2020 Pats: You Cam Go Your Own Way

Silverdude2167

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Was that the play that was some sort of gadget play and I think Harry blew right past the defender and let him walk in and make the sack?
It was but I can't imagine that it was Harry's assignment to pick up a Blitzer...it would have been nice to see him do it, but I think he was a decoy, outlet and it was just a free man the QB should have known about.
 

lexrageorge

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Brady gets a lot of well-deserved credit for how great he is at football, but I think he remains criminally underrated when it comes to setting pre-snap protection, calling an audible out of a doomed play, and moving his blockers around. It's the reason we never really saw stuff like that with Brady where an obvious blitzer comes unblocked and gets to him. However, Cam does none of that well.
What's ironic is that the above is a basically an "open secret" among the league's coaches. And they don't exactly keep it a secret, but it's too uninteresting for the Volin's and Shank's and Bedard's to write about.
 

54thMA

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It was but I can't imagine that it was Harry's assignment to pick up a Blitzer...it would have been nice to see him do it, but I think he was a decoy, outlet and it was just a free man the QB should have known about.
Agreed, not his assignment there at all.................I find it hard to fathom Cam would see that defender lurking on the edge with no one to pick him up and still go with that play.
 

Captaincoop

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Were any of the league’s current elite QBs top-5 picks? Mahomes, Wilson, Rodgers, Watson, Jackson, Allen ... a couple top-10s in there, but no top 5s. Maybe I’m missing something.

They’re all 1st rounders except Wilson, so you do have to place a bet at some point, but you don’t need to tank and destroy your culture.
This is a good point, and further, if you look at the 2010-2019 drafts...7 or 8 of those ten years, the consensus QB everyone was dying to draft turned out to be the wrong QB to pick first.
 

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And this goes back further, but Rivers was picked 4th, and Ben was picked 11th. Dak and Cousins were both 4th rounders. You can quibble with how good they are but they are pretty damn good for 4th rounders. If Stidham ever gets close to that level we'd be thrilled.
 

BaseballJones

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It would probably mean no Thuney or some other downstream effect based on salary / timing. You may or may not be right though.
Yeah my only point was that it's kind of easy for people to pooh-pooh Rivers as not being one of the greats, and that's fair. But he's been a damned good QB and even right now, at the end of his career, he'd have helped NE win more games than they've won.
 

BigSoxFan

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Yeah my only point was that it's kind of easy for people to pooh-pooh Rivers as not being one of the greats, and that's fair. But he's been a damned good QB and even right now, at the end of his career, he'd have helped NE win more games than they've won.
Agreed. Rivers with White/Burkhead as dump off options would have been pretty effective, IMO.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Bedard has an article this morning about Cam and BB’s stubbornness in staying with him. Cam’s numbers are literally Lutenesque and Josh tried everything to keep the ball out of his hands and Cam still turned it over late.

BB’s roster decisions are truly bizarre. They have so few good young players but now Sony (who had one of his best games as a pro against the Raiders before getting hurt) is relegated to the bench when Rex was getting serious reps? Sticking with a great guy / leader in Cam who is completely washed up and hurting the team? Would be interesting to see how things would be going with fans, as they would not be kind to Cam with the multitude of missed passes, bad sacks, and picks.
 

lexrageorge

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Bedard has an article this morning about Cam and BB’s stubbornness in staying with him. Cam’s numbers are literally Lutenesque and Josh tried everything to keep the ball out of his hands and Cam still turned it over late.

BB’s roster decisions are truly bizarre. They have so few good young players but now Sony (who had one of his best games as a pro against the Raiders before getting hurt) is relegated to the bench when Rex was getting serious reps? Sticking with a great guy / leader in Cam who is completely washed up and hurting the team? Would be interesting to see how things would be going with fans, as they would not be kind to Cam with the multitude of missed passes, bad sacks, and picks.
The roster decision is not bizarre if Bill and Josh truly believe that Newton still gives them the best chance to win each week. Not all that surprising when you consider the other QB's on the roster.
 

