Saturday, April 6, 2013


Opinion: Kansas juco DL Chris Martin shoots straight

KU defensive end Chris Martin, a transfer from City College of San Francisco, arrived on campus in time for spring drills.

KU defensive end Chris Martin, a transfer from City College of San Francisco, arrived on campus in time for spring drills.


Junior-college transfer Chris Martin, a projected starter on the defensive line for Kansas University, isn’t afraid to let Big 12 quarterbacks know that they will be facing a different pass rush than they are accustomed to seeing from the Jayhawks. He intends to come after them and not in a gentle way.

“I’m violent with my hands,” Martin said when asked to describe his strengths. “That’s the biggest thing. I’m really violent with my hands. I just have a knack for getting to the quarterback. I’m really fluid and explosive, and I shoot a lot of moves.”

He uses his violent hands to “shoot my moves with aggression,” and so many of the moves D-linemen use to get by blockers have violent names. Martin rattled off some of his best ones: “Bull rush. Swims, rips, long arms, post and stab, pick and ice, spin, pop, chop/club/rip. I’ve got a repertoire, man. Each one is something I can shoot.”

Martin, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior, has the wingspan of a 6-11 man, and his arms are more muscular than long. And he sounds and in practice looks as if he knows how to use them.

“You always have to go in with two, three moves in your head,” Martin said. “You’re about to spin and they stop you, you’ve got to come back out and shoot a rip, shoot something. It’s like clockwork with it. It’s always going. You can never stop with your hands.”

He described one of his favorite moves, the chop/club/rip: “You’ve got to chop down on their forearm. You’ve got to club. You’ve got to always pin on their elbow. There are pressure points on the offensive lineman’s elbow. Then you’ve got to rip. You shoot a rip. You shoot your arm right up under their armpit, raise them up.”

And the long-arm move, tell us about that one.

“That’s where I lock out my arm on them and ride them,” he said. “I push them all the way through, don’t let them get their hands on me, place it right in their chest, ride them all the way in. For me, because of how long I am, if I’m like this (sticks arm out) and I turn my body, he has no way to grab me. All he’s going to do is keep falling back and back and back into the quarterback until I feel his weight lean on me. Once his weight leans on me, I let go and release. It’s just like playing pulley with a guy. You just toy with guys like that.”

These are 300-pound offensive linemen he is referencing, and he’s talking about toying with them. Until the fall, when he suits up in games for Kansas, that’s all it amounts to, is talk. But it’s generally a good sign when a football player doing nothing more than talking creates the sensation of fear in the man listening, a man who actually weighs more than Martin. (OK, so it’s distributed a little differently.)

Martin turned the conversation from the moves he likes to execute, or as he put it, “shoot,” to a general culture change in the defense he is determined to help instill.

“You’ve got to be violent,” he said. “That’s our persona this year. Violent. That’s what we are. That’s our defensive mind-set.”

What’s that you say? I look frightened? Come on, the man was just talking. He didn’t even have pads or a helmet on.

“Not just the defensive line,” he continued. “From us to the linebackers to the DBs. We’re violent. We’re going to hit you in the mouth this year. We are not going to back down. We’re not going to be the same 1-11 defense. We’re not that. That was those guys before. We’re here now. This is 2013. This is the type of identity we want. “

Violent. Even the cornerbacks?

“All of them,” Martin said. “We have to have them as hitters. We can’t have anyone out there who doesn’t want to hit. Nobody that doesn’t want to cover. You’ve got to be willing to take that man one-on-one. We need guys like that. That’s what the identity of our team will be. Corners who will man up. Safeties who will knock your head off when you’re trying to post. Linebackers that will stuff the run, and defensive linemen that will kill the old quarterback or beat up the offensive linemen. That’s the identity we want. That’s the brand of football we want to play.”

You don’t think it will work? OK, you tell that to Mr. Martin. I’ll pass, thank you very much.


redlegger 9 years, 3 months ago

...and the team with most points at the end of the game should win...thanks for stating nothing.

JJHAWK 9 years, 3 months ago

Alas - not always true redlegger

There was this wonderful game,

against MU was the name,

Cohen played in same,

KU played Ro-main (Carp Diem)

with less points MU made its claim

hawk316 9 years, 3 months ago

riverdrifter is making a valid point: talk is cheap. We all hope that Mr. Martin can walk the talk, but we won't know until the games are played. What we do know is that Big XII football is a bit different than Juco ball. Still, that doesn't mean that Martin can't shine, and here's hoping that he lights it up big time!

