2013 Defensive Snap Counts

JerBear

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Trying something new this year, just putting it in a google doc so I don't have to keep making screenshot images of an excel spreadsheet. This will also allow me to let someone else edit if I get caught up with work.
 
Google Docs doesn't allow the nice gradient conditional formatting so I just put a 5 step format on everything.
 
Spreadsheet
 

MainerInExile

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JerBear said:
Trying something new this year, just putting it in a google doc so I don't have to keep making screenshot images of an excel spreadsheet. This will also allow me to let someone else edit if I get caught up with work.
 
Google Docs doesn't allow the nice gradient conditional formatting so I just put a 5 step format on everything.
 
Spreadsheet
Really striking how many players stayed on the field for all of the snaps - the entire starting secondary, plus Jones, Nink, and Mayo.  We're used to the Pats rotating more, aren't we?  They really only rotated at DT.
 

Super Nomario

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MainerInExile said:
Really striking how many players stayed on the field for all of the snaps - the entire starting secondary, plus Jones, Nink, and Mayo.  We're used to the Pats rotating more, aren't we?  They really only rotated at DT.
I think a lot of this was dictated by Buffalo, which a) ran a fair amount of no-huddle where the Pats couldn't sub, and b) stayed in 3 WR sets basically the whole game. Nink and Jones playing the whole game is unusual, though. I guess part of it is that Buffalo just didn't run a lot of plays - just 64 (would have tied for 3rd-fewest in 2012) in 14 drives (so there were a lot of stoppages). The 11-play TD drive was the Bills' only one that was more than 6 plays. We might have seen more substitutions if the D was out there more.
 

MainerInExile

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Super Nomario said:
I think a lot of this was dictated by Buffalo, which a) ran a fair amount of no-huddle where the Pats couldn't sub, and b) stayed in 3 WR sets basically the whole game. Nink and Jones playing the whole game is unusual, though. I guess part of it is that Buffalo just didn't run a lot of plays - just 64 (would have tied for 3rd-fewest in 2012) in 14 drives (so there were a lot of stoppages). The 11-play TD drive was the Bills' only one that was more than 6 plays. We might have seen more substitutions if the D was out there more.
The no-huddle thing makes sense, but they rotated the DT by series.  I was surprised that Nink and Gregory, for example, didn't get a series or two off.  It'll be interesting if this trend continues.
 

Stitch01

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I dont think the Pats have generally rested safeties, although they sometimes rotate for other reasons. 
 
Ninkovich played 50 of 65 snaps in the opener last year and Jones 58 of 65 just for comparison to this year.  They rotated Chung/Wilson/Gregory at safety.  Sort of a bummer that Wilson has gone from playing 42 snaps in the opener last year to 1.
 

amarshal2

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TOP is the same story as plays but perhaps easier to visualize. The Bills had the ball for just over 1/3 of the game. Their defense was out there almost twice as much as the Pats. Pretty easy to get your starters through a game when they're on the field ~60-70% of a normal game.
 

Super Nomario

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MainerInExile said:
The no-huddle thing makes sense, but they rotated the DT by series.  I was surprised that Nink and Gregory, for example, didn't get a series or two off.  It'll be interesting if this trend continues.
Gregory typically played the whole game last year, or thereabouts. Ninkovich is more of a surprise; usually the DEs rotate more. Wilfork played a ton, too, only getting 12 plays off. But I think the no-huddle was a big part of this. If they put in Wilson or Bequette or Collins or Ryan and he gets confused on a play, Buffalo could attack that weak spot over and over. The no huddle meant players had to do more adjusting on the fly, too. I think Belichick and Patricia just felt more comfortable rolling with their more experienced players to the extent physically possible.
 
Also, for all the injuries on offense, the defense - for right now at least - is really healthy. Harmon and Ebner were the only guys listed on the injury report, and neither dressed, so everyone who suited up Sunday was (in theory, anyway), 100% healthy. If Gregory was nursing a hamstring or something, Wilson might have gotten more run.
 

JerBear

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Updated through W3.
 
Interesting notes:
Logan Ryan moves up in snaps, not sure if there was an Arrington injury or frustration.
Jamie Collins getting some reps.
Tavon Wilson is not seeing the field on D.
McCourty is the only 100% left.
 
