WEEI>On Demand>>It Is What It Is Cast: Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders discusses the upcoming Patriots' personnel decisions

It Is What It Is Cast: Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders discusses the upcoming Patriots' personnel decisions

Jan 31, 2013|

In the latest edition of the It Is What It Is Cast, Chris Price and Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders break down the 2012 Patriots, including a look at some key statistics about the New England team, and also discuss some possible personnel moves going forward, with a focus on Wes Welker and Aqib Talib. Chris and Aaron conclude the conversation talking about different items around the NFL, including the impact of Chip Kelly in Philly with the Eagles and Super Bowl XLVII.

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Are you ready for some football football. Is what it means yeah. -- -- He is what it is we Christopher. It's. All those WB. -- They welcome back everyone this week we are joined by an iron shots president of football outsiders -- doesn't work for -- -- dot com are you doing. Good -- area not that -- about a glad we can finally hook this up and wanna I wanna start off by talking about the -- it's. In this year's team the 2000 -- team. In from a numbers perspective. What really stood out for you what's going to be the memory that your gonna take away from this team when it comes to just pure statistics. Well I mean this was a very -- It's an interesting thing we've seen in the and so over the last few. Basically parity has decreased during the regular season and increased in the play. So in general -- tax in the regular season our teams that are more dominant in having more dominating wins. -- teams -- in the regular season in the past. For example. In our car with a -- ratings which go back twenty years but teens now. Come out a lot better usually then those early nineties cowboys and 49ers teams that were considered so. Those teams had a lot more ten and fourteen point wins. In the best teams have to -- You get to supply -- And certainly over the last few years you've seen a lot of these 45 and six -- going on play opera. To -- economy. So -- circled back to the patriots. In our ratings would go back to 1991. The patriots are one of the top certainty. In the entire 22 year stretch. Because this year has read teens. That's actually emissions popped out. We -- -- Denver and the patriots the patriots were third and our ratings overall for that your first offense. A surprising fifteen indeed the defense was better than people gave it credit for his fourth and specialty. Want to ask you specifically about defense and a lot was made around here about do you keep to -- effective in how some of these statistics. You know big classic big please passing yards total yards soon. Some -- and points allowed to. All the those numbers went down after he showed up I know. They're different ways of measuring a successful pass defense but how much of that is attributable to what he was able to bring to the field and how much of it was just the group coming come together. I'm not sure how much was one and how much was the other. You it's it -- -- card numbers. Com to leave it anarchy charging that we chart games to track things that are in the standard at a place. By our packing charity he actually very good. But there's no question the team as a whole improved on defense. Wins he was in when he was in the lineup. In particular it's like if you don't you don't look at the first season's last second half of the season. -- -- look at the gains we came in with him since week. Sixteen and seventeen play. So eat if you look at it you can definitely see that the team. Was better when he was in lineup -- looking for a preview article I wrote for won -- playoff games were actually ran. Some numbers on how the patriots didn't quit and went out to leap this year. So. This year in. So we have our our rating is called. Measures how good or bad. The team is compared to average based on the baseline you know what the situation is in your pocket. So from week one to six with an ordinary to starting 24% worse than average just passed. Seven to ten and Leonard Arrington. It was 9% worse. Person the past eleven to fifteen when -- was then -- to leave it was 4% works. And then in weeks sixteen and seventeen and edited to report injured it was back to be 14% worse. So I think there you see the trend. Where he it was a domino effect by bringing in to lead. You couldn't -- to the nickel where he's much. Much better for you and charting numbers we into giving up thirteen yards per pass through week ten. And then in week eleven through fifteen when he's in the slot -- four point four yards past. He's way better. You to move according to safety where he can really use this race engine you know -- facing forward -- guys. And the defense just cut a lot better. When -- lost him in the in the playoff game. All the -- the -- went back the other state UN pact with Tina in October was not the leading to possible contender to succeed because of their defense problems. Talk but some of the defense of numbers and in how the Patriots defense was better than maybe we'd give it credit for we talked about it to lead the fact -- what are some other areas where. Did really