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10/2011 Player Profile: Sedrick Ellis

October 26th 2011 13:52
The New Orleans Saints have the luxury of being four-deep at defensive tackle with Aubrayo Franklin, Shaun Rogers, Sedrick Ellis, and Tom Johnson. The problem for the Saints is that for as good as the interior of their defensive line is, the team struggles on a whole against the run due to the utter incompetence from the linebackers (most namely the overrated Johnathan Vilma).

While Ellis is a pretty good defensive tackle, he is inconsistent and can get blown off of plays in run defense. He also isn't good at pressuring the quarterback, and thus he is the most overrated of the team's defensive tackles. So while he was a solid (but nothing more) contributor against the run, Sedrick Ellis has not been an effective pass rusher since his insane and unattainable (for him) rookie season. He still has a chance to be a productive interior pass-rushing presence instead of a very poor one, but that really doesn't seem very likely at this point. He does show flashes in that department at times, but he earns his starting keep on reputation and his rookie year.

The biggest problem with Sedrick Ellis is the fact that he looks disinterested at times and basically does nothing positive. This contributes to the "legend" of him being among the most inconsistent defensive linemen in the league, and that's a problem because while he is talented, he's no Kris Jenkins. If you are going to take some plays off, the only excuse is that you better be really good when you don't. With Ellis, being decent doesn't cut it when you put forth this general lack of consistency.

On the bright side, even though the sample-size is extremely small, Sedrick Ellis has been playing very well as a pass rusher this season. Much to the happiness and surprise of Saints' fans everywhere, Sedrick Ellis is actually making life difficult for opposing quarterbacks on a regular basis this year.

An interesting thing to note is that Ellis is a scheme player who would probably struggle outside of a defense run similarly to what Gregg Williams does in New Orleans. That being said, Ellis is explosive enough to blow up plays and make highlight-reel moments. Another thing to note is that he does struggle as a pass rusher when he doesn't get the first step because of his low work rate (at times). It's his explosiveness that enables him to be a dangerous pass rusher when he does exert effort- such as this season.

As his ability to rush the passer went down, so did his ability to stop the run. He hasn't been productive against the run, and this is easy to see when you look at how poor the Saints run defense is. While it is true that the linebackers are responsible for most of this, the overrated Sedrick Ellis hasn't been helping out either.

Even though Sedrick Ellis has started off strong, I don't know if he can keep this up. If he does, then great; I finally won't be baffled by why the Saints always give him playing time. If he continues to struggle and the Saints keep playing him, it will be a recurring theme from the past two seasons of watching this team.

To tell you the truth, for as critical as I have been of Sedrick Ellis throughout this post; I think he can keep it up. Before the draft and as a rookie, Sedrick Ellis showed he had the talent to be an elite tackle. I think the past two seasons were bumps in the road, and he should shed his "overrated" tag by the end of the season and become the good defensive tackle he was supposed to be.
Insanely strong

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