EDIT: Found an error in the Excel to Google conversion, fixing now.  Should be corrected now.
 

dbn

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I was thinking about Collins and how much he is or isn't playing.  So, on a break while waiting for some software to download, I started looking through the defensive snap counts.  The download took longer than I expected, so I wound up trying to make some sense of all of the defensive snap numbers.  Below is a summary; however without actually charting position groupings, watching the all-22 and taking notes, etc., I could be making some inaccurate assumptions.  Thus, to those who pay attention to such things: please correct me where I'm wrong.  I used the FO numbers so they may differ by a % point here and there from JerBear's doc.
 
Let's start with the DL.  Counting Nink as a DL for presonnel issues, they have averaged 3.98, 3.98, and 3.95 D linemen per snap in weeks 1, 2, and 3, respectively.  So, it seems they almost always are using 4 DL, though varying the roles (i.e., moving Jones inside/outside, Nink more of a LB vs DE, etc.)  Vince is on the field ~70-80% of the time, Kelly ~55-60%, Velano ~30-45%, and Buchanan ~20-30%.  So it would seem that Buchanan is spelling Vince and Velano Kelly.  Is this more or less the case?  Jones is almost always on the field, as was Nink for the first two weeks.  Nink sat ~8 snaps week 3, while Bequette played about 11, so I assume he subbed for Nink a handfull of times?
 
They averaged 1.99, 2.45, and 2.56 linebackers per snap in weeks 1, 2, and 3, resp.  As discussed after week 1, they were in nickle almost all that game.  It seems that they were in nickle about half the time in weeks 2 and 3.  Week 1 Mayo played the whole game while Hightower (71%) and Spikes (25%) split at the other LB, presumably dictated by pass/run situation.  In week 2, Hightower stayed on the field and it seems Spikes came in when they were not in nickle, again, presumably for run/pass situations.  The week 3 numbers are more interesting.  Once again, Spikes played roughly the number of snaps they were not in nickle, but Mayo and Hightower each got about 8 or so plays off while Collins played about 17 snaps.  Did Collins play both inside and outside?
 
The DB situation was clear in week 1.  McCourty and Gregory played the whole game at the safeties, as did Talib, Arrington, and Dennard (save 3% that went to Ryan) at the corners.  Just looking at the numbers, it would seem that Dennard was relegated to nickle back for week 2 while Arrington played most of the game.  That situation seemed to reverse in week 3, with Ryan getting some more time (29%) as well.  Also interesting is that Gregory's snaps declined from 100% to 89% to 81% while Harmon's went from 0% to 11% to 10%.  My question is: where is the missing ~10% at safety from week 3?  Did they occasionally go with only 1 safety?  Did Ryan play some safety?  I guess at some point it is just semantics, but perhaps someone noticed something worth mention.
 

Super Nomario

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This is good analysis.
 
dbn said:
So it would seem that Buchanan is spelling Vince and Velano Kelly.  Is this more or less the case?  Jones is almost always on the field, as was Nink for the first two weeks.  Nink sat ~8 snaps week 3, while Bequette played about 11, so I assume he subbed for Nink a handfull of times?
Buchanan is playing on some passing downs, with Jones shifting inside. Vellano is the interior sub. I don't think it's necessarily always Buchanan for Wilfork and Vellano for Kelly. They got some of the young guys some reps in garbage time last week; 9 of Bequette's snaps were in the fourth quarter.
 
dbn said:
The week 3 numbers are more interesting.  Once again, Spikes played roughly the number of snaps they were not in nickle, but Mayo and Hightower each got about 8 or so plays off while Collins played about 17 snaps.  Did Collins play both inside and outside?
I think Collins generally plays outside, but Hightower shifts between inside and outside depending on who else is on the field (he's outside with Spikes in the middle, inside with Collins on the outside).
 
dbn said:
That situation seemed to reverse in week 3, with Ryan getting some more time (29%) as well.  Also interesting is that Gregory's snaps declined from 100% to 89% to 81% while Harmon's went from 0% to 11% to 10%.  My question is: where is the missing ~10% at safety from week 3?  Did they occasionally go with only 1 safety?  Did Ryan play some safety?  I guess at some point it is just semantics, but perhaps someone noticed something worth mention.
Early on they matched up against Tampa Bay's 3 WR sets with 3 CBs, 1 safety, and their base front 7.

I haven't gotten an explanation for what was going on with Arrington, though. Was he hurt? Was it performance-related? Did they think Ryan matched up better with Tampa's WRs?
 
