Robert Saleh: Defensive linemen have to be “relentless” in chasing Patrick Mahomes
During new Jets coach Robert Saleh’s recent visit to PFT Live, a topic emerged regarding the challenge he was facing a year ago, as the 49ers defensive coordinator: Stopping Patrick Mahomes.
Saleh was asked for the advice he’d give to Tampa Bay defensive linemen tasked with tracking down one of the most slippery quarterbacks in football.
“You’ve got to be relentless,” Saleh said. “You have to be relentless. Just when you think you might have him, he might step two steps back and then throw off his back foot. I mean, he has ridiculous arm talent. He’s got tremendous accuracy. He’s got tremendous mobility. But any time you’re a pass rusher just understand that he might do his little old man jog in between plays where it looks like his feet hurt. Don’t kid yourself. He’s got tremendous mobility, his arm strength is ridiculous. You have to be relentless all the way through. And understand that there could be a play and a second play that happens just because of his ability to extend plays and make the throws that other people can’t.”
That’s the biggest challenge Mahomes brings to a defense. If the play that’s called doesn’t work, he’ll craft a second one on the fly, buying time with his feet while avoiding anyone and everyone who may be chasing him.