25 Oct. 2016
This is not cricket but this is good very good.
The pass rushing end in a 4-3 defensive scheme with four lines men and three line backers are responsible for disrupting the pass play by getting to the passer the Quarter back and tacking him before he is able to throw the ball, often resulting with him on the ground and a sack
In a 3-4 defensive scheme the pass rushing responsibility is given to the outside line backers.
Having a quick peek at the 2016 season stats will reveal that it is the OLBs in a 3-4 that are leading the sacks. However there is still more than half of the season to go, conversely Defensive ends in 2015 recorded most sacks in a 4-3 scheme.
There is nothing sweeter than exploding out of a 3 stance spinning past the offensive tackle rip past a tight end and swimming through a back to reach the quarterback and put him on the floor. This the reality for the premier pass rusher in NFL today like Denver Broncos Von Miller who often gets double and even triple blocks from the opposing offence, that being said this opens up opportunities on the right hand side of the formation for the likes of DeMarcus Ware to wreak havoc behind the line of scrimmage. I guess Broncos will keep registering those sacks regardless of the tipple coverage on Von Miller.
Life is a bit easier for Lorenzo Alexander of Buffalo Bills the current sack leader. The previously unknown quantity in starting defences has registered career high sacks in 2016. The season isn't half way up yet but Alexander has already recorded almost half as many sacks this year as he has in his entire pro career that spans 10 years at the time of this writing.
In addition to losing 75lb of body weight a lot of things came together for Lorenzo Alexander at once and this is true for a lot of athletes who are not naturally physically gifted and have to out work everyone else to be able to keep a place in pro teams. But I'll give Alexander this he sure is incredibly gifted in his work ethic and intelligence that he uses to overcome the lack of nature's gift of physical talent. He was put in the starting OLB position after Shaq Lawson the first round pick was injured before the season started. Lorenzo had always been productive in special teams but the right time and opportunity presented him to showcase his talent in Rex Ryan's defence after he was signed over from Oakland raiders to the Bills. What definitely helped him showcase his ability was getting 50 snaps as a starter rather than 10 reps as a backup because he didn't have to play behind the likes of Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo at Washington Redskins, two recognised pass rushers busy collecting sacks full of Quarterback themselves, the similarity though ends at the Redskins jersey.
Brian Orkapo jersey 98 outside line backer for Tennesse Titans is your prototypical first draft pick of a pass rusher. Weighing 257 lb at 6 foot 4 with a 10 foot wing span, a mean 4.63 40 yard dash, high motor and ability to penetrate the O-lines without prejudice. Orkapu was first drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2009. Number 98 isn't far behind his ex team mate Alexander and Bronco's Von Miller in filling the sacks stats. There are still nine games left in the season and Orakpo has already bagged 7 sacks at 1 per game he is also looking to do his 8 years career best in 2016. Leaving Redskins seems to have had a positive effect on both ex Redskins pass rushers. Ironically Washington Redskins were suffering from their worst stretch for some time since 2009 till 2015, the time Orakpo was with Redskins so leaving a missfortune riddled team might bode very well for Orakpo now with Titan since 2015.
The rest of the leaders are in the 6 to 6.5 sack range and there are quite a few of them but we shall leave this discussion at the first 3.