Atlanta, GA - While offensive players garner the lion’s share of attention, games are usually won or lost by pass rushers. In modern football, the attention span of the average spectators mirrors an eye blink. Meanwhile, pass rushers can single-handily wreck a game plan. Appearing during this round table are Shaun Jones (Kings), Louis Ellis (Dynasty), Barry Guy (Lightning, and Patrick Campbell (Patriots).
Unbelievably, some players believe that anyone can line up and rush the passer with consistent success. Can you explain the difficulty of getting to the quarterback?
Truthfully, to consistently put pressure on the QB, the back end needs to hold up. If the back end cannot maintain coverage to keep the ball in the passer’s hands, it would not matter if we singled up. As long as the secondary does their job, pass rushers can get home.
Not everyone can rush the passer. When a 300-pound offensive lineman stands in front of you, skill and technique come into play immediately.
Not everyone is made to rush the passer. It comes a point where technique and sound athleticism matter most. People think what we do is easy however, playing in the trenches is tiresome.
If you could venture into the past and impart wisdom upon your younger self in regards to pass rushing, what would you say?
Work on your hand placement drills. With these tools, you will go far in this game.
Sharpen your hand-fighting, stay low, and work on your get off the snap. Everything else will fall into place.
Switch up your moves to keep the guess. Also, bring aggressive hands.
Before the snap, how do you mentally prepare for what is about to occur?
I am looking at lineman knuckles and running backs eyes. In addition, I scout the quarterbacks. Down and distance. Team tendencies, if we had film.
I just play. When I think about what I will do, then I am blocking myself. Once the ball snaps, I do not think I simply react. I been playing so long that everything falls into place like clockwork.
If there is film, I am breaking down any tendencies. Some include unchanged play calls. Before the ball is snapped, I have already noted mental situations. In return, I am steps ahead of the offense.
Many offensive linemen blur the boundaries of fair play, clutching and holding. What is your remedy for countering that?
There is no true way to deal with the issue. Once you retaliate, the referee suddenly sees everything.
I will use my strength to bull rush them out of my way.
We can work this out between us. I will never attack them the same way.
If they are not holding, they are not trying. I am surprised my jersey does not end up in tatters. A solid, chop, rip or club will set anyone straight.
Which APDFL quarterback do you still want to put on the ground?
Honestly, I have dropped them all that I have faced.
In essence, pass rushing remains the underrated aspect of the APDFL. Critics dismiss their job as easy. Yet, few could actually line up for an entire game and hurl themselves into offensive linemen. Fundamentally, pass rushers remain a different breed of player, bent of wrecking game-plans. As a result, the APDFL championship will rest with a dominant rusher, due to his otherworldly ability to get home.
Each of these players share a common honesty. They are less concerned with bragging than disrupting offenses. While others use social media to publicize themselves for a myriad of unknown reasons, true pass rushers just play. Nothing fancy, just effective.