Cushing the Envelope at the Senior Bowl
Brian Cushing (
Brian Cushing (
Posted Jan 19, 2009
Charlie Bernstein was in attendance at Monday’s South team practice at the Senior Bowl which was run by Jack Del Rio and his Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff. Defensive players were on display and we have a brief rundown of whose stock was raised and who needs to have a better day tomorrow.

The one defensive player who seemingly turned all the scouts heads was USC outside linebacker Brian Cushing. Brian Cushing doesn’t have the flashy tattoos like his college teammate Rey Maualuga, and he doesn’t have the bloodlines of fellow Trojans linebacker Clay Matthews, Jr., but Cushing clearly was the most impressive linebacker on the field at Monday’s practice. Cushing ran all the drills that Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio put him through with relative ease and swiftness, and Cushing was all over the field when the team went into 11 on 11 drills.

The trio of USC linebackers was all anyone could talk about at the South practice, as Cushing was outstanding, Clay Matthews was more than solid, and Rey Malaluga showed his fantastic instincts.

“I came here to see the USC guys,” San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary told, and he wasn’t disappointed.

Another defensive player who had a good day was Wake Forest cornerback extraordinaire Alphonso Smith. Smith was clearly the best corner on the field as he stayed step for step with each of the South team receivers, and capped his brilliant day with a pick-six off a pass thrown by West Virginia quarterback Pat White.

Other defensive players who made an impact on Monday were Georgia defensive tackle Corvey Irvin, who dominated the interior, Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers, Richmond national champion defensive end Lawrence Sidbury, and Georgia Tech defensive tackle Vance Walker.

In the secondary, Wake Forest safety Chip Vaughn showed good hands and coverage ability, and Mississippi State safety Derek Pegues also stood out in a positive way.

Defensive players who didn’t do themselves any favors were LSU linebacker Darry Beckwith, who struggled with hands and agility, as well as late addition Maryland linebacker Moise Fokou, who struggled through drills. Hawaii defensive lineman David Veikune didn’t do much to stand out, and Jackson State defensive back Domonique Johnson displayed a shaky set of hands showing why he specializes on the defensive side of the football.

Related Stories
UA Senior Bowl: Weigh-In Notes
 -by  Jan 19, 2009
Pick Six: Senior Bowl Notebook
 -by  Jan 21, 2009
VIDEO: Trojans Talk Strategy
 -by  Dec 31, 2008

> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> Free Agency &
   Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
OLB Brian Cushing (profile)
CB Alphonso Smith (profile)
[View My HotList]