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NFL.com: Brian Billick on Cushing, Kerrigan, and others


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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000079083/article/houston-texans-wont-be-slowed-in-face-of-brian-cushing-injury?module=HP11_content_stream

Mea culpa, Mr. Kerrigan. I wasn't sure that Ryan Kerrigan, a defensive end coming out of Purdue last season, would transition to the outside linebacker position as well as he has with the Washington Redskins. I didn't think he had the flexibility to consistently run the loop from the outside speed-rush position, and I didn't think he had the footwork to drop into zone-pass coverage. But he has graded out very well in the position, notching yet another pick-six on Sunday. It takes athleticism to tip a pass to yourself, catch it and return it to the house, the kind of athleticism that I had doubted Kerrigan possessed.

He also talks about Brian Cushing's injury, Cleveland and Philly's horrible playcalling, and how Asomugha is a bad corner.

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After watching the Texans play I wonder if Kerrigan would be as dominant as JJ Watt if we still played in a 4-3. That dude is unbelievable knocking down all those passes and still leading the league in sacks.

Would you rather have Watt or Kerrigan? Honest question.

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After watching the Texans play I wonder if Kerrigan would be as dominant as JJ Watt if we still played in a 4-3. That dude is unbelievable knocking down all those passes and still leading the league in sacks.
Would you rather have Watt or Kerrigan? Honest question.

Houston also runs a 3-4 D. Watt has 35 pounds on Kerrigan, so the positions and style of play required is completely different. I don't think you can realistically compare them, or ever wonder such because they physically fit their respective teams differently.

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how would watt play as LB at washington and Kerrigan play as DE in Houston? We don't know, but I do like SkinsFTW thinking of what would Kerrigan be like in the 4-3

Houston doesn't play a 4-3. They play a different variation of the the 3-4 then we do though. It's a one-gapper which allows lighter DE's like Watt to excel. Kerrigan would still be an OLB in Houston.

If Watt came here, he'd still put up above average numbers, but nowhere near the elite numbers he's putting up in Houston. Different scheme.

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how would watt play as LB at washington and Kerrigan play as DE in Houston? We don't know, but I do like SkinsFTW thinking of what would Kerrigan be like in the 4-3

Well one would assume that IF he played DE he would be heavier, meaning he would be slower. One would also have to ask does Mr. Kerrigan have the motor that Watt has.....

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how would watt play as LB at washington and Kerrigan play as DE in Houston? We don't know, but I do like SkinsFTW thinking of what would Kerrigan be like in the 4-3

I'm not sure what the exact differences are between our 3-4 and the texans 3-4 (aside from them actually being a great defensive unit), but doesn't Watt play DE for their 3-4? It is absurd the level of statistics he is putting up for a 3-4 DE. I know JJ is really hyped right now but deservedly so. I think it is a little unfair to try to compare Kerrigan to him.Watt looks like he'll be in defensive MVP talks for years to come, Kerrigan will have earned his worth to us if he becomes a perennial pro bowler, which I think he will.

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I'm not sure what the exact differences are between our 3-4 and the texans 3-4 (aside from them actually being a great defensive unit), but doesn't Watt play DE for their 3-4? It is absurd the level of statistics he is putting up for a 3-4 DE. I know JJ is really hyped right now but deservedly so. I think it is a little unfair to try to compare Kerrigan to him.Watt looks like he'll be in defensive MVP talks for years to come, Kerrigan will have earned his worth to us if he becomes a perennial pro bowler, which I think he will.

They run a version of the 3-4 that allows more 1 gapping allowing them to have smaller NT's. We run a scheme that basically wants our DL to 2 gap on everything and take up the blocks. Watt is allowed to basically go 1 on 1 most times and with his combo of size and speed he's able to beat his opponent easily.

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If I'm purely choosing between Watt or Kerrigan, it's Watt, no competition.

Watt is a freak, in the best way. They did a quick mention of Sports Science's analysis of him and basically said he's a monster. And he plays darn good football too, I mean he's got 8.5 sacks, 7 passes defended, and is a tackle machine. Kerrigan is playing like a very good starter, borderline pro-bowler, but Watt is 1st team All-Pro without a doubt.

The thing is, it's not Kerrigan v. Watt straight up, you have to include the players we got in addition to Watt, some of whom could still end up helping us tremendously, like Hankerson. That, our situation is different from Houston's, in that Houston invested a pick in the kid while we invested in FA for our DLine. And to be honest, Watt was probably the 3rd most likely pick at 10, behind Gabbert, and Fairly, so we might not even have ended up with him anyway. The situation is somewhat different, but in terms of who's a better player, gotta pick Watt.

