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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Jack Parkman, Feb 11, 2019.
I am in Canada right now
I just hate lazy, shitty content like that. It doesnt look great but it's an 8 second cell phone video of him running against air. The internet talent evaluators emerging from their holes remind me of a combo of the worst of memey NBA twitter mixed with someone talking about route running who hasnt run one since Braxton tried to guard him in the 2013 Greek flag football tournament
Mike Dugar isn’t from barstool you idiot
Sir this is a Wendy’s
Gibbons you have to be one of the slowest, dimmest people on this site so maybe you really should stick to just reposting your Twitter feed
Joe idk why you are so angry tonight but I’m sorry if it was me who caused this outburst
this is why tacos are superior to burritos
his footwork isn’t anywhere close to that of an nfl wr. i mean, it’s fucking terrible. off the ball, 3 steps
in, 10 yards in, at the dig, all of it
he’s going to get destroyed
a lot of people are calling him vanilla vick teel
Real swag is no swag
put it on a t-shirt!
I think we’ve finally answered the question “what if Mike Vick was white?”
Congratulations NYG fans
Known Daniel Jones #1 Fan, Tobias, will not believe this fake news.
lol yeah fucking right
art knows what he is talking about
jordan must think real swag is actual swag sheesh
more rushing yds in rookie year
dan the man or kyler
He’s no Josh Allen....let’s not get a head of ourselves.
stop trying to make Josh Allen happen
Stop shitting on my dream....it’s going to work damnit!
Dan the man throwing it to ghosts of the NFL wow what a specimen
First play of the game damn
Dan The Man Jones
Choo choo Tobias
it is happening Dump. It is happening.
There’s greatness in the air around here’: Inside Von Miller’s pass rush summit
Lindsay Jones Jun 5, 2019
LAS VEGAS – This is what more than 625 career NFL sacks look like, as more than 30 NFL veterans file off a chartered bus and walk into an empty college practice field on a Saturday in early June.
There’s Von Miller, the ringleader of this gaggle of pass rushers, with his 98 regular-season sacks, tied for second-most among active NFL players. There’s Aaron Donald, who’s got 59.5 sacks in just five seasons and owns back-to-back defensive player of the year awards. Here’s a pair of hulking power rushers in Calais Campbell, with 81.5, and Cam Jordan and his 71.5; and there’s Whitney Mercilus with his 42.5 sacks, a half-sack more than Melvin Ingram, who saunters off the bus into an 85-degree Las Vegas morning wearing a thick gray sweatshirt.
They’ve arrived here on the campus of UNLV without entourages. No handlers, no publicists. There are no fans to greet them, and only a handful of cameras are here to record them. This is Miller’s third annual pass rush summit, which has tripled in size since its inception in 2017 and become a must-visit destination for pass rushers.
Over the next six hours, they’ll talk about almost nothing but sacks. It won’t matter that some of them are division rivals, like Miller, the longtime Denver Bronco, and Frank Clark, who recently signed a $104 million contract with the Chiefs. Or that just five months ago two of their teams faced off in the NFC championship game, as Donald’s Rams and Jordan’s Saints did.
“We’re all on the same team for this short period of time, so it’s just about sharing the knowledge. If anyone can pick up anything, that’s what I set out to do,” Miller said.
Courtesy of Lindsay Jones
As the two-hour on-field session begins, Miller wants to make two things clear. One: This is not a camp. He’s labeled it a summit for a reason; he wants all the participants — the 12-year NFL veterans, the guys coming off their rookie years, the college players, and the retired players brought here to coach — to share ideas. Two: His name might be on the summit and his logo on the back of the shirts, and he might be breaking down the huddle, but Miller is merely the facilitator. He’s hoping to leave Las Vegas having learned as much as he taught.
