Run Defense Help Is Here.
The Bills made a few transactions this week in lieu of injuries. One that hasn’t been talked about is the signing of TJ Barnes. Barnes is a BIG MAN. He is listed as 6’7″ 364 pounds. He has 35″ arm length and he has massive hands at 10 1/4 inches. TJ hasn’t played much in the NFL but one thing he has done, he has played in the Rex Ryan system. Barnes was brought into the Jets organization to play the 0 tech or nose tackle position in the 3-4 defense. The guy can definitely help in the run defense department.
There isn’t much film on him, but I was able to dig up a few tackles made by the big guy. He was utilized on 1st down run plays or obvious run play scenarios. The one thing that jumps out at you when watching him, are his LONG ARMS. This is a characteristic of Rex Ryan drafted defensive players. Barnes is able to keep the lineman from getting into his body, and he has strength to bench press the center.
With the defense having major trouble stopping the run last week, the injuries at the LB and defensive line I could see Ryan putting Barnes in on defense in certain scenarios and personnel groupings. LB Steward is getting the start for Nigel Bradham and that could cause issues in the run defense dept. Steward is only 6ft 235 pounds. So, the LBs we have are not the most proficient linebackers at shedding blocks, and don’t have much size. I could see Barnes and Dareus being in at the same time to clog the middle, keeping blockers from getting to the second level. Allowing the LBs to roam to make tackles. The injuries on defense are forcing the Bills to tweak their personnel and scheme.
Here are a few clips, Barnes is #99
2015 vs. Browns. Barnes over the center, gap exchange play with the MLB. Look at him extend his arms and control the LG.
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2014 vs. Eagles. Barnes is lined but at DT in their nickel package. He holds his gap then pounces when the RB commits to bouncing it outside. The guard did not move him AT ALL.
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Coincidentally enough, his best regular season game was vs. the Bills. He had 3 tackles. Not his finest play, but one thing we know, he shouldn’t play in sub packages.
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Expect Barnes to be utilized on run downs. The Bills looked pretty bad last week versus a bad offensive line and average run game. Teams from here on out will try to pound the rock, so we will see how much TJ is utilized.