Ware has played in 251 of 358 snaps over the first five games. He played a high of 82 percent of the snaps in the season opener against the New York Giants and a low of 57 percent against the St. Louis Rams.
“It’s a more strenuous job,” Ware said. “You get more work, so you get tired a lot faster. The mentality of our defense, you’re going to push yourself to the limit and you’re going to be tired a little bit. The rotation, you have to have guys to rotate in. Guys want to stay out there, and say, ‘I want to stay out here and play,’ but guess what, don’t nobody want to get a loaf. You can put guys in there fresh and let them run fast because that’s how our defense is.”
Ware has dealt with a stinger and back strains in the first five weeks. Last week against the Denver Broncos he got poked in the eye and needed to get an intravenous fluid in the second half. Ware said the stinger problem appears to be fixed and that his back is no longer an issue.
The rotation is not set in stone. It’s based on how the player feels more than a coach making the move.
“Think about it, if you have a fast offense and they’re doing a two-minute offense and you’re out there for 15 plays and you’re running a screen 15 [yards] down the field and 30 yards [down] the field and you’re going to get a little winded sometimes,” Ware said. “So you’ve got to keep that relentless play and bring a guy in like [Kyle] Wilber so you won’t lose any slack, and he comes in and plays really well two or three plays until you get some rest and you keep rolling.”
But isn’t an 80 percent Ware better than a 100 percent anybody else?
“That could be, but you know, it’s all about the full game,” Ware said. “Because if you’re in the fourth quarter and you’re gassed, 80 percent of me is not good when you’re gassed.”