September 4, 2008
Practice Insider: Broderick's big day
In most scenarios, the sixth anything matching up with the first doesn't end well for the less regarded.
Thursday, that wasn't the case.
Freshman Broderick Green took the ball to the outside against the first-team defense, and saw Rey Maualuga standing in his way.
He didn't go around the all-American linebacker; Green went through him.
Green delivered a punishing shot that got the rest of the Trojans all hyped for the play of the day, Pete Carroll said.
"My goal was to kill whoever was in the way," Green said.
Maualuga fell to the turf like he'd just been hit by a bulldozer. Quarterback Mark Sanchez ran over, stood on top of Maualuga and pronounced him KO'd by crossing his arms back and forth like a boxing referee.
"I had a good look at it," Travon Patterson said, "and I'm not sure Rey was going full speed.
"Still, that was some hit."
The play could have repercussions for the other Trojans.
"Thanks a lot Broderick," Patterson said. "You could tell Rey was a little mad. I'm sure he's looking to take it out on someone."
If the Trojans were getting ready to take on Ohio State this Saturday, this scene may have played out a little different. However, with the Trojans relaxing this weekend, the play was exactly what Carroll wants.
"(It's good to see) especially for a guy who is trying to make a mark," Carroll said. "Guys are getting an opportunity here to move themselves up in the eyes of the coaches.
"That's exactly the kind of stuff we're looking for. It's exactly what's supposed to happen out here."
Maualuga, to his credit, got back up and kept playing without any signs of animosity.
"I thought Rey was gracious about it," Carroll said. "He let the kid have his moment."
And with a new approach, this could be a more common occurrence.
"I loved it," Green said. "This won't be a one-time thing. I want this everyday."
Green has spent time trying to shed his image as just a big back.
Now, he knows that's not what Carroll and the rest of the staff want to see.
"We always hoped he'd run big and be the hammer," Carroll said. He maybe got caught up in trying to be like the other guys. Everyone has the quickness, and he's got the big body and the shoulder that can allow him to be that kind of player."
Green, running backs coach Todd McNair and Carroll all spoke about a need to change in Green's approach, and since the end of fall camp, it's showed.
"I just changed my mindset on football. Now, I'm trying to compete too," he said. "I felt I wasn't competing enough. I want to work my way onto the field. It's all about competing and I felt like I was getting out-competed.
"I'm tired of being the last man out."
Green's unhappiness is music to McNair's ears, as he's seen Green's intensity increase in the past weeks.
"He's got some pride about him. He doesn't like where he's at on the depth chart," McNair said. "If you're competitive, that's going to show. It's what we want.
"We don't want guys who will just lie down and accept defeat."
McNair said Green's on the road to accepting a more specialized role.
"He's got to." McNair said. "You know, there are offensive linemen who think they can be DB's. They like to dance; they dress nice. Are you kidding? You're a big, sloppy offensive lineman. Be who you are.
"He's a big back. He sees Joe McKnight's flash, Stafon Johnson spinning and C.J. Gable slashing, and it's like he wants to do that. That's not his role. He has to be who he is."
• With around of month of practice under his belt, Carroll's seeing some players consistently deliver complete, physical practices.
Carroll said Jeff Byers, Jordan Campbell, Gable and Christian Tupou have all delivered for the Trojans on a daily basis.
• Carroll said they haven't received any update on Nick Perry or Curtis McNeal. If either player were to be cleared by the NCAA, he'd have to enroll in classes by Sept. 12.
If that were to happen, Carroll said both players have probably missed too much to play as a true freshman.
• Drew McAllister had a pair of big hits, dropping Patrick Turner and Blake Ayles during practice.
• Carroll said Tyron Smith has pushed both tackles on the offensive line all week. Carroll said Smith's looked the part athletically at a remarkable level.
However, Smith still has a lot to learn to be able to operate on his own.
"He's not quite ready, but he's getting closer," Carroll said. "This week's been a big boost for him and his confidence."
• Matt Kalil returned to practice with the service team.
• Shareece Wright continues to impress by making big plays. Thursday, he came off the edge to block a punt back into the end zone.
• The Trojans will practice at 7 a.m. Friday before having the weekend off.
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