Patriots' Priorities for the 2023 Season

WheresDewey

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Nov 18, 2007
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The Pats have so many needs they should do bpa for their first pick, really anything but rb. They should get at least 2-3 offensive linemen, along with wr, blocking te, cb, lb and a kicker in the later rounds. If there's a qb available with a higher ceiling than Mac, they should add him to the competition with Zappe.

This is assuming they revamp the coaching staff for offense, the line and special teams.
 

SMU_Sox

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Has he regressed on film? That was considered a strength of his game at one point, I believe. Definitely a stud receiver.
Dear dopes - this is why I wish I could post clips to SOSH from my computer. I can show you him Vs Ohio State for example of dreadful blocking. He was better against USC but still not very good.
The deal with his blocking is all technical and he is unfortunately prone to lunges. Sometimes it’s so bad that he like leaps off of one or both feet too for a routine block. He doesn’t punch right. You want a certain line from your helmet to your ankles as a run blocker whether you are an OL or an in-line guy. His pad level is either too high or he’s way out over his skis. When he does actually connect and drive right he can move guys - if everything goes right for him technically he should be at least an average blocker if not a tick below average. And who knows - it’s not a lack of effort so maybe he could even be a good blocker if he irons out his technique. As a receiver he and Hunter Henry have a ton of overlap but Mayer is better. Better route runner, more wiggle.

I have some questions about how much power he has but I think it’s more technique vs power.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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The Pats have so many needs they should do bpa for their first pick, really anything but rb. They should get at least 2-3 offensive linemen, along with wr, blocking te, cb, lb and a kicker in the later rounds. If there's a qb available with a higher ceiling than Mac, they should add him to the competition with Zappe.

This is assuming they revamp the coaching staff for offense, the line and special teams.
I'd love a late round QB pick if that guy has serious questions but also has potential. Good chance of nothing but also there's a spark there that's worth taking a risk on.
 

cornwalls@6

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Dear dopes - this is why I wish I could post clips to SOSH from my computer. I can show you him Vs Ohio State for example of dreadful blocking. He was better against USC but still not very good.
The deal with his blocking is all technical and he is unfortunately prone to lunges. Sometimes it’s so bad that he like leaps off of one or both feet too for a routine block. He doesn’t punch right. You want a certain line from your helmet to your ankles as a run blocker whether you are an OL or an in-line guy. His pad level is either too high or he’s way out over his skis. When he does actually connect and drive right he can move guys - if everything goes right for him technically he should be at least an average blocker if not a tick below average. And who knows - it’s not a lack of effort so maybe he could even be a good blocker if he irons out his technique. As a receiver he and Hunter Henry have a ton of overlap but Mayer is better. Better route runner, more wiggle.
Appreciate the in depth reply. Great stuff as always. I watch the game just on tv broadcast, and he’s always seemed to have good physicality and aggression as a blocker, but that’s good insight on the technical stuff. Would think that could be corrected by good coaching, at least to some degree. Most of draft previews have him as the no.1 TE, and a top ten pick overall. So probably a reach for Pats anyway. I would also love it if you could post your clips here, that would be great leading up to the draft.
 

SMU_Sox

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@cornwalls@6 I would consider taking him sometime around 15, sure. Tbh though I might rather take an OT or CB or front 7 guy. I have a 7.5-7.99 on Mayer right now so a mid to late first or early second. OT might be higher priority… what do you think?
 

SMU_Sox

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You could post to youtube, then link here and they'll post right in the thread.
Ok. I might have to DM you. The issue is I have a ton of like 10-20 second cutups of all-22 both angles for guys. I usually post to Twitter and make threads but I would rather just post directly here vs there. I don’t know how to actually make YouTube content. Ideally I’d like to just upload a 10-20 second clip here post a line or two about it and then another one etc etc etc.
 

BigSoxFan

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@cornwalls@6 I would consider taking him sometime around 15, sure. Tbh though I might rather take an OT or CB or front 7 guy. I have a 7.5-7.99 on Mayer right now so a mid to late first or early second. OT might be higher priority… what do you think?
Where do you have Jaxon Smith-Njigba? Lost year in 2022 but his 2021 film was so impressive.
 

