Lucas at Large: Smash-mouth stereotype fits Moffitt, Kendricks

Because of their tailback-oriented offense, and huge linemen, the Badgers have always been associated with "smash-mouth'' football. That image has been perpetuated in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Leave it to John Moffitt to be at the heart of the stereotyping.

After the Seattle Seahawks made Moffitt their third-round selection, coach Pete Carroll was struggling to find the right words to describe the UW left guard to the Seattle media.

That's when Seahawks general manager John Schneider weighed in. "The guy's a (butt) kicker,'' said Schenider. "That's really where it starts with this guy ... he's nasty ... we like those guys.''

That's exactly what Tom Cable was looking for, too. Cable, the former Oakland Raiders head coach, is now in charge of coaching the Seahawks' offensive line. Cable has a tough-guy persona.

That was reflected in Seattle's first two selections in the draft: Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter was the No. 25 pick in the first round, while Moffitt was No. 75 overall.

Carpenter (6-4, 321) is expected to start at right tackle and Moffitt (6-4, 319) at right guard for a retooled Seahawks offense that ranked No. 31 in the NFL in rushing the football last season.

About a week ago, Cable told Schneider, "In your wildest dreams if you could pick two guys to get in the draft, it would be these two (Carpenter and Moffitt). It's a pretty neat day for us.''

The Seahawks liked Moffitt so much that they were seriously considering taking him in the second round. Instead, they traded out of that round to get some extra picks later in the draft.

"The coolest thing about it was that our guy was sitting there - Moffitt was sitting there,'' said Schneider, "and he sat there for another 18 picks. He stayed there and we were really excited about it.''

As the former director of football operations with the Green Bay Packers, Schneider has a good working knowledge of Badger football.  So does Cable after doing his pre-draft homework.

"They allowed us,'' Cable said, "to go and check them out (Carpenter and Moffitt) and really dig into these guys, find out if they're really real guys, not fluffy and all that other cute stuff.

"They like to work. They like to handle it when it's tough. They're real purpose driven ... I think both guys bring an attitude that kind of fits what we're looking for - extremely competitive guys.''

Moffitt didn't waste any time endearing himself to the Seahawks press corps. When he was quizzed about being 24 years old, he replied, "I joined the Peace Corps for a year, so I lost a year.''

After a comedic pause, he removed his tongue from his cheek.

"I'm kidding,'' he said. "I didn't join the Peace Corps. I transferred high schools and I repeated a year. I didn't want to tell you I'm like Billy Madison. The Peace Corps thing sounds so much better.''

Interjected Carroll, "I don't want to sell him short, he's probably not Peace Corps material.''

Billy Madison, though?

Moffitt referenced an Adam Sandler character, Billy Madison, who repeated grades 1-12.

"I'm a physical player,'' said Moffitt, turning serious when asked to describe his game. "I think I bring a lot of physicality to the line. And I think I'm an intelligent player as well.

"It's important for me to know what I'm doing out there and understand the game and develop mentally as well as physically.''

Lance Kendricks' physicality was also broached after the St. Louis Rams took the former UW tight end in the second round of Friday's draft with the 47th selection overall.

After making the conversion from a high school wide receiver, he became a more physical player in the Badgers' system, especially at the point of attack on running plays when he was used as an H-Back.

"I take a lot of pride in things such as blocking,'' said Kendricks, a Milwaukee native.

The Rams sounded thrilled to add to quarterback Sam Bradford's arsenal.

"We think he'll be a valuable weapon in this offense,'' said St. Louis general manager Billy Devaney. "Everybody was excited about the thought of this guy being here.

"He's really athletic, he's got great hands, he's extremely smart. He can run, he has good speed. We can use in him in a lot of ways. There are a lot of places we can use this guy.''

On the type of players the Rams are looking for, head coach Steve Spagnulo cut to the chase.

"We're adding good football players,'' he said.

That describes Moffitt and Kendricks.
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