It’s always in the hips, folks.
This dude is how most football fans I know react to speed. But if you want to see me act like this guy over a player, show me a prospect with great hips.
If a football player is capable of doing a deep squat—especially in the context of his job—I’m more intrigued with him than a stiff guy with great speed. The hips are the source of a player’s ability to change direction and converting strength to power.
It’s why I have always been a fan of LeGarrette Blount. If he didn’t punch out Boise State’s Byron Hout to begin the year, he’s no worse than a fourth-round pick—and I wonder if that estimate is too conservative.
Blount reminds me a lot of Jerome Bettis. Both backs can negotiate heavy traffic because they had good footwork and flexible hips.
Knile Davis and Darren McFadden had great speed, but they lacked the hips. They aren’t as good at generating power in a short area as slower backs with strong, flexible hips. It’s why I didn’t question the talents of LeVeon Bell, Spencer Ware, or Blount.