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Bedard has an article this morning about Cam and BB’s stubbornness in staying with him. Cam’s numbers are literally Lutenesque and Josh tried everything to keep the ball out of his hands and Cam still turned it over late.

BB’s roster decisions are truly bizarre. They have so few good young players but now Sony (who had one of his best games as a pro against the Raiders before getting hurt) is relegated to the bench when Rex was getting serious reps? Sticking with a great guy / leader in Cam who is completely washed up and hurting the team? Would be interesting to see how things would be going with fans, as they would not be kind to Cam with the multitude of missed passes, bad sacks, and picks.
The RB situation makes sense: Harris gets all the reps on likely running plays; White gets all the rest. Burkhead got reps as the only RB who Josh/Bill seem to think of as true dual threats. Any reps Sony would have footed yesterday would have meant more time on the sideline for Harris.
 

Captaincoop

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The roster decision is not bizarre if Bill and Josh truly believe that Newton still gives them the best chance to win each week. Not all that surprising when you consider the other QB's on the roster.
Agreed. Belichick knows some things about football, and he's not trying to lose games. The reasonable assumption is that Stidham has failed to develop and they think he'd be even worse. We saw what Hoyer can do - and that was no better than Cam, either.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Agreed. Belichick knows some things about football, and he's not trying to lose games. The reasonable assumption is that Stidham has failed to develop and they think he'd be even worse. We saw what Hoyer can do - and that was no better than Cam, either.
It's almost like Bedard has no goddamn clue about what it takes to run a winning football team.

I don't think Cam was good yesterday either, but to assume that BB doesn't know what he's doing by keeping Cam as the starter takes a level of hubris that only Bedard seems to possess. The logical answer is that Stidham isn't as good as Cam. If there's criticism to be had there it's that the Pats put a lot of stock in Stidham and he can't even beat Cam out to be the starter.
 

Captaincoop

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I read the BSJ breakdown as arguing to just throw Stidham in at this point and hope that he plays better than he's practiced, because we've now seen what we're getting from Cam and it's pretty much rock bottom for a starting QB.

From that standpoint, it's not insane. Cam has been worst case scenario bad. I guess the big argument against trying that is that if Stidham is somehow even worse, there's no going back once you bench Newton. The last 4-5 games would be ugly (er?).
 

lexrageorge

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I read the BSJ breakdown as arguing to just throw Stidham in at this point and hope that he plays better than he's practiced, because we've now seen what we're getting from Cam and it's pretty much rock bottom for a starting QB.

From that standpoint, it's not insane. Cam has been worst case scenario bad. I guess the big argument against trying that is that if Stidham is somehow even worse, there's no going back once you bench Newton. The last 4-5 games would be ugly (er?).
Belichick has said multiple times that he does not believe in the division between "practice players" and "game day players". Basically, if Stidham wants to get a look as starting QB, he needs to practice better first.

Belichick, for better or worse, is like all NFL coaches in that he is hardwired to do everything possible to win games while the games still matter. Technically, the games still matter to New England, and so I don't see Belichick changing course just to appease either Bedard or the non-existent fans in the stands. A secondary consideration is that if Newton gets back on track, he'll earn a contract somewhere next season, and Belichick will be perceived as doing a solid for a well-respected veteran player.
 

joe dokes

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The RB situation makes sense: Harris gets all the reps on likely running plays; White gets all the rest. Burkhead got reps as the only RB who Josh/Bill seem to think of as true dual threats. Any reps Sony would have footed yesterday would have meant more time on the sideline for Harris.
Sony's only role right now is as Harris's backup, either in case of injury or, say, if Harris runs 45 yards on his 6th straight carry, needs a blow, and he'd normally be in the game on the next play.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Belichick has said multiple times that he does not believe in the division between "practice players" and "game day players". Basically, if Stidham wants to get a look as starting QB, he needs to practice better first.
Ernie Adams said this exact thing in the SB 49 movie regarding Malcolm Butler's INT. 'THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GAME DAY PLAYER.' Malcolm made the INT because he practiced that play and put it to execution during the game. Without one there is not the other.