Jack Jones 9 years, 3 months ago

hawk "talk is cheap" ~ a point well made by both you and drifter. Hope your(s) attitude adjustments work out.

redlegger 9 years, 3 months ago

I like the new persona for the D - looking forward to him shootin' his moves and getting to QB.

Terry N Tom Denner 9 years, 3 months ago

Going to be a interesting year for the other teams coming to KU!! KU will make them pay for the remarks they are making!!

Ashwin Rao 9 years, 3 months ago

I like the fire. Hope we can execute. Looking forward to the season!

April13 9 years, 3 months ago

Martin's comments are more important when taken in the context of team defense. Campo is clearly sending a message and has clearly identified what he thinks our biggest defensive weakness was last year. Add to this the new "loafing" rankings, and it's easy to see that the focus is on turning up the defensive pressure this year.

How great would it be for an opponent this year to come away from a game with KU and state: they are really physical, really aggressive?

It's been a long time.

fan4kufootball 9 years, 3 months ago

Can't wait! I like the attitude! Go Hawks!

Dyrk Dugan 9 years, 3 months ago

these new JUCO guys are better football players no doubt. talent has been upgraded for we just need to translate to the playing field and stay healthy.

but i like what i see so far...Go Jayhawks!

Al Martin 9 years, 3 months ago

Not to go all Reuben here, but isn't 250 a bit light for the DL?

KGphoto 9 years, 3 months ago

No, he’s the perfect size. He’s a DE/OLB. It’s what Weis calls the BUCK position. Basically what Opurum, Reynolds and Willis played last year. The difference is Martin has those ideal measurables. Height, length, speed, power combo. He was born to play this position.

panalytic 9 years, 3 months ago

Sounded like you know what your talking about regarding his position. I'll go with it. That sounds awesome!!

KGphoto 9 years, 3 months ago

Can’t wait til Combs gets here. This could be fun.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 3 months ago

I love that we have a defensive line and not something that we are trying to shift or learn into the position. I'm getting excited about the season. I know it'll have some up and downs, but getting some of these guys that show some leadership on the D can't hurt. I think (and I could be wrong) this year's schedule should be slightly better, but going through the Big XII is always difficult. I do think the culture is changing and that is pretty exciting in itself.

I also feel we are getting some people in that really have NFL potential, which I enjoy following the jayhawks in the pro level and I'm hoping a few of them jump in there.

Ross Cargo 9 years, 3 months ago

I was hoping we could get Martin when he was at Grandview here in Denver. Little did i know....

Adam McEwen 9 years, 3 months ago

you can believe a guy when he says something like that with a calm demeanor, and he seems VERY calm and casual about it.

Hawktawk56 9 years, 3 months ago

This is the same Chris Martin that went against Mike Pouncey in practice every day at Florida, during his redshirt freshman year. I read that an interview where Pouncey said Martin was like going against the Alabama starting linebackers everyday. Pouncey is an all pro NFL OL now, so, Martin has that experience along with JUCO ball.

CrystalJones 9 years, 3 months ago

I guess I like the attitude, but I think you can be "aggressive" without using the term "violent." The connotation beyond the football field is negative, and after the recent Rutgers incident, I think it's a poor choice of words that could reflect poorly on our university. I know some others won't agree with this, but it's just my perception.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 3 months ago

Football is a violent game. I'd prefer him use the term violent rather than aggressive. Smashmouth is also a negative term in your book?

CrystalJones 9 years, 2 months ago

No, "smash mouth" is a term that is traditionally applicable to football.

Brak 9 years, 3 months ago

This can't be a serious comment right, sounds like Ahperse's alter ego trying to troll us.

CrystalJones 9 years, 2 months ago

Actually very serious. And that would be a pretty lame way to troll, IMO. The term "violent" sets off all kinds of alarms in today's world.

DocPossum 9 years, 2 months ago

Violent implies a sudden collision, impact or physical stop. Things a football defense must do. Violence in the real world has a broader and more negative connotation. A good defense must make sudden stops, which will mean less yardage for the offense. Can't wait until the KU defense is unleashed.

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