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Get to the Quarterback

Posted Jul 30, 2012

The Jets have some serious depth along the defensive line.  They play with an edge and they’ve been fun to watch here in Cortland.  After another solid practice in which he spent some time in the offensive backfield, I asked second-year defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis about his mentality.

“Get to the quarterback.  That’s Coach Dunbar’s mentality,” he said.  “Play the pass and then play the run. That’s what he says.”

Defensive line coach Karl Dunbar is in his first season with the Jets after a six-year run with the Minnesota Vikings.  While Dunbar was in Minny, the Vikes allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL (8,141) and ranked sixth in sacks (242). 

“It’s been great.  He’s taught me the little things I need to compete here in the NFL,” Ellis told me.  “He’s a great coach, a great technician and I’m happy.”

The 6’5”, 330-pound Ellis worked out with veteran linebacker Bart Scott in the offseason, increasing both his core and lower body strength.   A third round pick of Hampton in 2010, Ellis only appeared in five games last season.  But he looks like he’ll play a critical role as the Jets continue to rotate bodies in and out to stay fresh. 

Ellis is an imposing physical presence, but he knows there is more to the game than just overpowering offensive linemen.

“Just keep my feet moving,” Ellis said.  “Out here it’s a physical game, but also you have to be finesse sometimes.  And I was straight physical.  Now I got a little finesse going, so I’m trying to put it all together.”

The Jets will employ more four-man fronts this season while continuing to mix personnel and coverages.  There are a lot of talented folks up front and Kenrick Ellis’ development bares watching.

“I play inside, the three technique or the shade.  I just try to do my job.  Whatever is called for, I just try to my best to compete.  It’s all about competition.  This is camp.  Everybody wants a job — I’m trying to get a job.  I’m just going to compete.”

“Jets Talk Live” with Rex Airs 8:30 AM Tuesday
Let the countdown begin.  Can’t wait to get the Jets head coach in our Cortland studios tomorrow morning.  Thanks for the questions.

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