Tight Ends Situation

Mondio

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Actually the Packers used 11 personnel on 77.2% of the offensive plays last season, the second highest number in the league behind the Rams.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2019/2018-offensive-personnel-analysis
that might be, but what does it say? I'm not talking about how many times we put a TE and RB on the field. I think how we use them will change, I think their productivity will go up in classic TE ways. More 1st downs, more TD's. I don't think we're going to line up with 3 TE's on the field and make them the focal point of the offense.

11 personnel doesn't tell us ho many times the TE actually moved out to a WR position and the slot guy into a TE position, just who was on the field. It doesn't tell us if it was Graham on one play passing and the Lewis on the next running play. Anyway, we threw the ball close to 70% of the time last year. Passing formations dominating aren't surprising. Who makes up the personnel group is as important as the name they give it. 11 personnel can mean a lot of different things in the context of what play is run by who makes up that offensive grouping. I think with RB's becoming more involved in certain aspects of the game will require different use of the TE's and using the same TE's to run those different plays, not switch a guy out all the time depending on the play and we'll have run and pass plays from the same sets. Of course it will require them to block effectively and catch well or none of it works because you fool nobody if they know they don't really need to pay attention to certain aspects of your game.
 
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HardRightEdge

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Actually the Packers used 11 personnel on 77.2% of the offensive plays last season, the second highest number in the league behind the Rams.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2019/2018-offensive-personnel-analysis
Frequency of 11 personnel closely correlates with the Packers, Rams and Titans respective TE usage referenced in post #37 above. This is kind of intuitive.

The Rams TE snap count totaled 110%, or approximatly a 2 TE grouping 10% of the time (adjusted down for the infrequent 3 TE set). Their non-11 personnel sets totaled 7.3% of the time according to FO.

The Packers TE snap count totaled 127%, or approximately 27% 2-TE groupings (adjusted down for infrequent 3-TE sets). Their non-11 personnel sets totaled 22.7%.

The Titans TE snap count totaled 152%, or approximately 52% 2-TE groupings (adjusted down for infrequent 3-TE sets). Their non-11 personnel totaled 44.6%, indicating more 3-TE sets than the others which is consistent with the characterization of this offense.
 
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HardRightEdge

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Frequency of non-11 personnel for the Packers, Rams and Titans closely correlates to TE usage referenced in post #37 above. I'll leave it at that and let others to do the math. This should be intuitive given the multi-tool role of the TE in most offenses these days: the TE(s) could be in-line, slot, wideout or in the backfield (H-back). It's rare for one player to be able to perform all 4 well.

The Rams TE snap count totaled 110%, or approximatly a 2 TE grouping 10% of the time (adjusted down for the infrequent 3 TE set). Their non-11 personnel sets totaled 7.3% of the time according to FO.

The Packers TE snap count totaled 127%, or approximately 27% 2-TE groupings (adjusted down for infrequent3 3-TE sets). Their non-11 personnel sets totaled 22.7%.

The Titans TE snap count totaled 152%, or approximately 52% 2-TE groupings (adjusted down for infrequent 3-TE sets). Their non-11 personnel totaled 44.6%, indicating more 3-TE sets than the others which is consistent with the characterization of this offense.
Since there's a habit of not reading long posts, I like to break out my takeaways when I think they are especially important, which in this case is as follows:

The most interesting thing in the FO piece as pertains to the 2019 version of the Packers is this:

The Rams used 12 personnel on 14 plays in 14 games with Gurley; 56 times in 2 games with Anderson + Kelly. While, as is obvious, personnel does not tell us positioning, the Rams (like the Titans) threw to TEs infrequently. In these two offenses they were primarily blockers, whether there is one or two on the field.

This Rams switch-up in those last two games goes a long way in reconciling the seeming stark contrast between the Rams (and LaFleur's inner McVay) and what LaFleur did in Tennessee based on deceptive seasonal numbers. When the Rams had to switch to Anderson + Kelly, suddenly that offense looked a lot like Tennessee's. It was not just personnel differences. The Rams ran the ball more than pass in those last two games.

That's worth repeating for emphasis--the Rams ran more than passed in those last two games with lots of 2-TE sets for blocking purposes. If that's not enough, the Rams TEs were targeted only 10 times in those last 2 games among all those TE snaps.

