Kroy Biermann flashed good play at the beginning of 2013, showing great versatility in Mike Nolan's defensive scheme. Things seemed to be falling into place for the defense. Then everyone got injured, including Kroy. The 29 year-old linebacker/defensive end tore his achilles and missed most of last season.
After having plenty of time to heal up and some new faces in the defenses, some had high expectations for Kroy. Well, none of the readers and not the majority of people on twitter... actually, maybe it was just me. In the right role, keeping the undersized defensive end off a heavy rotation on the defensive line seemed like a way to maximize his talents.
In previous seasons, he struggled when given the starting job and heavy snaps at defensive end. Still, he showed an ability to disrupt the quarterback, as evidenced by his 34 quarterback hurries in 2010, and he's always been at least a valuable special teamer and effective run-stopper.
Turns out I was wrong for having such high expectations. He has looked like a shell of his old self, which was not a particularly fantastic old shell.
The coaching staff agrees and they have cut back his snaps. Check out this blurb from Rotoworld.
After playing nearly 91 percent of the Falcons' Week 1 defensive snaps, OLB Kroy Biermann was in on just 65 percent in Week 3. At first glance, Biermann's usage might seem the product of a blowout, but he saw snaps on every series with the exception of Tampa's final possession. While Biermann did see some subpackage snaps, Atlanta rotated Jonathan Massaquoi and Osi Umenyiora in obvious passing situations. This would make sense, as Biermann currently grades out as the No. 45 pass rushing 3-4 outside linebacker among 48 qualifiers at Pro Football Focus.
The DW tackled this a few days ago, when some thought his snaps were cut due to a ridiculous blow out, and had this to say.
While he's been pretty good against the run, he's just not getting it done as a pass rusher. To that point, through 3 games, he's had 67 snaps as a pass rusher and has registered 0 sacks, 1 QB hit, and 4 QB hurries. By comparison, Jonathan Massaquoi and Stansly Maponga - through 3 games - have 46 snaps as pass rushers combined, with the majority of those coming in the Tampa Bay game.
It should be noted that Kroy's total snaps have declined each game while Massaquoi and Maponga have gotten more each game. Additionally, while Maponga plays the same position as Kroy - LOLB - Massaquoi is primarily used as a ROLB, so his snaps aren't necessarily being impacted by Kroy.
Kroy is rightfully being phased out. He has not been getting the job done while the younger guys have been playing well. It is not too soon to wonder if this will be Kroy's last season in Atlanta, given that his contract is up after the season.
Anyone have thoughts on Kroy taking a smaller role on the defense?