Ahmad Brooks Could Have Misleading Stats - And That's Fine
With Ahmad Brooks joining the Packers outside linebacker group, he’ll be counted upon to provide some pass rush depth and another healthy body for a group sorely needing fully functional players right now.
Brooks had six sacks with San Francisco last year and has had at least six sacks in each of the last six seasons. But those sacks do not tell the whole story about Brooks’ contributions. In fact, they may be giving us the exact wrong impression.
Here’s a quick look at each of Brooks’ sacks last season, including both whole and partial sacks. As you’ll see, not all of them come from an inspired push to the quarterback.
Sack 1 - Brooks starts with his hand on the ground at left defensive end, then loops around on a stunt to finish with a sack up the middle.
Sack 2 - Rushing from a two point stance, Brooks is turned back on his initial attempt, but cleans up with the sack as the pocket collapses on Russell Wilson.
Sack 2.5 - Initially dropping into coverage, Brooks pursues Jameis Winston after he breaks the pocket and partially trips him up.
Sack 3.5 - Brooks loops around from his outside linebacker spot and tags Tom Brady as Brady gives himself up on the play.
Sack 4 - Again cleaning up a collapsing pocket, Brooks arrives late for partial credit on a sack where the quarterback appears to be giving himself up.
Sack 5 - The Bears try to block Brooks with a tight end. It goes poorly. Brooks brushes off a block attempt (largely with one arm!) and takes down the quarterback.
Sack 6 - Although several on this list are borderline, this is the best example of why sack statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt. I won’t even try to explain what happens. Just watch:
None of this is to say that Brooks is not a good pass rusher. The Packers would not have signed him if they didn't believe he could contribute.
However, if these plays are any indication, expecting big statistical production from the 33-year-old pass rusher could be a big ask. His numbers may not be entirely a reflection of his game, and if it turns out that he doesn't put up the relatively modest (if consistent) numbers, don't let that be the sole determining factor in your opinion on this signing.