FanPost

Freeney in the 3-4, in the preseason.

I was going to type this up before this post came down. This isn't meant as a slight to stranded, at all. I've almost always enjoyed what he(she)'s had to say but I disagree with the idea that Dwight Freeney is a disaster in this defense.

Now I said I disagree, that's probably not accurate. I'm just not sure that he is in fact a disaster. We don't know if he's going to be great or if he'll be awful. I'll argue that we still have no clue because we're watching preseason football.

Statistical Proof that the preseason means NOTHING to DFree-93: (if you'd like you can skip the italics and just look at the chart, it'll save about 3 minutes.)

Since 2006* Dwight Freeney has played in 16 preseason games amassing 11 total tackles and 5 sacks. For the astounding averages of: 0.6875 tackles per game, and 0.3125 sacks per game. And over these 7 preseasons he's averaged playing in 2.29 games per year while making 1.57 tackles per year and bringing down the QB 0.71 times each preseason.

In the same time (2006-2011) Freeney has played in 86 regular season games (out of 96) racking up 121 total tackles and 51.5 sacks... or for those of you that like per game stats: 1.4 tackles per game, 0.60 sacks per game. Or season averages: 14.3 games played per year, 20.1 tackles per year, and 8.5 sacks per year.

In comparing 93's preseason stat line to his regular season numbers; his production literally doubles. His production doubles, but these numbers fail to take into consideration the 2006 season where Dwight battled injuries throughout much of the year, take away the injury and the numbers may be slightly higher.

Also someone in the week 3 open thread said that he wasn't playing hard because it was a preseason game. I don't know if Dwight tries harder in bigger (or in prime time) games but in 12 total playoff games he's wrapped up 9 total tackles and 9 total sacks.

In 12 Monday and Thursday night games for his career he's made 13 tackles and 13.5 sacks in these games.

Chart:

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Games

Tackles Per Game


Sacks Per Game

Monday & Thursday Nights

12

1.08


1.125

Playoffs

12

0.75


0.75

Regular Season

86

1.4


0.60

Preseason

16

0.69


0.31

Does Dwight Freeney "turn it on" for prime time and big games? It sure seems that way.

*please note the only reason I stopped looking at 93's preseason stats in 2006 is because that's all nfl.com would let me see.

Now I'm not saying that it's okay that Dwight's sack per game total nearly quadruples from the preseason to regular season prime time games, but it is what it is. The preseason means nothing to Dwight Freeney.

I'm also not arguing that he's currently worth 19 mil. But to call keeping him on the roster "Grigson's biggest mistake" is very nearsighted. This is the preseason, playcalling isn't what it's going to be, effort isn't what it's going to be, teammates aren't who they're going to be. Given the fact that 93 will likely be rushing with his hand in the dirt more than 60% of the time he's on the field, to suggest cutting him is insane.

Why would Ryan Grigson cut a man (with plenty more in his tank) with 102.5 career sacks, a man who demands a double/triple team/chip block on, every. single. passing play?! It's not like we're talking about turning Dwight into a strong safety, he's a rush linebacker who will drop back into coverage every now and then. Does he look bad in rush D? Yeah. But he's Dwight Freeney, this is the preseason and he's NEVER been a force against the run; all that and he's less likely to make a tackle in the preseason than Chandler Harnish!

The real issue isn't Dwight Freeney's performance against the run it's our DE and NT's ability/production. As it stands they have the most to prove against the run.

If anyone needs to see a spark, re-watch the game. I believe it was in the 2nd quarter after 93 bit hard on a play fake in the 1st Dwight starts to squeeze down on the apparent handoff only to explode towards Griffen III. Turns out Dwight guessed wrong, the Running back actually had the ball this time, but Dwight's burst is there. His desire to hit the quarterback is there. Is he 19 million dollars there? I don't think anyone in the league is, but that contract isn't Grigson's fault. Cutting it wouldn't have saved that much and who's taking on 19 million extra cap space in a trade? No one.

I'm not saying he's going to be as effective as Terrell Suggs is in Balt., in fact he may suck, but with what we know right now, how in the world is keeping the only Colts defender who currently demands a double team, our new GM's biggest mistake?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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