond being a risk. Risks can sometimes pay off. From the outside looking in, I can't understand how they thought there was even a chance at success there. At least with WR, there were upside flyers like Demaryius Thomas and Kenny Britt the year before, etc. where maybe they could be healthy and recapture some former glory. TE was just a disaster, and they didn't even try to de-emphasize the position by going with more zero TE sets or anything.

I agree it was a multi-year failure and 2019 bore the fruit of that, but that's another interesting question. None of the draft classes appealed to him? Then they double-dip in a 2020 class that most pundits hated.

I stand corrected, I had the order of things mixed up with Watson. No disagreement on how the TE position was handled. I do disagree on WR, for a glimmer at least it looked like they were stocked pretty decently there, then Gordon flamed out and the AB fiasco, etc.
Gordon wasn't even reinstated until halfway through the preseason. And at the point where you're counting on him, you're already in trouble. The AB fiasco was a direct consequence of WR being a mess basically since they traded Cooks away. (A move I agreed with, but they also failed to replace him).
 

Shaky Walton

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Watson was suspended the first 4 games, it was a roster manipulation. You don't need to waste your question there.
Jeez. He was released after the suspension. And then they brought him back. And if you don't think the TE was a massive WTF last season, I don't know why. A team that had the benefit of one of the best TEs in NFL history the year before and that had used the TE prominently in its offense for years in 2019 featured Izzo, LaCosse and Ben Watson at times. I get that they probably thought Gronk would return but I still would love to know exactly what Bill was thinking around all of it.

Edit: Oh, I see that you have already been reminded of your mistake by others.
 

RedOctober3829

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I think Bill’s honest replies to many of the personnel questions being posed won’t be as interesting as folks think.

Anyways, my guess is that once Cook picked NO over NE in free agency — and perhaps because of lingering possibility Gronk could return - BB looked around at the remaining options and cast his lot with LaCosse and Izzo. I’m sure he knew it was a risk (no teams have strengths everywhere), but, no two ways about it, it failed spectacularly. Stepping back, I think the TE shitshow was the product of several years of failure to procure any semblance of depth at the position. Dwayne Allen sucked HARD, and Izzo and LaCosse somehow managed to be worse, and Watson was simply decrepit by 2019.

I could see Bill having essentially backed himself in a corner by 2019 at the position, basically.
Cook had verbally agreed to join the Saints a couple days before Gronkowski announced his retirement. The Patriots had to scramble and came in at the last minute(Cook hadn't put pen to paper yet) to try to sign him after Gronk retired, but Cook elected to keep his word with the Saints. Gronk strung out the Pats and cost them a chance to adequately replace him in free agency.
 

SMU_Sox

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We know Belichick is a logical coach. I don’t want to reignite the Butler debate but unless he did something to a coach or his behavior was terrible, scratch that, there are a multitude of logical reasons his ass rode the pine and why he doesn’t get a lot duty in Tennessee either. If we only had five questions and Butler was one of them I’d be disappointed. Either he did something that caused him to be benched (if so you burned a question to know a guy was an idiot) or the scheme/illness(don’t discount this and missing practice combined with not being over the flu)/matchup reasons dictated it combined with his mental errors that season. In that case... actually I’d like to hear him say why because that might give us some look at how he game-plans and hearing him talk about the chess match for that game would be interesting. I’m leaving my earlier comment in about it being a waste of a question but after thinking about it some more it wouldn’t be unless the answer was it was for secretive disciplinary reasons. By the way with game pass or YouTube you can look at him against the Jags in the championship game. Honestly if Bortles picked on him more I don’t think we win that game. He had at least 2-4 blown coverages (I’m not sure on 2 of them).
Corners can be streaky. Year to year, game to game, weeks to weeks. Butler was in the middle of a career slump at the time + his illness + scheme problems with having him in, etc. He would have played in place of Bademosi who ironically was one of the better tacklers that year. I don’t like his matchup against Agholor who was a fast and shifty receiver which historically was/is not a good matchup for him in the slot.
Remember that Rowe and Gilmore only allowed 1TD and afternoon they switched receiver responsibilities were both lockdown corners after that first quarter. Outside corner wasn’t the reason we lost. Richards, Chung sadly, LBs in coverage, and the DL getting obliterated against the run and not creating a pass rush is why they lost. Butler to me just doesn’t move the needle for the outcome.
Still, would be worth it to hear him explain why because it would be an example of how he thinks about an individual game and plans for it.
 

