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Old 01-16-2013   #55
Vinny
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Default Re: Texans' LB Brooks Reed: "we weren’t fully prepared"

Good article on the Patriots system and the ways it always changes based on the players

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...brady-patriots
Quote:
It's late in the first quarter. A play ends, and seconds later Tom Brady has his team back at the line. He gives a hand signal to his receiver, a tap to his offensive linemen. "Alabama! Alabama!" The ball is snapped. An outlet pass goes to Stevan Ridley, who rumbles to the Houston 40-yard line, another first down. Subs run in. Soon, the Patriots are back at the line. Except now, running back Shane Vereen is lined up out wide. The Texans are scrambling. Brady takes the snap and hits Vereen on a quick hitch. Vereen dips around linebacker Bradie James and then spins back inside, gaining 25 yards before he's done.

The next play is the same play, with the same personnel, with zero time for the defense to recover. The three receivers to Brady's left crisscross around defenders while Aaron Hernandez, who was lined up as a back to Brady's left, dashes to the flat. He makes the catch and takes it to Houston's 1-yard line. The same 11 Patriots sprint to the line, but Vereen is now in the backfield. The play is a run to the left, and he's into the end zone untouched. Touchdown, New England.

Since Tom Brady became the starting quarterback in New England 12 years ago, the Patriots have finished in the top 10 in scoring 11 times, but the way they've gotten there hasn't been nearly as consistent. In Brady's early years, Bill Belichick built his offense not around his quarterback, but rather to support him, with a steady supply of dependable receivers and a physical running game. It was when Brady moved from trusted game manager to outright star that he became the offense's centerpiece, and the need for reliable bolstering was replaced with the pursuit of a cast that could push him even further.

First it was with Wes Welker, Randy Moss, and a pass-happy shotgun spread offense. More recently, with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, the offense became a two–tight end–based attack. With Gronkowski set to miss the rest of the playoffs, and Ridley and Vereen continuing to improve, the Patriots appear to be evolving again, this time relying on two running backs. Throw in three different offensive coordinators — Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels, and Bill O'Brien — and it seems that the only constant in New England, other than Belichick and Brady, has been change.

But what's allowed New England to maintain its success among the shifts is that its quarterback and coach aren't the only things that have remained the same. The core of the Patriots' offensive system has been threaded through its various stages, both stabilizing the transitions and allowing the next evolution. The design and organization of New England's system is better suited than any other to adapt to an NFL game in which change — of personnel, of trends, of schemes — is the only certainty.
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