There's no perfect formula for how long it'll take a rookie to start flashing on a big stage, but you wouldn't know that from watching Bryan Bresee the past few weeks.
The rookie out of Clemson has drawn rave reviews for his speed and quickness at the defensive tackle position. In Week 2 he used it to pounce on a forced fumble, but in Week 3 it was his inside spin move that turned heads and helped him torpedo multiple Texans drives.
"Did you see it?" Malcolm Roach said with a smile after the game when he was asked about the move, which he noted is especially impressive for how quickly he gets into it on the line, whereas most players have to work up the field first to build momentum.
"He’s able to jump off the ball for him being so big. ... It’s really a sight to see," Roach said. "He has been blessed with the God-given ability to be that quick at that size."
Bresee didn't get credited with a sack in the game, but don't let that fool you, he was in the backfield constantly. Multiple times he used the spin move to get there to shut down any hope of a third down conversion, but he got beaten out to the cleanup sack by his defensive line mates. According to Pro Football Focus, Bresee finished the game with four QB pressures on his 27 snaps.
The most impressive rep came in the red zone, with Bresee beating Texans guard Kenyon Green so violently on the play that it looked like it'd caused an injury. The rookie was breathing down Davis Mills' neck in a flash. The QB managed to duck and escape, but the play was blown up. Isaiah Foskey -- who also had a breakout day -- and Niko Lalos cleaned things up for the sack.
The performance was a wholly positive sign for the Saints, considering it's an interior defensive group that was largely rebuilt this offseason after the departures of Shy Tuttle to the Panthers and David Onyemata to the Falcons. The lone returner is Roach, with impressive additions in Nathan Shepherd and Khalen Saunders working in the rotation. It's a group of impressive athletes that Saunders refers to as "dancing pandas."
But Sunday belonged to Bresee, a player that's expected to factor big-time into the Saints' defensive plans for the foreseeable future.
"The sky is the limit for him, for real," Roach said. "Man, I’m glad he’s on our team.”