The 2014 Underdogs defensive line
DE – Rudy Rattner, Alon Ben-Shabat, Refael Blum.
DT – Alan Hearn.
Changes that were made: The 2014 season defensive line had a great season overall this past winter. Coach Alan Hearn returned to the field in the DT position, the veteran Alon Ben-Shabat came back for another season, Refael Blum transfered from the Pionners to Haifa and rookie DE Rudy Rattner joined the team. Shahar Shpilberg transfered from DE to guard during the
The defense allowed 5.4 yards per rush. As the offense gained yards but was
inconsistent in the red zone, the defense allowed opponents to convert only 20.6 percent of their third downs. In the team’s three losses, Jerusalem Lions converted 3-of-9 third downs, and Tel-Aviv Pioneers converted 5-of-21 in total for both games. The line players are responsible for 21 sacks this season.
One of the biggest surprises of the season was rookie DE Rudy Rattner, who played his first game of football on 2014; during that game making 7 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 TFL and 2 forced fumbles. His season was cut short but not before achieving high numbers – a total of 65 tackles, 14 sacks and 5 forced fumbles; breaking the IFL record for most tackles for loss & QB sacks in a single game with 8 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
2014 Honors: Alan Hearn (All-IFL 1st Team), Rudy Rattner (All-IFL 1st Team, IFL record for most tackles for loss & QB sacks in a single game, Team’s Rookie of The Year award, Israel National Team)
What to watch: The Underdogs will have to rebuild their defensive line. With Alan Hearn hanging up his cleats, Rattner still not fully recovered from his knee injury and it’s unclear if Alon Ben-Shabat will return for another season.
Refael Blum will have to lead the new players on the line and keep the intensity of this past season – all coming down to speed; the coaching staff will have to find players to fill in the holes, maybe even using players from the offensive squad to play both sides of the ball.