ARE YOU BIG ENOUGH TO PLAY DEFENSIVE LINE?


Check Out Big Dawg Trench Talk Podcast Episode 8: Are You Big Enough To Play Defensive Line? Hosted By Coach Arpedge Rolle. Available For Download @ iTunes, Google Play Music, & Spotify.




What's up Big Dawg. This is Coach Rolle at Five Star Lineman Academy and we here with another episode of Big Dawg Trench Talk. Big Dawg, I tell you what. It was a excellent weekend this weekend for me. I got a chance to watch my Big Dawgs play in the trenches. Shout out to all my college Big Dawgs that's out there doing your thing, man. Applied the technique we worked on and off season. Truly, I can see it pan out. One down, many more to go. Catch it back by its toe. If he hollers, squeeze it more but you bet not let it go. I'm just playing man. Nice work baby.


Man, I'm equally excited for week one NFL football. I got some more Big Dawgs I know for a fact they've been putting that work in. They had an excellent off-season, a fantastic pre-season, and we finally approach the season. I look forward to watching my Big Dawgs play one game, one series, and one play at a time. Big Dawg, you know what? Before we get into the thick of today, I just wanna talk to you for a second. I just wanna share something I've been thinking about and something I've been reflecting on as I've been talking to my Big Dawgs, preparing them mentally, psychologically, for the season and even doing a little reflecting after their first game.


As a young man for me, I was around football a lot. My dad was a football coach. He was also a track coach. He played lot of football as well. He was a wide receiver, as well as a running back. He played in the NFL as a receiver. I also have an older brother who played football. He was also a running back. He was also very, very good. Ended up going to Texas A&M. So growing up for me, I watched my older brother play a lot with my dad. I would be on the sidelines with my dad at these high school games and watching the crowd go crazy as my brother scoring these touchdowns and playing good defense. I also watched them play a little college football.


And that definitely turned me on to football. I wanted to be like my dad. I wanted to be like my brother as they were successful in the game of football. And here I was, this little boy trying to figure out what I'm looking at. So that turned me on to watching the game of football. I watched football a lot. Because of the way I was developing, wasn't look like I was gonna be a running back and definitely not a wide receiver. I wasn't fast enough, neither did I have the stamina to run that long that many times. Something about that just was not sitting right in my soul. So I kept soul searching.


So I'm watching the game more, watching TV, watching college games on TV. And when I say TV, I ain't talking about the flat screen TV. I'm talking about these big old gigantic, big ol' huge box TVs that take up half your room with antennas on 'em. And the knobs where you might be able to get six channels on 'em on a good day and don't let you get a good channel but it's staticky and now you gotta smack it in the right spot a couple times to get some kind of clarity. Shoot. Now I realize how I learned to club. I learned how to use my hands slapping that TV. Bop, bop. Come on TV, I can't see.


And don't let the knob fall off. Oh lord, the knob done fell off. How am I supposed to turn the channel? Now I'm stuck watching the same channel and it's staticky and I'm slapping it, clubbing that thing and it still ain't clear. Now I gotta go get the pliers. Now I'm turning the channel with the pliers trying to watch some football. And don't let you miss the game, you gotta wait until the game come on again. I didn't have those boxes where you can set it to record and you just watch it when you get home. Nah, you better be home when it come on because if you get home late and you turn that TV on, bop, bop, it be gone. Game is over and you watching the clock tick zero, zero. You done missed it. You wasn't home. There it go.


So I made sure I was home. My friends wanted to go outside and play and we played tackle in the street. We ain't have no football. We got us a Pepsi can, we crushed it, and that was our football. I don't know whether I was crazy, I don't know if I was just crazy or I really loved playing football 'cause there ain't no way I'm gone play tackle football without a football. You playing with a crushed can, more like mob ball. And if you pick that can up, boy, your behind gone be toe up because you gone have 15 thugs, little small little gangsters coming after you, running you through the street.


