Haason Reddick embraces the chance to play outside linebacker only

USA TODAY Sports

Haason Reddick has made the jump from Arizona to Carolina. He believes that, with his new team, he’ll perform better than he did with his old team — because he believes his new team will use him more effectively.

“All throughout college, for the most part, I was playing that defensive end/outside linebacker role,” Reddick said, via Darin Gantt of Panthers.com. “I had crafted it, got good at it at Temple, and that helped get me to the first round. Trying the inside linebacker thing wasn’t really my niche. Trying to learn it at the highest level of the game, with how fast the game moved was tough.

“Moving back outside and rushing, that’s for me. That’s what I do, get to the quarterback, get to the backfield and being disruptive. That’s what I do, and I’m glad that I’m here now and somewhere that’s understood and they know what I can do.”

Panthers coach Matt Rhule knows what Reddick can do; Rhule coached Reddick at Temple. Reddick did enough there to become the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft.

In Arizona, the Cardinals had tried to move Reddick inside, before putting him back outside in 2020. Carolina, Reddick will be a pass rusher, either in a three-point stance or a two-point stance.

“I talked to [defensive coordinator Phil] Snow, he basically left it up to me,” Reddick said. “If I want to put a hand in the dirt I can, or a two-point stance, I can. Depending on how I’m feeling, I might put the hand in the dirt. If not, I’ll be in a two-point stance. Either way, I’ll be causing havoc.”

He caused maximum havoc against the Giants last season, with five sacks and three forced fumbles.

“I had a great year, but there’s still a lot of teams who wonder is this guy a great pass rusher, can he do this at a high level, or was last season a fluke?” Reddick said. “We’re going to show them this year, it’s far from a fluke.”

He has every reason to do that. Reddick signed a one-year deal in Carolina, which means that a second straight strong year could get him a lot more than the $8 million he’ll make in 2021.

4 responses to “Haason Reddick embraces the chance to play outside linebacker only

  1. Because that’s what the Cardinals do… they take something that works and tweak it until it doesn’t. Moving Reddick from outside to inside for the length of his career there with the exception of that last year when he blew up and they realized they made a mistake by moving him inside but then couldn’t afford to keep him. Gotta love the Cardinals if you’re in the NFC West, they’re like a bye week for the Rams, 49ers and Seahawks.

  2. This guy has an inflated opinion of himself. He only played well in a contract year.

  3. Look I’m biased answering this question as I went to Temple and graduated at the same time as Reddick. I was always confused why Arizona moved him inside. Adapting to the NFL from a somewhat smaller program is usually a bit more of a challenge. Furthermore, Reddick wasn’t a huge high school prospect and started as a walk on running back. I’m hoping he does well in Carolina but it looks like playing on the outside again finally allowed him to be successful

  4. This guy has played at a high level when outside, maybe not too good inside. What’s the big deal? I’m sure Tom Brady’s a better QB than running back. So don’t be shocked if someone moved him to RB and he didn’t look as good as he did at QB. The big question would be why did they move Brady to RB? Don’t blame Brady if he doesn’t do as well.

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