There are 68 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

OLB's in the 3-4/Sack Stats

Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by nyfl9erfan:
I too see the points raised above, including yours. I'd still say that if we are keeping our opponents passing to the 10th best based on QB rating, we are getting the job done. Can it be better? Certainly.

I might also suggest that our 3-4 is more of a 1-gap as far as the dline goes compared to the 'better 3-4's. We are also lackingt the dominant NT that is to occupy the oline therefore freeing up the OLB's.

My net at this point is they are getting the job done but it can be better. I like, most of the posters would like to see more sacks in general, and specifically by the OLB's...and it would be nice to see safety, corner, and MLB blitzes. Of course, it must be within the context of the scheme, the opponent, and down and game situation.

I don't think we are radically disagreeing...

You bet, two sides of the same coin here. I subscribe that the 10th best stat is due to a stellar secondary more than as a result of solid and consistent pressure from the front 7, in particular, the OLB's. I said it before and I'll say it again, this defense is built backwards with the front 7 relying on the secondary, not the other way around. In short, the pressure we are getting more often then not is as a result of good coverage which allows our big d-linemen to get there. That said, QB's still have ample time to pass (see Brett Favre's 50 yard game-winning pass with 4 rushers).

I agree that we're missing that dominant NT though Franklin is playing well, he's still moveable and is currently ranked 16th against the run where we're ranked 2nd (Smith) & 9th (Sopoaga) with the help of Manny & Haralson playing pseudo DE's at the LOS against the run. He is doing a better job of splitting the 1 gaps and penetrating and getting in the backfield which is a key for us and allows the OLB's and DE's to collapse the pocket. He's terrible in the 2-gap.

I agree that the scheme is a critical component of the success of this team. I used the TBC-example of that. And I could NOT agree more with you. We need to be playing our fhyical corners up at the LOS, tight, press and run CB/safety blitzes off those assinments. Manusky, is still hesitant to use Willis/Spikes to overload sides for blitzing or blitzes up the middle and I don't know why given Willis' speed. Perhaps he doesn't think he has the pass rush ability? Afraid their will be a big gap in the middle? Will did have a terrible game in coverage last game so perhaps that may be an issue. Maybe the issue relies more with Spikes thinking he can't risk rushing Willis b/c he doesn't have the confidence in Spikes to occupy Willis' void?

Anyhow, I'll continue to monitor and update these stats as the year progresses but I think it's already safe to say, this is still a major weakness for us and while we're disguising it well, eventually, it will bite us in the butt (e.g. get Favre'd again).


The first three paragraphs of your response to me start with "you bet..." and "I agree...(twice)" but yet you state that you will continue to monitor and update the stats. As a mathematician, I might ask why? You don't like the stats or the results? Or you want to say that the OLB's are the problem because they do not have the stats?

My position is that our defense is basically playing very well in terms of points and rankings, especially considering the opponents thus far and we have managed to contain the passing attack more than adequately. So maybe Manusky's scheme with the 1-gap puts more onus (and stats) on the oline and more coverage/cleanup/containment responsibilities on the LB's. I wouldn't second guess him as to what he is really thinking but it seems that he has a good feel of the personnel differences between this team and SD and I believe that excellent progress is being made.

As long as it translates to improvement from last year and game to game, I am all for it. And as much as I like reading about stats, the one that counts the most is wins. We didn't get it done as a team last Sunday, but next week and going forward I am optimistic.

I was fortunate (unfortunate?) to have watched the 9ers in the Tittle years, I got almost high with Brodie and other stuff in those years, and then I become fulfilled with Montana and Young. I think that the "it" that Singletary brings is similar to what Walsh brought, but different. Fundamentally, however, it's an approach that can win. I've seen this in the 9ers before, though Walsh had many other strengths, I've seen it on teams on which I have played, and I have seen it in business, and it can work work and work well. You may question the stats but they may not be quite the whole story.

So let's watch this unfold and hopefully the stats will come...but they may alter our baseline perceptions, as Walsh did about the 'right' way to do things.
Originally posted by nyfl9erfan:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by nyfl9erfan:
I too see the points raised above, including yours. I'd still say that if we are keeping our opponents passing to the 10th best based on QB rating, we are getting the job done. Can it be better? Certainly.

