No, not poz.
Poz. You know? Paul Posluszny? Mullet, broken arm, heart of a dragon?
Got it? Good.
I don't have the game on tape, so we're going to have to use NFL.com's highlights. Flawed, but effective for this debate.
Our run defense is not all Poz's fault. I'm not that crazy. But he's a big-time factor. He takes bad routes to the ball carrier, takes himself out of plays, and has no hope of shedding a blocker once engaged. The best play he made this week was causing the Slaton fumble, right? Watch the play again (starts at about 0:35). Now, I don't like to be finicky about Poz (because there's plenty of other material), but jeez. He got juked out of his shoes. He barely got a finger on the ball. Forced Fumble is a really generous term for that. Maybe you could argue that Slaton fumbled because Poz was so intimidating that he overdid that move? I don't know, a forced fumble is a forced fumble, but that was not exactly a punishing hit from Poz. It was a lucky missed tackle.
Now watch the Ryan Moats show.
Did it sting for you? It stung for me. 151 total yards. 3 touchdowns. More depressing: even Ian Eagle had 74 yards and a touchdown in garbage time. (You're welcome for that Ian Eagle/ Solomon Wilcotts man love photo, by the way.)
What follows is my brief summary of those 8 plays:
- Missed tackle
- Ran himself out of the play on screen pass
- Got close to the ball… 11 yards down field
- Runs himself out of play
- Runs right into blocker, can't shed him, Moats goes right past him
- No penetration, but 2 yard TD runs happen
- Runs way upfield… Moats goes right where he was standing
- Never makes it out of the end zone, gets dominated by blocker
Now, I predict the argument that this was a self-fulfilling prophesy, that of course we won't see Poz play well on highlights from another RB. But that's 8 plays, not 1 or 2 plays. 6 are really bad and the other 2 he's a complete non-factor. And trust me, I do this every week. (Call it a depressing obsession.) This is no different from any other week he's played this season.
Anyway, how can you watch these plays and defend him? How can you say he played well?
I don't mean this as condemnation of him as a player forever. I don't think it's impossible for him to become a good LB. I'm not a judge of potential. But I can judge his actual performance, and there's no way, as far as I can tell, that you can argue that he's playing well.
Thanks for reading.