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10 Commandments of Pass Rush

10 Commandments of Pass Rush

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Published by Matthew Looney

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Matthew Looney on Aug 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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want to start by saying what a great thrillit is to speak to you today at the 2002American Football Coaches Ass ocia tion Convention. It is truly an honor. I would beremiss if I did not take a couple of minutesto thank some of the people who haveinfluenced my life.John Flynn, my high school coach, andDon Fambrough and Tom Batta, my col-lege coaches. Larry Wilcox and DickLemke, who also coached me in college.Leo McKillip, who gave me my first job, andJim Krueger, the first defensive coordinatorI worked for. Noel Martin and BarneyCotton gave me my first full-time job. RossEls gave me my first coordinator positionand taught me a lot and Paul Mierkiewicz. Ialso worked with some great coaches atHastings College. Acouple of them arehere, Chris Boyles and David Calloway.Finally, the biggest influences on my life.John Teerlink and the best coach I evercoached for, the one who taught me every-thing, Matt Pawlowski.I am extremely fortunate to work at agreat university. On behalf of our president,Dr. James Appleton and our athletics direc-tor, Jeff Martinez, I invite you visit ourschool if you are in Southern Californiarecruiting. We would love to visit with youand talk football. We have a great staff andmost of them are here. Keith Pebley, ouroffensive coordinator, and his coaches onoffense; Frank Jimenez, Barry Tyler, andDan Loyd. Also, here are our defensivecoaches; Hugh Farmer, Damon Tomeo,Eric Arrington and Steve Tax. Joe Kellycould not attend. I am truly blessed to workfor a great head coach who I not onlyadmire, but who is truly a friend, MikeMaynard. Thanks Mike for everyday.The first thing in pass rush techniques isyou must commit a lot of practice time anddrill work to become a great pass rusher.Usually, pass rush drills are overlooked inthe long haul of a practice plan. This is theresult of head coaches who are more con-cerned with enough drill work to satisfystopping certain running plays. Before I goany further, I would like to illustrate why youhave to commit a lot of drill work to pass inorder to be a good pass rusher.Your head coach may say to you theyonly throw the ball 15 times a game, you’respending too much time on pass rush. Wellif you have four defensive lineman times 15pass attempts per game that equals 60pass rush opportunities per game. They’renot going to run 60 trap plays, toss sweeps,power plays or counters in a game. Thesame head coach that gripes that they areonly going to throw the ball 15 times in agame is the same head coach who willstand next to you with two minutes left andsay, “how come we can’t get a pass rush”.When we talk about the techniquesused to rush the passer, the first and mostimportant thing is what I call my 10Commandments to the Pass Rush.I realize that you must be thinking thatthere are 13 techniques instead of 10, but Ihave constantly added new techniquesthroughout the years. I will go through themvery quickly.The first one is be an athlete. It’s simpleand it’s direct. You must be a great athleteto be a great pass rusher. Number two,have a move in mind. When we break thehuddle you should have a move in mindevery down. Number three, have a countermove in mind for every down. Number four,bull rush early. We want to bull rush theoffensive lineman as many times as possi-ble early in the game. We want to let theoffense know that it is going to be a longphysical night all game long.Number five, don’t drive a truck, onearm longer than two. Don’t use two arms totry and control an offensive lineman, itlooks like you are driving a truck. Use onearm to control the offensive lineman andkeep him at arms length. Number six, goingto a fire/I’m on fire. Whenever you see afire truck, there will be little kids chasing thefire truck. We want to pass rush with thatsame sense of urgency, like we are on theway to a fire. But also, whenever you watcha movie that has a stuntman who happensto be on fire, they are running around crazy.
10 Commandments of thePass Rush
Bill O’BoyleDefensive CoordinatorUniversity of RedlandsRedlands, Calif.
Turning Up the Heat:Pass Rush Techniques toGet the Quarterback
Be an Athlete
Have a Move in Mind
Have a Counter Move in Mind
Bull Rush Early
Don’t Drive a Truck, One arm LongerThan Two
Going to a Fire/ I’m on Fire
Speed to QB, Take Shortest Route
Pressures & Hurries Most Important,Sacks are a Bonus
Strip the Arm Every Rush
Hit the QB Every Pass Attempt
Be a Cheetah
Lawnmower Techniques
Finish Off a Wounded Man (QB)
We want that same wildness from our passrushers, like they were on fire. Numberseven, speed to the quarterback- shortestroute. Number eight, pressures and hurriesare the most important, and sacks are abonus. Number nine, strip the arm everyrush. Number 10, hit the quarterback everypass attempt.Number 11, be a cheetah. The cheetahis the fastest land mammal on the planet.When you rush the quarterback you mustrush him like a cheetah, always runningdown your prey. Number 12 is the lawn-mower technique. Acheetah is chasing awater buffalo. If it jumped on its back, itwould be carried off since it only weighsaround 75 pounds. To get a larger sloweranimal down, it must run along side andsweep the front legs of the animal. Wewant to cut off the path of the opposingquarterback and sweep his legs instead ofchasing from behind. Number 13; finish offa wounded man. In the animal world whenthe first cheetah gets the prey going downthe other cheetah’s jump on top of it. Wewant our other defensive lineman to hit the
