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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Twin brother says Rutgers' Jamal Merrell, dealing with kidney injury, feels better

A kidney injury kept Jamal Merrell, right, from attending Saturday's game against Eastern Michigan. Twin brother Jamil Merrell talked to him Sunday night. (AP Photo)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

A mysterious kidney injury sidelined Jamal Merrell in Rutgers' game Saturday against Eastern Michigan, but twin brother Jamil Merrell said Monday his condition is improving.

"I don't really know in depth what's going on with him, but I talked to him (Sunday) night," Jamil Merrell said. "He said he felt good. He felt much better."

RELATED: Jamil Merrell plays "10-12" snaps in first game against Eastern Michigan

Jamil Merrell said the kidney injury was the first of its kind for his brother.

Head coach Kyle Flood said Sunday that Jamal Merrell was not at Saturday's game. Jamal Merrell returned to team meetings Sunday, Flood said during his weekly press conference.

He expects Jamal Merrell to return in time for Rutgers' game Oct. 5 at SMU. Flood declined to comment further on Merrell's injury.

MORE: A frame-by-frame look at Paul James, Quron Pratt on kickoff touchdown


Cornerback Ian Thomas explains the role of a "force player" in a zone-defense look against two receivers lined up on the same side. (Tyler Barto)

As part of an ongoing series, The Trentonian will take an in-depth look into certain concepts with Rutgers' schemes and explain them through the eyes of the players.

Part 5 explains why Rutgers lines up one cornerback on the same side as two-receiver sets and the concept of a "force player."

Cornerback Ian Thomas on the philosophy: 
"The way our defense is set up, we have a force player on each side of the defense. That's the corner's responsibility. He's the force player. He has to keep everything inside of him, and I have to keep everything inside of me."
Thomas said when one corner lines up on the far side of a two-receiver look, it is usually a zone defense. 

To compensate for having one corner opposite two receivers, Rutgers often asks Jamal Merrell, at strongside linebacker, to flank the slot receiver. He has both pass and run responsibilities.

More Terminology Talk: Part 4Part 3Part 2Part 1

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