BSJ Classroom

BSJ Classroom: Primer on the Patriots’ passing offense

(John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Of the course of my writing career, I've been able to learn from some of the best in the game during one-on-one discussions, film review and coaching clinics. I've been behind the scenes with the Texans as they gameplan for an opponent, watched film with the likes of Bill Belichick, Bill O'Brien, Paul Alexander, Jim McNally, Bob Wylie, Rod Rust, Ron Jaworski, Greg Cosell and a host of others. I've just tried to be a sponge and accumulate any insight they've shared, and then I've tried to pass it on to my readers.

In this series, I'll try to answer questions BSJ members have about certain things they don't understand about football — from the simple to the complex.

First installment: An overview of the Patriots' complex passing offense. From there, we'll dive into each part more extensively:

The Patriots' passing offense, if executed correctly, is almost unstoppable in the hands of a quarterback like Tom Brady.

“I’ve played in a lot of different offenses,” well-traveled quarterback Brian Hoyer told me in Houston between stints with New England. “(The Patriots’) system is a hybrid of all of them. It’s very intricate, but if you have guys who can do it well, it’s the best. And if, in that offense, you have the best QB ever to play the game? Well.... ”

An enormous amount falls on the quarterback's shoulders. It starts with the “alert” system, in which most play calls are essentially two-in-one.