Brian Branch wants to continue becoming a more effective pass-rusher after having some success getting after Mississippi State’s quarterback, Will Rogers.
Branch was called upon to get after the quarterback consistently during the Crimson Tide’s win over the Bulldogs Saturday. He recorded 12 Pass Rush Snaps, beating out his previous high of nine, according to Pro Football Focus. He finished the game with two quarterback hurries, one sack and one quarterback hit.
The Georgia native said he has been working on hiding when he is about to go after the quarterback.
“I been working on disguising them because a lot of times the quarterbacks will kind of point me out and it would be like they already know I’m coming,” Branch said. “They’ll kind of shift the lines to come block me. But I feel like I love, I love blitzing and it just me working on, I need to work on a little bit more in my disguises when I blitz, so it won’t be as, the quarterback won’t know per se.”
Alabama football has a trio of talented edge-rushers on its squad in Chris Braswell, Will Anderson and Dallas Turner. They have been offering Branch pass-rushing advice.
“Bras, Will and Dallas gave me pointers on when I blitz, come off the edge,” said Branch. “They tried to teach me how to work my hands and I kind of did it this last game. I would never turn helping points from them.”
Braswell said he told Branch to focus on using his speed and bending the edge.
“On his blitzes and coming off the edge, I kind of was telling him sometimes he would spin a lot. I kind of was telling him not to spin a lot because you know, when you spin you, you kind of can’t see what’s coming on the other side. So I was just trying to tell him to just, you know, use his speed, his athleticism and just bend the edge. A lot of tackles can’t block people with speed. So I was just tell him, you know, just bend the edge and just use your hands more.”
Branch’s improvements as a pass-rusher could pay huge dividends for Alabama in the future.