The grass is not always Green-er for Thundering Herd’s center
Levi Brown has a unique view of Isaiah Green.
Marshall’s junior center literally has his back turned — not to mention his backside — to the Herd’s redshirt freshman quarterback.
So, most of the time, Brown simply sees the aftermath.
Such was the case a week ago, as Green made his scintillating debut in Marshall’s 35-28 win over Miami (Ohio) at Oxford, Ohio.
How many of Green’s 37 passes did Brown actually see him throw? None, until the next day when Brown watched the entire game film.
That’s the life of an offensive lineman, in general, and center, in particular.
“It’s weird because I’ve never played for a quarterback that is comfortable outside the pocket,” said Brown, 6-foot-4, 280-pound redshirt junior. “We’ll be blocking somebody and, then, you see everybody stop what they’re doing and run real far to the left.
“And before you know it, Isaiah is over there breaking two tackles and picking up nine yards or something like that. It was really cool to see him do that kind of playing style because I had never played for a quarterback that scrambled that much.”
It was a brave new world for Brown.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I talked to Will Ulmer (left tackle) and Jordan Dowrey (left guard) also and none of us had ever had that before. So, that was something for us to adjust to. With camp and spring ball, nobody gets live reps out there. So, as soon as he scrambles, the play is kind of over.
“We needed to figure out how when he starts scrambling how to block other people that are over there chasing him.”
That’s quite an adjustment for the offensive line. Perhaps, that’s why Brown, Dowrey and Alex Mollette (right guard) each were flagged for holding penalties.
“Yeah, it was different,” admitted Brown. “But I think we handled it pretty well. He still gained yards a lot of times when he was outside the pocket. It was really cool to get to see something like that. It was just different.”
Due to sacks, Green was credited with only 22 yards in eight carries, but the mere threat that he is mobile and can run is what really matters.
As for Brown, the rest of his perspective was the same. He never sees the quarterback release the pass because he’s too busy blocking pass-rushers.
“I don’t get to see what he goes through in order to pass the ball downfield,” said Brown. “If there’s outside pressure, I’ll see everyone stop rushing and I’ll see the ball in the air and I’ll see Tyre (Brady) or Obi (Obialo) or Marcel (Williams) and them make really good catches.
“But they wouldn’t be able to make catches without really good ball placement. So, Isaiah really did a great job from what we saw. Just putting the ball in the right place and letting the receivers make great plays.”
After watching the game film on Sunday, Brown was impressed with Green’s composure.
“I don’t think Isaiah had any lack of composure,” said Brown. “He looked comfortable. And even when he was outside the pocket he was really comfortable and competent in that. The whole game I think he just looked comfortable and was having a good time.”
Don’t be surprised if Green has a good time again at 6:30 p.m. Saturday during Marshall’s home-opener against Eastern Kentucky in Edwards Stadium.
MU will win, 48-17.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.