Friday, June 12, 2009

Football Outsiders Say Fear Poz in 2009

Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders wants you to know one thing: fear Posluszny. OK, he really wants you to know that there are five young players in the AFC that are going to become building blocks for their teams in 2009. Ravens LT Jared Gaither, Titans DT Jason Jones, Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons and Texans CB Fred Bennett should all rise up this upcoming season and become Pro Bowl-type players providing a stable foundation for their franchises. But who cares about them, really? Tell me more about Posluszny! (link for ESPN Insiders, sorry)

Another middle linebacker, Posluszny would likely already be one of the AFC East's building blocks had he not fractured his forearm three games into the 2007 season. In what effectively served as his rookie year in 2008, Posluszny showed signs of becoming an excellent middle linebacker. He made 14.7 percent of his team's plays on the ground, eighth among 4-3 middle linebackers; furthermore, he was making tackles in important places. He had a stop rate of 54 percent, meaning that 63 of his 116 plays prevented the opposition from achieving a "successful" outcome on the play (defined here as gaining 40 percent of the needed yardage for a first down on first down, 60 percent on second down, or 100 percent on third or fourth down); that figure was sixth among 4-3 middle linebackers.

Penn State fans know all about this -- and in 2009, the entire AFC may come to fear Paul Posluszny.

He has still some work to go as a pass defender and as a pass rusher, but the Bills count on him primarily to be an elite run-stopper at linebacker. If he's not quite there yet, he very well may be after this season.

Ya hear that haters? Poz means business and will be a household name in 2009.

Posluszny may be my favorite Nittany Lion of All-Time. He plays the position I love and was an excellent student and role model, which can not always be said for college athletes. Poz is a beast and it's nice to see him getting recognized but statistical gurus.

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