Re: Jared Crick Breakout Season?
The thing about Crick is that he is a completely different style of player (at this point) than Watt and Smith. Whereas our two starting DE's are more finesse oriented and make plays with quickness and penetration, Crick is more of a power player. He can use his hands for swims and rips, but he doesn't have the feet of Watt or Smith roll around the hip of a guard and really make them pay. He gets it done with strength, motor, and very good spacial awareness. Think of him sort of in the mold of Justin Smith, just not really as talented or as strong.
Where Crick really excels at is stack and shed run defense, and I already think he is a better run defender than Ninja. He is very tough to blow off the line of scrimmage, and his ability to disengage and make a tackle is very, very impressive. I could see that kind of ability helping Mercilus more than anyone else because he would then be able to (in a four man front) focus on the weak side A and B gaps while Mercilus only worries about rushing the passer/containing the C gap. Will Crick get a lot of sacks? Probably not unless the edge rush pushes quarterbacks up into his reach. Does he still have potential to be an extremely important piece of the defensive front by collapsing the pocket and controlling the line of scrimmage? Absolutely.