There are a ton of gems from that post by Jim Trotter on Sports Illustrated about Dwight Freeney. Here is another little gem from the post.
Freeney did research around the league for other pass rushers. He wanted to see the average time it took quarterbacks to get rid of the football against players like Aldon Smith and Jared Allen. He pulled up the film and a stop watch and noticed that quarterbacks got rid of the football at an average of 3 seconds for both those guys. He checked the film on himself…. 2.5 seconds.
“They say if the quarterback holds on to the ball for 3 seconds, you should have a chance to get a sack — a chance,” Freeney said. “Well, they held it an average of 2.5 seconds when I was on the field. Two. Point. Five. Seconds. That means I have to pretty much make my guy miss and then get lucky enough to have the quarterback hold onto the ball. …”
“You get judged by your numbers too often in this game. It’s unfortunate because it’s kind of like a double-edged sword. You go out there and you play hard and you don’t get the numbers, and you feel like, Man, his numbers dropped so he ain’t the same guy. Not necessarily. If you really watch film and you understand this game, you understand that sometimes they turn the protection to you. Sometimes the ball is gone quickly.”
What can you do when the quarterback gets rid of the football that fast? The corners better step up and make a play then.
I love that Freeney keeps on studying. Keeps on looking through the film. Keeps trying to find that edge. He knows that quarterbacks are not going to hold that football very long when he is on the field. That just means he better spin faster.