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Player Profile: A Closer Look At Jason Babin
Posted By ChiefsWarpath.com On November 12, 2008 @ 3:09 pm In Commentary | Comments Disabled
This seemingly meaningless midseason pickup could pay big dividends for the Chiefs. Jason Babin inked a deal with the Chiefs yesterday (details forthcoming), brought in to shore up the triage at defensive end. With Tamba Hali questionable and Turk McBride and Brian Johnston likely headed to injured reserve, the Chiefs are down to converted defensive tackle Alfonso Boone and undrafted rookie Wallace Gilberry. Boone is too big and Gilberry too raw. The Chiefs are looking for warm bodies. Babin is that, and possibly more.
Babin was a 1st round draft pick of the Texans in 2004. At 6’3″ and 265 pounds he was a little big for a linebacker and a little small for a defensive end, but ideally suited to play more of a hybrid DE/OLB role (think Derrick Thomas in the falcon position). He put up 4.0 sacks as a rookie. That’s a respectable number. In 2005 they alternated him with Shantee Orr. Orr was a little smaller and a little faster, giving him a slight advantage over Babin against slower right tackles. Orr started 12 games and Babin the other 4. Orr put up 7.0 sacks and Babin put up 4.0.
In 2006 the Texans brought in Mario Williams and switched to a 4-3. At the same time they brought in Anthony Weaver from Baltimore. Weaver was putting up nice numbers for the Ravens, but for Houston he put up a grand total of 1.0 sacks in two years as a starter. Houston was financially commited to Weaver, however, so they let go of Babin despite the fact that he put up 5.0 sacks as a reserve. Orr flopped in a 4-3, putting up only 1.5 sacks, and was also let go.
When Babin got to Seattle he went into a line with Patrick Kerney, Brandon Mebane, Chartric Darby, Rocky Bernard, and Daryl Tapp. Kerney had been brought in to fill the void left by Grant Wistrom and Tapp was the team’s 2nd round choice. Babin was an afterthought, more or less brought in as security in case Kerney or Tapp flopped (they didn’t–14.5 and 7.0 sacks respectively). He was buried on the depth chart behind special teamer Joe Tafoya and DT/DE Russell Davis (think Jimmy Wilkerson–versatile and highly effective). He stood no chance at LB either–Julian Peterson and Lofa Tatupu had Pro Bowl years and Leroy Hill was coming off a 7.5 sack season (he didn’t repeat).
Babin suited up for four games over two years in Seattle and saw little playing time, registering only one tackle. Still, those stats in Houston lead me to believe he has something to contribute. In Houston he was the victim of poor personnel management (who does that sound like?) and in Seattle he was buried behind a barrage of Pro Bowl players. That’s what happened to Mike Vrabel in Pittsburgh, and he turned out alright. Cross your fingers and hope he’s our Mike Vrabel.
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