I might also suggest that our 3-4 is more of a 1-gap as far as the dline goes compared to the 'better 3-4's. We are also lackingt the dominant NT that is to occupy the oline therefore freeing up the OLB's.

My net at this point is they are getting the job done but it can be better. I like, most of the posters would like to see more sacks in general, and specifically by the OLB's...and it would be nice to see safety, corner, and MLB blitzes. Of course, it must be within the context of the scheme, the opponent, and down and game situation.

I don't think we are radically disagreeing...

You bet, two sides of the same coin here. I subscribe that the 10th best stat is due to a stellar secondary more than as a result of solid and consistent pressure from the front 7, in particular, the OLB's. I said it before and I'll say it again, this defense is built backwards with the front 7 relying on the secondary, not the other way around. In short, the pressure we are getting more often then not is as a result of good coverage which allows our big d-linemen to get there. That said, QB's still have ample time to pass (see Brett Favre's 50 yard game-winning pass with 4 rushers).

I agree that we're missing that dominant NT though Franklin is playing well, he's still moveable and is currently ranked 16th against the run where we're ranked 2nd (Smith) & 9th (Sopoaga) with the help of Manny & Haralson playing pseudo DE's at the LOS against the run. He is doing a better job of splitting the 1 gaps and penetrating and getting in the backfield which is a key for us and allows the OLB's and DE's to collapse the pocket. He's terrible in the 2-gap.

I agree that the scheme is a critical component of the success of this team. I used the TBC-example of that. And I could NOT agree more with you. We need to be playing our fhyical corners up at the LOS, tight, press and run CB/safety blitzes off those assinments. Manusky, is still hesitant to use Willis/Spikes to overload sides for blitzing or blitzes up the middle and I don't know why given Willis' speed. Perhaps he doesn't think he has the pass rush ability? Afraid their will be a big gap in the middle? Will did have a terrible game in coverage last game so perhaps that may be an issue. Maybe the issue relies more with Spikes thinking he can't risk rushing Willis b/c he doesn't have the confidence in Spikes to occupy Willis' void?

Anyhow, I'll continue to monitor and update these stats as the year progresses but I think it's already safe to say, this is still a major weakness for us and while we're disguising it well, eventually, it will bite us in the butt (e.g. get Favre'd again).


The first three paragraphs of your response to me start with "you bet..." and "I agree...(twice)" but yet you state that you will continue to monitor and update the stats. As a mathematician, I might ask why? You don't like the stats or the results? Or you want to say that the OLB's are the problem because they do not have the stats?

My position is that our defense is basically playing very well in terms of points and rankings, especially considering the opponents thus far and we have managed to contain the passing attack more than adequately. So maybe Manusky's scheme with the 1-gap puts more onus (and stats) on the oline and more coverage/cleanup/containment responsibilities on the LB's. I wouldn't second guess him as to what he is really thinking but it seems that he has a good feel of the personnel differences between this team and SD and I believe that excellent progress is being made.

As long as it translates to improvement from last year and game to game, I am all for it. And as much as I like reading about stats, the one that counts the most is wins. We didn't get it done as a team last Sunday, but next week and going forward I am optimistic.

I was fortunate (unfortunate?) to have watched the 9ers in the Tittle years, I got almost high with Brodie and other stuff in those years, and then I become fulfilled with Montana and Young. I think that the "it" that Singletary brings is similar to what Walsh brought, but different. Fundamentally, however, it's an approach that can win. I've seen this in the 9ers before, though Walsh had many other strengths, I've seen it on teams on which I have played, and I have seen it in business, and it can work work and work well. You may question the stats but they may not be quite the whole story.

So let's watch this unfold and hopefully the stats will come...but they may alter our baseline perceptions, as Walsh did about the 'right' way to do things.

My friend, I do agree with you in that we're talking about two sides of the same coin here and you had some good points. But I think you're looking at the synergy of the defense...the defense as a whole of it's collective parts...and even the team as a whole.