Still Kerrigan is awesome, and a serious playmaker. Having a guy who can snatch a catch out of thin air like he can is something QBs have to account for, and might lead them to tuck it and take the sack in the future. Either way, good for us.

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Although I am not a big Billick fan....certainly appreciate when anyone who provides opinion and analysis for a living fesses up to mistakes....because the talking heads will always go out of their way to pat themselves on the back when they are correct.

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JJ Watt raises the bar for what you can ask of your DE in a 3-4. Kinda blows holes in the refrain I heard a lot around here in years past that 3-4 DE's aren't supposed to make plays and dominate, which was the excuse for why our DEs were invisible most of the time.

---------- Post added October-10th-2012 at 03:36 PM ----------

I'm not sure what the exact differences are between our 3-4 and the texans 3-4 (aside from them actually being a great defensive unit), but doesn't Watt play DE for their 3-4? It is absurd the level of statistics he is putting up for a 3-4 DE. I know JJ is really hyped right now but deservedly so. I think it is a little unfair to try to compare Kerrigan to him.Watt looks like he'll be in defensive MVP talks for years to come, Kerrigan will have earned his worth to us if he becomes a perennial pro bowler, which I think he will.

Let's just be real, we're adults here, we all know the reason Kerrigan and Watt are compared with each other. The same reason Cam and RG3 are compared.

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JJ Watt raises the bar for what you can ask of your DE in a 3-4. Kinda blows holes in the refrain I heard a lot around here in years past that 3-4 DE's aren't supposed to make plays and dominate, which was the excuse for why our DEs were invisible most of the time.

Traditionally 3-4 DE's weren't the guys to make the plays. In the Pittsburgh scheme, the 3-4 DE's for the most part would occupy the blockers so that the OLB's and ILB's had the ability to make the big play. That changed with Aaron Smith who became a good pass rusher, and now with teams moving to this 3-4 Under look that Houston runs, you are seeing more DE's make the big plays now

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Traditionally 3-4 DE's weren't the guys to make the plays. In the Pittsburgh scheme, the 3-4 DE's for the most part would occupy the blockers so that the OLB's and ILB's had the ability to make the big play. That changed with Aaron Smith who became a good pass rusher, and now with teams moving to this 3-4 Under look that Houston runs, you are seeing more DE's make the big plays now

If you're coming in looking to run a 3-4, why wouldn't you choose to run the scheme that way? It doesn't seem Haslett/Shanahan ever had that type of 3-4 in mind when they were building the roster.

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Because for a guy like Haslett who comes from the Pittsburgh 3-4, why would he run something he hasn't run before?

People do that all the time. You as a coach evolve, schemes evolve. You're not locked into whatever scheme you come up in. I mean, it's not completely foreign, a variation of a 3-4 is still a 3-4. I'm pretty sure he can coach it.

But even before Haslett got here, Shanny watched the league and was sold on Haslett's version of the 3-4. So it's as much Shanahan as it is Haslett.

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If given the choice between the two, I'd take Watt without question. I love Kerrigan, don't get me wrong, but Watt is playing at a top-5 defensive player level, not just 3-4 defensive end. He's insanely disruptive. While Kerrigan is steadily improving, I'm not yet seeing the consistently disruptive ability from him we really need to make our defense take a next step.

Every defense in the NFC East has a disruptive guy every other team in the league would kill to have. JPP for NY, Jason Babin and Trent Cole for Philly and Ware for Dallas. Orakpo and Kerrigan are close, but aren't at that level YET. Watt this year is playing better than anyone.

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People do that all the time. You as a coach evolve, schemes evolve. You're not locked into whatever scheme you come up in. I mean, it's not completely foreign, a variation of a 3-4 is still a 3-4. I'm pretty sure he can coach it.

But even before Haslett got here, Shanny watched the league and was sold on Haslett's version of the 3-4. So it's as much Shanahan as it is Haslett.

Are you sure about that bolded part?

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Houston doesn't play a 4-3. They play a different variation of the the 3-4 then we do though.

Yea we play the 3-4 predictable defense. I'd say Kerrigan puts up better numbers in Houston. And watt puts up worse numbers here. I kinda wish we'd get more creative with out blitz packages and move Kerrigan around more but it could be that we just don't good enough DBs to get away with it.

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