Folks have read where I've written that pressure (hurry-ups) warm a defensive coordinator's heart even more than a sack. I've tried to express the reasons for this (the likely hood of more turnovers being prime), but I don't know if I've been effective at it.
So who better than a Denver Broncos player and his line coach to make the case? From Jeff Legwold over at the ROcky Mountain News comes this:
"Pressure's big," Broncos defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban said. "Sacks or pressure? Selfishly, you could say sacks. But winning? That's pressure. To win as a defense, it's always getting pressure.
"And the key to pressure is just beating your man off the ball and just having that quarterback reset. If he has to think about somebody in his face, it could be an errant throw, which causes interceptions, it could be happy feet, which causes him to scramble, which gives us another opportunity to get him.
"There's just so much that happens from getting somebody in his face."
The Broncos are looking to force Rivers to move, even in the pocket, from where he was intended to be when the play was designed.
"So we have to work as a unit, not as individuals," Broncos defensive line coach Bill Johnson said. " . . . Seventy, maybe 80 percent of all sacks come when a quarterback comes off of his spot and resets. So the whole moral of the story is work as a unit rushing the passer, make him reset, whether it's with four rushers, five rushers, three rushers, whatever the case.
"If you rush two, then you have to do it with two. But sacks, most of the time, come when the quarterback did not go down where he was set to be in the protection. It's guys working as a unit, forming a box, a square, a fence, whatever you want to call it, around him."
Great points. Let's see it work against Rivers!