ESPN's Mark Schlereth goes toe to toe with Pats DE Ty Warren
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED what separates an NFL veteran from the average practice-squad player? Why supposedly run-of-the-mill college players go on to NFL greatness while All-Americas become rotation guys? It's not athleticism or toughness; it's technique. Just ask Patriots DE Ty Warren, who credits his hands and footwork with earning him a five-year, $35 million extension in August. "Physically, a guy might be able to dominate in high school and college," says the 6'5", 300-pound Warren. "But you're not walking onto an NFL field and man-handling your opponent. In this league, everyone is powerful." In the Patriots 3-4 scheme, Warren's job is to hold the perimeter, collapse the pocket and disrupt the blocking schemes. Yea, brute strength helps his cause. But it's his precision hands that allow him to, say, keep offensive linemen out of his grill so he can move parallel to the line until the ballcarrier makes his cut downfield. "Shooting your hands tight within the framework of the O-linemen is crucial," says Warren. "This allows you to use leverage, extend your arms and see what's happening in the backfield." Warren won't win any sprinting contest, yet on the field he's almost always where he needs to be when he needs to be there. That's no accident. "we constantly drill ourselves on quick, power-producing steps," he says, "because the slightest misstep will result in huge running or passing lanes." "The D-line has a saying," adds Warren," 'Don't block yourself.' Good technique is key to that."
(this was pulled from page 118 of the september 24th ESPN the magazine so I have no link)
Not sure if this is against board rules or not (I know ESPN can be tight about this stuff)