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More on Orlando Scandrick

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At Bleacher Report, I took a more in-depth look at Orlando Scandrick:

The Numbers

Scandrick hasn’t gotten much credit over the years because, due to the position he plays, he doesn’t get a lot of interceptions or even make a ton of huge plays. With just four career picks, Scandrick is hardly Deion Sanders.

But in terms of airtight coverage, Scandrick is one of the best in the business. He’s been targeted 41 times in 2013, allowing 26 completions (63.4 percent) for 217 yards (5.29 YPA). Those are outstanding numbers, but they don’t do Scandrick justice.

One of the problems with grading cornerbacks on a per-completion or per-attempt basis is that they don’t get any credit for not getting targeted at all. For years, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha ranked low in YPA, according to Pro Football Focus, but he was so rarely targeted that it didn’t tell the whole story.

That’s why I prefer to grade cornerbacks with yards per route—the number of yards they allow per route that they’re in coverage. That corrects for the “Asomugha effect,” rewarding cornerbacks for quality coverage.

In 2008, for example, Asomugha allowed only 0.36 yards per route, with the second-place cornerback checking in at 0.58. The next season, Asomugha was at 0.59 yards per route and second place was at 0.77. In 2010, he was back down at 0.46 yards per route. It was really amazing considering there aren’t even 20 cornerbacks in the NFL in 2013 who’ve allowed less than a yard per route.

Well, this is where Scandrick checks in this season in yards per route.

He’s ranked comfortably inside the top 10 in the NFL at 0.73 yards per route. Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis ranks first. You can see that Scandrick is ranked well ahead of Brandon Carr, who is still in the top 20, and Morris Claiborne, who ranks in the bottom 15 percent.

Part of the reason that we don’t often give Scandrick the credit that he deserves is that, when he’s doing his job, we don’t even realize it. Yards per route captures that.

The Film

The truth is that when Scandrick is at his best, his film is pretty “boring” to watch. He’s either not getting targeted or playing with such airtight coverage that quarterbacks end up throwing incomplete. Since last season, Scandrick has allowed 46 completions on 80 attempts—a 57.5 percent completion rate that’s unbelievable for a slot corner.

Nonetheless, using NFL Game Rewind, let’s take a look at what Scandrick does so well on the inside. Early in last week’s win over the Eagles, Scandrick was lined up in the slot over wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

He was in a press position in which he appears to feel most comfortable. Even when he doesn’t completely press, Scandrick is at his best when he can mirror wide receivers right off of the line as opposed to playing with ‘off’ technique.

At five yards, Scandrick got physical with Jackson and really disrupted his route. Quarterback Nick Foles, who was looking Jackson’s way, was forced to roll out of the pocket.

As Jackson moved up field, Scandrick undercut his route so that Foles couldn’t hit him while scrambling. It was an intelligent move on Scandrick’s part because, as you can see, he had safety help over the top. This is something that Scandrick does so well, knowing when he can play aggressively underneath and when he needs to back off.

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