jump off the -- to you when you're looking at the Petrie Steve and we -- about the ability to some both of Salt Lake of since wolf for worker. You don't Jerod Mayo the current numbers that you've been able to put up but but of course some of the guys that. We might not realize. Or are pretty good defenders. We'll tell us or not. Player based as much as they are sort team based in the street the team's strengths and weaknesses I can say yeah I think most patriots pantry. This team what is really good against the rock. Okay so. You know. Defense is more important in run defense in the modern and just like offense is more important -- running offense. But it's it's to be really good against at least one of those states in our ratings weeks up from sixty for the seat and gets the rock. So it was -- really strong team. Against the and I think you see in the you know or it could rookie year. Spikes is obviously that's better against the run that he is against the pass. They you know they just were really strong against the run Wilfork of course you know. Hold the point to act. But otherwise I mean. I think people understand and haven't -- that you know has turned into a pretty good play Aaron it is not Pro -- or by any means it's a pretty good guy. Pretty good god in a way -- You really points to what they need to do because Patriots defense doesn't have a lot of holes right now. It -- a lot of pretty good guys who you can some of the new hope in -- and become great allies like high tower. Jim Jones but he thought is we're. Holds bar old. -- in the secondary they're not in the process and it would be nice to get another pressure but whichever jump and make a -- is keep following -- historic path structures. Those guys are great Jim Jones could be but they're great right now. But the holes holder in the second. You look at it did the defense of side of the ball no one has to -- more questions on this. If your Bill Belichick if you're -- precision -- you're sit in the corner office in your game ready for free agency the draft there's a school of thought out there and Rodney Harrison talked about this that being need. -- fear of god safety a guy who could just -- guys' heads off coming over the middle. Not so much the linebacker spot -- put someone in that second -- someone I ever corner received your big physical corner. What are some of the points of emphasis for this team going in the offseason whether to free agency to draft on the defensive side of the. Well I would prefer -- physical corner. To a peak physical safety. I don't know if they need that I I had opulent up. The -- the middle name according can eat I got not necessarily got it but a pretty good surge in effect. The corner basket but the problem. Take a look at the team if I -- -- I would say you know what. I have to quarterbacks. Awful to being. A -- let's stop try. -- Mean quarter they've happened over the last five or six years. Didn't do it with a fine and particularly. I think he's the star quality guy I mean I think he can be your second time. You have -- technically better. And according with the got a good rookie security's going to be preakness but that's w.s for -- pick on everyone else and its policy stopped tick I don't. When it seemed to take another cornerback in the second round is gonna stop but already. This is where -- go to guy -- shown something. As defined there's a lot of Richard Sherman out there are six foot 3220. Pounds and quick order that's one of the reasons why output. But it's great job building their team recognize. -- those guys were were hard define. You know valuable asset and they went and found them. But -- quarters who made upbeat. Try to take but are really good that they could added free agents. -- I think I would go after is Brett Grimes. -- you have to accept the second coming off an ACL surgery that will make it cheaper it also makes in the bigger risk. But he's had great numbers the last couple years he's been healthy. Any place in this scheme. Is somewhat similar to what the patriots -- as you can see from the fact that this annual. Was so good with the plan this year and obviously he's a guy who in the patriots he was very good. And I think that that crimes would be a great addition. If they -- all flies like he can happen next year. It's keeping on the quarterback in real quickly that -- really what are my arguments when he talked about to leave that. She does bring a little bit of size in -- even as statements in the U Ross I -- because he used the same kind of bigger physical guy if if -- stay on the field. For any length of time yeah. We could stop say that's. Basically if we if we roll we roll tide get lucky brought psychedelic -- on the feel -- exactly. Did you Kindle that I I honestly think that did he is really starting to run out of chances this is obviously huge offseason -- but yeah I mean when when you look at it to lead. She's a bigger physical guy I don't think he's gonna be able to I don't think he's gonna come back ultimately but. To your point before. -- it starts to touch off kind of a domino effect -- you know you lose Talib and you have to have guys are more squeeze Cole stepped up in and he really wasn't able to fill that -- I don't know. Where they're gonna go for that next year if the bring the same guys. Britain and got