SMU_Sox

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Where do you have Jaxon Smith-Njigba? Lost year in 2022 but his 2021 film was so impressive.
Do you want a RAC slot without a ton of downfield juice? Good route runner too. If you want that kind of receiver he’s your guy.
 

cornwalls@6

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@cornwalls@6 I would consider taking him sometime around 15, sure. Tbh though I might rather take an OT or CB or front 7 guy. I have a 7.5-7.99 on Mayer right now so a mid to late first or early second. OT might be higher priority… what do you think?
OT is a huge priority for sure. They have a real talent dearth at that position. But I’d still like to see Mac(and I suspect they’re committed to him for 2023) have a real top flight TE option, and I think Mayer has that as his ceiling. But you’re right, they have multiple needs to address, so best player available at any of those positions is certainly the right strategy. Anybody on your board, who’s realistically available, worth trading up for?
 

BigSoxFan

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Do you want a RAC slot without a ton of downfield juice? Good route runner too. If you want that kind of receiver he’s your guy.
Only if Meyers is a goner. But not sure BB would commit a prime pick to get him.
 

jbupstate

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For 2023 I would like to see a more disciplined squad. Just far too many mental errors and penalties. For a team that isn’t explosive they really need to tighten up that part of the game up. Not sure what the final numbers show but it just seemed to be a large number of crucial lost fumbles.
 

Cabin Mirror

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So first priority is fixing the OL - both coaching and players. Dante isn't walking through that door, but maybe there is someone out there that can do similar "OL whisperer" type things. I have no idea who that could be (sorry @DJnVa I realize this is close to suggesting a new QB without any actual suggestions).

I am as frustrated as all of you with the offense this year, and I don't know if I am sold on this, but I am entertaining (in my mind anyway) keeping Matt Patricia on as OC for continuity reasons may be the best path.

They showed some signs of competency the last few games, especially the first half today. Removing Patricia will not necessarily fix Mac. In fact, unless it is McD (not happening), it probably makes him worse as is often the case with young QBs with teams cycling through coaching staffs. I would wager that BB plans on keeping Patricia on as OC. Now, as some others have suggested, maybe getting a real OL coach would go a long way.

I am in agreement that while a stud WR would be nice, I think there are too many other issues to address to burn capital on that. With a competent OL, the receivers we have can be enough.

I wanted Cam Acchord gone last year. I have not changed my mind (obv). I cannot believe he stuck around.
 

Cellar-Door

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I have always also wondered how much of it is Jerod Mayo. I really like him as a coach.
I think if you aren't the playcaller the odds of you being the key assistant on that side are slim. I hear good things about Mayo, but he's listed as the linebackers coach, and while he supposedly has some influence beyond that, but Steve has been calling the plays for 4 seasons now, he should be getting the lion's share of the credit on that side. I have no doubt general gameplan involves both those guys and a good piece of Bill's imput, but you call the plays on gameday, you're the guy who is running the show.
 

axx

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I don't think Mac is the guy either but at the same time I think the QB Reset happens when you make a change at HC. May as well give him another year or do an open competition with Zappe.
 

heavyde050

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I think if you aren't the playcaller the odds of you being the key assistant on that side are slim. I hear good things about Mayo, but he's listed as the linebackers coach, and while he supposedly has some influence beyond that, but Steve has been calling the plays for 4 seasons now, he should be getting the lion's share of the credit on that side. I have no doubt general gameplan involves both those guys and a good piece of Bill's imput, but you call the plays on gameday, you're the guy who is running the show.
Yeah, that makes sense. I hope it really is mostly Steve because it seems like Jerod will get another job at some point one of these years.
 

Rico Guapo

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New England's Rising Star
#1 Find a LT
#2 Find a RT
#3 Hire an OC
#4 Hire an OL coach
#5 Hire a new QB coach
#6 Make Mayo the DC
#7 Find an in line TE
#8 Find a FS to replace McCourty
#9 Find a WR to replace Meyers


First two can be accomplished through draft/FA.
I don't entirely trust Bill to bring in offensive coaches as he was the only one who didn't realize his plans for this season were disastrous, but he also recognized the draft process was flawed a few years ago, where he previously had sole decision making authority, and he was willing to make changes so maybe he will do the same here.
Mayo the DC is a no brainer, but will BB elevate him over his son?
HH can't block, Jonu can't run routes or block, need an upgrade at TE1 and TE2.
I'm assuming Devin retires, otheriwse I'd take him back on a one year deal in 2023 despite him losing some quickness.
Hard to think Patriots will match the FA offers Jakobi will get.