Stidham must be terrible in practice. It's pretty simple, really.
 

Captaincoop

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Ernie Adams said this exact thing in the SB 49 movie regarding Malcolm Butler's INT. 'THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GAME DAY PLAYER.' Malcolm made the INT because he practiced that play and put it to execution during the game. Without one there is not the other.

Stidham must be terrible in practice. It's pretty simple, really.
Yes, he has to be ungodly bad during the week to not be able to earn a chance right now. No other conclusion makes any sense.
 

Van Everyman

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I just totally disagree. I mean, I get that Cam has been inconsistent at best, terrible at worst. But for a Belichick team in particular, pulling your starting QB--a respected leader on the team whether he's playing well or not--is only done when the need is obvious and the upside is clear. In Bill's case, he's done it twice before to my knowledge: benching Kosar and Bledsoe. With the latter, he had an injury make the decision easier for him. With Kosar, he benched the guy for falling off and not listening to his coaches and then was forced to bring him back when Testaverde got hurt. When Kosar still went rogue, he cut him.

That isn't happening here. Cam came here for peanuts, is working really hard by all accounts, and likewise, he is a really respected guy in the locker room. Benching Cam now both sends the wrong message--that production is more important than doing your job--and would just completely deflate a team that is playing really hard for him and has had breakout years for Harris, Meyers, Onwenu -- with Byrd, Dugger and Wino not far behind.

It's complicated, I grant you, because consistent production from your QB probably them you a few games they lost this year. But Belichick's long game here is rebuilding this team for the future -- and the best way to rebuild them is to get those young guys to buy into his system, long-term. I don't think benching Cam facilitates that.
 

RedOctober3829

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It's almost like Bedard has no goddamn clue about what it takes to run a winning football team.

I don't think Cam was good yesterday either, but to assume that BB doesn't know what he's doing by keeping Cam as the starter takes a level of hubris that only Bedard seems to possess. The logical answer is that Stidham isn't as good as Cam. If there's criticism to be had there it's that the Pats put a lot of stock in Stidham and he can't even beat Cam out to be the starter.
His article is crap. Cam was awful yesterday, but the last few weeks he has been pretty good. It's not like he's been putting up these performances week in and week out. If he continues to look like he did yesterday, then yes by all means bench him.
 

BaseballJones

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So it's interesting. Last week Cam has 365 yards passing on 26 completions in 40 attempts (65%), and zero interceptions. But they lose so Cam stinks.

This week, Cam is a dismal 9-18 for 84 yards, 0 td, and 2 td, but the Pats win. So Cam stinks.

It seems like he has to put up good numbers and win in order to not stink.
 

Captaincoop

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His article is crap. Cam was awful yesterday, but the last few weeks he has been pretty good. It's not like he's been putting up these performances week in and week out. If he continues to look like he did yesterday, then yes by all means bench him.
I honestly don't know what people are watching if they think Cam has been anything but one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL this year. We are in December now and he has 4 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions. They have built a Fisher Price My First Offense for him, and he somehow still makes crushing mistakes.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I honestly don't know what people are watching if they think Cam has been anything but one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL this year. We are in December now and he has 4 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions. They have built a Fisher Price My First Offense for him, and he somehow still makes crushing mistakes.
He's also rushed for 9 TDs and 400 yards so that needs to be taken into account as he's rushing in spots where Brady would have thrown. I am not arguing he's been good. He has not. But his skills at running the ball should be accounted for as well.
 

