Tackle the run
Who’s ready for some more practice notes?
We’re going back to Florham Park first and then we’re going to focus on a key position that could release some salary cap space for the Jets.
Good news on the injury front. Michael Carter was back on the field after missing Tuesday’s session with an ankle injury.
Zach Wilson had his best day of camp so far going 8-8 in team drills with a touchdown and 2-point conversion. Robert Saleh said his success in the red zone propelled him saying "He was fast, he was deliberate. Thought he did a really nice job." Wilson found Tyler Conklin for the TD and Elijah Moore for the 2-point conversion.
The battle of the kickers continues to rage. Eddy Pineiro was the only one to kick yesterday and he went 3-4 missing a kick from around 55 yards. Sounds as though Greg Zuerlein is dealing with a toe injury.
Ty Johnson is also currently day-to-day with a hamstring issue. Nothing serious.
Sheldon Rankins met with the media and he showed some real love to his defensive line teammates - “The amount of talent we have in that room is pretty crazy. … Man for man, it’s probably the most talented room I’ve been in.”
We heard Micheal Clemons name for the first real-time today and it was a run-stuffing tackle…that’s music to my ears after seeing the defensive line struggle all through the 2021 season in stopping the run.
Jeremy Ruckert who’s been dealing with a foot injury dating back to the Senior Bowl is close to returning according to Robert Saleh, he is expected to be cleared to return very soon, maybe even by the time you’re reading this.
Quinnen Williams and Jermaine Johnson both recorded “sacks”, nice to see some interior and exterior pressure getting through for the defense…not so much for the offense.
Yesterday I wanted to take a look at the missed tackle rates for the Jets and 2022 opponents, surprisingly I found that the Jets were one of the better tackling football teams in football last year with a sub 10% missed tackle rate.
That in turn led to more questions, if we were so good at tackling why did we get carved open in the run game?
Some things are hard to calculate, I put the run defense issues down to being blown off the ball and the linebackers having poor gap discipline, but without going back through all the tape that’s hard to quantify.
As a reminder, the Jets allowed 138.3 rushing yards per game on average, which was 29th in the league, and their 1.6 touchdowns allowed put them dead last in the league.
I wanted to take a look at the PFF run stop % calculator, The PFF "Run Stop Percentage" focuses only on running plays and "stops" (tackles that constitute a "loss" for the offense).
The Jets had three players rated inside the top 50 in terms of run stop percentage (based on a minimum of 100 snaps), but none of them were in the top 25. Foley Fatukasi led the Jets with a 10.3% RSP (27th), next up was Quinnen at 10.2% (31st) and C.J Mosley at 9.5% (46th).
However, there were some glaring issues in terms of tackling in the run game. Although the overall Jets missed tackle % was below 10%, the Jets had 11 different players whose missed tackle % against the run was 10% or more:
Brandin Echols - 46.7%
Kyle Phillips - 18.2%
Shaq Lawson - 17.4%
Sheldon Rankins - 16.7%
Micheal Carter II - 16.0%
Ashtyn Davis - 14.3%
Folorunso Fatukasi - 13.2%
Bryce Hall - 13.0%
Quincy Williams - 10.1%
John Franklin Myers - 10.0%
Bryce Huff - 10.0%
A couple of players really stuck out to me in the above chart. Ashtyn Davis was one because his 14.3% missed tackle rate combined with 0.0% stop rate is eye-opening for someone who played in 319 run defense snaps.
Another was Sheldon Rankins who had a 5.3% stop rate with a 16.7% missed tackle rate. That 5.3% number would put him at 266th on the list based on the same requirements listed above, for someone making the money that Rankins is making you’d expect that to be a little better…even if he is seen more as an internal pass-rusher.
Brandin Echols will be in a more reduced role this year with D.J Reed, Sauce Gardner and Bryce Hall all being ahead of him. Kyle Phillips and Shaq Lawson are no longer with the team and I’ve been saying all off-season that we shouldn’t be surprised if Sheldon Rankins ends up getting cut, he has no more guarantees on his contract.
Here’s some positive news. Jordan Whitehead’s 8.3% RSP was the third highest mark on the Bucs roster last year and D.J Reed had a 3.3% missed tackle percentage in the run game. So we’re adding someone in Whitehead who plays the run well and we’re replacing Echols with Reed who is one of the better tackling corners in the run game.
Pittsburgh Steelers signed Jeremy McNichols last Tuesday and yesterday it was announced that he’d be out for the 2022 season with a shoulder injury.
Cardinals’ WR Marquise Brown was arrested and charged with criminal speeding on Wednesday morning.
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has been cleared to return to practice, but the 49ers will work him on a side field as they look to trade him.
Tom Brady won’t play in the Bucs preseason opener against the Dolphins, presumably, Todd Bowels wants to keep him as far away from Stephen Ross as possible.
According to Colts head coach Frank Reich, Reggie Wayne is making an unbelievable impact as Indianapolis’s new wide receivers coach.
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