The point of this thread was to focus on the key component of the 3-4 and that's the OLB's. To stay on point, I wanted to show that we have a major weakness d/t the lack of pass rush and the lack of pass rush in particular from the OLB's and to show a comparison to the rest of the OLB's in the 3-4 across the league. It's no theory that the pass rush is supposed to come from the LB's in the 3-4; it's a fact.

Being a long-time fan, I don't need to tell you that this has been a major weakness of our 3-4 for the past 5-6 years now.

I will continue to update the stats from ALL the OLB's and see if we progress as the year goes on compared to the rest of the 3-4 defenses.

But if you want to get into the comparisons of coaching styles/influences of Bill Walsh & Mike Singletary, let's talk offline or start a new thread or we can discuss your beliefs behind what really translates into wins in your opinion; that would be great too.

But for now, let's focus on the OLB's in this thread.

[ Edited by NCommand on Oct 3, 2009 at 11:03:57 ]
At least they have been getting pressure, beside the Cards game, Manny has out played Parrys, he brought good enough pressure to force the QB to step up, or move out his way.

Sacks are always nice, but I'm pretty content to have they have played so far.
Would like to see these guys step up big time this week!
The 9ers need to unleash Willis and start getting creative with the passrush. Why drop Willis into coverage every time on 3rd down? Stunt him up the middle or have him come around the edge every once in a while.

Haralson will finish the season with 10 plus sacks.

Justin Smith is playing as well as any DLineman in the NFL right now and will get his fair share.

Our DL and LB crew are good and 1 awesome passrusher (Sign D.Ware!) and our Defense would be elite.
Via official websites/depth charts

Stats: NFL.com

Through week 4: Update

Dolphins:
Jason Taylor/Joey Porter (Cameron Wake) = 8 of their 11 sacks (73%)

Broncos:
Mario Haggan/Elvis Dumervil = 9 of their 15 sacks (60%)

Ravens:
Terrel Suggs/Jarret Johnson = 5.5 of their 10 sacks (55%)

Browns:
Kamerion Wimbley/David Bowens = 3 of their 7 sacks (43%)

Chiefs:
Mike Vrabel/Tamba Hali = 2 of their 5 sacks (40%)

Steelers:
LaMarr Woodley/James Harrison = 3 of their 8 sacks (38%)

Patriots:
Pierre Woods/Adalius Thomas = 1
Derrick Burgess/Tully Banta-Cain = 3 of their 8 sacks (38%)

Cardinals: Bye Week
Chike Okeafor/Clark Haggans = 2 of their 8 sacks (25%)

Packers:
Aaron Kampman/Brady Poppinga = 1 of their 5 sacks (20%)

Chargers:
Shawne Merriman/Shaun Phillips = 0
Antwan Applewhite/Larry English = 1 of their 6 sacks (17%)

49ers:
Parys Haralson/Manny Lawson = 1.5 of their 11 sacks (14%)


Jets:
Vernon Gholston/Bryan Thomas = .5 of their 4 sacks (13%)

Cowboys:
DeMarcus Ware/Anthony Spencer = 0 of their 6 sacks (0%)


Through 3 games: ProFootballFocus:

Haralson/Lawson: Combined, have been in on 209 pass-rushing plays, 123 run plays & 48 times in coverage
1 sack
4 QB Hits
17 QB Pressures (12 from Haralson)
1 Batted Pass
14 Tackles
3 Assists
11 (run) Stops (for loss)

[ Edited by NCommand on Oct 5, 2009 at 21:14:40 ]
^bump^

Through week 3 and 4, update.

