November 28, 2014

WE DO WHAT THEY DON'T WANT US TO DO:

DON'T JUST TRUST "THE SYSTEM" (Ross Tucker, 11/26/14, Sports on Earth)

What the Patriots "do" is come up with a truly unique game plan specifically designed to counteract what their opponent's strengths and weaknesses are each and every week. Sounds like a pretty simple concept, yet you'd be surprised how many teams don't seem to understand this.

I played for five teams in seven years. Several coaches would preach how their system was great as long as we "executed' or had "good fundamentals." They'd boast about the fact that we were going to "run our stuff" and "not change what we were doing based on one opponent."

I understand what they were trying to accomplish and there is certainly something to be said for consistency in approach and mastering particular concepts, but what made the most sense to me was what Belichick would preach in his team meetings in New England. The first thing he would talk about at the start of each week was the opponent and what they did best. He was very specific. This wasn't, "We can't turn the ball over" coach-speak. It was, "If we take away Jimmy Smith on third downs they can't beat us" prior to a playoff game against the Jags in the 2005 season. He would harp on it all week and the game plan would be designed to accomplish that exact objective.

It worked that night. Still does, most of the time.

Just look at what the Patriots did in the last two weeks offensively. In Week 11 on Sunday Night Football, they went to their heavy package up front and ran the ball down the Colts throat to the tune of 200 yards and four touchdowns for running back Jonas Gray. A player who had been on the practice squad a month earlier was now the featured back in a big road win over a division leader.

Then this past Sunday against Detroit, the Patriots barely even tried to run the ball. Instead, Brady operated out of the gun and picked apart the Lions for almost 350 while mixing in five different receivers (who all received at least five passes each). It was total domination in a much different way than the week prior.

That's the Patriots. You never really know what they are going to do from week to week. That's their trademark. That's their "system." That's what they do.

Posted by at November 28, 2014 5:20 PM
  

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