INDIANAPOLIS --- Pro Football Focus is becoming more and more mainstream, with Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth investing in the company and the site touting that 20 NFL teams are clients. Each week, PFF releases its top player at each position, and Colts defensive end Kendall Langford was the best at his position by a wide margin in week 9 against Denver.
Langford earned a 7.7 grade, after leading the Colts with 6 tackles, including one for loss. He also had 5 of the team's 9 quarterback hits on Peyton Manning and the Colts' lone sack of the game.
According to PFF, the next best defensive end of week 9 was Langford's former Rams teammate Aaron Donald with a 5.0, and for those unfamiliar with the grading system, that's a significant margin between the two performances. Both great, but Langford's day was fantastic.
"I didn't know that, but that's pretty cool," said Langford Monday about the PFF grade, before smiling about his first sack of Peyton Manning. "I was determined to get #18. I've been chasing him my whole career. I was finally able to catch him."
"He played one whale of a football game along with the rest of that defense," said head coach Chuck Pagano Monday, before being asked about the coincidence that Langford has former captain Cory Redding's locker now. "(Langford)'s a great character guy...We call them 'Paul Reveres'. They're guys that just lead the charge and mentor young guys."
Pagano said though being a 'Paul Revere' is more than just being a vocal leader, and Langford has done that after signing as a free agent in the offseason.
"It's not all just jibber jabber. It's by how you practice, how you train, how you study, how you work, how you live your life, all that stuff," said Pagano. "It's hard to replace the Reggie Wayne's and the Cory Redding's of the world...We were very fortunate, very lucky to land him."
Another 'Paul Revere' on this roster loves Langford too.
"Production. The guy came in (as a) free agent, and he was a big acquisition for us," said Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis of Langford, who knows a thing or two about pass rush. "I'm happy to see it. Love how he approaches the game, gets after it...get off the ball, and attack the target...He's my vote for AFC Player of the Week."
That honor went to Colts cornerback Darius Butler for his late-game interception, but it was Langford hurrying Manning all day long. Mathis said his teammates call Langford "The Big Cat".
"That's a name that came from my rookie year in Miami from my defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni," said Langford. "He just said I was big, and I was quick like a cat."
The one stat that might not jump off the page but has been vitally important for Langford his entire career is the fact that he's there every single Sunday. Langford has not missed a single game in his NFL career, now in his 8th season.
"I'm a pretty durable guy. I'd like to keep it that way," said Langford, as he knocked on his wooden locker. "It goes hand-in-hand. Credit to the guys on the back end, credit to the coaches for the scheme. The rest was just, 'I want to.'"
Langford certainly put his mind to it week 9 and is filling a big need on the Colts defensive line in 2015.