I decided to watch Cameron Jordan on coaching tape having been impressed with his performance against the Detroit Lions in week six, but the week seven game against the Green Bay Packers was very different. This was probably because both David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga started for the Packers this week.
Cameron Jordan played mostly left end in this game, although he did occasionally line up on the right standing up, or on the right as part of a 3-3 nickel look. As a consequence he spent most of this game going up against right tackle Brian Bulaga unless the blocking scheme sent Bulaga somewhere else. In fact the one quarterback hit Jordan did get was against a play action pass where tight end Richard Rodgers was assigned to block him and couldn’t hold up which allowed Joran to get to Brett Hundley whose pass was incomplete. Jordan was able to flush Hundley out the pocket on one other play when he lined up on the right and was able to get into the backfield but otherwise he was only able to apply pressure whilst fighting an offensive linemen.
Despite usually lining up in a four point stance, it was not so much first step and quickness that Jordan was using as speed to power rushes, but for the most part Bulaga held up, although Jordan was able to push the pocket more than once. In fact, on the final drive in the fourth quarter he was able to push Bulaga back and get a hand on a pass to break up the play. This was not the first time Jordan got his hand in a passing lane but was the only time he got a hand to the ball.
For me this is one of the harder bits of coaching tape to evaluate. It is pretty easy to comment on a speed rusher getting lots of pressure, but when the stats are quiet and there’s an equal battle going on between defensive lineman and offensive lineman it is hard to evaluate if you don’t know all the nuances and are not a coaching expert. To my eye Cameron Jordan held up in the run, was strong enough to hold up blocks, was double teamed several times, and did manage to get some pressure. It was not the kind of game where Jordan would definitely catch the eye, but it feels like he had a solid game and the Saints defence definitely looks to have improved on defence.