Monday, August 4, 2014
Breaking down the Packers' 1-on-1 results
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There's perhaps no more competitive -- and no more telling -- drill in Green Bay Packers' training camp practices than the one-on-one pass-rushing/pass-blocking period.
While it is not the only measure of an offensive lineman's ability to protect his quarterback or a defensive player's prowess as a pass rusher, there is a winner and loser on every rep.
And from time to time in our Packers daily camp reports, you will see references to a player's record in the drill.
Periodically throughout training camp, we will compile those records in one place to give readers a better idea of who's doing well in the drill.
But it's important to measure more than just won-loss records. To dig deeper into the numbers, we once again turn to reader Luke Stanke -- a Green Bay native and graduate student at the University of Minnesota who has an interest in statistical analysis. Last year, he used a formula similar to the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) employed in college basketball to rank the players based on my results of each head-to-head matchup.
This year, Stanke, who has helped me with the ratings since 2011, has added a metric called block rating. He explained it this way: 1) the performance of a player in previous years, 2) the quality of the opponents a player has faced in the drill this year, and 3) the skewed success of offensive players in the drill.
The chart below shows the records and ratings.
It's interesting to note:
- Bryan Bulaga is back at right tackle and recovered from his ACL reconstruction after blowing out his knee last August. Although he lost his first rep in more than two years -- it came at the hands of linebacker Jamari Lattimore -- he has a pair of wins each over Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews and Datone Jones.
- Tackle Derek Sherrod has an impressive record (5-1), but, because of the competition he has faced so far, it might be too soon to say he is performing like the player the Packers thought he would be before he broke his leg in 2011. Although the former first-round pick blocked Matthews on the first day in pads, he does not have another win over a projected starter and his loss came at the hands of undrafted rookie outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott.
- Josh Sitton has only taken one rep total in the three separate one-on-one periods so far, and he lost to Mike Daniels. It was Sitton's first loss since at least 2011.
- As they say in investment commercials, past results don't always indicate future success, but last year Daniels had the best record (16-16) among defensive players and went on to post a career-best 6.5 sacks, which was second on the team behind Matthews (7.5).
- Speaking of Matthews, his only two reps (both losses) came against Sherrod and Bulaga. Last year, he went 0-9 in camp.
- Projected starting center JC Tretter has recovered from a slow start (he lost his first two reps to B.J. Raji) and has won five straight. But rookie center Corey Linsley's mark (6-1) and rating are better.
- Some observers use ties in their records in this drill. The philosophy here is there's a winner each time. If the defensive player's move would not result in a sack, a quarterback hit or a pressure, then the offensive player gets the win. Under that grading system, the drill is slanted toward the offense.