USC Linebackers Fitting Nicely in NFL

Brian Cushing.jpg
Brian Cushing’s New ‘Do. Photo by Brett Coomer Chronicle

From Rookie hazings to hard-hitting, the members of the Trojan linebacker quartet are finding their place in the NFL.

StingRey: The Bengals are finding out rather quickly just how effective linebacker Rey Maualuga can be as a pass-rusher. I can tell you this, you’re not going to block him with a running back. Just ask Kenny Watson, who was thumped by Maualuga on a play when rushing the passer. Watson was left sprawled on the field like road kill. He had to shake out the cobwebs before being helped to his feet by teammates. – Springfield News-Sun

Clay Matthews is moving on up: “First-rounder Clay Matthews surpassed Jeremy Thompson as the Packers’ starting right outside linebacker Monday. It took Matthews all of three practices to force the move. Coach Mike McCarthy is downplaying the change, but it’s clear the job is now Matthews’ to lose. Matthews is a more natural outside linebacker than Thompson, able play the run while also providing a pass rushing presence.” – Rotoworld

Brian Cushing has new haircut: “I’m a lot cooler now at practice, so I’m happy about that,” Cushing said. “I had a pretty good feeling about what was going to go on. It was part of the rookie entertainment. I went up there and sang a song, and the second part of it was getting my hair cut…It’s about two years right there, off in about 30 seconds. It’s a lot quicker to cut than to grow.” –Chron.com

Kaluka Maiava has made Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini a fan – “He’s done a good job. He’s been working inside, both spots inside and some work on sub, which we haven’t gotten to at this point, but we will here shortly. He’s a guy that I thought was very smart when I interviewed him. I liked his style of play. I liked what he had done on special teams in college and I think that he’ll get a chance to contribute in a lot of different ways if he continues to progress.” –The Cleveland Leader

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