Fantastic team defense again yesterday!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Via official websites/depth charts

Stats: NFL.com

Through week 4: Update

Dolphins:
Jason Taylor/Joey Porter (Cameron Wake) = 8 of their 11 sacks (73%)

Broncos:
Mario Haggan/Elvis Dumervil = 9 of their 15 sacks (60%)

Ravens:
Terrel Suggs/Jarret Johnson = 5.5 of their 10 sacks (55%)

Browns:
Kamerion Wimbley/David Bowens = 3 of their 7 sacks (43%)

Chiefs:
Mike Vrabel/Tamba Hali = 2 of their 5 sacks (40%)

Steelers:
LaMarr Woodley/James Harrison = 3 of their 8 sacks (38%)

Patriots:
Pierre Woods/Adalius Thomas = 1
Derrick Burgess/Tully Banta-Cain = 3 of their 8 sacks (38%)

Cardinals: Bye Week
Chike Okeafor/Clark Haggans = 2 of their 8 sacks (25%)

Packers: PENDING
Aaron Kampman/Brady Poppinga = 1 of their 5 sacks (20%)

Chargers:
Shawne Merriman/Shaun Phillips = 0
Antwan Applewhite/Larry English = 1 of their 6 sacks (17%)

49ers:
Parys Haralson/Manny Lawson = 1.5 of their 11 sacks (14%)


Jets:
Vernon Gholston/Bryan Thomas = .5 of their 4 sacks (13%)

Cowboys:
DeMarcus Ware/Anthony Spencer = 0 of their 6 sacks (0%)


Through 3 games: ProFootballFocus:

Haralson/Lawson: Combined, have been in on 209 pass-rushing plays, 123 run plays & 48 times in coverage
1 sack
4 QB Hits
17 QB Pressures (12 from Haralson)
1 Batted Pass
14 Tackles
3 Assists
11 (run) Stops (for loss)

I will edit after the Minnesota/Packer Monday night game.

I can admire the fact that you are trying to illustrate that our defense lacks the traditional 3-4 OLB sack machine, but I think your method is flawed.

First, we have second most sacks among 3-4 defenses. Whether they come from Lawson/Haralson or not to is not as important as applying the pressure and getting the sacks. I mean would you rather have only 3 total sacks, giving our OLB's a 50% ratio, or would you rather have 11 sacks with the OLB's only having the 13% ratio you stated.

Second, you mentioned a couple of times in this thread that a good portion of the sacks are the result of great coverage by the secondary. While this might be true, unless you are analyzing the 'type' of sack produced by every other 3-4 defensive team it is not only unfair to discount our sacks, but it also makes comparisons a bit irrelevant. I mean who is to say that the 2 sacks by Arizona's OLB's weren't both coverage sacks? Percentages must be comparable for them to have relevance.

Third, your process doesn't take into account the fact that some of these sacks that non OLB players are getting are the direct result of pressure applied by the OLB's. I remember the first sack by McDonald on Warner was created when the outside pressure of Haralson, drove Warner into the arms of McDonald. I believe J. Smith got a sack from outside pressure from Lawson. I would have to re-watch yesterday's game, but I believe Lawson's pressure on the outside helped Willis get a sack. These plays won't show up on a stat sheet, but are crucial to our Defense.

Either way I appreciate you point of view, if nothing else it provides a fresh perspective.
Originally posted by banntirr:
I can admire the fact that you are trying to illustrate that our defense lacks the traditional 3-4 OLB sack machine, but I think your method is flawed.

First, we have second most sacks among 3-4 defenses. Whether they come from Lawson/Haralson or not to is not as important as applying the pressure and getting the sacks. I mean would you rather have only 3 total sacks, giving our OLB's a 50% ratio, or would you rather have 11 sacks with the OLB's only having the 13% ratio you stated.

Team defense is something we can look at on a seperate thread but you are absolutely right, as a team, not only are we getting solid pressure but we're also getting sacks (4.5 from Willis/Spikes/Goldson alone last game). All four of the LB's in the 3-4 are required to produce sacks and QB Pressures/Hits and it's nice to see Manusky taking advantage of both the ILB's and safety blitzes (finally)!

The flip side is we don't discredit their sacks do we? They are given MUCH fewer chances to get to the QB as Haralson and Lawson and produced SACKS.

