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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:

Quote

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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On 8/1/2018 at 9:50 AM, Klomp said:

 

PA is chatting with Krawczynski about this story, and it made me want to look up the 2014 thread on the incident from our archives here. Glad I did. Got this gem from vd:

well, we know now he's not faster than a speeding bullet.
 

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Off to a good start:

Garoppolo was pressured on 50% of his dropbacks (by PFF’s charting), highest of any starting QB in the league last week. 

On the other hand:

I won’t be happy with the pass rush until I see Weatherly and Bower hit the QB in a game that matters. 

Edited by Krauser

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We've always assumed that Bower is a better option than Robison, maybe that's not the case. Bower has flashed a lot in the preseason, hopefully it carries over soon.

you look at the Eagles DL last year, they were 3-4 deep at DE. I'd like to see the Vikes get to that level of talent at DE so I'd certainly peg DE, along with OL, as a potential early round need in 2019. We need the young DL to produce, Jaleel Johnson is the only one I have any confidence in at this point. If things don't improve, would the Vikes bring back Robison?

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30 minutes ago, vikingsrule said:

We've always assumed that Bower is a better option than Robison, maybe that's not the case. Bower has flashed a lot in the preseason, hopefully it carries over soon.

you look at the Eagles DL last year, they were 3-4 deep at DE. I'd like to see the Vikes get to that level of talent at DE so I'd certainly peg DE, along with OL, as a potential early round need in 2019. We need the young DL to produce, Jaleel Johnson is the only one I have any confidence in at this point. If things don't improve, would the Vikes bring back Robison?

The huge difference there is that the Eagles' depth players had significant starting experience elsewhere.  The Vikings don't have that, nor do I think that they'll ever get to the Eagles' level of rotation.  Of course, I think there will be more of a rotation, especially as Griffen and Linval age, but, I can't see where it'll ever get to starters only playing 65% of snaps.  

Edited by swede700

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Basically no other team except the Eagles has 4 starting quality DEs. It’s not a reasonable comparison. 

Weatherly, Bower and Johnson looked like high quality rotational players or possible eventual starters during preseason this year, but they’ve yet to produce in game situations (albeit in limited opportunities so far), and that continued vs SF, even while playing a reasonable number of snaps. 

Parry lived down to his (previous regular season) reputation too, didn’t make any plays in the run game, got pushed way off the LOS by a C on one zone run. Can’t have a NT put on skates by a C single blocking him.

I thought they could keep Robison as a situational outside pass rusher and get someone else (Holmes especially) to take his 3rd down DT role, where he was ineffective. Holmes was inactive against the Niners and IIRC Linval played a lot in nickel. Joseph is a good pass rusher but I wonder if they’ll need to save him for early downs.

I’m still expecting the young DL to produce eventually but it may take them some time to get up to speed. I wonder if we’ll see a different rotation this week: Holmes active and playing DT in nickel, Bower inactive and Weatherly rotating in on both sides, and the DTs mixing and matching (Jaleel + Linval, Richardson + Parry) with Parry playing less and Linval taking almost all of the workload on 1st downs.

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32 minutes ago, Krauser said:

Basically no other team except the Eagles has 4 starting quality DEs. It’s not a reasonable comparison. 

Weatherly, Bower and Johnson looked like high quality rotational players or possible eventual starters during preseason this year, but they’ve yet to produce in game situations (albeit in limited opportunities so far), and that continued vs SF, even while playing a reasonable number of snaps. 

Parry lived down to his (previous regular season) reputation too, didn’t make any plays in the run game, got pushed way off the LOS by a C on one zone run. Can’t have a NT put on skates by a C single blocking him.

I thought they could keep Robison as a situational outside pass rusher and get someone else (Holmes especially) to take his 3rd down DT role, where he was ineffective. Holmes was inactive against the Niners and IIRC Linval played a lot in nickel. Joseph is a good pass rusher but I wonder if they’ll need to save him for early downs.

I’m still expecting the young DL to produce eventually but it may take them some time to get up to speed. I wonder if we’ll see a different rotation this week: Holmes active and playing DT in nickel, Bower inactive and Weatherly rotating in on both sides, and the DTs mixing and matching (Jaleel + Linval, Richardson + Parry) with Parry playing less and Linval taking almost all of the workload on 1st downs.

Great points as usual. We've speculated some on Barr playing DE with Griffen replacing Joseph at DT. I'm curious to see if anything ever happens with that. Obviously that is dependent on getting another Safety on the field, or Eric Wilson, in place of Barr's spot.

the young players still need a chance but long term, we need to see less of Griffen and Joseph given their ages, without losing much from the pass rush. 

 

Edited by vikingsrule

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13 hours ago, Krauser said:

 

I won’t be happy with the pass rush until I see Weatherly and Bower hit the QB in a game that matters. 

I was happy to see Zimmer stick to his word about rotating more DL in. Hopefully they're able to produce sooner rather than later. 

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