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Brian Poole: Slot Performance


falcndave
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My impression just watching with my eyes is that Poole is chasing on every dump off pass that is thrown. I was honestly wondering if he had regressed since last year, or if something else was going on. I went and checked his actual stats. I've posted them below. As it turns out, he is playing pretty okay considering the number o snaps he is taking in slot coverage. The stats below are from PFF's advanced CB stats. This is a clip from their "Slot Coverage Performance" table. From it we learn:

  • Poole has the 3rd most snaps in the NFL in slot coverage
  • Poole is the second most targeted corner is slot coverage
  • Poole has given up the second most receptions (tied with K'Waun Williams) and the 3rd most yards while covering the slot. 
  • Poole has given up zero TDs in slot coverage

Now we need a point of comparison to see if he is indeed struggling this season compared to last.  Notice the 2nd table below. This is the same table from 2016. The comparison does show that his performance has slipped a bit in terms of how often he is being targeted and how many yards he is giving up per target. 

All of that said, I think there may be other issues besides his ability in play between the two seasons. The Falcons are given up far fewer big plays this season and are getting beat much less often on passes over 20 yards in the air. This leads me to believe the safeties may just be helping more deep and outside and leaving Poole on his own more in the slot. That is just my perception. I haven't dug into the stats yet. 

My overall assessment is that Poole is not shutting down the slot, but he is doing his job very well. Guys are not getting past him down the seems and they are not scoring. I think you will see a lot of TATF chat about moving Alford into the slot and playing Collins outside once he gets back. Based just on this shallow analysis. I think that may be mistake. It looks like having a nickel who can hold down the slot may just be one of the unspoken, but very important, elements in the Falcons version of Quinn's scheme. 

Here is a link to PFF. Because I'm using their stuff, I feel obligated to ask you to give them a look. They do have plenty of well written free articles. Just remember advanced stats are mainly useful for individual match ups, I find them limited when trying to compare two teams.

Poole Advance Stats.JPG

Poole 16.JPG

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I don’t trust PFF.  I really like Poole overall but I’m interested to see what happens when Jalen gets back.  Especially when we have to face some of these bigger/physical receivers.  Are they going to do what they were trying to do last year and push Alford to the slot in Nickel situations?

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12 minutes ago, slamee101 said:

I don’t trust PFF.  I really like Poole overall but I’m interested to see what happens when Jalen gets back.  Especially when we have to face some of these bigger/physical receivers.  Are they going to do what they were trying to do last year and push Alford to the slot in Nickel situations?

These are not the "grades." I don't trust those either. These are actual football stats. NFL.com covers some of these as well. I don't know the answer to your question, but it is good to have options.

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I think the numbers speak for the themselves but Poole gave up completions to Dez early last Sunday and had his back to Dak a few times when he ran the ball to the right side.  Not sure how Quinn/Manuel coach this but I was always told that when in the slot you need to always keep at least one eye in the backfield especially when covering the flat and if that is the case, there were a couple of breakdowns last Sunday.  Also, may guys on the in game blog were crucifying Tru on a couple plays where it was Poole who really gave up the reception as he had the under while  Tru had the over.  Correctable but Monday will bring Doug Baldwin into Pooles área so we will see real quick if there is a legitamate concern or not.

Edited by lostnmexico
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1 hour ago, slamee101 said:

I don’t trust PFF.  I really like Poole overall but I’m interested to see what happens when Jalen gets back.  Especially when we have to face some of these bigger/physical receivers.  Are they going to do what they were trying to do last year and push Alford to the slot in Nickel situations?

Maybe next year slamee...but Collins play was god-awful in preseason. 

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Nobody can be perfect all the time, and Poole much like every other player on any team has been targeted and setup, but by setup I mean sometimes assignments are what they are targeting and good players follow those assignments, sometimes they get burned, sometimes it works for them, but that's called team work I guess you could say. 

Poole has played really good this season in my opinion. Honestly, I've been impressed thus far. I think he's played real good! 

Where are the threads about how Desmond Trufant hasn't performed well? I mean yeah, he's coming back from injury, but he's been burned on a few plays for TD's. Nobody's saying nothing about that. But I guess it's because he has been a proven player. But the thing is, I'm not knocking TRU at all. I'm just saying, just because a player gets beat, sometimes it's not their fault for following assignments given to them by the scheme and or the defensive coordinator. That's what I am trying to say here. 

Poole's played really good this season in my opinion. 

 

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Poole is not good..he won DQ over when he said he wanted to check Julio. He is very slow and is always chasing behind the WR. The only thing he is good at is tackling. I also don't trust Collins. I would move on from both and draft a CB 2nd rd to play outside with Tru and move Alford to the slot. I really like Carlton Davis and Isaiah Oliver.

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From what my eyes can tell, Poole has been one of the better players on our defense this year imo. I've seen him breaking up passes, making plays in the run game, and he's been great at casino blitzes since he's arrived here. A sound argument can be made that slot corner is the hardest position behind QB. Overall, I think he's done a solid job. 