Oh don't worry about the cars. Beep, beep. Just cut off of them. Spin off the hood, you'll be aight. But don't let them gangsters come and hit you. The cars aight. Them 20 little gangsters, these were the thugs, you done picked up the crushed can and here they come full speed getting ready to drive you through the water hydrant. Boy I don't know what I was thinking. Why I came home so many times scratched up from the street, playing mob ball or tackle football in the middle of the street. My goodness. I done came a long way y'all. Me and football have a history. But I loved the game. I knew I wanted to be a football player.


"Hey little man, whatchu wanna be when you grow up?" "I wanna play football." I ain't talk much but I knew I wanted to play football. "You wanna be a doctor?" "Nope." "You wanna be a rapper?" "Heck no. Stutter too much for that." "What you wanna be little man?" "I wanna play football." That was me, big chunky little dude with a afro, wanted to play some football. Couldn't be like my dad or my brother but it looks like destiny would have me in the trenches. But it was fun, man, I loved playing football. I didn't mind playing football in the street. Every night again, we'd have the luxury of playing in the grass with a actual football.


That was even better. Played optimist football, played D-line, played O-line, with guys three, four years older than me. But you know what? It taught me something.

It taught me a lot about character. Taught me a lot about dealing with giants, dealing with people bigger than me, faster than me, stronger than me. Everybody was bigger and faster and stronger than I was. I was 12 years old playing against kids 14 and 15. I had to because when I played, it was by weight. I was heavy. I was heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy. I was too big. I remember one time, I wanted to play so bad and we had to get on the scale before we played a game. The weigh-ins. Big Dawg, I was in my undies man. My underwear. I was in my tighty whities trying to make the weight. And don't act like I was the only one out there doing that.


The cheerleaders there looking at me. Big Dawg, I ain't care. I was just hoping they was clean from the back. You know what I'm saying? Your boy was just trying to play man. But you know what? It was fun. It was fun playing the game because you learn. You learn to overcome obstacles. You lean to deal with certain situations. You learn that you actually had to fight for what you wanted, eve if it cost you. You learn that growing up. No, you didn't have the best technique but you knew what you was into was good for you even though it was challenging. You knew that ultimately, this was gonna bring you something. This was gonna teach you something and take you somewhere.


I knew that. And there my dad was, watching me. Proud of me. And every time I got knocked down, I looked at 'em in his eyes and he said, "Son, get back up again." And he said all that without opening his mouth. You know what I'm talking about. Yeah one of 'em dads if you even blessed to have a father, or a father figure that look you in the eye a certain way and he done told you a whole paragraph, word for word without opening his mouth. That was my dad man. That man, he played the piano but he did not play PE. He just ain't play. Man it got to a point, Big Dawg, that football changed for me.


It began to change. I began to hear on TV how they talk about how big somebody was, how tall he was, how strong he was. I would hear the NFL football analyst talk about his arm length and how big his hands were and how that was the reason why he would bat down balls and shed and throw guys around. And they began to list all the tangibles, all those things that they said made a great defensive lineman: his height, his strength, his speed, his quickness, his arm length, his hand width. All of these things make for a great defensive lineman. So here I am, watching these things, looking at these things on my big old box TV that half the time I can't even see.


Wha, wha. That's me, hitting the side of the TV. Be careful. Be careful 'bout that TV. You know what TV stand for? Huh? TV. What does TV stand for. No I'm not insulting your intelligence. I'm just asking you a question. What does TV stand for? Well I learned it stands for television. TV stands for television. Now my next question is what does the TV, or what does the television do? My dad actually told me. He would tell me this and I would not listen to him. He say, "Alright Bubba, stop watching so much TV now. Ain't nothing but a ignorant tool." "What's you say Daddy?" "That ain't nothing but a ignorant tool." "A what?" "A ignorant tool." My dad called it a ignorant tool and you know what? I agree with him for the most part.


