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Urrymonster

A little praise for part of this team

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Over the course of last season and with the drafting of Alexander, Greg Hardy was seen as a player who didn't try enough and should be replaced despite it being his first year as a starter. This is despite picking up 4 sacks, 8 hits and 33 hurries which was good enough for being the 26th best 4-3 DE in the NFL out of 41 DEs who played over 50% of the available snaps on their respective teams. Opposite him was Charles Johnson who people felt was over-paid, although talented enough to be a decent player. Over the course of this season there is a high percentage of people who think he should be cut, traded or forced to re-negotiate his deal because he isn't worth it. Hopefully this breakdown should give everyone course for thought.

Pass rushing experts

According to www.profootballfocus.com we could have the best group of DEs at rushing the passer. One of their signature stats is called pass rushing productivity, where they combine the total number of sacks, hits and hurries the DE has produced and then adds a modifier in that rewards people with higher sack numbers. They then turn it into a ratio, so players who have success due to an imflated number of pass rushes don't have an advantage. So filtering out anyone who has played less than 25% of available snaps here is where our players rank amongst all 4-3 DEs in the NFL:

# 2 Charles Johnson with 6 sacks, 5 hits and 22 hurries from 196 pass rushes

# 7 Frank Alexander with 3 sacks, 2 hits and 14 hurries from 132 pass rushes

# 13 Greg Hardy with 5 sacks, 2 hits and 15 hurries from 178 pass rushes

If you remove any player who has played less than 50% of snaps (aka only looking at starters) then Greg Hardy rises to #10.

It's pretty impressive to see three guys inside the top 15 in pressure and to have our starters producing so well.

Anything could happen over the remainder of this season, but CJ has proven that he is very much worth a big dollar contract, whereas Hardy has proven his doubters wrong again and shown he is a reliable force in the passing game. As for Alexander, this guy has shown great and perhaps more importantly consistent potential over the first part of this season.

So what about against the run?

First thing that should be noted is that Hardy and CJ have flipped with CJ returning to his most successful LE position and Hardy being used primarily at RE and moved inside on obvious passing downs.

Again, PFF have Hardy ranked #2 in run stop percentage with 10.4% of the his 115 snaps against the run results in him making a tackle for a 'defensive stop'. 12 of his 14 + 3 assisted tackles being recorded as a defensive stop amongst starters

CJ is #11 with 6.5% of his 123 snaps results in him making a tackle for a 'defensive stop'. 9 of his 13 + 2 assisted tackled were considered defensive stops.

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Good post.

One point...anyone saying we need to re-negotiate Hardy's pay probably doesn't realize he only makes $540,000 a year. Yeah, I'd say he is earning his money.

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Very informative, thanks for posting this. I for one did not properly evaluate their production. I'll look at the film and evaluate better going forward - it's a process.

- R. Rivera

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I like what I see our of the DE spot. I like what I see from the defense as a whole. The secondary could use some more work, but the DL and LB's have played very well this season.

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Our DE's are playing lights out no doubt about it. Seeing how much of a different a good DT makes with Dwan I cant imagine how good our D as a whole would be with another good DT on the roster. We are not more than one or two players away from having a top 10 D.

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Our DE's are playing lights out no doubt about it. Seeing how much of a different a good DT makes with Dwan I cant imagine how good our D as a whole would be with another good DT on the roster. We are not more than one or two players away from having a top 10 D.

I was surprised to see that Dwan has the same pass rush productivity as Ndamukong Suh, rated as generating the 11th highest pressure amongst DTs in either 3-4 or 4-3 fronts that have played 50% of their teams snaps.

He is no Geno Atkins or Kyle Williams, but he is twice as productive as the guys we have had the last two years. PFF credit him with 5 sacks, 3 hits and 4 hurries.

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Hardy was a steal when we drafted him. He was a top prospect that had injury concerns but the only concerns that the Panthers have had with him thus far is keeping under the speed limit. It is a nice reminder that good things come to those that wait, unless they wait in Cleveland.

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