Robert Saleh: Defensive linemen have to be “relentless” in chasing Patrick Mahomes

USA TODAY Sports

During new Jets coach Robert Saleh’s recent visit to PFT Live, a topic emerged regarding the challenge he was facing a year ago, as the 49ers defensive coordinator: Stopping Patrick Mahomes.

Saleh was asked for the advice he’d give to Tampa Bay defensive linemen tasked with tracking down one of the most slippery quarterbacks in football.

“You’ve got to be relentless,” Saleh said. “You have to be relentless. Just when you think you might have him, he might step two steps back and then throw off his back foot. I mean, he has ridiculous arm talent. He’s got tremendous accuracy. He’s got tremendous mobility. But any time you’re a pass rusher just understand that he might do his little old man jog in between plays where it looks like his feet hurt. Don’t kid yourself. He’s got tremendous mobility, his arm strength is ridiculous. You have to be relentless all the way through. And understand that there could be a play and a second play that happens just because of his ability to extend plays and make the throws that other people can’t.”

That’s the biggest challenge Mahomes brings to a defense. If the play that’s called doesn’t work, he’ll craft a second one on the fly, buying time with his feet while avoiding anyone and everyone who may be chasing him.

21 responses to “Robert Saleh: Defensive linemen have to be “relentless” in chasing Patrick Mahomes

  1. Mahomes can underarm, sidearm, overarm, 360 turn and complete a throw.

    No words to describe how amazing he is and does what other players can’t.

    No shame in being torched by him and everytime I watch him, realise how lucky to be witnessing this once in a blue moon talent.

  2. You know who missed the holding call on Nick Bosa? Nick Bosa. He went left against Fisher and Fisher was happy to oblige. Bosa didn’t complain about being held or even look to the ref to see if he was getting a call. He did look down field and throw up his hands, perplexed about how his teammates could let someone get so open so far away.

  3. Linemen are paid to relentlessly pursue and pressure QB’s, even if they’re not named Mahomes. People are behaving as if he’s the only one to scramble out of trouble.

  4. The problem though is if you are relentless like SF tried to be last Super Bowl eventually you tire out. Then you can hit Wasp and jump start the come back. At the same time if you don’t rush for a few plays to try and keep people fresher for the 4th that’s whne they are going to hit you for a big play.

  5. You just have to be good. Whether you’re trying to sack Mahomes or Tom Brady. Two completely different skill sets, but equally hard to corral. Sure they look the other way when linemen hold, but that’s the same for everyone. Don’t let the linemen get their hands on you. A lot more sacks seem to be coming from blitzing DB’s, or from stunts where the guy comes in untouched. That’s really the only way to prevent holding.

  6. I think Salah has a lot more to worry about with the Jets than concern for how to stop Mahomes.

  7. Tampa defense is too fast for mahomes. He will not get the time to make the correct decisions in my opinion. The key will be jpp, suh,vita, getting mad pressure and leave it to barret and white to make things happen for our downfield pas Bucs win by 6&1/2 or better

  8. Yep. Like Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker didn’t give up and sacked Mahomes for a 30 yard loss in December, matching the NFL record. Keep peddling, baby!

  9. Forget Brady. He’s an above average game manager at this point with too many targets to throw to. 3 picks and Tampa stills wins. Offense gets you there but defense wins it all.

    Tampa’s defense is outstanding and will carry the load. No repeat for KC.

  10. Indybear says:
    January 28, 2021 at 4:48 pm
    Linemen are paid to relentlessly pursue and pressure QB’s, even if they’re not named Mahomes. People are behaving as if he’s the only one to scramble out of trouble.
    ———-
    A lot of QBs can scramble out of pressure, Lamar may be the best at it now. But Mahomes is one of the few that can also throw it accurately downfield while scrambling and juking you.

  11. mineisfasterthanyours26 says: January 28, 2021 at 7:42 pm Tampa defense is too fast for mahomes. He will not get the time to make the correct decisions in my opinion. The key will be jpp, suh,vita, getting mad pressure and leave it to barret and white to make things happen for our downfield pass Bucs win by 6&1/2 or better ———————————————- You do realize that these two teams played once this year already? He threw for 462 yards and 3 touchdowns. His speed isn’t what you need to worry about , its that guy named Hill who torched Tampas secondary for 13 catches ,269 yards (20.7 ypc) and 3 touchdowns. Im not saying this means Kansas City will win but as far as that defense relying on speed to win the Super Bowl..you may need to rethink your hypothesis
    ———————————————-
    PATRICK will have time to beat the pass rush , it was apparent the first game and it will be apparent this time as well . He can elude , keep plays running long after they should be and has a quick release .

    CHIEFS 34
    BUCCANEERS 24

  12. Mahomes hung a 50 burger against that talented Rams defense a few years ago, before slapping that talented 49er defense with 31 last year.

    17 points in the 1st quarter in Raymond James stadium earlier this year before Reid let his foot off the accelerator – just in case KC might see Tampa Bay in the big game – and guess what. He was right.

    Gonna be a good game, but can Brady’s offense beat Spagnuolo’s defense…when’s the last time that’s happened?

  13. And why should a new HC’s opinion of a player that is not playing against him is mentioned as a headline ? Saleh is the new Golden Boy I guess. He got a lot of air-time (and face time) so that is probably not surprising. No one has any idea how good the man will be as a HC (and the Jets have been a dumpster fire for awhile) but the bias is already there. No real dog in the fight but the Jets feel like a sub-500 team (based on past performance) next year, although they have hope, and that can at least sell tickets and optimism.

  14. That game plan worked well for the 49’s hopefully the Buck’s will use it. Let them tire themselves out,then drop 21 pts on them with only a few minutes left.

  15. It’s a good thing Shaq Barrett, JPP, Suh, and Vea are relentless rushers. Suh and Vea collapse the interior pocket forcing the QB either back or to the side- right into JPP or Shaq’s arms- just ask Aaron Rodgers and the “#1 Offense” in the NFL.

    The Bucs didn’t have Vita Vea when KC came to town last time…While Mahomes is awesome- he’s definitely about to see a completely different front 7 with Vea back and the force that big man brings with him- it’s going to be fun watching that cat and mouse game between those guys in the SB.

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