I'd also argue they need another impact DT/IDL and more speed at LB but the positional needs on offense take priority.
 

Bongorific

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I’ll gladly admit my NFL team building knowledge is…limited. But I’m surprised at how many people are including a #1 CB on their top 3-5 needs. DBs are one of the areas that the Patriots have had good success either drafting talent later or coaching up the talent they have. I’d much rather spend the draft capital or money it takes for #1 CB on OL, TE, and WR.

The Patriots seem like a particularly hard team to evaluate. They spent 2 decades of sustained success because of the GOAT QB and building a “middle class” team with lots of depth that isn’t as easily derailed with injuries. This board has constantly complained about the lack of an “elite” WR or “elite” pass rusher that entire time but you can’t deny the success.

Now though, no longer having the GOAT, and perhaps League strategy shifting, the lack of top end talent is having a glaring impact. Today, for example, the receiving corps finally looked adequate with a healthy Parker and Bourne getting playing time to complement Meyers. But they need everything to go right to compete with the top teams. I hate Tyreek Hill with the passion of a thousand suns, but with this defense, and even with Mac, I would give them a much better chance against the Chiefs or Bengals or Bills in a playoff game because you have a freak talent that could take over a game.
 

GB5

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Can I get a review of what kind of year we thought, and what statistics said with regard to the play of Strange. There seemed to be some real troubling moments and then times we heard nothing about him, which I assume is good?

Also a few words on Thornton. I was impressed with his relative ability to get open which is rare for Patriots receivers, but less than enthused with the results when the ball was thrown to him. Poor sideline awareness, and it looked like poor understanding of how to sit down against zone coverage today. I get the sense he has a long ways to go.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Now though, no longer having the GOAT, and perhaps League strategy shifting, the lack of top end talent is having a glaring impact. Today, for example, the receiving corps finally looked adequate with a healthy Parker and Bourne getting playing time to complement Meyers. But they need everything to go right to compete with the top teams. I hate Tyreek Hill with the passion of a thousand suns, but with this defense, and even with Mac, I would give them a much better chance against the Chiefs or Bengals or Bills in a playoff game because you have a freak talent that could take over a game.
You don't even necessarily need that #1 to take over a game like we see Justin Jefferson do quite a bit. It's more about the gravity that those guys bring around them. Defenses have to take them away with doubles, help over the top, etc. If Jakobi Meyers was the #2 on this team with a stud on the other side, I'm saying he goes for 1,250 yards. It opens up the middle of the field, it opens up the running game, it keeps defenses from getting crazy aggressive with blitzes, etc.

BB is probably the only coach in the league that has success taking away stud receivers on a regular basis, and he usually does it by putting his #2 corner on them, and giving them a ton of help from the safeties and sometimes, linebackers. He then puts his #1 on their #2 and takes them away. Even this season, JJ had a good game against us, Diggs had one big play today, but we really got beat by guys like Conklin and Andrews for big games. Of course, a lot of that has to do with opposing teams usually playing terrible or backup QB's against us. A #1 receiver in today's NFL is just a massive, massive need. Look at the playoff teams this year:

Buffalo: Diggs
KC: No true #1 outside, but Kelce fills that need, and well, Mahomes..
Cinci: Chase, Higgins, Boyd
Miami: Hill, Waddle
Philly: AJ Brown, Smith
San Fran: Deebo, Kittle
Tampa: Evans, Godwin
San Diego: Allen, Williams (and EKeler just set the team record in receptions)
Dallas: Lamb
Vikings: Jefferson

Then there's Baltimore and Jacksonville, who are probably 1st round exits. Baltimore is just, well, they are in the playoffs because of smoke and mirrors and some insane luck. Jax went out and got Kirk, Zay Jones and Engram (all of whom caught 72+ balls this year) and they went 9-8 and will be lambs to the slaughter, but they are on the upswing.