it back. Don't need to leak it takes somebody out. Unless they're up. I'm not really crap so I don't know top corner this year but -- to penetrate up to get a great corner in the top ten. I have created in the affected you want big physical guy. But in the -- directions right single big physical direction and then you can either try to respond to leave if you feel like to get it out straight or. For my -- me or you can go to smaller. God with better coverage skills. And that would -- -- Com there are good cornerback out there free agency. And the other thing about attracting even if they could address degree cornered the fact is that most great corners are good the first couple years. Well according did as the rookies which apparently where. Look at more Claiborne is here to guide to considered very -- awful because it takes time to learn how to play in the NFL Patrick Peterson. So much better -- sticking its first year. And this is not a team can put the critique of trade up in the draft -- a quarterback in the top ten to get all excited. But this isn't a team that wants to go through a guy out on the field needs to learn for a year and half the team any -- between now. So they need to go free agency it doesn't have to be totally. -- someone else but got some. On the repeatedly -- And I mean -- you know you have to accept that you prepare for the idea that can make an injured. And I think you have to see you feel like reading according to play together because he wouldn't want to read you would want -- Gregory you'd read Courtney. But I mean it is still very good player he's still got another cute game plan to trial. You. Be interesting to see what we talked about the domino effect before. If you bring in reed because then you have a question about what to do with accordion repeats -- -- pleased you move according -- corner for two years and then once read leafs don't -- believe -- after. You're -- no stop messing around with the guy he's pretty popular it's better safety. Is that accurate. She and and that's a great question what does that if it's -- funeral didn't Google just took but the immediately reached. What is that used to -- overall development of selective -- recorded ping pong back and forth between corner or safety to corner you know -- deep safeties strong safety. That's why six stopping pong. Even -- popped it back report between free and strong. That's a lot pondering trying to take on the back port between safety quarter. But he's -- safety. If you -- sign that read it read suffering and you make according you're strong and fine but decided to take. -- just -- -- just yeah it's up with a plan around. A lot of support via the sensible because in the week the playoff -- to the reasons there's been some not a lot of talk but some talk amongst national spokesman Tom breeze in the state of decline and I was wondering. If you could comment on that in you have been numbers to tell them back up. What's wrong -- In the -- by numbers. I mean it's a decline I know that a lot of others you know there are other people who didn't behind Manning. We've -- because an opponent just. So we can behind Manning -- -- on an adjustment and had a Manning if you considered that Brady played artist control. Could between the -- -- in the AFC Easter a lot of teams that are much better on defense and on Saint Louis. Arizona. Okay these -- much better on defense and offense but the schedule is harder to Brady that it looks. Because we pick oh you know -- but the jets toys for your quarter. He he -- -- -- I -- but it's hard when your quarter quarterback. -- -- Mean he declined a little bit I mean his numbers this year we're not as good as it in the last two. Even though he was still our number one guy in the league. Watching him I think it's clear he seems like he's a little off more often used to being. And you know. This could get a little overthrown more often in the east Euro little wonder throw more often used to be. I. Think the concept of Brady decline is similar to another popular -- in the NFL which is Tony Romo must go. Because the response to these things just for. OK Brady in decline. So. And it's. He's gonna be like this sport can only rocks instead of number 12. Maybe he'll only be number four. To do it just do. What he's don't want deductible we look what you keep the alliance public that you could do -- -- elect. You draw personal machine out there. His troops -- needed to be replaced them. How much do what he was able to do this year and -- saying that the success that he had a offensively was due in part defected to be really cut offensive balance at least in Myers for the first time since. And on the record -- Don't think it must balance as most people believe. The game has always been very efficient it just didn't use quite as. It looks this year in part because the starter had better numbers this year than last year's target. But that didn't have a good numbers as they did last year. Right so sadly sadly it would head into -- -- -- -- that we're better than for green and whatever 2012. In the into it to that point it's interesting when you go back and you look at the numbers over the last Dickey because they hadn't really a lot of that back in the 200720082009. Group with guys like seemed more us. And Kevin falcon to some extent -- Taylor