Hey there, APers! I'm back for the offseason to run through a little segment I've been tossing around for awhile. After spending too much time staring at the defensive front seven, I've come up with my opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of various players on the team. When discussing these with others, I reference these abilities with little to back my opinions up. Therefore, I've decided to run through each player, look at my perceived strengths/weaknesses of the player, and find examples of these perceived weaknesses (and convert them into .GIF format). Up first: Glenn Dorsey.
WARNING: These GIFs are large. To anyone that struggles with bandwidth, this may not be the series for you. For your convenience, the GIFs are clickable links, so they will not auto-play.
Perceived Strength: Penetration/Pass Rush
Glenn (as we all know) was a highly touted penetrating defensive lineman coming out of college. After a season or two of some struggles, along with a switch to a 3-4 defensive end, Glenn really stepped up this season. One of his best attributes as a defensive lineman is his ability to collapse the pocket and beat a single blocker. Below comes from the Week 17 game against the Raiders.
As you can see, from the yellow arrow, Glenn is playing the RDE in a nickel formation. As the ball is snapped, Studebaker and Hali take the outside speed routes, and Gilberry fills Studebaker's inside lane. This leaves Dorsey with a single blocker, whom he walks back into the pocket. As Studebaker and Hali force the quarterback forward into the pocket, Glenn throws his blocker to the side and covers the space quickly, resulting in a strong sack.
This is an example of something Glenn did well all year long, both in the pass rush and against the rush. He seems to deal a lot of damage with a sharp side step and some hand-fighting, resulting in a very hard to block lineman with good up-the-field speed.
Perceived Weakness: Anchoring/Power Against the Double Team
One of the common aspects some may see in the 4-3 DT to 3-4 DE conversion is a lack of strong anchor against a double team. Glenn can sometimes exhibit this weakness. As stated above, Dorsey is best when the Chiefs can put him in a 1-v-1 situation with a little space around him. While this is ideal, he also has to deal with a weakside double team when the blocking scheme calls for it. One of the things that I've picked up is that he doesn't deal well with the double, especially when one of the offensive lineman is considerably bigger than he is. Below is an example of this, from the Week 9 Raiders game.
Again, Dorsey is shown in yellow. After the snap, the defensive line moves towards the strong side (Side Note: this is quite rare in this defense, and the fact that Tamba and Vrabel are BOTH lined up on that side shows how much the Chiefs were selling out the strongside run). Dorsey starts in, then recognizes the pull blocker and tries to cut back to the outside. When this happens, the GIF shows him try to anchor, then get pancaked by the second blocker, who moves into the second level on his feet. This created a MASSIVE hole on that side of the field. Neither DJ nor Belcher did a very good job at attacking the hole, but there was ample room for the running back to squeeze through without a defensive front near the gap.
Glenn does catch plenty of double teams, but rarely is he able to hold them at the line of scrimmage. Again, the Chiefs don't ask him to do so very often, but when the blocking scheme goes at that side of the line with a double team, it can create a problem in the front seven due to his occasional ineffectiveness against a bigger double.
Glenn is a solid defensive penetrator, and is strong against both the run and the pass. While he does lack the ability to hold his ground against the double team consistently, the team has recognized this and tries to keep him as a singled blocker, with pretty good success.
Thanks for reading, everyone!