Chuck Smith 10 Pass Rush Principals
1. Individually study the Offensive Line’s top 3 protections. Anything more becomes a in game overload. Recognize the protection (slide, fan, zone, and max, Speed Rushers the chip block). Prepare and know the elements (rain, snow, wind, mud) which may adjust our signature pass rush moves.
2. Never line up in with the same width if it doesn’t affect the scheme (distance closet to farthest from the OL) during obvious pass rushing downs. This will keep the OL from getting in a rhythm and comfort zone.
3. PP (pressure foot plant foot): To generate the ultimate explosion off the ball. Push off your pressure foot. Getting off the ball puts pressure threatens the Offensive lineman.
4. Don’t be handicapped: Learn to use every stance. A defensive lineman who can only play on (1) one side or only able to get in (1) one stance handicaps himself and the defense. Many different pass rush moves can be disguised by keeping the OL off balance by just giving a different stance. We need to be able to adjust if were forced or asked to move around on the DL.
5. Use your hands/arms as weapons: Our hands/arms are a asset. We use them as violent weapons to strike. Our hands should never be still.
6. Confidence / Consistency: Pass rushers have to believe in the moves/weapons. Developing consistency at what we do. Never get impatient and do rushes that aren’t in our repertoire. Sacks come in bunches. Sometimes they don’t come. We need to be consistent and confident during the good and the bad.
7. Vision: How do you get sacks if you never look at the Offensive Lineman during the Pass Rush? Great rushers have great vision! Eyes on your work. Meaning eyes on you visual key then target. Rule: beat the offensive lineman faster by having get “Eye control.” Looking at his Elbow OL are taught to stay square and balanced in protection. The Offensive lineman focus on our chest and breastplate. When were Pass Rushing we focus on the nearest threat, which will be his Arm, Elbow. Everything we need to win is located in this area (arms, shoulders, hands, wrist, and loose jersey). Eyes on his near Arm and Elbow. You can’t get to the QB until we beat the OL. Improve your Vision improves your GetOff: You get off faster, Quicker with a visual key. Your visual key (Ball, Knee). Every play the Pass Rusher must focus his visual key .
8. Learn to run stunts effectively: One of our biggest assets is the element of surprise (STUNTS)! (2) Two, (3) Three, and (4) Four man stunts help not only the individual but the entire defense. Picks, grabs, dummy calls, stemming can all exploit an unsuspecting offense. We have to be unselfish when running games. Pass Rush success as a DL is a give and take. We all have to do our part for the stunts, fire zones to work.
9. Set up Rushes: We have to set up rushes to sometimes have success on others (ex: You can rarely win an inside move until we have at least tested the outside). (ex: A bull rush is a counter move (not every down weapon), get the OL feet moving and that will help you have success when using the bull rush). Never stand at the line of scrimmage and try to block passes. Blocking a pass is a reaction (approaching the Passer), not an action (stopping our feet to jump).
10. 3rd and long: It’s time to hunt! We become hunters on third downs. Our attitude changes. Our energy rises. Our fangs start to grow. We use our moves and execute our skills. This is our trophy, a quarterback. We live for 3rd downs. We want to try and hit, harass the QB and most important, Sack the Quarterback because that will change the dynamics of the game. And give us a competitive and psychological advantage!