The GilDong Report (Oct. 31st, '00)
In light of many a fan being bamboozled and ga-ga over Jason Gildong�s 11 sacks in �98 --- despite only 2 being anywhere near "earned sacks" --- I devoted considerable time last season to monitor the work of the exceptionally average Jason Gildon. Jason has been famous enough with his coverage sacks, flop sacks, the QB-slipped-on-the-wet-turf sacks, the OT totally forgot his blocking assignment sacks, and so on, that the NFL designated a new statistic, called the "Dong Sack™", in honor of Jason Gildong. (Some fantasy football leagues are incorporating this into their point systems.) Again in '00, I'll take time to expose Jason Gildon for the fraud that he is.
Gildon, coming off 2 weak performances against Cinci and Cleveland, apparently figured he'd go for the trifecta against the Ravens. Gildon finished with 2 solos, no assists, and no sacks against the struggling Raven offense.
On the third play after the opening KO, Jamal Lewis ran up a nice hole up the gut. Meanwhile, Gildon was tap-blocked for a millisecond by TE Coates, who then zipped over to try to pick up an ILB. Lewis ran into a scrum of players about 8 yards downfield, and Gildon came over to make the tackle of the stationary Lewis on the 9-yard gain.
At 4:55 of the 2nd quarter, Lewis cutback from his left, to the RG/RT lane. Gildon, who was barely blocked on the play, was able to chip in on the stop of this 9-yard gain, and apparently he was credited with the solo stop.
I say "apparently", because he was credited with just 2 solos, and there weren't any other plays that Gildon was even remotely close to stuffing the entire day. As you've seen, the only 2 plays he chipped in on were on lightly-blocked plays in which he stopped a ballcarrier 9 yards downfield. Gildon did have 2 adequate pass pressures on Dilfer, but otherwise was a non-factor.
For example, on the 3rd and 1 in Baltimore's first series, Dilfer faked a reverse to his left, and then rolled right, and kept the ball on a run in which he eluded Smith and then dove for the first down. Gildon, during all of this, had gotten duped beyond belief for a LB who's a 6-year NFL veteran. Gildong literally raced from his LOLB spot, to waaay over to where Porter lines up as the ROLB, before finally realizing, in utter astonishment, that the handoff for the reverse had never taken place. Had Gildong not been swindled so badly, he easily could have been in a position to stuff Dilfer and force the punt. Instead, Baltimore was able to continue this march all the way to our 10-yard line, before Dilfer fumbled the ball away.
The play that really caused me to toss my cookies, was the Dilfer 3rd & 3 scramble late in the 3rd quarter. Dilfer took off to his right, and Gildon, who'd been harmlessly tittyfighting with a lineman on the play, was in a perfect angle and position to corral the bootfooted Dilfer for a 4-yard loss. Here we are, clinging to a flimsy 9-6 lead late in the third quarter, and here's Big Bad Jason, supposedly our sack-monger extraordinaire, with both mitts on Trent Dilfer, one of the slowest, clumsiest QBs to ever play in the National Football League. What happens? Dilfer nonchalantly stiff-arms Gildong into the grass turf of PissNet Stadium, and then rambles for a huge 19-yard gainer, while Gildong is lying on ground with his face buried in the thick grass and dirt.
And let's not forget about Lewis' run at 9:05 of the 4th quarter. Lewis cut a run from his left, to his right, going up the center's lane. Gildon, who was slanting on the play, was again in good position to make the stuff. Instead, Gildon used his 1-arm flail --- which is steadily becoming a basic staple in his diet -- and whiffed, allowing Lewis to dash for a 14-yard gain.
Despite Cowher's weekly fawning once again over Gildon at his press conference, this indeed was amongst the sorriest, most half-assed efforts from Gildong that I've ever had to endure. Had Tim Lewis simply rolled out a blue-ribbon pumpkin into the LOLB spot, he could have gotten just about the same production. In fact, watching Gildon's sorry performance on videotape on Monday made me ill enough that I had to scrap my plans of having my 3 kids collect a truckload of candy on Halloween. My stomach was simply too nauseated to even think about eating anything except Rolaids.
Now, if you wanted to watch some REAL linebacking in the win over Baltimore, you needed only to look at the other side of the Stiller defense, where Joey Porter put on a superb display of how OLB should be played in the NFL. Porter got one sack, where he raced from behind the NT, around the RT and pounced on Dilfer, all in a matter of about 2 1/2 seconds. Porter's other sack, came when he tooled Jonathan Ogden and beat him to the "corner" and then veered in sharply and nailed Dilfer. Porter also had a tremendous game in terms of SHEDDING blockers. Using tactics similar to Greg Lloyd, Porter spun, dove, dipped, shoved, knifed, and weaved his way from blockers and into the hole or onto the ballcarrier. Contrast this to the pussy-footing Gildong, who does his pitter-patter, titty-fighting, and 1-arm flails. There shouldn't be a question in anyone's mind that Porter has already far surpassed Gildon in terms of effectiveness at OLB. Comparing the two is like comparing Night Train to fine Italian wine.
Season to date totals for Jason, in 8 games:
Earned Sacks: 2
Dong Sacks™: 3
Strips, Jars, fumbles caused: 1
The Still Mill