By Eric Tabor
No one realistically thought the Albany Panthers could keep up the sack numbers they produced last season, a pace ahead of the Southern Indoor Football League single-season record for sacks
Still, the Panthers know they can’t afford to keep up their recent pace, either.
After leading the SIFL in sacks in last year, Albany is next to the last in league with thirteen sacks in seven regular season games.
“When the quarterback drops back to pass or he’s in the shotgun, there has to be a guy in his face,” defensive end Tito Hannah said. “He has to have some kind of pressure, something to keep him uneasy.
“You’ve got to look at the man in the mirror. That’s the first thing I did because I hold myself accountable to being effective on every play.”
Despite the lack of sacks – one against Ben McLaughlin and the Louisiana Swashbucklers in Week 1 and none against elusive quarterback Antonio Miller and the Carolina Speed in Week 2 — Hannah believes the Panthers are again headed in the right direction.
“The first few games, I don’t think we did that effectively,” Hannah said. “The last two games, we got a lot of pressure and had the quarterbacks running from sideline to sideline, so were we trying to catch them. They were able to make plays on their feet.
“So that leaves one thing to do, and that’s to get the quarterback on the ground.”
After losing 60-56 to the 8-1 Columbus Lions last weekend, the 7-1 Panthers play at the Alabama Hammers this Saturday.