According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Buffalo Bills re-signed veteran linebacker Ramon Humber. Humber isn’t the flashiest of players, but he was one of the Bills’ best special teamers and most steady run defenders. He finished the 2017 season with 83 total tackles, 1 sack, 3 QB hurries, and 39 stops.
Ramon Humber (Bills), $1.005M, $60K signing bonus, $915K salary, $30K workout bonus, minimum signing benefit
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 20, 2018
According to Pro Football Focus, Humber was 5th in run stop percentage (8.8) with 31 solo tackles, 15 assisted tackles, 20 run stops, and only 5 missed tackles.
Some notable linebackers that were worse than Humber in run stop percentage were Nigel Bradham (7.5), Thomas Davis (6.8), Shaq Thompson (5.8), and Myles Jack (4.7).
Humber is not a stack-and-shed linebacker; he relies on quickly reading runs and getting downhill
Where those linebackers excel, and Humber remains average, is in coverage and as a blitzer. He struggles in pattern matching and man coverage situations. While he has pretty good lateral agility, which he uses to scrape and fill in the run game and to move in zone coverage, he doesn’t possess the quickness, change of direction, and fluidity typical of HC McDermott’s linebackers.
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) September 14, 2017
Of course, the Bills did their best to minimize situations in which Humber needed to cover tight ends, receivers, and running backs. However, too often in their quarters coverage, for example, he ended up struggling. He was ranked 20th in coverage snaps per reception (7.3). This means that he allowed a reception every 7.3 snaps in which he was the primary defender in coverage. On the season, Humber was targeted 49 times, allowing 39 receptions for 260 yards and two touchdowns. But a lot of those yards occurred after the catch; 197 yards were gained after the receiver caught the ball. That’s typical of a zone defender.
Quarters coverage. If the slot WR runs a short in/out route Humber must carry the route. Half a click slow.
Humber may not be a fan favorite, but he is another player that was productive in this scheme and comes at a good price.
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