Originally posted by banntirr:
Second, you mentioned a couple of times in this thread that a good portion of the sacks are the result of great coverage by the secondary. While this might be true, unless you are analyzing the 'type' of sack produced by every other 3-4 defensive team it is not only unfair to discount our sacks, but it also makes comparisons a bit irrelevant. I mean who is to say that the 2 sacks by Arizona's OLB's weren't both coverage sacks? Percentages must be comparable for them to have relevance.

True, but you can say the same thing about ALL the OLB's in the 3-4 too at one time or another so there's no point in breaking down every play and determining whether or not the sack was due to great coverage or individual great play. I don't discredit the sacks if they ARE coverage sacks and certainly don't weigh them any differently.

Originally posted by banntirr:
Third, your process doesn't take into account the fact that some of these sacks that non OLB players are getting are the direct result of pressure applied by the OLB's. I remember the first sack by McDonald on Warner was created when the outside pressure of Haralson, drove Warner into the arms of McDonald. I believe J. Smith got a sack from outside pressure from Lawson. I would have to re-watch yesterday's game, but I believe Lawson's pressure on the outside helped Willis get a sack. These plays won't show up on a stat sheet, but are crucial to our Defense.

This is another good point but the flip side of that is that some of the sacks, QB Pressures/Hits that the OLB's are getting are also a direct result of play from the d-line, ILB's, safety/CB blitzes, etc. so that's really irrevelant too and again, something every OLB in the 3-4 benefits from at one time or another.

I think as fans we try to justify areas of weakness that are currently being masked by a great TEAM defense right now. I think another point is that you may be leaning towards saying that this 3-4 defense (unlike any other) is not designed around the OLB's getting consistent pressure and sacks and being the largest part of the teams overall sacks. This MAY be true but if that's the case, we would be the first team in NFL history that ran a 3-4 this way.

The final point I have for originally bringing this point up is that ALL the top dominant 3-4 defense over time have all been built and designed to get consistent pressure from all 4 LB's and in particular, the OLB's. If not, that would be like having Singletary/Raye's offense designed to run but only using Gore to pass protect & catch passes out of the backfield. It's his job to run the rock and the majority of the plays he gets are designed for him to run.

In the end, the OLB's are STILL getting the sacks and are contributing to the majority of the sacks of the teams overall number b/c that's what the defense is designed to do.

The bottom line is, through three games, both Haralson/Lawson have been given 209 pass rushing attempts and have produced very little in this area despite them rushing 55% of the time. If we ever want to take that next step and be a dominant Ravens or Pats or Steelers defense of the past, we need at least one dominant OLB as a pass rusher, IMHO. That was the point of this objective thread...

Originally posted by banntirr:
Either way I appreciate you point of view, if nothing else it provides a fresh perspective.

Thank YOU for posting a refute and bringing up solid points as well.

[ Edited by NCommand on Oct 5, 2009 at 13:37:23 ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by banntirr:
I can admire the fact that you are trying to illustrate that our defense lacks the traditional 3-4 OLB sack machine, but I think your method is flawed.

First, we have second most sacks among 3-4 defenses. Whether they come from Lawson/Haralson or not to is not as important as applying the pressure and getting the sacks. I mean would you rather have only 3 total sacks, giving our OLB's a 50% ratio, or would you rather have 11 sacks with the OLB's only having the 13% ratio you stated.

Team defense is something we can look at on a seperate thread but you are absolutely right, as a team, not only are we getting solid pressure but we're also getting sacks (4.5 from Willis/Spikes/Goldson alone last game). All four of the LB's in the 3-4 are required to produce sacks and QB Pressures/Hits and it's nice to see Manusky taking advantage of both the ILB's and safety blitzes (finally)!

The flip side is we don't discredit their sacks do we? They are given MUCH fewer chances to get to the QB as Haralson and Lawson and produced SACKS.

Originally posted by banntirr:
Second, you mentioned a couple of times in this thread that a good portion of the sacks are the result of great coverage by the secondary. While this might be true, unless you are analyzing the 'type' of sack produced by every other 3-4 defensive team it is not only unfair to discount our sacks, but it also makes comparisons a bit irrelevant. I mean who is to say that the 2 sacks by Arizona's OLB's weren't both coverage sacks? Percentages must be comparable for them to have relevance.

