When Josh Boyer was the Defensive Coordinator of SDSM&T in 2005, The Hardrockers were ranked 71st in total defense out of 86 NAIA schools.
— Marc Bertrand (@Marc_Bertrand) November 12, 2012
Josh Boyer is the guy in charge of the porous secondary you've been watching the past few years. Well, this year he was demoted to only be in charge of the cornerbacks.
SDSM&T refers to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Yup. The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
You can't put all the blame on just one guy. Josh Boyer in this case. But c'mon man. Head Coaches get fired in the NFL for losing too many games. Hell, in the NBA Mike Brown got fired after only five games. With Boyer overseeing the secondary we've seen nothing but draft picks not developing and the pass defense getting worse and worse.
Here's Boyer's resume from Wikipedia:
After graduating from Muskingum College, where he played football as a wide receiver and defensive back, he began his coaching career in 2000 as a graduate assistant at King's College, Pennsylvania, and then served in the same capacity at the University of Dayton in 2001 and Kent State University in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, Boyer served as the defensive backs coach at Bryant University. He then served as the defensive coordinator at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2005 before joining the Patriots in 2006 as a defensive coaching assistant. He was promoted to defensive backs coach following the 2008 season. In 2012, his title was changed to cornerbacks coach.
And as mentioned in the tweet above. His work at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology was apparently terrible and that's the job that he had right before getting hired by the Patriots. I don't even know how Belichick even heard of the guy from that school. "Who's the coach of that terrible defense in division II college football? Oh, definitely hire that guy."
Here is what the Patriots pass defense has looked like since 2006, when Boyer joined the team. Notice what happens when he becomes coach of the defensive backs.
Defensive coaching assistant:
2006- 12th (200.2 yds/g)
2007- 6th (190.1 yds/g)
2008- 11th (201.4 yds/g)
Defensive backs coach:
2009- 12th (209.7 yds/g)
2010- 30th (258.5 yds/g)
2011- 31st (293.9 yds/g)
2012- 29th (285.3 yds/g)*
*nine games played
Things take a pretty big dip after Boyer's first year.
Don't even try giving the excuse that the Patriots get out in front of teams so they have to pass. You think that they weren't getting out in front of teams back in 2007? When they had the sixth best pass defense in the league?
I'm not calling for Josh Boyer to be fired. I think it's maybe a bit sensational for a blogger/fan to call for someone to lose their job. Mr. Boyer knows more about football than I do.
That said, Boyer has made a pretty good case to not be around next year. Tedy Bruschi always says that Belichick used to stress to his team not to be an "error repeater". Meaning? Don't make the same mistake twice. It's been three straight years now of porous pass defense. With Boyer overseeing it.
Still, it's not all on Boyer. Talent has to be a factor in this, and that part is on Belichick.
If you look at the numbers above, you can also see that once Asante Samuel left (maybe Belichick's last good pick in the secondary?) after 2007, the pass defense began a slow and then rapid free fall. In 2009, the team had free agent Leigh Bodden proving to be a solid presence out there. He never really played much for the Patriots after that year. That was the last good year the Patriots had as a secondary.
In the years since, they've hovered around the 30s, they've basically relied on home grown talent to man the field back there. Needless to say, it hasn't quite worked out.
Obviously that formula of the past few years got rocked a bit when Bill Belichick traded for Aqib Talib. According to Boston.com's Shalise Manza Young, Belichick is going to become more hands on with the secondary and turn Talib into his pet project.
@bostonsportzguy haven't heard definite yet, but have been told he'll be hands-on with Talib...and BB did step in with secondary last year
— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) November 12, 2012
wow stat on Felger & Mazz: since 07, #Patriots QBs have thrown 143 TD passes (3rd in NFL in that span) and allowed 122 (2nd)— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) November 12, 2012
Here's the way that I look at things.
If Talib comes in, and the secondary improves. Everything was a Belichick problem of not having enough talent.
Conversely, if things don't get better. I put it on Boyer and Belichick the coach.
We'll see what happens. Either way, Mr. Boyer is on the hot seat.