Television means just what it says. The television tells a vision. It tells you a vision. What vision is the TV telling you? Whatever the vision is, is what we can sometimes deem as truth. What's my point? When I was young and I'm watching the tell-a-vision, the TV tell me a vision, the vision that I was getting was that in order to be a football player, that I had to look like that. The vision was portrayed for me that I had to look like the vision the television was showing me. So I began to look in the mirror and compare the vision to what I actually saw.


And it wasn't looking like I matched up to what the television was telling me. So because I didn't match to what the television was telling me, I began to misinterpret what I was seeing in the mirror. And I began to question myself. The game that I have so loved and seen so much of growing up, the game that I used to love to enjoy playing in the street with the crushed can, the Ma Ball, the game that I watched my brother play. The game that if you asked me what I wanted to do, I say play football, began to tell me through the television a vision. Now I'm definitely not against television at all, so I don't want you to misunderstand what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that the message that I received was wrong. I totally misinterpreted what I was seeing and what I was hearing, the television tell me was also wrong. I would hear on the television a lot about the tangibles, as I mentioned before. But I would never hear about the intangibles. Those things that we can't see, all those things that we can't touch.


I wouldn't hear a lot about the attitude of the player. I wouldn't hear a lot about the will of the player. I wouldn't hear a whole lot about how it was really about the motivation and inspiration these athletes had to be great. I wouldn't hear that. But what I did hear was a lot about the tangibles, and that's where I began to compare myself and that's definitely, big dawg, where I went wrong.


For episode number eight, we're going to open it up to two of our subscribers, which I really appreciate them asking me a question, a trench question. And the question had a lot to do with what I was just referring to. Shout out to Big Dawg [Kip 00:13:27] and Big Dawg Tyler, I appreciate you all being subscribers, and I definitely wanted to answer this question for you guys because I think it's extremely important. So let me read the questions here. This is Kip's question. I'm big and I'm decently strong, but I'm not that tall. I'm only 5'8" and I play interior D-line as a one technique. How do I increase my productivity against O-lineman that are often taller than me? It's really difficult for me to see around them. I have a good pass rush, but because of my limited ability to see around them, it's hard for me to see the ball handoffs, and stuff and a couple of times has cost me big time during the games.


Okay, Kip good question. Now let me read Tyler's question. I'm 6'3", 160 pound, five tech defensive end. My pass rush is decent, but most linemen I play against are much heavier than me, and sometimes I feel unable to move them, especially in the run game. I was wondering if you have any advice/techniques that would help me in those situations. Big dawgs, I think those are valid questions, and I sincerely appreciate you asking them.


All right, big dawg, let's talk about it. When I read these questions, the first thing I can think of is, man, that was me. That was me comparing myself, comparing the tangibles, to the guy across from me. That was definitely me. And sometimes I will be bigger than the guys across from me, and because I was bigger than them, or stronger than them, in my mind that meant that I was better than them. But there were a lot of times, especially when I started playing high school and then even in college especially, those guys started to be a lot bigger than I was. Now if my confidence relied on how big I was and how strong I was or how tall I was, then at that point my confidence is gone because I'm not bigger than those guys no more. I'm not stronger than those guys anymore. So therefore, does that mean I'm not better than them because I'm not bigger than them or I'm not taller than them or I'm not stronger than them?


I was completely mystifying how I would do in that game because my definition of success was all about my tangibles. It was all about how much bigger I was or stronger I was. It's just interesting to me when I read these questions, one person said I'm big, but I'm short, and the other person said I'm tall, but I'm light. The first part of the sentence was I'm big comma, and the other person said, I'm a 6'3", 160 pounds, five technique. Big dawgs, I completely understand where you're coming from, but as being big dawg, I have to say this, it is not about the size of the dog in the fight, but it will always be about the size of the fight in the dog.


