While all sacks are created equal in a game book or on a stat sheet, not all of them really are when you look at why and how each one happened. Throughout the offseason I plan on looking at each of 56 sacks the Pittsburgh Steelers defense registered during the 2017 regular season and attempt to contextualize each of them. This process should help identify which defensive players are earning their sacks more than others.
We’ll continue on with this series of posts by looking at and contextualizing the one sack that Steelers inside linebacker L.J. Fort registered during the 2017 season.
Sack #1 – Week 17 vs. Browns – 3Q – 2-10-PIT 34 – (4:52) (Shotgun) D.Kizer sacked at PIT 41 for -7 yards (L.Fort) – TIME 2.76 seconds
Fort’s lone sack in 2017 came in the finale against the Cleveland Browns, a game that included the Steelers defense registering 6 sacks in total. There’s not much to contextualize when it comes to this sack by Fort other than to say that he was unaccounted for coming off the edge. The Browns running back probably thought that Fort would have him in coverage. Instead, it was Steelers defensive tackle L.T. Walton who followed the running back out into the flat while Fort rushed off the left edge. Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer never noticed Fort coming and thus also never saw the open running back to his right. It goes without saying that this was an incredibly easy sack for Fort and it was his first one as a member of the Steelers and just the second of his NFL career.
Summary: Fort is merely a backup inside linebacker and best-suited to play in the Steelers dime defense. He is athletic, however, and appears to understand the defense quite thoughtfully. All of that said, Fort only played 78 total defensive snaps during the 2017 season and nearly a third of them came in the Steelers finale against the Browns. In short, Fort, assuming he ultimately makes the Steelers 53-man roster again in 2018, isn’t likely to see very much playing time on defense.
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: OLB Bud Dupree
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: OLB Anthony Chickillo
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: OLB James Harrison
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: DE Tyson Alualu
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: DE L.T. Walton
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: DE Stephon Tuitt
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: NT Javon Hargrave
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: OLB T.J. Watt