Quick Passing Game Frustrates Pass-Rushers

Chandler Jones rushes the passer against the 49ers in 2018
Chandler Jones rushes the passer against the 49ers in 2018

Kliff Kingsbury did a nice job keeping his quarterbacks clean at Texas Tech, as a quick passing game made it hard for opponents to get pressure.

The goal will be the same at the NFL level, especially considering the prized ability and diminutive stature of No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray.

While quick passes help quarterbacks, they annoy pass-rushers. Outside linebacker Chandler Jones said battles with offensive linemen can be chess matches, and he hates wasting a move.

“A lot of times when you win clean, you set those moves up,” Jones said. “You can’t win clean every time. Usually when you win clean, it’s on third down, and you’ve saved it. So if I’m saving a move the whole game, and then I do the move and win, then the ball’s out, it’s like, ‘Darn, when am I going to do it again?’ So it’s definitely frustrating.”

The NFL is becoming an increasingly pass-heavy league, which means there are more attempts for pass-rushers to bring down quarterbacks. However, a surge of more college-centric play-calling make it impossible to get sacks on some plays.

“You’ve just got to adjust,” outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “You’ve got to be able to adapt to the changing times. If you want to stick around, stay around, you’ve got to adapt to the times. That’s what all teams are going through.”

Jones batted down six passes last season, which is one way to help combat the quick throws. It can be dangerous to stop rushing and look up for the pass, but Jones has a good feel of when to keep an eye out.

“I feel like that comes from experience,” Jones said. “Certain looks and formations, you know the ball is going to come out fast. If there is no back in the backfield, if it’s empty, they don’t have enough guys to block or protect, so pretty much nine times out of 10 the ball is coming out.”

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