“A couple of times in the game he had the tight end, the back and the tackle and he was still able to build pressure,” says Anarumo. “That’s what happens when you fire the quarterback as many times as you have in recent years.
“You’re not going to let him and Sam (Hubbard) ruin the game. Especially Trey, they pay extra attention to sometimes three people.
If you count the playoffs this decade, Hendrickson has a staggering 31 sacks in 37 games. Only TJ Watt (39.5) and Myles Garrett (32) have more. If you look closely at the numbers, some of the main reasons the Bengals went to the Super Bowl were the statistical performances of Burrow and the three newcomers, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, kicker Evan McPherson and Hendrickson, in no particular order in his franchise -Record 14 sacks and 3.5 more in the playoffs.
“He’s got the best chip on his shoulder and he’s showing it,” said strong safety Vonn Bell, his old Saints teammate. “He’s relentless. He’s a warrior, man. He loves ball. He wants to get out there and play for his boys…he had a great tackle for a loss (in Dallas) that got them back into midfield. He’s ready. I’d leave him alone in a heartbeat.”
That’s why we don’t talk to Hendrickson, we talk to one of the young D-Linemen like Cam Sample to talk about Impact.
“He has that drive and that energy. Every day he comes in with the same attitude and tries to get better. You can tell that it means a lot to him,” says Sample. “This is an easy guy to rally behind. Its intensity is contagious. He’s one of the key players on our D-line and our defense and I think that carries over to the team.”
A big reason the Bengals have just two sacks in their first two games after getting 42 last season is that they haven’t had a lead yet. Also, Hendrickson isn’t exactly in disguise. #91 might as well be an I-75 billboard. And they basically went up against two backup quarterbacks who were just out to get the ball out fast. Anarumo expects the same from accomplished 15-year-old pro Joe Flacco on Sunday
“The ball comes out so fast. The first game (against the Steelers’ Mitch Trubisky) is a series of RPOs where there’s no drop-back pass where you have a chance to rush the quarterback,” Anarumo said. “It’s just a little bit different when they catch and throw, catch and throw. Where these guys don’t really stand a chance of hurrying.
“We were the least penalized team but we find some penalties this year that put them back down to third and fifth where you don’t get a chance to rush to third and fifth because the ball comes out. Third and 8, 3 and 10, 3 and 12, you have a chance to get a sack.”
The Jets also didn’t hit the quarterback. Lawson has one-half of three sacks and one of nine hits at the quarterback. Hendrickson has two of the Bengals’ 10. Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams faced them both in practice.
“Really strong with an explosive upper body. Great burst-up field. Solid overall player. Great engine, definitely,” Williams says of Lawson. “He’s a bit more of a body rusher than Trey. Carl has longer arms and tries to punch you through. Trey likes to get around the edge.