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Yesterday I was watching the beginning of the Giants game and they flashed Daniel Jones stats showing that he had 8 TD's so far. My 8yo son asked "is that good?" "Not really," I said. Then he asked what was the record. I told him 52 or so, then explained how that means that most games that person had to throw 3 or 4 TD's each and every week. So a good number after 12 games would be around 25 to 30, and 35 or more would be awesome.

Then we switched to the Pats stream and it showed Cam with 4 throwing and 9 rushing. So even 13 is still pretty bad.
 

8slim

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Bedard is right in the sense that Cam has been almost unfathomably bad this season. But he's wrong to propose a solution of starting Stidham just for the heck of it. The sad fact is that there is no solution, other than to hope Cam plays better, because it seems obvious that Stidham must be awful both on the practice field and with his work ethic/preparation.

On the practice player vs. game day player thing... wasn't the rap on Garoppolo that he was mediocre in practice? But then he shined in the limited game day play he got?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Yesterday I was watching the beginning of the Giants game and they flashed Daniel Jones stats showing that he had 8 TD's so far. My 8yo son asked "is that good?" "Not really," I said. Then he asked what was the record. I told him 52 or so, then explained how that means that most games that person had to throw 3 or 4 TD's each and every week. So a good number after 12 games would be around 25 to 30, and 35 or more would be awesome.

Then we switched to the Pats stream and it showed Cam with 4 throwing and 9 rushing. So even 13 is still pretty bad.
Cam did miss the KC game of course which will hurt his numbers in those categories.

No one is arguing he's having a good season.
 

cshea

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Cam's 79.8 passer rating is the 4th lowest passer rating in the league among starters. He's ahead of only Jones, Wentz (what happened to this guy?), Lock and Darnold

It's really kind of amazing they are even 5-6 with the QB and defensive play they've had this season.
 

BigSoxFan

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He's also rushed for 9 TDs and 400 yards so that needs to be taken into account as he's rushing in spots where Brady would have thrown. I am not arguing he's been good. He has not. But his skills at running the ball should be accounted for as well.
True but he's still only accounted for 13 TDs in 10 games. That is pretty awful. Really is too bad that the Cam from the first few weeks couldn't be sustained. I know I was getting excited about his play. No idea how much of an impact COVID had but it clearly had some impact.
 

Steve Dillard

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He's ahead of only Jones, Wentz (what happened to this guy?), Lock and Darnold
Jones 8th overall.Wentz 2nd overall, Lock 42nd overall, Darnold 3rd overall

Man its depressing to think we're hoping for a serviceable QB at 11-16th overall.
 

RedOctober3829

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True but he's still only accounted for 13 TDs in 10 games. That is pretty awful. Really is too bad that the Cam from the first few weeks couldn't be sustained. I know I was getting excited about his play. No idea how much of an impact COVID had but it clearly had some impact.
I don't think COVID itself had an impact, but the lost practice time certainly did. The first 2 games back after the hiatus(Denver, SF) were horrible then he had gotten back into a better groove in the last 4 weeks(Buffalo and Baltimore in weather disasters, Jets, and Texans). 5 of the 9 picks were in those 2 games after the hiatus and he had done a much better job of not turning the ball over after that with only 1 turnover in 4 games while efficient in 3 of those games and really good against Houston. Yesterday was a tremendous step back.
 

lexrageorge

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Jones 8th overall.Wentz 2nd overall, Lock 42nd overall, Darnold 3rd overall

Man its depressing to think we're hoping for a serviceable QB at 11-16th overall.
Mahomes was 10th. Josh Allen 7th. Lamar Jackson 32nd. DeShaun Watson was 12th. Aaron Rodgers 24th. Kirk Cousins 102nd. Brees 32nd. Russell Wilson 75th. And then there was some guy who was 199th.
 

