The GilDong Report (Game #10, @ Tenn.)
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've devoted considerable time the past 2 seasons to monitor the work of the exceptionally average Jason Gildon. Gildon, as you may recall, hoodwinked enough voters in '00 to be voted in to a reserve spot in the Pro Bowl. 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 '01, I'll take time to expose Jason Gildon for the fraud that he truly is.
In our last tilt against the Titans, Gildon, as you might recall, had a real Casper the Ghost effort just before Halloween, with a weak-assed 2 tackle effort, 1 of which was a weak 1-armed flail, and the other a garbage sack late in the rout in garbage time.
Gildon went out against the Titans this past weekend and had just as feeble an effort as he did back in late October. All Gildon had to show for his day's work -- if that's what ya call "work" -- was 3 cake-easy tackles; just as many whiffs on the QB; and a host of plays where, as you will clearly see, he was flaccid, feeble, flabby, and soft as a baby's bottom in one of the truly worst linebacking efforts I have ever seen in the past decade of Stiller football.
Jason's first of three solos came at 12:39 of the 3Q. (Yes, that's right -- Jason went the entire first half without a tackle.) Mason caught a short 4-yard pass, and Jason was trailing in coverage, and pounced on Mason for the cake-easy stop.
Big Jason's 2nd solo came at 12:19 of the 4Q, a full quarter after his previous solo. Wycheck ran an "in" across the field toward Jason, who was back in coverage. Jason didn't bust up the pass, but he made the cake-easy stop after a 17-yard gain.
Jason's third, and last, solo came at 8:47 of the 4Q, on a 1st & goal play from the Stiller 3. As you can see from the photos below, the Titans, despite running the ball up the gut, literally CHOSE not to have anyone touch or block Big Jason Gildon. There's no one pulling or scooping to block the so-called "pro bowler"; rather, the Titans are well aware of Jason's looprushing and feebleness, and are banking that they can remove a blocker from Jason and assign that blocker to someone who is actually interested in roughing up the RB. Gildon does get over and make the stop just 2 feet from the goal line, but given the freebie shot he has at the RB on this play, this is hardly a play to pound chest on and be proud of.
That's it for Jason's tackles. He stood around and did absolutely nothing in the 1st quarter, instead merely doing his best imitation of a department store mannequin. And, as we shall see, he did little in quarters 2, 3, and 4. The plays that Big Jason was involved in are listed below in chronological order, as follows:
- At 12:23 & 12:08 of the 2Q, Titan RT Fred Miller was flagged twice in succession for a false start. Finally, the clumsy, inept Miller was able to stay put long enough for a legal snap to occur. When it did, Miller was so slow and late in getting out of his stance that Gildon easily waltzed right by him. As you can see in the 1st picture below, Miller is clod-hopping his way toward trying to block The Dong. The ensuing pictures show the clear shot Gildong had at a sack, but like the clutz that he is, Gildon flailed & whiffed sadly.
Fortunately, Smith came over and harassed McNair into a throwaway.
- On a 1st & 10 at their own 44, at 8:09 of the 2Q, the Titans ran a counter toward their RT area. As you can see in picture #2, Gildon comes well into the backfield, UNTOUCHED, and is in perfect position to blow this play up. After all, that's exactly what ANY "pro bowl" LB would do if he came 4 yards deep into an opponent's backfield and was close enough to the ballcarrier to piss on him if he chose to do so.
Instead, as you can see in pic 4 & 5, Gildon SHIES AWAY from blowing this play up, and instead feebly accepts the block from the pulling LG, Zach Pillar. This is pitiful, SOFT linebacking at its worst and nowhere near pro bowl caliber in any way, shape, or form. The media keep feeding us this caterwauling balderdash about how teams are throwing the Russian hoard at Jason to ward him off, but just like this play, not only is Jason untouched coming off the snap, but he has a tremendous opportunity to blow up the play, and as is his wont, he fails to come close to doing anything more than what an undrafted rookie FA would do. In fact, this is the kind of play that should be blown up for negative yardage, or at worst case, no yardage at all. But because Jason was unable to blow up this play, George sauntered for a nice 5-yard gain.
- On the very next play, McNair faded back to pass. Gildon, as was the case nearly the entire game, was left totally untouched and unblocked by a Titan team that feared him as a threat almost as much as a Hollywood fashion model. See first 2 pics, below.
This, again, was another chance for Jason to explode into someone and create havoc and disruption. Instead, as you see in pics 3,4, & 5, Jason the Pansie gets soft with Eddie George, a man who gives up 15 pounds to Big Jason. The result is George jacking up Gildon like a flat tire and blasting Jason to the inside, allowing McNair to easily scramble to the outside. Once again, Smith saved Gildon's bacon by coming over and forcing McNair to run OOB for no gain.