More info: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4749493/defensive-snaps-collins-in-sub
 

dbn

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Thanks, SN.  That's exactly the type of info I was hoping for.  
 
edit: regarding Arrington.  I'm out of market so had to watch the game at a crowded bar while drinking and without the ability to DVR/rewind, so this is totally anecdotal, but there were more than one times that I cringed at his bad coverage on sideline routes and mentioned to the stool next to mine that he just isn't nearly as good on the outside as he is in the slot (a SOSH education being put to use!)  It'd be interesting to know how exactly he was being used in the first half.  
 
Looking only at the snap counts, I had assumed he was the nickel back in week 3, but the fact that he played 31 snaps in the first half and 3 in the second sounds more like either a benching or an injury (or, I guess, the late realization that the personnel match ups just weren't suited to his skill set in this game??).
 

Super Nomario

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Per PFF, wire-to-wire for McCourty, Talib, Jones, Mayo, Ninkovich, and Gregory, with Dennard only missing 1 snap (the last of the game) and Arrington just 6. Spikes played just 6 snaps. Tommy Kelly 60 snaps. Dimeback was Logan Ryan (20 snaps); Harmon just 1 snap and Tavon Wilson didn't see the field.
 

soxfan121

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Super Nomario said:
Per PFF, wire-to-wire for McCourty, Talib, Jones, Mayo, Ninkovich, and Gregory, with Dennard only missing 1 snap (the last of the game) and Arrington just 6. Spikes played just 6 snaps. Tommy Kelly 60 snaps. Dimeback was Logan Ryan (20 snaps); Harmon just 1 snap and Tavon Wilson didn't see the field.
 
Spikes and a pick for a DT makes a ton of sense. 
 
How many for Collins?
 

Phragle

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soxfan121 said:
 
Spikes and a pick for a DT makes a ton of sense. 
 
How many for Collins?
 
12.  11 in coverage.
 
It might be hard to find a trading partner that needs a run stuffing LB but doesn't need a run stuffing DT.
 

soxfan121

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I think when you lose your best run-stuffing DL, you don't want to give away your best run-stuffing LB.  I think Wilfork's absence will mean more teams trying to run up the gut.  That is where Spikes is at his best.
 
I think you are massively overrating Spikes' ability. If anything, Wilfork's absence should lead to more Hightower & Collins.
 

Stitch01

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Curious why you think that is the case? I'd think on the margin teams run more out of run tilted formations which means less sub, more Spikes, what do you see differently?

I hope Collins takes more snaps, but he's a wild card right now.

Trading Spikes strikes me as a potential area to explore if the pieces fit, but I think getting depth from a non-contender is more likely and then Spikes has limited value.
 

soxfan121

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Spikes is an extremely limited player - his snap counts prove it. If he can return any value in trade - a DT who can rotate with Vellano/Fortson/etc. - then they have to explore it, given Spikes is a free agent at the end of the year. 
 
I've said more than once that I think Spikes would be a Pro Bowler if he had been born in 1967 instead of 1987. His skills just do not translate well to the modern game because he is a liability against the pass. phragle is probably right - if a team needs a Spikes-type player, they probably need the DT the Pats would be looking to acquire more, as it means they absolutely suck against the run. Maybe there's a team with a surplus of DTs who needs a 2-down run stuffing LB. Probably not though.
 
Plus, if the Patriots trade Spikes, they have Hightower, Collins and Fletcher and maybe even Rivera or another shadow roster LB who could step into the role and replace those 6 snaps from last night. They have a Wilfork sized hole in the snap counts/DL that needs to be filled and it is possible that Spikes plus a pick nets a guy who can play 30 snaps in a rotational role.
 

Stitch01

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I was more curious about the idea no Wilfork should mean less time for Spikes. I more or less agree with you on the rest although I think a bit more highly of Spikes and am not very confident the stars will line up for a trade.
 

soxfan121

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Stitch01 said:
I was more curious about the idea no Wilfork should mean less time for Spikes. I more or less agree with you on the rest although I think a bit more highly of Spikes and am not very confident the stars will line up for a trade.
 
No Wilfork probably means more 2-5 with Jones & Ninkovich on the edge and Mayo-Hightower-Collins inside. At least, that's what I hope. Collins skillset is a much better fit for that alignment and the ability to do multiple things than Spikes' skillset is, at least IMO.
 

