September 4, 2007

The Zoom Lens: Inside linebackers

Each week subscribers will choose the focus of The Zoom Lens, a weekly post-game analysis of a specific position. BOL staff reviews a tape of each game with a play-by-play eye on the position chosen by members. This week's poll results:

Inside linebackers49.7 percent
Offensive tackles14.3 percent
Tight ends5.4 percent
Outside linebackers30.6 percent

Inside linebackers
The subjects: Starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain; starting weakside linebacker Darren Mustin; reserve middle linebacker Demarcus Waldrop; reserve weakside linebacker Cory Reamer.


Statistics: Zero solo tackles, seven assists, one tackle for loss, one pass breakup.
Observations: McClain wasted little time dispatching first-game jitters with a tackle assist on just the second play of the game. Shortly after that, he delivered the highlight hit of the game with a helmet remover on Western Carolina's Willie Harper.

One of McClain's only miscues was a missed tackle on a first-half slant-in pass completion. Other than that, he showed impressive quickness in coverage despite his senior-like size. He was sent on a couple of blitz calls and got through the line cleanly but a quick release prevented him from making a play. He played the first three quarters in their entirety, providing him with a good number of snaps before a stiffer test this week at Vanderbilt.

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