Super Nomario

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Cook had verbally agreed to join the Saints a couple days before Gronkowski announced his retirement. The Patriots had to scramble and came in at the last minute(Cook hadn't put pen to paper yet) to try to sign him after Gronk retired, but Cook elected to keep his word with the Saints. Gronk strung out the Pats and cost them a chance to adequately replace him in free agency.
I think this excuse is incredibly lame. Gronk was about to turn 30, had hinted at retirement before, and had a laundry list of previous injuries that at least mandated improving the depth at TE. Reportedly Belichick had tried to trade Gronk the offseason before. It's unlike Belichick to put all his eggs in one basket and it certainly burned him here.
 

Shaky Walton

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The TE position this past year reminds me of the WRs in 2006. In one off season they lost Givens and Branch, for different reasons, and came back with the likes of Reeche Caldwell. They lost to the Colts for a variety of reasons but one of the main ones was the substandard receiving corps. There were another couple of seasons along those lines regarding the WRs in the 2012-2013.

I'd be curious to hear about Bill's thoughts on his approach to the receivers in those years.
 

RedOctober3829

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I think this excuse is incredibly lame. Gronk was about to turn 30, had hinted at retirement before, and had a laundry list of previous injuries that at least mandated improving the depth at TE. Reportedly Belichick had tried to trade Gronk the offseason before. It's unlike Belichick to put all his eggs in one basket and it certainly burned him here.
Both your point and mine can be true. Belichick for whatever reason did not do a great job developing a TE prospect behind Gronkowski and Gronkowski mulling retirement also prohibited the Patriots from going out and signing or trading for a veteran replacement. They had a $10 million cap hit tied into Gronkowski and were not going to add a 2nd expensive TE like Cook without the cap space freed up by a Gronk retirement so they had to wait on his decision. He's the best ever to play the position so Belichick had no leverage here. Any team in this position would have given him the time he needed. The free agent class of TEs that year stunk beyond Jared Cook, so the odds of getting a good replacement for him were slim anyways(Tyler Eifert, Jesse James, Nick Boyle, and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins who they brought in for about 5 minutes were other options). But, if Gronk had given the team an earlier decision it would have afforded them more time to go after Cook.

You are correct in saying that Belichick did a poor job of drafting and developing TEs in the last few years. Gronk had been breaking down and he should have been ready to replace him with a younger player. However, there was a viable replacement for his receiving abilities in Cook and waiting on Gronk cost them a chance at him.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think the other part of the 2019 TE calculus is Develin, who they used in some ways they would otherwise use a TE. His loss exacerbated the lack of a quality TE, and conversely a healthy Develin would I think have had even a bigger role and changed the level of need they had---perhaps bringing the reality of the players they had at TE much closer to the need.

I agree that overall they were caught short at TE and that is a multi-year miss. Cook would have helped, so would drafting/developing a replacement. The net was that they had a very thin depth chart at FB/TE and they got badly burned when injuries hit a weak group.
 

Super Nomario

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The TE position this past year reminds me of the WRs in 2006. In one off season they lost Givens and Branch, for different reasons, and came back with the likes of Reeche Caldwell. They lost to the Colts for a variety of reasons but one of the main ones was the substandard receiving corps. There were another couple of seasons along those lines regarding the WRs in the 2012-2013.
Agreed re: 2006 but 2013 was just bad luck. You did have Lloyd and Welker leaving, but Hernandez getting arrested was unexpected and happened too late to reinforce things. Gronk was hurt to start the year, came back, then got hurt again. Amendola and Vereen both got hurt Week 1 and missed several weeks. Even without Hernandez the offense was pretty good when they were only down one receiver, but they were down two or three guys too often.

The crazy thing about TE last year was they just stood pat. WR was a mess too but they were trying stuff, even if it basically all backfired (Brown, Sanu, Harry). In 2006 they picked up Doug Gabriel and Jabar Gaffney after the season started; they knew WR was a problem and tried to fix it. But at TE in 2019 the only adds after the season started was picking up Watson a week after they released him and a two-week dalliance with Eric Tomlinson when LaCosse was dinged up. It was bizarre to see them roll out a group that was so lacking on paper, see it do zilch all year, and see Belichick just seem to accept that it was trash (or maybe expect it to magically fix itself?).