Successful coaches adapt their schemes to the personnel on hand. The 2019 Rams illustrate that; LeFluer made like adjustments (compared to his inner McVay as defined by the first 14 Rams games last season) with the quality of runners and TE blockers on hand compared to that young and underwhelming WR group.

Right here at home, Pettine has repeatedly emphasized that he is less about scheme and more about the players, adapting to the talent on hand.

The most notable example (which was not a little mind-blowing) was the Eagles switching to an RPO-based scheme on the fly with Foles.

I would say McCarthy's problem was less about predictability than lack of adaptability. His emphasis on "process", while having its place, started to look like dogmatism or lack of imagination or risk aversion, pick your poison. If that looks like predictability, so be it.

Should you plug an aging James Jones into Nelson's spot and then have him run Nelson's routes? Should you expect Hundley to run an offense designed around Rodgers (McCarthy's stated approach), an on-the-job training exercise disguised as "winning through process", or should you have college spread and read-option concepts in your back pocket better suited to that player, or at least introduce them when you know this is your guy for weeks to come? Should you run the same offense with a healthy Aaron Jones getting 20 touches vs. Williams when Jones is out, two different styles of runner? I think the answers are obvious.

In conclusion, the evidence would indicate that making assumptions about what LaFleur will run with which players in which roles is premature. It is all guessing or, as Mondio said, a ******* guess.

The more plausible assessment at this point is it will depend on LaFleur's evaluation of the players, what he sees as their strengths and weaknesses, as he works his way through camp and preaseason. And if the injury bug hits key players, as in the Gurley example, I would hope we'd see adaptation. If I am correct in drawing from the evidence, players-over-scheme will be a refreshing approach and a good thing.
 
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captainWIMM

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that might be, but what does it say? I'm not talking about how many times we put a TE and RB on the field. I think how we use them will change, I think their productivity will go up in classic TE ways. More 1st downs, more TD's. I don't think we're going to line up with 3 TE's on the field and make them the focal point of the offense.

11 personnel doesn't tell us ho many times the TE actually moved out to a WR position and the slot guy into a TE position, just who was on the field. It doesn't tell us if it was Graham on one play passing and the Lewis on the next running play. Anyway, we threw the ball close to 70% of the time last year. Passing formations dominating aren't surprising. Who makes up the personnel group is as important as the name they give it. 11 personnel can mean a lot of different things in the context of what play is run by who makes up that offensive grouping. I think with RB's becoming more involved in certain aspects of the game will require different use of the TE's and using the same TE's to run those different plays, not switch a guy out all the time depending on the play and we'll have run and pass plays from the same sets. Of course it will require them to block effectively and catch well or none of it works because you fool nobody if they know they don't really need to pay attention to certain aspects of your game.

I agree with your take but my post was in reply to you mentioning the Packers using a lot of different personnel groups.
 

tynimiller

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Well, if you liked being an NFL football player, were in good health, got paid $500,000 before you even showed up for the first day of work, and you could make up to $2.1 mil over the course of a year, would you retire? ;)

I would go to practice without pads and allow guys to blast me in tackling drills for that...
 
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HardRightEdge

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I would go to practice without pads and allow guys to blast me in tackling drills for that...
Maybe you're young enough to survive that punishment. Sign me up for 3 days of OTAs in the WR group, meetings and playing pattycake in underwear, for that $50,000 workout bonus. Free travel, food, lodging and the per diem are added bonuses, like a paid vacation. Might even get in a 9 holes of golf in the evenings. ;)
 
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Heyjoe4

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Since there's a habit of not reading long posts, I like to break out my takeaways when I think they are especially important, which in this case is as follows:

The most interesting thing in the FO piece as pertains to the 2019 version of the Packers is this:

The Rams used 12 personnel on 14 plays in 14 games with Gurley; 56 times in 2 games with Anderson + Kelly. While, as is obvious, personnel does not tell us positioning, the Rams (like the Titans) threw to TEs infrequently. In these two offenses they were primarily blockers, whether there is one or two on the field.

This Rams switch-up in those last two games goes a long way in reconciling the seeming stark contrast between the Rams (and LaFleur's inner McVay) and what LaFleur did in Tennessee based on deceptive seasonal numbers. When the Rams had to switch to Anderson + Kelly, suddenly that offense looked a lot like Tennessee's. It was not just personnel differences. The Rams ran the ball more than pass in those last two games.