Super Nomario

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soxfan121 said:
 
No Wilfork probably means more 2-5 with Jones & Ninkovich on the edge and Mayo-Hightower-Collins inside. At least, that's what I hope. Collins skillset is a much better fit for that alignment and the ability to do multiple things than Spikes' skillset is, at least IMO.
Isn't that just a 4-3?
 

Stitch01

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Kelly-Jones-Nink-Mayo-Collins-Hightower who am I missing for a 2-5?

Or are you thinking just Jones and Kelly with a safety in that other LB role? I think that unit would get run on a lot
 

soxfan121

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Super Nomario said:
Isn't that just a 4-3?
 
Tomato... Nink is the best pass defending DE in the league or a decent OLB in coverage. Either way.
 
Stitch01 said:
Kelly-Jones-Nink-Mayo-Collins-Hightower who am I missing for a 2-5?
 
Vellano/Forston/Armstead/To-Be-Acquired. They definitely can't play much 3-4 without Wilfork. 
 

Jettisoned

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soxfan121 said:
Spikes is an extremely limited player - his snap counts prove it. If he can return any value in trade - a DT who can rotate with Vellano/Fortson/etc. - then they have to explore it, given Spikes is a free agent at the end of the year. 
 
I don't think Spikes' low snap count suggests that he's fallen out of favor or something.  The Falcons don't run a whole lot and when they do they don't get a lot of yards out of it.  Other than game 4 Spikes has played in 40% of the snaps this year.  I expect he'll play a lot more snaps against the Bengals.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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I'm still very optimistic about Collins. Here's a look back at FBO's SackSEER report on Collins: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2013/sackseer-2013
 
 
SackSEER likes Jamie Collins a lot. Collins has a SackSEER Rating of 97.7 percent, which means that, when not controlling for draft position, Collins is SackSEER’s eighth-favorite prospect ever. Even after controlling for projected draft position, SackSEER favors Collins to collect more sacks than probable first-round picks Jarvis Jones and Dion Jordan, as well as all of the edge rushers who were available in the 2012 NFL Draft.
 
I'm hoping he'll get more snaps in a 3-4, with fresher legs as season grows longer. 
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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It will be interesting to see what happens with Collins if Mayo is out a few weeks.  From what I saw last night, Fletcher was plugged into Mayo's spot after he went down.  Its understandable to go with the more experienced guy in that situation.  But with a week of preparation if Collins can't find significant playing time in Mayo's absence then that's a pretty bad sign.
 

Stitch01

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Through two games it looks like more Spikes turned out to be the big initial adjustment to losing Wilfork.  Looks like he played 48 out of 66 snaps yesterday after playing 59 of 71 snaps last week (by Pro Football Focus).  Biggest loser appears to be Hightower, who played only 24 snaps after playing 37 last week.  Not sure I would have guessed the degree we'd see more Spikes, especially against a team like the Saints. 
 
Spikes is still a big liability in coverage, but PFF has graded him highly so far this year and the coaching staff seems to think he brings a needed run stop dimension to the base defense with Wilfork down.  We need him playing a lot of snaps right now, although long-term its not great that Hightower hasn't beaten out Spikes..
 
Hopefully Collins can make a contribution in the sub package with Mayo out, Hightower and Spikes are both uninispiring there.
 
Chris Jones looks to have jumped to the top of the depth chart at DT playing every snap yesterday.  Credit to him, but a JAG on his third team being the anchor there doesnt seem like a great long-term plan.  Get well soon Armstead!
 
Surprised McCourty missed 7 snaps, did he get dinged up during the game, or was there some package he wasnt a part of?
 
Lol Tavon Wilson and his zero snaps and lol me for thinking he was going to develop into a good safety.  Good thing he plays all the special teams.
 
Duron Harmon seems to be not embarassing himself, which is hopefully a good sign,  Logan Ryan as well (22 and 28 snaps respectively)
 
EDIT: Fletcher played 7 snaps yesterday, Collins 6.  Collins only played 10 snaps last week, so he's still not getting a big role to this point.
 

Super Nomario

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Stitch01 said:
Lol Tavon Wilson and his zero snaps and lol me for thinking he was going to develop into a good safety.  Good thing he plays all the special teams.
 
