clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Cardinals stats: Comparing Ray Horton and Todd Bowles with ILB blitz assignments

Just another look at how the two coordinators compare.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few days, I have written some articles comparing some details of the Arizona Cardinals defense of 2012 and 2013. In particular, we can see where former defensive coordinator Ray Horton and current defensive coordinator Todd Bowles differ.

The numbers show that, in 2013, Bowles used his outside linebackers much less in coverage than Horton did in 2012, perhaps because of the personnel he had.

The numbers also show that both like to blitz with their defensive backs. Bowles did it more often in 2013 than Horton did in 2012, but they were nearly as effective in terms of pressure, although Horton's defense produced more sacks.

One thing we saw in 2012 and 2013 is that both coordinators liked using their inside linebackers to blitz. With Daryl Washington, you have one of the fastest linebackers in the league, so it made sense.

Both seasons, the ILBs rarely left the field. In 2012, Washington and Paris Lenon played almost all the teams snaps. In 2013, after Washington returned from suspension, he and Karlos Dansby played almost every snap.

Here are the numbers, using Pro Football Focus statistics:


Player Total snaps # pass rush snaps % blitzed
Daryl Washington 1084 154 14.21%
Paris Lenon 1040 181 17.40%


Player Total snaps # pass rush snaps % blitzed
Karlos Dansby 1107 158 14.27%
Daryl Washington 818 136 16.63%
Jasper Brinkley 210 34 16.19%

As you can tell, the numbers are similar. Washington was used more than in 2012, but Bowles also had a better guy in Dansby playing in the middle of the field than in 2012 with Lenon, whom the coaches absolutely loved.

It is actually interesting to see the overall Dansby numbers with Brinkley. In the first four games of the season, Dansby played Washington's position and Brinkley played Lenon's spot, Dansby was used much less to blitz -- only 9.2 percent of the time, while Brinkley did so more than 14 percent of the time.

Once again we can see how Bowles changes things when the personnel changes. He was much less likely to leave Brinkley in coverage and send Dansby, but used both Dansby and Washington  almost equally. Here are the numbers, taking Dansby's first four games out.

Player Total snaps # pass rush snaps % blitzed
Karlos Dansby 821 131 16.00%
Daryl Washington 818 136 16.63%

There is not a huge difference between Bowles and Horton in this sense. Both liked using their inside linebackers to rush the quarterback.

How about effectiveness?

In 2013, 14.6 percent of Dansby's rushes generated some sort of pressure, while Washington's rushes generated some sort of pressure 14 percent of the time.

In 2012, Washington's rushes generated pressure 14.9 percent of the time. Lenon's were a little less effective at 11 percent.

The final word? Both Bowles and Horton are similar in their use of their inside linebackers. Bowles did it a little more when he had both Dansby and Washington, but then again, Bowles' two ILBs were the better combo.

Both Bowles and Horton like to attack and blitz. Like the numbers with the defensive backs, they aren't too different.