Friday, August 7, 2009

Kaluka Maiava Good to Go

With the 4th pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns selected USC linebacker and special-teams captain, Kaluka Maiava. Maiava often seemed to slip under the radar behind the on-field accomplishments of Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga, and Clay Matthews. However, Maiava managed to put up solid numbers his senior season, registering 62 tackles, 7.5 for a loss, three pass deflections and one interception in twelve starts with the Trojans. While overshadowed by some of his fellow linebackers, Maiava's contributions to the football team should not be taken lightly, especially his performance against Penn State in the Rose Bowl, in which he earned the Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player Award.

Maiava missed a few of the minicamps due to an undisclosed injury; however, it appears he is getting into the full swing-of-things after returning to practice. Eric Mangini, for one, seems to be very high on Kaluka, telling reporters in his press conference that:

"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."

Mangini is known for playing “his guys,” which is a good sign for Maiava this coming year. He may not see much playing time at linebacker unless there is an injury, but Maiava will get ample opportunity to display his football prowess on special teams.

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