Safety is the most interesting position in the NFL.
It's right at the front of schematic innovation.
But it's poorly understood - because a lot of safety play happens off camera [and far away from the ball].
Here's some info from the game this week.
Firstly the guys you all love: Honey Badger.
Here's where he lined up.
Over a third in the slot.
Some in the box.
Deep quite a bit.
Now often you'll hear people call him a strong safety.
That's just an inadequate term.
Here's Daniel Sorenson.
You'll notice he plays more in the box than Mathieu does.
It's obvious on film too.
Here's Juan Thornhill.
I really like him as a player - but he's a deep safety for the Chiefs.
24 snaps deep.
7 snaps in the slot.
A handful in the box.
And Ex-Seahawk Tedric Thompson also played a bit [remember we're going to see multiple safeties more on the field as we go forward].
He was deep most of the time too.
Here's the 4 of them together.
Different roles.
Different skillsets.
Strong safety / free safety is not good enough
On to the Texans.
Here's Eric Murray.
40% deep.
20% in the slot.
Justin Reid [who I do not understand the hype for. Never have].
45% deep.
10% slot.
And AJ Moore.
He played just 26 snaps but 50% in the box.
PFF even call him a LB.
Here's the 3 of them together.
This actually seems like progress from Houston. Under a new DefCo [nominally at least] they're moving a little away from their classic cover-2 left/right safety scheme.
A little bit at least
But even so you can see a clear difference between the 2 teams.
The Chiefs are much more flexible with their safeties and use them on the field more.
The Texans much more traditional with mostly 2 on the field.
Fascinating stuff eh?

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More from @TomKislingbury

8 Sep
With rosters pretty set before the start of the season I thought I'd share team-by-team #FFIDP projections.
Let's gooooooooooooooooooooo............
Cardinals Image
Falcons. Image
Read 40 tweets
17 Jun
I did a thing.
I wanted to look at how much injured QBs affected coaches and teams. So I did some fiddling with data from the past few years.
Here we go
My method was fairly simple.
I went back through the past 4 years [I had the data handy] and looked at how often starting QBs missed games through injury.
I looked at the PFF grade for the starter and the replacement.
I restricted this to QBs who were hurt rather than dropped.
Obviously there's some grey area there.
Remember when the Bears dropped Trubisky and said he was hurt?
There's an element of interpretation here.
It's not 0% subjective.
But I tried to be as clear as possible
Read 22 tweets
3 May
Some thoughts on Anthony McFarland.
I've seen him creeping higher and higher in rookie drafts.
The logic goes that the Steelers want to use James Conner less, and McFarland was picked fairly early so he's got a job.
I'm unconvinced.
So the first thing is team RB approach - the Steelers under Tomlin were traditionally a "lead back" team.
Which is why Conner [and Lev Bell before him] had such great seasons.
But that appeared to change last year. They never showed any intention to have a lead back
Here's weekly splits in 2019.
If you squint you can probably claim W1 was a lead back approach. But remember they took an absolute pasting from the Patriots. Weird game.
Read 23 tweets
28 Mar
The ongoing QB megathread starts up again.
8 teams left to cover.
Next - the Jets.
Spoiler: I don't think Sam Darnold is very good.
He's still crazy young and he might get better but at the moment he's not been good and I'm not a believer in ageing=improving.
There have been lot of QBs who were bad young and never got good.
Here's how I score him after 2 years.
Pretty badly.
Poor accuracy.
Poor yds/attempt.
Poor chain-moving.
Poor TD rate.
Too many picks.
Adam Gase is certainly part of this but it's hard to see the good bits of Darnold bar isolated moments.
Read 37 tweets
27 Mar
OK. QB numbers #Thread #3 of the day.
[show me what a great Friday you're having with a high-energy, positive LETS GOOOO gif].
The Chargers.
It seems like Tyrod Taylor is getting the first shot right?
I still think it's weird they haven't gone after Jameis, Cam or Dalton.
But there's plenty of time.
No point grasping.
Here's Tyrod in my tool.
Very, very pedestrian.
A low [and dropping] yds/attempt.
And mostly just average across the board.His skillset of deep passer / running QB was good in 2015/16.
But we haven't seen much since then.
Read 21 tweets
27 Mar
I shared thoughts on the first 8 teams QB situations this morning.

This is going to be the #Thread thread for the next 8...
The Cowboys are up first.
So here's a look at Rayne Dakota Prescott.
He's one of the layers that has pleasantly surprised me.
According to the way I measure and grade he's been consistently excellent.
His 2019 ranked 31st of 376 qualifying seasons [100+ attempts].
I'm not sure people realise how good the 2019 Cowboys offense were in yardage terms.
They had the 3rd most offensive yards of any team in the last decade.
Read 27 tweets

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