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1 hour ago, ike barn87987 said:

Poole is not good..he won DQ over when he said he wanted to check Julio. He is very slow and is always chasing behind the WR. The only thing he is good at is tackling. I also don't trust Collins. I would move on from both and draft a CB 2nd rd to play outside with Tru and move Alford to the slot. I really like Carlton Davis and Isaiah Oliver.

If your playing in the slot, tackling is an important thing to be good at. Think about how many corners are not good tacklers. 

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Have we taken in to account that every team now tries to find the next Julian Edelman/Cole Beasley type WR. Speaking of the Dallas Slot WR I didn't hear his name called much if at all last week. 

MY question: Does a team now have to have a CB that specializes in just being the slot corner? And maybe Poole hasn't regressed but slot WR's have gotten that much better. 

 

 

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Teams have been putting their WR1 in the slot against us in zone and even man a reasonable amount this year. When you have an improved Alford and Trufant on the other side, teams focus on whatever tender spot they can. Poole has been going up against WR1/TE and handling his business, but teams are going to go for the weakest spot and he happens to be it. Quinn trusts his man defense the most and we tend to thrive there, but we don’t have A+ players at every defensive position. For how long the offense can’t seem to stay on the field, our defense has done a great job not giving up points. 

He has to go up against Baldwin this Monday. It won’t get any easier. You guys will be back at it Tuesday about how he performs in this game. 

Edited by droopy1592
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1 hour ago, droopy1592 said:

Teams have been putting their WR1 in the slot against us in zone and even man a reasonable amount this year. When you have an improved Alford and Trufant on the other side, teams focus on whatever tender spot they can. Poole has been going up against WR1/TE and handling his business, but teams are going to go for the weakest spot and he happens to be it. Quinn trusts his man defense the most and we tend to thrive there, but we don’t have A+ players at every defensive position. For how long the offense can’t seem to stay on the field, our defense has done a great job not giving up points. 

He has to go up against Baldwin this Monday. It won’t get any easier. You guys will be back at it Tuesday about how he performs in this game. 

I think try might follow baldwin

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5 hours ago, WinningIsTheOnlyOption said:

Nobody can be perfect all the time, and Poole much like every other player on any team has been targeted and setup, but by setup I mean sometimes assignments are what they are targeting and good players follow those assignments, sometimes they get burned, sometimes it works for them, but that's called team work I guess you could say. 

Poole has played really good this season in my opinion. Honestly, I've been impressed thus far. I think he's played real good! 

Where are the threads about how Desmond Trufant hasn't performed well? I mean yeah, he's coming back from injury, but he's been burned on a few plays for TD's. Nobody's saying nothing about that. But I guess it's because he has been a proven player. But the thing is, I'm not knocking TRU at all. I'm just saying, just because a player gets beat, sometimes it's not their fault for following assignments given to them by the scheme and or the defensive coordinator. That's what I am trying to say here. 

Poole's played really good this season in my opinion. 

 

trufant has given up 1 pass of 25 yards or more all season. he got roasted by Anderson.. the same guy who has roasted multiple cbs with 4.3 speed this year.

he may have a few bad penalties but acting like hes terrible is just ludicrous when you see that we have the 7th ranked pass D compared to 28th last year 

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5 minutes ago, SkerFalcon8710 said:

trufant has given up 1 pass of 25 yards or more all season. he got roasted by Anderson.. the same guy who has roasted multiple cbs with 4.3 speed this year.

he may have a few bad penalties but acting like hes terrible is just ludicrous when you see that we have the 7th ranked pass D compared to 28th last year 

A 7th ranked pass defense that spends s lot of time on the field. That’s an amazing improvement. 

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6 minutes ago, droopy1592 said:

A 7th ranked pass defense that spends s lot of time on the field. That’s an amazing improvement. 

Thank that run defense and boneheaded penalties by dlinemen for spending to much time on the field. I just find it laughable that people are bitching about our pass defense that’s improved 21 spots from last yr.. everyone gives up yards at some point 

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16 minutes ago, SkerFalcon8710 said:

trufant has given up 1 pass of 25 yards or more all season. he got roasted by Anderson.. the same guy who has roasted multiple cbs with 4.3 speed this year.

he may have a few bad penalties but acting like hes terrible is just ludicrous when you see that we have the 7th ranked pass D compared to 28th last year 

7th ranked pass defense includes the play of the Nickle corner. 

Poole gets the same credit for our pass defense as anyone else as far as I'm concerned 

This defense is designed to give up the underneath stuff and tackle well. That being said Poole does his job as well as anyone else considering how often the ball is in his area of the field.

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13 hours ago, WinningIsTheOnlyOption said:

Where are the threads about how Desmond Trufant hasn't performed well?

 

This thread was just me satisfying my own curiosity about Poole. I actually don't have a problem with Tru, or any of our CBs. In fact, I'd say that our group of DBs as a whole is one of the best units in the NFL. We don't give up a lot of stats to WRs. What we do give up is in the slot as noted above. I think that is Quinn's scheme. Make them check down and throw short. If they can do that 15 straight times, they score. If they drop even one, they are behind the chains and playing our game.

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