Underhill -- Saints offense should open up, have more formational flexibility once Josh Hill is available (1 Viewer)

Dan in Lafayette

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Saints offense should open up, have more formational flexibility once Josh Hill is available

By Nick Underhill -- Advocate



The New Orleans offense hasn’t been able to operate as designed through the first quarter of the season.

The Saints are a team that likes use to multiple tight ends on the field and run various route concepts with different personnel on the field. An injury to Michael Hoomanawanui during the offseason was a blow for the offense. And a subsequent ankle injury to tight end Josh Hill has forced New Orleans to operate primarily out of three-receiver sets.

Instead of having a pair of players who are threats in the receiving game, when the Saints have deployed more than one tight end, it’s typically been Coby Fleener and Chris Manhertz, who is still developing as a route runner and is yet to be targeted. And seeing those two on the field together has been rare.

Overall, the Saints have only used two or more tight ends on 41 snaps, which is one of the lowest marks in the league. New Orleans has used its three-receiver personnel on about 175 plays. That type of ratio is uncommon for this team. While the impact is obvious in the running game and limits the number of play-action opportunities, it also changes how the passing offense operates.

The good news is that Hill should be back on the field in the coming weeks.

“When you got two tight ends, and you get certain coverages with two tight ends that sometimes (you wouldn’t with three receivers),” wide receivers coach John Morton said. “We’ve probably been a little bit more 11 personnel more than what we’re used to. But getting Josh Hill back is going to pay dividends for us because we can do a lot more things.”


MORE -- Advocate
 

TheRealJRad

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Saint_Ward

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Not sure Hill is that much of a difference maker.
Individually, perhaps, but Nick was a huge fan of the 3 TE sets and how it really changed our offense last season. Sometimes we'd run it with an extra T instead of a TE to make it a 3 TE Jumbo. Allows a lot of options out of the run game with some creative passing routes.
 

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Not sure Hill is that much of a difference maker.


Doesn't have to be a difference maker. He needs to be out there to put defenses in different alignments, put an extra linebacker in the game instead of a db, things like that. Someone who a defense has to account for in the passing game like they do not have to when Leleito or another player is playing that position, or even Manhertz who defenses are not accounting for because he hasn't run anything yet.


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CaliSaint4Life

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Pretty sure I can speak for Nick on this one. Take this quote by Bill Belicheck:
&#8220;The tight end position is, probably after quarterback, the hardest position to play in our offense. That&#8217;s the guy who does all the formationing. The running back is usually in the backfield. The receivers are receivers. But the tight ends could be in their tight end location, they could be in the backfield, they could be flexed. They could be in the wide position. To formation the defense, those are the guys you&#8217;re going to move. It&#8217;s moving the tight ends that changes the defensive deployment.&#8221;
Rob Gronkowski, Football's Brainiest Tight End | The MMQB with Peter King



His point is... it isn't necessarily the "player" Josh Hill, that will diversify the offense, it's what he (and Hooman also) brings to the table as a TE. They both present run/pass threats. 12 personnel (one back, two TEs) forces the defense to make a decision: Do you respond with base (and risk the pass) or respond with nickel (and risk the run).

Currently with Manhertz, has absolutely no threat as a pass catcher (Nick mentioned this). Fleener poses no threat as a blocker. Hill's injury is why you've seen us use another offensive lineman as the TE more recently because having that extra OL in there is the same "philosophically and formationally" as Manhertz.

TEs dictate defensive formations and diversify offensive concepts. With two one-dimensional TE's, we're basically tipping our hand to the defense (which is half the battle).

Hope this helps.
 

Underhill

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Pretty sure I can speak for Nick on this one. Take this quote by Bill Belicheck:

Rob Gronkowski, Football's Brainiest Tight End | The MMQB with Peter King



His point is... it isn't necessarily the "player" Josh Hill, that will diversify the offense, it's what he (and Hooman also) brings to the table as a TE. The both present run/pass threats. 12 personnel (one back, two TEs) forced the defense to make a decision: Do you respond with base (and risk the pass) or respond with nickel (and risk the run).

Currently with Manhertz, has absolutely no threat as a pass catcher (Nick mentioned this). Fleener poses no threat as a blocker. Hill's injury is why you've seen us use another offensive lineman as the TE more recently because having that extra OL in there is the same "philosophically and formationally" as Manhertz.

TEs dictate defensive formations and diversify offensive concepts. With two one-dimensional TE's, we're basically tipping our hand to the defense (which is half the battle).

Hope this helps.
Yes. The article isn't about the player at all. It's about the limitations the team has faced formationally and how getting another tight end will open up the playbook.
 

crosswatt

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Pretty sure I can speak for Nick on this one. Take this quote by Bill Belicheck:

Rob Gronkowski, Football's Brainiest Tight End | The MMQB with Peter King



His point is... it isn't necessarily the "player" Josh Hill, that will diversify the offense, it's what he (and Hooman also) brings to the table as a TE. The both present run/pass threats. 12 personnel (one back, two TEs) forced the defense to make a decision: Do you respond with base (and risk the pass) or respond with nickel (and risk the run).

Currently with Manhertz, has absolutely no threat as a pass catcher (Nick mentioned this). Fleener poses no threat as a blocker. Hill's injury is why you've seen us use another offensive lineman as the TE more recently because having that extra OL in there is the same "philosophically and formationally" as Manhertz.

TEs dictate defensive formations and diversify offensive concepts. With two one-dimensional TE's, we're basically tipping our hand to the defense (which is half the battle).

Hope this helps.
You know, "brainy" is not the first adjective that comes to mind when I think "Gronk"....
 

Saint_Ward

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Pretty sure I can speak for Nick on this one. Take this quote by Bill Belicheck:

Rob Gronkowski, Football's Brainiest Tight End | The MMQB with Peter King



His point is... it isn't necessarily the "player" Josh Hill, that will diversify the offense, it's what he (and Hooman also) brings to the table as a TE. The both present run/pass threats. 12 personnel (one back, two TEs) forced the defense to make a decision: Do you respond with base (and risk the pass) or respond with nickel (and risk the run).

Currently with Manhertz, has absolutely no threat as a pass catcher (Nick mentioned this). Fleener poses no threat as a blocker. Hill's injury is why you've seen us use another offensive lineman as the TE more recently because having that extra OL in there is the same "philosophically and formationally" as Manhertz.

TEs dictate defensive formations and diversify offensive concepts. With two one-dimensional TE's, we're basically tipping our hand to the defense (which is half the battle).

Hope this helps.



Well, sounds like you can speak for Nick. :hihi:
 

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