- And 2 plays later (right after Chad's PI penalty), George ran a basic play up RT. On this play, the Titans assigned TE F. Wycheck to solo-block Big Jason. As you can clearly see, starting in pic #2, Wycheck, despite weighing less than Big Jason, starts to maul Gildon and push him unmercifully toward the sideline.
Some will try to rationalize, and claim that Jason was merely "stringing out the play". And I'll tell them very quickly: That's bullshit. This play was never designed to be a sweep around end. The play is designed to create room for George to take it straight up, or cut back to, the right tackle area and then into the secondary. Moreover, an OLB can still hedge against the wide sweep without getting mauled so wide that he's getting close to being shoved into the down marker. With Gildon offering soft, French-like resistance on this play, the Titans are able to create a nice fissure, which George dashed through for a hefty 7-yard gain.
- On the last play of the half, the Titans went to pass the ball from their own 48, with just 15 secs left. Obviously, this was going to be a pass play, and if the pass connected downfield, then the Titans could get a very critical FG to go up by 7. Gildon, the One Trick Pony, does his Wide Loop Rush. As you can see in pic 3, Gildon has got to break off the loop, and VEER TOWARDS the QB. Instead, The Paper Tiger blindly continues his loop, while McNair has stepped up in the pocket and is getting ready to hit Mason, who ran allllll the way across the field on a deep, deep crossing route. As you can see in pic 5, Jason is no longer in the picture.
I'd really enjoy hearing a rational explanation on exactly what the flock Jason Gildon was doing on this play. Let's look and see -- well, he's doing nothing; he's getting zero pressure on the QB; he has no contain on the QB; he's running aimlessly toward the far goal post; and he's providing no more defense than if the team had sent out Brittany Spears to man the LOLB spot on this play. But hey, don't forget -- Jason Gildong is supposedly a pro bowl reserve.
- On the first play from scrimmage in the 2nd half, George takes the handoff and bounces it toward RT. At the snap, Wycheck starts to ruthlessly push Gildong once again, although, in this case, he's moving him toward the inside. Jason ends up titty-fighting with the smaller Wycheck, and the result is a nice fissure, as outlined in blue in pic 3, for George to run through. Luckily, KenBell (red arrow) made a great read-and-react and shot in like a bolt to snare George.
- At 11:13 of the #Q, on a 1st & 10 at the Tenn. 35, George ran up LG. As was the case nearly the entire afternoon, Big Jason was left totally untouched and unblocked.
Jason came over laterally, and had a pretty simple play on George. But, using the softee technique that is his trademark, Gildon did his hallmark flop-and-flail, and George easily busted through the arm tackle and rumbled ahead, leaving Gildong face-down in the turf.
- On the very next play, Big Jason looped to the inside on a stunt, and slithered through basically untouched. But instead of getting an easy sack of McNair, the weak, clumsy Gildon was easily shrugged off like a lil' toddler, and McNair scooted away (and then ambled by a whiffing Flowers). Just look at the first photo --- notice where Jason's head is. It's DOWN, as in, facing downward, and his eyes are facing downward, which is exactly the TOTALLY WRONG technique for tackling. Watch players like Kendrell Bell & Earl Holmes, who consistently stick their "Ridell" (ie, the forehead part of their helmet, above the face mask) into the ball carrier's stomach.
- Early in the 4Q, on a 2d & 7 from their own 21, McNair faded back to pass. Gildon cut to the inside, and again came through basically untouched, and had McNair dead to rights. Instead, Jason did his flop-and-flail, and McNair scooted away and gained 12 yards on a scramble. Of course, while you read this and look at the photos, remind yourself, "Yes, Jason Gildon is a pro bowl linebacker"...
- At 11:42 of the 4Q, on a 1 & 10 at the Pit 35, McNair took a short 3-step drop for a pass play. Once again, for about the 37th time of the day, Big Jason was left totally untouched and unblocked. See pic 2.
But as you cqan clearly see in pictures 3 & 4, Jason goes out of his way to avoid McNair, instead looping wide to where George was set up, not to where the QB was set up. The blue line in the 3rd pic shows the direct path to put heat and harassment on McNair, which would have been a path in-line with the 38-39 yard line. Instead, Gildong takes the path outlined in red, which does absolutely nothing to hamper McNair's vision, release, or footwork.
- Two plays later, George took a handoff and ran toward RT.
