Alex Highsmith watched YouTube videos to learn his spin move

Earlier in the week, we did a movie theater breakdown of Alex Highsmith’s spin move to beat Jedrick Wills for the sack on Monday night, one of two he had in the win. A decision he worked on during his two years with the Pittsburgh Steelers that proved successful, especially against Wills.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Highsmith explained how he trained and got good at the move.

“I’ve been working on it since 2017,” he said via the team’s YouTube channel. “I think I remember it was the summer of 2017. My freshman year of college, I think I only had a bag or two that year. So it was something I wanted to improve at and keep improving. That’s the year I started watching a lot of NFL movies in my spare time, that was 2017. Watching guys like Von Miller and the Demarcus Lawrence, those guys who were awesome at the motion of rotation, I was like, ‘ok, I want to learn this.'”

So where does a middle schooler go to learn this stuff? The Internet. That’s where he found videos on how to perform the spinning motion.

“And so I watched videos of how to do it. Guys like Chuck Smith had good videos to learn how to do it. Just watch them and then go out and practice for a while.

Videos like this are likely the ones Highsmith found that taught him the move. Smith is one of the best-known passing gurus who worked with Bud Dupree and Cam Heyward during the offseason, providing one-on-one training to help players improve their game. helps produce on Sunday (and Monday).

But posting a YouTube clip doesn’t turn you into Dwight Freeney. It took a lot of practice, too.

“I was literally walking around, spinning in the air. People probably looked at me like I was crazy, but it helped me polish this passage into what it is today. I can still continue to improve. Because there were times when I was arrested. And so I just want to keep working on it. I will continue to refine it throughout my career.

Highsmith is sitting at six sacks this season, a respectable number considering TJ Watt is gobbling them up in bunches. Highsmith’s start to the season was a little disappointing, perhaps hampered by an early groin injury, but he came on strong to end the year. Monday’s performance was arguably his best of the season, finishing with a career-high two sacks and showing a back chase in the running game.

Raymond T. Helms