It's imperative in today's NFL to have game breakers somewhere on offense. Anywhere. We need some. BB will figure out the defense, he pretty much always does, and he's got a lot of good young talent to work with.
 

Cellar-Door

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#1 Find a LT
#2 Find a RT
#3 Hire an OC
#4 Hire an OL coach
#5 Hire a new QB coach
#6 Make Mayo the DC
#7 Find an in line TE
#8 Find a FS to replace McCourty
#9 Find a WR to replace Meyers


First two can be accomplished through draft/FA.
I don't entirely trust Bill to bring in offensive coaches as he was the only one who didn't realize his plans for this season were disastrous, but he also recognized the draft process was flawed a few years ago, where he previously had sole decision making authority, and he was willing to make changes so maybe he will do the same here.
Mayo the DC is a no brainer, but will BB elevate him over his son?
HH can't block, Jonu can't run routes or block, need an upgrade at TE1 and TE2.
I'm assuming Devin retires, otheriwse I'd take him back on a one year deal in 2023 despite him losing some quickness.
Hard to think Patriots will match the FA offers Jakobi will get.

I'd also argue they need another impact DT/IDL and more speed at LB but the positional needs on offense take priority.
Why in the world would Mayo be a no brainer? Steve has way more experience and you know... has been the defacto D-Coordinator for a very good to elite defense for 4 years now. There is zero reason to change what they are doing on that sie from a coaching perspective. It can to some extent be hard to know what assistants are good or not, and what credit they deserve, but playcallers are a lot easier... Steve Bellichick is a very good defensive coach, and honestly if his name was Steve Smith and his dad was the coach at West Virginia or something, he'd probably be getting talked up as a candidate for head coach, or D-coordinator in many spots.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Why in the world would Mayo be a no brainer? Steve has way more experience and you know... has been the defacto D-Coordinator for a very good to elite defense for 4 years now. There is zero reason to change what they are doing on that sie from a coaching perspective. It can to some extent be hard to know what assistants are good or not, and what credit they deserve, but playcallers are a lot easier... Steve Bellichick is a very good defensive coach, and honestly if his name was Steve Smith and his dad was the coach at West Virginia or something, he'd probably be getting talked up as a candidate for head coach, or D-coordinator in many spots.
I agree with you, I wouldn't change anything on the defensive coaching side of the ball.

Mayo is, I think, a bit more important than just an inside linebackers coach. He's been here 4 years now, and BB loves the guy. I've told the story before, but I had a chance to visit the Pats locker room and weight rooms, etc. In the weight rooms, they have the offseason awards that BB personally gives out, on a banner on the wall. The awards may just get renamed the "Jerod Mayo Lifetime Achievement Award." The wall was a ton of names of guys you wouldn't expect, some stars, but a lot of "glue" guys too, but Mayo was just there, every year during his time here. I was there after Mayo retired in 2015, and before he came back as a coach in 2019. When he got hired, it was the least surprising thing ever. The fact that his younger brother is also on the staff as Asst. Strength and Conditioning coach isn't a surprise either.

That said, I think if Mayo isn't named DC, he's gone.

Here he was earlier in the season talking about why he hasn't taken a DC job already:

https://patriotswire.usatoday.com/2022/02/10/jerod-mayo-explains-why-he-hasnt-taken-any-defensive-coordinator-positions/

Here is what he's saying as of two days ago:

https://www.bostonherald.com/2023/01/06/source-patriots-lb-jerod-mayo-expected-to-explore-head-coach-defensive-coordinator-jobs-in-offseason/
 

DeadlySplitter

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Not exactly the right thread but out of curiosity I looked up their resulting 2023 schedule. It's a NFC East & AFC West year, with 3rd place from other AFCs and the NFC South.

Home: MIA, BUF, NYJ, LAC, KC, PHI, WAS, IND, NO
Away: MIA, BUF, NYJ, DEN, LV, DAL, NYG, PIT

Ended up working out to be overlap with this season on three out of division games.

EDIT: One of the home games is probably in Germany. LAC / KC / PHI would be my guess.
 

Zincman

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There's a lot of depth on the OT class but not a lot of "elite" talent. Pete Skowronski might be the most polished and NFL ready but I'm not sure he's an "elite" talent. Paris Johnson is a converted guard who has played LT for only a short time. I don't know if either is worth a 14th pick. But this draft is strong is secondary players with some very good press corners and versatile safeties. Unless an elite talent shows up available at 14 don't be surprised if we trade back. I know what a disgusting thought that is for SOSH regulars. The guy I'd like to get in an early round is TE Darnell Washington from Georgia who is a better receiver than the numbers suggest and is an absolute monster blocker at his position. I love ND but Washington is way better than Mayer because of his elite blocking and untapped receiver potential
 
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SMU_Sox

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Btw Myles Bryant going into Buffalo: 61 targets, 44 receptions for 72.1% completion rate, 455 yards, 10.3 per reception, 3 TDs 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 3 penalties against. Played 61% of snaps on season. He can’t be your starting slot corner. He’s a fine backup slot corner because he’s good in run support, is usually a reliable tackler (only a minuscule 3.4% missed tackle rate going into today and of course he blows a huge one), and doesn’t make mental errors. The issue is he’s small and not athletic and his physical limitations in coverage are problematic even in zone!
 

Super Nomario

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I’ll gladly admit my NFL team building knowledge is…limited. But I’m surprised at how many people are including a #1 CB on their top 3-5 needs. DBs are one of the areas that the Patriots have had good success either drafting talent later or coaching up the talent they have. I’d much rather spend the draft capital or money it takes for #1 CB on OL, TE, and WR.
Jonathan Jones has been their best CB and he's a FA. They could bring him back, but he's 30 next year, so upgrading / going younger makes sense. It would be pretty sketchy to go into the year with Mills / Jack Jones / Marcus Jones / Myles Bryant (RFA) as your top 4.

As for good success with drafting later and coaching up talent ... it's hit or miss. I'm old enough to remember the post-Samuel / pre-Talib Patriots with garbage secondaries. Mostly since, they've invested in the position (draft or money or both).The pass rush was improved enough this year that they don't need the Gilmore / JCJ dominant CB group of a few years back, but I wouldn't test it too much.

You don't even necessarily need that #1 to take over a game like we see Justin Jefferson do quite a bit. It's more about the gravity that those guys bring around them. Defenses have to take them away with doubles, help over the top, etc. If Jakobi Meyers was the #2 on this team with a stud on the other side, I'm saying he goes for 1,250 yards. It opens up the middle of the field, it opens up the running game, it keeps defenses from getting crazy aggressive with blitzes, etc.
Stud receivers are great for being stud receivers and what happens when the ball gets thrown to them. I think the "gravity" effects you describe (and I hear this line of argument a lot) are completely overblown and not supported by evidence. What are the 2/3 receivers doing opposite Jefferson in Minnesota? Not that much, and they traded for Hockenson in good part because they needed another guy to contribute. It's a pretty common pattern I see - teams get a #1 stud WR, pay him a ton, decide to cheap out on the rest of the receiving corps (because #1 WRs are expensive!) and then find a year or two later that the passing offense is not actually effective and they need more depth. Because as far as I can tell, there is no "gravity" effect.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Btw Myles Bryant going into Buffalo: 61 targets, 44 receptions for 72.1% completion rate, 455 yards, 10.3 per reception, 3 TDs 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 3 penalties against. Played 61% of snaps on season. He can’t be your starting slot corner. He’s a fine backup slot corner because he’s good in run support, is usually a reliable tackler (only a minuscule 3.4% missed tackle rate going into today and of course he blows a huge one), and doesn’t make mental errors. The issue is he’s small and not athletic and his physical limitations in coverage are problematic even in zone!
Seems like they need to add a top CB who pushes everyone down one rung. Or 2 CBs if they do not retain Jon Jones.

I kind of thing the defensive coahcing this season was as good as the offensive coaching was bad. This group accomplished a ton despite the lack of a true shutdown corner. Imagine what they could do if they had one.
 