it was really -- true running back by committee act right. He's been part of that what is they're in so that the teams always had to -- -- and makes like easier for the runners but every team that. That situation. Still it's efficient running the patriots have always had a very strong running interest on the that he used as the lead out there. And they were a couple more this year but they also did every board this year because of the Korea. So come out of increase running plays is not as being -- it would -- when you look at the increase in the number of because there was also an increase in the number of although there was a bigger increasing the so I don't know what if the offense was that much more balanced it has been in the past because I think it was more balanced in the past that people. Offensively. How much. Did the Rio -- in the -- huddled in the and that just that fast football approach. -- -- What they did it in in your overall scheme of things will be more successful -- -- -- in terms of you when to run the ball you know they were there there -- don't know off the field consistently quickly. That did that that kind of high tempo that they were able display on several occasions really the last two years. It's hard to help would step up. Because unfortunately. The officials -- felt extremely inconsistent when it comes to marketing team is or is. It's one of my -- From city. Subjective viewpoint it was clear that it was a really great little fed speakers. Objectively we can all remember -- play. We're the team can simply get elected the picture is applicable. I mean the one delegates up music Eric Hernandez instead of the tax. When they were all still kind of like a point in each other and expect people and as you did any touched. So I mean from. -- you know anecdotal point of -- clearly. The Korea would create an if you look around the leaked from an -- if you. Pursuant to be a lot of teams that were very successful. When they used more from the patriots are faring well -- -- we all of that because. That players are so flexible that they can run hurry up -- -- and some field and constantly change formations. Any reason to think this team is not on the short list next year when you're going to put together is at least a conference favorite you know -- got a list of five to seven ten teams that. These guys are gonna have a good -- is -- -- -- to be there at the end. Now anybody who doesn't think that this teens in the top five Super Bowl contenders for next year's still jackass just spike. Did you see Marshall Faulk this week. DC he said in an I love with a -- response to that we have petite that we knew was a little habitable right. Because there is there could come ultimately I think is true it has looked at it up this is where people say to me those senior patriots and your. Biased. That's a constantly -- the patriots cheated. And they took their -- make. You know they took punishment for so did the Broncos. In 9798. And so did saints in 2009. While it took punishment for Jimmie Johnson has said that the cowboys did the same thing the patriots it. K please I sticking patriots fans don't like Baltimore. If the ravens win Sunday please. Do not wanna hear but here it's a caddie. How about your settlers and rape in the Super Bowl you deserve re going to type patriots hater. Persist spike. Okay obviously. The tiger at a certain point you to accept the teams are always trying to get ahead. And if you rule it out that you take your take your lumps. But we're gonna go back up to decide it all these great Super Bowl champions were valid. Also. You know. Remind all the people don't like the patriots that the business about the walked through 2000 wanted to. Tell me a little bit about and we alluded to this before but but where does this team go from here at least from personal perspective obviously they are a lot of decisions they have to make on both sides of the ball. Welker former would have -- You know want to leave -- there's a handful of free agency have to decide on where do you go debentures in the -- corner office what are some decisions that you make. Did might differentiate the 2013. Dietrich from the 2000 faulty tribute from a personal perspective. Well except they don't need to keep to leave but they don't keep a lead he perpetual somebody. Full part I think they should keep salute to write off it's supply and for a cup at the -- to watch for -- used to play. Perk him about Stanford and he writes this weekly column for us in the -- every year -- three teams in the capital. We you know on a weekly basis secrets for one of the teams this year he came out of the year feeling very strongly that they have executable. That you just you know he's going to be one of the top tackles on the market certainty that they be willing to pay in the -- to laughed. Probably that are situation on the right but the -- to keep. Honestly would lean towards letting woke ago. My question is who's gonna find him for the money that he. Because I think a lot of the teams that would value player like Welker also understand. The value player like -- He's very good but here's the thing. It is a lot easier to find a player who could be 85% of the players that -- brokerage for 30% in the price. And it is defined the player can be 85% of the players that Calvin