Jason Pierre-Paul totaled 6.5 sacks for the 13 games of his final season at South Florida: .5 sacks per game. When he broke into the New York Giants’ starting lineup his second season (2011), he more than doubled that with 16.5 sacks over 16 starts: 1.03 sacks per game. Injuries have undercut him but when he managed 16 starts in 2014, he totaled 12.5 sacks: .78 per game, still half-again his college rate.
J.J. Watt, taken in the No. 11 slot by Houston in his draft, had 11.5 sacks in the 26 games of his two defensive-end seasons at Wisconsin: a rate of .44 sacks per game, or one every 2.26 games. In the NFL Watt has amassed 74.5 sacks in 80 games: a rate of .93 sacks per game, or one every 1.07 games.
The kid is too skinny
Legendary New York Giants general manager George Young once dubbed the first 15 picks of the draft as “the Dance of the Elephants,” because of the conventional wisdom of drafting size for the NFL game. The perceived problem with the Bears’ drafting of Floyd is that they traded up within that top 15 and took perhaps the lightest-weight for his NFL position. No. 4 overall pick and running back Ezekiel Elliott, for instance, weighs 225 pounds but has it on a 6-foot frame, while Floyd’s 240 stretches over six more inches of altitude.
No surprise then that the topic de jour with Floyd is his weight, which the Bears said would be in the 240’s and Fangio said would be something like 230-235. Clearly not big enough at the NFL level, or at least the NFL of George Young.
Plus, he has so much trouble keeping weight on naturally that the Bears have cooked up a reminder-alarm program that uses his cell phone to prod him to eat.
Von Miller was 245 pounds coming out of Texas A&M, generously listed at 250 now. Plus, he’s a smurf at 6-3, nowhere near big enough to heft a Super Bowl MVP trophy… oh, wait, never mind.
Kalil Mack (15 sacks) finished second to Watt last season. At 6-3, 247 pounds.
For historical sake: When Richard Dent came to the Bears in the 1983 draft, he was a puny 228 pounds, principally because of dental problems that made eating a miserable experience. The Bears invested in corrective dental work, Dent at 6-5 went up to 265 pounds and then on to Canton and the Hall of Fame.
What Dent learned was leverage, how to keep his body at arm’s length and odd angles from blockers, and the ability to keep tackles from getting good sets and squaring up with him. The success or failure of Floyd projects to trace to far more than his weight.
“[Floyd] has got length, so that can help him ward off people from getting into his body,” Fangio said. “He’s gonna have to be quick and sudden with his take-on. He’s not going to be able to wrestle people as much.
“But so much of whether you win or lose on a block happens early in the down; it doesn’t happen late in the down. We’re just going to have to make sure he’s technique sound and being quick and explosive and decisive with his take-on.”
Ask Joe Maddon about Addison Russell and an uncontrollable smile creeps along his face.
Ask Joe Maddon about Addison Russell’s potential and his eyes get a sort of glossy look in them.
The Cubs manager gushes about nearly all his players, but he speaks about Russell a bit differently.
Maddon is a wordsmith, but even he has to be running out of different ways to talk about the 22-year-old shortstop.
After an infield single in the Cubs’ loss to the Pirates Sunday, Russell is now working on a nine-game hitting streak.
He has 13 RBI in those nine games and drove in nine runs in his last four starts before Sunday. Russell is on pace for 122 RBI and 86 walks.
Look up any “clutch” stat and Russell is excelling in that category. So what makes him so different?
“Just a slow heart beat,” Maddon said. “If you talk to the kid anytime, he’s always suavecito. There’s nothing really hurried about him. He’s just got a great way about him.
“Again, he’s gonna keep getting better. Everybody’s liking when he’s doing good. I’m here to tell you: He’s gonna get better.”
Maddon pointed to Friday’s game when Russell moved past a bad swing-and-miss at a pitch out of the zone to deliver the crucial blow to the Pirates – a three-run homer off Francisco Liriano.