Bear Alexander thrives at making real-time decisions once a play begins

USC hasn’t played since September 9, and the Trojans are massive favorites this coming weekend at Arizona State against a hollowed-out Sun Devil roster which has been plagued by injuries. USC doesn’t figure to be tested by the Devils, which takes away even more stress from what has been a stress-free September. This is a good time to go to the film room and look at USC players before the season heats up in mid-October against Notre Dame and then Utah.

USC football analyst Josh Webb pointed out what makes Bear Alexander special, using this ESPN video clip.

“This play is a small example of what Alexander brings to USC,” Webb explained. “It also highlights why he was sought after as a high school recruit. You find a player capable of making a difference and hungry for playing time on a defense desperately in need of someone with his exact skill set.

“The second highlight (0:09) in the video linked above shows Alexander’s teammate destroying two offensive linemen at once by pushing them back and opening up a lane for Alexander to come in and get the sack. The third play (0:56) is more of a traditional 0-technique getting a run stop because he won his rep and was in place to disengage and tackle. If Alexander and Anthony Lucas turn out to be really productive on the defensive line and Mason Cobb can be trusted to get after the backfield as a leader, that’s how losses against Utah turn into wins and College Football Playoff appearances.

“When I enjoyed most about Alexander in these video highlights was his ability to not only play his position but improvise and take what the defense gives him. By noticing his fellow player has opened up an opportunity for him and by using his natural intelligence, you can see Alexander making real-time decisions on these plays. Whenever Alexander scanned (0:21) the trenches and saw one of his people taking on a double block, he automatically disengaged from his own block so he could get after the ball carrier.”

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire