Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writers Randy Covitz and Terez Paylor

What KC Chiefs general manager John Dorsey looks for in a pass rusher

08/23/2014 1:00 PM

08/23/2014 6:50 PM

After spending nearly 23 years in various player personnel roles in the NFL, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey likes to think he knows what a good pass rusher looks like.

Dorsey says it’s not that hard to spot one.

Here are the three things he looks for when he hits the scouting trail.

1. Acceleration off the edge

“Quickness is the first thing,” Dorsey said. “In today’s football, you’ve got to get off the ball. Like Dee Ford. Dee Ford gets off the ball. (Mike) Catapano gets off the ball. Vance Walker gets off the ball. Dontari Poe gets off the ball.

“You have to because you gain angles that way. You get on the blocker’s edge and you’re already in a position to beat him.”

Dorsey also includes closing burst to the quarterback in this category, and added that Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas had the best combination of “get-off” and closing burst he’s ever seen.

2. Hands

“All the great ones have a combination of get-off and hand placement,” Dorsey said. “It’s about knocking the (offensive lineman’s) hands down.”

Dorsey said Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White had the best hands he’s ever seen.

“As good as there ever was,” Dorsey said.

3. Body control

“This is also hip strength,” Dorsey said. “When the guy is blocking you, does he push you out of the lane or do you continue to work toward the quarterback?

“Like Dee Ford, he gets you with the acceleration. But once he gets the angle, he shortens the distance to the quarterback because of his strength. Tamba (Hali has) that strength in his hip. Justin (Houston has) that strength in his hip.”

White had that, too, Dorsey said — again, the best he’s seen.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TerezPaylor.

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