Starters: Arden Key, ???
Backups: James Cowser, Shilique Calhoun
Free agents: Frostee Rucker, Kony Ealy, Jacquies Smith
It was tempting just to put LOL above. The players listed here have a combined total of 1.0 sack. ONE SACK. That’s what Arden Key had last season. And that was it. None of the others had even a half sack. Their distant league-worst 13 sacks came either from others positions or players no longer on the team.
Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther liked to tout how Key was getting pressures and could have 8 or 9 sacks if he could just finish the job. Yeah, Key could have had a couple more sacks if he could have brought the QB down. Another time, he appeared to have a strip sack only to have it called an incomplete pass. At most he could have tied for the team lead with 4.0 sacks (Maurice Hurst), but almost doesn’t count. You gotta finish those sacks. He had a total of 11 QB hits.
Other than that, there was next to nothing in terms of production from the rest of these guys. Rucker was able to put up 4 QB hits and Jacquies Smith had one. And that was it.
Cowser and Calhoun were both tried at linebacker at times and spent most of the season on the practice squad. Ealy was signed a couple times late in the season and was active for three games.
Rucker played defensive end, but mainly because who else was going to do it? Really he’s a defensive tackle in a 4-3. He’s also 35 years old and headed for free agency. There is no one else on this team besides Key who started at the defensive end spot. It wouldn’t really matter either way, considering how toothless they were in the pass rush.
What condition do you think the edge rusher position is in?
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