Football Outsiders has given SB Nation quite the gift and provided Revenge of the Birds and Arizona Cardinals fans a chance to ask some questions that we may have about our favorite NFL franchise heading into the 2016 season.
Make sure you check out their newest Football Outsiders Almanac, it is a fantastic resource for the season.
Today's topic, how much can Arizona fans expect from Chandler Jones and will he really solve the pass rushing issues?
The Cardinals defense was extremely good last year, but struggled to rush the passer. What type of impact should Chandler Jones have on the unit overall?
We detailed this in the book, but adding Chandler Jones is adding a good, but not great pass-rusher. He's not going to have the impact of a J.J. Watt or Von Miller on this defense, but he does tend to turn a high percentage of his pressures into sacks. That's good, but you would like to see more overall production from him, especially if he's going to ink a huge deal after this season. Jones had 17.5 hurries last season for New England while Dwight Freeney had 17 in a limited pass-rushing role in Arizona. We've charted Alex Okafor (2014) and Markus Golden (2015) with similar hurries-per-snap numbers in Arizona the last two years. Jones had a reputation for being inconsistent with the Patriots, and that is supported by the charting data. I like the potential of pairing him up with Golden and just asking him to play outside linebacker instead of moving around like he did for Bill Belichick. If the Cardinals do not have to blitz as much to get pressure, then that could be Jones' best benefit, but it's hard to picture Arians not bringing the heat anyway.
This is something that has been brought up a number of times on the board, is Jones play really an upgrade?
I think his pass rushing is slightly overrated, but as Scott explains he'll get you sacks when he gets pressures. The problem is more he is not a high volume pressures guy.
I've said I think Jones stays right in his average, 10-12 sacks this season, which would be a nice little boost for the Cardinals.