Cocos Corner Week 13
Week 13 Film Study
This week’s study consisted of several players on the defensive lines from several veterans to even a rookie having excellent weeks. For the most part offensive line play has been very suspect this season as a select few teams are getting consistent play from their front 5 and more front sevens overall have dominated games. In my opinion, defense is good for the game despite the NFL's efforts to make it an offensive friendly game. There seems to be not only a shortage of skill but also a lack of communication from these front 5’s when it comes to picking up stunts and blitzes, which can also be attributed to coaching. Cam Jordan Edge Rusher for the Saints took advantage of his matchup this week with a struggling Falcons offensive line, specifically rookie RT Kaleb McGary. Let’s get into it.
Cam Jordan DE Saints
Cam has consistently been one of the best edge rushers in the game and he definitely showed his worth this week in the Saints winning effort against the Falcons. He finished with 6 tackles 1 for loss, 1 pass defended, and 4 sacks (including 2 with under 2 minutes left and the last one on 4th and 8 to close the game.) In other words, he was pretty disruptive, and he gave Falcons rookie RT Kaleb McGary many problems with a variety of pass rush moves showing his diverse skillset and experience. It feels like Jordan has been in the league forever, but he is just 30 years old and in his 9th season for the Saints and shows no signs of slowing down. He doesn’t have elite burst to get off the line of scrimmage or flexible bend to turn the edges, but Jordan excels in the timing off the snap to go with good short area quickness, quick strong hands, and most importantly the mastery of having a variety of pass rush moves in his arsenal. He has great instincts and feel that gives him the ability to also time when to execute each move and beat the offensive lineman to get the sacks and pressures.
Grady Jarrett DT Falcons
Falcons DT Grady Jarrett has also been a disruptive force since he’s been in the NFL and despite the losing effort it was fun to watch him basically try and beat the Saints single handedly while watching the tape. For his study I tallied every snap and what’s impressive about Jarrett is how he is able to play several of the interior positions along the defensive line. He is mostly a 3 technique DT which is a position that lines up over the B-gap, which is between guard and tackle. In a total of 43 snaps Jarrett played the position 28 times. He lined up five times over the nose, or 0 technique, and five times over the 1 technique. The Nose and 1 technique are very demanding positions that require bigger size men to handle full time but Jarrett has the ability with his quickness, strong hands and diverse pass rush skills to disrupt plays. In one play at the nose, directly over the center, he was able to use a forklift pass rush technique to get the center off balance and rush the A gap before the left guard was able to come over and double team Jarrett as he squeezed by for a stop. He was double teamed a total of 10 snaps, had 3 pressures on the QB, and had 4 out of his 6 tackles in which went for a 1 yard gain or less. Grady can easily be considered the 2nd best DT in the NFL after Aaron Donald, along with Fletcher Cox and Geno Atkins.
Ed Oliver DT Bills
Bills 1st Rd pick rookie DT Ed Oliver was one of my favorite players coming out of the 2019 draft. He is a pure pass rushing 3 technique that may be only limited to that position based on his pure natural ability to rush the passer with his elite quickness and speed. He is not the biggest or strongest DT which limits his position flexibility like a Grady Jarrett. Oliver is more in the mold of Aaron Donald where they are asked to purely rush the passer. Oliver probably had his best game of his career Week 13 against the Cowboys. Oliver came away with 2 sacks facing a very talented Cowboys interior, only 3 total sacks on the year, and one came against All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. Oliver was able to display his quickness sideline to sideline as well as pressuring his gap assignments and stopping the run. He still gets pushed around but as he gets stronger and more skilled I expect Oliver to become a more consistent disruptive player for the Bills.
Darius Leonard OLB Colts
Colts LB Darius Leonard has been a tackling machine in the 2 seasons he's been in the NFL. He was a first team All-Pro as a rookie finishing with 163 tackles in 15 games to go along with 7 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. Leonard has 83 tackles in 9 games played missing 3 due to a head injury this season. In Week 13 loss to the Titans, Leonard finished with 12 tackles and 2 sacks giving him 5 total on the season. I was interested in seeing why he has so many sacks in his young career, and how the Colts use him. I was surprised to see how many times he was lined up as a Strong Side LB, lining up on the side where the Titans had the TE or WRs that are in tight formations. This requires for the LB to be stronger and more physical at the point of attack as he will be first in line to meet blockers in the run game. Leonard at times showed some good lower body strength exploding into blockers but at times was also moved around by a physical blocking team like the Titans. Leonard possesses elite quickness and speed but also has great hands when engaging blockers and winning certain matchups because of it. As a pass rusher Leonard is pretty impressive with these traits and adds some good body control and agility to put pressure on the QB. In the game against the Colts he was involved in 3 sacks splitting 2 and getting 1 on his own.
Look out for film study reviews of some of these players performances on the Views from the 22 Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube pages.