Quarterback Harassments – The Full Story

July 13th, 2014

Defensive lineman Desmond Bryant was the Browns’ most efficient pass rusher last season (Photo: dawkpounddaily.com)

DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

This past Saturday, veteran cleveland.com columnist Terry Pluto briefly discussed the Browns’ 2013 defensive struggles. Pluto pointed out a number of statistics that proved just how misleading Cleveland’s ninth place ranking in yards allowed really was. As anyone who watched could attest, the team’s primary struggles came on third down, leading to sustained drives, and eventually, a hell of a lot of points for the opposition. None of this is surprising or new, but another stat Pluto included in his column did get my attention.

In discussing Paul Kruger’s lack of pass rush production last season, Pluto referred to a statistic that the Browns keep internally, apparently called “quarterback harassments.” This stat is intended to include sacks, hits and hurries. Last season, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant led the team with 32 harassment’s despite missing the final four games. I found this interesting enough to mention on twitter when I shared Pluto’s article.


Kruger was next on the team with 24 harassments, and Jabaal Sheard was third with 16. Rookie Barkevious Mingo finished the season with 13. But reader and twitter follower John Croyts (who happens to coach football) astutely pointed out that the harassment statistic would mean more if it was calculated per pass rush attempt.


This makes perfect sense. What does it really mean if Kruger has twice as many harassments as Armonty Bryant, if it took the former three times as many pass rush snaps to get there. Thanks to the folks at profootballfocus.com (subscription required for premium content), I was easily able to find out how many pass rush snaps each of the nine players Pluto listed in his post played last season, and which ones were most efficient with their quarterback harassments. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Desmond Bryant still comes out on top. The results also indicate that a couple of young guys on the roster should see some additional pass rush opportunities in the coming season. Here are the full results:


Desmond Bryant: 32 harassments/379 pass rush snaps = 8.44%

Armonty Bryant: 12/159 = 7.55%

Billy Winn: 12/174 = 6.90%

Paul Kruger: 24/439 = 5.47%

John Hughes: 10/202 = 4.95%

Jabaal Sheard: 16/328 = 4.88%

Phil Taylor: 12/298 = 4.03%

Barkevious Mingo: 13/336 = 3.87%

Ahtyba Rubin: 10/330 = 3.03%


(Addendum: The aforementioned profootballfocus.com keeps their own set of quarterback pressure statistics, with quarterback hits and quarterback hurries to accompany sacks. When dividing the sum of those three categories per pass rush attempt, the results are quite different. This being said, My guess is that the Browns put more emphasis on their own internal statistics than on PFF’s, thorough as they might be. But I would love to know the difference in the Browns’ “harassments” statistic versus PFF’s “sacks + hits + hurries.” I’m not done investigating this one. In the meantime, here’s a look at the pure PFF numbers:


Kruger: 51/439 = 11.62%

Sheard: 38/328 = 11.59%

Mingo: 38/336 = 11.31%

Desmond Bryant: 34/379 = 8.97%

Armonty Bryant: 12/159 = 7.55%

Winn: 13/174 = 7.47%

Hughes: 13/202 = 6.44%

Rubin: 13/330 = 3.94%

Taylor: 11/298 = 3.69%)

Tags: Armonty Bryant, Barkevious Mingo, Billy Winn, Browns, Cleveland Browns, Desmond Bryant, Jabaal Sheard, NFL, Paul Kruger

2 Responses to “Quarterback Harassments – The Full Story”

  1. BobCatMike27 says:

    You are close, but here is a suggestion to make this even better. Make a sack worth 5, a hit worth 2, and a hurry worth 1 and total up those numbers. Divide that by the total of pass rush attempts (not just snaps… if Barkevious drops back, it doesn’t count against him).

    This would give you a weighted number that represents pass rush efficiency a bit better.

    Hope this helps.

  2. JustinHigdon says:

    I like the idea of a weighted system. Perhaps this is what the Browns do with their harassment stat, and that is why their numbers differ from PFF’s. The snap counts I used are from PFF and include only pass rush snaps, so no drop backs were factored into these numbers

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