The Fast Hands of Muhammad Wilkerson

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Mar 10, 2014; New York, NY, USA; American football defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson of the New York Jets sits court side at the game between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

If anybody came into their own in 2013, it was Muhammad Wilkerson. Wilkerson became the best pass rusher the Jets’ have put out there since John Abraham, posting 10.5 sacks last season. Wilkerson was a guy that the Jets’ opponents had to game plan against.

One of the biggest reasons that Wilkerson has improved is from the strength and speed of his hands. Let’s take a look. This first sack we are going to look at is from week three against the Buffalo Bills:

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E.J. Manuel is lined up in the shotgun. Muhammad Wilkerson is in the circle, and he is going to take on #71, Cyrus Kouandjio, one on one. Good luck with that Cyrus.

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Wilkerson, shown here, is starting to make his move to the inside. However, if we move ahead, we will see that he is not going to go inside. Instead, Mo is going to use his hands to guide Kouandjio to the inside while he goes to the outside to get right to E.J. Manuel.

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See Wilkerson’s left hand, in the square? He is guiding the guard to the inside, while he quickly gets to the outside and muscles his opponent out of the way.

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As you can see from this frame, the guard has engaged with Mo once again, but Mo clearly has position on him now, and it is just a few seconds from now…..

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…that Wilkerson has a straight line to the quarterback, and an eight yard sack.

Turn the page as we look at one more sack.

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  • AC

    Wilkerson uses his arm strength in a way few 3-4 DL can, and really causes disruption. There are no stats to really sum up what he does. Yes, he gets his own individual sacks and tackles behind the line, but he reeks so much havoc that he opens up lanes for Richarson and other blitzers to do the same kind of damage. There is no way Calvin Pace gets the sack totals he had without Richardson and Wilkerson. He is a beast.

    • Alan Schechter

      Totally agree with you Alex. He is a guy you have to game plan for as well. Finally, a guy that offenses have to watch out for and lose sleep over up front. It has been a long time.

  • Paul Newbold

    Wilkerson and the entire degensive line should line up at mid field and kiss Karl Dunbar’s hand! Dunbar is the technician! As with his time with the Vikings, he’s come into NY and changed the face of this line! Guys like Richarson, Ellis, and Wilkerson have improved their play tremendously under his tutelage!! Karl Dunbar is the man!!

    • Alan Schechter

      They don’t get much better than Karl Dunbar, do they Paul? First in Minnesota and now here, he is just great.