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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

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Page 47 of 110

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 46 more definitive to them and then you saw it on the tape," said Melvin, who was hired in the offseason to coach Purdue's defensive line. "Or the other end of it, things that caused you to lose and that's how you set up your teaching tape, too. Things to model. Model the things that are done correctly. The things that cause you to lose, here's what's happening and why. And if it's a repeat offender, then ev- erybody knows he's a repeat offender. So if Coach benches him, they know why. "The biggest part of it is just compete. We're competitive people. So now all of a sudden, 'Oh, that's where he's at?' Then they all raise their level. That's the true basis of it." As a collective, Purdue's defensive line needs to raise its level. If good defense starts up front, then bad does too, and the Boilermakers haven't been good enough of late. Purdue's not created consistent disruption, in neither in its rush defense nor in its pass rush. The latter has been a point of emphasis for Melvin, who has shown a knack for developing pass-rushers during his career. He did so at Purdue in his first tenure, from 1997-99, helping mold former Boilermakers like Rosevelt Colvin, Akin Ayo- dele and others. It'll be a challenge this season. Purdue has not had an end collect more than four sacks in a season since Ryan Kerrigan had 12.5 in 2010. That's five years for a program that touts its "Den of Defensive Ends," a group of stellar pass-rushers over the years who frequently have gone on to great NFL success. Panfil doesn't fit the mold physically; at 6-foot-5, 268, he's bigger than most before him, but the senior thinks he can be better than he's been previously. Last season, Panfil col- lected four sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss. "I've had a tendency to try to be a power rusher, which I'm not," Panfil said following a productive spring in which he seemed more active in the backfield. "I know that's one of my flaws, and I've really been trying to work on it. But (Melvin) just helped me to try to work edges more and try to use my speed, the speed that I have, and do that to the best of my ability. Because I'm not bigger than the guys I'm going up against and I shouldn't get into personal battles with them, like I have in the past. He was really stern when talking about pass rush, just stern about what you did wrong and trying to critique you. He'd give really good teaching points, and they kind of stuck with some guys, I think, and definitely stuck with me." But rushing the passer will be a group effort. Replogle had a couple sacks last season, both against Iowa, when he almost single-handedly shut down third-quarter Hawkeye drives to give the Boilermakers a chance at an upset. Purdue thinks it can free the senior 3-technique up even more with some of the movement and stunts it plans in its front. Wilson is young, having played sparingly as a back- up last season, but he's shown athleticism. If the 6-4, 306-pounder plays well, he can help keep double teams off Replogle. "That's why Eddy's got to be great," Coach Darrell Ha- zell said, "and I think he can be spectacular, too. He's a 300-pound wiry guy. That's unheard of. Most guys are lean, but he can torque his body to get off the block and he's got quickness. He's got great hip strength. He's go- ing to be really good. He's a Sunday guy." Purdue will need Larkin or Robinson — or both — to Tom Campbell Purdue has a wealth of experience at linebacker, including Danny Ezechukwu (right) and Jimmy Herman.

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