“It’s not a teach clinic, where I can get out here and teach stuff. I’ll show you what makes me good and likewise. Show me what makes you great. What made DeMarcus (Ware) great. If we can apply that to our game, we do. If we can’t, we can’t. I’m positive that we got all these guys in one spot, we’ll be able to learn something from each other,” Miller says as the players gather around him. “Open dialogue with everybody. I want to know what you’re thinking. I’ll let y’all know what I’m thinking at all times. We’re here for the sacks. Sacks on three, sacks on three. One two three, SACKS!”
Miller has built this to be a high-energy but low-speed event. Some of the players wear cleats for the on-field work, but this is specifically not a practice. No one can risk getting hurt here, so the focus is on the details of the pass rush – the hand placement and arm movement and hip angles and first steps off the line of scrimmage.
The hot move most of the players want to learn here is the cross chop, a violent move in which a rusher uses his inside arm to swat away a lineman’s outer arm on his way to the quarterback. The move is Bruce Smith’s favorite to teach, and one that Yannick Ngakoue and Donald have both perfected. It can be used as a quick inside move, as Donald explains he takes just one step before he swats at a guard’s arms. On the outside, Ngakoue might take several strides toward a tackle, with his hips square, before his chopping with his inside arm.
Miller is particularly interested in studying the cross chop here. If he can add one move to his arsenal this offseason, this is it.
“It’s a deadly move, but you’ve got to practice it,” Smith said.
That large group slowly disperses, and smaller groups form organically. A few five-technique defensive ends gather on one side of the field, talking about double teams and power rushes. Ware and Donald pair off to the other side of the field to work on hand combat. Miller and Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers discuss the differences between rushing from the edge, like Miller does, and inside, like Brockers.
“Pass rushers are the best emulators. The better you can emulate someone else and what they do, the better you’ll become,” Ware said over lunch in the UNLV football complex. “Every year you’ve got to put something new in your toolbox. I tell those guys every year, it’s not about how great you are, everybody is athletic. It’s about, how can you mold yourself to what someone else does great?”
Courtesy of Lindsay Jones
Miller first envisioned a pass rush summit at least five years ago, before he was a Super Bowl MVP and before he held the title of the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player. He watched his former quarterback, Peyton Manning, host his receivers for a spring passing camp on campus at Duke University, and noted how high school and college quarterbacks attended passing camps (including the large one organized by the Manning family every summer in Louisiana). Miller was already friends with many of his pass rushing peers, so why, he wondered, weren’t they doing the same? He knew how much he was personally benefitting from practicing with Ware, who joined the Broncos in 2014, and asked Ware if he thought he would be able, and willing, to teach other players from around the league.
Miller hosted his first pass rush summit in 2017 at Stanford with about a dozen NFL players. It was a more structured day than what Miller put together in Las Vegas, with Stanford’s defensive line coaches doing more formal instruction. Miller tried to dramatically expand the summit in year two, recruiting a pair of Hall of Famers in Bruce Smith and Warren Sapp to serve as coaches, securing a corporate sponsor in Bass Pro Shop and what he hoped would be a destination location at the Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Mo. The summit itself was larger and flashier than Year 1, but the timing in late June meant Miller missed out on a lot of the top talent.
For Year 3, Miller streamlined the process. He picked a desirable location in Las Vegas and planned the camp before NFL minicamps in hopes of increasing participation. He figured players would be much more likely to spend June 1 working on football than July 1, when the league is shut down and players are resting and taking vacation before training camp.
He personally reached out to his friends around the league to extend invitations and posted an open invitation to the summit on his Instagram. Any college players who responded on Instagram were directed to his personal assistant who was handling all the logistics, from reserving a block of rooms at The Palms (paid for by Miller), to securing the practice, locker room and classroom space at UNLV, to reserving a charter bus and catering lunch. At least four college players paid their way to Las Vegas.
And then there’s Noah Espinoza, a 20-year-old Henderson, Nev. native who has long idolized Miller, and saw Miller’s Instagram post. Espinoza played linebacker at the University of Jamestown in 2017 before moving home and taking a job as a lifeguard at a Las Vegas hotel while he tries to find a new college team and restart his football career.