BaseballJones

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The passing offense, with a bad OL, shaky play calling, a regressing Mac, and no true #1 wide receiver:

#20 in total passing yards
#14 in yds/attempt
#18 in passer rating

Teams with #1 WRs that were worse in these categories:

Total Pass Yards:
- Rams (Kupp, though hurt): #27

Yds/Attempt:
- Tampa (Evans): #30
- Rams (Kupp): #24
- Chargers (Williams/Allen): #23
- Dallas (Lamb): #16

Passer Rating:
- Rams (Kupp): #24
- Raiders (Adams): #19

So having a true #1 WR helps, but the Patriots' passing offense actually fared pretty well given the inexperienced play calling, poor offensive design, terrible OL play, and playing a regressing Mac and then a rookie in Zappe, with little TE production and no true #1 WR.
 

Ralphwiggum

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In terms of Steve Belichick not getting enough (any) credit, this is precisely the reason why nepotism hires suck. He’s running the defense for his father, who happens to be one of (or the) greatest defensive coaches in league history, who by all accounts still has a lot of day-to-day involvement in the defense. It is close to impossible to know whether Steve is a good coach or whether he only is where he is because his dad is the boss.

Most sophisticated organizations that are not closely held family businesses have policies against nepotism because it sucks and is harmful for businesses. The NFL is a dinosaur when it comes to this, though, if you are the son of a coach and you want to coach in the NFL you’ll get a chance no matter how shitty you may be. Fair or not Steve Belichick will have to go elsewhere and have success apart from his father if he wants credit for being a good coach in his own right.
 

rodderick

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In terms of Steve Belichick not getting enough (any) credit, this is precisely the reason why nepotism hires suck. He’s running the defense for his father, who happens to be one of (or the) greatest defensive coaches in league history, who by all accounts still has a lot of day-to-day involvement in the defense. It is close to impossible to know whether Steve is a good coach or whether he only is where he is because his dad is the boss.

Most sophisticated organizations that are not closely held family businesses have policies against nepotism because it sucks and is harmful for businesses. The NFL is a dinosaur when it comes to this, though, if you are the son of a coach and you want to coach in the NFL you’ll get a chance no matter how shitty you may be. Fair or not Steve Belichick will have to go elsewhere and have success apart from his father if he wants credit for being a good coach in his own right.
Bill has always been involved in defense with every other DC, and in four years with Steve they've had one year ranking 1st in defensive DVOA (2019), one year ranking 3rd (2022) and one ranking 4th (2021). They've never had a four year run this good on defense in Bill's tenure by that stat.
 

lexrageorge

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The passing offense, with a bad OL, shaky play calling, a regressing Mac, and no true #1 wide receiver:

#20 in total passing yards
#14 in yds/attempt
#18 in passer rating

Teams with #1 WRs that were worse in these categories:

Total Pass Yards:
- Rams (Kupp, though hurt): #27

Yds/Attempt:
- Tampa (Evans): #30
- Rams (Kupp): #24
- Chargers (Williams/Allen): #23
- Dallas (Lamb): #16

Passer Rating:
- Rams (Kupp): #24
- Raiders (Adams): #19

So having a true #1 WR helps, but the Patriots' passing offense actually fared pretty well given the inexperienced play calling, poor offensive design, terrible OL play, and playing a regressing Mac and then a rookie in Zappe, with little TE production and no true #1 WR.
The Rams had multiple injuries and so were a far cry from last season's Rams. In the 8 games where Stafford and Kupp played, the Rams yards/attempt was 6.9, essentially the same as the Patriots under Mac Jones.

As for the Cowboys, Dak Prescott missed 5 games due to injury. Take out those 5 games and the Cowboys 7.3 yds/attempt is quite a bit better than the Pats.

It's notable that the Raiders starter was benched and is likely not back with the team next season.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Bill has always been involved in defense with every other DC, and in four years with Steve they've had one year ranking 1st in defensive DVOA (2019), one year ranking 3rd (2022) and one ranking 4th (2021). They've never had a four year run this good on defense in Bill's tenure by that stat.
They beat up on a ton of shitty QBs last year and this year, and looked mediocre against elite QBs. That doesn’t mean Steve is bad, I honestly have no clue. But that’s why nepotism sucks.
 