Johnson can be for 30% of the prize. But maybe it took to help it it's his talent or talent that our. Somewhat more common. That the you know the difference between the average slot receiver agree slot -- smaller in the difference between an average outside -- -- that receivers don't they can operate. My feeling and on -- -- patriots is that. These two sides need each other more than anyone I think this is the most symbiotic relationship between an elite level player and I'm not talk about a quarterback because he's part of the system but. Elite level player in -- team because I think Welker understands that. He doesn't get a hundred catches it he goes to Minnesota you know -- or Miami or something he needs the patriots just as much as the patriots need him. Great I agree the teens or he would get a hundred catches perk. If Tony it fat Tony and -- but Tony Gonzales does retire. And he went critical there they would use -- more than a tight and I go to Dallas. But. I would tendency. And bloodied but ignored units did that. Go play for team it just -- and opportunities to run so deep that the entire stock at 34 quarterbacks. We're all point 208 hate this I mean tell. Other thing -- we mean in New England he gets to operate in this kind of offensive cocoon. In he knows who we hasn't you know he knows he's gonna have the same got thrown the ball and he knows that there's going to be some stability there that you wouldn't necessarily outside world. So it's. He's just looking at a couple of teams -- -- I mean it would perked up to treat -- as he went there but that may be a logical spot. By that I agree with you. Think Morse idiotic relationship. Between. Our team's scheme at a player maybe like pulp ball Britain's. But on. -- you know if I don't know how he feels about money and respect purses. Feeling like he has -- better chance to win had a better chance to an individual numbers and you know -- no idea how it feels about that you know money is so wrapped up but respect for so many of these -- It's not really does become about what one extra billion dollars to me it becomes about the whole idea respect. But you know it is like a set up I think it's Smart teams that would -- that would be the right fit for him. Would also look in and say this is where we need spending our money and we can throw. Brandon -- out there you know or -- -- whatever and but I will say that the patriots I would much for others here and go into next year which Julian Edelman slot receiver. And Brad crimes. Tech quarterback. Then I would -- and go into next year. We will Wes Welker as slot receiver and Kyle Arrington and starting. Been deemed it keeps coming up more moral when he talked about Wes Welker and if you decide to move on from was -- -- -- Is is that a reasonable facsimile of what you might get with Welker. -- 85% of the players but there's just that split. Seen 80% of the play areas for two or 60% price and that's. So if you're among -- one of the question but the offense let's say there's some sort of contract resolution would welcome whether she's here in New England. Or somewhere else in your in a six with former do you slapped him with a -- has decked. I don't know how much a franchise to look at in north at ten million people can afford it. You starters at that you -- and you trapped tackle. Yet as to what you know topics like. You did you understand that you're going to make him angry crowds. And they -- Probably for one year that's. And you go out that you drafted guy to view their parent. But I would think so because this is a team if you want a team in the NFL would need to look at that the idea of winning now. Hard to find one that's warned that position in this team Denver you know probably be also in New Orleans. You know if you team that had a quarterback great quarterback in the early thirties. Are we talked a little bit about your -- extract. To your take on on this year's Super Bowl in a UC things don't go. Well it. If you look at just the regular season San Francisco superior team. You know -- at the beginning of the podcast we have this its string recently of having teams that don't look great in the regular season and go on runs in the playoffs. Baltimore in the regular season was essentially an outreach teams and defense they were inconsistencies in very good games. But they were separate or special teams were excellent. So this is not Angela not a Super Bowl run here this is not a surprise on the level. To 2008 -- 2007 -- some more of a surprise on the level of the 2001 path to -- But they have played better in the playoffs. Primarily because the defense -- here is about as healthy as they've been all year except for not having -- swept. That same time 49ers have declined on defense and suggest Smith's injury. Although there passing game has improved with -- quarterback it helped to mask the defensive department. So these teams are closer together. And it would seem otherwise I think a lot -- -- view it the theoretical concept of what's what's a bigger issue with the read option helpings marked veteran linebackers who recognized the play. And not jump on the hot cup back immediately. Or having actual players. Because the ravens -- first but they don't -- Lewis' slower than he used to be but he still super Smart. Ellerbe is not the pats linebacker