Can I tell you a quick story? Real quick, big dawg. I want to tell you a story about Little Willie. They call the dawg Little Will short for Willie. Every day Little Will will walk down the street and he will always get to this gate when he saw this big dog. I mean this dog was big slobbing out the mouth, but Little Will have to have that bone. So as soon as Little Willy saw the gate and he saw that bone, Little Willie get in the gate. Here come Little Will busting through the gate, running full speed to the bone. As soon as Little Will went to bite on that bone ... that big dog, slapped him with his paw. Little Willie ain't like that. So he charged at him again, and that big dog lift up his paw ... stopped Little Willie again, and that big dog went charging at him. Bit him, tussled a little bit and Little Willie ran out the gate. Ran home.


There Little Willy was in his gate, beat up and boneless. So the next morning he thought about that bone, and he went back down the street where he knew that bone would be. So Little Willie went right to that gate. The same one he was at yesterday and there it was, that bone. Willy saw that bone, got through that gate, full speed to that bone. Bit that bone, headed for the gate. Here come that big dog ... swatted at Little Willy. Bone done came lose. Big Dog beat up on Little Willy. Swatting him, throwing him around, growling at him ... Little Willy ran out the gate, ran as fast as he could back home. There Little Willie was again, beat up and boneless.


The next morning Little Willy was thinking about that bone. He went again, and again, and again trying to get that bone, and it seemed like nothing was changing. That big dog kept beating them up and Willie kept running home, beat up and boneless. All those weeks have gone by and Willy was still boneless. But one morning Willy was determined to get that bone. Willy was like, "I gotta get this bone. I ain't gonna stop until I get it." So he goes Willie again walking down the street, think about how he going to get this bone. And there it was, there was the gate, and he looked in that gate, and he saw that bone. And Little Willy came through the gate and he saw the bone and he saw that dog. You know what Willie did? Huh, big dawg? You know what Willy did? Willy charged at the dog. Willy went full speed and he went and attacked that dog, that big dog, and they was going at it, and they was going back and forth swatting at each other. Growling and tussling.


See Little Will wasn't little no more, at least not his will. His will had grown, and that big dog was tired. That big dog was tired of Little Willy coming to get that bone every day. Day after day after day as if every time that big dog beat up Little Willy, it meant nothing to him. He kept coming back every single day. Little Willy really wanted that bone, and that big dog realized it. That big dog realize that beating Little Willy up meant nothing to him. He wasn't gonna stop until he got that bone. So the big dog stopped growling. He backed up as if to say, "Man, just take the bone. You want the bone that bad? Just take it. Just stop coming right here in my gate. Take the bone and forever stay away from my gate." You know what Little Willie did? Huh, big dawg? I bet you can't guess what Little Willy did. Little Willie left the bone. He left that bone right there in that gate. And Little Willie walked out the gate and looked at that big dog and said, "I'm leaving the bone here." The big dog in went up like ... "What? After all this time you wanted the bone." "I did, but now I got an excuse to come back and whoop your ..." Little Will was making a mistake.


The reason why he was Little Will because his will was little. That's what made them little. Not that he was physically little, but his will was little. All Little Willie wanted was the bone. The bone was the most important thing to him. But see, that was the problem. The bone was more important. But it wasn't a bone that caused Little Willy to grow up. The thing that changed Little Willy, what made Little Willy bigger and stronger was the fight. The fight was doing something to Little Will. The fight was changing him. The fight was causing him to refocus what he really wanted.

A lot of times we go into the gate like Little Will focusing on the wrong thing. We're teaching our young men to get the bone, but we're not teaching them to fight as a young man. As a man, the most important thing is to learn how to fight for what you want. If you want it big dawg, fight for it. That big dog might be standing in front of you slobbering at the mouth, slapping you down and around. But I'm going to tell you like my daddy told me without even opening my mouth, big dawg, get up and try again. What you need to win is within. Leave the bone alone and go get that dog.


It's about being a man. That's the real vision. You have to be willing to stand up, and squared up in front of any opposition that's keeping you from what you want. Sometimes our focus is wrong, and we all about the stats. I got 10 bones today. I got 12 bones today. We ain't fighting though. Your will, your will, your will has to grow. You got bigger task than that. If the bone is all you want, then that bone you might never get. If there's something that stands in my way, then you're my first task for today.


