Packer Report: Tell me about Marshall as both a person and a player.
Williamson: I'm in about my 32nd or 33rd year coaching and most of it's been with the offensive line. Probably in the 24 or 25 years I've coached offensive line, he's only the third true freshman to ever come in and play. Part of that is that he had the raw ability, he had the maturity to do it, and then of course, an opportunity presented itself. We had a couple injuries in camp that year, and he stepped forward and played 30 snaps a game roughly as a freshman, which I said from my experience is unusual. I think that began the indication of what I'm about to say about him. He is an intelligent young man, he is a mature young man, and he is for his size very athletic. He runs well. He has good feet. I don't know down the road if he'll be a tackle or inside player, but I think the good thing about him is that he can learn every position. He'll be one of those guys that can play several spots for you. We played him on the left side at tackle because he's such a good athlete. I'm more concerned about quickness and mobility out there than some guy being 6-6 or 6-7… He's an intelligent young man off the field as well. He'll make good decisions. He won't do anything to embarrass the Packer franchise. As a matter of fact, I would think he'd be one of those guys as he gets in there and if he can stay for a few years that will be involved in the community. Just an overall grand person and a good player. I wish there was some way we could keep him one more year.
Packer Report: Why do you think some of the NFL people are looking at him as more of a guard when he had so much success in college as a tackle?
Williamson: I think because of his height. I think they measured him at the Combine at close to 6-4. I guess some teams want a 6-6 or 6-7 kid. I think his reach was adequate, but it's not long long. He did play some guard at the (East-West Shrine Game) and had some success there. He would be smart enough and capable enough if you would train him — now, we didn't move him or work him at center — but I think he could pull that off if he had to. I think a lot of people just look at him as an interior box lineman simply because when you look at him, he's 6-4, but he doesn't look 6-4 because he's a good, strong, square-bodied fellow. But I do think he has the mobility to play out there.
Packer Report: How much did he go up against Jerry Hughes (TCU's former defensive end and the No. 31 overall pick of the Colts) in practice and was that pretty much a daily battle?
OL Marshall Newhouse
Packer Report: How would you describe the offense you played at TCU and the blocking schemes Marshall was in?
Williamson: We have always had success running the ball with the zone play everybody is using in the NFL, and then we've also been a power team in terms of we block gaps, we pull the backside guard lead up, and kind of knock people back that way. Two years ago, we had the reputation of being an option team. We run a little bit of option, but not a whole lot. In our passing game, we're very multiple. We throw out of seven-man protections, six-man protections, and we empty out and let the five linemen take whatever comes. Our line of scrimmage handles our protection. Our center actually calls it and our tackles make adjustments off his calls. Our kids read the secondary as far as where blitzes are coming from — not only our quarterback, but our line of scrimmage. We ask our tackles to be able to get the line of scrimmage in the right direction if we've got a corner blitz or a safety blitz off the edge and that type of stuff… It's a fairly complicated passing system from a protection standpoint. We do about everything. He's had a lot of experience there.
Packer Report: You've already spoke about his intelligence, but is there anything else about Marshall that doesn't show up on the scouting reports, maybe some other intangibles?
Williamson: I think the one thing I would say is that he has a lot of pride and a lot of desire to be successful. He does have a great work ethic and he's mature enough that he comes in and studies himself when we do our one-on-one pass pro drills. He'll study himself in the game. Even before I'm correcting him, he's telling me, ‘Coach, I did this and this' if he made a mistake and ‘I did a good job of this here and there.' He's doesn't just remotely memorize his assignments and he's not a robot playing. He has an understanding of why he's trying to do what he's trying to do I guess you would say.
Packer Report: So is he different than a lot of other college players in that regard?
Williamson: Most of our players here, because of the nature of our program over the last eight or nine years, there's a lot of peer pressure to become that kind of player. Marshall came here with that kind of personality. It was easy for him to fall into that mode of operation. There are some other kids that we have to kind of guide into that, but one of the fortunate things about being here a few years and us having been fairly successful is the older players kind of nurture or direct the young players as to how we do things at TCU. So Marshall's been a big help to younger players coming in. He had a good system in front of him when he came here. I still think it would be unusual in most cases to ever think a freshman's going to walk in and play in a program that's winning eight, nine, 10, 11 games, that kind of thing.
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Matt Tevsh has covered the Packers since 1996. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org