True, but you can say the same thing about ALL the OLB's in the 3-4 too at one time or another so there's no point in breaking down every play and determining whether or not the sack was due to great coverage or individual great play. I don't discredit the sacks if they ARE coverage sacks and certainly don't weigh them any differently.

Originally posted by banntirr:
Third, your process doesn't take into account the fact that some of these sacks that non OLB players are getting are the direct result of pressure applied by the OLB's. I remember the first sack by McDonald on Warner was created when the outside pressure of Haralson, drove Warner into the arms of McDonald. I believe J. Smith got a sack from outside pressure from Lawson. I would have to re-watch yesterday's game, but I believe Lawson's pressure on the outside helped Willis get a sack. These plays won't show up on a stat sheet, but are crucial to our Defense.

This is another good point but the flip side of that is that some of the sacks, QB Pressures/Hits that the OLB's are getting are also a direct result of play from the d-line, ILB's, safety/CB blitzes, etc. so that's really irrevelant too and again, something every OLB in the 3-4 benefits from at one time or another.

I think as fans we try to justify areas of weakness that are currently being masked by a great TEAM defense right now. I think another point is that you may be leaning towards saying that this 3-4 defense (unlike any other) is not designed around the OLB's getting consistent pressure and sacks and being the largest part of the teams overall sacks. This MAY be true but if that's the case, we would be the first team in NFL history that ran a 3-4 this way.

The final point I have for originally bringing this point up is that ALL the top dominant 3-4 defense over time have all been built and designed to get consistent pressure from all 4 LB's and in particular, the OLB's. If not, that would be like having Singletary/Raye's offense designed to run but only using Gore to pass protect & catch passes out of the backfield. It's his job to run the rock and the majority of the plays he gets are designed for him to run.

In the end, the OLB's are STILL getting the sacks and are contributing to the majority of the sacks of the teams overall number b/c that's what the defense is designed to do.

The bottom line is, through three games, both Haralson/Lawson have been given 209 pass rushing attempts and have produced very little in this area despite them rushing 55% of the time. If we ever want to take that next step and be a dominant Ravens or Pats or Steelers defense of the past, we need at least one dominant OLB as a pass rusher, IMHO. That was the point of this objective thread...

Originally posted by banntirr:
Either way I appreciate you point of view, if nothing else it provides a fresh perspective.

Thank YOU for posting a refute and bringing up solid points as well.

Point of clarification - I don't disagree with your premise, only the path that you take to support your conclusion. I tend to agree that our OLB tandem is average (perhaps less than average) when compared to the other 3-4 OLB tandems in the league.

You are comparing the sack production from the OLB to the total sack production for the team as a benchmark or standard. You show this percentage for the other 3-4 teams and compare our team and as we are near the bottom we have sub-standard OLB's.

Once again your conclusion may be right, but how you support your argument isn't sound, and that is my point.

Take for example some stats from 2008. You have already stated some of the elite 3-4 defenses (NE & Baltimore for example) so lets look at their production last year:

New England (Total Sacks - 31 / Sack production from OLB's 6 / ~20%)
Baltimore (Total Sacks - 36 / Sack production from OLB's 13 / ~40%)
San Francisco (Total Sacks - 30 / Sack production from OLB's 15 / 50%)

So by using your argument it would appear that SF has better OLB's...

Furthermore, no one on NE or Baltimore had more than 8 sacks (Haralson's total). Baltimore's leading OLB was Suggs (8) while NE's was Thomas (5), but most people would take Suggs or Thomas over Haralson.

Like I said I would like that dominant OLB that gives opposing OC's nightmares (which we don't have), I just disagree at your argument for proving your theory.
Originally posted by banntirr:
Point of clarification - I don't disagree with your premise, only the path that you take to support your conclusion. I tend to agree that our OLB tandem is average (perhaps less than average) when compared to the other 3-4 OLB tandems in the league.

You are comparing the sack production from the OLB to the total sack production for the team as a benchmark or standard. You show this percentage for the other 3-4 teams and compare our team and as we are near the bottom we have sub-standard OLB's.