You are correct in saying that Belichick did a poor job of drafting and developing TEs in the last few years. Gronk had been breaking down and he should have been ready to replace him with a younger player. However, there was a viable replacement for his receiving abilities in Cook and waiting on Gronk cost them a chance at him.
I buy that.

I think the other part of the 2019 TE calculus is Develin, who they used in some ways they would otherwise use a TE. His loss exacerbated the lack of a quality TE, and conversely a healthy Develin would I think have had even a bigger role and changed the level of need they had---perhaps bringing the reality of the players they had at TE much closer to the need.
Develin would have helped the run game (which was also bad, even the first two weeks when Develin played), but he's a zero in the passing game, which was the biggest problem they had all year.
 

BusRaker

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That black eye for sure. Was it really a tragic motor-boating accident?

Seriously though ... if he could have been a head coach for any 20 year span in past NFL history (given equal success), which would it have been?
 

BigJimEd

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They had a $10 million cap hit tied into Gronkowski and were not going to add a 2nd expensive TE like Cook without the cap space freed up by a Gronk retirement
Actually they went after Cook before Gronk retired. One of the reasons Cook chose NO is because Gronk was still in NE.
After Gronk's announcement, they tried to Cook to change his mind to no avail.
 

RedOctober3829

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Actually they went after Cook before Gronk retired. One of the reasons Cook chose NO is because Gronk was still in NE.
After Gronk's announcement, they tried to Cook to change his mind to no avail.
Cook verbally agreed to sign with the Saints about a week before Gronkowski retired on March 24th, but he did not actually sign with NO until March 26th. The Pats went after him after he had already verbally agreed, but he wouldn't reconsider.
 

BigJimEd

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Cook verbally agreed to sign with the Saints about a week before Gronkowski retired on March 24th, but he did not actually sign with NO until March 26th. The Pats went after him after he had already verbally agreed, but he wouldn't reconsider.
All correct but the Patriots went after him before Gronk's announcement as well but Cook didn't want to play second fiddle.
Here's one article but I remember multiple reports at the time.
As it relates to Jared Cook, he elected to sign with the New Orleans Saints, despite a strong push by the Patriots. Part of the reason Cook was said to have chosen the Saints over the Patriots was due to a more clear avenue for top billing atop the tight end depth chart. With the Patriots, that wasn't a certainty with Gronkowski still technically in the fold at that time.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Develin would have helped the run game (which was also bad, even the first two weeks when Develin played), but he's a zero in the passing game, which was the biggest problem they had all year.
Certainly Develin has not shown himself to be a great receiver, though he has played some role over time catching passes. In my mind there's three ways that comes together as part of a puzzle (as I said previously, he certainly was not a full answer).

1. As you note, he helps with blocking
2. He can (and has) moved around the formation to help surface defensive keys, a role Gronk also played
3. He was able to catch a pass and would have, even given he's no James White, likely been better at it than who they ran out there while also providing a run/pass scheme option better than their one-dimensional TEs

Certainly wouldn't eliminate the need for a better TE, but also amplifies the impact of the lack of one
 

Super Nomario

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Certainly Develin has not shown himself to be a great receiver, though he has played some role over time catching passes. In my mind there's three ways that comes together as part of a puzzle (as I said previously, he certainly was not a full answer).

1. As you note, he helps with blocking
2. He can (and has) moved around the formation to help surface defensive keys, a role Gronk also played
3. He was able to catch a pass and would have, even given he's no James White, likely been better at it than who they ran out there while also providing a run/pass scheme option better than their one-dimensional TEs

Certainly wouldn't eliminate the need for a better TE, but also amplifies the impact of the lack of one
#2 is true but any time you line up a player outside who doesn't normally line up outside, you get a man/zone indicator. So Develin isn't really unique in this regard.
#3 I disagree. Develin's season-high is 62 receiving yards. All of Watson, LaCosse, and Izzo, as pathetic as they were, exceeded that total in 2019.

