FanPost

Jerry Says What about Pool? Hints at a Pass Rusher Early?

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I've been looking into safety Brodney Pool for a while now. Last off-season, he, like Abe Elam, seemed like a good fit for the fact that he had played in both Ryan defenses and because of the glaring hole at safety. I watched a few of his games and I pretty much concluded that he was just a guy.

A few days ago, the media had a little 40 minute sit down with Jerry Jones to discuss the draft and free agency among other things. On the surface, it wasn't the meatiest of interviews. Of course, you're always going to get more out of Jerry than the much more regarded Jason Garrett, but it wasn't exactly headline grabbing material. Still, it shed a bit more light on the plans for the draft and I'll link you to the video after the jump.

In the interview, something really kind of jumped out to me about eight minutes in. Brodney Pool hasn't been the most talked about free agent pick-up but if you substituted his name for that of Ed Reed in the interview, you wouldn't really know the difference. In the process of discussing Pool, Jerry might've kinda sorta tipped his hand for the draft... a little.

More after the jump...

When you sign a premiere corner to a 5 year 51 million dollar deal, the signing of a JAG (just a guy) safety on a 1 year 1.2 million dollar deal can kind of be overlooked but consider this: Abe Elam, who Pool is likely to replace as a starting safety, played on more defensive plays than any other player last season. He only missed 3 of the 1053 defensive snaps last year. So, if last season is any indication, Pool will be on the field, affecting plays about as much as Brandon Carr.

In Jerry's sit down, around the 7:50 mark, he used some colorful words to describe Pool... not Ed Reed but Brodney Pool.

[Pool's] got a tremendous amount of ball skills. And so if we are successful relative to what we want to do pressure-wise, and what we've done by improving our coverage with our corners, then his particular skill, Pool, really fits being able to go up and get some turnovers. We obviously would like him there. He does have that ...(Inaudible Jerry mumbles)... skill and we think he'll be able to do it. We're fortunate since our coaches have coached him. - Jerry Jones on Brodney Pool

It's a short quote and a brief part of the entire interview but I want to dissect it a little. First off, did Jerry Jones do an ounce of research on this guy or did he go purely off the word of his defensive coordinator Rob Ryan who coached Pool for a year in Cleveland. I really have no idea where Jerry got this notion that Brodney Pool is turnover machine with "a tremendous amount of ball skills."

I put this video together to give you a visual representation of how many turnovers Pool created last season.

If you didn't watch the video you missed two turnovers through 14 games. The first was a fumble that bounced into his hands in week 15 against the Eagles and the second was a poorly thrown ball against the Dolphins in week 17. Uhh... where are all the turnovers Jer?

I put this together to see if any president has been set that would suggest that Pool has been a player with "tremendous ball skills" at any point in his seven year career that began in 2005.

Season

Team

Games/ Started

Interceptions

Forced Fumbles

Recoveries

Total

2005

Browns

13-0

1

0

2

3

2006

Browns

16-8

1

1

2

4

2007

Browns

16-16

2

0

0

2

2008

Browns

15-15

3

1

1

5

2009

Browns

11-10

4

0

0

4

2010

Jets

15-12

1

1

1

3

2011

Jets

14-6

1

0

1

2

TOTAL

Browns-Jets

100-67

13

3

7

23

By "go up and get some turnovers," I'm assuming that Jerry was referring more to interceptions than forced fumbles and fumble recoveries because you don't usually go up to force and recover fumbles. Pool hasn't had any major injuries and he's started 67% of his games as a pro but still he only averages 1.9 interceptions a season. Where are these "tremendous ball skills" Jerry is referring to? In comparison, Ed Reed, who actually does have tremendous ball skills averages 5.7 interceptions over his 10 year career with a few major neck injuries. Pool's career high (4) is a joke to Ed's average year.

I'm not trying to dog on Pool. He'd be a contributing player on pretty much every defense in this league but if you're expecting him to be a game changing playmaker like Jerry is implying, you're going to be pretty disappointed based on what he's been doing for the last seven years. 1.2 million for a starting safety is great value, but he's just a cheaper version of Abe.

It really makes me wonder how much Jerry looked into this guy before he signed him. Something tells me it went like this: Jerry didn't want to sign an aging safety (Abe) to a multi-year-deal knowing that he's not the future and the coaches like Barry Church. Jerry just wanted a one-year contract guy to start while Church develops and they continue to look for a guy in the draft. "Hey Rob! Anyone in particular that you like?" "I like Pool. I coached him in Cleveland for a year. He's got pretty good hands." Then Jerry thinks, "Hell, Rob likes him. He's started for a while, he must be decent. He'll play for what I just payed for this suit (1.2 mil.)? Shoots yeah. I'll sign 'em." I don't have a problem trusting the judgment of your coordinators but c'mon Jerry. Do a little bit of research first.

The other thing that I noticed is that Jerry spoke of Pool's success if they, "are successful relative to what we want to do pressure-wise." What are you trying to do different pressure-wise? The only addition in the front seven thus far has been Dan Connor and he wasn't brought in to be a pass rusher. He's only had 1 sack in his four years. In the interview he said that he didn't want to take a guard high so maybe this is an indication that Jerry is leaning heavy towards a pass rusher in the first? The three down linemen and the two outside backers have pretty much become as good as they're ever going to be, so where is this extra pass rush going to come from? I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin'.

It's probably reading into things too much, but around draft time there's no such thing.

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