What is a pass rusher?


Pass-rushers play the most physically demanding position in the NFL. They have to keep outside containment responsibilities in the running game while dominating offensive tackles on their way to quarterback sacks. If they aren't linemen in a 4-3 defense, they may have to drop into coverage as 3-4 outside linebackers.

They have to do a little of everything, and their bodies have to be prepared to take on that responsibility. They step to contact on the majority of plays, just like an interior defensive lineman, but they also have to make live reads like off-the-ball linebackers. The difference is they are on the line of scrimmage, so they try to work countermoves through contact based off of reads that they see inches in front of their face.

With so many variables happening on any given play, it's hard to get a quantifiable feel for how defenders perform. Luckily, the NFL Scouting Combine is coming up on February 23-29 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The combine...

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Pass rushers come in all shapes and sizes.

The Ravens have already said they want to add another player this offseason who can harass opposing quarterbacks, and they could end up using their No. 6 overall draft pick to satisfy that need.

So what exactly do the Ravens want in that player?

“There are different ways to get home,” Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. “The ultimate thing when you look at a pass rusher is: Do they get home? Can they finish?”

The Ravens scouts will be keeping a close eye on those skills this week as they descend on Indianapolis for the NFL’s annual combine.

As the Ravens assess the incoming crop of pass rushers, they know players have different ways to find their way to quarterbacks. Baltimore’s pass rushing duo of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil is proof of that already.

“We have different ones on our team,” Hortiz said. “[Dumervil], he’s strong, but he wins with his burst, and his quickness, and...

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Where’s that been all season?

The Steelers had eight sacks Sunday in a 24-9 win over the Browns and it wasn’t necessarily the scheme, it was largely guys beating the man across from them one-on-one.

The Steelers did move defensive end Stephon Tuitt around a bit and he led the way with 2...

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Where art thou Eagles defense for 2014? A year ago at this time we wondered if the Eagles would play a 4-3 front or a 3-4 front and it turns out that it was some of both (it's the truth). We speculated on how all of the new faces added in free agency (linebacker Connor Barwin, cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, safety Patrick Chung, defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga) would fit into the defense, and the end result was that Barwin, Williams and Fletcher were immediate contributors and huge upgrades.

There was a bunch of chatter about Trent Cole and how he might work into a stand-up pass rusher if put into that position, which he was. Same with Brandon Graham, the former first-round draft choice.

Now the scheme has some definition, although knowing Bill Davis and the way he thinks, tweaks are on the way. The Eagles want to do much, much more on defense than they did in 2013, and to that end they added some secondary help in free agency with safety Malcolm...

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Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff

The Texans' Brock Osweiler (17) is sacked by Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) in the fourth quarter, one of two sacks.

The Texans' Brock Osweiler (17) is sacked by Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) in the fourth quarter, one of two sacks.

Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff

The Raiders' Khalil Mack has 38 tackles, seven sacks and nine tackles for loss this season.

The Raiders' Khalil Mack has 38 tackles, seven sacks and nine tackles for loss this season.

Photo: Daniel Gluskoter, FRE

Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (52) receives congratulations from Donald Penn in action against the Carolina Panthers during an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Oakland, CA. The Raiders won 35-32....

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Joe cannot fully blame the lack of a pass rush on GMC’s absense.

All through preseason and very much so last week against the Eagles, the Bucs had a pass rush that folks were so shocked to see, it was as if it was an optical illusion.

The way the pass rush hid tonight in Jacksonville, last week may well have been an illusion.

There was no pass rush in the first half. None. Blake Bortles was playing pitch-and-catch. What the hell happened?

Yes, Joe understands stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy did not play. That was a factor. But for the entire line to go AWOL, sorry, Joe cannot place that all at the feet of GMC being held out.

If the entire defensive line goes into the witness protection program if GMC cannot play, that’s not good...

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Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

How many first-time head coaches walk into a job with final say over the 53-man roster? It’s impossible to say; teams don’t always share that sort of information. Anecdotally, Nick Saban comes to mind. And now Dan Quinn. Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli will run the Falcons draft with input from a first-year head coach who wrote up scouting reports on defensive prospects in Seattle.

It just so happens that Atlanta’s biggest need lines up perfectly with Quinn’s expertise.

“It’s the toughest defensive position to evaluate, and it’s what’s nearest and dearest to my heart,” he says. “Pass rusher.”

Pass rushers in the Seattle 4-3 defensive mold come in different shapes and sizes. The LEO is a kind of hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end whose main role is to rush the passer, but who can also drop and give the effect of a 3-4 defense. The opposite end is more traditional, a la Michael Bennett. Of Atlanta’s two penciled-in...

