Feb 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; USC Trojans offensive lineman Matt Kalil speaks at a press conference during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Former USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil doesn't overwhelm you when you watch him with his athleticism. But he's so solid fundamentally it's hard to find any marks that really detract from his performance. Let's take a look at the tape at one of his games last season against Cal. This first post looks at his first quarter pass protection.
Matt Kalil vs California 2011 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)
0:04: #44 Dave Wilkerson is trying to shoot the gap on Kali's inside to get to Barkley early, but Kalil is having none of it, getting assistance from his left guard #66 Marcus Martin to double-team Wilkerson and allow Barkley the time to deliver the outside route to his receiver.
0:10: #92 Trevor Guyton's turn to shoot the inside gap on Kalil, and again Martin has to come in and provide the double-team and contain. That does allow the Cal LB to swing to the outside and shoot the gap to get to Barkley, but not in enough time before Barkley gets the throw off.
0:16: Perfect man pass protection technique to deal with edge rushers. Kalil has active feet, keeps his body anchored and moving toward the outside instead of engaging #40 OLB Chris McCain too early or ignoring him. When Chris McCain does start curving toward Barkley, Kalil has covered enough range to push him off his original pressure.
0:23: Slide pass protection here to cover the linebackers anchored toward the right side of the formation. Kalil's original assignment #95 Ernest Owusu stunts toward the inside and finds a gap, so Kalil's new responsibility is the rushing Mychal Kendricks, who Kalil pushes into the help (the RB), then when Kendricks comes back his way, Kalil pushes him twice and out of the play.
0:29: More excellent man pass protection. With the athletic Wilkerson trying to press him back, Kalil keeps bending forward in his stance and blocks the linebacker totally out of the play without missing a beat. Wilkerson does a good job fighting, but there's no passing the Trojan OT.
0:38: Kalil does nothing real wrong on the play. He forces #95 Ernest Owusu to the outside of his body, and keeps him squared outside and away from his quarterback. Cal just manages better defensive scheming to break it up. The right side of the line slides to protect what looks like two rushers, leaving 3 Trojans on 2 Bears. When the LG and RB block the original blitzing linebacker #3 D.J. Holt, Kendricks has a free path to the quarterback, and he makes contact.
0:45: Kalil does exactly what he needs to do on the swing pass; unleash the cut block to take the OLB Wilkerson, making sure the running back doesn't have to be worried about being tracked from behind in the backfield.
0:57: More slide pass protection, this time preventing #43 Dan Camporeale from shooting the gap and getting to Barkley in the backfield.
1:06: This time sells the run by pulling and blocking out the OLB Wilkerson and keeping him away from Barkley, although he really isn't a factor to be sacked on this quick-hitting play, it's good see Kalil insert himself squarely between his quarterback and the defender.
1:13: Owusu tries to get past him. Kalil just pushes him back and forces him to think about another way to go. Payne stumbles into him. Kalil easily contains him.
So far, so good for the Trojans left tackle. The pass protection just looks real solid through one quarter.