That's worth repeating for emphasis--the Rams ran more than passed in those last two games with lots of 2-TE sets for blocking purposes. If that's not enough, the Rams TEs were targeted only 10 times in those last 2 games among all those TE snaps.

Successful coaches adapt their schemes to the personnel on hand. The 2019 Rams illustrate that; LeFluer made like adjustments (compared to his inner McVay as defined by the first 14 Rams games last season) with the quality of runners and TE blockers on hand compared to that young and underwhelming WR group.

Right here at home, Pettine has repeatedly emphasized that he is less about scheme and more about the players, adapting to the talent on hand.

The most notable example (which was not a little mind-blowing) was the Eagles switching to an RPO-based scheme on the fly with Foles.

I would say McCarthy's problem was less about predictability than lack of adaptability. His emphasis on "process", while having its place, started to look like dogmatism or lack of imagination or risk aversion, pick your poison. If that looks like predictability, so be it.

Should you plug an aging James Jones into Nelson's spot and then have him run Nelson's routes? Should you expect Hundley to run an offense designed around Rodgers (McCarthy's stated approach), an on-the-job training exercise disguised as "winning through process", or should you have college spread and read-option concepts in your back pocket better suited to that player, or at least introduce them when you know this is your guy for weeks to come? Should you run the same offense with a healthy Aaron Jones getting 20 touches vs. Williams when Jones is out, two different styles of runner? I think the answers are obvious.

In conclusion, the evidence would indicate that making assumptions about what LaFleur will run with which players in which roles is premature. It is all guessing or, as Mondio said, a ******* guess.

The more plausible assessment at this point is it will depend on LaFleur's evaluation of the players, what he sees as their strengths and weaknesses, as he works his way through camp and preaseason. And if the injury bug hits key players, as in the Gurley example, I would hope we'd see adaptation. If I am correct in drawing from the evidence, players-over-scheme will be a refreshing approach and a good thing.
You make a good point about MM. I thought he was simply risk averse. Hardheaded might be closer to the truth. He was gonna run his system, personnel be damned. It’s silly to expect a guy like Hundley to run a process suited to Rodgers. Two totally different skill sets. Sounds like we now have a HC and DC that will tailor their approaches to who is available. That sounds like a better approach.
 

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I know I got roasted for saying this here in April...but I think Tonyan will become TE1 by November or at least be splitting first team reps with Jimmy Graham.
 

Heyjoe4

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It the TE rumours holds true, I'm excited to see Tonyan in action more.
Agreed. He showed a lot of promise last year. And the competition with Sternberger and Graham will be good for all.
 
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I know I got roasted for saying this here in April...but I think Tonyan will become TE1 by November or at least be splitting first team reps with Jimmy Graham.
I’m not going to roast anyone. But I will say this much...
In short, I know Graham was mediocre last year, but I think you’ve underestimated his ability.
 

captainWIMM

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I know I got roasted for saying this here in April...but I think Tonyan will become TE1 by November or at least be splitting first team reps with Jimmy Graham.

I hope you're wrong about that. While Tonyan has potential the Packers offense would definitely benefit by Graham performing up to expectations.
 

Heyjoe4

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I’m not going to roast anyone. But I will say this much...
In short, I know Graham was mediocre last year, but I think you’ve underestimated his ability.
I’m not going to roast anyone. But I will say this much...
In short, I know Graham was mediocre last year, but I think you’ve underestimated his ability.
I hope you’re both right and they both have great years. I don’t expect much from Sternberger, but he could be a pleasant surprise. As for Graham, I hope last year was an aberration.
 

captainWIMM

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As for Graham, I hope last year was an aberration.

Graham has averaged only 56 catches over the past four seasons. In two of them he had less receiving yards than in 2018.

It might be realistic to expect him to catch more touchdowns though.
 

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Graham has averaged only 56 catches over the past four seasons. In two of them he had less receiving yards than in 2018.

It might be realistic to expect him to catch more touchdowns though.
In my opinion Graham is our "short-range TE" working the middle of the D and Tonyan and/or Sternberger are the "up the seam" guys using their speed. I'd expect Tonyan/Sternberger to end '19 with more yards than Graham but AR may still get Graham more targets unless young guys earn his trust with longer routes.

I don't think Graham has much left in the tank but I understand GB keeping him for 1 more year until the young guys prove that their players.
 

captainWIMM

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I'd expect Tonyan/Sternberger to end '19 with more yards than Graham but AR may still get Graham more targets unless young guys earn his trust with longer routes.

