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Arizona football: Wildcats defensive end Reggie Gilbert explains what's going on with the defensive line


It's no secret that the Arizona Wildcats have not been able to generate any semblance of a pass rush this season, so we went right to the source to find out why that is.

Here's what defensive end Reggie Gilbert had to say about the line's apparent struggles:

How are you health-wise after the foot injury?

Gilbert: Eh, I'm getting there. That's all I can say right now. I'm not back to my hundred percent self, but I've definitely seen improvements since last week.

What do you feel like you did well against Nevada?

I was just trying to do whatever the defense called for. I was inside a lot of the time and I feel like I took on a lot of the blocks and freed up some linebackers.

What does the line as a whole need to do to generate more pass rush?

We just gotta get after the quarterback. The third down mentality. We definitely have to create a third-and-long. Last week we had a lot of third-and-shorts, so we really couldn't tell if it was a pass down or run down. But I think this week we definitely have to create the third-and-longs so we can put our ears back and get after 'em.

When there's six or more defensive backs on the field, do you feel more pressure as a line?

I just love third downs, especially as a defensive end. That's what I live for. I do the dirty work on first and second down looking ahead to get to that third-and-long so I can get that payoff.

How is Parker Zellers progressing at nose tackle?

I'm very proud of the way he's come along. He's only a freshman, but I think he handled himself pretty good in last week's game so I can't wait to see what he's going to do this week. Last week was his first start, and he did some good things. But then we also have a few things we need to work on. Him individually and us as a D-line. Every day's just a progression and we're working trying to get better every day.