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Ozzy

Will Anthony Barr play more on the line/edge this year?

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A player with Barr's athletic ability, you want him to be moving forward towards the ball, whether its instantaneous at the snap or delayed then rush .... planned back peddling or planned zone defense for him ... is just not utilizing his full skillset well IMO

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1 hour ago, Ozzy said:

And who is hellbent on thinking he can be an outside rusher?  I have never brought this up before and I do not think many others have either.  As for why, they drafted little to zero DL talent this past year, Griffen is getting older and worse and so is Joseph and the development of the younger DLs is nothing to be amazed by.  Thus would be nice to get some rush that is what I am saying and Barr could do that more than he has been asked to do it.  

I'm not saying you specifically, but this comes up. Every. Single. Year. 

I don't particularly care about his statistics because I think that he impacts the games in ways that aren't obvious in a box score. Would it be great to see some more splash plays? sure. Do I trust that Zimmer is putting him in the position that is most beneficial to the team? Absolutely. Pretty telling that Zimmer defenses have been top 5 units for the last 3 years.

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3 minutes ago, JDBrocks said:

I'm not saying you specifically, but this comes up. Every. Single. Year. 

I don't particularly care about his statistics because I think that he impacts the games in ways that aren't obvious in a box score. Would it be great to see some more splash plays? sure. Do I trust that Zimmer is putting him in the position that is most beneficial to the team? Absolutely. Pretty telling that Zimmer defenses have been top 5 units for the last 3 years.

I agree Zimmer will put him in positions that benefit the team sure.  As for the unit it is debatable top five unless you are only talking total yards given up.

 

In 2017 they were #1 in yards given up and #1 in points per game given up, and 2nd in total rush yards allowed.

2018 4th in yards given up and 9th in points per game given up, and 15th in total rush yards allowed.

 

If that is not a step back I do not know what is.  That last one is total horse S, for a defense to be elite you have to stop the run and they did not do that and they gave up way too many points generally speaking for that unit.  I think bringing Barr on the rush could improve that run defense especially on the edge when a back breaks out wide.  2018 was a failure and a big disappointment I think.  Not sure if it was the offense not running the ball, DBs getting hurt or Kirk Cousins or what but the defense took a step back and was not nearly the same as they were in 2017.  I don't know about you but I want to be the #1 across the board defense, but really all that matters is do you win games because of the defense or not, the wins have to come no question.

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How much of last year's regression had to do with being on the field more often and in worse field position?

At any rate, Barr is really good at doing what he's been asked to do, and I have to believe that if the Vikings thought he could be more impactful doing other things, they would ask him to do those things. Barr isn't an edge rusher. He never has been in the NFL. 

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2 minutes ago, JDBrocks said:

How much of last year's regression had to do with being on the field more often and in worse field position?

At any rate, Barr is really good at doing what he's been asked to do, and I have to believe that if the Vikings thought he could be more impactful doing other things, they would ask him to do those things. Barr isn't an edge rusher. He never has been in the NFL. 

It probably did have a lot to do with the fact they could not run the ball on offense worth a crap and were at or near the bottom at it in the NFL.  Great defenses should not rely on that and make plays themselves however, if they are really that good they should be able to be put in a quick change situation on their 25 and stop the offense from scoring a TD.  A decent run game always helps though no doubt.

 

In his last two years of playing defense at UCLA he only had 41 TFL and 23 sacks off the edge in a 3/4 defense as a edge rusher.  Now the NFL is different than college sure but to say he cannot do it, I disagree.  Regardless of where, bring him to the QB more, simple as that, that he can do WAY more of that and should.  

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16 hours ago, Ozzy said:

In 2017 they were #1 in yards given up and #1 in points per game given up, and 2nd in total rush yards allowed.

2018 4th in yards given up and 9th in points per game given up, and 15th in total rush yards allowed.

If that is not a step back I do not know what is.  That last one is total horse S, for a defense to be elite you have to stop the run and they did not do that and they gave up way too many points generally speaking for that unit.

Elite defenses in this era do not have to be elite at stopping the run. Coverage is much more important. 

Rush yards allowed is mostly a function of rushing attempts against, which is mostly related to whether the team is leading or trailing in the game. 

2017 Vikings had the 3rd fewest rushing attempts against, 1st in rushing yards against, 5th in YPC against, and 6th in rushing DVOA against.
2018 Vikings tied for the 22nd fewest (9th most) rushing attempts against, 15th in rushing yards against, 7th in YPC against, and 11th in rushing DVOA against. 

The big change was the number of attempts, and that was mostly due the fact that they trailed much more often than in 2017 (plus they played the run heaviest team in the league, Seattle). Their run defense efficiency was a little worse in terms of YPA and DVOA but these were not huge drop-offs, and they weren't exactly elite in those terms in 2017 either. 

Points per game allowed is also misleading.

2018 Vikings opponents scored 6 TDs on defense and special teams (3 pick 6s, 2 fumble return TDs and a blocked punt TD) -- most allowed by any team in the league. And the Vikings had the worst luck with opponent FG attempts -- opponents made 33 of 36, tied for the most FGs allowed and the highest FG accuracy percentage in the league.

Looking at scoring that the defense is more directly responsible for, the 2018 Vikings defense was 2nd in the league in fewest TDs allowed (28, to the Bears 27), a year after they finished 1st (23, ahead of the Jags with 26). 

Points per drive does a better job of accounting for defensive scoring efficiency. The 2018 Vikings were 3rd, in 2017 they'd been 1st. They were 4th in defensive DVOA, while in 2017 they were 2nd. 

The bottom line is that the Vikings defense was worse in 2018 than it had been in 2017, but the drop-off wasn't dramatic.

