August 23, 2009

Anderson ready for starting spot

Starting defensive tackle Ben Anderson has been looking forward to the start of the 2009 season since the final snaps of the 2008 season. Anderson has been battling a few nagging injuries, but he has been holding down one of the defensive tackle positions and expects to start every game this year.

"I am feeling pretty good and I was not that rusty when I came back and I knew all the plays and stuff," Anderson said. "I am definitely excited about getting to start. I have been behind Vance Walker and Darryl Richard and now it is my time and I am ready for the challenge."

Anderson and fellow starting defensive tackle Jason Peters are not the prototypical size of a BCS college defensive tackle, but he feels like their toughness and tenacity make up for a lack of size.

"Jason and I are not your average 320-pound defensive tackles, but we are both real scrappy and tough in the middle," Anderson said. We have been working on blowing up our gaps and fighting double teams. Those are our big concerns."

While most schools look for 300-pound defensive tackles, Anderson is not caught up in the size game and he says the Jackets defensive tackles are just as good as any other teams' tackles.

"I don't see the big deal with size and I feel like if you can play, then play," Anderson said. "Jason and I are undersized defensive tackles, but we know who to play game, stay low and shoot gaps."

At one-point in his career Anderson attempted to get into the 300-pound range and he wound up injured because he body could not handle the extra baggage.

"I weigh around 280-pounds and I have learned over the last few years that this weight for me is what my body wants," Anderson said. "I blew up a few springs back and I ended up getting hurt because I was too heavy."

Over the next few weeks, Anderson will work on several fundamental techniques to get ready for the 2009 season.

"I have been doing really well with shooting gaps and staying low. I have been working on using my hands and keeping my body low so I stay balanced," Anderson said.

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