Haynes Aiming to Build On Vanderbilt Performance
Oct. 18, 2017
By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSport.com
The thought process was pass first, run second.
A simple idea engrained into Marquis Haynes’ head by the coaching staff in the week leading up the win over Vanderbilt is what allowed the senior defensive end to have the best game of his Ole Miss career.
“If I am thinking pass I can just go instead of watching to play a tackle,” Haynes said. “I can just go and create havoc like I have the last couple years.”
Haynes had three sacks and eight total tackles in the win. The trio of sacks helped him capture the school’s all-time sack record with 27, passing Greg Hardy’s previous mark of 26.
“It means a lot,” Haynes said. “When I was a freshman here I never thought the day would come when I would break the sack record.”
The first couple of games had been a struggle for Haynes. Teams threw more double teams at him with the most likely combination being a tackle and a tight end. His production dipped and at times he was pressing. Haynes sat down with defensive coordinator Wesley McGriff and watched film of himself in search of some answers.
“I think a lot of teams focus in more on my approach and my angles,” Haynes said. “Their main thing was to get me in a six technique to bring an extra lineman into double team me. We just decided to line me up outside and let’s ride.”
The results Saturday certainly showed progress. Aside from simplifying his alignment, Matt Luke encouraged Haynes to play freely. Attack instinctively and think less. Haynes did so by thinking of his number one fan, his young daughter Aubreeana.
“It was just one of those games,” Haynes said. “You get the feeling as you’re warming up. For me, I have a daughter that is watching me so I am always trying to do my best for her.”
Despite being a year and a couple of months old, Haynes said she knows when her dad is playing well.
“Oh she knows,” he said. “Because when her mom gets to clapping, she claps right along with her.”
If nothing else, The game Haynes had on Saturday was a reminder that he is Ole Miss’ greatest defensive weapon and can single-handedly change the dynamic of the Rebels’ pass rush. The defensive line played with a renewed since of energy as a result, as did the defense as a whole. All of that helped the team get its first win in a month.
“I think it was time for them to start reaping benefits for the work they have done,” defensive line coach Freddie Roach said. “It was good to see them having fun.”
Roach was as happy as anyone to see Haynes play so fiercely. Roach has harped on consistency this season, being good for a string of plays and not allowing an explosive play from the opposing offense to slip in between.
“You have to be consistent,” Roach said.”That is the hardest thing to do in life whether it is you or I waking up and dong the same thing over and over again, or those kids out there striking blocks and being in their gap. I think everyone in the world struggles with consistency. That is something we have been teaching here and need to get a little bit better at.”
Ole Miss will need that consistency when it battles LSU running back Derrius Guice, who McGriff called the centerpiece of the Tiger offense. He poses a threat every time he touches the football. One wrong move or fit can result in Guice racing to the end zone. The Rebels’ consistency will be what determines whether that happens or not.
It will be even more difficult considering the Rebels are down a pair of defensive ends in Qaadir Sheppard and Victor Evans. Both are having surgery and will miss an extended period of time. Younger guys like Markel Winters and Ryder Anderson will be called to step up in their absence.
“It is going to take us all. This is the SEC,” Roach said. “Those guys are held to the same standard as the ones. I don’t need a drop off with those guys.”
“Anything that happened last week is going to carry over into this week because our defense has that same energy,” Haynes said. “We are going to keep it flowing into this game.”
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