Tools

Building a Team: Defensive Lineman

By Adam Wells
By awells@wbbjtv.com

The '3-4, 4-3" and "Nickel" are all types of defenses used in football. Each with a different amount of defensive lineman. At Henry County, it is the "3-4" that rules, and the three down lineman are coached to perfection.

"Strength, hips, mobility and those type of things are key and they come in time," Offensive Line Coach Chuck Adams said. "But we try to develop fast feet and fast hands. .A defensive line has to be unselfish and has to play physical and a huge heart. Those are the things I look for in a defensive lineman."

Playing up front also means you have to be in peak physical condition along with having the knowledge of what your opponent is planning to do.

"I need to be at my best," Defensive End Mar'tel Kendall said. "I feel like if my motor isn't running then they look at my body language and its going to carry over so we have to be one heart beat. If everyone is on the same page then it works well."

"For film while everyone is in class I go down to the coaches room and watch film for 15 to 30 minutes and see what the offense does and their pass blocking," Defensive Tackle Randall Dunlap said.

In a 3-4 defense, a lot is put on the lineman. Their job is to take up as many blockers as possible.

"If it's down to one-on-one, I have to win that battle," Nose Guard Louis Long said. "If I can make two to three people try to block me then I know someone will get free."

"I don't know if I've ever come across a group that has enjoyed playing the game," Coach Adams said. "Everyday we come out and they bounce around and its like a day on the playground for them."

The field may be their playground, but it is toying around with the offensive line that brings them the most joy.

"I love that feeling," Long said. "When you get past the offensive line and nothing but a quarterback right there. It's the rush. When your eyes get big. You find this gear you never knew you had."
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