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VikeManDan

Purple Haze - State of the Purple Pass Rush

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On 6/27/2018 at 6:06 AM, SemperFeist said:

Yes, Harrison Smith. 

"Hunter" Smith is my favorite player in the league!

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My comment from when Robison was signed:

Quote

Now that he’s back, I’d like to see Robison used as pure DE. Have him rotate in for a couple series per game as a DE / edge rusher — run the hoop around the tackle with fresh legs. Let someone else be the DT pass rusher in the 3rd down pressure package. Robison’s strength as a pass rusher over the years was getting around the corner on a speed rush. I’m not a fan of having him line up across from guards and trying to get inside penetration. Limiting his role could make him more effective.

PFF stats don’t distinguish DE vs DT snaps in recording pass rush productivity. I got one of the PFF accounts to clarify:

That fits the eye test, I thought Robison still had some success getting around the corner but was ineffective as the nickel DT. 

32 pressures / 281 pass rush snaps for Robison at DE isn't far off the production of Hunter (61/479) or Griffen (61/484).

5/110 for Robison as the nickel DT was considerably worse than TJohnson (31/444) or Joseph (30/351), and those stats for the DTs include their pass rushing on earlier downs, when they’d have to give more respect to stopping the run.

So that suggests Robison could still be useful as a DE3 as long as his role is purely as an outside rusher. 

I think that’s why they drafted Holmes, and where they were going to give Mata’afa a shot. My comment from before Mata’afa ‘s injury:

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They do need an interior pass rusher in nickel 3rd down packages. Richardson will be one DT in that situation (or sometimes maybe Linval Joseph, who was surprisingly effective as a pass rusher last year — 11th in pass rush productivity for all DTs, ranking between Suh and Grady Jarrett). Next to him, they need a pass rusher with either more power or quickness than Robison, someone who can beat guards and collapse the pocket. Robison could take on that role again, but as explained above I think his contract situation shows the team was planning to replace him.

The two obvious candidates for the nickel interior rusher role are Holmes and Mata’afa. Holmes played as a nickel DT for OSU and was effective for them. He’s expected to switch his base defense position to 3-tech DT but the nickel pass rusher job isn’t new for him, and he’s the easiest projection to that spot.

Mata’afa is too small to line up inside full time in the NFL, but the nickel pass rusher spot is a specialist role, not really the same thing as playing DT otherwise. Doesn’t seem far fetched that Mata’afa (6’2" 252) could replace Robison (6’3 259), and like Robison could be listed as "DE" even while playing DT in this specific situation. Hopefully Mata’afa can get a chance to try on that role in preseason — his incredible quickness off the snap might be enough for him to shoot the gap past guards fast enough to make it work.

 

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Came back to thinking about Mata'afa again, don't think I ever posted this tweet from Tomasson: 

Hope he comes back at full strength in 2019.

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6 hours ago, Krauser said:

My comment from when Robison was signed:

PFF stats don’t distinguish DE vs DT snaps in recording pass rush productivity. I got one of the PFF accounts to clarify:

That fits the eye test, I thought Robison still had some success getting around the corner but was ineffective as the nickel DT. 

32 pressures / 281 pass rush snaps for Robison at DE isn't far off the production of Hunter (61/479) or Griffen (61/484).

5/110 for Robison as the nickel DT was considerably worse than TJohnson (31/444) or Joseph (30/351), and those stats for the DTs include their pass rushing on earlier downs, when they’d have to give more respect to stopping the run.

So that suggests Robison could still be useful as a DE3 as long as his role is purely as an outside rusher. 

I think that’s why they drafted Holmes, and where they were going to give Mata’afa a shot. My comment from before Mata’afa ‘s injury:

 

DL production is about more than just 1-on-1 ability. A player wasn't ineffective just because he wasn't credited with a pressure.

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43 minutes ago, Klomp said:

DL production is about more than just 1-on-1 ability. A player wasn't ineffective just because he wasn't credited with a pressure.

I guess so. On the other hand, the nickel 3-tech pass rusher is mainly asked to beat a guard one-on-one, and/or collapse the pocket. Robison wasn't able to do either consistently from what I saw. 

Here are his stats compared to other Vikings:

Robison DE: 32/281 (11.4%)

Griffen: 61 / 484 (12.6%)

Hunter: 61 / 479 (12.7%)

 

Robison DT: 5 / 110 (4.5%)

TJohnson: 31 / 444 (7.0%)

TJohnson 2016: 35 / 338 (10.4%)

TJohnson 2015: 54 / 460 (11.7%)

TJohnson 2014: 30 / 301 (10.0%)

The 2014-15 numbers from Johnson were for a very similar role to Robison's, with Floyd playing 3T most of the time in base defense and Tom Johnson coming in to rush next to him in nickel. Robison wasn't used regularly inside until late 2015. 

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