The Arizona Cardinals like to use their defensive backs to blitz. Safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes are used frequently by Arizona to get to the quarterback. Pro Football Focus looked at the last three years and both safeties come up among the leaders among defensive backs and going after the quarterback.
Adrian Wilson is up there in volume. With 244 blitzes over the last three seasons, only Roman Harper has more among defensive backs. Wilson is also seventh overall in blitz percentage (rate of blitzes per pass play) at 13.30 percent.
Wilson, however, is not the most effective at it. With 244 blitzes, he has only caused 14 pressures. That is good for tied for eighth, but it pales in comparison to Harper's 43 pressures. In his defense, the next highest number is 19.
Where Adrian Wilson is used in volume, Kerry Rhodes is efficient. In 93 blitzes over three seasons, he has created the same number of pressures as Wilson with 14. His efficiency rate is 12.1 percent, eighth overall.
Wilson, for all his blitzes, actually comes up among the worst at productivity, causing pressure only 4.61 percent of the time he blitzes.
However, a deeper look at his stats tells us that he was ineffective under Billy Lewis. 10 of his 14 pressures came in 2011 with Ray Horton. His rate in 2011 was over 16 percent.
What does this say, combined with the effectiveness of Daryl Washington we learned recently? Ray Horton;s defense is effective at causing pressure. And that is exactly what it is designed to do.
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