PDA

View Full Version : Chiefs Covitz: Linebacker Hali focuses on pass rush


Tribal Warfare
12-21-2011, 03:14 AM
Linebacker Hali focuses on pass rush (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/20/3330838/chiefs-linebacker-halis-focus.html)
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star

Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali is totally consumed by rushing the passer.

Not a moment goes by when Hali isn’t thinking about the offensive tackle he’s about to face, the guard or running back who will double-team him and how quickly he can get to the quarterback.

Chiefs interim head coach Romeo Crennel has noticed.

“You walk through the hall with Tamba,” Crennel said Tuesday, “and when he goes into the meeting room, he’ll make the pass-rush move into the meeting room. That’s his mentality. And on Sunday, he is doggedly pursuing the quarterback, down in and down out.”

Hali’s determination paid off in the Chiefs’ 19-14 upset of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. He matched his career best with three sacks of Aaron Rodgers and also forced a fumble. That gave Hali 12 sacks this season, which ranks second in the AFC. He also became the fourth player in Chiefs history to register back-to-back seasons of 10 or more sacks.

And Hali, in his sixth season since being drafted in the first round out of Penn State, moved into fourth place in franchise history with 53 1/2 sacks.

The Chiefs have a grand tradition of great pass rushers, starting with players such as Pro Football Hall of Famers Bobby Bell and Buck Buchanan, who terrorized quarterbacks before sacks became an official NFL statistic in 1982. The tradition continued with the three sack leaders in franchise history — Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (126 1/2 ), and two members of the Chiefs Hall of Fame, Neil Smith (86 1/2 ) and Art Still (73.)

Jared Allen, who led the NFL with 15 1/2 sacks in 2007, appeared to be next in line among the Chiefs’ sack artists, but his departure in a 2008 trade put the pressure on Hali to become the franchise’s next great pass rusher.

Thomas used sheer speed to get to the quarterback. Smith and Still took advantage of their height and wingspan. Allen and Bell used brute strength to overpower blockers.

Hali, 6-3, 275, simply outworks them.

The Chiefs employ martial arts instructor Joe Kim to work with their pass rushers, and Hali is his prize pupil.

“Tamba comes to work every day, and particularly on Sunday,” Crennel said. “He is relentless at rushing the passer. He works at his trade. He and Joe have become like brothers. He picks his brain to find out everything Joe knows about hand usage, about flipping your hips, about making the inside move. He takes it to heart and he works on it.

“Then on Sunday, he is doggedly pursuing the quarterback, down in and down out. Like Sunday, it began to catch up with those offensive linemen and began to wear them down a little bit because of the way he goes about it, and he ended up getting some sacks toward the end.”

Hali, like all elite pass rushers, has to contend with double-teams and with being held when it’s not always called. That’s not to mention the low rate of actually getting to a quarterback, maybe once or twice in 30 to 40 pass attempts.

So what keeps someone like Hali chasing and chasing the passer?

“He knows that good, sweet feeling that he gets when he gets there,” Crennel said. “And how important it is for the team for him to get a sack.”

Hali also had to make the adjustment from being a defensive end in a 4-3 front to an outside linebacker in a 3-4 when the Chiefs made a coaching change in 2009.

So now, instead of merely focusing on rushing the passer, Hali is sometimes asked to drop into coverage and read the routes of receivers coming out of the backfield.

“Tamba is not the prettiest guy running when he runs across the field,” Crennel said, “but when that ball is snapped, he’s a different deal.”

Hali has not had an interception since the change to the 3-4, and has not picked off a pass since his rookie year against San Diego’s Philip Rivers.

“When he gets one,” Crennel said, “it really will be fun, because he’ll be so excited … he’s made some good reads and some good reactions, but he hasn’t gotten his hands on a pass yet.”

Chiefs career leaders: sackS

<table class="story-table" border="0"> <tbody><tr class="story-table-even-row"><td align="left">1. Derrick Thomas</td><td>1989-99</td><td>126.5</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-odd-row"><td align="left">2. Neil Smith</td><td>1988-96</td><td>86.5</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-even-row"><td align="left">3. Art Still</td><td>1978-87</td><td>73.0</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-odd-row"><td align="left">4. Tamba Hali</td><td>2006-11</td><td>53.5</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-even-row"><td align="left">5. Mike Bell</td><td>1979-91</td><td>51.0</td></tr> </tbody></table> forced fumbles

<table class="story-table" border="0"><tbody><tr class="story-table-even-row"><td align="left">1. Derrick Thomas</td><td>1989-99</td><td>45</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-odd-row"><td align="left">2. Neil Smith</td><td>1988-96</td><td>29</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-even-row"><td align="left">3. Tamba Hali</td><td>2006-11</td><td>23</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-odd-row"><td align="left">4. Derrick Johnson</td><td>2005-11</td><td>15</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-even-row"><td align="left">5. Kevin Ross</td><td>1984-93, ’97</td><td>13</td></tr> <tr class="story-table-odd-row"><td align="left"> Jared Allen</td><td>2004-07</td><td>13</td></tr></tbody></table>

KC Hawks
12-21-2011, 03:19 AM
Wow, I wondered what he was focused on.