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11 hours ago, Krauser said:

Elite defenses in this era do not have to be elite at stopping the run. Coverage is much more important. 

Rush yards allowed is mostly a function of rushing attempts against, which is mostly related to whether the team is leading or trailing in the game. 

2017 Vikings had the 3rd fewest rushing attempts against, 1st in rushing yards against, 5th in YPC against, and 6th in rushing DVOA against.
2018 Vikings tied for the 22nd fewest (9th most) rushing attempts against, 15th in rushing yards against, 7th in YPC against, and 11th in rushing DVOA against. 

The big change was the number of attempts, and that was mostly due the fact that they trailed much more often than in 2017 (plus they played the run heaviest team in the league, Seattle). Their run defense efficiency was a little worse in terms of YPA and DVOA but these were not huge drop-offs, and they weren't exactly elite in those terms in 2017 either. 

Points per game allowed is also misleading.

2018 Vikings opponents scored 6 TDs on defense and special teams (3 pick 6s, 2 fumble return TDs and a blocked punt TD) -- most allowed by any team in the league. And the Vikings had the worst luck with opponent FG attempts -- opponents made 33 of 36, tied for the most FGs allowed and the highest FG accuracy percentage in the league.

Looking at scoring that the defense is more directly responsible for, the 2018 Vikings defense was 2nd in the league in fewest TDs allowed (28, to the Bears 27), a year after they finished 1st (23, ahead of the Jags with 26). 

Points per drive does a better job of accounting for defensive scoring efficiency. The 2018 Vikings were 3rd, in 2017 they'd been 1st. They were 4th in defensive DVOA, while in 2017 they were 2nd. 

The bottom line is that the Vikings defense was worse in 2018 than it had been in 2017, but the drop-off wasn't dramatic.


They gave up almost 100 more points total from 2017 to 2018, they gave up over 500 more yards total in the air total, almost 20 more yards in the air per game.  Gave up more than 450 yards running total and almost 30 more rush yards a game.  Also gave up over 35 more first downs total comparing the two years.  In 2017 they were ran on 364 times, 2018 440 times, sure that does have to do with being up or down in the game but also how successful they are at running the ball as well.  

You have a point with the points scored on defense and special teams no doubt.  Maybe it was not that big of a drop off but that offense they had sure put that D in crap situations by running the ball poorly or not even trying to use much clock.  Hopefully the team can work together a little more and realize the defense is the back bone of the team overall and the identity I feel, so help them out more on offense.  

Having variety and a change is rarely a bad thing especially on defense, moving Barr around and letting him attack more would be a nice change in certain situations I feel.  

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Per-drive stats, DVOA and other adjusted measures are a much better indication than total yards and points of how the defense actually performed. Football Outsiders publishes them, you could start here and click around: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/drivestatsdef

The 2018 defense was worse than 2017, but not by that much. 

In 2018, they allowed 28.00 yards per drive (4th), 1.68 points per drive (3rd) and a Drive Success Rate of .670 (5th, but effectively tied for 3rd).

In 2017, they allowed 25.91 yards per drive (4th), 1.39 points per drive (2nd), and a Drive Success Rate of .633 (2nd).

All those numbers were a little worse in 2018, but their relative position across the league was pretty similar.

How do you explain that? Well, part of what happened in 2018 was that offense was up across the league. There were fewer QB injuries (full seasons from Rodgers, Luck, Watson etc) and more rule changes favouring the offense, plus a crop of highly productive rookie or young QBs (Mayfield, Darnold, Mahomes). 

So the 2017 Vikings defensive numbers were better not just because they were a better team, but because they played 2 games against Hundley instead of Rodgers, and 2 against the Bears before Nagy took over, and they didn’t get a free road win by facing Kizer and the winless Browns in London. They had an easier schedule. And the league in general was less offense-heavy than it was in 2018. 

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11 hours ago, Krauser said:

Per-drive stats, DVOA and other adjusted measures are a much better indication than total yards and points of how the defense actually performed. Football Outsiders publishes them, you could start here and click around: https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/drivestatsdef

The 2018 defense was worse than 2017, but not by that much. 

In 2018, they allowed 28.00 yards per drive (4th), 1.68 points per drive (3rd) and a Drive Success Rate of .670 (5th, but effectively tied for 3rd).

In 2017, they allowed 25.91 yards per drive (4th), 1.39 points per drive (2nd), and a Drive Success Rate of .633 (2nd).

All those numbers were a little worse in 2018, but their relative position across the league was pretty similar.

How do you explain that? Well, part of what happened in 2018 was that offense was up across the league. There were fewer QB injuries (full seasons from Rodgers, Luck, Watson etc) and more rule changes favouring the offense, plus a crop of highly productive rookie or young QBs (Mayfield, Darnold, Mahomes). 

So the 2017 Vikings defensive numbers were better not just because they were a better team, but because they played 2 games against Hundley instead of Rodgers, and 2 against the Bears before Nagy took over, and they didn’t get a free road win by facing Kizer and the winless Browns in London. They had an easier schedule. And the league in general was less offense-heavy than it was in 2018. 

Thanks for the information, and you are right who they play at QB does matter and change the overall end results good point.  But generally speaking I am not a numbers guy I am a visual guy and with arguably better players the year following it was a worse defensive unit.  

 

So what do you think of moving Barr around and putting him on the edge and or in pass rush situations more often?  I would not mind him as a DE or a stand up OLB with the threat to rush consistently, or even as a ILB in a nickle along with Wilson which works well.  Regardless or where, do you think they should bring him more be it blitzing in the gaps or as a edge rusher to generate more of a fearsome pass rush?

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