What eventually made me a better player is that I had to tell myself another vision, and that vision was that my will had to grow. I couldn't grow no other way, no tangible way. I am what I am, and after coming home plenty of days beat up and boneless, I finally looked in the mirror and said, "This is who I am, and this is all I need. As long as I have oxygen in my body and blood in my veins, I'm fighting everybody." If you keep standing in front of my way, keeping me from what I have to have, pap pap, come get some. Move, I can't see. You understand what I'm saying Big Dawg? The only way that I could grow and the only thing that was worth growing was my will. I had to out-will the guy in front of me, but it started with not wanting a bone. It started by wanting to be a man and fight, and that's when the fight in me finally grew big and strong. Now my will was grown. See I'm six, one and a half, maybe 6'2" on a good day. It don't even matter. And in college when I finally figured this out across was for me was 6'8", 6'7", and I'm putting my gloves on smiling and I'm telling you, I start bringing all I had every single play. When I start making plays, when I start making tackles, when I started batting balls down, when I started causing fumbles and recovering fumbles.


You know what I did Big Dawg? I bet you can't guess what I did. Every time I gave that ball back with a smile on my face. Why? Because now I have an excuse to comeback on this next play and whoop his ...


I'm just messing with you Big Dawg. I don't curse, man. My parents did raise me a little differently, nothing against those that do, but my dad ain't play that and he still don't play that. So what am I really saying here Big Dawg? What I'm saying is, if you're 5'8", use that 5'8" to your advantage. Use that to help you establish better leverage. Use that to help you get underneath the chin of that offensive lineman. If you're a taller guy, then use your leap. Be quicker than him. Get on that offensive lineman and get off. If he's heavier than you, most of the time it might mean that you might be a little quicker than him. Use that to your advantage. The problem that I have with the question or at least the mentality behind the question, is seeing heavier as being an advantage, and seeing you being lighter as a disadvantage.


Here's what I'm saying. When you begin to look at yourself and look at yourself as a disadvantage, that's the problem, because now somehow I have to convince you that your disadvantage can still get the job done. That is very hard to convince somebody that their disadvantages can still accomplish a goal, or that their disadvantages can still achieve what they will want to achieve. It's almost impossible to convince somebody that is looking at themselves as a disadvantage or believe that they are full of disadvantages that they actually can accomplish their goal. It doesn't matter what technique I tell you to use or what I tell you to do, it's not going to help until you get out of your mind that you are or you have lots of disadvantages. Stop focusing on what you don't have and focus more on what you do have.


Big Dawg, you have to change your mentality. The fact that you are lighter than him is the advantage. The fact that you are shorter than the guy in front of you can play to your strength. Progress starts when you start seeing yourself as advantages instead of disadvantages. When you start looking in the mirror and saying that what I have is all I need, then your will, will start to grow and you'll start to see yourself achieve. I want to read you a quote from Bobby Jones. Bobby Jones was a golf player, a very successful golf player. And even though this is golf and not football, what he said is very true and will always be true. He said, "Golf is actually a game that's played on a five inch course, the five inch course that is the distance between your ears." Man, that's a very true statement. The first game that you actually play, the first battle you actually have is in your mind.

It's all the doubts, it's all the negatives, it's all the disadvantages. It's all of the visions that the television tells you. All of those things that you think you can't do, you won't. It is. It's such a battle going on in our minds and we get to the point where we don't trust ourselves to play the game. We believe more in our fear than in our faith, and that mentality causes us to not see the truth. And what's the truth Big Dawg? The truth is that I don't have a disadvantage. The truth is the more you believe in yourself, the more you will see. But until you believe you're not seeing anything, you'll never see the truth. You'll never accomplish what you're supposed to accomplish. But I'm telling you Big Dawg, everything you have is all you need. I'm telling you Big Dawg, do me a favor.


