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Thread: Interesting Kirwin Article

  1. #1
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Murray Hill

    Interesting Kirwin Article

    More than a knack, these players have skill

    Pat Kirwan By Pat Kirwan Senior Analyst

    (April 13, 2007) -- It's easy to say things like "the guy just has a knack for it" when describing how some players just seem to find ways to get the ball back on defense. I don't buy the idea that there's a knack to anything in football.

    Guys work at all the skills required to play the game, they have the athletic ability to make plays on the ball, and they never waste an opportunity to do the extra things.

    I always go through the whole draft class looking for those defensive players who found ways to excel at getting the ball back for the offense. The NFL game hinges on turnovers, and defenders who will not drop an interception -- or who are always thinking about stripping the football when they're the second or third tackler on the scene, or are always hustling to a loose ball on the ground -- intrigue me more than a 40-yard dash time.

    This draft class has a number of defensive players who run off the field with the ball in their hand enough times to take notice. For example, how do you explain a linebacker who ran a slow 4.95 40-yard time yet had 10 interceptions and forced three fumbles? He plays faster than his timed speed and understands the most important thing is to get the ball back for the offense, but he's projected to be a fifth-round player.

    Here are the players who found the football a lot during their college days and soon could be part of your team. Take a look at the combined number of interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries these draft prospects produced in their college careers.

    Name School Pos. INT-FF-FR total Projected round

    Eric Weddle Utah S 27 2nd
    Michael Griffin Texas S 24 1st
    Josh Gattis Wake Forest S 23 4th
    Sabby Piscitelli Oregon St S 19 3rd
    Leon Hall Michigan CB 18 1st
    John Wendling Wyoming S 16 4th
    Daymeion Hughes California CB 15 2nd
    LaMarr Woodley Michigan DE 15 2nd
    Dan Bazuin Cent. Michigan DE 15 4th
    Aaron Ross Texas CB 14 1st
    Tony Taylor Georgia LB 13 5th
    Anthony Spencer Purdue DE 13 1st
    Rufus Alexander Oklahoma LB 13 3rd
    Tim Crowder Texas DE 12 3rd

    How about the Texas defense, which had three players in this draft class who combined for 50 plays that got the ball back for the offense? Or Michigan, with two players creating 33 turnovers? The linebacker with the above-mentioned 4.95 (and a fifth-round grade) is Tony Taylor. Dan Bazuin not only forced nine fumbles and recovered six, but he also blocked four field goals.

    NFL defensive coordinators will never stop talking about how important it is to get the ball back. I say it's more important to get players with a proven track record of getting the ball back and stop hoping they have a knack for it.
    Last edited by David Harris; 04-14-2007 at 05:35 PM.

  2. #2
    All League
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    thats a pretty interesting article. The other day i was listening to Kirwan on Sirius and he said Chris Houston has 0 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles and 0 fumble recoveries. If those stats are true thats pretty shocking specifically for the 0 interceptions.


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