He took the day off work and showed up to the UNLV practice field at 7:30 a.m., ready to shoot his shot with the NFL players. He waited for more than three hours, warmed up on the field as members of Miller’s team and the UNLV equipment staff set up tents, a training table and filled large tubs with ice, water and Gatorade. He introduced himself to Miller’s girlfriend, and she assured him that Miller would welcome him onto the field.
Shortly after the veteran NFL players arrived just after 11 a.m., Espinoza approached Miller. He stretched out his hand, introduced himself and asked if he could participate.
“He was like, ‘OK, let’s get to work,’” Espinoza said later.
Two hours later, when the on-field work was done, the players and coaches gathered for a group picture. Espinoza is in the middle, arms crossed, standing behind Doug Flutie, two people down from Donald.
“What I’m taking away is if you get to the quarterback, you will play, and you will get paid. Hearing that from the NFL guys, nothing can take that away from me,” Espinoza said.
Courtesy of Lindsay Jones
To Miller, the coup for 2019 was landing Donald, the reigning two-time NFL defensive player of the year who had 20.5 sacks last season, who brought with him most of the Rams’ defensive line, including Brockers and Dante Fowler. Other first-time participants included Campbell of the Jaguars, Jordan of the Saints and Frank Clark from the Chiefs.
“In football, they always try to put one against two, this guy is the No. 3 player, or this guy is No. 6. It’s natural for you to feel like, I’m not No. 6, I’m closer to 1,” Miller told The Athletic during a break in the afternoon film session. “So, for everyone to really put that to the side and just focus on getting better, that’s cool. No matter how many years you’ve played in the league, you can always get better. I can learn something from the young guys, the young guys can learn something from me. There’s always something more than you can get. That’s what it’s about: Not being complacent in your game.”
Later this summer, Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson will bring together a group of offensive linemen for a second annual summit, with a similar format to what Miller has created for pass rushers. But these events are still rare. While the Mannings may have planted the idea for Miller, the reality is that NFL quarterbacks aren’t getting together to share tips. Neither are wide receivers or running backs or defensive backs.
Pass rushing uniquely lends itself to this format because so many of the tools of the trade are technical and independent of defensive scheme. The participants here feel like they can share their techniques without giving away team secrets.
“Pass rush is the best part of the game,” said Campbell, the Jaguars defensive end with 81.5 career sacks. “When you can chase the quarterback down, it’s an art form. We’re a whole bunch of artists out here, with different paint brushes, different styles, talking through how we create our art. Great artists copy other artists; you learn from other artists. As you study the game, you find your own voice by using other people’s material. I use those guys’ moves. Some stuff I’m not going to like. But some stuff I’m going to be like, ‘man, I like that.’ I can put my own twist on it and make it mine. We’ll do what fits me more. There’s only so many moves you can do, but it’s the way you do it.”
Among the additions Miller made for Year 3 of the summit was the enemy: Quarterbacks, represented by former NFL quarterback Flutie and quarterbacks coach George Whitfield. (Miller also invited Oakland Raiders right tackle Trent Brown, his longtime friend and on-field rival, to Las Vegas. Brown, who recently became the league’s highest-paid player at his position, attended Miller’s first summit in 2017.)
Whitfield initially declined Miller’s invitation to the pass rush summit. It felt like he’d be betraying his guys to give away the sacred secrets of quarterbacking. “It would be like Batman working with the Joker,” Whitfield said.
But the more Whitfield thought about it, he realized what could be gained a day with elite pass rushers. He’d be able to share tips, sure, that might make NFL life more difficult for his clients, but he’d also be able to return to his quarterback coaching business with new insights into what pass rushers are thinking, how they’re preparing and what they’re trying to do to make quarterbacks miserable.
An hour into the on-field session, half a dozen players gather around Whitfield and Flutie. They simulate snaps and drop backs. Whitfield waves the ball in front of his face – a trick quarterbacks will sometimes use as a last-ditch distraction effort. “We’re trying to make this,” Whitfield says, flashing the ball, “more important than us.”
He urges the pass rushers not to be fooled.
