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Jason Pierre-Paul: Left or right, does it really matter?

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Jason Pierre-Paul has spent almost an equal amount of time this season at left and right defensive end. Should the Giants just leave him at his natural right end position?


We have talked incessantly this week about the New York Giants' pass rush. Bear with me while we do it just a little bit more.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has taken his own look at the pass rush and utilized some screen shots to show situations where the defensive line had opportunities, but simply did not win.

What struck me about each of Prisco's screen shots is that as far as I can tell Jason Pierre-Paul is at the left end in each of them. JPP at left end, especially moving for Osi Umenyiora, has always bugged me. I have never thought Pierre-Paul looked as comfortable, or more importantly, was as productive coming from the left side.

Well, data from Pro Football Focus shows that I am only partially right about that. Here are the numbers from this season:

Left End
Snaps Pct. Sacks Hits Hurries Total Pass Rush Productivity
206 46.8 2 1 24 24 10.1%

Right End
Snaps Pct. Sacks Hits Hurries Total Pass Rush Productivity
224 50.9 5 2 18 25 8.9%

We see that Pierre-Paul has five sacks from the right and only two from the left (he officially has 6.5, but for PFF's purposes they have him credited with seven). Yet, overall (using the pass rush productivity stat) we see that Pierre-Paul has actually created more havoc for quarterbacks coming from the left side.

In 2011, Pierre-Paul's Pass Rush Productivity (PRP) was 9.3 percent in 347 snaps from the right side and only 6.0 percent in 147 snaps from the left side.

Pretty obvious that with Umenyiora healthy all season after playing only nine regular season games a year ago that the Giants are moving JPP across to the other side a lot more often.

I still don't like it. I would rather see the better player, Pierre-Paul, stay at his natural position rather than move so as not to disrespect a veteran -- Umenyiora has rushed only 45 times from the left side this season.

If you lean on the sack numbers, you would say leave Pierre-Paul alone on the right. If you are buying the overall PRP as the measuring stick you will say it's not a big deal.

What do you think, Giants' fans? Is JPP being moved off the right side too often?