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Steve Keim was blunt when bringing up his number one priority of the offseason: “Create a pass rush.” It’s nothing new. This is something the Cardinals have been talking about every offseason for a decade pretty much. Yes, John Abraham had a nice 2013 but he wasn’t brought in until training camp and it was always known he’d be a short-term solution.

It’s not like the Cardinals didn’t look at it last offseason. They tried to trade up in the draft to get one of the “name” pass rushers in the first round. They still took Markus Golden and Shaq Riddick among their seven picks. Golden was solid as a rookie. Is he ever going to be the dynamic edge guy every team wants/needs? Maybe not, but he’ll be an important cog. We’ll see on Riddick, who never got on the field as a rookie, but they love his size and speed if he can learn the game.

Going forward, the Cards still need much more. Dwight Freeney helped, but he isn’t the answer at this point even if he comes...

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A personal safety alert system (PASS) device sounds an alarm to notify others that the wearer is in some sort of distress. These devices are often used by people who are in dangerous occupations and work as part of a team. For example, a firefighter might use a PASS device when he must enter a building to fight a fire or rescue its occupants. Typically, these devices send an alarm when the user has been motionless for a set amount of time, alerting coworkers or team members that the wearer is possibly in distress. Often, these devices have mechanisms in place that allow the wearer to reset them by moving a little in the event of a false alarm.

A PASS device is often used for the safety of firefighters. It emits a high-pitched alarm sound when a firefighter is in distress, alerting others of the need to rush to his aid. This type of device may be useful in the event that a firefighter becomes trapped in a building or realizes he is lost. It may also prove critical if he is...

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The regular season is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking their practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the real work is now upon us, there is plenty left to be done.

And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they wade through a regular season in which they are, at least supposed to be, among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.

Question: Is the lack of pass rush through the first two games of the season more scheme or talent?

As we all who follow this site are no...

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Frequently we talk here about a player's technique when we write evaluations of a position or a coach. In football there is more to it than just running around and knowing where to be to make the play. There is a way to properly make a tackle, there is a way to execute a block properly, and a way to rush the passer. You don't want to give the QB time to get to his 2nd or 3rd read on the pass, and you have to restrict his throwing lane. Sometimes pure athleticism can get you the sack, but technique is the mark of a good player and shows that he's been coached well.

There are several we're going to cover here but all start with the proper stance, with weight over their feet and not the down hand, and correct alignment. The initial step is always important. Every man has a pass rush lane that he shouldn't deviate from until he has to do so. Every man must constantly be moving his feet and his hands, no matter what. Every pass rusher will start with one or two in high school and...

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Purchasing Bucks Student Rush Pass

Q: What is the Bucks Student Rush Pass?
A: Bucks Student Rush Pass allows students to sign up to receive access to last-minute tickets for Milwaukee Bucks home games. Once you sign up for Bucks Student Rush Pass at BucksStudentRush.com, you will be alerted with a text message when last-minute tickets become available for Milwaukee Bucks home games. Purchases and availability happen on a game-by-game basis. The Bucks Student Rush Pass gives you guaranteed seats and a mobile barcode for entry.

Q: How much are tickets through the Bucks Student Rush Pass?
A: Tickets prices through Bucks Student Rush Pass vary on a game by game basis. You will see one initial location and price offer upon clicking the link in your text message, and can tap to view any additional options for that game if they are available.

Q: How will I know if I can buy Passes to a game?
A: If Passes become available for that week’s game, we’ll...

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Sporting Charts explains Pass Rush

A defense will use a pass rush for a variety of reasons. A good pass rush limits the amount of time the quarterback has to attempt a pass, and can result in a sack of the quarterback. A standard pass rush involved four players. The defensive linemen are the most common pass rushers, and may use several different techniques to elude the offensive linemen, ranging from speed rushes around the outside to outrun the lineman to bull rushes that overpower a lineman. Teams may also choose to bring extra pass rushers in what is called a "blitz". It is a high-risk, high reward strategy that can result in more pressure on the quarterback, but leaves less players in pass coverage protecting against a completion. Teams can also choose to rush less than four players, allowing the quarterback more time to pass, but leaving more players to guard the downfield...

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The Trojans also must replace their top

pass rusher

in All-American Leonard Williams.

The Pirates dangerous aerial combo of Shane Carden throwing to Justin Henry squares off with a tough Gator defense, led by

pass rusher

Dante Fowler Jr.

Suh will team up with DeAndre Levy, one of the NFL's top linebackers, and emerging

pass rusher

Ziggy Ansah.

