Dalvin Tomlinson Owns a Very Busy Phone Booth.
You should never underestimate the impact an interior defensive lineman can have on a game. They certainly won’t get the love on the television broadcast, but a nose tackle who can consistently disrupt the inside run game can absolutely wreck an offensive playcaller’s day.
In this particular clip, Dalvin Tomlinson of the Giants does a masterful job of recognizing the blocking scheme and reacting accordingly to stuff this Washington run. When you play interior defensive line, plays happen fast and blockers can come at you from all directions.
To be an effective player in that phone booth, you need the mental processing ability to read and react quickly. Watch Tomlinson here and note how quickly he reads the down block and fights back.
He quickly gets a nice, wide base so he doesn’t get knocked off his spot and then works to win the all-important leverage battle. He does, and then uses his hands nicely to take advantage of that leverage, getting underneath the guard’s pads and wrenching him by.
Now, Tomlinson is in position to make the play. But the guard is still being pesky and trying to fight back. Watch, though, as Tomlinson shows very good play strength to essentially stiff-arm the guard away. With nowhere to go, and an unblocked Tomlinson in his face, all the back can do is bury the run inside for little to no gain.
It’s certainly not a flashy play, but teams that win at the point of attack like this will have lots of success as the game wears on. Because if you can stop the run without having to add numbers, that’s a huge win for the defensive coordinator, and makes calling the defense that much easier.
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