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Alabama Football Film Room: Ryan Anderson

Overshadowed by Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen, Anderson quietly racked up 6 sacks (3rd most on the team) last year. Comfortable rushing the passer and defending the run, he'll form half of one of the nation's most fearsome edge-defender duos with Williams.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Anderson doesn’t get the hype that Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen get, but he’s a terror in his own right. He redshirted his first year in Tuscaloosa but began making a contribution in 2013 as a reserve. The former four star outside linebacker has steadily improved each season, and he’ll finally be a starter in his senior year.

Texas A&M

1st and 10: Anderson has his hand in the dirt as the left defensive end. The Aggies run an option to his side, and he’s the unblocked defender. He stays on the quarterback and forces Kyle Allen to make the pitch. Tra Carson narrowly avoids Cyrus Jones by cutting back in. Anderson came off Allen to pursue Carson and is able to make the tackle from behind, but it’s a gain of 6.

2nd and 5: Anderson is again the LDE. The running back motions to the left, and A&M is left with an empty backfield. Anderson has a quick burst and beats the right tackle to the outside, with an impressive bend on the corner. Marlon Humphrey was sent on a corner blitz, and D.J. Pettway wins inside. Allen uncorks a pass before one of the three defenders can reach him, but it falls incomplete.

3rd and 7: Anderson is on the right of the line, standing to the right of defensive end Da’Shawn Hand. Anderson goes directly at left tackle Avery Gennesy, swatting away his hands. He gets off the block; and Allen is in right in his grasp because the pocket had collapsed in front of him. Anderson grabs ahold and drags him down.

2nd and 10: Anderson is at LDE. He charges right into the chest of the right tackle, driving him back almost into the quarterback. Kyle Allen is forced to loop about six yards back as he moves to his right and ultimately throws an incomplete pass. Anderson doesn’t get the sack, but the QB hurry disrupts the play.


2nd and 24: Anderson has his hand in the dirt as the left defensive end. He jams his right arm into the tackle’s shoulder pad and swats away the tackle’s hands with his left, giving him an opening to QB Josh Dobbs. Anderson hits Dobbs and jars the ball loose, and A’Shawn Robinson scoops it up with one hand before it can even hit the ground. No comeback, and Peyton Manning is sad.

Mississippi State

2nd and 9: Anderson has his hand in the dirt as the left defensive end. Mississippi State is in the shotgun with the running back to QB Dak Prescott’s left. The back motions right, and Prescott takes the snap. Anderson swipes the right tackle’s hands away with his left arm as he keeps his feet churning, and he has his man beat. He hits Prescott as he’s cocking back to throw and knocks the ball loose. State recovers, but it’s third and extra long now.

4th and 3: State gained a lot of ground on a third down screen, so now they’re going for it. Anderson is standing up on the left side of the defense. The slot receiver on the left - Fred Ross - motions into the backfield and is the pitch man for Prescott. Anderson plays Prescott and forces the pitch back. Unfortunately, Eddie Jackson was a little too aggressive, and Ross is able to cut back inside of him and get the first.

1st and 10: Anderson is at his usual LDE spot. Anderson wipes away the right tackle’s hands first, moves on to the running back who’s come up to help block him, and wipes away his arms as well. Both blockers have to spin and just watch Anderson pass on by. Prescott hurries a pass that flies out of bounds as Anderson takes him to the ground. Great job forcing the QB hurry.

1st and 10: Anderson is the LDE. He goes inside and gets his hands in the tackle’s chest. Anderson does a good job of knocking the tackle’s arms up and away and maintaining separation. With nowhere to go inside, the running back bounces out; and, because Anderson has some separation, he follows suit. He wraps the back up and brings him down for no gain.


1st and 10: Anderson is standing up on the left side, opposite the right tackle. One of the tight ends and the tackle both block Anderson while QB Treon Harris hands off to RB Kelvin Taylor. D.J. Pettway forces Taylor to bounce outside, and Anderson comes off the blocks. He flows to Taylor and pops him as he crosses the line of scrimmage for a minimal gain. A penalty on Florida negates the play, though.

2nd and 12: Anderson is again standing up on the left, on the outside shoulder of the right tackle. He has good reaction off the snap and uses his handy-dandy wipe move to knock away the right tackle. Anderson gets around the tackle with some decent bend, wraps up Harris, and drags him to the ground for the sack. Fun fact: Cris Collinsworth says that Anderson plays the same position as "Tim Washington" here.

2nd and 11: Ryan Anderson has his hand in the dirt as the left end. He doesn’t beat the right tackle right away; but he eventually wins the hand fight and gets a clear path to Harris, who scrambles to his left. Reuben Foster comes down and does a good job of keeping Harris from escaping, and Anderson tracks him down from behind for the tackle.

Michigan State

1st and 10: Anderson is standing up on the left, next to Jarran Reed. It’s playaction, and the only blocker on Anderson is the tight end, Josiah Price. He wipes Price’s hands and gets around him before he can recover. QB Connor Cook is barely able to dump it off to Price before Anderson drags him down. Price does manage to avoid some tackles; but Anderson comes running in from behind and gets the tackle. Impressive play all around by the linebacker.

2nd and 7: Anderson is standing up on the right side now. He engages LT Jack Conklin. After the initial punch, he does a good job of holding Conklin at arm’s length with his left arm while he watches the play develop. He also keeps his feet moving so he’s not just standing still. The running back tries to bounce it out to his side after A’Shawn Robinson shut down the inside, and Anderson disengages from Conklin and single-handedly makes the tackle for a loss. It’s worth noting that Jack Conklin was the #8 overall pick in the 2016 draft, and Anderson handled him with ease on this play.

3rd and 8: Anderson is down as the left end. He jams his inside arm into the right tackle’s chest as he’s bending around the edge and keeps some separation. He reaches out for Cook’s back with his left arm but is just a little too far away. With Anderson behind him and D.J. Pettway in front, Cook has to scramble. Anderson sheds the tackle completely and lunges at Cook, and this time he connects for the sack. 4th down.