April 27, 2012 |
The biggest shocker of the first round -- and probably of the NFL draft -- came when Seattle used the 15th pick on West Virginia linebacker Bruce Irvin, a player who almost nobody projected would go in the opening round. Irvin, who played two years at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut before transferring to West Virginia, has had several run-ins with the law, most recently an arrest in March for disorderly conduct and destruction of property. Irvin told reporters he was in court earlier this week, where the charges were dismissed.
August 14, 2012 |
UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt said the news "dropped like a bombshell. " Players were stunned, some near tears, when linebacker Patrick Larimore told them Sunday night that he was retiring because of repeated concussions. Larimore, a team captain and most valuable player of the UCLA defense in 2011, suffered a concussion during spring practice and another two days into training camp, before the Bruins were even in full pads. After he was reexamined Sunday evening, he decided to give up the game he loves.
April 26, 2012 |
No. 9 Carolina Panthers: ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College - - Kuechly (pronounced KEEK-lee) led the nation in tackles in each of the past two seasons, with a career-high 191 last year alone. He finished his Boston College career as the leading tackler in both school and Atlantic Coast Conference history (532 tackles). Comment: The Panthers lost Jon Beason and Thomas Davis for the season in Week 1 last season. Kuechly is phenomenal in pass coverage and never has to come off the field.
August 18, 2012 |
A defense often adopts the personality of its coordinator. But what is going on at UCLA is body-snatcher-like eerie. Go to Lou Spanos, the guy with the square-jaw look and haircut to match, and ask what he learned from the Bruins' 2011 game tapes. Go ahead, make his day. "Our focus is on the 2012 Bruins' defense," the first-year defensive coordinator said with a smirk. Walk over to newly minted inside linebacker Damien Holmes to inquire what lessons defensive players learned from 2011.
December 11, 2011 |
Clay Matthews' star power has captured the attention of both the NFL fan base and offensive coordinators, who've spent this season seeking to double-team the third-year Green Bay Packers linebacker from USC. Matthews' sack and tackle numbers are down from last season, when he contributed 13.5 sacks and nearly four tackles a game for the Super Bowl champions. After Sunday's 46-16 victory over the Oakland Raiders, Matthews has six sacks and 38 tackles. As the calendar turned to December in a big game last week, Matthews began asserting himself at critical times, intercepting a pass by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and returning it for a touchdown, recording a sack and forcing a fumble.
April 17, 2013 |
It wouldn't be spring practice without a little on-the-job training. UCLA's Taylor Lagace and Nate Iese have been moved to new positions. Lagace came to UCLA as a safety but has been shifted to linebacker. Iese arrived as a linebacker and is now a defensive end. "You recruit these kids when they are 16, 17 years old and they change a little bit," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said. "Some of these guys, they are such great athletes we start thinking, 'We have to get this guy on the field.'" At 6 feet, 201 pounds, Lagace is small for a linebacker, but UCLA expects he will literally and figuratively grow into the position.