Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Austin Booker Has Already Contacted Superstar EDGE For Tips


The Chicago Bears’ 2024 draft didn’t feature many surprises until the end. First, they decided to draft punter Tory Taylor in the 4th round. Most thought that was their last selection. However, GM Ryan Poles had one more trick up his sleeve. He traded back into the draft with Buffalo for the Bears’ original 5th-round pick, using it to grab Kansas edge rusher Austin Booker. Experts loved the move. Most had a 3rd round grade on him despite only one year of experience and a somewhat light frame. His natural pass-rushing instincts and surprisingly advanced inventory of moves gave them hope he could develop into a solid pro.

What got people excited the most was the comparison he got. Booker reminded many draft analysts of Las Vegas Raiders superstar Maxx Crosby. He, too, was a Day 3 draft choice who came into the NFL with a thinner frame but natural feet for rushing the quarterback. He soon added weight, polished his game, and is now one of the three or four best in the league. It just so happens that Booker and Crosby work with the same trainer, Javon Gopie, also known as the Sack Sensei. This gave the rookie a chance to get the star’s contact information, and he’s been using it to get tips and advice ever since.

Austin Booker clearly has no ego.

That seems to reflect his age and lack of experience. The 5th round pick is only 21 years old. He doesn’t turn 22 until December. He is basically a kid by NFL standards. So it makes sense he’d be more open to advice from a veteran player. It probably helps that Bears defensive line coach Travis Smith was in Las Vegas when they drafted Crosby five years ago. He saw how things unfolded for the eventual Pro Bowler. That means the Bears already have a good blueprint in place for how to handle Booker.

Much of this depends on how he handles the complexity of the NFL level. Pro tackles are big, athletic, and smart. It takes more than athleticism and power to beat them. You need a pass rush plan, diagnosing how you’ll attack on every snap. If you go at them with the same move every time, they will shut you down. Austin Booker seems to understand that. That is the first step in him realizing his potential. Having Eric Washington as his defensive coordinator will also help. If things go as planned, this young man should have an impact sooner than you think.

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May 13, 2024 6:57 pm

Superstar EDGE is what my wife’s yoga instructor calls her. He also says something about “tips,” or maybe it’s “the tip.”

I have no idea why he chose that phrase or what it means.

Last edited 30 days ago by barry_mccockiner
May 13, 2024 6:27 am

Booker will definitely see the field a lot in the upcoming season, and I would not be surprised to see him as the #2 DE across from Sweat by mid-season. He is a baller and has more upside than any other player vying for the position across from Sweat.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 12, 2024 5:35 pm

Yes, he is young, but he is not frail. Just remember that the average age for those sent to Vietnam was 19; 5’10”, 170lbs. With more knowledge, weight, and technique, he should be able to do a good enough job at DE on a rotating basis.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 12, 2024 1:19 pm

Austin is doing the correct thing here. He should advance more quickly in the NFL, but he may have to put more weight and muscle on, while maintaining stamina, to reduce injuries. The Bears need at least four quality DEs to make it through the season even without major injuries, not including the expected playoff games, unless Dexter and Sewell are factored in.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 12, 2024 11:27 am

Even if Bears add Yannick and Campbell, he will be needed during a 17+ game schedule. What is with Pickens?

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