First we're going to begin with the measureables:
Clint Session is 26 years old (will be 27 in September), stands 6-feet tall, weighs 235 pounds and has played in 35 out of a possible 48 games over the past three seasons. Session's best year was in 2009 when he led the Colts defense with 103 tackles, 5 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, (1 returned for a touchdown) and a forced fumble.
To break down what he did, we asked Football Outsiders guru Doug Farrar (also with Yahoo Shutdown Corner). Here's what Doug had to say-
Pitt linebacker Clint Session hit the NFL draft in 2007 measuring in at anywhere between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-0 (depending on who you believed) and 235 pounds. The Colts liked that he played in a defensive system similar to theirs, and drafted him in the fourth round despite the fact that Session didn't receive an invitation to the Scouting Combine. He forced five fumbles as a senior, and saw NFL action sooner than expected. Freddy Keiaho suffered a concussion and Session graduated from the backup role. Session really put his name on the map in Week 10 of his rookie season, when he picked off twoPhilip Rivers passes in a close loss to the Chargers. Injuries stunted his progress early on, but Session would flash impact potential in certain plays, like when he broke Jamal Lewis' facemask in December of 2008.
Farrar broke down one game in particular, against the Jaguars
Session impressed me right away. He plays bigger than you'd expect from a power standpoint, and I like the way he adjusts to misdirection or change of direction. On Jacksonville's second play of the game, Jones-Drew went around right end only to find Session waiting for him there. Fullback Montell Owens filled the gap and blocked Session, but the linebacker bounced off the block and was the first of many to bring Pocket Hercules down for no gain.
From a speed perspective, Session is decent in zone drops, although he was as flummoxed as you'd expect by the receiver matchups Jacksonville would try in response to obvious pass defense looks. Where he was better was in reading and defending screens -- he stopped a quick pass to Jones-Drew with 13:22 left in the first quarter for no gain because he was patient and didn't bite on the play fake to Drew out of an offset-I formation. When you see quick linebackers get lost on that stuff, you appreciate the defenders who wait for plays to unfold and let their speed do the work.
Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy had this to say about Session-
"Clint has what my old coach in Pittsburgh, coach (Chuck) Noll, used to call 'a six-inch punch.' The Muhammad Ali punch that Sonny Liston never saw, that's what Clint has," Tony Dungy said of Session in 2008. "It's very quick, and it doesn't look like much. But he rocks people and he knocks people back."
On some of the impact that Session's departure will have on Indianapolis, we asked Brad Keller of ColtPower.com. Keller covered each of Session's professional games with Indianapolis. Here's what he had to say-
Clint Session had his breakout year in 2009 and caught some national attention at that point, but also played solid football in 2008. Injuries held him back last season, but he still managed 38 tackles and sack in five games. If he's fully healthy and will be able to hit the ground running in 2011, he's a tremendous addition for the Jaguars, who had their own issues staying healthy at linebacker last year. He is a fast, aggressive, intelligent player and he's a big hitter. He's a Bob Sanders Light in that regard, which means that he'll miss a few games because of how he plays. He reminds me a lot of Justin Durant. Having two Durants on the roster would be a boon for Jacksonville. Gary Brackett is the captain of the Indianapolis defense and the leader among the linebackers, but Session was that unit's most productive and effective player. The Jaguars signing Session away from the Colts is almost as big of a defensive swing as when they signed away Mike Peterson in 2003.
It's difficult to tell if Session's impact will be greater on the field in Jacksonville or if his vacancy will be greater in Indianapolis. Either way it's a big win for the Jaguars.
Charlie Bernstein is the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguarsfor FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie
Clint Session Scouting Report
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