I do agree the utter lack of skill position talent across the board definitely limited the ability to solve problems creatively by using unusual formation groupings. I don't think an expanded role for Develin would have been an effective way of dealing with the lack of TEs. We might have seen more 21 to compensate for the lack of WRs though (still wouldn't have helped the passing game any).
 

j-man

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what wouild u had done differently in 2005 2013 and 2015 esp 15 u were the better team as much as it plans me to say that and thanks for takeing easy on us in 2017 when u couild had hung 50 on us
 

j-man

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Someone had a great comment about Belichick on truth serum in the other thread and it got me thinking.

The situation: You are in possession of a unique piece of Lacrosse memorabilia which Bill Belichick covets. In exchange, you have demanded not money but rather that he answer 5 questions fully and honestly with elaboration, regardless of what they are, including follow-up / clarification questions on each subject. He has agreed, subject to an NDA.

What do you ask him?


I'm still debating my list, but I think the Jimmy trade is on there. Trades he most regrets, or near-misses on the draft, might be as well. Opponents or coaches he had a special trick to bamboozle. Maybe his honest and unvarnished thoughts on Bill Parcells, especially in light of the shenanigans of trying to force Belichick to stay and coach the Jets.
since i have 2 more q

who are your top 5 favorite players u coached in N E

and why wont u give your name to the madden video game u did until 2004 i am just curious oh a bonus one what happened with u and butler in Minneapolis
 

j-man

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let me punt my butler q some of us know u worked for the broncos in 1978 if denver offered u the head coach job in 81 do u take it and why no Shannon shape on nfl 100 and why is randy grandshar not in the H O F is it city bias by the media
 

ShaneTrot

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Other questions I would like to ask BB:
Why is the defense so much better without Patricia? Obviously, the play of the secondary has improved. Jones and Jackson are great UFAs. Did you get sick of giving up yardage and playing tough in the red zone? Do you think this blitzing style will eventually be neutralized by offenses?
Why do you not use the hurry-up offense as much as you did in the early 2010s?
 

Super Nomario

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Other questions I would like to ask BB:
Why is the defense so much better without Patricia? Obviously, the play of the secondary has improved. Jones and Jackson are great UFAs. Did you get sick of giving up yardage and playing tough in the red zone? Do you think this blitzing style will eventually be neutralized by offenses?
Why do you not use the hurry-up offense as much as you did in the early 2010s?
Patricia gets a bad rap because of how 2017 ended, but the D was quite good 2014-2016, not a whole lot different than it was in 2018 (where winning the SB with a great defensive performance had made people forget how up-and-down that unit was all year).
 

Toe Nash

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I always thought the no-huddle was used because they had Gronk and Hernandez who could both block and catch at a high level, so they had options every play for either running or passing. Once Hernandez was gone, if you're going to have to sub out to get a better package on the field to either run or pass you may as well run a regular tempo -- like, if you had Develin on the field the defense is probably going to key on the run and probably be right regardless of whether you huddled or not.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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3) It seems like your philosophy of investing heavily in the front 7 and in particular the DTs and has shifted to investing more in the secondary and scheming up pressure through a multitude of stunts, exotic blitzes, not traditional edge rushers winning 1v1. Why is that the case - is it based on your resources, draft slots, costs, a way to save money and have similar production, a reason I am not thinking of, and/or a combination of a lot of these? To add more context to that, Mike Lombardi mentioned that if you had early picks you build a defense through elite IDLs. Early in your tenure when you picked earlier in the first round you picked Richard Seymour and Ty Warren. Since Malcom Brown you haven't selected any DTs but Vincent Valentine in the top 3 rounds. To continue that theme you only drafted one edge in the top 50, Chandler Jones, HT @Super Nomario who is on his way to the HOF... Warren and Seymour were both pro-bowl caliber types with Seymour also on the way to being a HOFer.
I'd ask something similar to this as well. I'm sure that Bill does prioritize having a pass rush but it does seem that he does not prioritize it as much as some other coaches. I think listening to Bill explain his calculus on why he thinks his approach is more conducive to winning games vs someone like a Jim Schwartz whose whole defense seems based on putting speed rushers in a wide 9 and going after the QB would be a fascinating thing. I can imagine some next level football commentary coming out that'd either blow my mind or be some nuanced and technical that it'd melt my brain