I ntroduction: Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora. These guys play the gritty, dirty position of defensive end. They aren’t old-school defensive ends. They don’t spend the entire game containing the outside run, although that task does fall upon them from time to time. These guys are big, strong, fast, and mean. They aren’t just powerful brutes, they are great athletes. From the first snap of the game, to the last, they are effective at pressuring the quarterback and stopping the run.
I’m not going to lie, while I was watching the Super Bowl, I found myself getting jealous. I want those guys! I want some defensive ends that terrorize the quarterback the entire game. Do you think that Robb Ryan’s defensive philosophy would have been as disappointing as it was this year if we had beastly pro bowl defensive ends? Hell, no. Replace Marcus Spears with Dwight Freeney. Replace Jason Hatcher with Jason Babin, Mario Williams, or Justin Smith. Now tell me something.. If we were facing a team on a 3rd and 10 and we brought those guys PLUS DeMarcus Ware, there is almost no way that the other quarterback completes a well thrown pass for a first down.
Defensive ends have been neglected more and more since the popularity of the 3-4 has risen. But make no mistake, defensive ends and outside linebackers are the biggest FREAKS on the field. These are the guys that can lift you over their head with one arm, hurl you 50 yards, and still have the speed to run and catch you. No, they don’t run freakish speeds like cornerbacks, but they have the most impressive total package of physical ability. Let’s talk about defensive ends, you mofos.