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I agree that the Pats are committed to Cam for this season, matching the commitment he has made to the team in terms of salary and effort. The results aren't pretty stats-wise (to put it lightly), but record-wise, I'd guess BB recognizes that 5-6 isn't a bad showing for this roster. He's clearing cap, getting production from key rookies while staying nearly above water - hell TB is 7-5 at the helm of a Cadillac. It's a great experience for the players to some extent as they're witnessing firsthand that BB doesn't panic and trusts his system. That'll have value going forward as BB lays the groundwork for the coming wave of retirement of the trusted old guard like McCourty, etc. He needs new battle-tested leaders and is making strides this season. Stidham's only getting run out there if Cam's either injured enough that he literally can't play or he's turning the ball over at an ungodly rate.

Wentz (what happened to this guy?)
Seconded. His stats have nosedived - particularly his comp % which might partially explain the big increase in Int's. What's the perceived wisdom with Wentz's decline (at age 28)?
 

BigSoxFan

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I don't think COVID itself had an impact, but the lost practice time certainly did. The first 2 games back after the hiatus(Denver, SF) were horrible then he had gotten back into a better groove in the last 4 weeks(Buffalo and Baltimore in weather disasters, Jets, and Texans). 5 of the 9 picks were in those 2 games after the hiatus and he had done a much better job of not turning the ball over after that with only 1 turnover in 4 games while efficient in 3 of those games and really good against Houston. Yesterday was a tremendous step back.
Yeah, meant practice time/development and less about physical issues. He was playing pretty well and then fell off a cliff. Like you mentioned, he was improving and then hit a pot hole yesterday. That was an excruciatingly bad performance.
 

E5 Yaz

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Yeah, meant practice time/development and less about physical issues. He was playing pretty well and then fell off a cliff. Like you mentioned, he was improving and then hit a pot hole yesterday. That was an excruciatingly bad performance.
I think there's another factor, which has probably been discussed elsewhere. Cam had so much time off since playing, he was likely feeling as good as he could in those first few games. Once the wear and tear started again, and he started getting hit, his body started settling into the condition where certain issues started making themselves known.
 

Royal Reader

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I agree that the Pats are committed to Cam for this season, matching the commitment he has made to the team in terms of salary and effort. The results aren't pretty stats-wise (to put it lightly), but record-wise, I'd guess BB recognizes that 5-6 isn't a bad showing for this roster. He's clearing cap, getting production from key rookies while staying nearly above water - hell TB is 7-5 at the helm of a Cadillac. It's a great experience for the players to some extent as they're witnessing firsthand that BB doesn't panic and trusts his system. That'll have value going forward as BB lays the groundwork for the coming wave of retirement of the trusted old guard like McCourty, etc. He needs new battle-tested leaders and is making strides this season. Stidham's only getting run out there if Cam's either injured enough that he literally can't play or he's turning the ball over at an ungodly rate.


Seconded. His stats have nosedived - particularly his comp % which might partially explain the big increase in Int's. What's the perceived wisdom with Wentz's decline (at age 28)?
Remember when, after the Eagles SB, someone set the Wentz super bowl starts o/u at 1.5? And some people took the over? Man.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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I don't think COVID itself had an impact, but the lost practice time certainly did. The first 2 games back after the hiatus(Denver, SF) were horrible then he had gotten back into a better groove in the last 4 weeks(Buffalo and Baltimore in weather disasters, Jets, and Texans). 5 of the 9 picks were in those 2 games after the hiatus and he had done a much better job of not turning the ball over after that with only 1 turnover in 4 games while efficient in 3 of those games and really good against Houston. Yesterday was a tremendous step back.
He was not really good against Houston...his final numbers looked good but he missed a ton of easy throws that killed drives, and only managed 20 points.
 

lexrageorge

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One consideration when evaluating yesterday's game is that the Pats ran so few plays: 48 total, which is not very many. Cardinals ran 68. So there wasn't a lot of opportunity for Cam to redeem himself from his bad plays and perhaps turn a true stinker into a meh game.