Once again your conclusion may be right, but how you support your argument isn't sound, and that is my point.

Man, where have you been!?! I miss these types of analysis. Fans like you make ME a better, more educated fan.

Anyway, back on point:

Thanks for the clarification. My contention is that defenses are designed to bring pressure from certain players/positions within that defense. I don't think you or anyone would argue that the majority of the pressure in a 3-4 (should) is designed to come from the OLB positions (all 4 LB's really) but mostly the OLB's which is why many are converted, undersized DE and are highly touted in college as sack-masters. That said, it's also safe to say, in the 4-3, the majority of the pressure is designed to come from the DE spots (see Jared Allen last night against the Packers).

Keeping with this theme, this is why I chose to focus on our OLB's as it's been stated for years now on this board that we don't have a dominant pass rusher and many assumed that would be Haralson this year and Manny would magically step up his game now that he's 100% healthy and is exclusively being asked to rush the passer and is NOT being taken off the field anymore (Nolan).

Now, one would also expect that the way defense are designed, it should be expected that the majority of the sacks and pressures/hits would come from the OLB's in the 3-4 and DE's in the 4-3. So far, when comparing the OLB's this year across the league, this holds true for almost all of the 3-4 defenses and as the year progress, this trend should continue to hold b/c again, that's how the defenses are designed. Remember, Manusky and Singletary changes last year from a Hybrid defense to a "Pure 3-4." So these inferences should be expected.

This doesn't mean that a 3-4 can't be success overall in other ways as we've clearly demonstrated that almost all of our sacks are actually coming from everywhere BUT the OLB's. But as an OLB in the 3-4, having low sack numbers and QB Pressures/Hits given the amount they are both asked to rush the passer and relative to the teams overall sacks is a good indicator on whether or not our OLB's are doing their job esp. compared across the league.

But I think as the year progresses and the teams become more stable, the trend we're seeing right now should hold true overall esp. with the successful 3-4's.

Originally posted by banntirr:
Take for example some stats from 2008. You have already stated some of the elite 3-4 defenses (NE & Baltimore for example) so lets look at their production last year:

New England (Total Sacks - 31 / Sack production from OLB's 6 = 20%)
Baltimore (Total Sacks - 36 / Sack production from OLB's 13 = 40%)
San Francisco (Total Sacks - 30 / Sack production from OLB's 15 = 50%)

So by using your argument it would appear that SF has better OLB's...

Furthermore, no one on NE or Baltimore had more than 8 sacks (Haralson's total). Baltimore's leading OLB was Suggs (8) while NE's was Thomas (5), but most people would take Suggs or Thomas over Haralson.


Nice analysis. I believe Baltimore played a 4-6 last year though which is designed to disguise pressure and bring it from all over the field. This year, they have gone back to a more traditional 3-4. One thing I had to consider is whether a 3-4 defense uses a heavy rotation at the OLB position and NE is one of those teams whereas, most traditional 3-4 defenses only use one play at both the SAM & WILL spots.

San Francisco played a Hybrid defense half the year before settling on a 3-4 but still used a heavy rotation between starters (like NE): Lawson/TBC and Haralson/Green. Lawson and TBC only accounted for only 6.5 of those 30 sacks which is 22%. The anomally is that the (backups) had 11.5 of those 30 sacks which is 38%. Together, the OLB's accounted for 60% of the teams total sacks which is what you'd expect from a 3-4 defense and 22% is what you'd expect from Lawson and TBC b/c they clearly were NOT getting the job done in this aspect. Now that we're starting from a pure 3-4 scheme, this is the year we can really compare them to other teams.

I'm not sure where you got your stats from but NE rotated three main guys at OLB in Thomas/Colvin/Vrabel and they accounted for 23 sacks of their 31 sacks which is actually 74% of their team sacks. Heck, I didn't even count any rotational players and Harrison/Woodley accounted for 28 of the teams 51 sacks which is 55% alone. So in short, I would say this is a pretty accurate measurable for OLB's in the 3-4 of how they are contributing to their teams overall sacks, whether their TEAM defense is successful or not. Are they doing their job?

