Kindle Brushing Up On Pass Coverage

Sergio Kindle made a name as a pass rusher but has been working on coverage at camp.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

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During non-contact offseason camps, Ravens rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle can’t blitz and nearly take a quarterback’s head off like he did (as shown here) in college.

So during these passing camps, Kindle and the Ravens coaches have worked on getting the linebacker up to speed in pass coverage.

It’s a part of Kindle’s game that Head Coach John Harbaugh called his “Achilles’ heel,” because Kindle hasn’t done it since early on in his junior season at Texas. But it’s also an area where the 6-foot-3 rookie has already shown much progress.

Kindle nearly leapt and picked off a pass to the flats during Wednesday’s practice, drawing a chorus of praise from his coaches.

“I thought from yesterday to today he might have made the most progress of any of our players in terms of understanding the different drops and different coverages,” Harbaugh said.

Kindle said he never dropped in pass coverage during his senior year at Texas after he slid into a defensive end position to replace former Longhorn Brian Orakpo, who was drafted by the Redskins. Kindle dropped into coverage some as a junior, but was still more of a blitzer. He recorded a career-high 10 sacks as an outside linebacker that season.

But despite not doing it much the past two years, backpedaling isn’t foreign to Kindle.

“It’s a natural thing because I’ve been playing linebacker all my life,” Kindle said. “I just have to get back into it. When you fall away from something for a while and pick up a new technique sometimes you shy away from what you originally had in the stable.”

The only difference now is that there is a lot more difficulty to pass coverage in the NFL than in college. Kindle has quickly realized that receivers run crisper routes and quarterbacks throw the ball in smaller holes.

“The big thing is spacing,” Kindle said. “You have to know how to get into certain throwing windows without looking at the quarterback or wide receiver. I’ll get there.”

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