The importance of Dario Romero


Apart from new addition Kenneth Pettway, who has only played two games to date, the Eskimos defensive linemen have struggled to make a consistent impact over the first three games of the season. In the first game of the season, Andre Coleman and Justin Brown had three tackles each and the only sack of the game was garnered by linebacker Mark Restelli. Against Montreal in week two, apart from Pettway who collected four defensive tackles and a sack, no other defensive lineman had more than one tackle. Andre Coleman’s was for a sack, but apart from that single play, he wasn’t a huge factor. Move along to the Esks first road game in Saskatchewan, and once again, if you remove Pettway from the equation, the defensive line only had three tackles. At the end of the Saskatchewan game, the Eskimos found themselves at the bottom of the league with 500 yards against on the ground in only three games.

2009

Let’s go back to last year, where despite some deficiencies in the defensive secondary, the Eskimos defense was actually quite good against the run. They finished the year ranked as the number two team against the run, and did a good job in forcing teams to become one dimensional in their offensive attack. Although he only played in the first 12 games of year before going down to injury, it can be argued that Dario Romero was one of the key reasons for that success.

In his 12 games, Romero had 22 tackles, six sacks, and two knockdowns. Considering that he only played in two-thirds of the teams games and yet he was still the co-leader in sacks speaks volumes about how well he played. Now statistical performance is a good measuring stick, however, it wasn’t just in the stats where Romero made an impact. He was constantly pushing opposing linemen into their back-field and caused disruption on almost every snap of the ball. Romero was also a leader on the team, someone who it appeared wore their heart on their sleeve much in the same fashion as back-up quarterback Jason Maas.

Now I know that someone will look at the stats for the first twelve games last year and see that the Esks gave up an average of 106.25 yards per game in that stretch and then look at the last six games and see that they only averaged 78 yards against. In response, first look at the competition in those last six games. Second, consider the conditions that the games were played in. Finally, and this is a purely anecdotal argument, but the presence of Romero in those first 12 games allowed the line to form some chemistry as a unit and allowed first year players like Greg Peach to ease into the lineup and get adjusted to playing in the CFL. When Romero went down to injury, the rest of the unit were able to respond because of his influence in the first 12 games.

Back to 2010

Romero has yet to play a snap for the Eskimos this season and the team stats show that despite fixing that leaky secondary, the Eskimos run defense could use a little boost. Added to that, Romero comes across as a fierce competitor and leader on the Eskimos, which any team that is 0-3 to start a season can use if only to give the guys on the field a little shot in the arm. It’s amazing what  it can do for other players  confidence levels simply by having a player with Romero’s talents in the game.

If Romero is truly one hundred percent healthy, watch for the defensive line to make a little noise on Saturday. When you get a leader back like the talented defensive tackle, the results should almost be automatic.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by TurfToe on July 23, 2010 at 8:27 am

    AND… Romero has fire and passion. He’s the kind of guy (like AJ Gass) who ignites those around him. We’ve criticized some of the players for taking things lightly after the last loss, but DR isone guy who I know wouldn’t have been satisfied or felt like playing games. The sooner he’s back at full speed, the better the Esks’ D will be.

    Reply

  2. @TurfToe

    Well put sir. Well put. Fire and passion are key ingredients to a winner and Mr. Romero certainly has them.

    Reply

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