After taking a pretty steep paycut to remain on the Arizona Cardinals for 2011, it looked early in training camp that this season would be a turnaround season for linebacker Joey Porter. So far, it has not been that way. In fact, because of his performance against the New York Giants, Pro Football Focus has him on the ignominious "had a bad day" list.
What was notable is the fact that he did not even get a pressure on the quarterback. In fact, in four games, he has one sack and one QB hit (which should have been a sack of Cam Newton), but he has no other pressures, meaning he has been essentially invisible in the pass rush.
PFF makes mention of his teammate Clark Haggans, stating that he is "enjoying a renaissance" on his side of the field. That is head-scratching to most of us because he has been part of the problem. He does not have a sack yet this season. He does, though, get pressure. He hasn't finished the plays, but PFF gives him credit for 13 pressures and five QB hits so far this season.
The lack of sacks from the OLB position is one of the Cardinals' biggest concerns. By design, for the defense that Ray Horton is scheming to work, the linebackers have to be making plays and need to be causing pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That hasn't happened. Between Haggans, Porter, O'Brien Schofield and Sam Acho, the team has gotten 1.5 sacks, which just is not enough. It has shown.
Not all is doom and gloom on the defensive side of the ball. There are a few players having good seasons and being recognized for it. Two players get recognized by PFF in their All-PFF team of the week. That post will be up later today.