He wasn't playing on D when healthy, either, but he's been inactive with a hamstring issue the past two weeks.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Stitch01 said:
Through two games it looks like more Spikes turned out to be the big initial adjustment to losing Wilfork.  Looks like he played 48 out of 66 snaps yesterday after playing 59 of 71 snaps last week (by Pro Football Focus).  Biggest loser appears to be Hightower, who played only 24 snaps after playing 37 last week.  Not sure I would have guessed the degree we'd see more Spikes, especially against a team like the Saints. 
 
Spikes is still a big liability in coverage, but PFF has graded him highly so far this year and the coaching staff seems to think he brings a needed run stop dimension to the base defense with Wilfork down.  We need him playing a lot of snaps right now, although long-term its not great that Hightower hasn't beaten out Spikes..
 
They were in sub packages most of the game so I think the rationale was probably that if you're going to play that way, especially without Vince against a team like the Saints with some beasts on the interior OL, then you're better off having the better run stuffer as one of your LBs, especially on early downs.
 
Given the Jets' offensive profile, I wouldn't be surprised to see a more "normal" approach in which we're in the base defense a lot and then Spikes comes off in sub packages.
 

Stitch01

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Super Nomario said:
He wasn't playing on D when healthy, either, but he's been inactive with a hamstring issue the past two weeks.
Shit, thought I hadn't seen him on the inactive list yesterday. Thanks, mea culpa.
 

JerBear

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Spreadsheet file updated through PIT game.
 
Harmon appears to have bypassed Wilson completely for safety snaps.  Wilson still sees ST reps.
Logan Ryan is up and down but seems to be trending up.  I like a Talib, Dennard, Ryan, Arrington CB depth chart once everyone is healthy.
Collins didn't see the field much vs PIT.  Based on snaps it looks like a lot of 4-2 Nickel.
Chris Jones is the benefactor of the Wilfork/Kelly injury with 97% playing time over the last 4 weeks.
Marquise Cole is getting a lot of play with the Talib injury as the 3rd/4th CB. Hopefully his playing time goes back to the beginning of the season and Talib is healthy out of the bye.
 
Lots of sad faces :-( on key players.
 

Super Nomario

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Snap counts for the regular season (might not be 100% exact):
 
QBs: Tom Brady (100%), Ryan Mallett (0%) - Mallett literally has not seen the field this season.
RBs: Stevan Ridley (28%), Shane Vereen (24%), LeGarrette Blount (24%), Brandon Bolden (23%), Leon Washington (0%) - amazing how even the split ended up
WRs: Julian Edelman (85%), Kenbrell Thompkins (48%), Danny Amendola (48%), Aaron Dobson (46%), Josh Boyce (15%), Austin Collie (10%), Matt Slater (2%) - where would we be without Edelman? Also, it's a little disturbing that after 16 games a #2 WR option hasn't really emerged
TE/FBs: Michael Hoomanawanui (57%), Rob Gronkowski (32%), James Develin (27%), Matt Mulligan (24%), Zach Sudfeld (4%), D.J. Williams (1%) - Pats are used to dealing without Gronk by now
OL: Ryan Wendell (100%), Logan Mankins (99%), Dan Connolly (94%), Nate Solder (91%), Marcus Cannon (47%), Sebastian Vollmer (42%), Will Svitek (19%), Josh Kline (9%) - Mankins was at 100% before Sunday. For all that Wendell has been up-and-down, they never took him off the field.
 
Edge: Chandler Jones (98%), Rob Ninkovich (96%), Andre Carter (12%), Michael Buchanan (10%), Jake Bequette (1%) - Carter got some interior reps of late, with Jones staying on the outside
Interior: Chris Jones (68%), Joe Vellano (57%), Tommy Kelly (19%), Sealver Siliga (19%), Vince Wilfork (15%), Isaac Sopoaga (10%), Marcus Forston (3%), Andre Neblett (0%) - Siliga at 72% over the past four weeks
LB: Dont'a Hightower (74%), Brandon Spikes (60%), Jerod Mayo (35%), Jamie Collins (26%), Dane Fletcher (18%), Chris White (0%), Steve Beauharnais (0%) - kind of worked out Hightower / Fletcher and Spikes / Collins platoons at this point
CB: Aqib Talib (73%), Kyle Arrington (72%), Alfonzo Dennard (63%), Logan Ryan (51%), Marquice Cole (14%), Justin Green (1%) - pretty solid top 4
S: Devin McCourty (89%), Steve Gregory (73%), Duron Harmon (38%), Tavon Wilson (2%), Nate Ebner (0%) - McCourty at 99% before the past two games