Strength, motor and... bend? George Karlaftis preseason week 1 review (and a bit more)
Looking at how the Chiefs rookie defensive end performed on every snap, where he won, and what traits he showed. Plus, a few quick-hitting thoughts following our first "real" football.
Football isn’t just near. It’s here. Preseason Week 1 is in the books, and we finally (FINALLY) have kicked off the 2022 season.
Like we talked about last week, preseason games don’t give us a great deal of information about the team overall (outside of observations as to who is getting snaps and when). However, they do provide us with plenty of things to watch on individual players and how they handle their matchups/assignments. With that in mind, I went into the game with multiple players I was very interested in watching, to see what traits they would show in their first action as a pro or (in some cases) how veterans look in a new system or after some physical development.
Number 5 on that list was George Karlaftis.
There are a lot of small takeaways from Chiefs/Bears, and I’ll get into a few of the “blurbs” at the end of this piece (and of course we’ll be looking at tape all week on multiple guys). But Karlaftis was the player who jumped out at me the most watching the game live, and that made me most interested in how he looked on a snap by snap basis.
As we’ve talked about here repeatedly, a player isn’t defined by their highlights or lowlights, but rather what they do consistently over time. With that in mind, I re-watched every snap by Karlaftis against the Bears, charting wins/losses/neutral plays, pressures/hits/sacks, and more to examine how often he was able to win, where he won and where he needs to improve. If you’re looking for the methodology of how I chart defensive ends, check out the recent Carlos Dunlap 2021 film review.
If you’re interested, I wrote about Karlaftis’s college film following the Chiefs drafting him. But enough about the past, let’s talk about what he did against the Bears, starting with the charting numbers and then discussing how he not only showed the traits that helped him show out in college, but something I wasn’t expecting (how’s THAT for a teaser?).