It’s all in the hips

A tragic alligator attack took professional golf away from him but Chubbs turned to a life of coaching in the movie Happy Gilmore. In his most famous pearl of coaching wisdom, Chubbs was trying to help Gilmore with his putting by telling him, “it’s all in the hips, it’s all in the hips.”

Sources could not confirm if Chubbs has been added to the coaching staff but his message has made an impact on sophomore defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard, who is focusing on improving his hips in order to make himself a more effective lineman this season.

“Yeah, it means a lot in football,” Bullard said of the importance of having good hips. “Explosion, setting the edge, turning, getting your hips around with your moves. Every time Coach Lawing says something, most of the time it’s about hips. Now he’s got me saying hips a lot.”

For most fans, terms like “he’s got good hips” get thrown around a lot by coaches or people in the media, but it is never really explained and means different things depending on the position a player is at. Having good hips as a cornerback means a player can turn and run with receivers, mirror their routes and will also give them the ability to make quick cuts and change directions. For a defensive lineman, the meaning is totally different but still holds the same importance.

As a lineman, having good hips allows you to anchor against the run, shoot out of your stance quickly and stay low. Players like Dominique Easley or Dante Fowler for instance, have great hips and you can see that in how they are able to explode off of the line of scrimmage and get into an offensive linemen before they can set their feet in pass protection. Bullard said he was more of a run-stopper type of defensive end last season but he has been watching his teammates, one in particular, to pick up on their technique and improve his hips this season.

“The guy, great hips,” Bullard said of Fowler. “I work on mine, but his I can say are great. I just watch him do stuff and I talk to him about it, but like I said, last year I was more about setting the edge as a run guy. He just has natural hips.”

While it isn’t something that comes naturally to Bullard, it’s not an innate ability that you have to be born with. It can be taught through technique and repetitions. That is something he has been working extensively on with new defensive line coach Brad Lawing. While he was at South Carolina, Lawing recruited Bullard and always told him, ‘I’m going to coach you Bullard, I’m going to coach you.” While he probably didn’t think he would coach him at Florida, the pair has built a strong bond and they are ready to bring Florida’s pass rush to the next level this season.

“We had a good pass rush last year, but of course, we want to be better and get better,” Bullard said. “Having [Ronald] Powell back and [Dante] Fowler on the end, we’re going to be pretty good. We’ve just got to go.”

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC