Defining A Pass RusherMarch 26th, 2014
So who’ s going to play left defensive end?
Lovie Smith was asked today at the NFL Owners meetings whether it was a battle between Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers?
Lovie was quick to throw William Gholston’s name into the mix but wouldn’t give a favorite in the race as he’s done at other positions.
Speaking about Gerald McCoy and how he can progress, Lovie explained how he will evaluate pass rushers and why Michael Johnson was purchased to play right defensive end.
“You judge a defensive linemen, pass-wise, can they win a 1-on-1 battle? Gerald can,” Lovie said. “That’s why it was important for us to get a defensive end that’s a great player, that you can’t just concentrate on Gerald. To us, a win is getting Gerald in a 1-on-1 situation against that offensive guy, whoever that offensive guard might be. And we feel like, you know, things are going to go our way quite a few times.”
On McCoy’s 9 1/2-sack season, Lovie was clear he believes McCoy can show marked improvement. “That’s hard to for an inside player, and he missed a few,” Lovie said of McCoy’s sack total. “We feel like he can take another step.”
But back to the left defensive end slot, Joe’s confident Lovie will play a game of may-the-best-pass-rusher win. As Warren Sapp has said many times, this defensive front is about rushing the passer and stopping the run on the way.