Main menu


Lions' Malcolm Rodriguez threw All-Pro to the ground, didn't miss a challenge and garnered rave reviews

featured image

Allen Park – Eagles center Jason Kelce was named a first-team All-Pro last season. He was also a first-team All-Pro in three of his four seasons prior to that. That guy is definitely one of the great centers in the league.

And a sixth-round pick named Malcolm Rodriguez threw Kelce to the ground in his NFL debut.

“It was good,” Kelce said on a podcast with his brother Travis. “I thought I had him. I was driving him into the end zone and at the last second, wuzah! I didn’t see it coming.”

One person who saw it coming: Rodriguez’ position coach.

After all, Kelvin Shepherd saw Rodriguez do it on day one of being promoted to the first team during joint practice with the Indianapolis Colts.

“It wasn’t the first time I’d seen it happen,” said linebacker coach Shepard. The thing is, “When people get down to something, Malcolm may not be the person you want to be.”

Rodriguez continues to impress the Lions. He was the 188th overall pick in the draft and was expected to contribute on special teams. But then he showed up at Allen Park and quickly started beating some of his veteran teammates on defense.

By the middle of training camp, he had surpassed them all. This includes free agent Chris Boad, who was expected to contend for his starting job alongside Alex Anzarone, and others like Derrick Barnes.

Sheppard began challenging the linebackers to keep up.

“Look at Rodriguez,” Shepard yelled at the linebacker during the intense film session, which was caught on “Hard Knock” camera. Put him out, what do you want me to do, because that’s what’s going to happen, Rodriguez, this is not against you, but you’re new, don’t put him out first I am doing everything I can.”

Ultimately, they sent Rodriguez out to the first team. Then he immediately hip tossed the Colts player to the ground.

Then, making his professional debut, Rodriguez did the same to one of the best offensive linemen in the game.

“He used the wrestling background that he has to get there,” said Shepard. “That’s the game. All I want is for you to unleash it and enjoy it.”

Rodriguez may not have been perfect, but he never missed a mission. Kerche’s play showed his strength and athleticism, but it may have been more impressive that he finished with zero unassigned tasks and mental errors, according to the team’s internal accounting. .

Most players can’t do that.

Newcomers, especially.

A sixth-round pick for a rookie is basically unheard of.

“It’s (rare), especially at that position,” defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said. “During training camp and as a coach, I don’t want to get into his mindset, but I do hope because of how smart he is and what he’s shown. But he’s a rookie and I know mistakes can happen. You have to recognize it.”

of course. Final.

But so far so, so good.

“I don’t know what to say, but in my heart I wasn’t surprised to see him play, because that’s the only time I’ve seen him play since the rookie minicamp,” Shepard said. Told. “Now I know it’s a different controlled environment. OTA, training camp, we’re here in a controlled environment. It showed the same thing. So this is consistent with this player.

“But now he understands that he has created an expectation for himself. , keeping them to the highest standards. We recorded it on tape, so now is the only place Malcolm is going.”