Seahawks Cliff Avril says corralling Steelers Big Ben will be a challenge

Nov 25, 2015, 3:25 PM | Updated: 4:37 pm
Cliff Avril called Johnny Hekker's push "uncalled for," but said the punter eventually apologized t...
Cliff Avril called Johnny Hekker's push "uncalled for," but said the punter eventually apologized to him. (AP)

Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril is 6-foot-3, and about 260 pounds. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is listed as 6-foot-5, 240 pounds.

Avril doesn’t believe the latter listing for a second.

“He’s bigger than me,” he said on 710 ESPN Seattle’s “The Huddle.” “I would say he’s every bit of 260.”

As the Seahawks prep for a key home matchup with the Steelers, one of the top priorities will be corralling Big Ben. Roethlisberger is known for his pocket-awareness and ability to use his massive frame to shake off would-be sackers.

Avril, on the other hand, is having one of his best seasons as a pro, notching 6.5 sacks and 38 tackles through 10 games. But beyond those major stats, Avril has applied consistent pressure to opposing quarterbacks.

“Nobody likes to get hit, so that’s the big thing for us,” he said.

Avril Is used to taking on bigger players on the offensive line, often utilizing his power.

“There’s a lot that goes into the bull rush,” he said. “These guys are definitely bigger than me, but you set them up with the speed rush and they start playing for that and then you can try to get them with the bull rush.”

Avril said he tries to give an o-lineman the same look each time, but, more than anything, play off what is given to him.

“If I feel like he’s sitting inside a little more, I’m going to stay on the edge,” he said. “If I feel like he’s trying to jump-set me, or different things like that, maybe I’ll come under or a bull rush, or whatnot. It’s all reaction for me still right now, but I try to force them to do certain things with my get-off.”

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