Who Is Rushing The Passer For The KC Chiefs?


The Kansas City Chiefs can’t rush the passer.

That is a fact.

Tyson Jackson goes out and Allen Bailey comes in on passing downs. Wallace Gilberry comes in too!

That…is speculation.

We got into a bit of a debate yesterday about the Chiefs’ pass rush and how to fix it. AA senior staff writer Big Matt suggested that the team needed more Wallace Gilberry and less Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey. As the debate wore on, folks seemed to be getting confused as to who is on the field when.

It’s understandable. The Chiefs use more substitution packages than Matt Cassel uses cliché phrases in press conferences!

So what is really going on? Who is on the field for how many snaps? Who is rushing the passer and who is dropping into coverage?

We’ll use Pro Football Focus to find out. After the jump.

Keep in mind this isn’t an exact science in that we don’t always know what the Chiefs’ defensive intention is on a play because the Chiefs can’t dictate what offensive play the offense is going to run. For instance, Kansas City might put Allen Bailey in on a third and long expecting a pass but if the defense runs a draw, he’ll get a snap as a run defender. Still, now that we are eight games into the season, we should be able to get a pretty good idea of how the Chiefs are using their defenders.

Below you will find the player’s pass rushing snap count, his pass rushing grade and then other stats and numbers of note.

Let’s do it.

Top Pass Rushers by Snaps

  1. Tamba Hali: 252
  2. Glenn Dorsey: 148
  3. Wallace Gilberry: 135
  4. Tyson Jackson: 128
  5. Allen Bailey: 122
  6. Kelly Gregg: 116
  7. Amon Gordon: 71
  8. Cameron Sheffield: 62
  9. Justin Houston: 51
  10. Derrick Johnson: 43
  11. Jovan Belcher: 17
  12. Andy Studebaker: 16


Tamba Hali: 252

6 sacks, 7 QB hits,17 pressures

Grade: +11.4

Notes: 216 run D snaps, 506 snaps total. Hali plays 93.7 of KC’s defensive snaps. He plays both ROLB and LOLB. He has been called into pass coverage 38 times this season.

Glenn Dorsey: 148

0 sacks, 2 QB hits, 0 pressures

Grade: -6.5

Notes: 189 run D snaps, 337 snaps total. Dorsey plays an average of 62.4% of defensive snaps. He plays RE only. His rush defense grade is +4.6.

Wallace Gilberry: 135

1 sack, 4 QB hits, 2 pressures

Grade: +1.7

Notes: 49 run D snaps, 185 snaps total. Walalce Gilberry plays an average of 34.3% of defensive snaps. He plays a mix of RE and LE. In the Indy game, he actually played 19 snaps primarily at NT! His run defense grade is -1.2. Gilberry has seen his snaps decline dramatically since the beginning of the season. In the first two games he played 47.9 and 45.9% of defensive snaps. Since he has not played more than 38% and has played as few as 14% (vs. Miami).

Tyson Jackson: 128

0 sacks, 0 QB hits, 2 pressures

Grade: -3.1

Notes: 166 run D snaps, 294 snaps total. Tyson Jackson plays an average of 54.4% of defensive snaps. He plays LE only. His run defense grade is +5.1.

Allen Bailey:  122

0 sacks, o QB hits, 3 pressures

Grade: -2.1

Notes: 43 run D snaps, 165 snaps total. Bailey plays an average of 30.3% of KC’s defensive snaps. He does most o f his work at RE, though in two games he played LE.

Kelly Gregg: 116

1 sack, 0 QB hits 2 QB pressures

Grade: -2.7

Notes: 152 run D snaps, 268 snaps total. Gregg plays 49.6% of KC’s defensive snaps. His workload has increased since the first three games where he was only playing around 38% of snaps. His run D grade is +6.0.

Amon Gordon: 71

0 sacks, o QB hits, 0 pressures

Grade: -2.8

Notes: 90 run D snaps, 161 snaps total. Amon Gordon plays 29.8% of KC’s defensive snap. He plays NT though played snaps at RE vs. the Lions and Raiders. His run D grade is +2.6.

Cameron Sheffield: 62

0 sacks, o QB hits, 6 QB pressures

Grade: -0.2

Notes: 43 run D snaps, 129 snaps total. Sheffield plays an average of 38.9% of KC’s defensive snaps in games that he has played. Sheffield did not record a snap against the Colts, Raiders of the second SD game. He played three snaps vs. the Dolphins. His run D grade is -3.3. Essentially, he’s been benched

Justin Houston: 51

0 sacks, 1 QB hit, 2 QB pressures

Grade: -0.1

Notes: 133 run D snaps, 263 snaps total. Houston plays an average of 48.7% of defensive snaps. He’s been called into coverage 79 times. His run D grade is -2.6. Houston appears to be improving. In his first four games he had overall grades of -3.2, +0.1, -2.0 and -3.3. Since he’s been graded -0.4, -0.7, 0.0 and -0.3, In short he is trending from being a bad player to an average player halfway through his rookie season. If he continues to improve he could start having some good games by the end of the season.

Derrick Johnson: 43

1 sack, 1 QB hit, 3 pressures

Grade: +1.1

Notes: 231 run D snaps, 522 snaps total. DJ plays 96.7% of KC’s defensive snaps. He plays RILB but started the second SD game at LILB. His run D grade is +12.7

Jovan Belcher: 17

0 sacks, o QB hits, 1 pressure

Grade: -1.4

Notes: 180 run D snaps, 316 snaps total. Jovan Belcher plays an average of 58.5% of KC’s defensive snaps. Belcher plays LILB  but started the second San Diego game at RILB.

Andy Studebaker: 16

0 sacks, 0 QB hits, 1 pressure

Grade: -0.8

Notes: 104 run D snaps, 181 snaps total. Andy Studebaker plays an average of 38.2 of KC’s defensive snaps. Since the Indy game, however, he has played over 50% of snaps, including 79.6% last week vs. the Dolphins. He played only 22 snaps in the team’s first three games. His run D grade is 0.0.

Now you’ve got the facts on who is doing what and how much. Looking at the data pretty much confirms that things are as bad as we thought. The Chiefs have only one player who can consistently put pressure on the QB and that is Tamba Hali.

Glenn Dorsey is the teams worst pass rusher but he is on the field for the second most pass rushing opportunities on the team after Tamba Hali. His run defense grade is good but not as good as Tyson Jackson’s. Looking at these numbers, if I had to take one of either Dorsey or Jackson out of the game on passing games it would be Dorsey. Especially because Dorsey has more time in the league than Jackson. Jackson was also injured for much of 2010. At this point, Jackson is playing better and seems to still be improving where Dorsey has leveled off.

Wallace Gilberry is not playing very well but he still gets to the QB more than most of the KC defense, especially considering his low snap count.

The other big stat of not here is that the Chiefs really only use one of their OLB’s to rush the passer. They tried to use Cameron Sheffield early in the season but after the first three games they scrapped that strategy and benched him. The team rarely uses Justin Houston or Andy Studebaker to rush the passer.

Derrick Johnson has only been used to rush the passer 43 times but he has been fairly productive when he has. Considering the success the defensive line has in moving the offensive line around to play stout in the run game, it might benefit the Chiefs to send Johnson after the QB more often. It will be a huge risk, however, considering how good he is sideline to sideline. Since Hali is always blitzing and Andy Studebaker and Justin Houston are less than stellar at setting the edge, a run or screen to the outside when DJ is rushing the passer could be fatal.

Well, there are the numbers Addicts. What do you think? Is there any hope with this group?