Some of that was obviously Cam's fault, as a couple of drives were truncated by bad QB plays. Taking a closer look:

1: Truncated by the deflection-INT, although the OL deserves some blame as well.
2: Cam was bad: 1-5 with a sack.
3: Much better on the short field, as Cam was 2-3 for 20 yards, and made the good decision on the option run for the TD.
4: 0-2 with a sack after picking up 12 yards on 2 runs to start the drive.
5: Another short field. Cam missed a pass, forcing NWE to settle for a FG after 1st-and-goal.
6: Another short field. All runs, two of them by Cam.
7: Disastrous end around set up a 3rd-and-14 and subsequent incompletion.
8: 2nd Cam INT, a bad one.
9: Picking up the 1st down on 3rd-and-14th was pretty big, even if the penalty was questionable.
 

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One consideration when evaluating yesterday's game is that the Pats ran so few plays: 48 total, which is not very many. Cardinals ran 68. So there wasn't a lot of opportunity for Cam to redeem himself from his bad plays and perhaps turn a true stinker into a meh game.

Some of that was obviously Cam's fault, as a couple of drives were truncated by bad QB plays. Taking a closer look:

1: Truncated by the deflection-INT, although the OL deserves some blame as well.
2: Cam was bad: 1-5 with a sack.
3: Much better on the short field, as Cam was 2-3 for 20 yards, and made the good decision on the option run for the TD.
4: 0-2 with a sack after picking up 12 yards on 2 runs to start the drive.
5: Another short field. Cam missed a pass, forcing NWE to settle for a FG after 1st-and-goal.
6: Another short field. All runs, two of them by Cam.
7: Disastrous end around set up a 3rd-and-14 and subsequent incompletion.
8: 2nd Cam INT, a bad one.
9: Picking up the 1st down on 3rd-and-14th was pretty big, even if the penalty was questionable.
That's the thing with Cam, he has a LOT of bad plays and missed opportunities every game. But he rarely has any great plays. THere's no good to take with the bad.
 

BaseballJones

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That's the thing with Cam, he has a LOT of bad plays and missed opportunities every game. But he rarely has any great plays. THere's no good to take with the bad.
Last week his TD throw to Byrd was pretty great. Yesterday his huge run (combined with the PF penalty) was pretty great. He makes a few really good plays a game. I mean, we were used to seeing Brady make a dozen great throws a game, tons of them in huge spots, so this is a gigantic step down. But it's not like Cam doesn't make big plays. He does.
 

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I might be thinking of a different play, but I actually thought that was a fantastic catch, and not a terribly great throw. If I recall correctly, he had to change direction as Cam led him differently than he was running.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Perhaps I'm mistaken but I don't recall Brady having so many batted balls by the linemen. What about Cam makes him so prone to this? Is he throwing it lower, more of a line drive than an arc?
 

BaseballJones

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I might be thinking of a different play, but I actually thought that was a fantastic catch, and not a terribly great throw. If I recall correctly, he had to change direction as Cam led him differently than he was running.
It was a great catch. Also a nice throw. Both can be true.
 

cshea

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Perhaps I'm mistaken but I don't recall Brady having so many batted balls by the linemen. What about Cam makes him so prone to this? Is he throwing it lower, more of a line drive than an arc?
Cam throws from a lower arm angle Tom’s more over the top. Tom also gets rid of the ball much much quicker than Cam.
 

NortheasternPJ

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So it's interesting. Last week Cam has 365 yards passing on 26 completions in 40 attempts (65%), and zero interceptions. But they lose so Cam stinks.

This week, Cam is a dismal 9-18 for 84 yards, 0 td, and 2 td, but the Pats win. So Cam stinks.

It seems like he has to put up good numbers and win in order to not stink.
Are there 5 starting QBs on NFL teams depth chart (not injured or COVID) you wouldn’t take this season over Cam? I’d take 4 QBs in the AFC East alone over him which includes Fitzpatrick.