Adalius Thomas: Pass rusher or blitzer?

For those interested in what scouts look for in linebackers, this podcast from former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns scout Daniel Jeremiah is a worthy investment of your time.

Jeremiah’s website “Move the Sticks” is pure football. I’ve learned a lot by reading it and listening to his podcasts.

In his most recent podcast, Jeremiah shines the spotlight on Adalius Thomas when talking about the difference between a linebacker as a pass rusher or blitzer.

“If you’re working for a 3-4 team, you need to discern ‘is this guy a rusher or a blitzer?’ A pure rusher can win with his hand on the ground and he has natural pass-rush moves. Or is this somebody that is more effective as a blitzer?

“We had a player in Baltimore, Adalius Thomas, who is not a pass rusher. He is a blitzer. That’s why he had his most success when Rex Ryan was the defensive coordinator, because he was able to scheme up openings for him, where he could use his explosiveness to shoot through gaps and make plays as a rusher.

“But if you’re going to line him up and put his hand on the ground, or line him up just standing up over a left tackle and expect him to win as a pass rusher, that’s not a skill set he possesses.”

Jeremiah’s opinion on Thomas seemed to be reinforced based on the last three years in New England, where Thomas was primarily asked to stand up over offensive tackles and win as a pass rusher and edge-setter.

This was interesting insight for those considering where things have gone wrong between the Patriots and Thomas.