Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tyson Alualu and Terrance Knighton are already a disruptive force against the pass.

According to Pro Football Focus, there were 37 DT’s/NT’s who took more than 50% of their teams’ defensive snaps (given that a 4-3 has 2 interior starters and a 3-4 has 1, this roughly equates to all of the starters at the position). Alualu and Knighton each had 4 sacks, which ties them for 8th amongst the starters. They also had 4 QB hits a piece, tied for 13th. Alualu had 18 pressures, good for 14th, and Knighton had 16 pressures, good for 16th. Long story short – of the league’s starting DT/NT’s, both of our guys are in the top half in all of the pass rush measurables. After seeing what Alualu is capable of by effort alone, I’m very optimistic that refining his technique and being more accustomed to the pro game, he will be dominant next year. Check out this sack against Denver and this sack against Cleveland – PURE HEART. A formidable push from the middle is a key component to the overall pass rush. For one, the DT’s have a shorter distance to the quarterback; if they beat their man, they’re already right there to get the sack, swat, or at least make the quarterback soil themselves and make a hurried pass. Also, by occupying multiple blockers, the DE’s are freed up with one-on-one matchups and a blitzing linebacker may be left free. Adding D’Anthony Smith to the mix should add more pressure and keep Tyson and Terrance (TnT) fresher. With Kampman back in the lineup and our young DE’s improving, as well, the overall pass rush should improve.

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