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Oklahoma State Football

"Rodrigo" Gets Feature Role in the First Segment of "Hard Knocks" Week Two

August 16, 2022
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Former Oklahoma State Cowboys linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, a sixth round pick in the NFL Draft got first round attention in the second episode of HBO’s series Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detoit Lions. The reason for the attention for the player now known by nickname Rodrigo is that he is playing with first round intensity and has livened up the Lions training camp and lit up an Atlanta Falcons kick returner is his first ever NFL play last week. He also started the game at linebacker. 

The segment starts off with the LIons coaches watching tape in a meeting and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn saying, “Who’s this? That’s Rodrigo,” Glenn says to the room. “Rodrigo,” says another coach.

“I have not been called Rodrigo before,” Rodriguez says to the camera. “I got here to rookie minicamp and I walked in first meeting and AG (Glenn) said, ‘I got a name for you Rodriguez,’ I said what’s that coach. He said, ‘Rodrigo.’ I said first day and I’ve already got a nickname. It stick ever since and my uncle text me, hey Rodrigo, how’s it going down there? That’s a good little nickname, I’ll take it.”

Detroit Lions
Rodriguez is a star and he just started.

Next is a series of big hits that Rodriguez made in the first two weeks of training camp including a play near the goal line where Rodriguez steps up to take on the lead blocker and crushes him out of the way. Puts him on the ground and allows for his teammates to clean up the runner and finish the play. It is a linebacker rule to take out the lead blocker on a power or iso. 

Linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard first tells Rodriguez in practice that the sky is the limit for him. 

“I’m telling you right now, this year can be whatever you want it to be,” he says to Rodriguez on the practice field. “Everything is open for you right now, you got me? You just have to take it.”

Then Sheppard in a linebacker meeting shames every linebacker in the room except Malcolm, who the camera shows sitting there just a little uncomfortable with this scene in front of his teammates. Some that are obviously going to lose their job to him.

Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY NETWORK
Rodriguez put an exclamation point on it all on the kickoff tackle in the preseason game.

“Watch Rodriguez, watch Rodriguez,” screams Shappard sitting at the computer in the front of the room with the video on the screen. “What do you want me to do? Put him out there first (first team) because that is about what’s going to happen. This ain’t nithing against you Rodriguez. You’re playing your ass off. but this is a rookie. I’m fixing to put him out there first. I’m sick of ****** saying it. He is in the same ****** drills you all are in. Step up, rock him back and as soon as you step up the ball is going tobe there.

“Keep playing your ass off dude,” he says to Malcolm. “He’s going to keep climbing the depth chart until somebody says I’m not going to let this guy take my job. He aint’ a first round pick, second round pick, third round pick, fourth round pick. What round were you picked in?”

“Sixth,” answered Malcolm.

“He’s doing what he’s coached to do,” added Sheppard getting more intense and loud with every word. “I’m going to tell you, I had a coach that’s been in this building five years tell me that he hasn’t seen a linebacker make that type play since he’s been here. You all need to know that shit.”

Rodriguez later got more air time with his play in the game with the Falcons. It is pretty amazing.

Discussion from...

"Rodrigo" Gets Feature Role in the First Segment of "Hard Knocks" Week Two

3,050 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by CaliforniaCowboy
Orangeheart72
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Great deal for a small town, Wagoner Oklahoma kid who Mike Gundy once asked his coaching staff "why aren't we recruiting and offering this kid a scholarship?"
Rodriquez just keeps surprising most coaches.
TUSKAPOKE
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"Rodrigo" is a BAD MAN!!! Kick some AZZ!!! GO POKES IN NFL!!!
Guitar54
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Not sure I agree with this coaches approach. Puts Rodrigo in a very uncomfortable situation and won't endear him to his teammates. Not cool.
CaliforniaCowboy
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Guitar54 said:

Not sure I agree with this coaches approach. Puts Rodrigo in a very uncomfortable situation and won't endear him to his teammates. Not cool.
yeah, I would agree, and the nickname is pretty disrespectful too.... why not just call him by his name?

some nicknames are okay, like "hacksaw", and such, but this one just sounds anti hispanic
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