BaseballJones

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Nepotism is all over, not just the NFL. I mean, my FIL owns a company, and his two sons are now partners with him in it. What one person calls nepotism another calls a "family business". The NFL isn't supposed to be a "family business" but, I mean, it kinda is, right? TONS of sons of so-and-so all over the league. It makes sense. It happens in so many other fields...sons choosing the same career as their fathers.

You're not wrong though, in that it makes evaluating Steve harder. He probably needs to work for another team in order for us to truly understand how good he might be. But if THIS works for the Patriots - Steve serving under Bill - then I'm fine with it.

And the past two seasons the Pats have fielded good defenses.

Those kickoff returns just KILLED their defensive rankings though. Look at the points allowed:

#6 Dal - 342
#7 Was - 343
#8 Phi - 344
#9 NO - 345
#10 Pit - 346
#11 NE - 347

So wipe out just one of those two KO returns (which count as "points allowed" but have nothing whatsoever to do with the defense), and the Pats finish #6 in points allowed by the defense. Maybe #5 if you factor in that Cincy is #5 with 322 points allowed, but had the Bills game wiped off the schedule. It isn't difficult to imagine the Bills scoring 24-30 points in that game, which would have pushed them behind New England.

Long story short, this year's points allowed rankings are skewed heavily and I'm comfortable with the idea that the Pats had a top 5 defense this year (top 10 at worst).
 

lexrageorge

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I fail to see why it's a problem that Steve Belichick is coaching the defense, despite the so-called nepotism. The results on the field are what matters. He will indeed need to make a name for himself outside his father's shadow. But he will have ample opportunity to do so, either in the NFL or NCAA.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Nepotism is all over, not just the NFL. I mean, my FIL owns a company, and his two sons are now partners with him in it. What one person calls nepotism another calls a "family business". The NFL isn't supposed to be a "family business" but, I mean, it kinda is, right? TONS of sons of so-and-so all over the league. It makes sense. It happens in so many other fields...sons choosing the same career as their fathers.
Outside of family businesses nepotism is absolutely not a thing anymore. The NFL is kind of a family business in a way in terms of franchises typically being owned by one person or a family, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK.

There’s no justification for it. It leads to shitty performers being hired and then over-promoted because it is close to impossible for most people to accurately evaluate the performance of a close family member. And it forecloses opportunities for more qualified candidates to get opportunities. Lastly, it overwhelmingly benefits white men because white men tend to be in positions where nepotism hires are even possible anymore.

None of this means that Steve Belichick is a bad coach. He may be an awesome coach. But it doesn’t change the fact that nepotism sucks and is bad for both business and society on the whole.
 

rodderick

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They beat up on a ton of shitty QBs last year and this year, and looked mediocre against elite QBs. That doesn’t mean Steve is bad, I honestly have no clue. But that’s why nepotism sucks.
DVOA accounts for quality of opponent and game context, which is why I think it measures performance a lot better than points allowed totals. This is simply what a really good defense looks like in today's NFL. The 49ers are awesome defensively and got plastered by the Chiefs. Most of their great games came against poor offenses as well.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I fail to see why it's a problem that Steve Belichick is coaching the defense, despite the so-called nepotism. The results on the field are what matters. He will indeed need to make a name for himself outside his father's shadow. But he will have ample opportunity to do so, either in the NFL or NCAA.
It’s not a problem he’s coaching the defense. The unit has performed well, it’s much better than if they sucked and we had the same questions about Steve that we have about Patricia.

That doesn’t mean the practice on the whole should be tolerated. It sucks.

I’ll get off my soapbox now because it’s not on topic for the thread, and BB is far from the only guy in the NFL who has hired his son. I just hate the practice on the whole and wish it wasn’t so pervasive in the NFL.
 

