The GilDong Report (Nov. 7th, '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.
Against the Titans, Big Jason Gildon had, at least on paper, a respectable game, with 6 solos, 2 assists, and 1 sack. On paper, this appears to be a really stellar effort. On paper. Ironically enough, last Friday I was channel surfing to bide my time before the Penguins' late nite game at Vancouver. With little else on the TV to fill the half-hour void, I ended up watching HBO's "Sex in the City" for some humor. In the episode, the ladies lamented about "guys who look good on paper, but�", meaning they look good on paper, but inevitably end up being 'bad' where 'it counts'. So it is with Jason Gildon, who had yet another good game "on paper". Problem is, football isn't played on paper, and when you peel back the onion and review the game tape, you'll see that Gildon had what amounts to one of the sorriest, most gutless efforts ever by a LB in a Stiller uniform.
Time and time again, Titans coach Jeff Fischer ruthlessly and mercilessly pounded the ball up right tackle, where Gildon offered no more resistance than the Poles did when the Germans advanced in 1939. Bear with me on this breakdown, because there were an enormous number of shameful plays involving The Dong:
* On the last play of the 1st qtr, on 2d & 12, Eddie George ran a counter to the right. The LG, Matthews, was supposed to pull and lead the play, but he actually tripped coming out of his stance, and he never made it to the point of attack. Meanwhile, Gildon -- who was totally unblocked -- was standing there, pussyfooting like a pimply-faced nerd trying to muster the courage to move forward and talk to a girl at his first middle-school dance. Kirkland got so disgusted and impatient with The Dong, that during the play he sternly nudged Gildon as if to say "Move your ass and get out of my way." Gildon had a superb shot at George, but instead Big Jason meekly knelt on the ground and flailed haplessly at George, who ran by and gained 3 yards before being stopped by Kirk and Flowers.
* On a toss-sweep at 11:25 of the 2nd qtr, Gildon managed to fend off the TE and tackle George�.but only after a 5-yard gain.
* At 5:44 of the 2nd, George ran a toss sweep to his left. Finding no room, and having to avoid a penetrating Kimo, George cut it back to his right. Gildon, who was totally unblocked on the play, happened to stumble into George and recorded the solo stop.
* On a 1st & 10 at 4:23 2nd qtr, George ran up RG. The Titans assigned a WR, who was lined up as a wingback, to solo-block Gildon. Gildon managed to fend off the burly receiver, and was in a good position to stuff George at the LOS. Instead, he did the "flail and whiff" that has become a basic staple of his repertoire, and George rumbled ahead for 5 1/2 yards.
* On the 2nd & 27 late in the half, McNair took off up RT on a scramble. Gildon was rushing as a "nose tackle" on this play, and was in perfect position to cut off McNair at the pass for a minimal gain. Instead, McNair cruised right by the duckfooted Gildon as though Gildon was carrying a a sack of cinder blocks on his back. What should have been a minimal gained bloated into a huge 18-yard scamper.
* On a key 3rd & 1 in the beginning of the 2d half, Gildon got pancaked by rookie TE Erron Kinney, who was lined up as the 2d TE. Kinney simply mauled Gildon to the inside like a rabid wolf going after a kitten, and George cut behind this block for an easy 4 yards. On the very next play, Kinney -- apparently not content with the mauling he gave Gildon the previous play -- just bullied Gildon waay to the outside, creating an enormous fissure for George to saunter through for an 7-yard gain. The way the rookie Kinney just manhandled Gildon on these successive plays with such ease made me utterly sick.
* At 10:29 of the 3rd, McNair ran a bootleg left, and kept it for a nice 13-yard gainer. Gildon was covering a man on a crossing route, and happened to be the nearest defender when McNair stepped out of bounds, thus getting credit for a solo tackle.
* At 8:47 of the 3rd, Kinney again mauled Gildon way to the inside. George, seeing loads of daylite, cut this play from LG to RT, and Gildon's patented 1-armed flail missed George as the RB charged ahead for a nice 7 yard gainer.
* At 1:19 of the 3rd, on yet another run to the right, Gildon actually fought off a block, and stopped George�.but only after a 7-yard gain.
* At 13:00 of the 4th, Gildon did provide some pass pressure on McNair, off a stunt thru a hole in the middle of the Titan line, which caused McNair to throw the ball away .
* At 8:16 of the 4th, Kinney had an easy time shielding Gildon off to the inside -- remember, Jason is an outside LB -- and George busted up RT for a sizeable 8-yard gain.
* At 6:21 of the 4th, Gildon recorded his 6th sack of the season. The RT blocked down on the DE. George was assigned to solo-block Gildon, but apparently either forgot this assignment, or perhaps thought he was supposed to help conduct a play-action fake. At any rate, George stumbled awkwardly and off-balance toward the LOS, and Gildon eluded him, untouched, toward the QB. This, of course, goes into the books as a Dong Sack.
So, in a nutshell, here's 5 of Big Jason's 6 solos:
1. Stopped George after 5-yard gain on sweep.
2. Being totally unblocked, stopped George after George had to avoid tacklers & cut 'left-hand sweep' to the right.
3. McNair ran out of bounds on 13-yard bootleg run, and Gildon, who never touched McNair, was closest defender.
4. Stopped George after 7-yard gain on run up RT.
5. Dong Sack.
There was a scrum/pileup on a George run at 3:24 of the 3rd qtr, in which Gildon could have been credited for the solo. Otherwise, I didn't see any other plays where Gildon was even remotely close to being a solo tackler.
Pass pressure? Little. There was one other play, early in the game, where both Porter and Gildon got some pressure on McNair, but McNair completed a 6-yard pass to Mason. Otherwise, Gildon never even got a sniff of McNair. The big 4th and 8 play that decided the game ?? Gildon got abused by RT Fred Miller, and failed to get even 15 feet from Steve McNair.
Indeed, on paper, Gildon had a nice game. If only football were played on paper�
Season to date totals for Jason, in 9 games:
Earned Sacks: 2
Dong Sacks™: 4
Strips, Jars, fumbles caused: 1
The Still Mill