Friday, July 17, 2009

An Eagles Rookie You May Not Know

Defensive end Paul Kruger has had some football experiences that he will never forget. Such fond memories include being named a Freshman All-American at Utah, as well as being selected by the Baltimore Ravens as the 57th overall player in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

However, the 2nd round draft selection does have a few football related remembrances in which he truly never wants to re-live again. Take for particular play when his Utah Utes took on the visiting Weber State Wildcats on September 27, 2008. Before the play, Kruger did his usual thing, aligning his 6'4, 263 lbs on the flank of the defensive line. During the play, the Weber State Tight End, who was aligned on Kruger's inside shade, performed a down block to try to seal the interior defensive lineman. This would leave the 57th overall pick one on one against the Weber State Wildcat Fullback. Kruger hesitated, but that mistake shouldn't matter, right? I mean, he is a future day one pick, and we're talking about a full back from Weber State here! Wrong. The Wildcat Fullback clashes with Kruger, turns him around, and forces him to the ground.

So who was the brute player that put the 2nd rounder on his back?
That talent was Weber State Fullback, and undrafted rookie free agent Marcus Mailei.

Marcus Mailei signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in late April. Fans of the Eagles will come to love Marcus Mailei, as he is a hard-nosed football player who will lay a shoulder into anyone. What is interesting to note about Mailei is that he wasn't used primarily for running while at Weber State, but for receiving, making 58 catches over the past three collegiate seasons. Andy Reid loves a pass catching back as much as he loves Geno's Steaks.

Marcus Mailei will join Eagles' fullbacks Leonard Weaver and Kyle Eckel upon entering training camp.

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