We are fortunate to get another quality

pass rusher

, Soul head coach Clint Dolezel said.

Underwood, a 6-4, 255-pound junior, was an emerging

pass rusher

for Illinois State as a sophomore last season, but he's become one of the top defenders in the Missouri Valley Football Conference this year.

Hopefully, the Seattle Seahawks will add a

pass rusher

to their already elite defence.

Auburn DE ANTOINE CARTER: NFL defensive coordinators can't wait to get ahold of this dominant

pass rusher

and athlete, who stands 6-foot-4, 260 pounds and is a terrific...

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Rushing has two different meanings in gridiron football. The first is an action taken by the offense that means to advance the ball by running with it, as opposed to passing,[1] or kicking.[2]

The other is an action taken by the defense that means to charge towards the quarterback, kicker or punter across the line of scrimmage. When players on the defense are collectively rushing the passer (usually a quarterback), it is called the pass rush.

In both offense and defense, any rushing player is called a rusher.


Rushing, on offense, is running with the ball when starting from behind the line of scrimmage. While this usually means a running play, any offensive play that does not involve a forward pass is a rush - also called a run. It is usually done by the running back after a handoff from the quarterback, although quarterbacks and wide receivers can also rush. The quarterback will usually run when a passing play has broken down - such as...

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By James Alder

Updated November 19, 2015.

A pass rush is an attempt by the defensive players to get to the quarterback so they can tackle him before he can successfully get off a pass attempt. The goal of a pass rush is to either sack the quarterback for a loss of yards or force him into making a mistake.

A pass rush most commonly consists of defensive linemen, and may also include a linebacker, defensive back, or a safety. The pass rushers aim to avoid the offensive linemen, who protect the quarterback and block the defense.

Reasons for a Pass Rush

There is a number of different reasons that a defense would utilize a pass rush. A successful pass rush severely limits the total amount of time that a quarterback has to make a decision behind the line of scrimmage. Ideally, a pass rush will cause the quarterback to make a mistake, such as fumble the ball or throw an interception that leads to a turnover. It could also lead to a sack which...

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As the 2012 NFL Draft nears, the Panthers are growing ever closer to formulating a Draft Board. In my opinion, the most pressing need is an upgrade of the pass rush, which performed miserably last season, amassing 31 Sacks (25th in the NFL). Even with the re-signing of Antwan Applewhite, and the acquisition of Jyles Tucker, the Panther's pass rush remains incomplete. This offseason, Coach Ron Rivera has hinted that he wants to improve the pass rush, and with the acquisitions currently made, the Panthers have effectively established a good rotation with some solid rotational pieces. However, as recent history has taught us, a potent pass rush is a necessity when building a championship contender.

As such, it is my belief that the Panthers will be targeting a defensive end with an early selection in the Draft. Yet it is important that the Panthers make the correct choice when drafting, as a fallacious pick could set the organization back.

Before inspecting the prospects at...
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We've taken a crack at ranking the best quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers in the NFL this offseason.

Next up: The edge rushers. This is a list of the players we'd want on our team for this season, and this season only.

For the purposes of this list, we are not including interior rushers. So the list does not include great disruptive 4-3 defensive tackles like Geno Atkins or superhuman 3-4 defensive ends like J.J. Watt.

The best of the best

1. Von Miller
2. Clay Matthews
3. Cameron Wake
4. Terrell Suggs
5. DeMarcus Ware
6. Aldon Smith
7. Jason Pierre-Paul

Miller's speed is breathtaking. A lot of guys can run fast in a straight line, but Miller is football fast. He gets around the edge in an instant, and he combines that speed with great smarts and strength. Miller's already the best edge rusher and he might only get better. ... Matthews can be just as disruptive as Miller if fully healthy. He still...

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The NFL is, once again, changing. In 2014, just about every team spent more time in its sub-package than its traditional base defensive alignment. Offenses threw the ball on 56.6 percent of plays from scrimmage last year, up from 53.1 percent as recently as 2006. Teams are cramming more receivers onto the field and using more of their eligible receivers as meaningful pass-catchers, to which Ravens fans can sorely attest after last season. More than ever, this is a league built on throwing the football.

We’re seeing that trend manifest itself in how teams are constructed. Run-stuffing inside linebackers and big-hitting safeties who would have fetched a mint and played on 95 percent of defensive downs 20 years ago often aren’t valuable commodities anymore. Their reps and their cash are going to third cornerbacks like Buster Skrine, who got four years and $25 million from the Jets after their disastrous five-year affair with Kyle Wilson.

The other player archetype...

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