Posts Tagged ‘Sealver Siliga’

Front in Transition: Charting the Patriots’ Defensive Shift Beyond Rob Ninkovich vs. Dolphins

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
The Patriots showcased 17 different personnel combinations along the defensive line versus the Dolphins. Rob Ninkovich was part of only four. (Brad Barr - USA Today Sports Images)

The Patriots showcased 17 different personnel combinations along the defensive front versus the Dolphins. Rob Ninkovich was part of nine. (Brad Barr – USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Over the course of 2013, the New England Patriots defensive line altered through 58 personnel groupings.

Part of it was scheme, as some players departed to the sidelines during short yardage or passing downs. Part of it was attrition, as some stayed on the sidelines for the duration.

Rob Ninkovich was not one of them.

His No. 50 jersey was spotted on the field for 1,114 snaps last season – according to Pro Football Focus – second to only teammate Chandler Jones among the league’s 4-3 defensive ends. And by the conclusion of Week 17, there were only 54 snaps in which Ninkovich hadn’t been seen on it.

In Sunday’s 33-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins in 2014 regular-season opener, there were 39.

Ninkovich was one of the first 11 on the field for the tilt at Sun Life Stadium. But the 6’2”, 260-pound edge-rusher was not a constant across from Jones.

That wasn’t necessarily a deviation from the 2013 campaign, which saw Ninkovich step back to outside linebacker when the Patriots moved from a four-man line to a three-man line. Yet something was different on Sept. 7. (more…)


58 Defensive Line Combinations: A 2013 Patriots Personnel Study

Friday, June 6th, 2014

The defensive line of the 2013 Patriots shifted in waves. Its components changed by the week, and in some cases, by the snap. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The 2013 New England Patriots defensive line was one of adaptation.

It was one of many faces and many alignments. And it was one composed of 15 players, forged by attrition.

For the collection of former draft picks and undrafted free agents, waiver claims and veteran free agents, it was about being greater than the sum of their parts. For head coach Bill Belichick, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and position coach Patrick Graham, on the other hand, it was about being interchangeable.

From Week 1 through Week 17, the New England’s defensive line was just that. But its identity remained unknown. There was no true first-team. There was no true base defense.

Its contributors and alignments shifted with each opponent, with each snap. (more…)


Clearing Lanes: Exploring the Purpose of Patriots Defensive Tackle Sealver Siliga

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Sealver Siliga is on his fourth team in three years, but he’s fighting for an extended stay in Foxborough. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

It was after 6 p.m. on an October Tuesday when the news broke. But the news wasn’t announced via press release, an agent or a reporter.

It came directly from the source.

“Proud to say I am now officially a New England Patriot!,” 23-year-old defensive tackle Sealver Siliga posted on Twitter, along with a photo of himself pointing to the Patriots poster surfacing the wall behind him.

New England had signed Siliga the practice squad – a familiar destination for the well-traveled Utah Ute. And perhaps because of that, expectations were tempered.

Since going undrafted as a junior entrant in 2011, Siliga had been cut by the San Francisco 49ers, the Denver Broncos, traded to the Seattle Seahawks and cut thrice more. The 6’2”, 325-pounder had been a member of two practice squads and played in one career game.

Although after just five weeks on New England’s eight-man roster, Siliga was promoted to the 53-man roster. He’s played in five games since, starting four of them. He’s totaled 23 tackles and three sacks over that span.

Yet as an interior defensive lineman, Siliga’s true purpose with the Patriots hasn’t been seen in numbers.

It’s been seen in the lanes he’s cleared for teammates. (more…)







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