Linebacker Rey Maualuga emerged as a leader in player-organized practices as he worked at middle linebacker for the first time since his college days at Southern Cal. Maualuga has played mostly on the outside in his first two seasons.
During the practices, he was calling plays and making calls when everyone is lined up.
He said, “It felt good to be in the front of the huddle and having all eyes on you and making sure to break that huddle with confidence. This is a little bit of the playbook that we have installed, but at the same time I feel good about where we are and the progress that we’ve made.”
Defensive tackle Domata Peko said he likes what he’s seen from Maualuga.
“It’s good to see him out here taking control of situations and being more of a vocal leader. He was one of the best middle linebackers in the nation when he was at USC. I am excited too because I know he is right behind me. If they want to go quick, then I’ll make a play and if they want to key on me, then he is going to be free.”
Maualuga understands the responsibility he will now have.
“When its third and short, I want everyone to look in my eyes and be confident that I can call a play, line everyone up and make that play,” he said. “I’m just trying to give it all I got. The best players play and if I don’t play, unfortunately that means I’m not the best player and there’s something wrong with my game.”
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