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mesaSteeler
05-26-2010, 11:43 PM
LaMarr Woodley vs. James Harrison
May, 26, 2010
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/13354/lamarr-woodley-vs-james-harrison
By James Walker
Have you ever wanted to compare Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackers LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison?

Well, this week the AFC North blog took a trip to the lab and met with The Football Scientist KC Joyner from NFL Insider. It was interesting to see what data Joyner came up with on these two Pro Bowlers.

Beginning with splash plays in 2009, Woodley's 14.4 percent ranked ahead of Harrison and contemporaries Elvis Dumervil of the Denver Broncos and DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys.

Splashing away

Check out the Splash Play Index, courtesy of KC Joyner.
Player Team Att. Splash Plays Percentage
LaMarr Woodley Pittsburgh 167 24 14.4
Elvis Dumervil Denver 205 28 13.7
James Harrison Pittsburgh 168 20 11.9
DeMarcus Ware Dallas 306 28 9.2

Joyner defines splash plays as beating an offensive tackle in an one-on-one matchup to negatively impact the play. That includes (but not limited to) a quarterback sack, tipping the ball or causing a holding penalty.

Woodley had one less opportunity but made four more splash plays than Harrison, who came in at 11.9 percent. In terms of sack numbers, Woodley led the Steelers with 13.5, while Harrison recorded 10 sacks last season.

The second category Joyner studied was success at the point of attack. This is described as beating your blocker to make an impact when a play is designed to come your way.

Attack Away

Check out the Point of Attack Index, courtesy of KC Joyner.
Player Team Att. Wins Percentage
James Harrison Pittsburgh 104 20 19.2
LaMarr Woodley Pittsburgh 92 17 18.5
DeMarcus Ware Dallas 73 12 16.4
Elvis Dumervil Denver 90 3 3.3

Harrison, at 19.2 percent, was slightly better in this category than Woodley, who came in at 18.5 percent. Both numbers were stellar compared to fellow Pro Bowlers Ware (16.4 percent) and Dumervil, who struggled mightily at 3.3 percent.

To no surprise, Pittsburgh's run defense was rated No. 3 in the NFL last season. The Steelers also were No. 5 in total defense, thanks in large part to the strength of their bookend outside linebackers.

SteelGhost
05-27-2010, 10:50 AM
Very interesting article Mesa, thanks for sharing.

The new linebackers must be excited to have LaMarr and Silverback mentoring them :tt03:

Vincent
05-27-2010, 11:56 AM
These guys are great football players. Period. They both play a complete game as opposed to others that are just pass rushers. Our lads are disruptive all the way around. Worth whatever we pay them.

I've always wondered what Silverback might do to a defense as a running back. SBXLIII gave a glimpse.

Dino 6 Rings
05-27-2010, 12:34 PM
I smell top defense in the league this year.

wootawnee
05-27-2010, 03:17 PM
FIgure into the equation how many times silverback was double teamed then you would have something.........He had 4 times as many non holding calls that should have been called last season..............