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July 28, 2017

Eagles DT Tim Jernigan could see an uptick in sack production under Jim Schwartz

Earlier this week, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz likened the impact of acquiring DT Tim Jernigan via trade to that of a first-round pick. Part of Schwartz's premise was that Jernigan will able to take more advantage of favorable one-on-one matchups due to the attention that Fletcher Cox sees at the other DT spot.

"Last year when Fletch had such a good start, that first month, teams adjusted," said Schwartz. "They started taking him away, and we didn't win enough one-on-ones away from him because that other tackle got the one on ones. Well, that happened in OTAs, and Timmy's able to get good pressure.

"I don't know if it flew under the radar, but it was an important acquisition for us. I think that will affect our pass-rush as much as bringing a first-round draft pick or veteran player into the mix."

On Friday, Schwartz was posed a question from Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News in which Domo pointed out that Jernigan has never played in a defense that allowed him to regularly attack the quarterback, and wondered how Schwartz would go about projecting him into the Eagles' defensive scheme.

"On third down pretty much everybody does attack," Schwartz replied. "Everybody's in a pass-rush mode. It's just that a lot of times they're not doing it on first-and ten or second-and-six, those kind of things. So everything that we needed to see from him, he had done at some point in his NFL career."

Out of curiosity, I took a look at the game situations in which Jernigan's five sacks last season occurred. It turns out that they were all in "attack" situations. Three of them were on 3rd and 6 or longer, one was on 2nd and 12, and one was on 1st and 10, but in the fourth quarter with the Ravens on top by 21 points, an obvious situation for the opposing offense to have to air it out.

In Philly, Jernigan will likely have more opportunities to attack upfield on first and second down than he did in Baltimore. As we once noted, in Schwartz's prior stops before joining the Eagles, his defensive linemen typically enjoyed much better sack numbers than they did with other teams:

 PlayerSacks per 16 games w/ Schwartz Sacks per 16 games w/o Schwartz 
 Jevon Kearse10.1 6.3
 Albert Haynesworth4.3 3.2
 Kyle Vanden Bosch8.1 2.2
 Kevin Carter5.9 8.1
 Robaire Smith2.7 1.9
 Ndamukong Suh7.1 7.3
 Nick Fairley5.3 1.0
 Cliff Avril9.5 7.0
 Jerry Hughes10.0 4.4
 Mario Williams14.5 10.1
 Marcell Dareus10.0 5.2
 Kyle Williams5.9 4.0

Jernigan could be the next in line to have a similar uptick.

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