in the world to the plate recognition. So it's an interest in question and going back in the rate is scheduled doesn't help you because. Injuries when they played against Robert Griffin in Washington in week fourteen there was no Ray -- there was no trust excluding -- that was picked up. You know a lot of those guys were nicked up so I don't know how much that tells you about whether they can -- cannot defend the read option. I think really they'd be blown me idea of the water that you need to be playing your best football at the end of the year -- -- your point is it's more about health. Really than anything it it it to Steve -- you need to play well and obviously need be competitive but. That whole idea of you know going into the -- sees no -- and talked about some other teams who kind of -- really dismissed that -- I think that really holds true with. Would always offended. Still -- by the idea that the cardinals could go to Super Bowl in 2008. When they lost the Patriot Act forty point two weeks sixteen and it was so -- so. That if I went outside shovels. A who took up football for letting -- outside -- the game. I'm at a -- this though that the idea that. The pistol but the read option. Is is is either the wave of the future or it's gonna be really -- is -- while Canada I think that. You're going to find some sort of offensive genius who's gonna be able to build off this. In -- some sort of new and different offense. I think that you're gonna see teams kind of sniff it out extra they're going to be able to diagnose it they're going to be able to stop -- -- -- drug misuse teen pregnancy often supporting her. You the build something all of this off of the pistol for the reduction in ticket to go up. To diagnose. Because. I mean that a reason why it works in college even if you don't jump on the running back what they can't get to the running back and it can get good blocking the right back yard. Probably that is. You are putting your quarterback at rest and let's try to contact and can Russell Wilson is a. A -- yeah you have to accept. The defensive players we're gonna hate your quarterback in the and so are stronger. And faster. And then -- to players that your quarterback if you run that -- and college. It's going to be more injuries you're putting your quarterback -- I don't think that some magic you know I mean. Teams should hopefully be better it certainly can -- was. Peace in the play. You want to one it's. Rewind it you -- well at the patriots rival go watch the first quarter of the Seattle buffalo game. To what team that has no clue to defend that by. Com I think it should still teamed up that well it has could blocking agents to work. Your point it's really insisting that the gas -- -- -- a local from a terrible candidates in the read option and sensibly -- can -- it but toward the -- Could. You defect predict and gore and I potty stately David because -- You keep site contained you've played Smart human capital can -- okay. You have to stop scorpion with a great offensive line blocking port slot that's why it works because even when you shut off the when you block the that the quarterback from from keeping it himself used to the team is good enough -- start to deal. When it's it's my philosophy that it did. Chip Kelly saw this in the year earlier there were flirting with him -- the possibility of -- -- -- have -- to Kelley's office and saw the success business and hell I could that. No idea which this. He. Beat in the NFL because you know the stat people like the he'd been babbling about report out now for ten years. And he will be. Hopefully. Much more aggressive. Forked out go on for 20 kind of thing. Thought I'd like to see it. Yeah I think this is I think Chip -- is either going to be. Just a wild phenomenal success. Or I think it's just going to be just a horrible car crash the world I can think I think his offense will be a wild eyes and excellent I. Secret of this will be a lot of success. You'd think there is something to the fact that messaging. A group of twenty year old who you get to collapse basically -- by hand because Nike bankroll you. Is much different than managing a locker room of men who reached the age of twenty to 35. And are doing it for money and are all making different amounts of money and you don't get to collapse to sign whoever you want to -- depth chart so to keep. Because of the salary cap that can't be shared. You know you know they've been equally shared outlook Washington State. -- There -- some think the fact that those -- make coaching college different from coaching in the NFL but I do think that his offense. Will work. Scared that his office is -- some kind of a college -- saying. But the leader of man I mean there's just that but that doesn't mean it's. There's going to be a lot of fun to watch one another and -- really appreciate your time better really appreciate you joining us I'm glad to select the self. That's all you guys Sunday's -- excellent hang out everybody in the league title but it. I -- -- -- -- the red velvet -- people don't understand they need to get the red velvet cake whoever does that for the -- boxing experts -- -- -- the crowd and so amazingly. Slug a minute really appreciative tentacles talked to suit our relationship.

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