Is There Something Wrong With Kawann Short?

KK Short was one of the NFLs top interior defensive linemen last year and was no doubt the best on the Panthers. This year he has been not so great, with 3 QB hits and 1 sack through 6 games. He hasn’t been who he was last year. Now looking at the stats last season, he did not have a sack till after the week 6 bye. Surprisingly, he has beaten last year’s stats as far as stats go. His production has been where it was last year before he exploded for 11.5 sacks, making some remarkable plays in the process. Looking at tape, however, reveals more than the stat sheet. He is no longer commanding double teams on every play and is struggling breaking off blockers. His tackle numbers still rank within the top 10 DTs in the NFL, but as far as tape says it’s because teams are running at Short more than guys like Star. The bulk of his tackles have been assisted, meaning he’s running in after Luke or Davis start the work. 

Kawann Short

All of this got me thinking and diving into his stats, Short is one of the more inconsistent linemen in the NFL! WHAT? HOW? It’s simple, KK had 11.5 sacks last year in just 6 games, leaving 10 games where he was a ghost! Geno Atkins, a player Short is often compared with, had 11 sacks last year in 10 games. The stats are the same, but the circumstances are a little different. Atkins was more consistent week in and week out. Short, on the other hand, breaks off some monster games in streaks. Now I’m not going to argue with anyone that seeing KK blast a QB 3 times in one game as he did last year is not fun, but I would rather see him get a sack a game over 12 games than 2-3 sacks a game over a 5-game stretch.  

Stats get players paid in the NFL, but consistency gets players PAAAID! KK has the stats but when it comes to being the type of guy you can count on game in game out, he
 is just not that type of player. To me, it’s why Gettleman didn’t back up the money truck and may warrant letting him walk. I hate to say it because I am a fan, but producing 10 out of 16 games in a season doesn’t qualify as elite! I’m not sure if it’s his motor or what, but going that many games in one season without pass-rushing production from a pass rushing DT does not cut it in the NFL and isn’t cutting it now. 

By JP “the Pope” Tremarzo
Follow him on Twitter @jp_tre18