Examining St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford Versus The AFC East

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is brought down by Kendall Langford #70 and Cameron Wake #91 of the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Earlier today, I took a brief look at how the St. Louis Rams' new center, Scott Wells, performed last season against teams in the NFC North. Turns out, the former Packer did pretty well, which is a plus since the Rams will be playing that division in 2012. St. Louis will also take on the AFC East, which is the former home of the team's new defensive tackle Kendall Langford.

So how did Langford come out against his former division?

Again, this is just a quick look using the numbers from Pro Football Focus. We'll get more in-depth with the matchups as the season gets closer.

One thing to note with Langford is a position change. With the Rams, he'll be on the inside whereas the Dolphins had him, mostly, as a five-technique end in their 3-4 system, though he did see more looks in 4-3 last year as the Phins started using more mixed looks.

Jeff Fisher is a Wide 9 guy, which means the ends will be spread out wide more often, making the job of the defensive tackles that much more important. It also means Langford will be lining up some in the five- and three-technique.

Overall, Langford scored well as a pass rusher, but did not fare as well against the run. His overall grade for the season was 1.7, with a 7.8 mark in pass rush and a -6.8 against the run. The good news is that his 2011 mark against the run is far out of line with his career norms, which was a 7.0 the year before last.

Versus Buffalo
Week 11: He scored a 1.3 overall, with positive marks as a run defender and a pass rusher.
Week 15: He did not start this week, and played in just 28 of 77 snaps. He scored a -1.4 overall, and a -1 against the run.

Versus New England
Week 1: Did not start this one, playing just 49 of 80 snaps. He graded out at -1.6 overall because of a -2.6 mark against the run. He did have one hit and two pressures on Brady.
Week 16: He scored a 2.0, and started this game. He had four pressures on Brady.

Versus New York Jets
Week 6: Had a -1.6 with a -1.1 against the run.
Week 17: A penalty pulled an otherwise neutral score down to -0.2.

Here's the problem with stats. Langford's up and down numbers last year partially concealed what was a pretty good season. Even PFF named him as one of two of the best defensive ends in the AFC East last year. Miami was a team fraught with problems, though their defense was far better than the offense.

We'll do more digging as the season gets closer, but Langford has proven over the years to be a good run defender and a guy capable of getting pressure on quarterbacks.

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