quarterback as he is going down, neverwhen he is on the ground.
When we talk about actual pass rushtechniques, the most important thing toremember is that your hands and feet aretied together. Whatever you do with yourright hand, you must step with your rightfoot. Any techniques with your left handmust correspond with a step by your leftfoot. This must be taught because it isopposite of how the human body normallyoperates. When you run or walk, your bodyworks in a plane of motion that operatesunder the principle of opposite hand-oppo-site foot. Pass rush is same hand samefoot, just like a marionette puppet. We cur-rently teach a complement of 27 differentand unique pass-rush techniques. Clearly,not all of our defensive lineman will use thecomplete complement of pass-rush tech-niques. Great pass rushers have two tothree great pass-rush moves, and onegood counter move. Tonight, because oftime constraints, I am going to teach ninetechniques that are not as common as cur-rently taught.The first one is the wrist wrench. Thismove is accomplished by taking a hand,coming across the top of the offensive line-man, grabbing the outside of the wrist,stepping as you come across with thesame foot, pulling and turning that wristacross the offensive lineman’s body, step-ping with the other foot, while swatting theelbow of the same arm that you are turningacross the body of the offensive lineman.This breaks down the elbow and gives youa half-man alley to finish the rush. We fin-ish this move with either a rip or a punch.We use the term punch instead of swimbecause it exposes too much rib cage.The second move is called the esopha-gus. Alot of players probably don’t knowwhere the esophagus is but because weare working the sternum/ throat area. I liketo call it a Vader move after Darth Vader. Itis similar to the way he would choke peoplein Star Wars. Our players sometimes iden-tify with that better. Simply put, is a one-arm bull rush, shot violently towards thesternum. We push and raise up the offen-sive lineman, if he never clears, we stay onthe move, when he goes to clear, we finishwith a rip or punch.The third move is the elbow pop. Weteach a single elbow pop first. The movestarts by cupping the forefinger and thethumb of one hand using the same handsame foot principle that I went over earlier,driving the hand up, while clearing theoffensive lineman’s arm up vertically.Theaiming point for the cupped hand is under-neath the elbow of the offensive linemanarm. The other hand of the defensive line-man goes to the sternum area of the offen-sive lineman, similar to the Vader move.The double elbow pop is accomplished bystepping and swinging both hands with anupward motion, striking both elbows andclearing both arms of the offensive linemanvertically. Both cupped hands moved thento the chest of the offensive lineman andwe finish with a traditional bull rush.The sixth move is the big rip. Many peo-ple currently teach the rip move, but missthe most important aspect of it by forgettingto mention the aiming point. The aimingpoint that we strive for is inside the rib cageof the offensive lineman. It is also importantthat the rip is “wound up.” We want to drivethe arm back before we use the rip workingforward. Akey coaching point is to finishwith the bicep of the ripping arm at the ear-hole of the helmet. It is important that thefootwork is tied together, once again, utiliz-ing what we phrase a drive step. The drivestep is an overstrided lunge that gets yourhips working forward giving power to therip.The seventh move we teach is thecounter-rip/lunge. After we have thrown therip and are being worked up field, we needto get out of the rip move by pulling the ripout just as violently as thrown originally.Aswe pull it out, we flip our hips and steptowards the quarterback (lunge), and swatat the ball with the same hand and foot thatwe stepped with. This is almost like an olein bull fighting.The eighth move was Reggie White’ssignature move, the hump move. Ahumpmove is when the player has been workedto a level parallel to the quarterback. It isaccomplished by flipping the hips, sinkingthe center of gravity, dig in the up-field foot,leaning the up-field shoulder, winding upthe downfield hand, cupping the fingersand coming underneath the armpit of theoffensive lineman, throwing him up fieldand finishing with a rip by the up field arm.This move is a simple physics equation thatgives the illusion the defensive lineman hasthe strength to bench press the offensivelineman. In reality, you are just using theweight of his body to help you move him ina plane of motion away from your body at a45-degree angle.The ninth and final move is the chopsaw.This move is accomplished by chop-ping down with an inside hand (hand clos-est to offensive lineman) and then steppingwith the outside foot, turning the hips andswinging the outside arm which is held in a90-degree angle (like a fly is done on apeck deck machine). The aiming point forthe forearm is the elbow of the offensivelineman.Lastly, I want to speak about a drill thatwe do everyday, which is our gauntlet passrush drill. We use vertical standing bagsthat are called Wavemasters. These arekarate/ kick boxing training bags that won’tmove or tip over. We put these in a single-file line five yards apart from each other, orwe put them in a box square five yardsapart from each other. In this way we canaccomplish the eight basic pass rushmoves that we initially teach.The first move is the big swat, with an
Pass Rush Techniques
Wrist Wrench
Esophagus/ Vader
Elbow Pop
Big Rip
Counter Rip/ Lunge
Chop/ Saw

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