Kwaku Boateng Leading The Eskies Sack Attack

The Edmonton Eskimos are tied at 17 sacks with Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders for the Sacks lead in the CFL after week 7. Of course, both the Stampeders and Eskies have a game in hand over the Bombers. Meaning that both the Esks and Stamps are on a phenomenal pace and one that has the potential to have the Esks over 60 sacks.

In 2017, the Esks managed 44 sacks. A decent number, but certainly not CFL leading. In 2016, it was only 33 sacks and in 2015 it was 49 sacks. For the Eskies to break 50 sacks and be at the top of the defensive line food chain would prove this defence has turned the corner as an elite defence. It would also make the Eskimos a Grey Cup contender.

Kwaku Boateng leads the Esks with 5 sacks in 4 games and that puts him on track to be right around 20 sacks for the year. Not bad for a second-year player. Gerald Rivers should chip in with 4 or 5 sacks from the rush end. That's 24 from the rush end position.

Almondo Sewell is getting double teamed often and as such is more a space eater than an effective pass rusher. Not that this is a problem, but it does mean 6 sacks from the NT position.

Jake Ceresna has looked good in the middle taking over for Da' Quan Bowers and should grow into 8 sacks for the year while platooning with rookie Mark Mackie in support. Mackie had his first CFL sack against the Toronto Argos, but Mike Moore, who had a sack in his first game as a starting DT, is due back in Week 9. Moore could also chip in 4-5 sacks giving 12 sacks to the position.

Alex Bazzie is off to a slow start in replacing Odell Willis with only 1 sack in 6 games. Neither Nick Usher nor Darius Allen has proven effective, but yet as Ceresna and Moore go so will Bazzie. It doesn't take a football genius to understand the interior of the line pushes the QB or RB outside as the pocket collapses right into the waiting Bazzie. Fully expect 8 from the edge.

That means the line itself is on track to deliver on 50 sacks, now add in linebackers J.C. Sherritt who is on track for 3 sacks along with the combination of Christophe Mulumba and Adam Konar for another 6 sacks. That's 59 before the DB's like Josh Woodman and Nick Taylor who have chipped in each with a sack.

The story that the numbers tell is one of pressuring the QB while sitting back in a hybrid cover 2 or 3 zone then jumping the route. We saw this on the Aaron Grymes interception against the Montreal Alouettes. The Esks are now tied for second in interceptions with 7 and that has everything to do with the QB pressure.

Can the young rising star Boateng lead the Esks sack attack to be the best in the CFL and cause turnovers as a result? Time will tell, but it looks promising so far.

Gonna be tough to break that 50 mark if the 15 crew couldn't get it done.

Gonna be tough to break that 50 mark if the 15 crew couldn't get it done.
Why, did the 2015 crew have some magic?

Oh, right the great Chris Jones Attacking Defence ... that wasn't really an Attacking Defence, but really a 4-2 hybrid pressure defence which it's key feature was disguising pressure ranging from bringing the corner on a blitz to dropping the edge DE into coverage in a 3-4 zone.

One of the biggest misconceptions is Mike Benevides and Chris Jones differ in any way on pressure and blitzing. Both pick their spots on the field and in the game to risk blitzing vs pressure and for the rest of the time used a combination of 3, 4 and 5 man pressure.

Does Coach Benny use the corner blitz? Ask Nick Taylor or Josh Woodman who both came off the corner for a sack.

Does Coach Benny send six in a zero or linebacker blitz? More linebacker, but yes he does and Christophe Mulumba has 2 sacks, J.C. Sherritt has 1 sack and Adam Konar has 1 sack in six games as a result.

The real difference between Benevides and Jones defence is the use of zone and man in the secondary. In 2015, the Esks used man-to-man bump and run coverage to disrupt routes and timing within the first 5 yards. The result was most teams could not throw the timing routes they did in the past and that gave Esks an advantage both in coverage and on pressure. Things have changed since 2015. The same concepts no longer apply, because offences have changed blocking schemes allowing for more of a vertical offence that makes defences pay for blitzing. See the Esks long bombs this year to Walker and Williams as proof.

The Esks now play a hybrid 4-2 with press man on the boundary and zone on the field side using a cover 2 or cover 3 scheme. By using the Sam LB as a Nickel DB the Esks can apply the Field CB and the FS as over the top zone. The Field HB and Nickel DB cover the under zones. With Aaron Grymes playing a full season at the boundary DB and Maurice Mcknight / Johnny Adams at Field CB the field coverage is fairly solid. Add in that Adam Konar is a decent cover Will LB and overall the Esks defence is in its best shape since 2015.

Of course, some people who really do not understand that football is constantly evolving and progressing will say I like the old 2015 Jones defence. The problem is that defence is now passe and simply will not work in 2018 and Jones knows it. That is why if you watch the Riders they no longer play the 2015 Jones defence.

In essence to compare a 2015 defence to a 2018 defence is moronic and again from what we have seen so far in 2018 the Esks are on track to break 50 sacks. We will see what happens, but to simply dismiss the idea is sheer idiocy.