I definitely expect Graham to be the leader in receiving yards amongst the tight ends this season.
 

Heyjoe4

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In my opinion Graham is our "short-range TE" working the middle of the D and Tonyan and/or Sternberger are the "up the seam" guys using their speed. I'd expect Tonyan/Sternberger to end '19 with more yards than Graham but AR may still get Graham more targets unless young guys earn his trust with longer routes.

I don't think Graham has much left in the tank but I understand GB keeping him for 1 more year until the young guys prove that their players.
I think you’re both right. Graham will catch more TDS (2 isn’t hard to beat) and Tonyan and Sternberger will stretch the field.
 

captainWIMM

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I think you’re both right. Graham will catch more TDS (2 isn’t hard to beat) and Tonyan and Sternberger will stretch the field.

Unfortunately I don't expect either Sternberger or Tonyan to have a huge impact this season.
 

Pkrjones

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Unfortunately I don't expect either Sternberger or Tonyan to have a huge impact this season.
I hope you're grossly mistaken as Graham & Lewis are on fumes at best. LaFleur needs to see what is waiting in the wings because IF the young guys aren't given a shot the TE position is worse than Safety was in '18.
 

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Unfortunately I don't expect either Sternberger or Tonyan to have a huge impact this season.

Tight end is a strange position except for one thing; rookies don't have much of an impact. That being said, I would be shocked if Sternberger does much but I would not be surprised at all if Tonyan turned in a great year. A WR turned TE having a great year after getting used to the NFL for a season? Extremely possible, but almost impossible to predict.
 

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Tight end is a strange position except for one thing; rookies don't have much of an impact. That being said, I would be shocked if Sternberger does much but I would not be surprised at all if Tonyan turned in a great year. A WR turned TE having a great year after getting used to the NFL for a season? Extremely possible, but almost impossible to predict.
True about TEs in their first year. Sternberger has talent and it’s just about getting the opportunity (snaps) to prove it and the trust of Rodgers. Not so easy Year 1. I do expect Tonyan to have a good year between the 20s, and am hopeful that Graham can give GB more than 2 TDS.
 

Heyjoe4

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I hope you're grossly mistaken as Graham & Lewis are on fumes at best. LaFleur needs to see what is waiting in the wings because IF the young guys aren't given a shot the TE position is worse than Safety was in '18.
Agreed. If they kept Graham to mentor the young guys...... well, $10 mil is a lot for a coach. That said I do expect him to have somewhere around 8 TDS, and for what he’s being paid, he better. MLF’s system, I’ve heard, uses the TE a lot. That’s a little scary.
 

PackerDNA

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I'm not sold on Tonyan. It seems to me he's being given a lot of trust because of one play last season.
 

Mondio

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I'm not sold on Tonyan. It seems to me he's being given a lot of trust because of one play last season.
I liked Tonyan ever since camp last year. He pretty much made every play he could and when asked how he makes a team with all the vets ahead of him he just said take every opportunity and make it impossible for them to cut him. he seemed to attack the ball and make it his. Was really hoping to see more of him in the regular season.

My guess is he had to become more consistent within the offense on the finer details, even though it's a new offense, I hope he has.
 

Heyjoe4

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I liked Tonyan ever since camp last year. He pretty much made every play he could and when asked how he makes a team with all the vets ahead of him he just said take every opportunity and make it impossible for them to cut him. he seemed to attack the ball and make it his. Was really hoping to see more of him in the regular season.

My guess is he had to become more consistent within the offense on the finer details, even though it's a new offense, I hope he has.
Yeah I don’t think the interest in Tonyan centers on one play. And first year TEs have a tough go. I’m anxious to se what he does in camp and PS.
 

PackerDNA

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I liked Tonyan ever since camp last year. He pretty much made every play he could and when asked how he makes a team with all the vets ahead of him he just said take every opportunity and make it impossible for them to cut him. he seemed to attack the ball and make it his. Was really hoping to see more of him in the regular season.

My guess is he had to become more consistent within the offense on the finer details, even though it's a new offense, I hope he has.[/QUOTE

I hope so too. Not sold on what we'll get out of Graham and Lewis this year. I think that Sternberger will start making his presence felt around midseason. If not, we could be pretty thin at TE.
 

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