We crunch the numbers looking at the outside linebackers and their pass rushing productivity
The question came up in yesterday's post about a possible scheme change from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 set for the Arizona Cardinals. It dealt with Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield and their effectiveness as pass rushers. Who was better? Who did it more often?
I have those numbers for you, as compiled by Pro Football Focus.
Pass rushing attempts:
Acho was on the field a lot. He logged over 1000 defensive snaps (1023). he was asked to rush the passer 385 times, good for 37.6 percent of the time.
Schofield, before going down for the season, logged 503 snaps and rushed the passer 209 times. That would be 41.6 percent of the time.
Groves was on the field for 481 snaps. He rushed the passer 144 times, good for 30 percent of the time.
All three players logged four sacks each. By those numbers, it tells you that Groves and Schofield were roughly twice as effective at pressuring the quarterback as Acho. That would be fair.
Sacks aside, we know that pressure on the quarterback is more than that. So now we look at the overall pressure numbers off the edge. Acho had 21 hurries and nine QB hits to go with the four sacks. He generated pressure 8.8 percent of the time.
Schofield had seven hits and eight hurries to accompany his four sacks. That is a pass rush rate of 9.1 percent.
Groves had five hits and seven hurries to go with his four sacks, coming in his 144 rushes. That would come out to be a rate of 11.1 percent.
The difference between Acho and Schofield is small, although Schofield was the more effective sack artist, so to say. but when it comes to pressure or rushing the passer, they were pretty close.
Who was the best off the edge? That would be Groves, who had been an otherwise draft bust before the season. he only had 2.5 sacks in his career before 2012. He also is a free agent, but whether he will fit in with Todd Bowles' defensive sets is something they will have to look at.
Does any of this surprise you? I was not surprised at all. What it did confirm was the need for the Cardinals to land a guy that can generate more pressure more often from the outside.
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