OXNARD, Calif. – The one-on-one drills and team drills during training camp have turned into one gigantic
Ware’s explosiveness early in camp has been on full display. He’s demonstrated he’s finally healthy after dealing with a plethora of upper body and arm injuries at the end of last season.
The tremendous play of the converted outside linebacker has already allowed defensive line coach Rod Marinelli compare Ware to some of the best players he’s ever coached.
“He’s special,” Marinelli said. “I’ve been around special. I’ve had that, and he’s special. Now it’s just a day-to-day grind of fundamentals so we can give him playing as fast as he can play every down. That’s a process right now you go through.”
Julius Peppers and Simeon Rice are among the many talented defensive linemen Marinelli’s seen throughout his coaching career. Peppers, who was with Marinelli in Chicago, has 111.5 career sacks. Rice, who played for Marinelli in Tampa Bay, finished his career with 122.
Marinelli said, like Ware, Peppers hadn’t played the same style he wanted from his linemen when he first arrived in Chicago.
“Then when it hits, oh man, now you’re using these men’s abilities,” Marinelli said. “Same with (Anthony) Spencer, we’ll be using his ability. It’s all drill work, it’s keys, it’s run and pass keys. The best way to describe it, tedious repetitions of the simplest, simplest movements, over and over so we develop the habits you need to play this game. If a man always has a foundation to stand on, the ups and downs in a game, you go back to your fundamentals.”
Once those fundamentals become second nature, Marinelli has no doubt Ware will continue to get better. He’s already one of the best players Marinelli’s ever coached.
“I’ve had Simeon Rice and Julius Peppers and guys that came into this system, and this guy’s really a rock,” Marinelli said. “This guy’s a special pass rusher, bright. I couldn’t be more excited, and with Spence, really excited about those guys.”