Another stat that should be noted is of the 100 top pass rushers last year, only 29 were NOT DE's or OLB's. In fact, of the top 25 pass rushers last year only one player was not an OLB or DE. This is significant b/c even the OLB's in the 4-3 are expected to be pass rushers as well. This is why sacks are a solid measurable of the effectiveness of your OLB's and especially in a 3-4 by design, if nothing else.

Originally posted by banntirr:
Like I said I would like that dominant OLB that gives opposing OC's nightmares (which we don't have), I just disagree at your argument for proving your theory.

If we're ever going to take that next step, we'll need at least one dominant OLB and one who produces sacks.
  • DVDA
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,334
1. Broncos: 15 sacks

T2. Dolphins: 11 sacks

T2. 49ers: 11 sacks

4. Ravens: 10 sacks

T5. Steelers: 8 sacks

T5. Patriots: 8 sacks

T5. Cardinals: 8 sacks

8. Browns: 7 sacks

T9. Chargers: 6 sacks

T9. Cowboys: 6 sacks

T11. Packers: 5 sacks

T11. Chiefs: 5 sacks

13. Jets: 4 sacks

That's what I see.
Originally posted by 23zack80:
1. Broncos: 15 sacks

T2. Dolphins: 11 sacks

T2. 49ers: 11 sacks

4. Ravens: 10 sacks

T5. Steelers: 8 sacks

T5. Patriots: 8 sacks

T5. Cardinals: 8 sacks

8. Browns: 7 sacks

T9. Chargers: 6 sacks

T9. Cowboys: 6 sacks

T11. Packers: 5 sacks

T11. Chiefs: 5 sacks

13. Jets: 4 sacks

That's what I see.

1.5 sacks from the OLB's despite over 55% of the time rushing the passer. What you are showing is great TEAM defense that is compensating for a poor rush from both Lawson/Haralson so far. For instance, Willis has only rushed the passer 23 times and has 2.5 sacks while Haralson/Lawson have rushed a combined 209 times. Enough said...
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by 23zack80:
1. Broncos: 15 sacks

T2. Dolphins: 11 sacks

T2. 49ers: 11 sacks

4. Ravens: 10 sacks

T5. Steelers: 8 sacks

T5. Patriots: 8 sacks

T5. Cardinals: 8 sacks

8. Browns: 7 sacks

T9. Chargers: 6 sacks

T9. Cowboys: 6 sacks

T11. Packers: 5 sacks

T11. Chiefs: 5 sacks

13. Jets: 4 sacks

That's what I see.

1.5 sacks from the OLB's despite over 55% of the time rushing the passer. What you are showing is great TEAM defense that is compensating for a poor rush from both Lawson/Haralson so far. For instance, Willis has only rushed the passer 23 times and has 2.5 sacks while Haralson/Lawson have rushed a combined 209 times. Enough said...

Were good because we play a TEAM D, We dont have a bunch of selfish players that are worried about stats, Enough said....

[ Edited by 49ersMan420 on Oct 6, 2009 at 12:06:32 ]
Originally posted by 49ersMan420:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by 23zack80:
1. Broncos: 15 sacks

T2. Dolphins: 11 sacks

T2. 49ers: 11 sacks

4. Ravens: 10 sacks

T5. Steelers: 8 sacks

T5. Patriots: 8 sacks

T5. Cardinals: 8 sacks

8. Browns: 7 sacks

T9. Chargers: 6 sacks

T9. Cowboys: 6 sacks

T11. Packers: 5 sacks

T11. Chiefs: 5 sacks

13. Jets: 4 sacks

That's what I see.

1.5 sacks from the OLB's despite over 55% of the time rushing the passer. What you are showing is great TEAM defense that is compensating for a poor rush from both Lawson/Haralson so far. For instance, Willis has only rushed the passer 23 times and has 2.5 sacks while Haralson/Lawson have rushed a combined 209 times. Enough said...

Were good because we play a TEAM D, We dont have a bunch of selfish players that are worried about stats, Enough said....

Nicely put