Dead NFL star inspires Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dead NFL star inspires Dockers

By Justin Chadwick 09/08/2009 09:22:34 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey revealed a pre-match address about a deceased NFL cult hero helped inspire his charges to a 42-point AFL win over Port Adelaide on Sunday.

Harvey said he highlighted the defensive traits of former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and hall-of-famer Derrick Thomas in order to emphasise the importance of pressuring the opposition when not in possession of the ball.

Ladder leaders St Kilda have made an art of the tactic during their 19-game winning run this year and Harvey said Thomas, considered one of the best pass rushers of all time, was the perfect example of how important the role was.

"When I have a look at St Kilda their main emphasis is on pressure," Harvey said.

"Derrick Thomas just got inducted into the hall of fame over there and died five years ago.

"He was held in higher esteem than the team's own quarterback because of the pressure he applied to the quarterback from the opposition.

"He never had the ball.

"His main role was to create turnovers, which means he had to get to the quarterback quicker so he could create a turnover or ... create a fumble or tackle the quarterback.

"It's those sort of correlations you can make from a different sport of how you apply pressure to the opposition.

"It's an interesting part of the game now. To be able to cause an interception in this game is as important as ever and we are tying to teach our players about that.

"I thought our pressure was terrific."

Harvey praised his young team's endeavour against the Power.

"We've been working on a lot of things in and around the club at the moment that are starting to pay off and I think you can see where we're going when we play like that, it gives us a lot of direction going forward," he said.

"I think the way we play is in the right manner and spirit and we play with morale.

"We never ever look like we concede (games).

"All those traits are important."

Harvey said the Dockers had set their sights on winning their final three games of the season.

But it will be no easy feat, with a round 22 date against Geelong at Skilled Stadium to follow matches against Melbourne (MCG) and Essendon (Subiaco).

Harvey said key position player Luke McPharlin was a strong chance to return for Sunday's clash with the Demons.

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