The GilDong Report (Game #7, vs. Balt.)
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.
Gildon, in the midst of a yet another sub-mediocre season, had yet another game where he was as inconspicuous as a bowl of rice in China. Gildon did next to nothing in a feeble effort in the loss on Sunday to the Ravens. On paper, Big Jason, "The Paper Tiger", was credited with 3 solos and 2 assists, which is hardly a world-class effort. As we shall see, however, the Paper Tiger didn't even have the 3 solos, and additionally had a softee game that provided no more impact than a hanging chad.
Jason's first assist came on a 2nd & 10 at the Balt. 30. Brookins ran wide left, and got thru the initial surge and gained 3 yards before Brent came up for the stop. Gildon, meanwhile, was left totally untouched and unblocked, and true to his nature, came ambling over and dove into Brookins a split-second before Brookins was hitting the turf from Brent's tackle. (see pics, below). While not quite a true "stack jump", this was a very-near stack jump and a classic GilDong favorite. After all, if you can't make a real tackle or chip in on a real assist, why not cleverly stack jump and pad your stats that way?
Jason recorded his first solo on the first play after Lewis' long KO return, on a 1st down at the Pit 42. Cunningham hit fullback Ayanbedejo in the flats with a valve-dump, and Holmes came laterally in pursuit of 'Ayan' while Gildon genteelly came up from his pass coverage. Ayan had 3 choices -- either step out of bounds; plow into Gildon; or cut back and get hit by Holmes. (see 3 pics, below.) Ayan chose the first option, and stepped out of bounds with no one hitting him. Despite both defenders being nearly equidistant from the ballcarrier, Gildon was inexplicably given a full solo stop on this play, rather than an assist for him and an assist for Holmes. But hey, when you're nickname is "The Paper Tiger", you generally pad your stats as best you can with such hard-nosed, Butkus-like "solo" tackles.
Not content with his weak assist and weak solo up to this point, Gildon added a junk assist on a 2nd & 6 on the Pit 9 with 1:15 left in the 3Q. Fullback Ayan caught a dumpoff from the QB, and KenBell -- ever the sure tackler -- made the tackle. (see 3 pics, below.) But just like on his first assist, Gildon had to dive into a ballcarrier who was well wrapped-up and just inches from hitting the ground.
Shortly thereafter, on a 1st down at the Pit 13, Brookins took the handoff and did a basic run up his left tackle. On the play, it was quite evident that Joey Porter made the initial hit and Lee Flowers (see 2nd picture, below) come up to finish off Brookins. Meanwhile, Gildon did NOTHING on this play, except do his duck-footed waddle over to the stack, and then blatantly stack-knelt (see 3rd picture) once the stop had already been made. When watching the videotape, one can clearly hear the Steeler PA announcer state, "...stopped by Porter and Flowers". But don't laugh ... for this fearsome effort, Big Jason Gidlon was actually credited with a SOLO tackle. This, folks, is what ya call a phantom tackle.
The next play, Gildon finally had a play that at least resembled that of a starting veteran LB in the NFL. Brookins ran a gut run, but the hole was stuffed up, so Brookins had to stutter and then bounce it wide to his right. (see pics, below.) Meanwhile, Jason was doing his Wide Loop Rush ("WLR"), but in a rare fit of aggression, Gildon actually peeled off the WLR and got Brookins from behind. Actually, come to think of it, it makes sense that Gildon made this kind of play, because, given the choice, Jason typically prefers getting his man from behind.
Of course, as in any games that Jason plays in, there are a host of plays that, while not stack-jumps or phantom solos, are as laughable as they are feeble. One such play was on the very first series of the game for Balt. Gildon slashed into the backfield (see 3 pics, below.) and had Brookins dead to rights for a 4-yard loss. Problem was, Jason did his patented flail & flop, and whiffed miserably. Few things are funnier than the third photo, which shows Big Jason meekly lying on the grass after his feeble whiff. Get yer ass up, GilDong, and at least try to jump on the stack for another bullshit "tackle"!
Gildon did have some pressure on Cunningham on the play in which Porter got his first sack. Gildon juked starting RT Kip Vickers -- who was obviously looking for the Wide Loop Rush -- and was able to get inside of Vickers, untouched. Of course, Porter got there ahead of Gildon and got the sack. Ironically enough, Vickers was shortly replaced soon after by scrub backup RT Sammy Williams, who spent the rest of the afternoon bullying and punching Gildon about as though Gildon were Mike Tyson's girlfriend. To repeat -- Big Jason, the supposed pro bowler -- had over 3-1/2 quarters to abuse a backup right tackle, and the closest the Paper Tiger was able to get to the QB was after the game in the post-game prayer huddle.
All in all, yet another weakassed, no-hit game by Big Jason Gildon. Of his 3 solos, 1 was on a play in which Jason made no contact with the ballcarrier and merely happened to be 1 of the 2 closest defenders to the man when he ran out-of-bounds. Another solo was a phantom solo in which GilDong clearly was not even in on the stop, but he knelt near the stack and cleverly got credit for the solo anyway. Otherwise, Gildon had no harassment, no heat, and no impact on the game whatsoever. If there's a more over-rated player in the game today than Jason GilDong, please email with his name.
Season to date totals for Jason, in 7 games:
Earned Sacks: 1
Dong Sacks™: 2
Strips, Jars, fumbles caused: 1