Ralphwiggum

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DVOA accounts for quality of opponent and game context, which is why I think it measures performance a lot better than points allowed totals. This is simply what a really good defense looks like in today's NFL. The 49ers are awesome defensively and got plastered by the Chiefs. Most of their great games came against poor offenses as well.
Unless I am mistaken DVOA doesn’t adjust for things like (for example) the Pats facing Skylar Thompson instead of a healthy Tua. Or am I wrong about that?
 

rodderick

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Unless I am mistaken DVOA doesn’t adjust for things like (for example) the Pats facing Skylar Thompson instead of a healthy Tua. Or am I wrong about that?
They do adjust for opponent but now that I think about it I honestly don't know if it differentiates between specific players being out, so you might be right that facing backup QBs isn't accounted for.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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They beat up on a ton of shitty QBs last year and this year, and looked mediocre against elite QBs. That doesn’t mean Steve is bad, I honestly have no clue. But that’s why nepotism sucks.
Looking "mediocre" against elite QBs is actually pretty good. Depending on how you view these guys...

Rodgers: 21-35, 251 yds, 2 td, 1 int, 89.1 rating
Goff: 19-25, 229 yds, 0 td, 1 int, 62.7 rating
Cousins: 30-37, 299 yds, 3 td, 1 int, 116.1 rating
Allen #1: 22-33, 223 yds, 2 td, 0 int, 106.0 rating
Burrow: 40-52, 375 yds, 3 td, 2 int, 99.4 rating
Allen #2: 19-31, 254 yds, 3 td, 1 int, 106.1 rating

TOT: 151-213 (70.9%), 1,631 yds, 7.7 y/a, 13 td, 6 int, 101.7 rating

Compare that to these guys' overall stats on the year:

Rodgers: 350-542, 3,695 yds, 26 td, 12 int, 91.1 rating
Goff: 382-587, 4,438 yds, 29 td, 7 int, 99.3 rating
Cousins: 424-643, 4,547 yds, 29 td, 14 int, 92.5 rating
Allen: 359-567, 4,283 yds, 35 td, 14 int, 96.6 rating
Burrow: 414-606, 4,475 yds, 35 td, 12 int, 100.8 rating

TOT: 1,929-2,945 (65.5%), 21,538, 7.3 y/a, 154 td, 59 int, 96.2 rating

So yeah, they did a little worse against these elite QBs than they (the QBs) did on the season as a whole. But that's not exactly getting LIT UP by those QBs. They held Cincy to just 22 points scored. They held Buffalo to 24 and 21 (by the defense anyway). They shut out Detroit, who had one of the best offenses in the NFL this year. Minnesota scored a ton of course. But on the whole, not TERRIBLE against the elite QBs on their schedule. Not great, but not terrible.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
23,169
Outside of family businesses nepotism is absolutely not a thing anymore. The NFL is kind of a family business in a way in terms of franchises typically being owned by one person or a family, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK.

There’s no justification for it. It leads to shitty performers being hired and then over-promoted because it is close to impossible for most people to accurately evaluate the performance of a close family member. And it forecloses opportunities for more qualified candidates to get opportunities. Lastly, it overwhelmingly benefits white men because white men tend to be in positions where nepotism hires are even possible anymore.

None of this means that Steve Belichick is a bad coach. He may be an awesome coach. But it doesn’t change the fact that nepotism sucks and is bad for both business and society on the whole.
Not arguing the point with you, but just asking - do you consider nepotism to include "working your network" to get a job? Like...I work with college students and I'm always encouraging them to talk to the people they know to see if they can help them get a job somewhere. It's basically standard operating procedure. This is what their professors and advisors are telling them too. So it may not be a relative, but it is utilizing an existing relationship (sometimes a close relationship) to help a person get a foot in the door for a job. Do you consider that to be a form of nepotism?
 

Ralphwiggum

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Not arguing the point with you, but just asking - do you consider nepotism to include "working your network" to get a job? Like...I work with college students and I'm always encouraging them to talk to the people they know to see if they can help them get a job somewhere. It's basically standard operating procedure. This is what their professors and advisors are telling them too. So it may not be a relative, but it is utilizing an existing relationship (sometimes a close relationship) to help a person get a foot in the door for a job. Do you consider that to be a form of nepotism?
No I don't think there is anything wrong with working your network to find potential job opportunities. I do think a hiring someone you know because you know them can in some cases be problematic, but that's another discussion for another thread. But working your network to find potential opportunities and then (presumably) getting one of those opportunities because you are qualified is not the same as a father hiring his son because he's his son.