Aidan Hutchinson explains how a pass rusher should be judged
Aidan Hutchinson, a Pro Bowl EDGE player for the Detroit Lions, recently delivered a stellar performance against the Dallas Cowboys, recording three sacks. Despite only having 9.5 sacks in 16 games, Hutchinson's overall impact on defense has been significant, ranking third in the NFL for total pressures. While speaking to the media on Thursday, Hutchinson explained how a pass rusher should be judged. Hint: It is not all about sacks.
What did Aidan Hutchinson Say?
Hutchinson emphasizes that sacks are not the sole measure of a pass rusher's effectiveness. He values the overall havoc created on the field, including hits and pressures, more than just sack numbers.
“Sacks are such a tedious stat,” Hutchinson explained. “Even the best rushers, you can go multiple games without a sack. I really value the hits, the pressures, everything. Really, how I measure a defensive end’s success is how much havoc can you create? Because sacks are such a weird thing to come by.”
This viewpoint comes in light of Hutchinson facing intense focus from opponents due to the Lions' lack of depth in pass rushers, making his job more challenging.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Hutchinson's Stellar Performance: Recorded three sacks against Dallas, demonstrating his significant defensive impact.
- Redefining Success: Emphasizes the importance of overall havoc created, including hits and pressures, over just sack counts.
- Overcoming Challenges: Continues to excel despite increased focus from opponents due to the Lions' limited depth in pass rushers.
The Bottom Line – Hutchinson's Holistic Approach to Defense
Aidan Hutchinson's approach to judging a pass rusher's success is a significant shift from conventional metrics, focusing on the comprehensive impact a player has on the game. His ability to create pressure, disrupt plays, and draw the attention of opposing teams exemplifies the multifaceted role of a modern defensive end. As Hutchinson continues to navigate the challenges of being a key focus of opponents’ strategies, his holistic approach to measuring success serves as a model for evaluating defensive talent in the NFL.