Jason is solo-blocked on this play by Hback E. Kinney, who easily influences Gildon wide, and then shield-blocks him as easy as pie. In fact, in pic 3, George clearly has received the handoff, and in pic 4, Gildong is foolishly trying to loop around the wrong side of Kinney in a totally hopeless, worthless attempt to stop the RB (marked with red arrow). The result is an enormous hole -- outlined in blue -- for George to cruise through for an easy 8-yard gain. Luckily, LT J. Matthews (lime-green arrow) was flagged for a needless hold on this play. But this is the exact kind of softee play that will allow playoff opponents like the Jets, Raiders, Dolphins, et al, to move the ball and chew the clock.
Late in the game, at 3:45 of the 4Q, McNair began a short 3-step drop and immediately started to stare at his right flat. (see blue arrow in first pic.) Gildon, for the upteenth time, is allowed to enter the backfield totally untouched and unblocked, despite the poppycock about offenses having to overshift their schemes to block the dungboy.
As you can see in pics 3 & 4, Gildon once again has a clear shot to veer DIRECTLY TOWARD McNair and wreak havoc. Gildon does veer toward McNair, but as you see in pics 3 & 4, Gildon assumes this absurd, Larry Czonka-like crouch, which puts him so low to the ground that he can compete for the Adelphia limbo championship. Eddie George is all too happy to meet that asinine low-crouch attack with an even lower block, and the result is Gildong being folded up like a lawn chair while McNair is totally unfettered. Sure, McNair's footwork is altered a smidge, but for such a dinky pass an NFL QB doesn't need to stride 3 feet into the throw. McNair's throwing motion is not altered by The Dong, nor is his vision of the passing lane, or is the passing lane itself. What startles and hampers McNair is the safety blitz by Flowers, who, while not directly harassing McNair, is in the aerial path of where McNair wanted to throw the ball.
The back-view of this play provides a good angle, too.
As you can see in pics 2, 3, and 4, McNair never shies from staring directly at the right flats, yet Gildon -- a veteran of 6 prior seasons -- is literally ducking low to avoid harassment of the intended & obvious passing lane.
In pic 6, below, McNair is just about to release the pass, and where is Big Jason ?? His head is down, his hands are down, his arms are down, and he's doing absolutely nothing that you want your OLB -- who was untouched coming off the LOS -- to do on what should be a very easy play to disrupt.
There's been a lot of fawning this year about Jason's batted passes, almost all of which have come when he's been getting bullied and shoved around at the LOS, and not near the QB. This was exactly the kind of play that The Dong could have batted or disrupted, yet he did an imbecilic submarine plunge into Eddie George, which served no useful purpose whatsoever. (And yes, I'm well aware that Chad INT'd this pass and took it to the house....) I want all of the aforementioned pictures and verbiage from this play to fully sink in, because sure as shit, in some media outlet Gildong will probably get credit for "forcing the interception", when, in reality, his weak, pitiful actions on this play caused him to have nothing whatsoever to do with the INT.
- Finally, at 2:51 of the 4Q, on the play that Townsend caught an INT but was over-ruled, Big Jason once again whiffed on a sack attempt. Jason diddled around after the snap, but eventually floated toward the inside and up center. As you can see in Pic 1, Gildon has a clear shot at McNair, but whiffs.
This is a good angle, below. Once again, note where Jason's head is --- DOWN. See the blue line in pic 4. This sloppy-assed technique is precisely why Jason spent most of the day on his stomach or on his ass -- flopping around like a beached whale.
In summary, this was yet softee, weak-assed effort from the vaunted Gildon. His Charmin-like effort produced 3 solos --- all on plays in which no one touched nor blocked him. Worse, Gildon was involved in a dozen plays that showed a clear, undeniable pattern of softness, ineptitude, and a total lack of on-field awareness. As a comparison, take note of lil' Deshea Townsend, a career backup CB who is short and slow by NFL standards. Nevertheless, Townsend consistently displays outstanding football instincts and on-field savvy, unlike Gildong, who has zero football instincts, little savvy, and no sense whatsoever of the spatial relationships that occur on the field in regard to opposing players, the outer dimensions of the field, and where the ball is/who has the ball. On top of that, the ludicrous, pathetic softee play that Gildong continually displays is enough to make any legitimate die-hard Steeler fan ill. And for anyone who claims that, if only I took the time, I could also find "just as many flaws" with other players --- give me a break. I just showed pictorial evidence of a dozen plays in which Gildong screwed up. There's absolutely no one on the NFL's #1 defense who makes the kind of softee, imbecilic boners, as Jason Gildong.
Season to date totals for Jason, in 10 games:
Earned Sacks: 2
Dong Sacks™: 5
Strips, Jars, fumbles caused: 2