Pass coverage, pass-rushing, hybrid defender, fast
run-stopping, too aggressive sometimes, inability to set an edge
Whitney Mercilus is a unique player in that he can be used in a pass-rushing format or as a coverage linebacker too. He has excellent coverage ability basically shutting down Travis Kelce last week against the Chiefs.
Doyle is a player the Colts tend to use a lot in the play-action game but he’s not that fast; in fact, Doyle is a better run blocker than he is a receiver in my opinion. This severely limits the playability of the opposing team.
You can either run at J.J Watt – who I still believe is the best defensive player in the league right now – or up the middle to D.J Reader – who we just went over as an excellent run stopper. Then once you get the ball running downhill, you can’t use play actions with the tight ends because Mercilus is so good in the pass coverage game.
In fact, his pass coverage skills are so good that in 14 plays designed to be in pass coverage situations – 7 last week – he’s only allowed 1 catch for 14 yards and defended 5 passes. There isn’t an edge defender like Mercilus in the NFL.
His dynamic playmaking ability really can’t be coached. However good his pass coverage is, he lacks in the other linebacker attributes. At 6’4″, 258 pounds, he runs a 4.68 40 time and can be easily pushed around by bigger tackles and guards. He has a hard time setting the edge against an off-tackle run and can be fooled by the counter play.