“Run through the guy,” Whitfield said.
Another tip from Whitfield? Too many quarterbacks struggle with ball control and are susceptible to being stripped of the football if a defensive player keeps swatting at the quarterback’s hands.
“None of us train in combat,” Whitfield said. “If you have a guy wrapped, they’re not accustomed to the combat. Even if you get beat, don’t give up on it. They don’t want to be touched.”
But much of the time the players spend with Whitfield and Flutie involves discussions about snap counts — from basics like common line checks (Omaha to snap on one, Topeka for a snap on two) and what silent cues defensive linemen can look for that might indicate the snap is coming. It might be a subtle shift of a foot, darting eyes, or a frantic tap during a silent count.
“When you want the ball, you’re doing something different,” Flutie said.
Clark, the new Kansas City Chief, is especially interested in picking up tips on what a quarterback is thinking during a silent count, and how he can take advantage of offensive linemen who may be temporarily deafened by the Arrowhead Stadium crowd. Flutie hands him the ball, and Clark bends down, pretending to be the center. He looks down, holds his head steady, bobs his head once and simulates a snap. It’s something he’s seen on film, over and over, from opposing quarterbacks struggling to hear in Seattle, and what he expects to see again in Kansas City.
“I feel like the biggest problem is guys thinking they’ve got the total package, feeling like they’re done with the learning and development part. Just being around all this veteran presence, as a young player myself, just coming into my prime, it’s just a gift,” Clark said as he left the practice field. “I’m the young bull climbing the ladder now. Once you start climbing that ladder and start making the ascent to greatness level, I feel like that’s where we’re going. Just being around it, you feel it. There’s greatness in the air around here.”
Courtesy of Lindsay Jones
With clean clothes and bellies full of pasta and salad, the players filed into a classroom in the UNLV football complex. Miller had flown a member of the Broncos’ video staff to Las Vegas to run what was supposed to be a two-hour film session, with 20-play cutups from each of the veteran players from last season.
The idea was to be able to see the moves they had practiced on the field in slow motion earlier in game action, how they worked against different offensive linemen and to hear directly from the players themselves how they turned rushes into sacks.
While there is much more to pass rushing than just that final slam of a quarterback to the turf, here in Las Vegas sacks are the focus, because sacks are what get players paid. The difference between a five-sack season and double digits can be millions of dollars in the next contract.
“This is where we get our money,” Miller said. “When the blood is in the water, when the game is on the line.”
Chuck Smith, a retired NFL defensive end who had 58.5 career sacks before starting his coaching career, shook his head as he rattled off the list of players he had just worked with. “There’s probably a billion dollars out there,” he said.
Not quite, but he’s not far off. The total active contracts signed by the 30-some NFL veterans are worth more than $750 million. Almost half of that comes from three players: Miller (six-year, $114 million deal in 2016), Donald (six years, $135 million signed last summer) and Clark (five-year, $104 million contract this spring). Jaguars defensive end Ngakoue, heading into the final year of his rookie deal with 29.5 career sacks in three seasons, is likely the next of the bunch to cash in.
“We hope everyone comes away with, number one, someone they can relate to, and they learn something from someone else. We hope that ultimately to keep and link and grow the pass rush family we got going,” Smith said. “You want guys to come out here and ultimately, at the end of the day, learn a move that gets sacks, because at the end of the day, sacks get you stacks.”
Miller cues up his highlight reel, starting with a Week 1 sack against Russell Wilson of the Seahawks. In the back of the room, Clark, the former Seahawk, groans. The film session would not be kind to several offensive tackles from around the league, Clark’s former Seattle teammates among them.
“NOT EVERYONE CAN DIP LIKE THAT, VON!” —DEMARCUS WARE
Miller rewinds and pauses, showing how he and teammate Bradley Chubb correctly diagnosed a bootleg by Rams quarterback Jared Goff that led to a sack, and way he perfectly timed his jump to the snap count for a strip sack against Arizona. On another play against the Cardinals, the players gasp as Miller dips under and around the left tackle for his second sack in that game.
“Not everyone can dip like that, Von!” shouts Ware.
Donald’s cutup is next. Again, Clark shakes his head. “It’s going to be all Seahawks,” he says. (Donald had 3.5 sacks in two games against Seattle last year.) Indeed, one of the first plays shown was a rush against Seattle from Week 5. Donald pauses the film to show how he knew Seattle was going to pass (the left guard was in a two-point stance) and stands up and demonstrates how he beat guard J.R. Sweezy with a power pop move.
“When I’m working the power pop, I work the long arm one way and pop the other way,” Donald said, stretching his right arm up and out, his palm flexed, before chopping with his left hand. “I hit him with the power so he can feel me, and then I pop off him real quick.”
Around the room, other players nod and pull out their phones and record Donald’s highlights and explanations. While no one else in that room, or in the NFL for that matter, can do exactly what Donald does, they should be able to absorb Donald’s most important tip.
“Never stop your feet, or you’re dead,” Donald said. “Find a way to keep moving, no matter what.”
Next, players watch offensive tackle cutups from Brown (and much laughter and trash talk ensues after a play in which Brown shuts down Donald in the Super Bowl), and the pair of Jaguars, Campbell and Ngakoue, and Melvin Ingram of the Chargers, whose cutups draw the most audible cheers, none louder than when Ingram speeds through an inside spin move for a sack on Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson in the playoffs.
Some of the most animated discussion comes during Flutie’s highlight reel, who talked the defensive players through his famous Hail Mary for Boston College to beat Miami, along with a handful of plays from his NFL career that spanned three decades. Flutie’s small stature and running style elicited a comparison from one participant to Kyler Murray, the No. 1 overall draft pick and new starting quarterback in Arizona.
“This is what players want but what teams won’t do,” Ware tells The Athletic from his seat in the back of the room. “Bring back the old guys and let them talk. Guys want to hear this stuff.”
It’s finally Clark’s turn, and it’s like he’s talking directly to the college players and the pass rushers who are still on their rookie deals. Clark parlayed his 13 sacks from last season with the Seahawks (and 32 sacks over the past three years) into a $104 million contract after a trade to the Chiefs. Clark is now the league’s second-highest-paid defensive end and will make $20.8 million in 2019.
“You want to get paid, you’ve got to hustle. I’ve been hustling my whole life,” Clark said.
His cutup opens with one of the nastiest sacks of last season — a pure power rush to knock Raiders rookie left tackle Kolton Miller onto his back leaving a clear shot at quarterback Derek Carr. Few offensive tacklers are immune from Clark’s tongue. Andrew Whitworth, even Mitchell Schwartz, Clark’s new teammate in Kansas City, gets a slight jab.
“All the shit I talk, I back it up. I know I’m one of the baddest motherfuckers out here.”
As the film session passed the three-hour mark, Miller shuts it down. Add streamlining the clips to the things he wants to improve at his next summit in 2020. Miller returns to the front of the auditorium and reminds his peers that he’s an open book. He urges them to reach out if they’ve got a common opponent this season. Once game planning for the regular season starts in September, these players know they’ll inevitably see each other on film. They hope the tricks they learned on the field and in the classroom will carry over. They might not be teammates, but the fraternity of pass rushers remains.[\spoiler]
Aaron Rodgers chugging scotch (presumably with G2) makes him the official QB of the Woo Crew
Eagles locked up Wentz. 4 year extension.
locked up the non Super Bowl winning QB
congrats on Drew Bledsoe
It's worth it but annoying at the same time. Most coddled position in sports and they get so much more than the other positions
You're fired. A burrito with refried beans >>>>
Lol the chiefs are gonna pay mahomes so much. I’m excited for it
Texans are a mess and are going to waste Deshaun’s career
Gives the Texans a chance to hire the former Jets GM who was fired for signing leveon bell
Idk what we doing
Go Texans and Deshaun
Not settling for mediocrity...except at the head coach position.