Defensive end A.J. Epenesa has been tasked with learning all four positions on the defensive line in his rookie season. Understanding an NFL defense alone isn’t easy. Add on four spots along the line and the workload increases. But the rookie’s not sweating it, he’s embracing it.
Position flexibility is key in a defense where defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier wants to rotate defensive linemen through positions on a regular basis. Frazier has been impressed with how Epenesa has translated what he’s learned in meetings to the field.
“He has done a terrific job, and did a terrific job in our Zoom meetings and spending time with Eric Washington,” Frazier said. “Really getting a feel for our defense, and you could see that when we got on the field and began to do our walkthroughs. It wasn’t like he wasn’t paying attention, he was paying attention and he was on top of the details of all the things we had taken him through. That encourages you as a coach. He’s a guy who’s a fast learner, and he can translate that from the classroom to the field.”
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