Go and look at the NFL history books. Even look at some of the rosters right now. You will be surprised at some of the height and weight on some of these guys. Some of these guys are not as heavy as they say. Some of these guys are not as tall as you think. I've seen some 5'11"s out there balling. I've seen some guys in the low 200s out there balling, and yes, I'm talking about guys in the trenches. I'm not talking about safeties or corners. I'm talking about those dawgs in the trenches. Those wills in there. Have you ever seen John Randle's story? Hopefully you know who John Randle is. He just in the hall of fame. One of the best defensive lineman that I've ever seen play the game. There's been a lot of them, but my God, he's one of the best.


How tall was John Randle? How much did this man say he was? Did you hear the story? How he had to put chains round his waist just to get a shot, because he couldn't gain the weight? Go look this man up. He was a mad dawg. Watch this man's story, and then go and look at what he accomplished. He's in the hall of fame. He's one of the best to ever do it, but was nowhere near one of the biggest physically to do it. But I tell you what, the size of that fight in that dawg right there, if you listen to his story and you listen to where he came from, and the things that he had to deal with, the size of his will was huge. And if you listen to his story, he talks about going against one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL as he was part of the Minnesota Vikings.


He talked about how he went against him every single day. And he figured that if I can beat him, I can beat anybody. And John, not afraid to say it, and he said it. He said he'd get beat by him almost every day, but he just kept coming every single day until finally, finally he beat him. See, that's the mentality we need. It's not about the bone. It's about the fight.

Muhammad Ali said it best. "Rumble young man, rumble."

Muhammad Ali, the greatest of all time. Rest in peace.


You got to be willing to fight. You have to understand all you need for the fight is within you. All you need to be successful in the fight is within you Big Dawg. No, you're not too short. No you're not to light. You're actually tall enough and you're just right. Get in there Big Dawg, get in their and fight. And one day all the crowd's going to be gone. All the thousands of fans, they ain't gonna be there. There ain't going to be no bone to fight for. What now? You fight. Because you're a man, you fight. Well, y'all got to be ready to go back and strap your play. I'm telling you boy, just give me one play. Don't even give me one series. Just give me one play.


That's all I need. As always Big Dawg, I appreciate your time man. I appreciate you spending it with me. Thank you so very much for downloading another episode of Big Dawg Trench Talk. I hope you find this very valuable. It is something that I wish that I had heard as I was growing. I definitely needed it. I wish that I heard this when I was in college. But eventually I did and I needed it. And definitely when I played professionally. Playing professionally has its own challenges, but all in all I had to fight my way through. Thank you so much for subscribing. Thank you so much for subscribing to Big Dawg Trench Talk. Thank you for the awesome reviews and the awesome ratings. We really appreciate that.


But also thank you so much for visiting www.bigdawgfootball.com. A lot of you have actually visited. I really appreciate that Big Dawg. Thank you. Thank you for joining me in the mission to make a defensive lineman, the best defensive lineman they can be. That is my mission. I don't care how tall you are, I don't care how much you weigh, I don't care how light you are. I don't care how big you are. My goal as a coach and our goal as coaches in the Big Dawg Community is to get you to understand that you have the advantage. That when you look in the mirror, that is all you need and we're going to figure out how to use what you have to your advantage. To me, that's what takes a good coach is to help that young man to see that what he needs, he has.


It's not just about taking that 6'7" guy who's already very strong, talented and gifted. He just looks like he was just born to play football, born to make plays. That's great too. But also it takes even more skill as a coach to take that young man, take them for exactly who he is, and take what he has and to help him to dominate that guy in front of him. At bigdawgfootball.com. We have all of the resources and tools you need to help those young men dominate the trenches. To help them be tacticians in the trenches. And we're adding resources all the time. I'm telling you Big Dawg is the best D-line content in the world.I might be a little biased. Go visit and subscribe. On our next episode, we'll dig more into the mechanical side of things. First we had to tackle work the mental side.


As they used to always say, 90% of the game is mental. I never understood that until recently. All right Big Dawg, enough talking. It's time to strap up. Stick those cleats in the dirt.


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