Friday, August 21, 2009

Maiava Debuts in Preseason Opener

Cleveland rookie linebacker Kaluka Maiava had two tackles Saturday as the Browns lost 17-0 to the Green Bay Packers in both teams' preseason opener.

Maiava, a 2005 Baldwin High School graduate taken by the Browns in the fourth round of April's draft out of Southern California, played on special teams throughout the game, and began rotating into defensive plays in the second quarter.

''I had to get those butterflies out of the way, and they were out of the way after the first hit,'' Maiava said.

Maiava had both of his tackles in the second half, on carries by Kregg Lumpkin each time. Maiava tackled Lumpkin on a 7-yard gain in the third quarter, and on an 8-yard gain in the fourth.

''Obviously, we wanted the game to go a different way, but that's the NFL. They get paid to play football, too,'' Maiava said.

Maiava said he took a moment to take in the fact that he was playing at Lambeau Field.

''You've definitely got to soak it in,'' he said. ''You've got to cherish the moment.''

He also noted, however, that the real focus was on the game.

''The veterans reminded us that you can't be in awe of playing against people you grew up watching,'' he said.

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