Now in his third year with the Jets, the switch has been flipped for Kenrick Ellis, writes Kristian Dyer for Metro New York.
His turnaround started in the classroom of all places. Every mistake Ellis made in practice or in a game, defensive line coach Karl Dunbar would highlight in film study after. After awhile, he got tired of “being pointed at every day.” So he set about to get better and improve.
“Things I was told all my life that I didn’t take to, like using your hands. It’s easy, you hear ‘Use your hands, use your hands.’ Just getting your hands on people,” Ellis told Metro. “I was too busy trying to be physical with them. Whoever has their hands inside usually wins. You have leverage, you can control someone if your hands are on the inside.”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comOne of the big adjustments for many players coming from NCAA to the NFL is that they learn quickly that the can’t just get by on their athleticism anymore. In the NFL technique and knowledge of the scheme is just as important since everyone is much more athletic. This might have been more pronounced for a player like Ellis, who played his last college ball at a small school program.
Either way, while it has taken Ellis a little longer to adjust to the pro game he certainly has played well this year for the Jets. The defensive line has been one of the few consistent bright spots for this team and to have a unit that is as good and deep as the team’s line is will allow them to focus resources elsewhere in coming years and get good results as these young players get better and better.