Douche Baggins
12-21-2011, 03:32 AM
Nothing like a borderline aspie pass rusher.

Tribal Warfare
12-21-2011, 03:34 AM
I've said this before, KC is using more two down linemen sets with Hali and Houston rushing in a two point stance.

InChiefsHell
12-21-2011, 05:30 AM
I just like the fact that we have Hali and now it seems Houston is panning out...we could have a really productive QB sacking defense for years to come.

Dexter Manley
12-21-2011, 06:28 AM
I just like the fact that we have Hali and now it seems Houston is panning out...we could have a really productive QB sacking defense for years to come.


I'll do the toking, and hopefully Houston will do the sacking...

BoneKrusher
12-21-2011, 06:44 AM
I've said this before, KC is using more two down linemen sets with Hali and Houston rushing in a two point stance.

yep.

Kansas city has 33 sacks on the season as of this week.

the number of sacks has really went up over the last three games.

Douche Baggins
12-21-2011, 06:54 AM
yep.

Kansas city has 33 sacks on the season as of this week.

the number of sacks has really went up over the last three games.

27.

But it's still a huge improvement.

cdcox
12-21-2011, 06:54 AM
I was surprised to see Art Still with 73 career sacks. He was more of an elite run defender than a sack artist. Pro-football-reference has him down for 48.5 sacks since 1982, the first year the NFL kept track of that stat. The Star is adding 24.5 sacks from 1978 to 1981 when the NFL did not keep track. That seems pretty reasonable at 6 sacks per year. Any one know if the 1978 - 1981 numbers are at all legit?

Looking at the numbers a little closer, he had two seasons where he had more than 6 sacks (1984 with 14.5, and 1986 with 10.5); four seasons where we don't know the year-to-year breakdown but he averaged 6 sacks a season; and another 5 years where he had 6 or fewer sacks.

So I guess my conclusion is that Art Still was a better pass rusher than I remembered, but that his numbers are a function of two good years + longevity.

Interesting, to me at least.

suds79
12-21-2011, 06:59 AM
Where's the column...

Covitz: Cornerback Flowers focuses on intercepting passes.

Dexter Manley
12-21-2011, 07:00 AM
yep.

Kansas city has 33 sacks on the season as of this week.

the number of sacks has really went up over the last three games.


Playing OLs with 3+ backups in the game really helps...

Who were the Packers playing at OT by the end of the game?

ReynardMuldrake
12-21-2011, 07:04 AM
Hali has not had an interception since the change to the 3-4, and has not picked off a pass since his rookie year against San Diego’s Philip Rivers.


Huh? Is there a difference between making an interception and picking off a pass?

Dexter Manley
12-21-2011, 07:07 AM
Huh? Is there a difference between making an interception and picking off a pass?


More precisely, JoPa figured out Hali couldn't catch very well. That's why he played defense at Penn St...

cdcox
12-21-2011, 07:07 AM
Huh? Is there a difference between making an interception and picking off a pass?

The distinction is the time frame, not the difference between an interception and a pick off.

htismaqe
12-21-2011, 07:38 AM
I've said this before, KC is using more two down linemen sets with Hali and Houston rushing in a two point stance.

Romeo made a comment yesterday about Kelly Gregg standing next to him on the sideline because of the packages they've been running...

BoneKrusher
12-21-2011, 08:16 AM
Who were the Packers playing at OT by the end of the game?

who knocked out their left tackle?

Micjones
12-21-2011, 10:49 AM
Hali, Houston, Johnson, Bailey, Gilberry, Gordon...
That group ought to mature into one of the league's best at rushing the passer.

htismaqe
12-21-2011, 11:10 AM
who knocked out their left tackle?

Hali accidentally rolled up on his leg. His tibia/fibula buckled and then noodled.

TheGuardian
12-21-2011, 11:45 AM
Houston is the guy that is starting to really come on. His play from the first half of the season to now is light years different. His run defense is very solid and he's really starting to find his way as a pass rusher. Next year those two are going to fucking terrorize QB's like mad.

ReynardMuldrake
12-21-2011, 11:50 AM
Hali accidentally rolled up on his leg. His tibia/fibula buckled and then noodled.

That was an ugly injury. You know it's bad news when the network won't show the replay.

htismaqe
12-21-2011, 11:56 AM
That was an ugly injury. You know it's bad news when the network won't show the replay.

You could see the pronounced curve in his lower leg...sickening.

BoneKrusher
12-21-2011, 01:15 PM
Hali accidentally rolled up on his leg. His tibia/fibula buckled and then noodled.

oh man, that hurts just reading it.

Dexter Manley
12-21-2011, 01:28 PM
Say a prayer for a full recovery for Derek Sherrod.